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Old 07-06-2011, 07:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
Coasting Down the Peak
skyl4rk's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: M I C H I G A N
Posts: 514

Toyauto Pickup - '94 Toyota Pickup 2WD
90 day: 36.32 mpg (US)

Versa Base - '09 Versa Sedan 1.6 Base
Team Nissan
90 day: 41.69 mpg (US)
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I have been planning to build a similar cargo box, delayed by a boatbuilding project. I really want the extra 10% FE. If I build a cargo box and add a killswitch, I think I could get 20% by EOC as much as possible. With my car, I think I could reach 60 mpg. For a while I was thinking about selling my car and going without a car, but I really enjoy driving through the country and seeing the sights so I think I will do what I can to increase FE. I like it that I could get better mpg than a lot of motorcycles out there.

There are two methods that I have been thinking about:
1. Plywood stitch and glue - this is a boatbuilding technique using epoxy and thin plywood. I would use the thinnest, lightest plywood I can get from Menards. This would result in a squared off cargo box.
2. Insulating foam - find an adhesive that will glue foam (PL Concrete and Masonry Sealer?). Get sheets of insulating foam and cut them to shape. Use screws to screw and glue the sheets together. Do some minor shaping with an orbital sander.

The frame of the cargo box would be a simple "T" of 1-1/4" steel square tube. I already have one made up. Then bolt on a piece of 3/8" plywood as a base, and the rest of the cargo box is fastened to the base.

I may build one to open up and actually use for cargo but I don't want any weight that far back so I don't expect to use it for cargo. I rarely fill my trunk, I have more space than I need. If I need to haul something big, I use a bigger vehicle. It is probably easier to just build a box that doesn't open.

Because of the reaction I got from my previous tail, I would label the thing "CARGO" with large letters. Even if it did not open up to hold cargo. just to minimize the hassles of rubberneckers.

I would add handles on top and skids on the bottom to make it easier to install and remove. Even if this reduces aero a bit, it will make it much easier to deal with.
Nissan Versa Aeromods
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