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  1. #1
    Techno Viking
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    Default Foam Filling the chassis......

    05/30/2011

    Due to demand, I am turning this into an Official How To Foam Fill Your Chassis Thread starting on post #118. I started this thread as an inquiry looking for input on foaming my chassis. After very helpful input from the forum, I did indeed foam the living hell out of my chassis. I did this with my body-man during extensive body-work being done on my vehicle. However there is no reason that you cannot do this in your driveway or garage in about four (4) man-days. No special skills necessary, I am positive I could do this again myself with a helping set of hands.

    Give me a couple of weeks and I will have everything in order and easy for you to follow (posts 118-125) to properly foam-fill your chassis.

    Shawn B




    This is where and how the thread actually started back in 2008...

    Here is the link to the Suspension Thread with Steves and Mikes wisdom on chassis-grade foam:

    http://www.sr20-forum.com/suspension...html#post24091

    And a direct link to the SCC article by Mike K:

    Project Nissan 300ZX: Part 5 - Project Cars - Sport Compact Car Magazine

    Anybody done this recently to a B13?

    My car is at the body shop as we speak, body repair, sunroof delete, and IKEA brace. Interior currently completely gutted, nothing but the dash, steering wheel, pedals, and stick-shift shaft.

    Next week it goes to the mechanics shop for the engine bay fixes, afterwhich I can test drive it.

    Then the Classic goes back to the body shop for a damned $eriou$ paint job. All trim, windows, lights, everything off the vehicle. All new window/door seals, shiney new bad-ass Nissan OEM black paint job. Spending stupid money, I might add.

    I am seriously considering foaming the chassis during this re-birth process. I'm already soooo deep into this financially, what the hell is another hundred bucks worth of structural foam? According to Mike K, you can never get the chassis "too stiff." And because the car is going to be freshly repainted after I did the foaming, I don't have to freak out so bad about an accidental drip or spill. Apparently, if you get this stuff on pretty much anything, it is a bitch and a half to get off.

    1) Already armed with an IKEA brace, AT RSTB, and Cusco FSTB, should I still see (feel/hear) pretty noticable improvements in lessening NVH with the chassis foam?

    2) Being that I am mechanically inept, what is the best place(s) to foam-fill in a B13 chassis? Ie...what places make sense to fill in? Rocker panels are fairly obvious and mentioned by Steve and Toolapcfan. Should I just do the rocker panels only? Mike did both the rocker panels and the frame rails on his 300zx.

    3) Steve mentions that if I use too strong of a foam, I can actually bend the metal (outside the cavities) of the places I am trying to fill in. The foam expanding with enough force to "push out" the sheet metal. Yikes! I do NOT want to fuxor this up.

    4) Are there any places in a B13 that should definitely NOT be foamed due to wire-runs or any other reason?

    Thanks for any input or advice.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 05-30-11 at 12:15 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Have you considered seam welding? Too costly/time consuming?

  3. #3
    Techno Viking
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenFenner View Post
    Have you considered seam welding? Too costly/time consuming?
    Yessir, I believe that it would be both too costly and time consuming. I wouldn't know what the hell to do with a welder, and I cannot imagine the cost involved at the body-shop.

    However, I want the car to feel as tight as a drum. Like new, or actually better. I am also adding some weight (Egads!) and installing Elemental Designs fancy-ass sound deadening to the cabin, doors, and trunk. I don't really care if I lose a 1/10 in the quarter mile that I am never going to run. A small weight concession for a less "tin can" feel/sound to the vehicle.
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  4. #4
    sqd
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    shawn! glad to see you're still around and kickin!

    here's the quote from mike's article on my car back in the day:

    "With the interior stripped, I took advantage of its condition to inject Foamseal Catalyzed Urethane Foam into the car's unibody. Foamseal foam is pretty amazing stuff. It can increase the stiffness of the cross section chassis members by up to 40 percent. We have used it in several project street and race cars to stiffen unibodies with good results. The Foamseal foam was injected into every major frame section through the factory access holes. Foam injection is a popular mod in Japan to stiffen the chassis, but few are aware of it here in the States. Do not try to duplicate this with cheap hardware store spray foam, which won't harden inside the framerails of a car and has no structural properties. "

    it's not THAT detailed but when i've gone through the car, all cavities are filled. also, i've stripped several b13's and iirc there arent any wires running INSIDE the actual cavities.




    the chassis foam should SIGNIFICANTLY increases the chassis rigidity. you should be happier with the ride as well since the shocks will be forced to do their job.

  5. #5
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    I have been thinking of doing this myself Shawn, thanks for posting up. Sorry I don't have any input though.

    "Andy Hope had actually qualified 3rd but a failed Mishimoto radiator kept him from starting." :rolling:

    '96 G20 - awaiting heart transplant :: '91 B13 - parting out :: '13 MazdaSpeed3 - FWD badass

  6. #6
    Techno Viking
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqd
    shawn! glad to see you're still around and kickin!
    Interesting times my friend. Overwhelmed best describes it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqd
    here's the quote from mike's article on my car back in the day:

    it's not THAT detailed but when i've gone through the car, all cavities are filled. also, i've stripped several b13's and iirc there arent any wires running INSIDE the actual cavities.

    the chassis foam should SIGNIFICANTLY increases the chassis rigidity. you should be happier with the ride as well since the shocks will be forced to do their job.
    So, talk to my mechanic (or body guy) and use common sense? I figure either guy (pro's) should be able to give me a hand and advice.

    This seems like a no-brainer given my goals for the vehicle, and its current state of disassembly.

    Quote Originally Posted by HP10T View Post
    I have been thinking of doing this myself Shawn, thanks for posting up. Sorry I don't have any input though.
    Actually, that thought was input. You've been considering the idea.

    I was wondering why (apparently) more folks don't do this. The weight penalty seems minor for the additional chassis stiffness provided. Mike K's 300 and Steve's S13 (S14?) both done, and both gentlemen very impressed with the results? That is a consensus enough for me, any day of the week. I think I'd be stupid not to do this at such an opportune time-frame.

    It seems like it would greatly benefit daily drivers, auto-x, and road racers. The only folks that would possibly not benefit would be 1/4 mile afficianados where the weight is absolutely critical.

    Maybe I've missed the threads, but I never see anyone else follow what Mike and Steve unanimously agree upon. We spend money on FSTB's, RSTB's, and dream up new 3-point versions of the same. Further, we weld in IKEA braces. Yet seemingly very few folks do this recommended $100 major overall chassis stiffener.

    Quite frankly, as mechanically inept as I am, the thought was a bit daunting to me. However, now I have seen how (pain in the ass and time consuming) easy it is to really strip an interior. Not that hard, I only needed a little help in some spots from my mechanic. Which means that anybody else on this forum could do it in half the time with zero help required.

