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 Post subject: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Part
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:42 pm 
First Gear
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:09 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Northern Idaho
Ladies and Gentleman,

As several of you are aware, there has been a bit of discussion about Axis Composites manufacturing a carbon fiber sunroof replacement. I have taken the information from the BBS and taken it to my other partners and we are now pleased to present the following offer.

The current sunroof being offered is a direct replacement for the stock glass. The outside periphery and thickness is matched to create a plug and play component. Each sunroof is manufactured using aerospace grade carbon fiber, fiberglass, and closed cell foam core. The exterior surface is classic 2x2 Twill Weave carbon fiber for increased aesthetics. Each part is created with a heat cured epoxy resin that is specially formulated to protect against UV degredation. To ensure structural integrity, the curing process takes place under a minimum vacuum of 22 in/Hg through the cure cycle.

Current list price for the standard sunroof replacement is $210.00.

Axis does not want to be in the routine of managing Group Buys. However, the BBS has been an invaluable tool to me and I consider the BBS home. As such, I'm happy to provide a group buy option.

I need 5 people with deposits and I can then drop the price down to $160. The price difference and the need for 5 people is to allow Axis to amortize tooling costs effectively and reduce the price to you.

All sales within the state of Washington will be subject to a 8% sales tax. Shipping and handling will be quoted at the time of order.

As each part is built when ordered, a 50% deposit is required prior to production of your part. Lead time to shipment is one week from reciept of deposit.

Axis Composite Technologies prides itself on the ability to customize components for our customers. We are a custom fabrication shop and your satisfaction is a primary priority. Therefore, we have a wide range of 'cosmetic' fabrics that we can use to create a unique apperance for your part to suite your goals. I will be happy to discuss these options with you and the affect they will have on price.


I know that many of those who have shown intrested thus far have expressed the desire to remove the stock mounting hardware. Axis does not currently have an option for this but will be developing one as I have a chance to take apart my headliner and see what's going on. When we do develop the hardware, it will be sold individually. However, the epoxy system Axis utilizes allows for strong secondary bonding so depending on how creative you are - hey you're on the BBS right? - then you can fab something up knowing that you can 'glue' to the sunroof. Axis will be happy to assist you in any adhesive selection questions you have regarding this.


Please let me know if there are any questions, concerns, or comments I may address.

Thank you,

Lee Skidmore
lskidmore@axiscomposites.com
208-290-5585

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Last edited by Northwind Composites on Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:09 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Northern Idaho
Group Buy List

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

This is just a place holder post and will be updated as people committ to the group buy.

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Hey Lee, can you offer a discount for people who order 2?

Cheers,
-Devan

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:01 am 
Fifth Gear
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:22 am
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Location: Western WA!
I'm ready to order.


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:41 am 
quasi-mod-o
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Location: Charlotte, NC
i notice this says 91-94. this will fit 90s as well. how do i know, because i have a 90 LS which has a sunroof and an SS which of course has a sunroof lol.


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:48 am 
quasi-mod-o
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question on the replacement part. so first you have to take the gasket off the glass and place that on the carbon correct? and then you use adhesive to have it stick to the mounting or do you just silicone it in the hole? are there any pictures of this installed yet?


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:09 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Northern Idaho
Sorry for the late response here - there's been a lot going on. I'll be making some significant announcements in the next few days.


There has been one change to the plan - I'm eliminating the group buy (or considering it 'filled') and will offer all the sunroofs at $160.


Devan - I cannot offer a discount right now beyond the $160 price. Hopefully this doesn't cause too much trouble for you.

AWD - I'm going to hold off on taking your money until I have the mold made. I need to order some materials now too and that will carry about a week lead time.

Silinc3r - Thank you for the info regarding fitment in 1990. Right now the plan is make a piece that would install like you broke the glass and had to replace it. This will require full factory mounting hardware. I don't have any installed pictures as I still need to make the mold and first part. Installed pictures will likely need to come from someone that buys one as I don't plan on replacing my glass with carbon (I really like being able to look up when I'm driving).


