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Group Buy 1) Group Buy Prepreg Rear Strut Bar, 2) New project WIP

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good news and bum news.
The new vendor finally made a batch and its all good in the UD direction(X-Y) that the bar takes most the load except the ends should need more 45/90 to build up the thickness so it is less flexible(not that it needed as the load path doesn't occur in that direction but should so it bends less).
the bar is workable but we want to beef up the ends to make it more rigid.
we are adjusting the tooling to make this minor but important change for long term.

It has been a long struggle with this simple project and Covid/supply chain issues made it even more painful but we will deliver and shall overcome. Give us a couple more weeks plz.
 
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I'm confused. I thought all the R&D was complete and you were happy with the first bar/prototype that you made. I thought it was just a matter of making more bars. But now it seems you are doing some additional R&D to make it to your satisfaction and have less ability to bend. Looking back at your prototype, does it bend and not meet your expectations? If it's perfect, then what changed?
 
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good news and bum news.
The new vendor finally made a batch and its all good in the UD direction(X-Y) that the bar takes most the load except the ends should need more 45/90 to build up the thickness so it is less flexible(not that it needed as the load path doesn't occur in that direction but should so it bends less).
the bar is workable but we want to beef up the ends to make it more rigid.
we are adjusting the tooling to make this minor but important change for long term.

It has been a long struggle with this simple project and Covid/supply chain issues made it even more painful but we will deliver and shall overcome. Give us a couple more weeks plz.

I always love your products (wish I could get more of them tbh)

I’m sure if you’re redesigning the part, the finished product will be awesome.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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>Wizard
>I'm confused. I thought all the R&D was complete and you were happy with the first bar/prototype that you made. I thought it was just a matter of making more bars. But now it seems you are doing some additional R&D >to make it to your satisfaction and have less ability to bend. Looking back at your prototype, does it bend and not meet your expectations? If it's perfect, then what changed?

Short ans. - the other worker was not as skilled as the first one. he did not think the fiber orientation was critical as he was used to make cosmetic parts.

Yes, we are happy with the 1st prototype because we were right there involved in the process. The two cuts need to lengthen(small detail but as might as well do it right). Its a small batch so it is not on the top of the list for the vendor as he is backed up from the shut down so we had to wait for our turn. Then, he got hit with Covid issues and the city shut him down and one of the workers had to stay home til he is tested again. Vendor assured me the other worker can produce the same result but that was not the case. .....etc. These are just your common production issues and especially in small batch as not many vendors are willing to jump to your request but we are getting close. If this were a bling part, no big deal but we must care about the load path and what the orientation of the prepreg is. These are important for a stress part, not so much for the a bling part. We did not expect this kinda delay but we are not running away from the problem but addressing them one by one.
Small batch is difficult for this vendor but the special bladder tooling he has really helps the process without cost an arm and a leg.

we should have the new batch by this wkend so should be able to ship if pass QC.

FWIW, during time at Nissan, we ordered 15 custom engine blocks from John Rodeck racing engine in LA but even after their casting expertise and recommendations, only 8 was useable but we had to pay for 15....but that was a long time ago and technology has improved a lot.
Making cosmetic part is a lot different than making stressed part. CNC in metal would be easier and solve all the problems but we choose to stay with prepreg cuz it is our motto. Lighter, Stronger, Better.​
 
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I always love your products (wish I could get more of them tbh)

I’m sure if you’re redesigning the part, the finished product will be awesome.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thx for your kind words Jon. We are too small to fail, too big to care, too stubborn to quit. Lots of challenges on a new part and many details to address + surprises. Vendor finally understood load path & why this part is different than the other parts(bling) he usually produces. He is becoming an asset to us and we want a friendly venture.
 
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Short ans. - the other worker was not as skilled as the first one. he did not think the fiber orientation was critical as he was used to make cosmetic parts.

Yes, we are happy with the 1st prototype because we were right there involved in the process. The two cuts need to lengthen(small detail but as might as well do it right). Its a small batch so it is not on the top of the list for the vendor as he is backed up from the shut down so we had to wait for our turn. Then, he got hit with Covid issues and the city shut him down and one of the workers had to stay home til he is tested again. Vendor assured me the other worker can produce the same result but that was not the case. .....etc. These are just your common production issues and especially in small batch as not many vendors are willing to jump to your request but we are getting close. If this were a bling part, no big deal but we must care about the load path and what the orientation of the prepreg is. These are important for a stress part, not so much for the a bling part. We did not expect this kinda delay but we are not running away from the problem but addressing them one by one.
Small batch is difficult for this vendor but the special bladder tooling he has really helps the process without cost an arm and a leg.

we should have the new batch by this wkend so should be able to ship if pass QC.