    Here's the link, the website still works. Looks like I will call them on Monday during normal business hours and find a local distributor in Houston:
    Quote Originally Posted by 98sr20ve
    I am posting this so that others do not need to spend 1/2 day just trying to figure things out. Most of you are familiar with the "Chassis Foaming" procedure that SCC did on the 300zxTT. Link for those that do not The people that used to sell the foam no longer sell it. The product is called "Handi Foam". You can read more about it at Fomo Products, Inc., manufacturers of polyurethane (PU) foam insulation, sealants, adhesives, and spray foam systems in pressurized packaging. (no jokes please ). They state in the article that the used Part# II-22. What they show in the picture is Part#II-12. Only difference is the size of the can. Fomo's part number is P10600 and P10650. Fomo will not sell direct but they will get you to the distributor. My local dealer did not have a good amount. I bought two of the II-22 and one II-12. Cost was $100. If they actually used the product they took a picture of then that should be about the same quanity as 5 cans of the II-12.
    I'm officially "going for it." The guys at both shops will think I am nuts. Er...more nuts.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 11-15-08 at 04:06 PM.
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  7. #7
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    I think your situation is a good place/time to give the foam another shot. I think most people get overwhelmed with the idea that the foam could damage their paint - if repainting, you have nothing to worry about.

    I would think rocker panels, "A" pillar, "B" pillar, and "C" pillar would be the best spots to do it (if all of those places are accessible).

    Off-topic: Shawn, if you want a non-sunroof roof you can have mine if you come get it - it is already cut off.

    Josh

  8. #8
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    I am excited to see how this goes. I'm hoping there is going to be a full fledged thread with pics galore about this overhaul of your car!
    '89 Clean 240SX - sold
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    Quote Originally Posted by sr20aaron View Post
    I'd walk away and come back wit shawn B

  9. #9
    Techno Viking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fosters
    I think your situation is a good place/time to give the foam another shot. I think most people get overwhelmed with the idea that the foam could damage their paint - if repainting, you have nothing to worry about.
    The car is going from the body shop to the mechanics tomorrow (I hope). While the car is getting wrenched on, I am going to do some foaming. The car then goes back to the body shop for final painting. Anything I screw up, the body shop guys can clean up before they paint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fosters
    I would think rocker panels, "A" pillar, "B" pillar, and "C" pillar would be the best spots to do it (if all of those places are accessible).
    That is easy enough, thanks for the input. We shall see what I find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fosters
    Off-topic: Shawn, if you want a non-sunroof roof you can have mine if you come get it - it is already cut off.
    Thanks, but my sunroof is already gone. Seam welded panel, then some "metal containing super goop", then bondo to smooth everything perfect. I did not want a sunroof from the get-go in '93, I couldn't find an SE-R without one.

    Quote Originally Posted by JakeB View Post
    I am excited to see how this goes. I'm hoping there is going to be a full fledged thread with pics galore about this overhaul of your car!
    I am going to go buy a digital camera tomorrow at Target for just that purpose. I'll start snapping pics. Gotta run by the body shop, then (hopefully) sending the vehicle to the mechanics.

    One thing that is tough to locate is a damned non-sunroof headliner.

    Once located, I am going to have it recovered and match it to the back window shelf-thing, and the panels in the doors. All in some charcoal/black material.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wifey
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  10. #10
    200+HP Crew
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    From my motorpsort and engineering experience you have this main issue to attack.


    Pillars twist - they twist in the sense of rotating and not flexing.

    Everytime you take a corner or bump, energy its stransferred through yoru shocks and struts to your chassis. Resistance is given on all points of contact with the ground, so the energy will travel the furthest it can until something gives (noramlly the body twisting).

    If you can stregnthen all parts where energy can be trasnferred from one direction to another (eg floor to pillar - pillar to roof) you give the enerygy no where to go but back to where it came from.


    So for the sentra chassis, i think getting some fender bracing, foam filling the front rails. Foam filling the front a pillar section and boxing in the strut towers is your first step. There is not much room to foam at the base of the sentra B pillar, so maybe foaming in conjunction with a B pillar brace would be very handy. Linking that B pillar brace directly to the rear strut brace would tighten the rear up immensly. But again your not left with much area to foam fill in the rear section. If you already run lower control rear and strut top rear the rear end will be very tight already.

    The main achivement is to somehow work out how to link the a-b-c pillars. Our chassis are pretty good for a factory car.


    The NISMO n15 vzr's use a special rear beam, with special rear link arms. I can only imagine they were stronger and the rear link arms may have been boxed in to reduce twist and improve rear end response.

    sorry for the waffle and slight OT parts. Maybe it can help you?

  11. #11
    MoreNuttyThanASquirlTurd
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    As far as the foam itself it is the triple expanding stuff that can bulge out the metal. If you put too much in the foam has no where else to go so it expands too much (for what you want) and bends the metal. If you can use the small gap stuff and start off in a place where you can see the foam expand. This will give you and idea on how much to put in so you do not over fill. Go a little at a time as to not over expand.
    I have also thought of doing this but i am not to that point yet. I do not fully understand on where to fill and where not to fill. As Autech was saying the energy has to be transferred somewhere, if the chassis is stiff then some panel might start to kink or bend. But depending on the foam the filled part will still have some flex. Great Stuff gets pretty rigged, just dont use the latex stuff, it is soft and will do nothing for you.

    I hope we get some more people to chime in that have done it themselves. I would be interested in learning more.
    92 Infiniti G21 - Tuned and Running Strong!
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    Right on Shawn, I am anxious to see how it goes for you. Very interesting we haven't seen more people try this like you were saying, it seems so easy and cheap for how much benefit one is supposed to get out of it. I'll keep watching for updates

    "Andy Hope had actually qualified 3rd but a failed Mishimoto radiator kept him from starting." :rolling:

    '96 G20 - awaiting heart transplant :: '91 B13 - parting out :: '13 MazdaSpeed3 - FWD badass

  13. #13
    Techno Viking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    From my motorpsort and engineering experience you have this main issue to attack.

    Pillars twist - they twist in the sense of rotating and not flexing.

    Everytime you take a corner or bump, energy its stransferred through yoru shocks and struts to your chassis. Resistance is given on all points of contact with the ground, so the energy will travel the furthest it can until something gives (noramlly the body twisting).

    If you can stregnthen all parts where energy can be trasnferred from one direction to another (eg floor to pillar - pillar to roof) you give the enerygy no where to go but back to where it came from.
    Thank you for your insight.

    So the point is, the stiffer the chassis, the more it forces energy (twisting) back into the suspension itself (?). Which is where it is supposed to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    So for the sentra chassis, i think getting some fender bracing,
    Hehehehe.....

    fender braces - SR20 Forum

    Yes, they are still available, and Stephen is shipping me a set on Wednesday.


    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    foam filling the front rails. Foam filling the front a pillar section and boxing in the strut towers is your first step.
    What exactly are the "front rails"? Yes, I am that ignorant. Please explain further or perhaps a simple diagram (?).

    Would the Cusco FSTB and the Stephen Fender Braces (link above) effectively "box in the strut towers"? Or are you discussing something different with that point?

    The "a" pillar runs from the roof, down the edges of the front of the windsheild....and....uh....into the car.

    Understand that my ignorance level on car frames is wide and deep.


    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    There is not much room to foam at the base of the sentra B pillar, so maybe foaming in conjunction with a B pillar brace would be very handy.
    I'm gonna have to do the best I can, based on my common sense and the guidance of my mechanic/body-shop dudes. Either of whom will help me out, no problems. Both shops love me, my insanity, and my money.

