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Old 05-09-2008, 04:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wannabe - '05 Honda Civic LX
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Suspension Dams on Production Cars

I’ve been thinking about putting some wheel-dams on my car, so I decided to go around and look at several brands of new cars to see how they were designed. I was shocked to see that all had front air-dams, but not wheel-dams, with one exception.

I’ll have to qualify what I just said, later, but here’s what I found.

Ford Focus: The front of the car had a long dam across the entire length, and it was extra low in front of the lowest part of the suspension and steering hardware and half the front tire. This portion that was extra low was about 5 inches long and was clearly meant to direct air around the hardware that attaches to the wheel, but not the wheel per se.

Whether or not the Focus had an air-dam for the back wheels is debatable. What it did have was a large triangular piece of plastic that looked like a bellypan that smoothed out the area just in front of the rear suspension and wheel, but it did not extend below the metal outerbody of the car.

Toyota Camry: This car had a front air-dam that also covered the suspension and half the front tire. The front air dam had a hole in it that looked a little bigger than a quarter, located between the dam and the metal underbody of the car. Nothing special was done for the rear wheel.

Toyota Prius: Same type of front air-dam as the Focus and Camry, but this car had a rear dam that actually covered the entire wheel, and perhaps an inch of the rear suspension where it attaches to the wheel.

Toyota Corolla: This car had a cheap looking air dam that only covered the wheel, but was actually so narrow that it wasn’t covering the entire wheel, and it sure didn’t cover the suspension. My memory of the rear of this car is foggy so I won’t comment on it (but I think it had nothing).

Lexus IS350: The front air dam on this car also covered the lower suspension and half the tire. The rear dam covered the tire and suspension.

Honda Accord: Both the front and rear dams blocked air to the lower suspension, and only part of the wheels.

Honda Civic: Same as the Accord.

It seems that the manufacturers are happy to block the air enough that it misses the suspension and hits the wheel. The dams are just long enough to ensure that the air hits the wheel and then goes around it to the outside of the car, rather then under it.


Last edited by Arminius; 05-09-2008 at 06:57 AM..
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