Presented by Nine Lives Racing
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WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
2/25/20 12:56 p.m.

I've decided to join the big wang club, and I ordered 9lives' medium downforce kit for my track Miata. 

Now I get to fabricobble a splitter.  They recommend 1/2" birch plywood for the material.   I'll be fabricobbling it on a CNC router, so I was going to print 2..

What material do you guys use for sealing, coating, protecting, etc?

Should I stain it and use a good poly top coat?  Seal it and do a truck bed liner?  Shellac?

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
2/25/20 1:01 p.m.

Feed them cones, that's their favorite snack

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
2/25/20 1:36 p.m.
Patrick said:

Feed them cones, that's their favorite snack

This is for the track car, so I'll probably be feeding it FIA bumps....

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
2/25/20 1:38 p.m.

I'm have zero experience in this but my first thought was wooden boats and canoes. What do they use?

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/25/20 1:41 p.m.

For as much water as it's realistically going to see before it's destroyed by a curbing I would slap a coat of latex paint on it and not worry about it. It's not like it's a load-bearing floor that is in constant moisture contact. If you're super worried about it make it out of marine-grade fly and never think about it again

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/25/20 2:01 p.m.

Seal it? Coat it? 

You realize this is a plywood splitter right? The type that have shorter lives than front brake pads? Maybe make yours out of a beautiful thin mahogany since it's going to last so long.

My poor attempt at humor aside, I used 3/8" plywood since I am a daredevil and have sprayed the top of it with a very nice coat of some black rustoleum I had handy just so others would mistake it for carbon fiber as they drive past. No need to coat unless you really want to and the piece is going to bake in the sun after being outside in the rain constantly IMO. If that's the case, you may be better off using a different material all together.

Also, for tooling I recommend a jigsaw with a "fine/neat cut" blade attachment for just the right balance between give a E36 M3 and who cares.

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
2/25/20 2:21 p.m.

The one on our lemons car is normal 3/8" plywood and I coated it with epoxy resin and one layer of fiberglass cloth.  I can easily stand on the lip and it has held up well to 2 years of racing, with minor touch ups from hitting things, no issues with water despite hundreds of race miles in the rain.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/25/20 2:25 p.m.

I use aluminum :) I also add a "NOT A STEP" sticker because it is not designed for that sort of point load. It's lasted for years. I did spectacularly mow some weeds with it a few years back, the sharp leading edge of the aluminum cuts them nicely and will actually launch them over the roof.

_
_ Dork
2/25/20 2:49 p.m.

Shoot, why stop at plywood? Go full particle board splitter. 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
2/25/20 5:04 p.m.
Sonic said:

The one on our lemons car is normal 3/8" plywood and I coated it with epoxy resin and one layer of fiberglass cloth.  I can easily stand on the lip and it has held up well to 2 years of racing, with minor touch ups from hitting things, no issues with water despite hundreds of race miles in the rain.  

That's a good idea.  I like it!

Keith - I'd do aluminum, but I think that the front air dam needs a slot in the splitter to keep it situated.  Plus it gives me an excuse to go hang out with my buddy and check out his new router :) 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
2/25/20 5:07 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Seal it? Coat it? 

You realize this is a plywood splitter right? The type that have shorter lives than front brake pads? Maybe make yours out of a beautiful thin mahogany since it's going to last so long.

My poor attempt at humor aside, I used 3/8" plywood since I am a daredevil and have sprayed the top of it with a very nice coat of some black rustoleum I had handy just so others would mistake it for carbon fiber as they drive past. No need to coat unless you really want to and the piece is going to bake in the sun after being outside in the rain constantly IMO. If that's the case, you may be better off using a different material all together.

Also, for tooling I recommend a jigsaw with a "fine/neat cut" blade attachment for just the right balance between give a E36 M3 and who cares.

Hey, you're talking to someone who gets at least 3 years out of a set of track pads & rotors! 

Seriously, I have access to the cool toys (CAM Software and CNC router), so I hope to use 'em.

The main reason to coat it is that I will be driving to and from events, often in the rain..