    B-Pillar brace? I do not think one commercially exists (?).

    Further, my goal is the stiffest, tightest, chassis possible retaining all the stock functionality (like the backseat) and appearances. No roll cages, nor visible bracing from outside the vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    Linking that B pillar brace directly to the rear strut brace would tighten the rear up immensly. But again your not left with much area to foam fill in the rear section.
    The rear will have the Active Tuning RSTB and the IKEA brace tack welded into place. Then I will see what I can do to that "c" pillar.

    Again, no "b" pillar brace is available that I am aware of, and it sounds like linking a "b" pillar brace to the RSTB would negate the back seat (?).

    I really, really like the Bolt-In-Bars new 3-point Triangulated RSTB. However, I already own the 2-point Active Tuning unit, and my costs have already skyrocketed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    If you already run lower control rear and strut top rear the rear end will be very tight already.
    No comprende. "Lower control rear"....what is that?

    Again, I already have an AT RSTB (very stout 2-point RSTB), and an IKEA brace being welded into place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    The main achivement is to somehow work out how to link the a-b-c pillars.
    Thanks. That makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    Our chassis are pretty good for a factory car.
    I am not mechanically knowledgable enough to debate this point with you nor anyone else. However, Mike K (and seemingly most everyone else) thinks we have a linguini-chassis.

    Perhaps it is all in perspective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autech
    sorry for the waffle and slight OT parts. Maybe it can help you?
    Partially confused, mostly helped.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz
    As far as the foam itself it is the triple expanding stuff that can bulge out the metal. If you put too much in the foam has no where else to go so it expands too much (for what you want) and bends the metal.
    Understood. I am using whatever Steve used, he purposely bought a lower number density to avoid bowing out the metal.


    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz
    If you can use the small gap stuff and start off in a place where you can see the foam expand. This will give you and idea on how much to put in so you do not over fill. Go a little at a time as to not over expand.
    Good ideas. I'm gonne be overtly careful.


    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz
    I have also thought of doing this but i am not to that point yet. I do not fully understand on where to fill and where not to fill.
    Good to know that my ignorant-ass is gonna be blazing a photo-filled trail here.... This is gonna be the blind, namely me, leading those with sight.


    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz
    As Autech was saying the energy has to be transferred somewhere, if the chassis is stiff then some panel might start to kink or bend. But depending on the foam the filled part will still have some flex.
    Well, here's my plan:

    a) Cusco FSTB

    b) Stephens Fender Braces

    c) Active Tuning RSTB

    d) IKEA Brace

    e) Foam Filling - Every place that makes sense to me, my mechanic, and my body-shop dude.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz
    Great Stuff gets pretty rigged, just dont use the latex stuff, it is soft and will do nothing for you.
    No Great Stuff or Home Depot foam whatsover. No way, no how.

    Only the foam recommended by Steve and Mike. They warn extensively on exactly what foam to use and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz
    I hope we get some more people to chime in that have done it themselves. I would be interested in learning more.
    I'm welcoming any feedback. And then jumping off the cliff, feet first.

    Quote Originally Posted by HP10T View Post
    Right on Shawn, I am anxious to see how it goes for you. Very interesting we haven't seen more people try this like you were saying, it seems so easy and cheap for how much benefit one is supposed to get out of it. I'll keep watching for updates
    As soon as I am done here, I am running errands. One of which will be to Target for a (relatively) inexpensive digital camera and the appropriate cables and such to dump the photos into my computer.

    I just figure most of you guys, perhaps all of you guys, could do this much easier than myself. Time-consuming, but not that difficult, and relatively cheap compared to all the bracing that we buy/install.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 11-17-08 at 04:20 PM.
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  14. #14
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    I remember reading an article in SCC a few years ago that dealt with bracing. One of the Japanese tuners welded strips of metal in an x pattern into the inside of his roof from a to opposite b, both sides, and then put his headliner back in. Couldn't see it from the inside but he tested it and said that it increased rigidity a great deal.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Peas us Riced,
    Mark

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    Shawn, I cannot wait to see your finished product. I am overjoyed you are fixing her back up, and then some .

    Really great read here, this is now added to my list of mods. PLEASE take to many pictures, I know it takes allot of time to upload them and all, as many as you can buddy.

    I assume you area planning to fill the front fenders right? if you look where that fender brace bolts on, if the B13 is anything like a Honda, there is allot of open space behind there, you could probably squeeze some foam in. Just a thought, give it a look while everything is stripped.

    Oh and you are right, I have read numerous times that Mike K. thinks the B13 is floppy as a half cooked noodle. By today's standards anyways..

    Best of luck, don't break anything .

    Dudeman
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    MoreNuttyThanASquirlTurd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn B View Post
    What exactly are the "front rails"? Yes, I am that ignorant. Please explain further or perhaps a simple diagram (?).
    The part that supports the fender and the part that the braces attach to. They are hollow and can be filled quite easily. Once the fender is off there are several wholes that you will see.
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    Ahh I see, ok that's what I was referring to. The front rails. They have convenient oem holes too! That must help allot.

    Dudeman
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  18. #18
    Techno Viking
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    Quote Originally Posted by nogo View Post
    I remember reading an article in SCC a few years ago that dealt with bracing. One of the Japanese tuners welded strips of metal in an x pattern into the inside of his roof from a to opposite b, both sides, and then put his headliner back in. Couldn't see it from the inside but he tested it and said that it increased rigidity a great deal.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Peas us Riced,
    Mark
    Although that is an interesting as hell idea, I'm gonna call it halts here on the foaming.

    There is also some Japanese shop (maybe many of them) that gets the vehicle down to the shell, then starts "layering over the top" another "layer" of metal in critical spots. Literally making the...core support (for example) double the thickness by welding on another core support (identicle) over the existing unit. They do this at "flex points" all over the entire chassis. And of course, they seam weld everything in sight. It is nuts.

    However, I got to call it quits somewhere, and I have done everything mentioned in the Suspension Thread. Yes, I have been re-reading my own thread. Yes, it needs an overhaul and update, but geezus it still contains a sh*t-load of information. More than I can remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudeman258 View Post
    Shawn, I cannot wait to see your finished product. I am overjoyed you are fixing her back up, and then some .

    Really great read here, this is now added to my list of mods. PLEASE take to many pictures, I know it takes allot of time to upload them and all, as many as you can buddy.

    I assume you area planning to fill the front fenders right? if you look where that fender brace bolts on, if the B13 is anything like a Honda, there is allot of open space behind there, you could probably squeeze some foam in. Just a thought, give it a look while everything is stripped.

    Oh and you are right, I have read numerous times that Mike K. thinks the B13 is floppy as a half cooked noodle. By today's standards anyways..

    Best of luck, don't break anything .

    Dudeman
    I bought the Nikon last night with some little 2G memory card. Going to open it up and get to snapping today or tomorrow. Depends on if that battery comes charged or not.

    And I have decided to allow my body-guys to do the foaming. I am about to purchase it, but they will be applying it. Uh....busted and bent metal scares the sh*t out of me. So, I talked to Sal (bodyshop dude) and he is going to do the honors while I take photos. This restoration is costing a sh*t-load of money, and I am not f*cking up my frame. Not over a few hours of "shop time" labor. Let a pro-fesh-in-all do it while I watch and learn. Instead of "learning as I go" on my newly straightened frame.

