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Old 09-25-2009, 04:05 AM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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Smooth Wheel Covers (velcro)

I only have time to post this now, but before my NY trip last weekend I managed to cobble together some smooth wheel covers for the rear wheels of my Lancer. I wanted to do all 4 wheels, but ran out of time.

Anyways, coroplast and velcro FTW! I didn't want do any drilling or other fancy attachment methods since I have aluminum rims and I also wanted something easily removable. I've had the velcro idea in my head for a while but was worried whether that would actually hold up, especially in case of heavy rain.

After finding some water resistant velcro at Home Depot, I decided to go for it and am quite pleased with the results! I haven't had to deal with very heavy rain yet, but, so far, they're rock solid for over 500 miles and have had to deal with speeds of up to 85 mph and light rain.

<Update: I can now also report that they've held up for over 100 miles in medium to heavy rain.>


I haven't done any specific testing yet, but on my regular route I see about an 1.5 - 2 mpg improvement with just the rear wheels. I wasn't expecting quite as much! As soon as I have the time I will do the front wheels as well to see how much that adds.

I'm using six 2" pieces of velcro per cover (one in the center and one on each spoke). The coroplast isn't quite flush with the edge of the rim and is sticking about 1/16" out. Because of that, once I do the front wheels, I'll also cut holes in the coroplast (that I can just slap a piece of tape over) to be able to get to the valve stem and then tape the edges of the coroplast to then rim. That way they'll be absolutely smooth, and no water will get in from that side of the wheel. (I use water resistant gaffer tape that is super thin and so far holding up amazingly well on my grill block and over the 'rain gutters' on my windshield.)




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Old 09-25-2009, 04:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Luxbg -

Velcro is the fastener of the gods! I didn't think velcro would last under those conditions. The blackout look is cool too. I see you trimmed the edge. Very subtle.

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Old 09-25-2009, 11:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I got really lucky with my rims. The center is flat and not flush with the outer edge but sitting back a tiny bit (I'm guessing about 1/16"), that made it almost ideal for my 1/8" coroplast. After trimming, the coroplast is sitting almost flush with the edge of the rim. I was worried because it wasn't perfect and was afraid if the air got under there at speed it would just come off like a leaf, but so far I was worried unnecessarily. Still, as I mentioned, I will probably tape of the edge as soon as I have some time to keep it perfectly flush and as soon as I have added a hole so I can check tire pressure.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ingenious!

I love the idea. Don't think you will have any problems with them coming off.
Easily reversible with no permanent damage.

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Old 09-25-2009, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very Creative!!

Please keep us advised on any more increase in gas mileage you get and how well the Velcro holds up over time. I would like to know if a cap ever falls off on the highway, because it could impact another car behind you. However I have a 7 foot CB Antenna that is held on with only a roof magnetic and I have tested it to speeds up to 85MPH without it ever falling off. So just maybe that Velcro will be all you will ever need!

Great idea.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jammer -

I had snap-in racing disks made of metal that flew off every now and then and they did affect traffic at least once (lot's of squiggly driving in my rear-view mirror led me to know that I'd lost a disk). Even though the coroplast is dangerous at speed, it's not metal, so I think it's intrinsically safer.

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Old 09-25-2009, 10:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
Jammer -

I had snap-in racing disks made of metal that flew off every now and then and they did affect traffic at least once (lot's of squiggly driving in my rear-view mirror led me to know that I'd lost a disk). Even though the coroplast is dangerous at speed, it's not metal, so I think it's intrinsically safer.

CarloSW2
Haha, I had a car topper fall of my car at 75mph, I saw lots of squiggly drivers in my rear view mirror as well, fun times.

One exactly like this one http://www.autobahnmag.com/wp-conten...277cz28-01.jpg
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis View Post
Haha, I had a car topper fall of my car at 75mph, I saw lots of squiggly drivers in my rear view mirror as well, fun times.

One exactly like this one http://www.autobahnmag.com/wp-conten...277cz28-01.jpg
I can beat that.

#1 In my earlier days I had a large heavy spring/coil design cb antenna that flew off my pickup truck (70MPH plus speeds) every time a cross-wind hit and it's magnet would allow it to fly about ten feet up in the air and then get stuck on my driver's side door forcing me to pull off the interstate before I started hitting cars with it to the left lane of me.

#2 A worse time yet was when my large pickup truck TOPPER started to fall off my Colorado pickup! I was going 75MPH and heard a noise and looked in my mirror to find this $1,000 large topper for the bed of my pickup starting to fall off. It was hanging half way off the truck by that time! The drivers behind me would get close enough to see it and swerve as fast as they could to get around me. I pulled off and discovered the large C-Clamps had came lose and I never could get it secured all the way correct until I got home where I had more muscle waiting. If I had not pulled over in time I would of had a very large and heavy fiberglass pickup topper flying straight behind me in 70MPH traffic. It could of easily busted a windshield or worse. Man those drivers were wiggling all over the interstate until they got around me! I think I even had an all points warning go out on the trucker's CB channel to look out for me!
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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A friend lost his 200# tonneau cover in nearly the same fashion... doing about 90 down the highway, in an S10, a sudden gust of cross wind apparently caught the lip/over hang of the lid and lifted it up from the passenger side (we had it done up so it opened from the passenger side, with no shocks, just a pair of crappy hinges on the driver's side of the bed.) and flipped right off the side of the truck, (thankfully) into the median of the highway. Noone was hurt, but there were some pretty surprised drivers attempting to pass us on I.81 south that decided maybe it wasn't such a great idea. (yeah... passing us at +90MPH. And that's an every day thing.)

Took the next exit, picked it up, mostly undamaged, and strapped it on with a ratchet strap. Later, we found that the latch mechanism wasn't properly latched, which allowed a strong wind to defeat it's hold.

He now uses flush-mount tonneaus only.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Even if my wheel covers should come off, I don't think they're at risk of causing quite as much havoc

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