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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
crazy thought of the day

So I was looking through an Aircraft catalog the other day and came across the composite section of it and got the crazy idea of making a carbon fiber or kevlar fiber GT body. Wouldn't be too much trouble I think, just take a GT in pretty good conditing, make a mold of all the exterrior body panels, lay up a floor and glass it all together, shouldn't have to do too much redesigning of crossmembers since it's already a uni-body car. Yes it would be time consuming, and a little expensive, but it would be one lightweight (not like it's not light already =) and strong GT..... that won't rust!!!

I think the cost wouldn't be that bad though, would probably be comparable to repairing a body that was partially rusted out, that would still have the chance of rusting again. This way yould get something that won't be rusting. There are the drawbacks of going composite, such as repairs costing a bit more, but I think if you went carbon fiber or kevlar, it would stand a lot of thumps and bumps.

Anyways, that's my crazy thought of the day
 

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You really must have too much time on your hands!! That is Ambitious to say the least! Nice to have but too expensive in time and money for me.

Elwood
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Had my cousin that builds fiberglass boats for a living look at it, he said it wouldn't be too had, would take him about a week to get the bulk of it done, would be a little finish work after that, but he didn't think it'd be too hard. Would just be a little spendy to do it. I think it'd be pretty cool... do it in carbon fiber and use clear resin and don't paint it or anything, would look pretty neat :D
 

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Wouldn't there need to be a steel or aluminum frame to build the body on or are you just talking about the outer body?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, the GT is a uni-body car, and carbon fiber is stonger than steel, so if you built the car the same way that it's built now, out of carbon, it would be just as strong. You would have to do some stiffening in some places such as around doors and such, but for the most part the car will be entierly composite.

The McLaren F-1 for example is all carbon fiber... with a 600hp V-12 engine in it :D
 

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There would be some issues to contend with however. You couldn't just copy all the existing chassis specs. Keep in mind that overlapping joints will now be made from materials that are at least twice as thick, and that the composite sub-structure (unibody below the actual body panels) will need to be designed by an engineer, since torsional stiffness of a composite is only as good as the design of the fabric and fabric bias. All attachment points for suspension/etc. will need to be metal, and bonded into the composite structure with re-engineered attachments to dissipate/spread the loads. Carbon fiber, while stiff, is very brittle, and can shatter if overloaded. Kevlar may need to be integrated into key components. All in all, I'm not saying it can't be done, but to devise a full composite structure will take many months, not days.

Bob
 

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carbon fiber gt

wouldn't it be easier to build a steel or aluminum frame that would accept the opel gt body made from fiberglass or carbon fiber?That way you could build it to accept the engine,suspension and drive train that would work better than the original.
 

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It seems to me that I saw a complete fiberglass body for a GT on a website awhile ago. Cost was pretty reasonable too. It was probably made for Drag Cars or Street Rods. It also required a frame be built to support the body.

Boy would a Carbon Fibre body be great though!

Allen
 

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Where's the GT mold?

If any of us knew where fiberglass GT shells were made, a mold might be found. Do you know who built'em, and where?

Brian Cady
 

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There is currently a fiberglass GT shell on Ebay going for I think $500. Take a look at it and email the seller he maybe able to help out.
 

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I know of one company in Canada and another in Maryland that has molds for the GT body. However, they are racing derived, and many details have been 'smoothed over' in an attempt to simplify the moldmaking and parts extractions. If you look in my photo gallery, you'll see Tom Drake's GT-4 Opel GT racecar. The nose section and hood were made by the company in Maryland. Cost about $600. Would cost roughly $1500 in carbon, and that's just from the doors forward!

Bob
 

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I hate to dig up an old topic, but what ever happened with this idea?

I'd love to be able to have a carbon fibre body for a GT. Add to it a smoothed underside, a rear diffuser, and covered rear wheel wells, along with a small fin in the rear to add downforce. Imagine reducing that .398 Cd down to .30 or below and reducing the weight of the car to under 1,500 lbs. That could be a real screamer.
 