    So, Sal the body-shop dude will be in the pics. He's excited to be doing a sport compact. He's a young kid, early twenties, and has a 91' EK hatch with a motor swap.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirlz View Post
    The part that supports the fender and the part that the braces attach to. They are hollow and can be filled quite easily. Once the fender is off there are several wholes that you will see.
    Gotcha. That part on the passenger side had to be cut-off just after the strut towers. It's back to perfect now. Makes sense that those are the "front rails."

    No problems, I'll have Sal take a look at that area also. We already discussed, and looked at, the A, B, C pillars, and the side rails.

    In this case, my Stephens Fender Braces would be then mounted to the door jams and the "foamed" front rails. Which would be better than un-foamed front rails.

    Thanks for all the input and advice.

    I just ordered from Tire Rack, and am now calling the Foamseal folks to get directed to a distributor. Then off to send a Postal Money Order to Stephen. Finally, go purchase the Foamseal from the Houston distributor and deliver it to "Alberts Body Shop."

    Yeah, I'm excited as hell. And it is taking longer and I am spending more than I initially thought. However, the end results will make me smile for years. Priceless.
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    Default I may be a bit late to the party, but...

    You may want to lower your expectations a little bit in terms of what and where you can inject foam. I have a fair bit of experience (unfortunately) with using chassis foam, and the stuff is extremely unweidly. Side rails are pretty easy and safe, but filling any crevices that can't be completely sealed (especially the vertically oriented ones) will not be fun.

    You should also be aware that there are risks to doing this too. If you aren't careful, you can trap moisture inside some of the really hard-to-reach areas of your car and create rust pockets that you won't be able to get at. Two part polyurethane foam is also fairly flammable. Not a huge concern for most people, (it's no more a fire hazard than the magnesium tubs used in old open wheelers) but you may get some disapproving looks if you ever want to go wheel to wheel (racing) in your car.

    Not to discourage you from doing it (if you haven't done so already). Filling the frame rails on my B14 made a huge difference in chassis rigidity and NVH.

    Good luck.
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    Oh, and in case you haven't bought the materials yet, I've had better luck with US Composites 8lb / 16lb foam than with the Foamseal stuff. Here's the link:

    Urethane Foam , Expanding Marine Polyurethane Foam
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    You may want to lower your expectations a little bit in terms of what and where you can inject foam. I have a fair bit of experience (unfortunately) with using chassis foam, and the stuff is extremely unweidly. Side rails are pretty easy and safe, but filling any crevices that can't be completely sealed (especially the vertically oriented ones) will not be fun.
    Please elucidate further on your experience and background. You sound like this ain't your first rodeo by a long-shot.

    "Completely sealed", so if the...front rails had existing OEM holes in them, that would make them extremely difficult to foam? Is there a way to temporarily cover the holes (duck tape them bastards) until the foam quits expanding? Other than welding metal over the holes?

    Keep in mind the foaming will be done before the car is even primered. Therefore, some "excess foam removal" or spillage is not dead critical. I know that Sal (body shop dude) and myself both want this process to be both as hassle-free and effective as possible. Now, I am picturing the foam expanding out of one (or more) of the OEM holes, becoming hard as rock, and sitting there like a gigantic wart on one of my front rails. Us getting out a chisel and a hammer.

    I have already looked at the B pillar. That damn thing has HUGE OEM holes in it.


    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    You should also be aware that there are risks to doing this too. If you aren't careful, you can trap moisture inside some of the really hard-to-reach areas of your car and create rust pockets that you won't be able to get at.
    The car is dry as a bone. It has not seen the weather in four months or more. Parked inside, windows down. There should not be any moisture trapped anywhere. I hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    Two part polyurethane foam is also fairly flammable. Not a huge concern for most people, (it's no more a fire hazard than the magnesium tubs used in old open wheelers) but you may get some disapproving looks if you ever want to go wheel to wheel (racing) in your car.
    No worries. Wheel to wheel racing will never, ever happen. Auto-cross in the future. I would love to go bomb a road course sometime. But not with other vehicles around in any type of head to head or wheel to wheel type racing. Just for fun and the learning experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    Not to discourage you from doing it (if you haven't done so already). Filling the frame rails on my B14 made a huge difference in chassis rigidity and NVH.
    You just did the frame rails alone? Both side rails and the front rails?

    Therefore you left the A-B-C pillars foam-less? Yet still had excellent results?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox View Post
    Oh, and in case you haven't bought the materials yet, I've had better luck with US Composites 8lb / 16lb foam than with the Foamseal stuff. Here's the link:

    Urethane Foam , Expanding Marine Polyurethane Foam
    I notice that the Foamseal stuff looks like it comes with an "applicator" nozzle. The US Composites stuff is a "mix and pour."

    Why did you like the US Composites stuff better? What were the differences between the two foams?

    I planned on calling the Houston distributor for Foamseal on Monday. I finally got their phone number from fomo.com, and planned on picking it up and delivering it to the body-shop.

    I am foaming the chassis, no questions.

    Please educate me further, before I pull the trigger on either product.
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    A few years back I went through and did a series of projects involving two part polurethane foam. Long story short, these included making custom molded seat inserts and running chassis foam through the B14.

    The key thing about polyurethane foam is that it pours like 40 weight oil when you first mix it. Duct tape will help seal some smaller gaps, but it won't do for larger holes, especially those on the bottom of whatever open cavity you're filling. Wooden cutouts cut to fit those holes (then sealed off with gaffer tape) worked ok for the lower chassis. You may need to get creative if you really want to do the pillars.

    Because of this, I ended up foam filling just the side rails on the B14 (the ones underneath the door), using the US Composites 8LB stuff. The difference in doing just that was fairly remarkable. The chassis felt more substantial, almost like one from a much heavier car.

    The primary differences between the two types of foams are in the packaging due to application. The FoamSeal stuff is technically insulation foam, where the two part pourable foams are used for molding. Specificially, the two things I didn't like about the foamseal stuff was its lower density and the fact that the product is slightly aerated when it comes out of the applicator. This means that the finished product was less consistent in density and it was much easier to create air pockets in cavities.

    Speaking of which, I should point out that, contrary to what was said earlier in this thread, using a lower density foam will not help prevent bulging out metal cavities. In fact, you actually increase the risk of doing that by using the low density stuff, as lower density foams expand more than the higher density stuff.

    What you should do to prevent this is to mix small amounts and work in layers. That is, pour in a small amount, let it fully expand (but not cure), then pour in the next layer. This not only ensures that there is enough space for air to escape, but it also helps reduce spillage from overflow.

    What I would recommend (if you're serious about doing this), is to get small samples of both and play with it firsthand. It'll save you a lot of aggrivation down the line.
    Last edited by BoxedFox; 11-28-08 at 02:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn B View Post

    I was wondering why (apparently) more folks don't do this. The weight penalty seems minor for the additional chassis stiffness provided. Mike K's 300 and Steve's S13 (S14?) both done, and both gentlemen very impressed with the results? That is a consensus enough for me, any day of the week. I think I'd be stupid not to do this at such an opportune time-frame.

