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New Engine Panel Fabrication Part III

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This time I used thickened epoxy on all the edges and let the first course cure before adding the reinforcing layers of biax. This turned out way better with much fewer voids.

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Try #2

I filled the voids and spent hours sanding it flush. Then I primed it, but the primer cured lumpy, so I spent more hours sanding it smooth.

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Primed and test fit

Then I painted it with Interlux Brightsides. And then, when the paint didnít cure properly, I sanded all the paint off, re-primed it, and sanded it even more.

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Failed Paint

By this time familiarity had bred contempt and my standard of perfection was considerably less, so I gave up and painted it. This time the paint cured properly, showing every imperfection I had neglected to sand out underneath it.

By now, two months had passed since I started the project, so I decided not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good and cut all the holes in the enclosure and wired it all up. It looks pretty good from a distance and most importantly is way more durable and functional than the first enclosure.

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Wired Up

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Final Install

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Updated 05-26-2018 at 09:48 AM by bigd14

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  1. bgary's Avatar
    Wow, gorgeous!

    ...but after seeing the "before" shots, not sure why you went on to make a cast part. the male mold you crafted was a work of art! WEST epoxy it and have a bright-finished wood panel?

    Updated 05-26-2018 at 12:05 PM by bgary
  2. Christian Williams's Avatar
    Came out great. Nice going.
  3. sharonov's Avatar
    Looks great! What did you use for the On/Off switch? I had to replace Cole Hersee M-482-BP after about one year. Judging how the postmortem internals of the first one looked the second switch will likely not last either. There is quite a bit of current going through it during glow phase - I reckon a bit over 20A.
  4. bigd14's Avatar
    Thank you. I originally used a similar ignition switch. But when I went to test the panel (after I installed it with Sikaflex 291-stupid move), I wasn't getting much voltage beyond the switch. I chased the problem for hours and finally concluded the ignition switch must have been faulty from the factory. So I ripped the entire panel back out with some difficulty and DeBond, and replaced the switch with a Sierra brand ignition switch. Of course the problem persisted! I finally traced it to an incorrectly attached ground wire. I will be using butyl tape and a very small amount of sealant this next time for when I have to replace components again in a few years.
  5. G Kiba's Avatar
    Big D. It looks great and probably works better than it looks! "Perfection is overrated!". I'm more impressed with your humility and will to finish. Good Job.