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Old 08-13-2014, 09:06 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I love the car thanks for posting!

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Old 08-13-2014, 04:18 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Nice look! How long do you expect the vinyl will last before it begins to deteriorate?
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 08-14-2014, 02:42 PM   #43 (permalink)
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When I used it previously I was amazed actually. Even though this is the cheap one it did not deteriorate while standing in a wet garage, under all kinds of temperatures and it is still holding. So I have trust in it
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:06 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitroX View Post
I started to put the car back together today. Since I have a bit more time now I can test more modifications individually. But before putting the flat bottom back on I've decided to see what difference in mpg would a front splitter make which I had laying in my garage from a rs fiesta.
First, good job and congratulations on the grade!
Second, I could not tell from the picture, but I am guessing that the splitter is lower than the car's belly panels? Maybe 2 inches/5 cm? If so, I suggest you try using a piece of ABS plastic or the polycarbonate to make a splitter lip that sticks out (forward) an inch or so from the front edge of the bodywork below the bumper. But is flush with the belly panels. This might work better for fuel economy...
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Old 08-16-2014, 05:04 PM   #45 (permalink)
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this splitter was lower quite a bit, it was just to see what effect it would have. But it's long gone and the pan is flush with the bumper.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:16 AM   #46 (permalink)
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The weather is deteriorating quite fast here and the project reached it's final form for now. So I decided to write an article about the whole experience but from a non-ecomodding man's perspective. And it received quite a bit of attention - it was published on the most popular news page in Lithuania moreover I was invited to a radio station car show the same day. I'm glad that the ecomodding word was spread a little. This is my translated version. All comments and grammar nazi remarks are appreciated. I hope you will enjoy it.

Citroplanas methamorphosis

Final year in the aviation institute is as overloaded as a train in India: final assignments, state exams, flying practice, 14 license exams and the Master thesis.

In order to graduate with dignity, this train not only has to move like the Shinkansen Hayabusa but all of its passengers have to reach their destination as well. Among them Master thesis being the passenger with the splendid turban and a retinue. Wishing that this job would have a tangible result that theoretical knowledge would be escorted and verified with as much practice as possible – this is how the ‘body aerodynamic modification design and research’ idea was born.

Continuing with the train metaphor. First stop had to be buying a potential and salable car. This meant that it was necessary to go into the depths of car ads websites where car buyer-ups fight for fresh metal like pigeons for bread crumbs. But it seems that these spoiled birds are not interested in French cruasans which the 1997 Citroen ZX is. All in all buying this car was not a mistake it has fuel injection, some roof camber, and a pretty comfortable ride for long tests.

A car for the price of champagne – what can go wrong? When arrived at the outskirts of some village to see the car, first thing that had to be done was get it out of a snow bank. When the car was out it revealed no signs of rust but the onset of optimism was not enough to start it – the starter motor was inoperative. So the buying-selling personnel gave it a push yet the vehicle showed the same reaction as a senior enjoying his deep afternoon sleep privileges – a short snore and the sleep was continued. Suspicion fell on the fuel index which if it could would point to the center of the earth. The seller poured some fuel in, which probably came from the same tank, and after a second push the Citroen woke up, started to react to the accelerator and almost instantly began blowing buyer revivifying warm air through the vents. This was not caused by a fire this was due to the car being French. Of course one should expect surprises from a car were the battery terminal is connected by a self-drilling screw. Only three of the four wheels were usable and each of them was held only by two screws out of four. After solving these problems, sorting out the brakes and a few other minor things a unique verdict was given from the roadworthiness inspector: “the car looks awful but I don’t have any remarks”. I am not sure what kind of reply he was hoping for: “you’re not the most handsome inspector but you did your job ok”. The important thing is that a roadworthiness certificate was given and the tests could be continued.

The first thing that was needed to be done was to verify the CFD results: is airflow really the same in real and virtual worlds. Since there is nothing more real than black wool tufts, they were used to cover the Citroen’s body. This tuft testing method is old yet still quite common in aviation and can be seen on many gliders. Straight and neat tufts indicate goodness, dangling and swinging ones show evil forces being present. So after a few hours of decorating and the car looking like a bad Dumb and Dumber’s van replica it was time to hit the road. Sitting in the leading car cameraman position and seeing how the tufts perfectly replicate the results gotten from the CFD tests as well as the ones described in literature provided inspiration to slave days and nights to create a more aerodynamic body or ‘the car with the rear attached’. But the car also has wheel skirts, smooth wheel covers, side skirts and a belly pan attached which also demanded a load of work – it had to be light, reliable and stiff. It also had to attach to the existing holes under the car and be as cheap as a decently driving young man’s car insurance.