    It seems like it would greatly benefit daily drivers, auto-x, and road racers. The only folks that would possibly not benefit would be 1/4 mile afficianados where the weight is absolutely critical.
    i think the reason no one has done this is because its very un known! it has NEVER been covered in a magazine. there is no "step by step" online. no one that has done it to a b-chassis car has anything more to say about it other than "yea it helped alot!"

    i mean no one really has a god damned clue what they are doing. and i know i wouldnt want to spend $100+ on a bottle of foam, have it turn out to be the wrong stuff, then not put it in all the right spots or encase a wire loom in a tomb of foam.

    shawn........out of everything you have done for the community this would very likely be THE BEST THING EVER. to photo document this process down to the T. your name will be known world wide for your efforts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    The key thing about polyurethane foam is that it pours like 40 weight oil when you first mix it. Duct tape will help seal some smaller gaps, but it won't do for larger holes, especially those on the bottom of whatever open cavity you're filling. Wooden cutouts cut to fit those holes (then sealed off with gaffer tape) worked ok for the lower chassis. You may need to get creative if you really want to do the pillars.
    Not only do I really want to do this, I want to do it thoroughly and right.

    Wooden cut-outs, huh? Since the car is at the body-shop, I could also talk to Sal about any spots that would be easy to cover with welded-on steel sheeting. Since it was not covered in the original estimate, I would pay them extra if it would really help to break out the welder in some spots.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFoxed
    Because of this, I ended up foam filling just the side rails on the B14 (the ones underneath the door), using the US Composites 8LB stuff. The difference in doing just that was fairly remarkable. The chassis felt more substantial, almost like one from a much heavier car.
    That is good to hear. However, I *think* I want to push it a step further. Those front rails are just begging for foaming, along with my Stephens Fender Braces and Cusco FSTB, that will effectively box off the front end. Not to mention, if I can get those A-B-C pillars done effectively/substantially.

    I want the chassis and cabin interior to feel like a new vehicle. Better than most new ones. Tight, quiet, creak and rattle-free.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    The primary differences between the two types of foams are in the packaging due to application. The FoamSeal stuff is technically insulation foam, where the two part pourable foams are used for molding. Specificially, the two things I didn't like about the foamseal stuff was its lower density and the fact that the product is slightly aerated when it comes out of the applicator. This means that the finished product was less consistent in density and it was much easier to create air pockets in cavities.
    Gracias! Appreciate the insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    Speaking of which, I should point out that, contrary to what was said earlier in this thread, using a lower density foam will not help prevent bulging out metal cavities. In fact, you actually increase the risk of doing that by using the low density stuff, as lower density foams expand more than the higher density stuff.
    Well....that makes sense.

    Keep in mind, I am no expert on anything mechanically related.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    What you should do to prevent this is to mix small amounts and work in layers. That is, pour in a small amount, let it fully expand (but not cure), then pour in the next layer. This not only ensures that there is enough space for air to escape, but it also helps reduce spillage from overflow.
    OK. Slowly building-up layers inside the cavity in question.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    What I would recommend (if you're serious about doing this), is to get small samples of both and play with it firsthand. It'll save you a lot of aggrivation down the line.
    Done. I'll get both tomorrow (today, when I wake up). Might have to order one out of town. Whatever, I'll get them both. Once in hand, I'll grab my camera and bring them to Sal. Then he and I can experiment first, before we (he) does the chassis. And I'll order whatever he thinks will work best given the structural members we are trying to fill.

    Quote Originally Posted by classicaddict
    i think the reason no one has done this is because its very un known! it has NEVER been covered in a magazine. there is no "step by step" online. no one that has done it to a b-chassis car has anything more to say about it other than "yea it helped alot!"
    Well, Mike K did his 300zx in SCC. However, that is the only time I have ever seen it in any magazine. It was also helpful, but a long way from an actual step-by-step.

    Quote Originally Posted by classicaddict
    i mean no one really has a god damned clue what they are doing. and i know i wouldnt want to spend $100+ on a bottle of foam, have it turn out to be the wrong stuff, then not put it in all the right spots or encase a wire loom in a tomb of foam.
    I understand where you are coming from.

    However, for me the cost is neglible at this point. Even if I have to pay for more time from the professionals, buy "experimental" batches of two (2) different foams, and then the correct amount of the appropriate foam, or foams plural. I'm real determined on this particular aspect of the vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by classicaddict
    shawn........out of everything you have done for the community this would very likely be THE BEST THING EVER. to photo document this process down to the T. your name will be known world wide for your efforts.
    Thanks, exhuberant and high praise indeed. I was merely thinking that I finally have a thread to add to the Suspension Thread that I actually started. I think it's my first.

    However, I am merely following what Mike K (choaderboy2) and Steve (98sr20ve) laid out for me. I'm just gonna spend money, shoot photos, and chronicle the events.

    Right after ordering foam(s), I'm going over to Shepherd Square. Check on the mechanical progress. I'll take some detailed pics of the frame rails and pillars. Maybe measure some of those holes that would have to be filled. Get a plan of attack together on effectively closing as many of those holes as possible while we, meaning Sal, foams for maximum results. Hell, I can do wooden cut-outs and gaffer tape. I'm actually handy with a jig-saw.

    This is gonna be a pain in the ass, but fun.
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    Oh, one last note before I forget. You will want to seal up all of the pinch welds on the chassis (side rails, underside of car) with gaffer tape or gorilla tape before you put foam in them. None of them are sealed very well and foam will escape through the gaps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox View Post
    Oh, one last note before I forget. You will want to seal up all of the pinch welds on the chassis (side rails, underside of car) with gaffer tape or gorilla tape before you put foam in them. None of them are sealed very well and foam will escape through the gaps.
    Aha...thank you again.

    Gaffer tape I am familiar with, I used to work in SLV (Sound, Light, and Video) contracting. Theatrical stuff, very strong, made of clothe. Gorilla tape I have seen at Lowes. You are being specific on those tapes, will duct tape not work? If so, why?

    I am also thinking that no matter the adhesive on the tape, clean-up will be fairly straightforward, because no solvent will (can) harm the foam material.

    Please understand that I am grilling you on as much as possible, so I don't have to find out the hard way.

    __________________________

    1) And now to call "Specialty Products & Insulation," located right here in little ol' Houston. The Foamseal folks.....then off to Shepherd Square to really examine those rails and pillars.

    Specialty Products & Insulation
    2500 Fairway Park Drive
    Houston, TX 77092
    713-957-2730

    Customer service rep Jeff helped me out. I can buy one cubic foot of this stuff, p/n P10600 for $36.48. I have to order it, and it will take "about a week" to get it. I'll go pay for and order it tomorrow morning. That will give me and Sal some test-product to play with.

    BTW, p/n 10650 is $60.91 from Specialty Products & Insulation.

    2)
    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox
    I've had better luck with US Composites 8lb / 16lb foam than with the Foamseal stuff. Here's the link:

    Urethane Foam , Expanding Marine Polyurethane Foam
    Quote Originally Posted by Linky
    8 LB Density Urethane Foam

    Common Applications: This 8LB density foam is extremely hard and rigid, like that of a soft wood. Your fingernail can penetrate its skin, however it cannot be dented by hand. Uses include casting, carving, sculpting, sign making as well as areas where an extremely durable and rigid foam is needed for support. More questions? [Try our Foam FAQ.]

