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Old 12-27-2009, 11:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Chevy AVEO: Adding grille blocks and air deflectors

Here are the aero mods I did to my new 2009 Aveo.

Aerodynamically, there is virtually no air deflector at all under the front bumper of an Aveo. It’s just a huge, open space! The grille is similar in style to other much larger Chevy vehicles (in an attempt to make this small car look bigger?) in that it has a huge grille, again with much open space. To modify this I made an air deflector that now covers the vast area between the front bumper and its trailing edge, where the wheel wells begin. Fortunately this can be done without obstructing anything related to routine service work. I also designed a lower grille block that is invisible, mounted behind the grille, and an upper grille block that is mounted externally and easily removable. (See attached photos. #1 & 2 are the underside "before", #3 is "after", #4 shows both upper & lower grille when finished.) I happened to see a Honda Fit on the street and looked underneath the front end of it – it has the similar underside area covered by panels.

First I made templates, either of newspaper for the grille panels or of cloth for the large under-body panel. I used aluminum trim coil material, which is used in siding homes. It is very flexible and easy to cut, also easy to trim small amounts of it away when fitting it. However, it is like doing carpentry in sheet metal, in that your final fitting must be perfectly exact. This took many hours of painstaking measure, cut, fit and adjust to get a perfect fit. I painted all panels black before installing them, which makes it look professional, either resembling OEM or, in the case of the lower grill block which is installed from behind the grille, invisible. (Hey, this car is new and it's my wife's car, so I didn't want it to look like patchwork.)

For the under body panel I found I could use the existing hardware attachments, plus drill a few holes where needed in the very front to add Tinnerman nuts and screws. The lower grille block panel is attached entirely by simply adding it under existing original screws. (Note: the top part of the lower grill is visibly blocked, and that is the way Chevy made it. My added block is below it, and it is undetectable.) The upper grille block needed to be exterior mounted and easily removable for summer. I found that two of the existing plastic screw/mollies behind the grille could be replaced with Tinnerman panel nuts, which I could tap into using long, slender, sheet metal screws. The grille block panel weighs almost nothing and can be easily installed or removed in less than a minute.

Does all this improve FE any? The jury is still out... but it can't hurt.

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Last edited by Thymeclock; 12-28-2009 at 12:02 AM..
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thymeclock -

Looks really good! I gotta do a front under body panel (no excuse!).

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Old 12-28-2009, 01:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice...

Fer a cleaner look on that upper grill block...you might want to consider building up multiple layers instead of just the one layer that yer trying to fit in there.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For the upper block, consider placing stand-offs behind the material you're using to support it flush with the edges of the chrome. That will get rid of the fold lines, I think.

Nice job!
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Looks pretty good. Planning on extending that chin to something that will cover the engine bay?
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamZipPow View Post
Nice...

Fer a cleaner look on that upper grill block...you might want to consider building up multiple layers instead of just the one layer that yer trying to fit in there.
Quote:
For the upper block, consider placing stand-offs behind the material you're using to support it flush with the edges of the chrome. That will get rid of the fold lines, I think.
Nope, no can do. The nature of the grille is that it is not flat, it's very contoured, although it looks deceptively flat (relatively); therefore I needed to bow the aluminum slightly to fit it. For my tastes, it looks 'good enough'. My main concern was that it be very easy to remove and re-install, which it is, because there are only the two screws holding it on. The mounting points where I placed the Tinnermans are recessed several inches behind the grille and they are vertically plumb. But the grille is sloped almost 45 degrees in relation to them. If you can see the screw heads, they are not flat against the panel - that's how much pitch there is to the grille. But no matter, as that small detail doesn't bother me - it works and it looks decent, and is only temporary, for winter use.

Quote:
Looks pretty good. Planning on extending that chin to something that will cover the engine bay?
Actually, no, because I do my own oil and tranny fluid changes and I don't want to be bothered with removing panels to access drain plugs. (I dislike crawling around under a car more than is necessary.) I must say however, that the aluminum was a great material to use for that large an area. It's lighter than plastic.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Looks great. Post a pic of the front of the car from further back.


And I do my own oil too. Been thinking about a underbody cutout for oil changes,
maybe with a panel being held on by a wingnut or something.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Looks pretty good. Planning on extending that chin to something that will cover the engine bay?
Reminded me of this:

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
Does all this improve FE any? The jury is still out... but it can't hurt.
It can't hurt (unless it's overdone, but you're keeping an eye on coolant temps )

Winter is a tough time of year to be trying to gauge fuel economy improvements because for the average driver living where there's winter, fuel economy is generally going down the toilet as the mercury falls.

Someone posted in another thread: at this time of year, many of us try to minimize the drop in fuel economy, rather than improve it.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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nice very clean.

sometimes simplicity is the lesser of two evils.

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