Custom Pedals

Allright, it’s time for another DIY! Not too long ago I finished my custom aluminum pedals. I modeled them after the Mugen Aluminum Racing Pedals. They cost $168.78 plus S&H from inlinefour.com. Mine only cost me about $10. Although after some re-thinking of what I did I could have had them for even less.

First off, the materials… I bought a piece of 1/8″ thick aluminum from mcmaster.com. You’ll need a 6″ x 6″ piece for my design, but if you go with a different design you may need a larger piece. I also bought some stainless steel screws from the same place. They have a recessed head, so they will hide nicely when making a countersunk hole for them.

First off you’ll have to D/L the design (pedals.wmf). I saved it as a WMF (Windows Meta File). It should open in any Windows browser, but I would use a program that is able to print things to scale to print out this design. You’ll need to open this design and print it out. Then you’ll need to cut out each pedal. You don’t have to cut it out right next to the lines, but it helps.


Now, you’ll have to glue the cut out pedals onto the aluminum. I used spray adhesive, but I guess you could use almost anything. Just make sure it stays on, you don’t want the pattern to slip around. Then I used a drill press to cut out the various holes. You’ll have to match up the drill bits to the screws you have and the holes you want. This can all be done with a hand-held drill. Actually, I reccomend it, because getting the drill bit to line up perfectly with the pattern is harder to do with the drill press (at least for me).


Now you’ll have to drill out the countersunk portions of the pattern. You’ll need to countersink all of the holes. Just make sure that the heads of the screws you’ll use will hide all the way. I used a drill bit that’s not really that accurate. It produced these rough edges. I would reccomend buying a countersinking bit that’s made specifically for aluminum (if such a bit exists). I took the cheap way out; I used what I had.


Now it’s time to cut out the pedals. I did the gas pedal first, but in hindsite I should have done all of them at once. You’ll save time when you don’t switch betwean tools so often. I used a Jig saw to do this step. This is a big time saver. I am pretty good with that thing, so I could cut out the pedals rather precisely and save time on taking out the rough edges later on.


If you did a good job on the last step you’ll barely have any work to do with this step. Simply clamp down the piece and file the edges to match the pattern. If you go over, then that’s okay. You don’t have to match it up to the pattern perfectly. Just make sure you make the edges smooth and have them flow well (i.e. no jagged edges, or lumps, or dimples).


Now, the spray adhesive that I used has a good property to it. It can be easily removed. Just use something like Goo-B-Gone, or Goof-Off to remove the pattern. Then sand each piece. I used an orbital sander. Again, a huge time saver. I cut the piece on a piece of sand paper, so that it wouldn’t slip around. Then I just sanded it using the orbital sander, checking on the piece from time to time for uneven sanding. You’ll want to turn the piece around as you sand, so that you get an even sanding.


Now, the countersunk holes I made earlier were jagged (sorry, no pic). They look prettty good in this picture though, huh?


This is what I made to take care of that jagged edge syndrome. I actually made a sanding bit out of a wooden dowel rod. I used a grinder to make the end smaller. I also used it to make the conical tip. Then I cut out a piece of sand paper and glued it onto the tip. Viola! I had to change the sandpaper on the tip a couple of times before I finished evening out those jagged edges though. Again, if you have a countersinking bit made specifically for aluminum, then you’ll save a ton of time by not having to so this step.


This is how I shaped each pedal to fit the stock pedals. You’ll need to experiment to shape these suckers. I used a block of wood and an anvil and some clamps. I also used this metal pole and clamps and that block of wood. You’ll basically have to affix the pedals to something stiff and pound on them with something to get them to bend. I used a block of wood to not damage the pedal. You’ll need to check the shape against the stock pedals occasionly to see if you’re on the right track.


After bending the pedals to shape give them a good coat of clear paint. I used Crystal Clear Enamel by Rust-Oleum. Good stuff, dries really hard. The surface looked kinda rough after using this stuff. I liked it though, more grip! [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG]


There you go! The finished product.


Now, for the brake and clutch pedals you’ll need to print yourself out the dark part of the pattern. I also enlarged it slightly vertically so as to account for the curved pedals. Remember to print it out as a mirror image, because it will be going on the back of the sandpaper. You’ll stick it on with spray adhesive, or anything else you have that sticks on well and comes off rather easily. I used belt sanded sand paper (something I had lying around) and sheet metal scissors to cut out the pattern. I also used super glue on the edges so that they wouldn’t fray. We’ll attach them to the pedals later on using the spray adhesive.


What I did to attach the aluminum pedals to the stock ones was to drill and tap holes for the screws, although I would reccomend a different approach. First, take off the stock rubber pedals. Then line everything up and mark the holes with something like a whiteout pen. Then drill the holes and attach the pedal using those small screws and bolts in back. That’s what I would have done in hindsite. Much easier, and you don’t have to spend the money on the tap. Oh yeah, I used the motor oil as a cutting oil for the tap (in case you’re wondering).


Nice shot of the pedals and the door sills.


Closeup shot. Lookin’ good!


Another shot. I’m really happy with the way these came out.

Grey from civicforums

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