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Old April 6th, 2014, 15:30   #1
BlankThis
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Default Gauging interest:Kevlar engine skirts

So I managed to break another engine skirt panel this winter so I'm considering making my own out of carbon-kevlar or probably straight kevlar. These would be extremely durable but remain flexible and next to impossible to shatter.

Would anybody be intrigued? I'll be making at least one set for myself by probably vacuum bagging to the original VW piece to create a perfect copy.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 15:37   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlankThis View Post
So I managed to break another engine skirt panel this winter so I'm considering making my own out of carbon-kevlar or probably straight kevlar. These would be extremely durable but remain flexible and next to impossible to shatter.

Would anybody be intrigued? I'll be making at least one set for myself by probably vacuum bagging to the original VW piece to create a perfect copy.
What is a engine skirt panel?
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Old April 6th, 2014, 15:57   #3
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http://www.idparts.com/catalog/produ...roducts_id=868
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Old April 6th, 2014, 16:06   #4
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Sounds expensive
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Old April 6th, 2014, 16:47   #5
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Yeah, for a vacuum bagged set, I can imagine them costing easily north of $100. Kevlar isn't too pricey but the epoxy is, as well as the bagging materials. It would be much cheaper for a simple lay up but there would be more imperfections (inevitable) and inconsistencies in the final piece.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 17:21   #6
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Kevlar is not flexible. This will break too.

You need to make one from polyurethane.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 17:51   #7
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Sorry, but no. I appreciate your input though!

It all depends on the density of the cloth, weave, and type of resin used. Have you ever handled a kevlar canoe? With the exception of the ribs and with the removal of the gunnel, they have a lot of flex/twist to them. Kevlar will flex to the point where the impregnated resin will snap, but the kevlar will keep the piece together. Any other composite would break into two pieces.

This is especially important when the piece is in -30C, where the already far less durable polyurethane becomes brittle.

I'll keep you guys posted as I find time to start this little project/experiment!
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Old April 6th, 2014, 20:15   #8
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A canoe no.

But I have Kevlar 4 fenders, door panels, brackets, etc..... On my car. I have worked with Kevlar and know it well. I understand the different cloths and resins.

How on earth are you breaking the stock panels?

Good luck.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 20:16   #9
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Sounds interesting. I imagine it would be a fair amount lighter than the metal/aluminum skid plates I've seen for sale. I'm still rocking the plastic but if it ever breaks I'll likely be switching to something more durable.
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Old April 6th, 2014, 20:26   #10
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i actually got my hands on a couple jobber engine side - they have more flex than the original ones, so i'm inclined to think that they'd last a bit longer
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Old April 6th, 2014, 22:39   #11
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How are they breaking? I've had mine on forever, no breaks.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:25   #12
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My theory is that ice build up in the wheel well then a hard turn destroyed my passenger side. Pete that's cool about the kevlar panels! Even if they were layer with carbon or fiber glass, having the kevlar as the outer layer would be awesome. A lot of rally car parts are built up using a carbon kevlar weave or varying layers of the two. Who made them?
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:42   #13
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my side skirt panels last 10 years, but they got ripped apart this winter. Hard winter on vehicles thats for sure.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 12:39   #14
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Never had a problem with my side skirts. Don't suspect you'd have much interest in an item that you might replace once every 10 years normally. Good luck with the project though
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Old April 7th, 2014, 20:58   #15
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I rip up side skirts every winter. One trip through a plow ridge is all it takes. These cars just weren't designed for Canada. I just leave them as-is until they are really trashed to $#+, since new ones will just get torn up the following winter. Now with a skid plate on this year they may have fared better but I doubt it.

Kevlar fibre units sound really neat.
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