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-   -   AV build thread (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/av-build-thread-20248.html)

slowbro 01-24-2012 02:53 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:
http://oi43.tinypic.com/23wm9dz.jpg
Here is the grill block I added:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...5-img-0836.jpg
Side view:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...4-img-0835.jpg

slowbro 01-24-2012 02:54 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 03:18 PM

Very clean!

Nice cutting!

slowbro 01-24-2012 03:18 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:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...6-img-0841.jpg
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...img-0842-1.jpg
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...img-0843-1.jpg

slowbro 01-24-2012 03:27 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 03:42 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:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...img-0844-1.jpg
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...img-0846-1.jpg
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...3-img-0847.jpg

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 03:45 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 03:49 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 04:35 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 01:01 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
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...3-img-0851.jpg
View from rear right side door
http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-av...2-img-0848.jpg

Tulok 02-07-2012 10:01 PM

Nice, looks like your doin work!
I would leave in the seat, weight reductions on an already light car aren't worth any unnecessary compromises.
You should bridge the gap between the gas tank and underneath the rear bumper as your next mod. ;)
make sure to keep your tires inflated properly too!

slowbro 02-07-2012 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tulok (Post 285310)
Nice, looks like your doin work!
I would leave in the seat, weight reductions on an already light car aren't worth any unnecessary compromises.
You should bridge the gap between the gas tank and underneath the rear bumper as your next mod. ;)
make sure to keep your tires inflated properly too!

I keep my tires at 40 psi, and I've been thinking of doing a bellypan. That parachute in the rear bumper is bothering me.

slowbro 02-21-2012 02:29 PM

So here is an update on my car.

Over this past week I have been making my wheel covers, and today I finally got a chance to put them on. I also rotated my tires while I was at it. The wheel covers are made out of coroplast and are attached with zip ties to the steel wheels. I also made a center piece that attaches with velcro so I can still access the lug nuts without cutting the zip ties every time.

Here are the pics:

http://oi41.tinypic.com/140kaye.jpg

http://oi39.tinypic.com/fwnnyc.jpg

Here's an updated image of my car to compare to the first picture I posted to this thread.
http://oi43.tinypic.com/zwhj6c.jpg

HyperMileQC 02-23-2012 02:12 PM

Nice airdam! I love DIY wheel covers hehe... Do you plan to make rear wheel skirts?

slowbro 02-23-2012 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HyperMileQC (Post 288708)
Nice airdam! I love DIY wheel covers hehe... Do you plan to make rear wheel skirts?

They're in the process of being made right now.

slowbro 03-22-2012 06:42 PM

So here are some updates on my car.

I have wheel skirts
I painted my air dam

Here are some pictures:
http://oi43.tinypic.com/347ee7l.jpg

View from front:
http://oi43.tinypic.com/2u8l2wx.jpg

Back view:
http://oi44.tinypic.com/iy08zs.jpg

http://oi43.tinypic.com/1z178ll.jpg

slowbro 03-22-2012 07:09 PM

Recently, I have been thinking of attaching underbody panelling to my car, and I would like some advice about how to handle areas around the exhaust pipes. I still want to use coroplast, but I fear it will melt. Is there a way to protect the coroplast from melting or should I just avoid covering exhaust pipes altogether?

slowbro 04-18-2012 12:03 AM

I have results for air dam and wheel skirt testing here: Air dam and wheel skirt test results

echo-francis 04-21-2012 04:22 PM

how did you attach the rear wheel skirt?

mcrews 04-21-2012 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aveomiler (Post 295116)
Recently, I have been thinking of attaching underbody panelling to my car, and I would like some advice about how to handle areas around the exhaust pipes. I still want to use coroplast, but I fear it will melt. Is there a way to protect the coroplast from melting or should I just avoid covering exhaust pipes altogether?

see the tread in my signature on underbelly pan. should provide you with ideas!:thumbup:

slowbro 04-22-2012 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by echo-francis (Post 302189)
how did you attach the rear wheel skirt?

To attach my wheel skirts, I first drilled into the lip on the wheel well where the body panel ended. With those holes, I used self-tapping screws (with silicone to prevent the body panel from rusting) to attach aluminum L-brackets to. The top three screws on each wheel skirt are connected directly to the L-brackets with the use of a U-speed nut. The two screws on each end hold an aluminum strip of metal that runs across the wheel that I cut longer than the length of the wheel well to keep the skirts bowed out so as not to contact the tires. My inspiration was taken from this thread.

I will post pictures in a couple of days to help explain because my explanation is probably lousy.

Quote:

see the tread in my signature on underbelly pan. should provide you with ideas!
Thanks, I've already read your thread, and it seems like a good idea. I already tried using pop cans and that didn't really work and the catalytic converter ended up melting through the front panel. Then, I took the panel off and just cut around the hole so the exhaust wouldn't contact the coroplast. For now, I am pleased with it, but if I decide to clean it up, I will most likely use a mesh screen covering like you did and save myself the worry.

I will soon be posting pictures of my underbody panelling when I get a chance.


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