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Old 01-04-2015, 10:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I was looking at plastic panels at Lowes today for the under body on the F-150 and I spotted some for about $33 that were white, textured on one side and smooth on the other. I have found Chloroplast signs online (18x24 inches) but they are not big enough for my truck. The space between the frame rails needs a 4 ft by 8 ft panel to bridge it. What are some of you using for belly pan paneling? I am still going to need at least $100 in these panels not to mention fasteners. Any thoughts on this. I think my best bang for the buck is under body paneling to smooth the air flow under the vehicle.
Sounds like yer describing FRP (fiber reinforced plastic). It doesn't hold up to hard impacts very well and will fracture/snap quite easily. It's much heavier than Coroplast and can be cut with a cutting wheel/fine toothed jig saw. It will sag without support beams when used in a horizontal configuration. I built a frame from metal 2x4 studs (so I wouldn't have to drill into my frame and it would be easy to remove fer maintenance) and reinforced it with wood inserts in key spots. I used 4mm Coroplast as my final cover but I did try luan panels as my first trial material as it was inexpensive and easy to work with. I installed crossbeams as attachment points fer my belly pans.

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Old 01-05-2015, 01:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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light steel studs as cross members.

I like your idea of using light steel studs as cross members between the frame as it is obvious to me my paneling material will need support. My question is how well would the 4 mm coroplast hold up by itself. Durability is an issue as is weight. Using two panels seems like less then a optimal solution.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerostealth View Post
I like your idea of using light steel studs as cross members between the frame as it is obvious to me my paneling material will need support. My question is how well would the 4 mm coroplast hold up by itself. Durability is an issue as is weight. Using two panels seems like less then a optimal solution.
Here's my thread on my belly pan thread with all my ups and downs along with piccies!
Under belly pan... - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

I did cut down and insert 2x4 studs into my crossbeams fer better support. I think in the future I will have to setup a rubber bushing in the crossbeams to allow fer better flexing without straining the crossbeams.

You will have to provide enough support if yer gonna hang the Coroplast in a horizontal position as it will not have enough support over the 4' width.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Prowling the Midwest’s Interstates as I do, I see a lot of the MVT aero-trailers with the folding tail, smooth disc wheel covers, and under-trailer fairing.

These guys are not doing this for PR purposes. Trucking is a ruthlessly competitive biz and every little edge matters. Obviously this elaborate aero treatment is saving them appreciable amounts in fuel of they wouldn’t be doing it on such a wide scale.

I’ve been thinking about something like this, only motor-operated remotely controlled from the cab. In an urban/suburban setting there is such a thing as “too much tail.” Most vehicles are not afforded the slack given to school buses and garbage trucks. In an urban setting speeds are usually low and a long tail doesn’t buy you much.

Likewise I don’t have an unlimited garage. My truck nearly fills the space allocated for it. Bondo’s tailgate plug, if fixed, would not fit. Because I drive a lot of open road, alonger tail is obviously desirable.

What would work is having one or two 12v motors that folded/unfolded a plug much like the Class 8 trailers. In the garage or around town the tail is folded against the tailgate, maybe adding 6 inches of overall length (acceptable). Once out on the road the driver unfolds it to reap the reward of lower coefficient of drag.

Here in the windy Midwest a third motor would provide a solid lockdown to use against strong cross or tailwinds. Last spring, I didn’t get my ARE flat tonneau fastened down tightly and a crosswind got under it and ripped it off the truck. I had to chase it 50 yards out into a muddy cornfield. No fun.

Any folding tail appliance had to be able to be quickly and positively secured.

With all this machinery on it, the tailgate will probably need a balance spring or gas struts to make lifting the tailgate possible.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Those $33 sheets are probably fiberglass-reinforced plastic, intended to install for waterproofing, like lining a shower stall or something similar. Unnecessarily heavy and floppy for what you want to do.

Home Depot (at least in my area) carries coroplast, corrugated twin-wall white plastic sheets, for about $13.50 for a 3' x 6' sheet. They also offer a 10-pack of 4x8, but that's $110, available by special order only, and an awful lot more than you need. Maybe you and two ecomodding friends could go in on a pack?
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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folding

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
Prowling the Midwest’s Interstates as I do, I see a lot of the MVT aero-trailers with the folding tail, smooth disc wheel covers, and under-trailer fairing.

These guys are not doing this for PR purposes. Trucking is a ruthlessly competitive biz and every little edge matters. Obviously this elaborate aero treatment is saving them appreciable amounts in fuel of they wouldn’t be doing it on such a wide scale.

I’ve been thinking about something like this, only motor-operated remotely controlled from the cab. In an urban/suburban setting there is such a thing as “too much tail.” Most vehicles are not afforded the slack given to school buses and garbage trucks. In an urban setting speeds are usually low and a long tail doesn’t buy you much.

Likewise I don’t have an unlimited garage. My truck nearly fills the space allocated for it. Bondo’s tailgate plug, if fixed, would not fit. Because I drive a lot of open road, alonger tail is obviously desirable.

What would work is having one or two 12v motors that folded/unfolded a plug much like the Class 8 trailers. In the garage or around town the tail is folded against the tailgate, maybe adding 6 inches of overall length (acceptable). Once out on the road the driver unfolds it to reap the reward of lower coefficient of drag.

Here in the windy Midwest a third motor would provide a solid lockdown to use against strong cross or tailwinds. Last spring, I didn’t get my ARE flat tonneau fastened down tightly and a crosswind got under it and ripped it off the truck. I had to chase it 50 yards out into a muddy cornfield. No fun.

Any folding tail appliance had to be able to be quickly and positively secured.

With all this machinery on it, the tailgate will probably need a balance spring or gas struts to make lifting the tailgate possible.
I believe that an inflatable tail can be 60-inches in length for a semi.
With a folding lower support,to dampen aero-elastic effects the envelope would maintain its shape and remain stationary with low inflation pressure.

We could finally get to Hucho's recommendation for the 1930's German tail.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This certainly passes the Kelly Johnson K.I.S.S. test.

A rubber bladder with a small compressor for deployment and a small vacuum pump for stowage. A suitable stowage pocket in the tailgate. Not much else.

My experience is that rubber is fine material for automotive use.

I haven't the faintest idea of where I could source a custom-made rubber bladder.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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plan change

My plan for a hinged boat tail for my boat tail seems to get more complicated the more I look into it. I want to add tail lights and a license plate to the rear of the boat tail and close in the U shaped channel that currently allows for visibility of the plate. I am now thinking that a bolt on boat tail would be better as I have enought storage room for it when I am not using it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
This certainly passes the Kelly Johnson K.I.S.S. test.

A rubber bladder with a small compressor for deployment and a small vacuum pump for stowage. A suitable stowage pocket in the tailgate. Not much else.

My experience is that rubber is fine material for automotive use.

I haven't the faintest idea of where I could source a custom-made rubber bladder.
I'd be looking at outdoor inflatable advertising companies and where they sourced their material.
Hypalon-impregnated fabrics have been around for decades,out of South Carolina.
The material can be tailored over a pattern,,sewn,and seam-sealed to create
the envelope.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Getting the Herndon Boat Tail ready for painting today. We are going to paint it glossy black. I have some satin black for the inside. We bought a tail light and license plate kit for it also. Will start installation after we get it painted and it is dry. Need a 4 pin plug for it as I do not have one yet. The light kit is LED.

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