Thanks for the explanation. So I guess you scrapped the first half of the batch that you reported on 1-13-21 "we are half way thru this batch of 20. production began mid-Dec. after the GB qty was reached". Enough time has passed that hopefully the first guy that understands axial load and made the prototype bar is back in the mix and involved in the project, along with the other worker.

Appreciate all the work and dedication to this project. Looking forward to the end product.
 
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yes. we scrapped cuz it was not correct enough:frown: we don't feel right to sell. However, we kept a few of the "honeycomb inside" bars and they are super stiff, 100% functional but a bit cosmetically "challenged". we may sell them later once this batch is shipped.

the latest tooling correction was done today and now we can start make the first batch. custom stuff is difficult on such a small scale. nobody involved is excited about it except us because for us, it will lead to other projects using the same approach. vendors don't care about that. they have to pay their bills first.

There are plenty of capable carbon companies around southern Calif. but the major beef is the tiny economy of scale of our parts and their aerospace approach of tooling does not allow us even to start a project.
To us, the NSX is a labor of love and most don't care about this. since we choose not to make bling for the NSX, it makes the prepreg parts very challenging as they are handmade, not clamp the billet block down, translate SW files in iges, push the Start button and let the G-code takes over like our ABS Delete bracket with zero scrap. In addition to all the technical issues, vendor moved to a new location w/o telling us:eek::mad:.....well, thats behind us now and we are moving forward.

We typically don't explain all this but since you asked. It always takes longer, cost more, + unknown surprises to develop functional/structural parts from a material that is not isotropic but too cool not to use on our NSX. wet layup like making a surfboard is cool but its against our motto and we want upgrades for our NSX owners. not mods. ie. Vendor XYZ type R wing =~12lbs, our prepreg front bumper beam = < 4lbs. both with ~similar surface area.
Bottomline, we are addressing problems but we will deliver as promised. Thx for understand this, you are in the few.
 
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We will have another GB after all 20 are shipped next week. We just finished another 10 and there is a little bit of post processing to make them look nice.

We do have 3 prototype made from honeycomb that is even stiffer than this version but have surface blem and not perfectly straight. some people might not mind and we'll post it up for sale.

Working on the targa brace.
 
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All bars shipped with tracking.
Thx u all who trusted us.
We have oe x-tra bar at this GB price.
plz lmk.

2nd GB starts now. Sign Up here or PM or email to P2F.
Price = $470 shipped to lower US 48.

FYI, one was shipped to Germany and shipping was $55 USD:eek:.
 
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One x-tra sold to TX.

PM Question regarding how to tell prepreg or not prepreg parts:

One of many ways to tell is: This bar has a "flat" in appearance because that is the way it came off the mold. To make a shiny prepreg part takes a lot of extra additional labor to prep, to sand, to clear boat and repeat at least 4-5 times and it needs to dry in a "clean" room to avoid dust collecting during the drying cycle. We've done that before but not want to do it again.

Which means extra weight of the clear coat layers AND extra labor cost which only makes the part shiny but not stronger or lighter. Doing this defeats the purpose of using prepreg as it has the ideal/min. resin to cloth ratio and resin is very high in viscosity which means adding extra weight.

One example would be our front bumper beam at <4lbs. with metal inserts for mounting but the DF Type R wing with similar surface area as the frt bumper beam weights 12lbs with a dark, deep clear coat layer(s) to make it pretty. So most likely the wing is a wet layup process and the prepreg beam is a vacuum bag, over cured prepreg and the raw material cost is a lot more than regular carbon cloth.

Not all carbon parts are made the same. It is like buying parts made in alloy....there are so many different kinds of alloy. and carbon fiber is even more so and you need to know which one fits your application the best. Typically alloy is isotropic but carbon fiber is non-isotropic so you can lay the cloth in various directions to achieve the results you are looking for, unlike alloy.
 
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Received my bar today.


I'm not going to lie; I was getting very impatient. But after opening up the box, I'm very happy that I waited and that you guys stuck with your quality goal rather than rush things out.

I, for one, love the flat appearance. All the carbon that I have is flat/matte - this finish gives it a far more subtle, rich, and organic quality.

Can't wait to get it installed this weekend. Thanks again.
 

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bar

just received mine today. excellent packaging and tracking number supplied also. well worth the wait. love the titanium bolts.
thanks, tim.
feel bad for those that didn't get in on the group buy.
not putting it on immediately. enjoying looking at it. quite a piece of engineering/art.
 
