Preparing The Carbon

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The first thing I'm going to say is to ignore the manual! Don't worry, it is only for this step, and is because it is easier to prepare all the carbon pieces in one go rather than one piece at a time.

The first thing I do is to use a set of fine files to file a chamfer on the bottom edge of the chassis at the front and sides. This is to give just that extra bit of ground clearance. Also, if you are going to tape your cells in it is a very good idea to round off the holes the tape goes through. If you don't do this the carbon can cut the tape. Then, using the same files, slightly round off all external edges of the chassis, lower and upper pod plate and rear brace.

The chassis edge and tape holes can be seen below before filing

and again below after they have been filed down.

Then I pour some thin CA glue into a tin lid. I dip a cotton bud into the CA and then carefully go around the sides of the chassis and other carbon parts. One thing to be careful of though. Depending on the make of bud, it can start to smoke after being dipped in the CA glue. Don't get this smoke in your eyes as it will sting like mad! The smoke is due to a reaction between the CA glue and the cellulose in the bud and will stop after a while. Just be careful for the first few minutes.

After these have dried I use wet 600 grade wet and dry to smooth this down. Some of the carbon will probably show through after a first sanding so the process can be repeated until this does not happen.

The finished chassis edge can be seen below.

Also run the cotton bud soaked with CA glue around the filed holes where the tape will go, and I also do the front chassis cut outs. I don't do the cell tray holes as this can make the trays a tight fit. The finished tape hole will look something like the one below.

Be careful to make sure the top pod plate is absolutely smooth when finished as you need to make sure the damper plates can move without catching on anything, as this could cause very strange handling.

While doing this it is a good idea to have a look at the front brace. The holes where the hinge pins go through can be slightly too large. If you dip a pin in the CA glue and go around the inside of the holes with it you can make the holes smaller. Just repeat this, waiting for the CA to dry in between, until the hinge pins fit through the holes without any slop.

When complete all the carbon parts should have a strong smooth edge to them as in the picture below and it is back to the manual to start building up the car.


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