What happens when you get DJ Funkmaster Flex to commission a SEMA build: a ’69 Charger body on a ’18 Dodge Hellcat platform. This piece of American muscle was widened by four inches and lowered by two inches to get the perfect combination of modern amenities with classic style.
We partnered with Six Twelve Auto Worx to bring this steely Hellcat into this millennium with some carbon fiber. For SEMA 2018 Common Fibers fabricated the trunk lid, the trunk filler panel, along with the front and rear bumpers. For 2019 we have much more planned, but more about that later.
From Steel to Carbon
Lou Durasmo from Six Twelve Auto Worx brought the ’69 Charger body to life prior to deciding upon making it from carbon. After hundreds of hours of body work the steel body was ready to be painted and/or converted to carbon fiber. With the timeline in mind a few parts were sent our way and a couple were sent to Speedkore.
Once we received the original parts, we quickly got to work on making flanges and prepping the parts for molding. In order to pull molds from these parts six inches of flanges were added using melamine and clay. These flanges are critical for future steps. Once the parts are all clayed in and flanged, they get waxed several times for releasing the molds.
With plugs polished and waxed, fiberglass female molds were made. To start, each plug was sprayed with a layer of tooling gelcoat to exactly replicate the plug surface. One hour later, a first layer of veil fiberglass is applied to the surfaced and resined in place. This first layer is critical in solidifying the mold surface and capturing all the details of the part. Any air pockets will result in chips in the mold surface. The fiberglassing process is always a mess but necessary in creating a durable mold. The picture below is a mold pulled fresh from it’s plug. Additional photos of molds follow:
With molds pulled, trimmed and waxed again, the parts are ready to be made. Using our primary manufacturing method of vacuum resin infusion we are able to pull parts efficiently. In vacuum resin infusion, the carbon fiber is laid dry into the mold with a small amount of spray adhesive to ensure a straight weave and then we pull it under vacuum. Once a perfect vacuum is achieved, resin is infused into the part and allowed to cure for 4-8 hours (depending on temperature). The following picture demonstrates the vacuum resin infusion process:
With parts infused, the final cured part can be trimmed, sanded, and finished. The trunk lid was made with a top for cosmetics and bottom for structure. These two parts were bonded together, and threaded inserts were attached for latches. Photos of this step follow: