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 Post subject: Plastic Body Panels
PostPosted: August 21, 2008, 2:36 pm 
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Wondering if a few of the straight panels could be done easily enough in plastic?

Buy a roll of this stuff:
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/p/1557,22 ... astic.html

Seems like it would work nicely for the side panels at a minimum. Would you glue it on or rivet? I'm curious as to how flexible it is for tight creases etc.


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PostPosted: August 21, 2008, 4:13 pm 
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They aren't providing much of a description "Plastic". At 1/8 inch thick it shouldn't be super flexible, but on the other hand they send it to you in a roll.

You would need large diameter rivets, not to wear holes in it. But rivets with washers and bonding might work well. Some plastics are hard to bond, like polyethylene.

Another choice would be to layup a panel of fiberglass on something flat. Say 2 or 3 layers of cloth and then cut to fit. Not sure there would be any advantage to aluminum though.

The colored plastic looks easy, and they are selling it for bodywork. I wonder if you could fold the edges around tubing? Buy a roll and let us know?

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PostPosted: September 26, 2008, 12:17 pm 
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horizenjob wrote:
Buy a roll and let us know?


Did just that. They are selling it in 2' sections, so I bought 4'. It's quite tough stuff. 1/8" as stated, took about ten cuts with a box cutter to cut off a little piece. Bends and (mostly) keeps it shape quite nicely. Think it could work well. Saves money in spades over sheets of metal, and no need to paint!


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PostPosted: September 26, 2008, 12:34 pm 
Interesting! Does it seem similar to the stuff they mold kayaks out of? That stuff is tough as nails...gotta keep heat away from it, though...


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PostPosted: September 26, 2008, 1:30 pm 
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zetec7 wrote:
Interesting! Does it seem similar to the stuff they mold kayaks out of? That stuff is tough as nails...gotta keep heat away from it, though...


No idea. I want to see what it does under a heat gun as well. Might make it more pliable, or ruin it... we will see.


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PostPosted: September 26, 2008, 2:18 pm 
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The colored plastics are usually used for air dams. At least thats what I was told it was for at the local race shop (lots of drag and american iron guys go there). They have rolls of it laying there.

Next time I'm there I'll snag some. I need to build an air dam on the front of the 90 miata anyway.


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PostPosted: September 26, 2008, 3:36 pm 
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I don't think it would work on the side with the exhaust. I work with plastic sheet daily and I can assure you there will be mad warpage when it is heated. The amount of linear expansion and contraction of plastic as it is heated and cooled will suprise most folks.

Measure your 4' piece after a night in the AC and then set it out in the sun one day and measure it after it heats up. The results may suprise you.

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PostPosted: October 5, 2008, 7:18 pm 
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Best part about this stuff is that it's self-adjusting for ride height. Nail it on, hanging nice and low, using those color-coordinated rivets with the oversized heads. Make a couple laps, and it will be shaved down to
perfect ground clearance!


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PostPosted: October 6, 2008, 12:41 am 
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check out this build log. He used plastic sheets all though not very cleanly.
http://www.absurdcars.com/page3.html


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PostPosted: October 6, 2008, 2:18 am 
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Another problem with plastic is that the area that you'll heat up will become brittle.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Body Panels
PostPosted: September 18, 2017, 6:47 am 
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Any update on this, how did it work out?

Updated link to product:

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Colored- ... 910041-WHT


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: September 18, 2017, 9:03 am 
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chetcpo wrote:
I don't think it would work on the side with the exhaust. I work with plastic sheet daily and I can assure you there will be mad warpage when it is heated. The amount of linear expansion and contraction of plastic as it is heated and cooled will suprise most folks.

Measure your 4' piece after a night in the AC and then set it out in the sun one day and measure it after it heats up. The results may suprise you.

I'd expect warpage to be a problem then once it's trapped by rivets.

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Body Panels
PostPosted: September 18, 2017, 4:29 pm 
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Interesting the direction some people were going 10 years ago. I'm assuming the plastic didn't work as well as hoped for the OP.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Body Panels
PostPosted: September 18, 2017, 6:52 pm 
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Ah heck with it, I ordered a roll of white to see how it works for the tub. If nothing else it will come in useful elsewhere i'm sure. Who doesn't need a 10ft roll of plastic trying to unravel in the garage?!


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic Body Panels
PostPosted: September 18, 2017, 11:51 pm 
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aidandebradney wrote:
Ah heck with it, I ordered a roll of white to see how it works for the tub. If nothing else it will come in useful elsewhere i'm sure. Who doesn't need a 10ft roll of plastic trying to unravel in the garage?!


Let us know how it goes. Photos appreciated.

Cheers,

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