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Thx guys. While you & us were getting impatient which was totally understandable, we were running around trying to solve our unexpected "Covid related" manufacturing problems and it was quite challenging dealing with Calif. city authority. But being stubborn and we wanted this part/process for ourselves so we can produce more prepreg carbon, structurally minded parts, besides, the non-isotropic nature of carbon is too enticing not to engineer something like this bar. FYI, It has many layers of UD, 0/45/90/180 of Toray T700 aerospace grade prepreg. :wink:

Out of all the frustrations we had to face, We almost move out of Calif....we still may but our key aero/racing contacts are still here. Maybe after the active project is finished.

On another side note, we also did a "quick and dirty" QC test to see if there is any internal flaw. same idea of magnafluxing of metal parts. A tuning fork was used to see if this part will "ring if there is no crack" like a forged steel crank and it was a resounding YES for all of them. You can use this method on a cast crank and it won't ring. This means all the layers are packed and bonded really well as if it formed into a one piece part with no internal crack so the sound wave travels throughout the part. In the future, we will buy an ultrasonic tester for this purpose as structural parts such as this.

2nd GB won't take more than a month to deliver. Thx for your support P2F so we can keep making parts like this.
 
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Thx guys. While you & us were getting impatient which was totally understandable, we were running around trying to solve our unexpected "Covid related" manufacturing problems and it was quite challenging dealing with Calif. city authority. But being stubborn and we wanted this part/process for ourselves so we can produce more prepreg carbon, structurally minded parts, besides, the non-isotropic nature of carbon is too enticing not to engineer something like this bar. FYI, It has many layers of UD, 0/45/90/180 of Toray T700 aerospace grade prepreg. :wink:


Fantastic part... well worth the wait! Snapped a few quick pics that don't do it justice. What are you guys making next? Sign me up!

BR63IHv.jpg


PHKcvrD.jpg
 
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DR Volkl, what is that little comptech sport box in the engine bay?

thats probably the Comptech reverse lockout. I have a 6-spd. on my '93 and this box was required to provide the same gearbox control features that Acura has engineered into its 1997 and later 6-spd. NSX.

Dr.Volk
thx for the feedback. we are working on the targa brace and frt/rear bumper beams for our active aero project. Mostly load carrying/stress parts....maybe the Type R frt. chassis brace or tow hook, or rear tie down brace..etc. We also have access to carbon material that you can drill and THREAD without inserts. that opens up more options and more efficient process to save money making mold.
but we need to fund these new project..SO....help us to help you:wink:

Folks, We are willing to offer this brace for the same price of $370 shipped to US lower 48 if we can get the GB to 20.
You can sign up now. No money is needed at this time.
 
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thats probably the Comptech reverse lockout. I have a 6-spd. on my '93 and this box was required to provide the same gearbox control features that Acura has engineered into its 1997 and later 6-spd. NSX.

Dr.Volk
thx for the feedback. we are working on the targa brace and frt/rear bumper beams for our active aero project. Mostly load carrying/stress parts....maybe the Type R frt. chassis brace or tow hook, or rear tie down brace..etc. We also have access to carbon material that you can drill and THREAD without inserts. that opens up more options and more efficient process to save money making mold.
but we need to fund these new project..SO....help us to help you:wink:

Folks, We are willing to offer this brace for the same price of $370 shipped to US lower 48 if we can get the GB to 20.
You can sign up now. No money is needed at this time.

Yep... this '93 also has a 6-spd swap.. (I just recently found out what that box was for as well, having just acquired the car back in December) Keep the cool stuff coming!
 
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Yep... this '93 also has a 6-spd swap.. (I just recently found out what that box was for as well, having just acquired the car back in December) Keep the cool stuff coming!

lucky you. that extra gear is so nice to have. but we also wanted a quicker throttle response so had to get rid of the porky oem clutch assembly @(45lbs+):eek: and had the whole gears REM finished + Exedy twin carbon at 21lbs....much more rev happy.

http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showt...-0-No-its-NSX-Type-JZ?highlight=REM+treatment

http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php/194359-REM-Metal-Surface-Finishing-Service
 
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Gents,
This project has been quite challenging in ways we did not anticipate but we want to thank all who trusted us and believed in us of the 1st GB since X'mas.

We prototype a few bars out of honeycomb, structural foam and with different tooling material(fiberglass, epoxy) but finally decided on billet alum. tooling to achieve a quality part and a perfect finish as you can see is well worth the extra effort. Like our motto =>Stiffer, lighter, stronger = faster! In this case, we can also add prettier and not out of date.

We hope more folks will purchase this part so we can recuperate the extra cost we incurred and be able to continue to develop other parts that are real upgrades not just mods.

If we can get 20 new folks to sign up, we can offer it at the $370 shipped price range. If not, it will be $470 shipped and that is still a great buy for a prepreg(dry carbon), structural part. Help us to help you.
 
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