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Old 08-16-2009, 11:20 AM   #111 (permalink)
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I mounted my home made chin spoiler and taped the edges a few days ago. Then I mounted my "economy" wheel/tire package [155/80R13's]. Afterwards I put it up on blocks [yes I know cement blocks aren't safe - don't try this at home ] to gain access to the entire undercarriage. Then I began to fabricate the forward belly pan section.

I completed the main portion of the belly pan last night. Lot's of time and energy went into it, but the result is quite nice. The header collector hangs down lower than anything else under the car. I knew this going in, so I had to decide whether to work around it and allow the exhaust system to be exposed, or lower the entire belly pan and close it in completely. I measured the height of the bottom of the chin spoiler to the floor and it was the same 4.5 inches as the height of the header collector. So I decided to enclose the exhaust system in and have a perfectly flat belly pan front to back.

I used aluminum tubing to space the pan to clear the header and pipe. I did not drill any holes in the car at all. I pressed plastic anchor bushings into pre-existing holes in the bottom of the frame rails. I used thin aluminum sheets [cut from food catering trays] as a heat sheild under the exhaust system. Not pretty but it should work fine and you won't be able to see it when this the side skirts are installed.

Today I will fabricate the side skirts to close it all up. The rear of the pan slipped nicely under the rear valance panel. Again, there were no holes drilled in the car at all for this project. That's why it took a bit more time to do. I had to get creative to preserve the integrity of the car. I will try to get some finished pics tomorrow, but a black pan will be very hard to photograph. The bottom of the car is now about 4 inches lower than before, but completely smooth and flat. Does anyone have any comment or suggestions regarding this? Do you think sacrificing some frontal area for a smooth consistent belly pan was the best choice? It is not the lowest part of the undercarriage. It is even with the chin spoiler.

Mike

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Old 08-16-2009, 12:49 PM   #112 (permalink)
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Is that one big aluminum sheet? I've been thinking of doing that expect I was planning on drilling the frame rails for it. Hmm...

Looks good though
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:47 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Is that one big aluminum sheet? I've been thinking of doing that expect I was planning on drilling the frame rails for it. Hmm...

Looks good though
Thanks Ben,

No, it's actually a black 4' x 8' sheet of Choroplast. It took two sheets to do the car. I got them locally for $15 each. Well it's actually $20 a sheet but I chatted with the sign shop owner and described what I was using them for. Then the price dropped a bit.

I'm a little concerned about the need for providing an exit for the radiator and exhaust heat. Remember, by closing off the bottom of the car, I've also closed off the normal escape point of the underhood cooling air [between the frame rails along both sides of the engine]. My logic is that this cooling air from the radiator must be able to flow through or it will back up and the engine will overheat], not to mention adding unwanted aero drag. I will cut some large slots into the rear of the belly pan to [hopefully] solve this issue. I'm sure the floor temp will rise in the car with this mod, and as the windows will be up tight for best aero, it's a good thing that I am bringing a cooler with cold towels as my "air conditioning".

Now if only I could find a 3/4 scale Plymouth Superbird nose for the front.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:49 PM   #114 (permalink)
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You're making me want to get off my butt and put a bellypan on...

Anyway, would it be appropriate for me to email the group with our pre-race dinner plans?
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:47 PM   #115 (permalink)
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You're making me want to get off my butt and put a bellypan on...
I hope not. You and Darin are the reason I have stepped up my game. I actually wasn't going to post my pics and car prep stories until the night before the event. Now I've spilled the beans and you guys have 1 week to respond.

If you've noticed, I am not entering in the Historic class where I belong. I want to go head to head with the big dogs.
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Anyway, would it be appropriate for me to email the group with our pre-race dinner plans?
Yes indeed, feel free. In fact, there have been a few new email address added this week, so I've just emailed the [updated] list and let them know that you're coordinating the Saturday night meet up.

Mike
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #116 (permalink)
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O shoot...I'll definitely have to head out to OH to pick up my insight wheels with potenzas then

And do some other junk...secrets? Not sure yet...
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:50 PM   #117 (permalink)
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Check this baby out!

This is Carl Germain's 1950 Studebaker Champion Business Coupe. Carl will run in the Historic class next Sunday with this beauty.




It's interesting to note that this is the oldest car in competition, and in fact it is the only car entered that could have run in our inaugural event in 1954!
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:59 PM   #118 (permalink)
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I'd like to bring a belly pan to the competition, but I just know if I put it on, the border people are going to make me take it off to look for drugs and bombs and such.

So, the Flea won't be showing up with any new eco features other than a temporary cowl block I'll probably tape on for the competition (unless it's ridiculously stinking hot).

On second thought, if the weather here cooperates, I may do ABA coastdown testing on a cardboard air dam this week and bring that if it works.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #119 (permalink)
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That Studebaker is cool. My first car was almost a 1964 Studebaker Commander from my grandfather.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:08 AM   #120 (permalink)
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I'd like to bring a belly pan to the competition, but I just know if I put it on, the border people are going to make me take it off to look for drugs and bombs and such.
Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. You're right too. Silly thought: How about the very first lexan belly pan? That would look pretty cool too. Not cheap though.

I've got to head out and get another sheet of Choroplast this morning. The second sheet didn't have enough length left over to do the long side skirts.

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