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Merging builds with the door card


This tutorial is a continuation of my previous door build tutorial. Many the same techniques have been used so I havent gone into as much detail on certain sections so I advise you read the first tutorial here.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to build speaker enclosures for your speakers so that they are blended into the door card for the OEM look. The door cards used here are from an Audi S4 but similar techniques can be used on any modern door card.
 
  • Rebated mdf speaker ring (see previous tutorial)
  • MDF battons
  • Glue Gun
  • Fleece material
  • Staple gun (not essential)
  • Fibre filler
  • Regular filler
  • Spray Primer

Here you can see the door card as it started with the existing grille and speakers removed. The original card here is made up of two bits. The frame, and the material covered panel which is stuck to the back of the frame by hot melt tabs. We carefully cut the tabs away so the central panel could be removed.

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What you need next is a backing piece to form the back of the pod. In this case, as our surface was flat, we used a bit 4mm ply which we cut to shape. We cut the backing piece to form a nice flowing curve to match the top curve. If you dont have a flat surface, you would have to take a mould of the surface from FG and cut that to shape as per pervious tutorial

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This next picture shows the speaker ring in place just to give you an idea of the shape we are going for. The backing piece needs to extend further than the side of the ring so that when we stretch the fleece over it, we have a nice gradual slop upto the speaker ring.

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Next we need to attach the backing piece to the frame of the door card. We covered the central panel with masking tape to protect it from the filler. We also roughed up the plastic on the frame with sand paper to provide a better key for the filler to stick to. The backing piece is then stuck to the frame with a healthy amount of fibre filler.

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Now that the backing piece is firmly stuck to the frame, we can remove the central panel from the frame.

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We then cut away the excess plastic from the door frame that would get in the way of the new speaker. The way this was done was, place the ring in the correct position and spray a light coat of primer round the inside of the ring. This will mark out the central hole so you can cut it out with a jigsaw.

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Next you need to attach the speaker ring to the frame of the door card using the mdf battons and hot glue. Cut the battons to give you the required angle. Attach the ring to the frame in atleast 3 places. Here we have used two battons along the one side to give an angled face

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Now you need to stretch your fleece tight over the build and secure it using a combination of hot glue and staples. Stretch the material tight so you dont have any creases. Then completely soak the fleece with resin. The fleece really needs to be saturated so the resin soaks through into the other side. Especially around the points where the material is touching the frame as the resin will seap through the material and bond to the frame below.

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Once the resin has set, you need to cut out the centre. The best way to do this is cut out as much material as you can with a sharp knife, then to get the best finish, use a router with a guide straight bit (laminate trimmer) and wizz round the ring so that the bearing runs round the inside of the ring. This will give you a perfect circle opening.

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This is basic part of the build done. We now need to clean away any excess material to give a nice build that isnt going to interfere with any existing parts of the car. As we going to run our speakers free air, we can now cut away our backing piece of wood that we used to form the shape, and any plastic from the old frame that no longer serves a purpose.

Also, as our build merges into the door pocket, we need to block the open portion of the build so that the rest of the door pocket is still useable. We did this by cutting a block of mdf so that is fills the hole and then stick it in place with hot glue. Then the complete rear section of the build was covered with a thick layer of fibre filler. (not shown in the pics)

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Now we need to start finishing and blending the front of the build into the original card. For this step, we put the central panel back in place to give us a better idea of the final shape. An angle grinder was used to smooth down the transistion lines between the build and the frame.

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A combination of fibre filler and regular filler was used to build up the low spots and to soften the blend between the frame. Fibre filler was used on edges as it is stronger than filler.

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The complete build was then sanded until smooth, and more filler was added and sanded back as needed.

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When we were happy with the final shape and finish, we gave the build a coat of primer. When everything is the same colour, it is much easier to see were more work is needed to fill imperfections and low spots.

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Another round of filler and primer later, we are left with the complete builds ready to go to the trimmers.

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Big thanks to Jaz (McC) for his help.. and sanding skills :D
 

Well guys.. here they are back from the trimmers.

There is the odd place where he could of done a better job but in general the look pretty damn good!

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1 Comments

Nice guide