    Cat No. Kit Size(net weight) Approx. Coverage Price
    FOAM-0804 4 LB Kit 1/2 Cubic Foot $20.50
    FOAM-0816 16 LB Kit 2 Cubic Feet $62.00
    FOAM-0880 80 LB Kit 10 Cubic Feet $244.00
    5 or more kits of the FOAM-0880 $232.00 / Kit
    Product Information:
    Free Rise Density: 8.0 lbs cubic ft.
    Expansion Rate: Approx. 8x Liquid Volume
    Buoyancy (flotation): 54 LBs per Cubic Ft.
    *Physical Properties:
    Parallel Compressive Strength: 250 psi
    Tensile Strength: 225 psi
    Shear Strength: 130 psi
    Flexural Strength: 350 psi
    They sell directly to the public. So, I ordered via credit card. It will arrive end of this week, early next week.

    Then Sal and I can start playing "Play-Doh" factory with the two (2) different foam products.

    _____________________________________________

    A hundred bucks worth of foam into it already. ....

    I really don't give much of a sh*t. Did I mention that I am real determined on this one, and a hundred bucks, relatively speaking at this point, is a drop in the proverbial bucket?

    Fawk. I am exactly the guy that needs a damn step-by-step instructional from someone with a clue.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 12-01-08 at 05:01 PM.
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    The liquified foam reacts with the adhesive and makes it very slick. I found that duct tape didn't adhere strongly enough to the bottom of the car to prevent the stuff from pushing through and allowed it to effectively peel off the tape from the inside. Both gaffer tape and gorilla tape (when I ran out of gaffer tape) seemed to do a better job of keeping the bottom sealed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox View Post
    The liquified foam reacts with the adhesive and makes it very slick. I found that duct tape didn't adhere strongly enough to the bottom of the car to prevent the stuff from pushing through and allowed it to effectively peel off the tape from the inside. Both gaffer tape and gorilla tape (when I ran out of gaffer tape) seemed to do a better job of keeping the bottom sealed.
    Awesome info.

    Now to go buy gaffers or Gorilla tape. I'll probably give the metal/paint a rub-down with some alcohol/solvent to make sure the tape can stick really well. Sal will know what to use. He'll probably let me help him do some taping or prep work, while I also shoot pix.

    Update:

    All sample/test product ordered/paid-for. Gorilla tape purchased.

    Stopped by and talked to Sal. He has been watching YouTube videos (two of them, I think) on foam-sealing an S14 chassis. I'll see if I can get him to post a couple of links for us.

    Should be Tuesday that I can deliver both foam products to Sal. Then we can mess with the product, and shoot pix. See what's up on how the two (2) types of foam work, filling spaces, and expanding. And we'll do that before we touch my vehicles chassis.

    I'm excited.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 12-02-08 at 06:06 PM.
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    Brennan didn't seem to have any trouble. He just let it expand and trimmed it off:

    http://www.sr20-forum.com/79520-post107.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by swiss View Post
    Brennan didn't seem to have any trouble. He just let it expand and trimmed it off:

    http://www.sr20-forum.com/79520-post107.html
    That's actually a slightly different kind of foaming. More specifically, it's a different kind of foam. Great Stuff is a highly aerated, quick cure foam that's great for stopping heat and damping noise. It's not so good for structural purposes though.

    Not to say that Brennan did anything wrong. I think Brennan made the right choice of materials there. I'm just not sure if it'll work for what Shawn B is looking to do.
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    Ah, I see. I saw Shawn didn't want to use great stuff, but I figured you could still trim the other foam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swiss View Post
    Ah, I see. I saw Shawn didn't want to use great stuff, but I figured you could still trim the other foam.
    i have used great stuff quite a bit to stop trunk rattles and things of that nature. the foam shawn is going to use is quite a bit more hardcore and i dont feel as tho a simple pass of a hobby knife will trim it off. also, great stuff doesnt REALLY stick to paint, you can buff it off, shawns foam is much more comparable to a glue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiss View Post
    Brennan didn't seem to have any trouble. He just let it expand and trimmed it off:

    http://www.sr20-forum.com/79520-post107.html
    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox View Post
    That's actually a slightly different kind of foaming. More specifically, it's a different kind of foam. Great Stuff is a highly aerated, quick cure foam that's great for stopping heat and damping noise. It's not so good for structural purposes though.

    Not to say that Brennan did anything wrong. I think Brennan made the right choice of materials there. I'm just not sure if it'll work for what Shawn B is looking to do.
    Agreed, I have come to hate constant squeeks and rattles, and it looks like the Great Stuff does the trick.
    Quote Originally Posted by swiss View Post
    Ah, I see. I saw Shawn didn't want to use great stuff, but I figured you could still trim the other foam.
    It wasn't "didn't want to use" Great Stuff, hell using that would be far easier. Cheaper too. And apparently would work for sound deadening rattles quite well.

    Brennans write-up and pics is terrific for that application. Good work.

    Actually my friend, I am glad you brought up the subject of "other foams."
    Quote Originally Posted by classicaddict View Post
    i have used great stuff quite a bit to stop trunk rattles and things of that nature. the foam shawn is going to use is quite a bit more hardcore and i dont feel as tho a simple pass of a hobby knife will trim it off. also, great stuff doesnt REALLY stick to paint, you can buff it off, shawns foam is much more comparable to a glue.
    Bingo.

    And I think it is more of a saw, chisel perhaps, grinding wheel kind of removal. Nor does it come off with any solvent.

    "Glue" might be a good analogy, two-part epoxy type glue. With lots'a bubbles in it.

    Mike K calls it "catalyzed rigid structural polyurethane foam."
    Quote Originally Posted by SCC author Mike Kojima



    As the foam cures, it expands with the excess coming out of the holes where it was injected. Note how it is important to mask carefully. If you accidentally use too much foam, you could have much more coming out of the holes than we did. If it gets in the carpet, it will never come out.
    Here's an edited version of the article from SCC magazine (link to full article in first post):
    Quote Originally Posted by SCC author Mike Kojima
    Foam-Filling the Chassis
    In any high-performance car, it is impossible to make the chassis too stiff. The stiffer the chassis, the higher its natural frequency, making the energy imparted to it by bumps less likely to excite the body's structure. A stiffer chassis enables the use of stiffer springs and shocks without hurting the ride. This is because a stiff, non-flexing chassis transfers more force into the suspension where it can be dissipated by the springs and shocks instead of transferring the force to the occupants. A stiff chassis is also more responsive to roll rate tuning for balancing understeer and oversteer. This is one of the reasons why automotive engineers are continually investigating ways to stiffen chassis without adding weight.

    In a final bit of reengineering to stiffen the body, we injected the chassis with catalyzed rigid structural polyurethane foam. Structural foam, in the 2 lb per cubic foot density that we used, can stiffen chassis members up to 40 percent.

