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Old 11-03-2010, 02:06 PM   #261 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by COcyclist View Post
Maybe the tail is not finished enough for unveiling? But you must have protected it with something so the winter rain and snow doesn't melt the spackeling, right? Do tell.

Also, I am hoping to see some more photos of your LED tail light array in action. It looks like you used a slew of bulbs instead of just replacing the factory ones like I did. Yours should be much brighter than stock. Amazing craftsmanship, by the way.
Sorry, but I get out of work at night so late, that by the time I'm home it's dark and can not get good pictures. And at work it sits around other vehicles in the parking lot.

I really do plan on getting other pictures, but it will wait until a weekend.

Yes, you are right that the Bondo spotting putty has been sealed with outside paint for the winter, just to seal it up.

I will get some closeup pictures of the tail for your viewing.

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Old 11-03-2010, 02:43 PM   #262 (permalink)
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Did you use red paint or a just a white primer on the tail? If its the latter i'd be nervous of someone parallel parking behind you in a heavy wisconsin snow storm and denting the tail.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:07 PM   #263 (permalink)
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Did you use red paint or a just a white primer on the tail? If its the latter i'd be nervous of someone parallel parking behind you in a heavy wisconsin snow storm and denting the tail.
Hi Mike,

That white color in the earlier pictures is actually due to white spackling with a single layer of glass over it.

Next came the use of 4 tubes of Bondo Spotting Putty, the last of which was put on tonight.

After that, most of the tail has been coated with "apple red" exterior acrylic paint with a hand brush this last weekend after helping move my sister into a new house. Sure you can easily see the brush strokes, but this paint is only to seal the Bondo over the winter.

Once the rest of the Bondo sets up and is sanded, the remaining with also be painted.

The red paint blends in pretty well compared with the Honda red.

I'll try to get pictures soon.

----------------------------------------------

I went on a small run tonight, to scope out flat roads in the area for A-B-A testing. After driving around for a while, there is really only one flat road over two miles long, that has reasonably low traffic. It was too windy tonight to really do anything, and I'll keep an eye on the weather and look for a still air day to make some runs.

Jim.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:51 AM   #264 (permalink)
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A good replacement for bondo that is not affected by moisture is microballoons and epoxy.

It is relatively easy to sand and shape, unlike many other epoxy fillers.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:38 PM   #265 (permalink)
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A good replacement for bondo that is not affected by moisture is microballoons and epoxy.

It is relatively easy to sand and shape, unlike many other epoxy fillers.
The thing I really like about the Bondo, is that on a hot summer day, the stuff sets up in about 10 minutes, compared to the 2 hours or so for the epoxy I use.

Jim.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:53 PM   #266 (permalink)
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Hi Darin,

....Besides the ongoing coast down tests, I have two tanks of gas that say the increase in efficiency due to the tail is small for the Insight. Of course we can always take this with a grain of salt, as the ambient conditions are not the same now as they were last spring, when I stopped driving the car, but check the figures during the same months last year, and there is a slight increase, but not 10%.....
Whoops, the above statement while being true is a little misleading... Let me explain....

I typically drive on old crusty backroads to work, and my "high" average speed is about 45 mph or less.

At this slow speed, think about how much (or little) the tail will help. Not much because the air load on the car is so low, probably lower than the rolling drag.

And for this reason, the gas mileage figures are not going to show much benefit of the tail, no matter how nicely it is designed.

I felt kind of silly today, after figuring this out. Some higher speed gas usage tests will show more of a difference, just not at the speeds I typically drive.

Jim.

Last edited by 3-Wheeler; 11-04-2010 at 01:58 PM..
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:45 PM   #267 (permalink)
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Also, by reducing your road load without changing your RPM, you've moved your engine to a slightly less efficient operating point. You may find renewed benefit from P&G on account of the tail, and you may be the first person in the world with an Insight that's geared too short.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:58 PM   #268 (permalink)
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I use a micro substitute for the big ripples, it weighs a lot less than bondo. My wife is the one who goes for the spot putty for fine finishing. It is acrylic I believe. About like thick acrylic paint. I am always amazed at how you think you got it ready for paint and no there is still hours or days worth of work left.

I don't like micro because it forms silica dust when sanded. Can be real bad for your health. I use the purple and tan plastic substitutes for micro by West.

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Originally Posted by 3-Wheeler View Post
The thing I really like about the Bondo, is that on a hot summer day, the stuff sets up in about 10 minutes, compared to the 2 hours or so for the epoxy I use.

Jim.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:52 PM   #269 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
Also, by reducing your road load without changing your RPM, you've moved your engine to a slightly less efficient operating point. You may find renewed benefit from P&G on account of the tail, and you may be the first person in the world with an Insight that's geared too short.
Robert,

You may very well be correct about the gearing.

I have noticed that the car seems to burn a high amount of fuel (for an Insight) getting up to speed, then the instant mpg indicator jumps up over 100 mpg after I resume cruising speed in fifth gear.

Of course with the colder weather approaching, it's getting noticeably harder to get those high numbers, and when the snow flies, there are days that I'm lucky to get over 60 mpg.

Jim.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:57 PM   #270 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Varn View Post
....I use a micro substitute for the big ripples, it weighs a lot less than bondo.....
Hi Varn,

Have you noticed that the micro material is more susceptible to "denting" or localized pressure sensitivity?

I wonder that if the micro substitute is lighter than Bondo that it might as be more fragile to normal abuse.

The motorcycle fairing got dented many years ago when sitting along side one of the buildings at work. The day was a typical hot one in the summer and the asphalt got soft, allowing the bike to tip slightly into the side of the building. When I came outside to ride home, I noticed a nice and permanent dent in the side of the fairing.

The foam/fiberglass structure had taken a permanent "set" by being in that position long enough, to not bounce back after removing the force.

Jim.

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