Here at Carbonwurks we are no strangers to high-end cars and repair work on carbon fibre. Normally in any given week we will be repairing carbon fibre on Aston Martin’s, Bentley’s, Ferrari’s or for rare and exotic manufactures but this McLaren 600LT ranks up there for one of the most special!
The customer came to us with a handful of videos and photo’s of the damage which McLaren themselves had quoted over £16,000 to replace! The damage for the most part was cosmetic with some light cracks to the structure in places. This turned out to be a challenging but very rewarding job for a few reasons.
Firstly, we disassembled the car which included removal of the wheels, inner arches, headlights, inner tub, lower undertray/floor before then removing the bumper and disassembling the various individual components which could then be repaired.
With all the parts removed, it was back to our repair shop to start addressing the carbon. The first part is to ascertain the level of repair required to minimise time and cost to the customer. Some parts needed light sanding and resin infusion to level the finish whereas others needed a significant more work to make sure the part was structurally sound.
The front carbon pack on a 600LT is made up of 4 parts – front aprons/splitters (left and right), the middle main bumper section and an undertray. Interestingly, these McLaren parts are made with a 2×2 Twill for all apart from the lower undertray which was made using compressed forged carbon and left in a resin-finish (not lacquered). With the undertray not being exposed to UV or visible to the eye, leaving the part un-lacquered saves weight as well as cost.
These parts over the course of 2 weeks were strengthened and rebuilt with our in-house specialists before heading off to lacquer. The undertray originally we wanted to keep a resin finish rather than lacquered to keep a close to original look as possible but in the end with the level of scuffing and scratches, the part needed to sealed in with lacquer to give a more uniform finish and ensure the fibres would not suffer exposure damage over the course of it’s life. We did manage to obtain a close OEM level of gloss and as a by-product a more uniform finish.
Once the parts have been clear coated and baked, they go through a strenuous quality check procedure to ensure a super smooth, pin-hole free finish. Finishing a part is as important as producing or repairing a part, fortunately with thousands of parts being produced yearly, we have got pretty good at doing this!
With the parts signed off, these went back to the garage to get installed. The processes is the reverse of removal along with some minor repair work of a few fixings points that had previously been repaired or damaged in it’s past life. With very stiff components and stiff chassis cars (carbon chassis or solid suspension bushings/components), this is quite common and can easily be made structurally sound again to stand the test of time.
We captured the process which can be viewed on our YouTube channel below!
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