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Old 08-22-2010, 10:04 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Rear Extension Hatch

Most of the photos below, show the details of the rear hatch for the tail extension.

For those who may not know, the hatch is necessary to allow the Honda Insight hatch to get clearance for opening.

This first picture shows the some of the hardware for the hatch opening mechanism. You can see a 1" wood dowel, brass sleeve, and machined aluminum opening pin. The aluminum pin fits snugly inside the brass sleeve, and will eventually rotate to open the hatch.

The aluminum and brass are selected for their rust inhibiting nature, since these components will be subjected to the elements. The wood will be sealed with epoxy and later covered and protected with automotive paint.



Here the wood dowel is being glued in position, and held to a slight offset by the long rod protruding through the housing.



And here's the front side of the assembly after gluing into the foam with epoxy.



Now the backside of the hatch showing the aluminum rotator extending beyond the brass insert.



Here is the start of the latching assembly that will be embedded into the back side of the foam hatch. Notice the 1/4" aluminum rod slid through the wood blocks? Each wood block has a brass sleeve that's previously glued in place with epoxy.



Some of the previously placed fiberglass is cut away to allow carving out a nest for the wood latch assembly.



In addition to the hatch opening shaft, there is a "disk" and opening tool that allow rotation of the hatch from the outside of the car.



The tool is inserted into the end of the opening shaft.



The latch assembly on the far side of the hatch needs a cable guide, and that is shown in the form of a nylon tube, and being glued in place here.



The opening shaft now has a 'stop' to keep the cable taught after final assembly.



Another view of the cable guide being glued in place.



Fresh fiberglass now holds the latching mechanism in place.



While the hatch is setting up, more foam is added to the back of the extension.



And another section at 12.5 of slope on the bottom.



More foam added to the sides.



Two 10" pieces of 'machined' foam to create the curvature that starts over the rear tire.



Ahh, this section is almost done!



You can almost make out the final shape here...



Jim.

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Old 08-22-2010, 11:07 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Top Angle of the Extension

The downward slope of the top area of the tail extension was looking, at least to my eye, slightly 'low' in appearance for some reason. Maybe it was just a hunch, but something did not look right after the build up to this point.

After discussing the Aerohead Streamlining Template at length in this thread, it was time to start getting some numbers to check on the current state of the top angle.

The car was dropped from it's jacks to the garage floor to start collecting some data.

This picture shows the car sitting level, and a bubble level placed at the extreme tail of the build.



This particular bubble level can display incline, and that's what I was most interested in. Just how much slope did the tail rest at? It was time to know since Aerohead has mentioned that it should not exceed 22. What was the angle?



This picture shows the news. It's currently sitting at 20, which at this length from the maximum cordal height seemed too steep to me! I already accounted for the slight slope of the garage, which was only 1.

And to top it off, I had more length to add, which would make the angle even greater! This would not do!



So drastic measures all called for!!!

The black dots show the intended cut path!! No!! Yes!!



Oh, it's too late!! The cut is already started as shown by the hacksaw blade sticking out of the foam panel.



Wow, what a picture! The car looks slightly naked without all that foam.



Here is the same piece glued back in place, but 0.5 inches higher at the trailing edge. This essentially makes the 'angle', straight with no curvature.



Now the remaining open area is closed in.



Here's a detail shot showing the many pieces needed to fill in small areas.



More filling by the rear tire.



And the 'gap' filled in with spackling.



At this point, something was still bugging me and the only way to determine exactly what it was, would require rolling the car out of the garage and getting a telephoto picture of the car with the tail extension in place.



Now place the car in the CAD program to try and figure out how things shaped up!

Unfortunately the CAD program seems to distort this particular zoom compared to making the car larger on the screen. However this view clearly shows the Aerohead Streamlining Template curvature in BLUE and the modified Honda Insight curve fit in green.

You can see that Honda decided the air could still stay attached with a much more aggressive initial curvature compared to the Template.

I have compensated for the driveway angle in this CAD view.

What does all this show?

That the Honda, as well as the Prius, all seem to deviate from the Template during the initial curve at the max cordal height.

Looking at the CAD view still makes me glad that I raised the tail end of the extension slightly. It gets it closer to the Template in overall shape.





Now the small hatch is ready to mount to the tail extension. Shown here are small wood pieces being used to align and hold the hatch in place, so that the latch can be embedded into the extension.



Here's a shot showing the latch from the inside of the extension. You can also see how the fiberglass is trimmed away in this area.



A close view showing how much foam was cut out to allow insertion of the hatch in this area.



And here's a shot from the other side.



Finally, a picture showing small pieces of foam glued into the opening from the initial cut.



Jim.
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Last edited by 3-Wheeler; 08-23-2010 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:32 AM   #83 (permalink)
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Nice save. The earlier you catch things in need of revision, the better. How long did you have to contemplate before making that cut?


It is starting to look like a real performer.

How close to its final length is it now?
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:16 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Amazing work - can't wait to see the finished job, and the results on the FE.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:53 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Wow, I would have been beside myself if I had to make such a drastic cut in a masterpiece. Nice work and I can't wait to see the final product - It shall be EPIC.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:29 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
...How close to its final length is it now?....
Hi Robert,

I'd have to say that based on the overall length, about 9 inches short of it's final length.

The finish length will be based on two things:

1) Try to keep the extension 3.5 feet or less (roughly), past the aluminum bumper.
2) Keep the overall length short enough to gain access to "grab-hold" spot when the extension hatch is open, thus making it easier to remove the extension from the car when needed.

This last point dawned on me this past weekend. That is, using the hatch opening as a way to hold the extension and remove it from the car.

If someone wanted to make the extension even longer, the hatch opening could be made corresponding larger and still have a way to "handle" the extension on and off the car.

Knowing this, I might have cut the hatch slightly larger.

Jim.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:49 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Following along, enjoying the transformation.

At this far along in the build, I wouldn't have had the discipline to keep from trying a midnight run on a deserted road just to take a peek at the fuel economy display.

But obviously you're more disciplined than I am!
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:50 PM   #88 (permalink)
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That looks absolutely factory as far as lines, and it's still hot pink!

Good job on the work, I can't wait to see the finished project.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:57 PM   #89 (permalink)
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The latest profile pics reminds me of another Insight boat tail thread.

Great job so far.

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Just use for discussion:


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Old 08-23-2010, 01:58 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Following along, enjoying the transformation.

At this far along in the build, I wouldn't have had the discipline to keep from trying a midnight run on a deserted road just to take a peek at the fuel economy display.

But obviously you're more disciplined than I am!
Hi Metro,

My wife is much more practical than I am, and would work very hard to dissuade me from such an attempt!

Speaking of following threads, actually I keep a close eye on your thread as well!!

Last year, reading about your exploits was fantastic, and I look forward to more of the same in the future.

Jim.

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