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Old 10-26-2009, 05:35 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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Rain Gutter Side Skirts

Hello -

The wonders of Saturn plastic paneling helped me again. I took a rain gutter and attached it as a side skirt to my SW2 :



This has been bubbling around in the back of my head for a few years. I can't believe how easy it was to do. I just :

1 - Removed the plastic rocker panel, held on with the plastic push bolt thingys :



2 - Figured out that I had a lot of "interior volume" to work with :

The holes for the drop-down bolts were drilled in the "cavity" area (the round interior volume). There was a problem in that if I remove the wingnut, the bolt could "fall up" into the cavity. I solved that by gluing pipe insulation above the bolt. This way the bolt will stay in place.

3 - Attached with 3 bolts :

The wingnut attaches at the bottom. I just unscrew three winguts and the side skirt comes off. I dremeled the "curvy" part of the rain gutter off because it made it harder to get at the plastic pushpin thingys. Now I guess I could have left it on, but I am still happy with the current result.

I deliberatly chose the location of the holes on the theory that the weight of the vertical part would "pull down" the gutter and keep the horizontal portion "pushed up" against the bottom of the rocker panel. If I had centered it, I think the vertical part might have a tendency to pull down the gutter and "sag", if you know what I mean.

Here is how the "attachment sandwich" looks

PHP Code:
    Bolt 10/24 x 3/4 long)
         
Star washer
        Fender washer
(Hole throughRocker panel plastic
(Hole throughRain gutter plastic
        Fender washer
      Split lock washer
          Wing nut 
Benefits :
1 - Cheap. $7 for the rain gutter. I don't count the bolts, washers, and wingnuts. because I can reuse them for other things. Bolts n' stuff are always good.
2 - Easy to make.
3 - Easy to remove. I need to take it off when the car is going into the shop.
3 - 100% reversible. It only cost me three drilled holes where nobody can see. There is already a hole in the rocker panel that I think is for drainage, so I could argue that I am just adding a few more "drain points".

Problems :
1 - The rain gutter plastic is that kind that is "brittle", so it will be interesting to see what will happen when I bottom out and hit something. lawn edging would be more durable to impact, but I wanted the "L shape" to maintain rigidity and have a connection point to the rocker panel.
2 - White. Not really a problem, because it matches the car. If I wanted to be steatlhy, I could paint it black.
3 - In order to keep the bolt in place I used pipe insulation. If water gets into the rocker panel, it could swish around. But that could be solved with ... a few more holes!

In general, I am not a fan of "ground effects" on cars. However, I am happy that this is such an easy "exploit", and I do like how it looks on my car. If it turns out that it doesn't help or is problematic to maintain, no big loss.

I only made one for now to see how well it takes punishment. So far no bottom-outs, and I am not babying it (because I forget about it).

CarloSW2

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Old 10-26-2009, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not bad at all! Do you have plans to do testing?
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice!

I wish I could remove my rocker panels that easily!
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Daox -

I guess I could, but I don't feel like there is a place in Los Angeles that I could do a reliable test. All paths are beaten (to a pulp) in LA. The good part is that it is so easy to take on/off that it wouldn't be hard to try to do the test.

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Old 10-26-2009, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Why didn't you leave it a c? It would have helped to keep under car flow from contacting the tires, too... (basjoos-style)
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Christ -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
Why didn't you leave it a c? It would have helped to keep under car flow from contacting the tires, too... (basjoos-style)
Very good point. It wouldn't have been a C shape per se, but it would probably have worked anyway. I cut it for clearance initially, and I was also worried about the inner side leading to sagging over time. By the time I thought about leaving it, it was already cut. My Dremel out-thought my brain.

To have a *symmetrical* inner panel, I could cut another one that I install on the inside. That could also get me closer to the actual tire width (not sure how important that is).

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Old 10-26-2009, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think I can postulate as to the importance of them being tire-width, but I did notice those pinch-welds would also be a great place to hang an inner skirt, if you were so inclined. They appear to be just inside of the tire's inner surface, which might be close to ideal. Of course, you probably won't want drill the pinch weld, but if you could mount the inners to the original rocker cover as well, you could use the pinch point as a guide, and mount your angle right into the angle created by it. You could also put some kind of sealant on the piece before you put it on, so that water/dirt don't get up in there. Silicone would work fine for this, even if silicone doesn't adhere to the plastic very well, since it will harden and work as a gasket without falling out. For no real good reason, other than myself having been a professional caulker, make sure you slick it down good so it's not all bumpy and stuff.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Very nice, cfg83!
My rockers aren't flat, they taper down at either end, so I had to do some fancy cutting and tucking.



You can paint them with Krylon Fusion spray paint.



Oh, and I have dragged them over a sharp hump. They're tougher than you may think.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tango Charlie -

I just *knew* someone had already done this besides basjoos, but I forgot it was you (or were you the first?!?!? stupid brain, never helps when I need it)! Verrrrrry clean execution.

CarloSW2
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I never would have thought those were rain gutters... go you!

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