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-   -   Tonneau With Steps (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/tonneau-steps-13970.html)

Big Dave 07-23-2010 08:09 PM

Tonneau With Steps
 
I have a makeshift aerolid. It is suboptimal in my view. Too steep (17 degrees) and I'm blind as a bat to the rear, thus married to big side mirrors. But at the same time, it was a 1.5 MPG improvement over a hard flat commercial tonneau, so the thing had some virtue. Therefore I'm on the lookout for something different: Better smoothing of air flow and better visibility.

Back in younger days I had a Z-28 that had a rear window cover that was a bunch (8 - I think) of stepped louvers over the rear window. Mostly, it was there to keep snow off the rear window.

This is what I'm thinking:

I still have the flat fiberglass tonneau. Why not fot it with three of four flat plates stepping down from the top of the cab. The plate would be paralell to the tonneau, so could see out; and the steps would approximate a aeroshell.

The top of my cab would be about 22 inches above the top of the tonneau. I'm thinking three 12 gauge aluminum plates. Only the top plate need ride close to the top of the cab. The lower ones would progressively begin farther back from the cab and would be attached to the tonneau with some sort of strut.

My only worry is the truck winds up looking like a Fokker DR1. But, then, it is the Red Baron.

Frank Lee 07-23-2010 08:56 PM

Might work as long as the "virtual" angle is shallow enough... and to fix that if needed you could hang a shelf out the back. I don't know if it would work better/worse/same if the sides were enclosed.

Were I to build an aerocap I'd put a one or two step rear window in it.

aerohead 07-24-2010 02:02 PM

go for it
 
Dave,I'd be very inclined to believe that you'll see some benefit.My original shell ( pre-goats ) had a step for the 3rd brake light and another for a vertical rear backlight.It was still good for 13%.
Both Ferrari and Porsche have used the multi-step backlight louvered cover.
And Ford's patented bi-wing spoiler ( Probe-III,Sierra,Merkur XR4Ti ) is kind of a cruder version,but with good effect.
Your steps should provide for re-attachment and creation of locked-vortices which will help smooth the outer flow.
And thinking about Frank's comment,if your cab-to-bed tailgate ratio is 'fast',the rear shelf would help shape the vortex closer to the 'template' curve.
I'd do it.;)

KamperBob 07-25-2010 09:47 AM

I'm a little confused here.

1. BigDave, I thought you had a 3/4-ton diesel. Am I confusing you with someone else?

2. Phil, Dave feels 17-deg slope is too steep but that's less than 22. Any comments on that?

I'm not sure if filled or open sides would be better. If you can compare both and report results, that would be awesome!

Thanks
KB

donee 07-25-2010 03:09 PM

Hi All,

All pickup trucks should have rear-view cameras and sonar sensors anyway. Just add one. They are cheap enough....

cfg83 07-25-2010 05:38 PM

Big Dave -

In another thread I made this for aerohead, and I think he approved it :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MobBDsznZE

CarloSW2

KamperBob 07-25-2010 06:33 PM

Interesting! Steady state fields look very similar.
http://kamperbob.com/images/aero/KammBack-Fine.png
http://kamperbob.com/images/aero/KammBack-Coarse.png

Cheers
KB

Big Dave 07-25-2010 06:44 PM

Kamper Bob:
1. Mine's always been a one-ton. You must have me confused with someone else.

2. I have no intention of going to 22 degrees. I have to step down a total of 22 inches in an 80 inch run.

3. I'm gonna do open sides. I'm looking for some visibility so I can cut down or eliminate my side mirrors.


CFG:
Thanks. That's what I'm looking for. I'm thinking two flat plates attached parallel to the top of the hard tonneau. Use the top of the tonneau as the zero datum, I thought the first one might be set about 14 inches above the datum and the rear one 7 inches above the datum.

I'm thinking 14 gauge aluminum with some welded longitudinal stiffeners. I'll also need stronger gas struts for the lift mechanism as the tonneau top gets heavier.

KamperBob 07-25-2010 07:01 PM

Dave, thanks. It IS you. Right, full not three-quarter ton. I knew it was heavier than half. I'm seeing that in your sidebar stats now. It was actually your thumbnail that threw me. The cap on back looks familiar but for some reason the truck looks like a mini. That's where I went wrong. No insult intended it just confused me.

I'm also puzzled by your angle comment. Why do you say 17 degrees is too steep?

Maybe I'm just not having an off day. (shrug)

Cheers
KB

aerohead 07-26-2010 07:23 PM

results
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KamperBob (Post 185413)
I'm a little confused here.

