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slowbro 01-24-2012 01:53 PM

AV build thread
I have been hypermiling for a while now, and now I wish to work on aerodynamic modifications. My car is a 2004 Chevy Aveo sedan AT rated at 23/31/26 mpgUS city/highway/combined respectively. I have posted a thread here on ecomodder about an upper grill block that I made for my car to smooth out the front a bit, but in an attempt to keep things organized, I will add modifications that I make to this thread.
Here is a picture of my car with no changes:
Here is the grill block I added:
Side view:

slowbro 01-24-2012 01:54 PM

By the way, the grill block is made out of coroplast and it screws in and out where the original grill went (completely reversible).

mcrews 01-24-2012 02:18 PM

Very clean!

Nice cutting!

slowbro 01-24-2012 02:18 PM

After making the grill block, I wanted to do more. My next task was to make an air dam. My first goal was to make a prototype out of cardboard to test engine temps, clearance and attachment points. It wasn't looking good as it was December in suburban Chicago, and I didn't want to work on my car in the cold. Oddly, a sudden heat wave hit (40F+ temps) at the beginning of January, and I had the warm that I wanted (I tried working on some rust on my car the day that I made my prototype as well, and being fair-skinned, I was actually concerned with getting burned with how long I was outside).

A couple notes before the picture:
I ran out of cardboard so I know it was only halfway completed
It is attached with 3 screws, some packing tape and fishing line (It was all I could think of since there was only 20 min before sunset)

Anyway, here are the pictures:

slowbro 01-24-2012 02:27 PM

Living and working as a pizza delivery man in an upper middle class area (some neighborhoods I deliver to have multimillion dollar mansions), you wouldn't believe the looks I'd get from some people as they drive by in their BMWs, Audis and Lexii? At first, I almost wanted to duck beneath the steering wheel to hide my face. Then, I became proud of what I had created and started realizing that the looks on people's faces were hilarious (I should take pictures). I actually started to enjoy driving around to watch people watch my car.

slowbro 01-24-2012 02:42 PM

Finally, after a week or so of driving around with the cardboard, I felt it was time to make something more permanent. Research led me to the conclusion that I would have the best luck locating large sheets of coroplast at a sign shop. Sure enough, I found a shop selling them in 4' X 8' sheets for "about $25" as the employee told me. They didn't have any in stock that day, so they said that they would order some and have them in the next day. The next day, I walked in and asked if I could pay with a debit card (since I like to keep the cash in my wallet as change for customers when I deliver pizzas). The man paused and said that I could. Sensing his reluctance, I offered to pay with cash. The only problem was that I only had $22 in my wallet. He then said that was ok, so I already had saved $3 (or almost a gallon of gas) on my new air dam without even installing it.:D

Then, on another 40F day I installed my coroplast air dam.
Here it is:

I plan to paint it black to match the grill block. Its held in with 6 screws and I had to drill into the plastic covering inside the wheel well to secure it better.

slowbro 01-24-2012 02:45 PM

I intend to ABA test it, but the weather needs to be nice so it might be a while before that happens.

CigaR007 01-24-2012 02:49 PM

You should definitely see some gains with that air dam. What about cooling though ?

Other than that, looking good ! :thumbup:

slowbro 01-24-2012 03:35 PM

CigaR007, I have not noticed any difference in my water temperature since putting the air dam on. I'm expecting that to be different once summer comes around though, and I will adjust my modification accordingly.

slowbro 01-27-2012 12:01 PM

Just finished taking out the back seats and a few things out of my trunk and glovebox. Total weight reduction: ~85 lbs. I still have a tool set in there that I would like to keep and a sub woofer (the sub is definitely not moving - I like my music loud:thumbup:). I might take out the front passenger seat (another ~40 lbs) since most of my driving is done when I'm the only person in the car.

Anyway, here are pics:
View from front seat
View from rear right side door

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