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Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash


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layzboy 
Member - Posts: 18
Member spacespace
Joined: April 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 23, 2006 at 3:25 AM / IP Logged  
I haven't had the funds to do much fiberglassing for my own benefit, but for father's day a while back I decided to mold my dad's sirius radio dock onto the dash of his '05 Elantra. He didn't want the dock permanently molded into the dash like I had planned, so I told him I would make a sort of "mound" mold that should flow with the dash but could be removed if/when needed. For anyone reading this who has not undertaken a fiberglass project before, this could be done in probably 2-3 days. I took about 1-2 weeks since I could only work on it around my work schedule. Here is a step by step of what I did with pictures to help walk you through it. (Sorry if the pictures are different sizes, the files had to be resized to fit in the post.)
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
First I taped off the section of the dash I was going to work on, and marked the outline of my mold onto the tape. I did not use any mold release wax or foil, but I would recommend either one just to make the mold pop off of the dash easier once it's cured.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
I used fiberglass mat cut into small squares just because it blends together easier, and in my experience mat is slightly easier to work with than cloth just because mat can be shaped easier without wrinkles. This is after a layer or 2 of mat. I layed a total of 4 layers, definately not required for something that will be stationary on the dash and won't be supporting much weight, but I prefer to err on the side of rigidity.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
This is after the dash mold has cured a bit and I had popped it off the dash. Normally, you could pop the mold right off the tape, but since I didn't use a release agent it was easier just to pull the tape off and let the mold cure completely in the sun. The tape was easily pulled off after the mold was fully cured.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
This is after I sanded the edges of the mold to the shape originally drawn on the tape. What you don't see here is that the marks drawn on the tape actually transfer to the fiberglass so you know where to cut or sand. You also see here the plain abs plastic dock for the sirius radio. I attached it to a rounded piece of MDF and screwed into the mold at the angle I wanted.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
This is after stretchin my material over the entire mold. I used 3M Super77 spray glue to adhere the cloth to the bottom of the mold, and staples to keep the cloth in place on the top to form the grooves I wanted.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
This is after I resined the cloth and layed 3-4 layers of mat on top. The mold is fully cured and I sanded it a little just to knock the highest edges down. I didn't need it perfect since I planned on using body filler to smooth out the imperfections. There are some noticeable pits and holes, but body filler easily fixed them.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
This is after the Rage Gold body filler was applied.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
This is after the body filler was sanded smooth and the mold was sprayed with 2 coats High5 primer. This is a high build spray can primer, but it's about $13 a can so it's kinday pricey. Spray can primers can be bought for about half that price, but I will say that to me this primer was worth the extra money.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
Satellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
These are shots of the mold from different angles after about 3 coats of paint. This is a matched interior paint that cost about $20 for a sprayable pint (I didn't use anywhere near that to paint it, but it's the smallest amount I could purchase it in). If you would like a paint that matches some of the newer interior paints, try searching around for paint supply/distribution stores. Most car dealerships and body shops will get their paints from a local paint supplier, who will almost always sell paint to normal consumers at a pretty low price. I also found my Rage Gold there about $15 cheaper than I had previously bought it. These supply stores have catalogues of exterior and interior paints of more vehicles than I could even name with the exact mixing ratios, so if it's out there they can match it.
A hole was cut into the bottom of the piece for the wires to run and be plugged into the dock. The radio is hardwired to the car so it turns on and off with the car, and since the wires run up through a small hole in the dash there are no exposed wires. As a side note, I molded the bottom of the piece exactly to the dash, but my dad wanted velcro strips to attach it, so there is about a 1/8" gap between the dash and the mold. This can easily be corrected by filling the gap with body filler, then re-priming and painting for a smooth finished look. I will try to get some more pictures soon of the finished product actually in the vehicle so you can see how it flows with the dash.
dragon51 
Copper - Posts: 283
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 22, 2005
Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: August 24, 2006 at 4:39 AM / IP Logged  
That's nice, and a very usefull wright up as wellSatellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
layzboy 
Member - Posts: 18
Member spacespace
Joined: April 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 24, 2006 at 4:58 AM / IP Logged  
Thanks. I'm fairly new to posting on this forum, so I felt that if I was gonna open my mouth I'd better have something good to say.
lucky777 
Member - Posts: 2
Member spacespace
Joined: August 16, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 24, 2006 at 11:19 AM / IP Logged  
nice job. is your dad happy?
sdimedragger
layzboy 
Member - Posts: 18
Member spacespace
Joined: April 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 24, 2006 at 11:07 PM / IP Logged  
Yeah, he was pretty excited about getting satellite radio in his car, and he was surprised that his son could do something like that since he never really sees any of my work. He has been dragged into the electronics age lately since I gave him satellite radio and my mom bought him an ipod...he's now the "cool guy" of his office.
auex 
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Location: Arizona, United States
Posted: August 24, 2006 at 11:38 PM / IP Logged  
Looks good but that is alot of work for a fm sat radio.
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layzboy 
Member - Posts: 18
Member spacespace
Joined: April 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: August 26, 2006 at 6:02 AM / IP Logged  
Yeah, it took a while. I doubt I'd do that for a customer since they wouldn't pay what I'd charge. And I don't like wireless FM modulators, so this one is hardwired...it's still FM radio, but no bleedthrough - basically the best he could get for plug-and-play.
Cougar.Modder 
Copper - Posts: 78
Copper spacespace
Joined: July 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posted: August 27, 2006 at 8:36 PM / IP Logged  
Props for sure. I am in the same boat needing to make something like that. Nice idea!!!
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Melted Fabric 
Silver - Posts: 509
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Joined: October 24, 2003
Location: California, United States
Posted: August 29, 2006 at 1:54 PM / IP Logged  
layzboy wrote:
Thanks. I'm fairly new to posting on this forum, so I felt that if I was gonna open my mouth I'd better have something good to say.
Always keep your mouth open. (That sounds so bad). Always ask questions, commment, learn, teach, speculate, etc...
That is what the forum is for. No question is a stupid one.
CHEERSSatellite Radio mount molded onto dash -- posted image.
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