At first the whole kammback design was imagined a lot less complicated and should’ve only lasted a few tests until it was dismantled. But in the end me and my colleague from aviation mechanics decided to make our lives harder by fabricating a 1.4m (4.6ft) long wooden frame which replaced the car’s rear door and bumper using their original mounts – this is how to the Citroplanas first version was born. Interesting fact for all rusty boot doors owners – Citroen ZX had this part made from fiberglass.

With the second version, gracefully named the V2, it was being attempted to make the Citroplanas more practical with least amount of aerodynamic losses as possible. So the kammback got under the blade of an angle grinder and its geometry was respectively changed. Since the V2 was being modified A.D. (after defending Master thesis), it meant that there was an undefined time limit and all of the little imperfections could be sorted out. In the end the whole car was wrapped in a white slippery layer of patience in a form of vinyl wrap. The expectations were not met – they were exceeded. Roots of aircraft modelling and paying attention in university lectures helped to make the kammback so that it was a rigid part of the car and could be relatively easily installed/uninstalled. That ‘relatively’ could be compared to the transformation from coupe to roadster of the sunken into oblivion Citroen Pluriel.

For the fuel efficiency tests same sections of roads were being used when there was minimal traffic. Not that the modifications seemed unreliable but so no one would hamper the average speed and not to interfere with those who don’t obey the speed limit. In sum the amount of variables was always being reduced as much as possible: always two people and a full tank of petrol. Of course this does increase the fuel consumption however it was the decrease in percentage that was analyzed. Since dependability of the modifications was mentioned: at first there were a few mounts that needed adjustment so they were modified along with the car to a point where the discomfort to ride in it was as small as the number of telephone booths in our streets.

Other subjective observations of the modified car are less pressure requiring accelerator pedal and a longer time taking to slow down when you lift your foot off it. Less wind noise when a window is opened and a significant increase in attention from onlookers on the streets. Although it decreased with the second version probably due to the car looking a little more stock. Nevertheless during the time on the streets the same amount of thumbs up as the Facebook page is showing now was collected so I can answer this question like a generously gifted female “Yes, they are real”. Other advantages of the modified car include its cleanliness – despite it is possible to wash Citroplanas in a self-service car wash it is not vital to do it often because an aerodynamically clean car prevents dirt from sticking. When washing your car I suggest paying attention to those parts where the biggest amount of dirtiness has accumulated – it is quite a good turbulent flow indicator. But I believe that attention will not be paid so I will forestall: boot doors especially those which protect the cargo of hatchback and estate cars collect dust as well as an Audra* vacuum cleaner.

Practical value of the modifications is not revolutionary: the original consumption of 6-7l/100km (39-34 US MPG) was decreased depending on the conditions to 4.3-5l/100km (54.7-47 US MPG) (17-39%) but it is a difference which would not be shameful to mention in a manly barbecue talk. Also this difference would increase with speed.

FAQ
Is it electrical? – No
Is it difficult to drive? - No
So when are you going to take off? – No
How does the police look at it? – Just like cats at a laser pointer
It’s not very good in the city with that rear is it? – Yes, not very good – there are no benefits due to low speeds
What is the theoretical coefficient of drag? According to the calculation of the empirical method the Cd is 0.28 while the computers calculated it to be 0.23
* Translates to ‘Storm’ – an old soviet vacuum cleaner.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:11 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Citrox,

Your vinyl wrap job inspired me. I have done a quick-n-dirty wheel skirt (just one! lightning and thunder made me rethink my priorities) on my Civic with shelf paper. It was pretty fast and easy to do.

Will post pictures soon.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:26 PM   #48 (permalink)
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sorry if i missed it, but how did you form the rear window and what's the material?
car looks real nice. great job!
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:36 AM   #49 (permalink)
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it's made from plexiglass. It was quite difficult to form that curve but it was done just by trial and error using different mounting points and cutting the shape in various forms.

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