“OEM” B8 Vent and MMI trim production – part 1

Got a bunch of these in a little bit ago and have begun production on them. The goal will be to produce these in a 8 harness satin weave (8HS) so that they are similar to the OEM carbon atlas trim found in the B8 S4.

We’re going to be doing these pieces differently than most of our other trim, so the production should be interesting. Most of our pieces are just wet laid by hand, but these will be vacuum assisted layup, possibly with some latex molds.  We want to use a vacuum to help form the fabric to the part because of how complex it is (sometimes when doing it by hand, there would be lifting issues around some of the curves).  The vacuum parts are much more time consuming, but the quality of the part increases considerably.

If you wish to take a look at how we produced these pieces via wet lay, you can check out our earlier posts like these two:

I’ll keep the blog updated as we work our way through production on them over the coming weeks.

We got the vacuum rig built and spent a little bit of time testing it in different conditions and with a few different epoxies. At first we had some problems with leaks and boost (only 2PSI) but once we got it figured out (stronger bags, tighter seals) its running at 20PSI or so.

One of the big setbacks that I’ve still got to try to figure it out is how to keep vacuum once I disengage the pump. I’m not sure if it is possible, but it will speed up production to be able to build a few of these, run the pump and get it tight, then remove the pump and move on to the next rig. As it stands now, I’ll only be able to make one part at a time and will have to keep it running a day or so while each one cures.

I’m also going to try connecting a few different rigs to the pump at once and see if the pump is strong enough to handle multiple pieces at once.

Either way, some of the legit parts will be finishing up over the next week or so.

Here are some pics of the RHD test pieces we were messing around with:

After playing around with the test pieces for a bit, it was time to start a real part with the matching 8HS fabric.

The fabric is taped and cut to fit the part.

I now paint the silver piece black before it is wrapped.  This ensures that there are no silver bits peeking around on the edges, or perhaps where there is a sliver of a gap in the weave of the fabric.

Epoxy is applied to the part.

Part is placed in the vacuum and is instantly molded.

Stay tuned for more…

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