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Carbon Fibre Costs

Right now, the driving cost factor of carbon fibre products seems to be the qualifying process required for military and aerospace application. Since most CF products are intended for military and aerospace, this tends to drive the market price. We seem to automatically apply these high costs to commercial products.

Qualifying raw material, equipment, and processes (plus limiting sources to domestic vendors for security reasons) limits the number of competitive sources, thus keeps costs high.

Another factor in the cost of CF products is the resin. Most of the current products have specifications that require the use of specialty resins for very high-temp resistance (satellites, nose cones, etc.). But using more commercial grade resin would bring costs down.

There is currently a drive to find more commercial application for carbon fibre as fabricators look for new markets. Seems like golf club shafts and helmets are on the rise. But these use small amounts. As more volunm is used in commercial application, I think we'll see costs come down to something more reasonable.

But you're right, with the reduced weight of a CF body, the GT would fly.
 

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I agree, the costs of carbon fiber have dropped drastically in recent years. Just 4 years ago it was tough to find 50" wide 5.5 oz cloth for under $40 a yard, these days you can get a comparably sized carbon/aramid matrix for about $23 a yard. The worst part about carbon though is it is SOOO stiff, even in raw form, that every part with some semblence of curvature to it needs to be vacuum bagged (i.e., every part of an Opel GT!). This is what really drives the costs up, the labor involved. I'd much rather work with S-glass or straight aramid (Kevlar) in this respect.

An example:http://www.shopmaninc.com/hybrids.html

In larger quantities, it has become pretty affordable.
 

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One other thing to remember, you'll have to find someone with carbon fiber experience if you ever need to repair the body or make changes to it. It has a different repair criteria than fiberglass.
 

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Any idea how much weight would be saved by adding a fiberglass front end and doors?

I'm seriously considering the idea of an electric Opel GT, and I want it to be able to compete with cars like the Crysler Crossfire and Audi TT to demonstrate the torque characteristics of DC motors and EVs as a sustainable method of transit. An entire fiberglass unibody, however, couldn't handle the weight of the batteries. I'm considering 1,004 lbs. of Evercell Nickel Zinc batteries to give the car some decent range for cheap, and the power density would allow just over 170 peak horsepower. Therefore, weight needs to be kept down. My calculated acceleration if I were to theoretically have this concept assembled now is in the low 7 second range for 0-60, but that's not the best I think it could be.

I'm currently looking up a few companies, one of them was Anderson Technologies I ran across on a hot rod forum. Since I couldn't find a website on them, I looked around a bit more and found www.hotrodsuperstore.com that sells doors and front ends made of fiberglass for the GT. The prices seem reasonable.

I'd like to be able to reduce the weight of the body an extra 200 lbs. if at all possible, at minimum. With batteries in, the entire conversion using stock body would weigh 2,900 lbs., meaning that suspension is going to need to be beefed up a lot, and if that won't even work, the entire chassis would need to be rebuilt, and if I were to do that, why not just build from the ground up?

Any sites you could refer me to though on fiberglass parts for the Opel GT? I would like to keep the amount of steel down as low as possible, otherwise the motor and electronics(minus batteries) would inevitbly outlive the car itself. Also knowing how much weight I can save and for how much cash would be a very great thing to know.
 

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Ah yes, Anderson Industries is the name of the company that sells front ends for the GT in fiberglass. Thanks for the reminder. They sold my friend Tom the front end for his racecar. The front end is not that much lighter than stock, not once you figure in the mouting bracketry needed. And there are no headlight openings, no marker light openings, and no bubble or vents on the hood, just FYI.

Now the other company you mentioned (I believe it's based in Canada?), they have a less than enviable reputation from what I've heard from numerous people. In other words, money sent, no parts received. Just passing along what others have said...
 
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