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Old 08-31-2010, 12:14 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 3-Wheeler View Post
I also find something very appealing to the rear-end shape of the 2006 Honda Civic EX four seater. I like the multi-convex/concave shapes across the trunk-lid/tail lights, and the sharp edges along the sides of the rear quarter panels.
The stock Insight tail lights have too much of a soft radius for my liking, and lacks the sharp edge of a proper Kammback shape.
IMHO the slender taper of the Aptera is aesthetically pleasing but adds length and yields only a small percentage of additional drag reduction. You could inset the stock taillights and still splice in some LED side markers and turn indicators like Basjoos did on his tail. The current draw would be minimal but it would give some needed side visibility.

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The power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. Mechanical friction increases as the square, so increasing speed requires progressively more power.

Last edited by COcyclist; 08-31-2010 at 05:51 PM..
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:33 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COcyclist View Post
...IMHO the slender taper of the Aptera is aesthetically pleasing but adds length and yields only a small percentage of additional drag reduction....
Hi COcyclist,

My feelings on the design of the Aptera are strictly based on the styling of how the license plate is flanked by the two, widely stretching light assemblies.

The basis of this, at least for me, has nothing to do with air flow efficiency or the slenderness of the body shape at the tail of the car. I simply like the looks of the tail light assembly and the detail features around the lenses. I would give the designer a good slap on the back for this nicely done rendering, at least to my eye!

I do think however, that the Aptera's lack of side reflectors at the rear would make it hard to sell in Wisconsin, as their absence gives no visual clue how long the vehicle is at night. This is state law here.

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Old 09-02-2010, 01:17 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by COcyclist View Post
I used Superbright LED multidirectional bulbs for my brake lights to replace the stock bulbs when I did the VW 5 brake light mod. They seem very similar to stock brightness.....
Hi COcyclist,

I looked at the superbrightled sight yesterday.

Do you recall which model of LED lights you used for this application?

There are several bulbs to choose from and each has a different intensity, so I would like to make sure I get the same one's you used.

Thanks, Jim.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:06 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Hi Jim,

I believe I used the "18-LED Tower Type BA15" bulbs in red, for my brake lights in the stock tail lamps. The LEDs on the sides of the bulb bounce light off of the whole reflector instead of just straight out the back. LEDs are much more directional than filament bulbs.
18 High Power SMD LED 1156/1157 Tower Bulb Specifications (#115618T I think. My brakes are not on the same bulb as my tail light bulbs if I recall correctly)

I see they also have electronic blinkers for the turn signals so you could swap in LED bulbs for those too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
The power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. Mechanical friction increases as the square, so increasing speed requires progressively more power.

Last edited by COcyclist; 09-02-2010 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:32 PM   #105 (permalink)
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More build info

This shows a closeup of the rear hatch latch right after fiber-glassing for reinforcement.



New glass is being added in the corner of the tail piece.



The start of the hatch hinge system.



This shot shows just how flat this portion of the extension is as this point.



The *gap* between the tail piece and car body is being opened up to match the rest of the car.



This is a side shot of the hatch hinge assembly.



And smoothed out.



Another view. It was at this point that I realized the hinge was simply too large and bulky. Time for a redesign!



Here's the start of a smaller hinge assembly. Notice the holes in the body work for the older and larger hinge?



And another view of the smaller hinge.



Now that the latch fiber-glass is setup, the latch can be cut apart. It was originally made in one piece to keep alignment between the two halves until it was glassed into position.



Now we have two holes to plug in the bodywork.



And here is the much smaller hinge for the hatchback.



Now the hinge is glued into position on the bodywork.



And the two sets of holes are now plugged.



The hatchback hinge is fiber-glassed, as well as internal support ribs.



The shows the edge of the bodywork is now glassed with very thin cloth.



The hatch hinge is being glued to the hatch itself.



A large wood screw is used to control the gap on this side of the hatch.



And the same on the other side.



Now the last 10 inches or so of the total length is being added.



Here's another couple shots.





A nice tail shot.



Here's an assembly that was made last February when the CAD model was pretty much finalized for tail shape. Notice the incandescent bulb fixture and orientation of the Jeep tail lights.

I really had hopes of the tail looking more like the Aptera, but the current shape is how things worked out. Let's make this work!!



This is the newly oriented tail piece being glued into position on the extension. The tail lights are tipped sideways to occupy a wider space since this is the primary shape of the tail here.

The incandescent bulb is being replaced with an LED assembly, since space is so limited here.



Jim.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:21 PM   #106 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:47 PM   #107 (permalink)
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My roommate and I are in awe of this work of art. Very nicely done and I can't wait to hear the results!
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:41 AM   #108 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3-Wheeler View Post
The start of the hatch hinge system.
What's the purpose of the hinge ?

Quote:
The *gap* between the tail piece and car body is being opened up to match the rest of the car.
Aaaaargghhhh .... that'll increase drag


As always, pretty amazing work Jim.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:19 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
What's the purpose of the hinge ?


Aaaaargghhhh .... that'll increase drag


As always, pretty amazing work Jim.
Hi euromodder,

The hinge supports the small hatch that opens on my extension, to allow the big Honda hatch to open.

I definitely hear you on opening the gap between the extension and car body. By opening the gap slightly, I was also trying to get some room to avoid rubbing off body paint if the extension moves at all.

I suppose one could use clear Silicone adhesive to again close the gap!! Something like the following:

1) Remove the extension from the car.
2) Add a thin coating of grease or Saran Wrap anywhere the silicone could touch the car paint.
Note: do not add mold release to the extension.
3) Put the extension back on.
4) Carefully add a bead of silicone to the extension seams.
5) Allow to air harden.
6) Remove the extension and remove the mold release.
7) Trim silicone as necessary.
8) Replace extension.
9) Gap now filled!!

Jim.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #110 (permalink)
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It is a beautiful piece of work. Anxious to see the finished product when it is all smoothed and painted. What was the finished length say from the back of a rear fender skirt?

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