I have been talking to a supplier about making various carbon fibre parts for my 172 (Mk2) after several failed attempts with other contacts/suppliers. If I remember rightly, a number of you expressed an interest in various parts, the most popular being an engine cover - the plastic part that bolts on to the 172 Mk2 engine.
As some of you will know, the hardest part of the process for making any such part is making a mold. Once this has been successfully created, any number of parts can be reproduced off the mold.
For carbon fibre, there are also two distinct fabrication processes - wet lay and pre-preg. Wet lay is much like working with glass-fibre and involves wet resin and sheets of fibre. It takes a skilled person to make a decent carbon part in wet lay without bubbles in the resin and wrinkles in the carbon weave. Pre-preg is far more advanced and involves carbon fibre impregnated with resin which turns to liquid in an oven. Sheets of pre-preg are cut to shape, then formed in a mold and vacuum sealed before being heated in the oven, where the pre-preg resin melts, flows and then forms a flawless carbon finish. Pre-preg is very tricky to work with but is what all the F1 teams use and is the professional approach to making carbon fibre parts.
The supplier I have found only works with pre-preg, and his work is very highly regarded. He produces carbon fibre body parts for the Stealth GT car, as driven in the Castle Coombe GT series and the Boss F1 car as raced in the Historic F1 Series. Almost all his work/products are for the Motorsport industry at a very high level. This is one of his cam covers:-
What I am looking for is at least 5 people who would be seriously interested in a carbon engine cover for the Mk2 172. Approx. cost would be around £175, less if we can get 10 firm orders (maybe around £130). Bearing in mind that the last time I saw a similar offer (from K-Tec) it was approx. £250 for a similar item. Delivery time should be a couple of weeks max. (depending on other work orders, etc.).
So, if you are -seriously- interested (no time-wasters please!) and would be willing to put a deposit down in advance please leave me a post and/or PM me. Im sure we can get at least 4 other people whod want something like this...I for one will have one of the 5+!
If this little project is successful then maybe we can look to get other parts produced. But, for now, please only reply if you are interested in the engine cover.