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DIY: How to build Fiberglass Kick pods
This tutorial is designed to help you build a set of kickpods for your car.
This set is for my 3rd Gen Camaro, but you can use these steps to design some for any car.
This is my first attempt at making kickpods, but I think they came out pretty good so I thought I would share.
I have read other tutorials and some say to actually make a copy of your OEM kickpanel and do all your work on that. But looking at what I wanted to do, and since the factory panels are cheap for my car. I decided to graft my pod onto the factory one.
One thing while researching this project was that typically these types of speakers were meant for a infinite baffle type installation IE inside a door. So with my Hybrid Unity's that I installed they told me to not seal the kickpods but to cut out about a 4 inch hole in the back.
- Fiberglass Resin
- Fiberglass Matt
- Old T-Shirt or some other really stretchy material
- Air Sander (faster), or sandpaper.
- Dremel with cutting disc.
- Masking Tape
- Hot Glue Gun
- SEM Texture Paint
- Small diameter wooden dowels
- Chip Brushes
- Aluminum Foil
- Respirator (optional but might be a good idea or at least do this with lots of ventilation.
- Rubber Gloves
Creating the back/mold
The first thing you're going to want to do is protect everything in the car that you don't want to accidentally get any fiberglass resin on. So take the masking tape and cover everything (carpet, plastic panels, everything). I did a couple layers of tape, it's cheap and I didn't want to take any chances.
Now that you have everything taped off, grab the aluminum foil and cover the areas where you think the pod will go. You can add some tape around the edges to keep it in place if you need too. The foil stops your mold from sticking to the floor.
Next take your Fiberglass mat and place it in the area, once in place I took a sharpie and drew a rough outline of how far out I think the pod will go. I would be generous here and go out just a little further, since it's easy to cut any extra off with the dremel if you find you did to much.
Now mix up your fiberglass resin according to the instructions on the can. Using a chip brush, start to apply the resin to the mat. Don’t ‘brush’ it on, try and dab it until it’s thoroughly soaked. Now let your mold dry.
Once dry, you can apply another layer of mat to your mold for strength. Let dry again.
Mount Speaker Rings
Now, take your speaker rings and place them in the mold to get an idea of how it will fit. Now you’ll use the dowels and the glue gun. I drilled some holes in my speaker ring and slid the dowels through to allow me to adjust them. Once they are set (make sure your speaker has clearance). Hot glue them to secure them and lock them in place.
NOTE: When aiming the speakers, try and aim toward the review mirror, or dome light. The woofer is not as important as the tweeter.
Apply the covering
Now remove them from the car, and you can cut away the extra mat you didn’t put resin on.
Grab that old T-Shirt and stretch it over the mold and speaker ring, try and get it as wrinkle free as possible. For me, I have spots that are not seen once installed, so if I had to have wrinkles I had them back there. Secure the T-Shirt with the hot glue, trim off any extra.
Once you have the shirt in place, you’re ready to apply the resin to the shirt. With the shirt you’re able to brush the resin. Allow to dry.
NOTE: Do not apply resin to the inside of the speaker holes. You are just going to cut this out anyways.
You will need to strengthen the shirt portion, what I did was apply mat to the ‘INSIDE’ of the mold. This will save you from extra sanding later.
Once dry, do a test fit in the car. Just to make sure nothing got tweaked when applying the fiberglass.
Last edited by Chris from Washington; 05-08-14 at 08:43 PM.
Re: DIY: Fiberglass Kickpods
With the kickpod in the car, apply a thin layer of bondo to your kickpod. You should still have the tape in place on the carpet. What I did was actually smooth the bondo onto the tape on the fllow. Let this dry some but before it dries all the way, pop the kickpod out of the car. You should be left with a nice edge that conforms nicely to the floor.
Now you’ll want to sand the entire kickpod, get all the highspots and divits. Try and get it as smooth as you can. The air sander works great for this, and makes it much faster. You will need to use hand sanding on some of the tight corners.
Grafting Pod to OEM Panel
I drilled a couple holes in my panel and kickpod and ran a bolt through to keep them together. Once they are together, I took some bondo to fill any seems. Then I sanded, and when completed they should look as though they were one piece.
Bondo applied, and as smooth as I could. It was a hot day, and the bondo was setting up quick on me.
I have it all pretty much sanded and smoothed out, just need to go over it one more time to make sure I have it as smooth as possible.
Some people like to cover their pods with carpet or vinyl, depending on the car you could do this. But with mine, it just doesn’t look right. So instead, I choose to texture my pod using the SEM texture paint, then paint over that with SEM color coat (this is the paint on the rest of my interior pieces) so that it will look almost identical to the factory plastics.
Last edited by Chris from Washington; 05-13-14 at 04:28 PM.
Re: DIY: Fiberglass Kickpods
1. If you get resin on your skin, use COLD water to get it off. Hot water opens up your pours and pulls the resin in even more!
Last edited by Chris from Washington; 05-17-14 at 10:15 AM.
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