Now all that said - I got the assembly out of my car today and was very surprised at how heavy it was, 42lbs. I'll be getting the glass taken out tomorrow and cleaned up and measured. I'm still going to see about making a piece that allows relatively easy removal of the factory tray and just 'fills' the hole. I'm not sure just how just yet, some of that plays into tooling as well, but I'm going to see what I can do.


As always, let me know if you have any other questions I can address.

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:09 pm
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Location: Northern Idaho
I have some announcements regarding the sunroof.

Due to changes in the coorporate structure of Axis Composites I now have reduce facility capabilities. This does not mean I'm cancelling the sunroof project.

What it does mean though is I no longer have the ability to gel or clear coat the parts. This means the parts you receive may have light surface porosity between the weave. The surface will still be nice and smooth but it will not be the same baby-butt smooth that you get after an automotive clear coat or a gelcoat. However, the resin I am using is UV stabilized and does not require a gel coat or clear coat for UV protection.

Recognizing that you may need to take the part to your favorite auto painter to clear coat, or doing it in your garage, to get the final aesthetic appearance desired and intially promised, I'm dropping the price.

The price is now $145 each. I apologize for this but my circumstances are fairly fixed and this is the only way I can try to be fair and still offer a product I know people want.


Furthermore, I have a soft solution for those that are wanting to remove all the sunroof mounting gear. I am making the mold such that the surface of the glass is extended around the entire periphery by about an inch. I cannot garuntee that this extra inch exactly matches the contour of the glass but it's really dang close - the corners are the hard part due to the compound contour. What I can do is provide a rough trimmed piece and you can then final cut it to the exact size of the opening. You can then glue this into the opening and the metal tabs, 1" tall, that exist on the roof provide room for small angle brackets to be installed under the sunroof firmly attaching the sunroof to the sheet metal. I can't provide these little brackets but a trim to Lowes would get you what you needed to make them yourself pretty easily. I am also happy to supply support in glue selection.

Finally, I've ordered materials for 5 sunroofs and the material should be here around Friday. The actual mold will get laid up tomorrow or Monday. I found a new tooling compound that has been working great for creating the extra inch around the periphery but it takes forever to dry and has signficantly increased my tooling time. But it will create a better tool and part.

Below is a picture of the tool in process. It looks a little more proper now but at least this way you guys know I'm not just dragging you along for a ride. And fwiw, I have a large personal motivation to finish this as I can't drive my car until I get this done so I can plug the giant hole in my roof. And test and tune is this upcoming weekend... so yeah... I'm working hard :).

Image

I learned a bit about the sunroof assembly as I was taking things apart and I'll be happy to post up a thread in a few days with some pictures. I did learn that I think you can take out the sunroof tray itself without having to drop the head liner and sunroof assembly. I'll post a few pictures in another thread to make this a little clearer and help those who haven't delved into the sunroof assembly understand a little more how it works.

As always, please feel free to let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I can address.

Thank you,

Lee

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:33 am 
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You were able to take the tray out without removing the headliner and trim? Also don't know your metal fabricating capabilities but you could make up some cross bars that bolt directly into the body were the sunroof goes. And then the piece could be attached some how or kind of riveted with a seal so you never have to mess with it or worry about it leaking.


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:49 am 
Fifth Gear
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:22 am
Posts: 2774
Location: Western WA!
Good update! I'm looking forward to pictures of a nice mold.


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 am
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Location: Tenino, WA
Yeah pictures would be great of finished product and preferably lots of them, including installation. I was going to ask if the sunroof had to be removed but you beat me to it. I'm not sure what you mean by an extra inch of peripheral or whatever. You lost me there. I don't really want to have to trim it myself. Also, what's going to happen if we don't clear coat it?


