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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to make my car lighter, so the most effective way I can see doing that is by replacing all of the metal body panels on my car with fiberglass/carbon fiber ones. anyone know an easy method for doing this? I know I can just buy fenders and hoods but what about trunk and the other stuff?


I have a Chevy 2003 Monte Carlo.
 

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There are videos on youtube that can show you how to make molds from existing parts like a hood and then make a part with the mold. But making molds of an object the size of a hood or trunk is not trivial and the mold can cost a couple of thousand dollars in materials. Then you have the cost of making a part with that mold. I have considered making a hood and front fenders for my car and its not the cost of the materials to make the part, it is the cost to make the mold that stops me. My hood weighs around 30 lbs. A carbon hood would weigh around 8-10 lbs. A savings of 20 lbs at a cost of around $2000. For the hood I can supposedly order one made for around $650 plus shipping. And I might do this some day. That 20 lbs is almost the weight of 3 cells.

Good luck on your quest to reduce the mass of your vehicle.
 

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A less expensive way to make a mold is with plaster of paris and cheesecloth. I did my hood and trunk lid this way. I am currently making a mold off of a peddle car I made some years ago. These molds can usually be made for under a hundred dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone for the help. As far as the cheesecloth method goes, do you have a tutorial or video you can refer me to? I would like the option of making custom panels too. That way I can make the car more aerodynamic (to an extent) or change it up in general to just make it more unique while also making it lighter. this would allow for additions like solar Panels, etc...
 

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I want to make my car lighter, so the most effective way I can see doing that is by replacing all of the metal body panels on my car with fiberglass/carbon fiber ones. anyone know an easy method for doing this? I know I can just buy fenders and hoods but what about trunk and the other stuff?


I have a Chevy 2003 Monte Carlo.
Besides the easily removable parts you already mentioned e,g. fenders, hood, boot lid, bumpers, etc., there isn't an easy way..your car is a uni-body chassis, meaning the remaining parts are, for simplicity's sake, a single piece.

It has been done though, a kit car company comes to mind that required customers of the kit to cut out a large section of the rear unibody of the donor car and replace with a tube frame structure; bolted and welded in place.

The coolest and by far most expensive way to replace those panels would be to re-create the entire uni-body out of a steel framed structure with honeycomb paneling wrapped in layers of carbon fiber & kevlar infused with resin via vacuum...
 
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