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Old 09-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Another rendering added to my desktop background rotation.

Jim, have you figured out a method to add "illuminated width"?

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #122 (permalink)
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....Quick questions. What foam are you using? Where are you sourcing it from? And what prices are you paying?

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Hi Bryan,

The foam is purchased at Home Depot, and the pink stuff, used for wall insulation with the name brand Foamular.

Cost for a 4' x 8' sheet and 2 inches thick is about $20.

Bryan, did you ever start your motorcycle fairing?

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:40 PM   #123 (permalink)
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Another rendering added to my desktop background rotation.

Jim, have you figured out a method to add "illuminated width"?
Hi Robert,

Ah, yes, that topic rears it's head again....

This is the part where styling plays a big part of any creation like this.

I really thought hard about adding horizontal "wings" or "fins" to the rear of the car to get a shape more like the Aptera. But since the automotive license plate is bigger in size than the motorcycle plate of the Aptera, that idea was scraped. I could not get a look that really suited me in this shape. And the wings would add more air drag to the overall design, but I might have made the compromise, just for the look.

As it stands now, the tail extension is not really road legal in the state of Wisconsin with just the rear facing tail lights.

The vehicle needs to also have rear facing reflectors that indicate it's true width at night, and well as sideways facing reflectors that indicate it's true length.

To accomplish this, the plan is to "embed" such items into a cutout in the sloping sides of the extension, and cover the lenses with clear acrylic.

As of tonight, I'm still trying to determine just how high to make the cutout and how long it should be to meet legal requirements.

As long as the cutout is taking place, that will make way for additional brake and turn signal lights, so the cutout may be 2.5 inches high by about 2 feet long or so, depending on how things work out.

Of course the acrylic cover will be recessed and flush with the rest of the bodywork, for good airflow.

Jim.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:10 AM   #124 (permalink)
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Reflective tape is inexpensive and easily purchased at Harbor Freight. Would this work? It would sure be aerodynamic, and you wouldn't have any problems with reflectivity on the acrylic.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:55 AM   #125 (permalink)
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I added a line of 3 red LED lights (RV clearance lights faired to reduce drag) along each side running from the tip of the boattail, which has the main bank of tail lights, to the original back of the car. These provide a line of lights running out to the full width of the car and are visible from behind and the sides. Legally I don't think you have to have tail lights running the full width of the back of your car, although it is good from a safety aspect. Semi tractors often have only a set of 2 small tail lights mounted between the rear wheels, so when they are deadheading, all you see are 2 red lights that don't indicate the full width of the truck.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:16 AM   #126 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3-Wheeler View Post

To accomplish this, the plan is to "embed" such items into a cutout in the sloping sides of the extension, and cover the lenses with clear acrylic.

Jim.
I hope you can arrive at a simpler solution that meets safety requirements and doesn't ruin the lines of your beautiful work. I remember seeing a luxury SUV which has the reflectors as narrow strips in the rear bumper instead of integrated with the taillights. Could you possibly put simple reflectors into rear wheel fairings to indicate true width? If you feel they must be in the tail, you could use a small cutout "frenched" (hot rodder term- used for antennae mounts etc.) into the tail, the air would skip right over them.
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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.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:24 PM   #127 (permalink)
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Reflective tape is inexpensive and easily purchased at Harbor Freight. Would this work? It would sure be aerodynamic, and you wouldn't have any problems with reflectivity on the acrylic.
Hi Wyatt,

Yes, the reflective tape had been mentioned before in an earlier post.

My main concern using the tape was the long term endurance (peeling) and the effect of UV from the sun. I wasn't sure just how long it would last until starting to weather.

The reflectors are molded in plastic and should be good for many years.

Jim.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:31 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by basjoos View Post
I added a line of 3 red LED lights (RV clearance lights faired to reduce drag) along each side running from the tip of the boattail, which has the main bank of tail lights, to the original back of the car. These provide a line of lights running out to the full width of the car and are visible from behind and the sides. Legally I don't think you have to have tail lights running the full width of the back of your car, although it is good from a safety aspect. Semi tractors often have only a set of 2 small tail lights mounted between the rear wheels, so when they are deadheading, all you see are 2 red lights that don't indicate the full width of the truck.
Hi Mike,

I remember seeing your car at the 2009 Madison Hybrid Fest, and really liked your idea of adding running lights along the sides of the extension.

And for me it serves two purposes in the form of running lights and reflectors.

And as you know, our cars, both the Civic and Insight tend to on the narrow/small side, so I figure more lights will make a phycological impression of more width/size to the drivers behind.

Also that extra width was one of the reasons I liked the shape of the Aptera so much.

Thanks, Jim.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COcyclist View Post
I hope you can arrive at a simpler solution that meets safety requirements and doesn't ruin the lines of your beautiful work. I remember seeing a luxury SUV which has the reflectors as narrow strips in the rear bumper instead of integrated with the taillights. Could you possibly put simple reflectors into rear wheel fairings to indicate true width? If you feel they must be in the tail, you could use a small cutout "frenched" (hot rodder term- used for antennae mounts etc.) into the tail, the air would skip right over them.
If I understand you correctly, my use of the word "embed" I believe is the same as your use of the word "frenched".

There will be a "trench" cutout that is about 2.5 inches high by about 2.5 feet long that will house not only the reflectors, but blinkers/tail lights as well.

The end result will be air flow across the tail piece that is only interrupted by the crack between the acrylic cover and the bodywork, so there should be minimal flow disruption in the area.

Jim.

Last edited by 3-Wheeler; 09-16-2010 at 01:43 PM..
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:11 PM   #130 (permalink)
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I am sure it will be excellent and invisible to the airflow.

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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.
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