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Old 05-26-2010, 09:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fr3AkAzOiD's Cobalt XFE Aero Mods

My wife and daughter are headed to the beach for a couple of days so I will have tonight after work and all day tomorrow to get started on aero modding the XFE.

My wife is opposed to the idea of aero mods (showed her a pic of the aerocivic and she told me to not even think about it) so I have to make it look as good as possible and in as many cases as possible reversible and hope she doesn't get too pissed off.

You know the old saying...It's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.

I'll be posting pics tonight and be updating this thread with future aero mods.

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Old 05-26-2010, 09:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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lol, good luck.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Grille block and undertray to start. Those are probably the best stealth mods. Weight reduction, if possible (replace spare with fix-a-flat). Don't know how she'd react to a rear wheel skirt.

I'm lucky my fiancee isn't opposed to my aeromods. She's glad I'm not doing anything extreme, they're reversible, and I haven't been pulled over because of them yet.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroModder View Post
Grille block and undertray to start. Those are probably the best stealth mods.
I will second that. I did the 50% grill block (passenger's side), undertray under the engine and from the rear axle back, I put in a windshield wiper block, and I folded the passenger's mirror for a 7% FE boost highway. The best part was, my wife rode with me and never noticed the mods. After I pointed them out, she thought the visible ones looked pretty good, but obvious... obvious enough to not notice them that is... after she saw that there were gains in FE from them, I have been allowed to keep my SedanKamm and she doesn't stop me from talking about a sweet removable boat tail (like it would ever get removed!). Start small and inconspicuous. Plexiglas for visible mods, and she may not notice. If she does... tell her they have been there for 3 months and see what she says
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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First thing I did was take a nice low look at what I'm working with.

The stock air dam redirects air to the sides instead of under the car which is all well and good but it looks like it just dumps that air right in front of the front tires.

Wouldn't it be better if it was angled out more to put the air to the outside of the tires so it doesn't get all hung up in the wheel well and suspension?




Taking ideas.

Just keep in mind it has to look clean, be removable if possible and I'd like to avoid putting a bunch of screw holes into my body work.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You and I have the same "type" of wife. Your best bets are hidden Plexiglas grille blocks behind the grilles, belly pan, WAI and inside wheel covers aka expanded dust shields. Lip spoilers, light alloys and airdam (front bumper from a body kit) are all easy to get away with in that situation, but are expensive.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Funny that you mention hidden Plexiglas grille blocks behind the grill cause I have been running one for over 6 months.

It needs a lot of work, my measurements were off so it doesn't completely block the lower grill, there is a sizable crack in it that has been getting worse and I'm afraid will break it in two soon. Also I used my air compressor to blow at it to see how it would work at highway speeds and even with a piece of aluminum bar to support it the Plexiglas still flexes and lets air in on all sides.

Was good for a first go though and it proved to myself that the car would not get anywhere close to overheating.

Here are some picks.



You can just make out the crack in the middle of the pic below and if it wasn't for the glare you could see that the Plexiglas stops about 1/3 of an inch before the top of the grill.



I'm working on an external one and have gone through 3 prototypes but the one I just did is just the right size so when I find a good building material I already have the size and shape all worked out.

I'm actually been on the lookout for a discarded car bumper. Being rural NC people get into car accidents and just leave whatever broke off on the side of the road.

Once I get one and cut it to the right size a friend of mine paints cars and will hopefully have the time to color match it so the wife won't have any objections.

Though I am open to other free/cheap all weather paintable materials if anyone has any ideas.




I also did a cardboard mockup of an upper grill block since over 1/2 of the upper grill isn't even in front of the radiator though something tells me that would be too noticable for my wife's tastes.

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Last edited by Fr3AkAzOiD; 05-27-2010 at 12:32 AM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Next on my list was mudflap delete.

They were actually pretty flimsy and I was able to cut through them with a good pair of scissors.

It did leave an unexpected gap between the plastic and what was basically just a pocket for water to get into and rust the body so after cutting the flaps off but before screwing the remaining plastic back down I put a bead of clear caulk around the edge.

Figure if it doesn't work out it won't be that big of a pain to remove.
Will have to see once it is cured in the morning.





They were over 4.5 X 12 inches so I'm sure removing them will help but I know the difference will be too small to notice.





I have satellite radio so I figured removing the FM antenna would be a no brainer.

Once again another mod that I won't notice the difference but over time all the small things will add up.



Blasted thing was long.



I just need to take a wire brush to the base to knock the rust off and grease it up and hopefully I can find a rubber cap at the store to heat shrink onto the base.

I also need to change my oil tomorrow, you can just see my jug of
Mobil 1 0W-30 Advanced Fuel Economy in the background.

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Last edited by Fr3AkAzOiD; 05-27-2010 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Did you see any measurable difference with the Mobil oil? (I just changed mine to Valvoline 5w-20 full synthetic, down from 5w-30. Or should I have gone with 0w-30?)
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well I have been running it since winter, that and going from 38 - 42 psi in my tires were were pretty much the only "mods" I made over the winter.

Since then I have beaten my personal best from last summer for individual trips several times but that could just be from improved technique.

I think the Mobile 1 0W-30 Advanced Fuel Economy helps most when...
a. your car is not up to normal running temp yet.
b. your in cold weather.

From what I can gather the oil is designed to not be overly thick when cold and thus reduces resistance as it acts like normal not synthetic oil does when it's up to normal operating temps instead of acting like maple syrup when you just start up your car that has been sitting outside in 15 degree weather overnight.

Now did I see a change....not really.
I'm getting better milage then I ever have but I did stop hypermiling 2 winters ago so I can't compare winter driving year to year.

But I'll be honest, even if it bumped me up 0.5 mpg on average it would be hard for me to tell cause even with driving the same route every day traffic is vastly different and one tank I may get 52 mpg and the next I may only get 48 mpg and 0.5 mpg gains would easily get lost in there.

However before this I never changed my own oil and just took it to the local mechanic and I actually save $5 - $10 every time I change my own oil and I know what oil and filter I am putting in my car so I am happy.

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