1. BigDave, I thought you had a 3/4-ton diesel. Am I confusing you with someone else?

2. Phil, Dave feels 17-deg slope is too steep but that's less than 22. Any comments on that?

I'm not sure if filled or open sides would be better. If you can compare both and report results, that would be awesome!

Thanks
KB

KB,this is going to be all speculation on my part and here's how I'm looking at it.
If we place Dave's truck under the template and look at the slope of the tangent at the tailgate,we might find that,while short of Mair's 22-degree maximum angle,we're to 'soon' along the template line to support 17-degrees.
If you look at Mair's boattail in the archives,you'll notice that he doesn't hit 22-degrees until at least a full diameter ( 2-truck body heights ) behind the point of max. roofline camber.
So 17-degrees may be two 'fast.'
As far as the sides are concerned,I'm going out on a ledge.They should behave exactly like a roofline excepting that the flow is less energetic and cannot support as radical a divergence as the roof and even with a windtunnel,would require very careful integration so as not to introduce attached vortices where they 'blend' into the roof sides.
The other thing is the fact that Dave's will be an 'open' structure,something we don't have a lot of published data on.
I do have Ford's patent for their bi-wing spoiler and they go into the aerodynamics of it's performance.Even though their spoiler has 'open' architecture it can still develop some tasty bound-vortices which are capable of modifying the outer field flow in a beneficial manner.
I've found about a dozen cars which have used the 'multiple-rear-facing-step' backlight cover and it appears that they take the bound-vortex from the macro,to the micro level.
I have a very strong suspicion that Dave will see a benefit but I have no way to put any quanta with it.
When Lamborghini,Ferrari,Porsche and others adopt this technology as they have,you've got to figure that they did not arrive at the decision in a haphazard fashion.I've no crystal ball but I'm giving it my thumbs-up.
One upshot is that Dave will 'know' at some point and have something to report.

aerohead 07-26-2010 07:28 PM

Wicks/Aircraft Spruce
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Dave (Post 185457)
Kamper Bob:
1. Mine's always been a one-ton. You must have me confused with someone else.

2. I have no intention of going to 22 degrees. I have to step down a total of 22 inches in an 80 inch run.

3. I'm gonna do open sides. I'm looking for some visibility so I can cut down or eliminate my side mirrors.


CFG:
Thanks. That's what I'm looking for. I'm thinking two flat plates attached parallel to the top of the hard tonneau. Use the top of the tonneau as the zero datum, I thought the first one might be set about 14 inches above the datum and the rear one 7 inches above the datum.

I'm thinking 14 gauge aluminum with some welded longitudinal stiffeners. I'll also need stronger gas struts for the lift mechanism as the tonneau top gets heavier.

Dave,I don't know what your budget looks like,but both Wicks and Aircraft Spruce and Supply carry a beautiful aluminum hat-section designed specifically for stiffening.

Big Dave 07-27-2010 12:16 AM

I'm planning to use threaded rod struts at first for the steps. That way I can experiment looking for the best angle & spacing. The struts should be out of the high-energy air stream, but once I settle down on a design, I'll use something that looks a bit better.

The big question in my mind is how far back should the first step begin. My problem is I cannot just snug it up on the cab bulkhead and expect to be able to open my tonneau lid. I look for the first step to be 6-8" below the cab top and the second one will split the difference.

I'll probably have to breakover and buy a scan gage even if my engine control tuning makes a hash of readings. Maybe the error will be consistent and I can find a "best" configuration and then test it the old-fashioned way for real performance.

KamperBob 07-27-2010 08:16 AM

Dave, I thought it was an interesting enough idea to start modeling it myself. Being able to raise the lid concerned me too. Solvable though.
http://kamperbob.com/images/aero/WingsForDave1.png

Our truck box dimensions appear more alike then different. If you want the model as a head start, let me know.

Cheers
KB

euromodder 07-27-2010 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Dave (Post 185272)
I have a makeshift aerolid. It is suboptimal in my view. Too steep (17 degrees) and I'm blind as a bat to the rear, thus married to big side mirrors. But at the same time, it was a 1.5 MPG improvement over a hard flat commercial tonneau, so the thing had some virtue. Therefore I'm on the lookout for something different: Better smoothing of air flow and better visibility.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why not fit transparent panels (Plexiglass, Makrolon) to the makeshift aerolid ?