    Higher densities of foam can increase stiffness by up to 300 percent. Since we cannot retool custom parts to redo the Z's body, we figured that this would be an excellent, low-cost way of greatly increasing chassis stiffness. Injecting foam is not a new technique for chassis stiffening. The Infiniti Q45 uses this sort of foam in some of its chassis members to increase stiffness, as do a few other premium cars. In fact, the foam we chose is the foam recommended to repair damaged Q45s.

    To get the correct foam for our project, we contacted Art Goldman, Foamseal's automotive product manager and author of an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) paper on the use of structural foam for the stiffening of automotive unibody structures. We used Foamseal's two-component foam kit, p/n 11-22 to fill the main members of the chassis. Like we mentioned earlier, Foamseal is the supplier that I-CAR, a national certification group for quality auto repair, recommends for the repair of damaged, foam-filled chassis. The Foamseal kit uses a two-part catalyzed polyurethane foam, which quickly cures into rigid, waterproof, closed-cell foam. To prep the car, we carefully masked off all painted areas anywhere where the foam could drip. As this sort of foam is a thermosetting catalyzed plastic, we realized it could be icky if it spilled on paint or any part of the car's interior. This foam is nasty stuff. It is impervious to all known solvents and cleaners.

    We were amazed at how this simple procedure improved the performance of the car. The chassis now almost feels like it has a roll cage. A sloped driveway can be driven up sideways with nary a creak. Even though the Z already has a pretty tight chassis, it feels more solid. The ride has improved and road noise has been reduced noticeably. We bet that the car will be even more responsive to chassis tuning measures in the future. If you are a slalom racer, a road racer, have a lowered car or even just want a smoother ride; foaming is a worthy, easy-to-do modification. Foamseal has foams in densities as high as 10 lbs per square foot if you desire to make things even stiffer.

    Do not--I repeat--do not attempt to use cheap, hardware-store canned foam. This is not the same thing, and if injected into your chassis, will form a gummy mass that won't dry. Foamseal foam is a professional grade foam, which although it is a little unforgiving to cleanup mistakes, has superior mechanical properties and catalytic curing so it will dry even in an enclosed space.
    Perfecto....

    Future plans include a CSK/Hyperco based suspension (currently AGX/Hyperco based) on my stiff as a motherf*cker chassis. I know that will provide highly elevated levels of susupension performance, no doubt. Secondarily, I *believe* that suspension on my uber-rigid chassis will allow stock-like comfort levels. The best of both worlds. We shall certainly see.

    My "ideal Classic suspension" would be akin to the modern-day Mazdaspeed 3, Chevy Cobalt SS, or nearly any BMW coupe. Every bit as capable and just as comfortable.

    To refresh, here is the other one I ordered:
    8 LB Density Urethane Foam

    Common Applications: This 8LB density foam is extremely hard and rigid, like that of a soft wood. Your fingernail can penetrate its skin, however it cannot be dented by hand. Uses include casting, carving, sculpting, sign making as well as areas where an extremely durable and rigid foam is needed for support. More questions? [Try our Foam FAQ.]

    Cat No. Kit Size(net weight) Approx. Coverage Price
    FOAM-0804 4 LB Kit 1/2 Cubic Foot $20.50
    FOAM-0816 16 LB Kit 2 Cubic Feet $62.00
    FOAM-0880 80 LB Kit 10 Cubic Feet $244.00
    5 or more kits of the FOAM-0880 $232.00 / Kit
    Product Information:
    Free Rise Density: 8.0 lbs cubic ft.
    Expansion Rate: Approx. 8x Liquid Volume
    Buoyancy (flotation): 54 LBs per Cubic Ft.
    *Physical Properties:
    Parallel Compressive Strength: 250 psi
    Tensile Strength: 225 psi
    Shear Strength: 130 psi
    Flexural Strength: 350 psi
    I am glad that the foam will quell noise and rattles in the vehicle. Desirable benefits, no doubt. Bonus.

    However, my application is primarily a chassis/suspension upgrade. I want to greatly increase the vehicles torsional/structural rigidity and overall chassis strength.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 12-05-08 at 05:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxedFox View Post
    That's actually a slightly different kind of foaming. More specifically, it's a different kind of foam. Great Stuff is a highly aerated, quick cure foam that's great for stopping heat and damping noise. It's not so good for structural purposes though.

    Not to say that Brennan did anything wrong. I think Brennan made the right choice of materials there. I'm just not sure if it'll work for what Shawn B is looking to do.

    Exactly, I was aiming to reduce road noise, rattles and hums all the while insulating the vehicle. Making the structure more ridgid was not the idea there, I believe thats where Shawn and I differ.
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    Darn I got the intense itch to do this now. That article was very informative, god bless Mike K.

    Edit:

    An interesting read:
    AutoFoam Review - VSixers

    Dudeman
    Last edited by Dudeman258; 12-08-08 at 04:54 AM.
    1991 SE-R - SR20VE - I/H/E, N1's - 203whp On Dyno Dynamics
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    Hey Shawn, I was just searching around and ran into this post, just figured I would throw some opinions at you, I trust you can add a grain or two of salt as you see fit.
    "There are some merits to filling voids in an automobile's structure with a foam with a high flextural modulus of elasticity (or modulus of elasticity in shear), however as previously mentioned, I would tend to be concerned about moisture entrapment and the life expectancy of a foam subjected to constant mean-plus-alternating stresses.

    In my line of work, we do a lot of testing using differing types of foam, even with the highest quality foams, there is a life-expectancy after which the response of the foam cannot be expected to equal to that of new foam. This is especially true with Polyurethane Ether and Ester (different manufacturing processes) foams, which tend to degrade rather rapidly especially in dense formulations. In my industry, typical transit drop events are limited to 10-20 full response cycles before the cushioning material is considered "spent".

    As such, I would expect an immediate improvement in the stiffness of the chassis, however I would expect that to degrade as time goes on, where a properly designed stiffening system should have a life expectancy equal to that of the vehicle it is being installed on.

    I might try foam filling the chassis on a car that I was planning on running at the "24hr of lemons" races, but not something that I would plan on doing to a car that I was planning on keeping for more than a couple years...

    Just my two cents, you can fab or buy a stiffening kit for any car, also could create a 'cage as an integral part of your stiffening system, safety and performance in a single unit...

    Be Blessed,

    Ben
    A solid will tend to be heavy as you were thinking, however if a nearly liquid piece of a polymer were "vacu-formed" into these cavities, one could expect the polymer to have mechanical properties which would not degrade as quickly as the same material in a foamed application. This could be used to the same effect as a laminate, however, processing would be a nightmare outside a laboratory.

    Back to the foam idea,

    I'll do some looking at some suppliers catalogs that I have, maybe I can find a two part foam that have a long advertised life, while maintaining a semi-rigid state<minicell polyethylene comes to mind, wonder if it can be foamed from a 2 part?>

    If the foam could be rigid enough to increase the torsional rigidity of the chassis, while maintaining ductile properties that could withstand the constant loading and unloading, this might be a good idea for a race vehicle that normally won't be exposed to high humidity or rain as well as not see the daily driver's number of loading events. Course for a race car, be it autocross-to-1/4 mile, weight would be an issue to be dealt with...

    I'll do some looking and let you know if I come up with anything...

