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Old 04-04-2008, 10:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Barbs Aero MakeOver

Good Morning, Greetings, & Salutations,
When I joined this Forum I had great plans and high hopes.
For Me.
I have been very lax in my implementation of mods to the vehicles I own.
Partly b/c I own so darn many vehicles,
partly b/c I work so darn much,
partly b/c I have many aches that prevent ease of movement
But now I am in a deadline situation, as it were.
We leave for Kentucky in two weeks.
I have done almost nothing to Barbs car, hoping to gain mileage through changing her driving habits.
So today begins crunch time mods.
As of now all I have on her car is an upper grill block, (you got no pics b/c I had no camera, I will try to remedy that today)
Tire pressure.
Today I work on lower grill blocks.
There are three openings in the lower portion of her grill that will need attention.
She & I both went to BigBox hardware and chose the material for the blocks.
You gotta see this
I can't describe it.
It is supposed to be used for overhead light covers.
Lets see how it looks on the front of her car.
Shall we?
I'm excited,
Are You?
Oh come on you know you are, well at least a little curious.
Sure you are.
Be Back Soon,
S.

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Old 04-04-2008, 11:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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OK, yup, I'm curious. Go Barb!
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Talking Friday was a busy day

So here we are, Saturday morning and posting results.
First a brief description of the upper grill block and some pics.
I removed the grill from the car and found it was quite easy to create a block for it.
The block is behind the grill, this was done to preserve the stock appearance.
I used Coroplast and cut it to fit the entire grill opening.
Then used a Gasket Hole Punch, 3/16" dia. to punch holes where the mounting bolts went.
Placed the block behind the grill, used the mount bolts for security and, well here it is.

Here you can see how the block fits over the mounting bolts, under the sheet metal, and has one wire tie for support in the center.

Here you can see from the front. You can't see my hand but the grill appears stock. This is the power of $1.00 flat black paint from WallyWorld.

This is the "clear plastic" my wife picked out. It is a lens material for overhead or fluorescent lights. It has a pattern in it that is supposed to look like "Cracked Ice" It is made of "Styrene" i don't know what kind of plastic that is, but I hope it holds up under driving conditions.

This is the insert. As you see it has a back to it. so it is a little more aero than an open hole. We are gonna make it a lot more aero.

First, cover your workspace. I used newspaper last time. That works O.K., But, I remembered having some of the brown shipping paper left from Christmas. I believe this is a better alternative.
Then make a template from last nights pizza box. If you run a moist rag over the box it becomes flexible so you can form it around the insert. I had to use the duct tape as a third hand.

Transfer your template to the plastic. I covered the plastic in masking tape. I could not get a good line on the surface itself and this also protects the surface while I am forming.

Used my Dremel tool to cut the lens. The instructions with the material say to score and snap. But my lines aren't straight. They say for curves to use a coping saw, but I don't own one.
I learned on the first one...as the Dremel spins aim the waste away from the lens. Hot plastic will stick onto cold plastic. Maybe tomorrow I cover both side with tape.

I forgot to get pics in between, but here is the finished product. You can see the pattern in the lens. I have the smooth side out. No Worries.
What happened in between you say?
After cutting the lens to size. And I left it ~3/8" over.
I glued it on with the worlds strongest glue.
But that wouldn't hold.
I had to dis-assemble it and start fresh.
I was able to clean the residue from the insert and get most of it off of the lens as well. Then back to BigBox hardware for advice.
They actually have a guy on staff who studies adhesives and their respective properties.
He led me to a two part epoxy that comes in a syringe.
Set up time was five minutes and workable strength in one hour. Full strength in twenty four.
After workable time was achieved (add elevator music here)
I switched bits on the Dremel and sanded the edges of the lens, (remember the overlap) to the edges of the insert.
I think it came out very well. Barb likes it too.
Now to see how it holds up under driving stresses.
I was pleased with how workable that Styrene is.
If it holds up well I will recommend it for other project people may be doing.
If it does not hold up, well, back to the drawing board.

Here you can see how nice it looks on the front corner of the car.
Today I work on the one for the other side. It is on the table now and Barb is off to work. She told me the car will probably act funny.
Being more aero on the left, don'tcha know.
It'll probly pull a little as the right side, with the gaping hole, tries to go slower than the left, with it's aero corner.
Truth be told, she probly will feel a difference, psychosomatic, but real to her none the less.
Alright enough playing on the 'puter.
Back to work.
(sound of whip cracking)
AAUUGGHH.
More to come.
S.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorta looks like a "frosted" fog lamp lens. I like it. Might not show up on the fuel bill for a few years - but far be it from me to discourage any streamlining efforts.

The matte black behind-the-grille block is slick.
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I get ya on the frosted fog lamp.
Maybe I put some leds back there for effect?
S.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ideally, the plugs would be flush with the contour of the sheet metal.

Actually, ideally those holes would not have been there in the first place, but they are what they are, from the factory.

That said, nice job there.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Handsomely done. I've got some big ol' holes in the front of the Subie that don't do anything...
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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SWMBO Says.........

The reason that I did not bring the new covers out to the sheet metal,( actaully a soft plastic) is b/c EVERYTHING must pass the SWMBO aesthetic inspection.
This is why I blocked the upper grill from behind.
I could not find any way to keep the stock apearance when blocking from the front.
If I could find out where DPoV's clear heavy plastic came from I could wrap the grill in that. I have been looking. The best I can find is translucent heavy plastic and she doesn't like the look of that on her car.
This coming weekend I will close up the holes on the lower grill with the same styrene lens material.
See you there,
S.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Swmbo?
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Old 04-06-2008, 11:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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She
Who
Must
Be
Obeyed

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