_
_ Dork
2/25/20 5:24 p.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

Leave it wood looking and stain it. Would look quiet classy with wood grain steering wheel and trim. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/25/20 5:47 p.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

Sounds good! If you have the right toys (tools), it may be worth going with a sturdier material like aluminum since you can do it right and it will last/wear much better. 

Make sure to update the thread once you put the tools to work! Look forward to seeing it.

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
2/25/20 7:16 p.m.

I coated mine in poly and then wrapped it with some "carbon fiber" vinyl.  Looks really nice, we'll see how long it lasts.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
2/26/20 5:12 a.m.
Patientzero said:

I coated mine in poly and then wrapped it with some "carbon fiber" vinyl.  Looks really nice, we'll see how long it lasts.

Pictures?

Patientzero
Patientzero Reader
2/26/20 3:40 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory :

I will try to get my build thread updated, I've been slacking.  There are pictures on my instagram though.

boxedfox
boxedfox Reader
2/26/20 7:30 p.m.

Paint. That's it really. I know at one point the trendy thing to do was to fiberglass over the wood, but considering how little it does to protect them I would say just black paint and be done with it.

Carbon
Carbon UltraDork
2/26/20 7:58 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I use aluminum :) I also add a "NOT A STEP" sticker because it is not designed for that sort of point load. It's lasted for years. I did spectacularly mow some weeds with it a few years back, the sharp leading edge of the aluminum cuts them nicely and will actually launch them over the roof.

What thickness al did you use if you dont mind me asking? 

ronholm
ronholm Dork
2/26/20 8:39 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

, I used 3/8" plywood since I am a daredevil and have sprayed the top of it with a very nice coat of some black rustoleum I had handy just so others would mistake it for carbon fiber as they drive past.

The technically correct term is "Carbon based fibers"

morello159
morello159 Reader
3/3/20 3:34 p.m.
Carbon said:
Keith Tanner said:

I use aluminum :) I also add a "NOT A STEP" sticker because it is not designed for that sort of point load. It's lasted for years. I did spectacularly mow some weeds with it a few years back, the sharp leading edge of the aluminum cuts them nicely and will actually launch them over the roof.

What thickness al did you use if you dont mind me asking? 

Also interested in what aluminum was used, as I have access to a water jet and also need a front splitter... 

Marcus_NineLivesRacing
Marcus_NineLivesRacing New Reader
4/2/20 9:17 a.m.
WonkoTheSane said:
Sonic said:

The one on our lemons car is normal 3/8" plywood and I coated it with epoxy resin and one layer of fiberglass cloth.  I can easily stand on the lip and it has held up well to 2 years of racing, with minor touch ups from hitting things, no issues with water despite hundreds of race miles in the rain.  

That's a good idea.  I like it!

Keith - I'd do aluminum, but I think that the front air dam needs a slot in the splitter to keep it situated.  Plus it gives me an excuse to go hang out with my buddy and check out his new router :) 

The splitter doesn't require the slot for the bottom of the air-dam. Since you'll be doing some DiY, you could make a back support like L-brackets or similar.

We actually noticed the birch splitter got stiffer after coating them with the polymer we source. It also makes it more durable to the elements, which is a plus. The idea behind the birch is it's inexpensive and easy to obtain because you will lose your splitter at some point. I'd recommend carrying a spare with you to the track!

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy MegaDork
4/2/20 12:58 p.m.

If you use wood and you don't want to spend time and effort putting a layer of glass over it, just use spar varnish. It's made to protect wood from the elements. If you use that on treated plywood, it'd last a long time, even if exposed to the elements.
 

APEowner
APEowner Dork
4/2/20 2:10 p.m.

My buddy uses the same deck paint that he uses on the floor of his enclosed car trailer.

malibuguy
malibuguy Reader
6/5/20 5:29 p.m.

i need to make one for my grey car...got an event coming up...

Patientzero
Patientzero HalfDork
6/5/20 9:16 p.m.

Here are a few pictures of my 1/2" birch splitter from my build thread.  I coated it in poly and then wrapped it with vinyl.

 

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