FERRARI F430 SUBWOOFER BUILDRyan Pepsin
SRQ Customs sets out to build an exact replica of the OEM Ferrari subwoofer enclosure, but with a larger woofer inside.
Our first step in the process was to remove the original 5″ subwoofer and the enclosure from the car. Although the original enclosure looks like it contains a pair of subwoofers, the lower grille is covering a port from the single subwoofer. Our process for creating an exact replica of the original for a complex shape like this involves building a fiberglass mold.
The better the original piece, the better our mold and subsequent castings will be. We removed the original leather covering, sanded off all the glue residue and filled in any dimples or cracks with modeling clay. Finally, the original speaker holes were capped with plastic discs and sealed with more clay.
Once the plug for the mold has been prepared, some thought needs to go into how the mold will be seamed. The goal here is to avoid a negative draft. This happens when a piece of the mold covers so much of the plug that it cannot be removed from it later. There were markings on the original enclosure where the factory that built these seamed their mold, and we went along the same line. We created this seam by attaching flat ribs along the seam, and curved plastic for the area on the side that was not flat.
The surface is prepared, and a seam has been integrated. Now we build the mold: The plug is covered in a thick layer of mold release wax, and allowed to dry. next a few compressed air fittings are strategically placed and held on with a drop of super glue. A heavy layer of tooling gelcoat is applied to the plug. This material is the key to building a mold that can be reused hundreds of times. When the gelcoat starts to become rubbery, it is time to pack on many layers of fiberglass mat and resin.
In a few hours, the mold is cured, the plug is removed by forcing compressed air into the fittings and the process starts over for the second side.
The plug is removed again, and now an enclosure can be cast inside the mold. The enclosure is made in two pieces, and then trimmed and bonded together. Once the blank enclosure is made, we can easily create a speaker opening for whatever our client wishes to install. In the case of this article, the Hertz ES200 8″ subwoofer.
Our upholstery specialist Jesse wrapped the new enclosure in original Ferrari leather with matching red double stitch, and it mounts into the car with the original bolts.
For this installation we left the factory amplifier to power the new subwoofer, which still provided very impressive bass response.
It sounds like a lot of work, and it certainly was. The benefit of this process is in repetition. We can now create this enclosure, for this or many other subwoofers, and know that it will fit the car perfectly, without ever having to touch the car.
If you own a F430 or 360 spider, and are looking to improve the bass in your car, please visit the link below and get one for yourself.