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Old 11-10-2014, 05:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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CCS Trans grad here working Alias at the big three. I think it'd be a cool design project, but not an easy business plan. As others said, you'll really have to sell it on the aesthetics side, then say, "by the way it'll increase your MPG by 10%". Almost no one's going to spend hundreds of dollars for unpainted high-MPG body panels.

Look at this- GPRauto 92-95 Civic Closed front end

Without the lip, it would be an awesome ecomodding bumper. It's even good for racing, on a popular platform for both. But for $350, they have only sold six of them (I'd buy one at $50). You need volume to get the cost down, but you need sales to get volume.

My advice would be to build an aero kit for your own car, style it really well (and tastefully), and calculate the fuel savings. If someone wants another, use your leftover plug and make one.

A fun paint scheme helps. You should have seen me rolling around the CCS campus in this...

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Old 11-10-2014, 05:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Design me one for the 2012-2014 Chevy express! If you can!
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtydave View Post
Design me one for the 2012-2014 Chevy express! If you can!
Honestly, have you seen the luxury rental party buses running around with big aftermarket bumpers? This is the closest I could find online, but sometimes they actually look pretty aero. It might be worth keeping an eye out. I see one now and then whose bumper looks great for hypermiling.

And again, they're buying the bumpers for style without a thought to fuel economy!



Could use some work, but 80% there?
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Sven, I do like that bumper cover, but it definitely costs too much. It is cleaner but similar to what I am doing!
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Flood us with numbers and pictures (wind-tunnel or computer simulations) *showing* how much better / lower the overall drag-Cd becomes.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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kit

See if the California State Film Commission will underwrite a screenplay and film production for a Hollywood blockbuster in the same vein as "The Fast and the Furious", which showcases your aerodynamic kit design;incorporating all the pheromone explosions the Vin Diesel films evoked.Lot's and lot's of sex to the would-be streamliner.
That might create a 'market',where none exists.Male moviegoers will beat a path the the SEMA show in Las Vegas,money in hand,ready to transform their ride into a 'show' version,certain that the Hollywood starlets will soon follow.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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There can be only one winner of the fuel economy challenge... Hit the kill switch. Danger to manifold! Belly pan falls off. "Monicaaaa!!!"

Hahaha
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
So I am contemplating if doing a thesis on creating a line of universal and platform specific aero parts...

My biggest question is, could there be a market for this? ... But are they unwanted, too expensive, not functional enough or what?
Yes. Can your thesis produce a negative result, or does it have to overcome those objections?

The paper mache front bumper is interesting. You could look into 3D printing to overcome the universal/platform specific divide. Also liquid wood, available commercially as Arboform.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Ironically, while hybrid owners may have money to spend, the ROI on ecomodding an already efficient car is very long.
I live near Seattle, and what I see is a lot of really expensive hybrid or electric cars (Tesla, Lexus hybrids, Cadillac Escalade hybrid, etc) to show off that the owner is "green". They don't care so much about the economy of the car, as much as they do about the appearance of being an environmentalist.

While it is probably a very small niche market, you may be able to leverage your paper mache molding process and market the body panels as a "green" product for improving your hybrid or electric car. The car owner will never recoup the cost of the body modifications, but if it's just for the image of being green, they may not care.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yes. Can your thesis produce a negative result, or does it have to overcome those objections?

The paper mache front bumper is interesting. You could look into 3D printing to overcome the universal/platform specific divide. Also liquid wood, available commercially as Arboform.
I have a feeling the OP may have moved on and left the thread for dead, but here's some food for thought.

A guy I know has a 3D printer and is working on a CNC mill. He says the 3D printer is prohibitively expensive and brittle for anything large. For a bumper design, one might mill out a male mold of the part out of foam or styling clay, fiberglass over that for a female plug, and use the glass plug to make the final product.

If you were to work totally analog, you could take a mold off an actual bumper, pack clay into it, scrape, pack, scrape, pack, then continue with the fiberglass as above.

This would cost you the materials and time to make the tooling, but you wouldn't have to spend even more to make a second one. You'd probably save money over 3D printing either way.

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