Tweety 07-27-2010 11:30 AM

1 Attachment(s)
How about something like this?

It's a very crude drawing in paint, I'm at work so the computer has no software for anything else...

The red part is fixed to the cab/bed and not moving, covering the gap, making it possible to leave room at the front of the stack for opening the cover, while still covering the gap... I'm no aerodynamics ace, but to me it seems reasonable that the air should "see" this as the same as the cab being longer? And considering that the steps and the "bar" overlap the gap should "disapear" in terms of aerodynamics, right?

And it should still be "short" enough to give good rearview...

Just a though...;)

Big Dave 07-27-2010 12:11 PM

Kamper Bob:

Amazingly close to what I had in mind.

Staring at the truck last night I had a minor brain drizzle.

If my top step were located 4 inches down from the top of the cab, it would be completely out of view (a positive).

I was thinking of making the top step about 24 inches long. The second step would then have to split a 18 inch gap and would be 30" long.

A 12 degree Kamm treatment has my last step 8 inches above the back of the bed.

So to get the smooth flow Bondo gets (the wind tunnel says he has set the standard), I'd need three steps added. Front one 18 inches above the ARE tonneau spaced maybe 6 inches back from the cab bulkhead (to allow clearance when the lid is lifted) extending maybe 24 inches. Center plate fourteen inches over the ARE tonneau and 30 inches long. Rear plate 8 inches over the ARE tonneau and extending 6 inches beyond the end of the bed. 80 inch short bed.

A final refinement. I radius over the last 12 inches of each step 0.125 inches. Just a little downward turn for the air flow to help keep it attached. Whaddaya think?

KamperBob 07-28-2010 08:23 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Dave, I find design kinda hard with text. Too often a word means different things to different people in my experience, and when ya string em together it dont help much; so pictures work 90% better for me. :)

I'm attaching a Google SketchUp model. (Trying anyway; my first attempt to do so at this site; fingers crossed...)

Cheers
KB

botsapper 07-28-2010 05:29 PM

Add flying buttresses & then add the louvers. 70's-80's fastback flashback! ...had a Z with those things.
http://i429.photobucket.com/albums/q...per/eff350.jpg

aerohead 07-28-2010 06:03 PM

cab-wing ( hinged ) with tonneau
 
Dave,since a cab-wing with half-tonneau has almost as low drag as aero-shell,what about a wing complex like KamperBob has shown,hinged at the rear uprights,and pinned at the front.
When you need to get into the bed,you pull a couple clevis-pins,tip the wing complex backwards,allowing clearance for the tonneau to swing up and open.
You could still mount the wing complex close to the cab without losing access.
Just s thought.

KamperBob 07-28-2010 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by botsapper (Post 185901)

I give it a 10 for style but have to wonder if aero + dually = oxymoron. LOL

Cheers
KB

botsapper 07-29-2010 05:24 PM

Live in So Cali. Where you could see Teslas, Priuii, Volt & Fisker demos on the same road with International CXT's, rockcrawlers & lifted/lowered duallies of all brands used as their personal commuter vehicles. So the 'style' still counts for many...;)

Big Dave 07-29-2010 07:00 PM

The front step is just a detail to work out once the overall shape is squared away.

Tweety 07-29-2010 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KamperBob (Post 185922)
I give it a 10 for style but have to wonder if aero + dually = oxymoron. LOL

Cheers
KB

No-no forget oxy... That's pure moron... ;)

slowmover 07-30-2010 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KamperBob (Post 185922)
I give it a 10 for style but have to wonder if aero + dually = oxymoron. LOL

Cheers
KB

It's the shortbed that makes it useless. And exhaust pipes that, themselves, are not "aero" (producing a low pressure across the exit that pulls the fumes out); who wants to unload a bed with smoking hot pipes at your shins, or connect/disconnect a trailer with that. (Not surprised, however, that it is a Ford).

Big Dave 07-30-2010 10:21 PM

Easy on the Ford shortbeds.

aerohead 07-31-2010 02:14 PM

Cd 0.137 'shortbed'
 
The Ford Probe-V 'shortbed' has the lowest Cd of any 'producible' automobile,so the 'shortness' may not be such a big issue.( although the front of the vehicle takes on special importance ).

KamperBob 07-31-2010 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aerohead (Post 186319)
The Ford Probe-V 'shortbed' has the lowest Cd of any 'producible' automobile,so the 'shortness' may not be such a big issue.( although the front of the vehicle takes on special importance ).

Convenience link for pix.
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...tml#post135472

Cheers
KB


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