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Old 07-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post your "Failure Stories" and lessons learned from unsuccessful modifications

I wonder if ecomodder would benefit from an "Unsuccessful Stories" or "Less Successful Stories" forum to combat the effects of publication bias. In particular I'm thinking about A-B-A tests like the smooth wheel cover wiki - Smooth wheel covers - EcoModder.... we know that there should be a lot of variability in the results depending on the stock wheel covers...

Separately, the "what-not-to-do" lessons in materials are often quite valuable: i.e.:
  • Don't violate 15 approach angle with rigid fixed air dam materials.
  • Don't use dark-painted coroplast if dimensional stability matters.
  • Don't leave tape gum on the car in the sun.
  • Don't use polyester resin over foam.

There are some other areas where encouragement of failure reporting may be helpful:
  • Adverse effects of over-inflation.
  • Over-heating resulting from grille over-blocking.
  • Unintentionally poor visibility resulting from poor mod design.
  • Mods that failed local safety inspection requirements.

Is it a good idea, or unnecessary?

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Old 07-17-2013, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My tiny mod, the wing-shaped antenna stalk, generated a couple of fails:
- Make sure your mods don't deform under mild pressure e.g. circumstances you can expect in real life. (winglet mark 1 deformed and split open)
- Don't ever try to speed up glue bonding in an oven, not even at very mild temperatures, unless all materials used explicitly need that kind of treatment. (winglet 2 deformed just enough to be useless in the process)
- Make sure that whatever you fix to your car is secure enough to not come off on the highway. (winglet 3 flew off and landed on the highway, making a big rig behind me slam the brakes - for less than 1 gram worth of clear plastic... !!! ???)

You should take extra care with pizza pans and other aero covers. Rule of thumb; they should be fastened so sturdily that you cannot pull it off again even when using full force. Every square inch can generate a pound of force pulling on it at highway spreeds.
Aerial winglet 3, though tiny, was so tight that I had to use a lot of force to push it over the antenna stalk. It came off at 55 mph nonetheless. But I was happy; it did prove my point that the drag on the stalk was substantial, and so would any mod reducing that.

Don't put a hair drier under your hood. It might cause a fire. It did not on mine, but it did not heat the engine either, at least the effect was minimal. A block heater might work. A hair drier though wastes just too much heating everything else under the hood but the engine.
It did melt the snow on the hood, but I can just wipe that off anyway.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"LESSONS LEARNED...the hard way"?
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Front top grill block not ziptied down enough. Parachuted up causing major drag on the highway. Of course i can't see at all over the hood! Unknowingly lost about 10%mpg for 100 miles.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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" Don't use dark-painted coroplast if dimensional stability matters. "

Christofoo, what do you mean by this ? Do you mean coroplast that has dark paint on it, or coroplast that is already a dark color, such as black coroplast ?

And dimensional stability ? Can you expand on that please ?

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cd View Post
" Don't use dark-painted coroplast if dimensional stability matters. "

Christofoo, what do you mean by this ? Do you mean coroplast that has dark paint on it, or coroplast that is already a dark color, such as black coroplast ?

And dimensional stability ? Can you expand on that please ?

Thanks
Coroplast is polypropylene, it softens and warps in hot sunny conditions unless the final color is very light to keep the surface temperature down. To my knowledge, kach22i had the most striking example of this.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post375743
I've had the same experience with my passenger-side Corolla wheel-skirt, but not the driver's side skirt, just because I park facing east, passenger-side in the sun.

There are applications where a little warping is not important, i.e. I haven't had a problem with the black coro on my upper-grille-block.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I imagine A "Failures" Thread or Forum might be beneficial, As long as it does not get out of hand.

One of the pizza pans fell off my Father's caravan while I drove. I could see it close to coming off when I was parked at the stop before it fell off. I didn't think it would come off and we were in a rush, I didn't say anything about it to my Father. (Edit and note - I didn't say anything about it to him at the time, Not until after it fell off.) I had parts to put it back on properly, Too.

Last edited by 101Volts; 08-14-2013 at 12:01 AM..
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think a whole new forum is probably a bit much (there won't be a lot of threads).

But I suspect a "lessons learned from failure" thread in EcoModding Central would get contributions. I think you just started it. I'll move it over and edit the title.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Failure? I have no idea what you're referring to. I don't know about the rest of you, but everything I do works perfectly the first time [insert sarcasm].
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So far just changing the front spoiler into an air dam. I had it rite the first time when I tilted out the conveyor material at the bottom.
It worked really well but when I added side skirts I figured air dam and it dropped mpg 1.5its still that was 2 months later because I threw away the bracketts required to angle it forward at the bottom. Air dams work for some people but my sephia is pretty aero and it is just a big speed brake infront of the bumper now.

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