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Location: Northern Idaho
Silinc3r - I removed everything, but that's because I wanted to remove the entire sunroof assembly. However, I think, just the sunroof itself can be removed without taking out the headliner.

The sunroof assembly consists of three main pieces - the sunroof, the tracks, and the tray. The tray is what holds the tracks, motor, controller and is physically bolted to the car. The tracks mount to the tray and support the sliding interior cover and the mechanism that moves the glass.

The sunroof consists of a piece of glass that rests in a metal frame. The metal frame attaches to the mechanism that rides in the tracks. It's this frame that I think can be removed without dropping the headliner. There are four bolts that attach the frame to the track/mechanism. Once you remove the plastic cover - see picture below - then you can remove four nuts and the frame lifts off. If you can get to the bolts without dropping the headliner then I think you can remove just the frame, *think*.

I can't say for certain since I pulled everything all apart.



AWD Addict - see picture below :). The mold hasn't really been cleaned or polished in this picture. The mold is currently post curing to make sure that I don't have any more bubbles under the surface coat that need repaired. You can see a couple got in there that I need to patch. But, the mold came out pretty well.



Kimo - My installation pictures will vary from others a little bit. I'm making a carbon replacement that also has a lexan insert so I keep the 'sunroof' function. I'm permantly mounting it though. I also will be making parts for a couple guys before I make mine since you guys are waiting and the lexan path will take a bit more time and require a little more tooling.

But to try to make things a little clearer - there are two ways to install this.

The first is a direct replacement of the glass. So you remove the glass from the metal frame and glue back in my replacement. Then you reinstall the gasket the frame back into the sunroof assembly and everything works like stock. In this senario I will supply a piece that is cut to the exact size as the stock glass.

The second is for a permant replacement for those that are getting rid of the entire assembly. The opening in the roof is about 1/4" bigger on all sides than the glass (leaves room for the seal/gasket). The mold allows me to create a part that is a little bigger than the glass but keeps the same contour. You can see this very clearly in the picture of the mold below. The shinny area is where the glass is and the matte area is where I've built up. So if you wanted to go this route I would send you an oversized replacement that you would then mark and trim to drop into the opening. You can glue it and seal it in place. There are several places for a couple small angle brackets that would provide a hard attachment of the carbon sunroof to the car. I don't have any pictures of these just yet but will when I do my install. This route requires a little more creativity on your behalf but it's not difficult.

Trimming would only require a dremel tool with a fiber cutting disc. It trims pretty easy. If the trim is a large problem for you then we can talk and work something out. I just don't know how people will want do their own permant install and I suspect each car's opening in the roof varies a little so it's difficult for me to supply a pre-trimmed piece.



Now as far as clear coating goes, there are two primary reasons people clear coat composites in the auto world. One is aesthetics, the clear coat does provide more depth and a little more gloss/shine to the part.

The second reason is UV protection. A lot of parts get made with polysester or epoxy resins which are not UV stabilized and will degrade over time. The clear coat provides the UV protection most parts require.

However, the resin I am using is already UV stabilized. It's one of the advantages of using a heat cured epoxy. So you do not need to clear coat my parts unless you want the aesthetic advantage.



Hopefully that answers some questions. I know it's difficult to understand how all this works if you're not familar with the sunroof assembly and I'll be sure to have plenty of pictures when I do my install and hopefully some others will take pics when they do their install.

But as always - please feel free to ask as many questions as need be. I'm happy to provide support and try to clear things up for those wondering about this whole deal.


Thank you,

Lee

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Location: Northern Idaho
I found that you can push in the center post on the fastener to release it and give access to the bolts that hold the frame to the track mechanism.

Image


Mold - still in work but you can see it's progressing and shows the extra I was talking about.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:09 pm
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Location: Northern Idaho
Grrr.... I had a nice post but my internet screwed up and I lost the whole post. So, here's attempt number 2, and a little abbreviated.


This last week has been a bit busy - see my other post in the Vendor forum - but the first part is curing as I speak.