    Ben"
    Source:Chassis Stiffening with Foam? - Page 2 - General [M]ayhem

    Dudeman
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinisterSntra91 View Post
    Exactly, I was aiming to reduce road noise, rattles and hums all the while insulating the vehicle. Making the structure more ridgid was not the idea there, I believe thats where Shawn and I differ.
    Bada-bing.

    And your build is utterly and completely sick. It blows my damn mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudeman258 View Post
    Darn I got the intense itch to do this now. That article was very informative, god bless Mike K.

    Edit:

    An interesting read:
    AutoFoam Review - VSixers

    Dudeman
    Gimme me a minute to read that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudeman258 View Post
    Hey Shawn, I was just searching around and ran into this post, just figured I would throw some opinions at you, I trust you can add a grain or two of salt as you see fit.

    Source:Chassis Stiffening with Foam? - Page 2 - General [M]ayhem

    Dudeman
    Ben is waaaay brighter than I am about foams.

    However, because Mike Kojima stated this is the same type of foam used for Infinity vehicles, and Mike K talked to the SAE engineer at Fomo, I am pretty confident in the specific foam I am using.

    Further, this just in from Sport Compact Car (RIP), February 2009, "Project S13" Part 2: Making it all work. Author Joey Leh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sport Compact Car magazine

    Built in 1989 and older than some of our readers, Project S13's fastback chassis is the softest of all the 240SXs. The back hatch glass, which might as well be made out of cast iron, leaves a massive non-structural void in the rear and thus the fastback is substantially less rigid than the couple model S13. With Super Lap Battle Street Class time attack rules stipulating that all factory glass must remain in place, there wasn't much that we could do about the hatch. But chassis stiffness can be addressed.

    Although allowed by class rules, we didn't want a full roll cage in the car. Tying together the chassis with a custom welded cage would increase chassis stiffness by a large amount but this car sees more street time than track time and cracking our skulls open on metal tube doesn't exactly sound like a great Friday night. This left us with the options of stitch welding, bolt-on chassis bracing bars, a 4-point roll bar, and urethane foam. We may try out all these methods eventually, there's no such thing as a S13 that's too stiff, but the urethane foam is one of the most intriguing and so we started there first.

    We've seen expanding urethane foam in automotive applications before. Mike Kojima tried it with success on Project Nissan 300ZX and it's used in such OEM applications as the Acura TL and the Mazda RX-8 R3. The stiffer a chassis is, the less it will flex against the forces applied to it, ie. suspension movement. This means that the forces from the road surface will be contained and absorbed by the suspension rather than being allowed to beat up the body shell. As the chassis is stiffened, ride quality will improve and even stiffer springs can be used before the chassis is upset again. Foam filling a chassis is a cheap and light method with which to dramatically increase chassis stiffness.

    Keep in mind though, that the foam you want to put into your car isn't the cheap spray insulation that you can buy at you local Home Depot. Many of those foams have a density in the range of 0.5 pounds per cubic foot. We were after the 2 pounds per cubic foot injectable kits for the upper pillars (made by Handi-Foam) and the 8 pounds per cubic foot stuff for the rockers. Foams in the 8 pounds per cubic foot density are commonly used in marine applications and we've never come across one that was an easy to use two part injectable kit. Our expanding urethane foam pour kit was sourced from US Composites and came in two unassuming metal cans. The liquid in the two cans is mixed in a 1:1 ratio and has a claimed 45-second pour time. In actual use, the realistic pour time seems to be closer to half that. We mixed up about 20-ounces at a time and a paint mixer and power drill came in handy for us as we zapped the mixture for a mere 15-seconds before beginning the pour into our rocker panels. Any longer and the foam would begin to harden in the funnel as we poured, clogging any more of the mixture from entering Project S13.

    The pourable urethane foam expands to eight times its liquid volume, meaning the 16 pound net weight size kit is more than enough to handle the entire 240SX chassis. Handling the foam itself isn't difficult at all, but proper prep is a must. The foam is nearly impossible to clean off once hardened and sets very quickly. Before mixing and pouring began, Project S13's interior was covered in a drop cloth, newspapers were placed underneath, and bits of duct tape were placed next to every orifice that we would be pouring into, so that the expanding foam could be captured inside instead of bubbling out. We also made sure to tape up the backside of the lower seat belt holes in the rockers, so that the foam didn't fill up the threads for the mounting bolts.

    Although we don't have any exact stiffness increase percentages, a simple garage measurement yeilded a stiffer chassis with a 1/4-inch front and 1/8"-inch rear increase in frame to ground height as the car was jacked up at the front left, with a floor jack saddle height of 10.75-inches. Driving the car is also a revelation, with less creaks going up driveways and a noticably smoother ride over broken pavement.

    Author: Joey Leh
    Yes, I just typed all of that in by hand.

    Mike K says that Infinity uses this type of foam and process. According to Joey Leh, apparently so does Honda and Mazda. I know from their web-site that Fomo products are used extensively in stiffening and reducing NVH in transport sized trucks. The type of trucks that see heavy duty work, day in and day out.

    As usual, there are many lines of thought about any engineering application.

    Given all the information, I'm going to roll my dice with Mike Kojima, the SAE engineer he spoke to at Fomo, Infinity, Honda, Mazda, and Joey Leh.
    Last edited by Shawn B; 12-08-08 at 06:48 PM.
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    Sean,
    If you really want to quiet down the cabin of your car since you have everything removed interior wise you might want to look into quietcar, its a full spray in sound deadener it aborbs the sound rather than masks it like the stick on spray adhesieve stuff, check their video on their main page quiets the car down by 20dB....very very impressive.

    QuietCar

    If I were you at this point I would take the extra step and apply this along with the foam and your car should be as quiet as a new Benz on the inside. I will be using this as well on my build.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SinisterSntra91
    Sean,
    If you really want to quiet down the cabin of your car since you have everything removed interior wise you might want to look into quietcar, its a full spray in sound deadener it aborbs the sound rather than masks it like the stick on spray adhesieve stuff, check their video on their main page quiets the car down by 20dB....very very impressive.

    QuietCar
    OK. That certainly looks better than the Elemental Designs eDead sound mat that I have already purchased.

    According to that website, it is only $300 bucks (or so, with shipping) to do an excellent job (5 gallons) on a compact car.

    Dammit.

    Quote Originally Posted by SinisterSntra91
    If I were you at this point I would take the extra step and apply this along with the foam and your car should be as quiet as a new Benz on the inside. I will be using this as well on my build.
    Damn, damn, damn.

    Sell the eDead? Buy Quiet Coat instead and apply it?

    Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I am definitely after a NVH free chassis. Super stiff and quiet.

    Now I have more contemplating to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wifey
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    Deeply disturbed in Louisiana.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn B View Post
    OK. That certainly looks better than the Elemental Designs eDead sound mat that I have already purchased.

    According to that website, it is only $300 bucks (or so, with shipping) to do an excellent job (5 gallons) on a compact car.

    Dammit.


    Damn, damn, damn.

    Sell the eDead? Buy Quiet Coat instead and apply it?

    Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I am definitely after a NVH free chassis. Super stiff and quiet.

    Now I have more contemplating to do.

    Can you return it?
    BBB Clique: Buy Busted and Build. "We Trickin Cause We Aint Got It"

 

 
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