Thread: Chin Splitter?
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
So you couldn't possibly add a couple of hinges, an actuator, and a range sensor to lift the thing out of the way? Or even have it retract if you're moving less than 35 mph or so?

(I've actually been thinking of something like this for my Toyota pickup: an air dam that goes down for highway travel, then retracts when I get off paved roads onto dirt.)
The first thing is to nail down the architecture of it,which yields the drag minimum.
It would need to articulate,hinges are low-tech,and all the big-boys and their supercars use them.
I would build with extremely low mass.I guess pre-preg epoxy carbon fiber remains the benchmark there.If you "sense" that the chin must lift,like "right-now",then the least inertia the better.
Your sensor needs to be fail-proof or have redundancy incorporated in so there's no "dead" activity.
Radio,acoustic,laser could all perform the ranging function,with some default minimum distance before,say,you fire a 12-VDC solenoid,which jerks the chin out of harm's way just in time.
Remember,the faster you drive,the briefer the event horizon before you tangle with road hazards.
I plan a simple cable operated front dam for the truck with a simple lever in the cab which I can operate like an emergency brake handle once I leave the city scape and get into highway operation where the dam will do it's work.
Even with a full bellypan,I'd rather the air go around than under the truck.
I give the idea the big thumbs-up and had hoped to already have it on the truck for what is now my aborted trip.
I say go for it,just don't get it so low it starts to add drag.And you may have to burn a little fuel trying to dial-in that magic dimension.Let us know how things fall together.And don't rush it,you don't want to end up like me,tearing up seven months work in seven hours!
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