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Old 06-30-2008, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I scored some coroplast today!

So, I wandered around Home Depot after work, and found nothing. That's just as well, because I couldn't get help either. After that, I stopped at a sign shop in town, and they gave me two election signs and an odd, long scrap for free!

The election signs may turn into a partial front under-tray.

Within the past hour, I built a partial grille block. I've got a trip to the Rochester area (over 200 miles round-trip) coming up this weekend, so if it has an effect, I'll definitely notice then. I don't think I can crack 32-33mpg on the highway, even if I keep it to 65. Of course, I don't have cruise control, which is irritating, but I do my best to be steady.

Before:


Parts:


After:


It's not easy to see, but I did fill in the little fake brake-cooling ducts, with the small rectangular pieces in the 2nd picture-- I am too lazy to cut them to fit. Maybe some day, I'll get some expanding foam and bondo, and smooth those over. I've also got enough material to do an upper block for winter!

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Old 06-30-2008, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great job !! and no worries, I recently took a cross country trip in an xB. And with no mods, 2 fat guys, a bunch of luggage, a Yakima roof rack and an automatic, we still cleared over 35 mpg on the return trip. The trip there was horrible because my friend was driving. How horrible, 27mpg was the best we got with him driving ...

SO with proper technique practice you should be there in no time .. GL
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks!

I should rephrase: I haven't been able to crack 32-33mpg on the highway, but with any luck, I may be able to. If I can move my average FE up to 35mpg, I'll save ~$100/year at $4.20/gal. When my girlfriend came home, and I told her what I did to my car this afternoon, she said, "you are so weird," but was much more understanding when I explained the savings.

I should get some more coroplast and stealthily mod her Intrepid-- it's already pretty clean, aerodynamically (.28 cD), but some more air in the tires, a bit of well-placed coroplast, and convincing her that every trip isn't a race would do her wonders.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks nice, and very clean! Yay for campaign sign coroplast!
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, it'll look even better if I get the chance to give the box a bath, too.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello,

You might gain a little bit by gasketing the leading edge of the hood? I got some foam "rubber" gasketing at Home Depot that is self-adhering. If it sticks out, use a (very) sharp utility knife to trim off the excess.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's not a bad idea. I'll have to look around HD tomorrow after work for something like that.

After dinner, I'm going to finish up making my election signs into a small undertray. It'll only go as far back as the front wheel wells, and will incorporate small spoilers on front of the front wheels, as I envision it. Naturally, I'll post pictures.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...Now with a lot more coroplast attached to my car!

So, this evening, I made a small undertray that just covers the underside of my front bumper, and panels to A) sort of ghetto-fix my hacked up fender liners, and B) provide little blocks in front of the front tires.

Mocked up on the kitchen floor:


It's tough to see, but that's the undertray fit in place:


Is there an actual name for what look like mudflaps in front of the tires?

I reinforced them in the engine compartment with disassembled wire hangers.

...and a detail shot:


I'm going to see how it all holds up driving to work the next two days, before my trip. It will all likely need some reinforcement, but my drill is charging, so that will have to wait a bit. If there are gains to be had, they'll show at least a bit on my commute, too, since most of it is at 40-50mph.
I found an interesting way to mount coroplast, too: christmas trees! More formally known as panel clips, they are cheap, and easy to work with. If you can't get your hands behind a panel to attach a nut to a bolt, you can probably jam a christmas tree in there, if it's not a load-bearing piece.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad you went with the recycled FREE coroplast versus buying the small stuff that we sell at Lowes ...uh ..Home Depot.
( At Lowes, we carry the same stuff as Home Depot.) The largest size that you would have found would have been really small anyways.

Your mods look great !
I especially like to see mods that look profesionally done. I honestly had to look twice to see what was there.
So are you going to move the plate to the front of the vehicle or leave it off to the side ?
I would think that aerodynamically, it would be better to have it in the center so that it will not be an obstruction to the air as it flows around your 'X-Box'
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks. I haven't really decided what to do with the plate. I'm not happy with it there-- I think it looks ok, but it just sort of ended up there, and I haven't gotten around to moving it. As for the aerodynamic impact, I suspect you're correct. The front of the xB isn't that bad. The front end is blunt, and looks funny in profile, but the low pressure area on the hood is fairly small (thanks to the short hood), and if you refer to the picture of my undertray off of the car, it's apparent that the front of the car isn't square. What kills it is the back, really. I think a small aero-trailer would be an ideal solution, but that's sort of a back-burner idea. If I could find a hitch setup to run a single-wheel trailer, I'd be in business. Still, the front could stand some optimizing, especially with the aftermarket body kit.

I'm glad I didn't buy coroplast, either. Besides the fact that free is for me, it is nice to keep it out of a dumpster, too.

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