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Old 01-14-2012, 01:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Why did Chevrolet build my air dam this way???

I have a Chevy Impala LTZ. I was changing the oil last week, and while it was up on ramps I noticed the air dam configuration.

It's a 3 piece deal, with a gap between the outboard sections.

What I can't figure out is their reasoning. Why is there a gap between the sections? I mean, obviously they want to let some air between the tire and the engine cradle. But why? Again, this is a Impala, not a Corvette. I don't really get the brakes that hot (usually) that they need inboard cooling.

And while you are pondering that riddle, why on earth are they terminating the curved outboard sections 2/3rds. inboard from the outside of the tire??? If I was doing it (before I saw this) I would have extended those outboard sections so they flow the air around the outside of the steering tires. Not slam right into them at 1/3 from the inside. ???????


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Old 01-14-2012, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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...'cooling' air to front disc brakes.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...'cooling' air to front disc brakes.
Okay mayhaps.

But can you explain the termination 2/3rds. from the outside of the tire???
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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outboard sections

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepherd777 View Post
I have a Chevy Impala LTZ. I was changing the oil last week, and while it was up on ramps I noticed the air dam configuration.

It's a 3 piece deal, with a gap between the outboard sections.

What I can't figure out is their reasoning. Why is there a gap between the sections? I mean, obviously they want to let some air between the tire and the engine cradle. But why? Again, this is a Impala, not a Corvette. I don't really get the brakes that hot (usually) that they need inboard cooling.

And while you are pondering that riddle, why on earth are they terminating the curved outboard sections 2/3rds. inboard from the outside of the tire??? If I was doing it (before I saw this) I would have extended those outboard sections so they flow the air around the outside of the steering tires. Not slam right into them at 1/3 from the inside. ???????

My guess is that when approaching a curbside parking spot,they're less likely to strike the curb as the car noses into the space.
I must be vigilant each time I park the T-100 I approach this type of parking as the nose WILL strike if I improperly guess at my clearance.I've got wrinkled
aluminum to prove it.
The 99th-percentile car consumer probably wouldn't put up with this sort of thing.And I see plenty of shredded GM under-nose pieces as it is.Even the new Cadillac CTS.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Driving a Honda Civic affords me the luxury of being able to park a foot or two from the curb or parking blocks and still be shorter than most cars & trucks. So I don't get close to them any more.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepherd777 View Post
I have a Chevy Impala LTZ. I was changing the oil last week, and while it was up on ramps I noticed the air dam configuration.

It's a 3 piece deal, with a gap between the outboard sections.

What I can't figure out is their reasoning. Why is there a gap between the sections? I mean, obviously they want to let some air between the tire and the engine cradle. But why? Again, this is a Impala, not a Corvette. I don't really get the brakes that hot (usually) that they need inboard cooling.

And while you are pondering that riddle, why on earth are they terminating the curved outboard sections 2/3rds. inboard from the outside of the tire??? If I was doing it (before I saw this) I would have extended those outboard sections so they flow the air around the outside of the steering tires. Not slam right into them at 1/3 from the inside. ???????

Also note the center portion is not below the aluminum cross member. I believe the reason for this is so that it will clear most parking stops. It is the same configuration used on my 06 Grand Prix.

Now.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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my Seat Leσn (based in the same VAG platform than Jetta, Golf, New Beetle 2012, etc.) has 3 air dam - spoilers also.
Wheel air dam spoilers help cold air flow going to cool front brakes. The shape of the front bumper is a good looking air dam also, you could obtain RAcing front bumper shape adding duct tape.

As standard you could see upper grill block (Ecomotive versions only but standard in new beetle 2012) and the vertical windscreen wipers, why volkswagen uses these wipers only in the Seat Leσn, Toledo and Altea? I don't know.
cd of mine is 0.30. (when ecomotive grill block and central air dam spoiler is fitted).
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Old 01-14-2012, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
My guess is that when approaching a curbside parking spot,they're less likely to strike the curb as the car noses into the space.
I must be vigilant each time I park the T-100 I approach this type of parking as the nose WILL strike if I improperly guess at my clearance.I've got wrinkled
aluminum to prove it.
The 99th-percentile car consumer probably wouldn't put up with this sort of thing.And I see plenty of shredded GM under-nose pieces as it is.Even the new Cadillac CTS.
Correct, it seems. Many people drive straight in until their tire, air dam or bumper hits the curb. It's as if they can't be bothered to judge clearance. I imagine this air dam shape is similar to the angle of angled parking spaces.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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angle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven7 View Post
Correct, it seems. Many people drive straight in until their tire, air dam or bumper hits the curb. It's as if they can't be bothered to judge clearance. I imagine this air dam shape is similar to the angle of angled parking spaces.
Yeah,you gotta figure that the steering is already cut allowing the curb to strike 'inward' of the tires normal sidewall position.Black rubber scrub marks on the curb wall suggest that many drivers (me included) have a tough time 'seeing' the hazard.
The dam is certainly not ideal aerodynamically,but may be a very pragmatic compromise to keep customers out of body shop service bays.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Gentlemen -

I wholeheartedly agree with everybody that it is for damage control.

Silly me, my mind is always into maximum aero, and wasn't even initially thinking about the average driver and damage control.

Which make me think I should start a new thread on damage control.

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