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Old 12-28-2009, 12:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Chevy AVEO: Adding grille blocks and air deflectors

Here are the aero mods I did to my new 2009 Aveo.

Aerodynamically, there is virtually no air deflector at all under the front bumper of an Aveo. It’s just a huge, open space! The grille is similar in style to other much larger Chevy vehicles (in an attempt to make this small car look bigger?) in that it has a huge grille, again with much open space. To modify this I made an air deflector that now covers the vast area between the front bumper and its trailing edge, where the wheel wells begin. Fortunately this can be done without obstructing anything related to routine service work. I also designed a lower grille block that is invisible, mounted behind the grille, and an upper grille block that is mounted externally and easily removable. (See attached photos. #1 & 2 are the underside "before", #3 is "after", #4 shows both upper & lower grille when finished.) I happened to see a Honda Fit on the street and looked underneath the front end of it – it has the similar underside area covered by panels.

First I made templates, either of newspaper for the grille panels or of cloth for the large under-body panel. I used aluminum trim coil material, which is used in siding homes. It is very flexible and easy to cut, also easy to trim small amounts of it away when fitting it. However, it is like doing carpentry in sheet metal, in that your final fitting must be perfectly exact. This took many hours of painstaking measure, cut, fit and adjust to get a perfect fit. I painted all panels black before installing them, which makes it look professional, either resembling OEM or, in the case of the lower grill block which is installed from behind the grille, invisible. (Hey, this car is new and it's my wife's car, so I didn't want it to look like patchwork.)

For the under body panel I found I could use the existing hardware attachments, plus drill a few holes where needed in the very front to add Tinnerman nuts and screws. The lower grille block panel is attached entirely by simply adding it under existing original screws. (Note: the top part of the lower grill is visibly blocked, and that is the way Chevy made it. My added block is below it, and it is undetectable.) The upper grille block needed to be exterior mounted and easily removable for summer. I found that two of the existing plastic screw/mollies behind the grille could be replaced with Tinnerman panel nuts, which I could tap into using long, slender, sheet metal screws. The grille block panel weighs almost nothing and can be easily installed or removed in less than a minute.

Does all this improve FE any? The jury is still out... but it can't hurt.

Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by Thymeclock; 12-28-2009 at 01:02 AM..
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