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Thread: Lightyear Composites

  1. #1
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Lightyear Composites

    I thought I would post up things I am working on. If there is interest I will keep updating.

    I started making carbon fibre parts about 8-9 years ago as I couldn't buy the bits I wanted. I was shown the basics by Dick down in Torquay. And the rest I learned from trial and error. Most parts I make are vacuum infused carbon fibre.
    The current projects are the Fastback roof and boot for the MX5. And the big race wing.

    Today I made the first 300mm main cord element. It turned out pretty good for a first try.



    [url=https://postimg.org/image/5xvq7b3b9/][img]https://s26.postimg.org/wiy92v5op/image

    It passed the initial test- put blocks of timber under the ends and stand in the middle. I made it about 1670 wide, the width of an MX5 body. I will test it on the track, and make the 2nd smaller element to get some data. The wing feels so strong, maybe too strong. I could have built it lighter, but at least you know it will never fail. The total weight is 3.4kg's. Not super light, but not bad. I can save some weight by making the endplates 6mm. I made them much thicker incase someone want to mount the wing by the ends.
    Last edited by lightyear; 06-09-17 at 10:47 PM.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  2. #2
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    You sure are a handy bugger light year its no wonder your so successful, and can steer as well.
    Nice work and show us the trophy at the next commadore outing.

  3. #3
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Cheers, I hope the car is good enough to get a trophy at Winton. To make sure I am getting some better diff gears installed on Monday. And will look for some used slicks. That should give me half a chance of keeping up.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  4. #4
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    Are the ends aluminium, were they CNC or can you buy them? Does the wing bow when you stand on it or were you just trying to make sure it doesn't snap?

    Looks good mate.

  5. #5
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    There is zero deflection when I stand on it ~90kg's. It feels every bit as strong as steel. The ends are water jet cut alloy drawn up by me and then cad drawn over several attempts by others. Inside is high density foam cut by a foam cutter using the same cad drawings. The alloy bits do add a decent chunk of weight. So I will make them 6mm if they are not going to support the wing.
    I can try take a pic with a couple of guys standing on it. It's crazy how strong it actually is. I have no concerns about it breaking or even flexing.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

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    Awesome. Actually sounds much stiffer than steel. Well done.

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    Registered User glenn's Avatar
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    Keen on wing. How wide can you go? Would like 1800 or maybe wider. Can you put the mounts at the spacings I want too?

    PM me some prices

  8. #8
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    I can go about 1950mm Max. Every wing can/will be custom made to suit the required widths. Mounts can be done by me. I haven't worked out prices yet, I will make another one and write note all the time/costs involved.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  9. #9
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    I am making a standard shaped vacuum infused carbon fibre MX5 hardtop. I will show you guys what is involved. It's not a step by step how to, rather just showing the process, and how much work goes into it.

    To start, clean and prep the mould.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  10. #10
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Next spray a mist of tacky spray, cut the cloth and lay it in the mould.

    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  11. #11
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Then carefully push the cloth into all the shapes of the mould. Trying to keep the weave pattern running straight everywhere. Trim the excess. You might notice around the back the cloth doesn't line up, that's a second layer as it needs more strength there.

    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  12. #12
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Core layer.

  13. #13
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Another layer of carbon fibre is in, and a release layer over the top.

  14. #14
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Next I put in the infusion mesh and infusion channel. Then tacky tape around the perimeter and place the plastic bag on, connect the lines and turn the pump on to suck out all the air.
    Now the tricky part starts- finding all the air leaks..

  15. #15
    Aww yeah. Nitephyre's Avatar
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    That's cool to see how it's done

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    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    It is pretty cool. Next is mix up the epoxy resin, put the hoses into the pot, undo the little vice grips, and it sucks all the resin in and saturates the part. Then strip all the consumable parts off, and pop the part out of the mould, trim it, and that's the end of the making of a part.

    I finally got my Fastback moulds, so will get started on that on Monday.

    Pic of removing consumables.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

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    So how do you make the mold?

  18. #18
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Moulds are pretty straight forward. Prep the part, brush tooling gelcoat on, several layers of fibreglass and resin. Let it cure. Then take the part out and you have a mould.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

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    Would you be interested in making panels for some of our race cars? Early commodore and a datsun 1600? Can provide panels for moulds.

  20. #20
    Emissions Friendly VW Sloth's Avatar
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    was gonna ask about a carbon bonnet for my triumph 2000
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  21. #21
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    I won't be able to take on any work for a while. I will be flat out making these fastbacks until I find someone who can do the fibreglass work. Then I can get back to doing the carbon work. I will be making the wings in between.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  22. #22
    Registered User glenn's Avatar
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    Make wings stat!

  23. #23
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    Interesting to see the process, thanks for sharing.

  24. #24
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Wings will be made. Later next week I will have all the alloy parts cut. Making 20 of everything. There are a few alloy pieces seeing as this will be sold with an optional second element. So there are 8 water jet pieces of alloy to make one dual element wing.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  25. #25
    Opens Guido's Avatar
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    I too would like to express interest in a custom Lightyear Composites wing. Will you be making carbon end plates for them?
    Rust is lighter than carbon fibre.

    My Sports Sedan

  26. #26
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Yep. I made a set for the wing, they are on the commodore now. But I want them white..

    I also made the first fastback from the new moulds.

    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  27. #27
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    Took the car out today, so took some pics of the new fastback.



    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  28. #28
    CNGAF rowdytoot's Avatar
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    Looks great Dave. Lettuce know when the carbon ones can be made....

    1998 MX5 - Ohlins DFV coilovers, Roll bar,15 x7.5 Konig Litespeeds, Mania Intake
    2014 Colorado LT - Oversized Whitegoods. Kid/bike/track hack/horse hauler.

  29. #29
    Registered User lightyear's Avatar
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    I found a place that can make the fibreglass/carbon roof and boot sections. So it looks like in a month or less I can pump these things out. They might be a tad too expensive in carbon fibre with these guys, so I might have to make the odd one myself.
    Leaves me with doing the selling and assembly, and a lot less itchy.
    NA8B 89KW- P.I. 1:50.1, WNTN1:38.0, SDWN 1:27.6, WKFLD 1:10.4
    NB8B 181KW- P.I 1:43.8, WNTN 1:32.9, SDWN 1:22.0, BDFD 1:05.3
    VP 293KW- P.I 1:46.0 WNTN 1:33.5

  30. #30
    are hairy Dogsballs's Avatar
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    Cool
    How do you fit in one?
    Quote Originally Posted by 50RTD View Post
    Dave, have you uploaded the data from the carby?

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