The mold came out pretty well. There are a couple of low spots that resulted from trying to patch up a couple air bubbles in the surface coat. This will create a slight high spot in the final part.. I'm not the best body guy, what can I say. But the low spots are very small and few in number and can only be seen at the perfect angle. I mention this because, as anyone who has done business with me in the past can testify, I try very hard to be open and honest about what you buying from me. The pictures below are the mold prior to application of release wax. I tried best I could to capture the low spots with my smart phone camera. They are there, but hard to find.

Image
Image


The first part is currently curing under 25 in/Hg and I should be demolding it around 7pst.

Image


I do not know if I will get pictures of the part posted tonight, definately by tomorrow though, but I will be doing the installation tomorrow and over the weekend. I will take lots of pictures of how I'm doing it - I am not using the factory hardware.


I am almost out of carbon and won't be able to make all the parts without ordering more or talking my partners into letting me use some of their material. However, I should have the carbon and the rest of the vac bagging supplies mid week and now that the tool is done, I can make multiple parts in a single day. So, by the end of next week I should be able to take your money and ship you a part :).

I currently only have enough core for another 4 parts, but I think that should cover the immediate interest I'm seeing here on the BBS.


Anyrate, I thought a good update was overdue and you might want to see a few more pictures. As always, please let me know if there are any questions, comments, or concerns I can address.


Thank you,

Lee

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:52 am 
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Location: Northern Idaho
It's late, I'm knacker'd, and hungry. But before I blow out of the shop I thought you guys might appreciate another picture.

The part is just rough trimmed and still needs cleaned up a little - there's still some PVA (mold release) that needs scrubbed off. But the part looks pretty decent for a first part off the tool.

The foam core I used soaked up a lot of resin so it came out heavier than I anticipated but considering there's more than 1in excess around all the edges it still only tips the scales at 27.8 oz.

Anyrate, enjoy :).

Image

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Firm Quote and Buy Thr
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:22 am
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Location: Western WA!
[quote="Dspin Fabrication"]The foam core I used soaked up a lot of resin so it came out heavier than I anticipated but considering there's more than 1in excess around all the edges it still only tips the scales at 27.8 oz.
[/quote]

Nice work, 1.7375 pounds is fine by me!


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:15 am 
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Did you ever get an exact weight of the glass while it was out?


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Holy ____ !!! Just seen this are they for sale ?


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:21 pm 
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What does the glass weigh?


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:44 am 
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^ I have one in my hands but have no scale to see what its weight is :•(


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:05 pm
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Location: Montreal Quebec
may be interested as well


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:09 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Northern Idaho
Nico - Yes, they are for sale.

Kimo, Steve - I do not have a weight for the glass yet. It doesn't appear that you can get the glass out of the frame without breaking it out. I did not want to break my only plug until the first part had been pulled and the mold verified. I will have an answer for you in a couple days though on the weight of glass only.

I will be keeping track of all the weights on my install and post them up. Currently the entire stock assembly weighs 42lbs. I am keeping the tray so I still have the sliding cover but have cut a big chunk of the tray out and removed all the glass slider hardware. This will be easier to see when I post an install thread in the Body and Chassis forum this week.


Hopefully this helps answer any questions. Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer.

Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Sorry, didn't see that Kimo posted the same question. Still, the glass is going to be the majority of that assembly weight so this should be a substantial savings. Glad I have a light aftermarket pop out! This is why the sliding canopy on my Tigershark design is going to be plastic with only the 3-piece windshield glass.


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Ok I think I might be mistaken, but this is a hole sunroof track delete ? As in takeing the headliner out and stoping the hole thing or...... This is a glass replacement ?

Because the glass comes right out very easy.


Depending how this works I will be buying this.


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 Post subject: Re: 91-94 Sedan Carbon Fiber Sunroof, Now With Picture of Pa
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Just re read everything in the post found my answer.



I cant delete my post for some reason ?


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