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Old 10-14-2010, 06:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Today I did a 29 mile round trip with 2 stops in the middle. On the way down I was averaging 30 mpg. On the way back my instant mileage was not as well as I left town. About a mile out the Ultragauge gave me a warning that I was over 4000 rpm. I looked down and I had inadvertently had the auto transmission in second, oops. No wonder the instant mileage wouldn't go over 18mpg. I ended up with 28+ mpg round trip.

I think my single front wheel cover made some difference. I made the left side steel frame and laid the composite. It is curing.

Maybe averaging 30mpg is a reality in my minivan.
A modest boat tail might push you to mid-thirties!

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Boat tail, I have been thinking about one. When I got home today I got out the flox and laid a layer on my front cover. It is quite bumpy and has two tape overlaps. A more permanent fitting may be necessary. I am still sanding with 36 grit

For my boat tail I was considering a similar construction as my wheel fairings. I would need some metal to make a frame then a dacron cover to act as a mold for the composite. I wish I could stand cardboard. I have stacks of 2x4 target board.

I may have to turn loose of some money and get a 4wd small vehicle. I bottomed out 3 times on our road this afternoon. My small bodywork survived.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Boat tail, I have been thinking about one. When I got home today I got out the flox and laid a layer on my front cover. It is quite bumpy and has two tape overlaps. A more permanent fitting may be necessary. I am still sanding with 36 grit

For my boat tail I was considering a similar construction as my wheel fairings. I would need some metal to make a frame then a dacron cover to act as a mold for the composite. I wish I could stand cardboard. I have stacks of 2x4 target board.

I may have to turn loose of some money and get a 4wd small vehicle. I bottomed out 3 times on our road this afternoon. My small bodywork survived.
A neighbor constructed a tail for his Vanagon using a welded 1/2" EMT frame covered in doped fabric which his wife had stitched on.He was an old tail-dragger owner/pilot,gyro-copter builder and no newcomer to lightweight construction.
I'll bet his boat tail didn't weigh 10-pounds.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Aerohead, that is basically how I was building my front wheel fairings. I used 9 gauge wire and sewed dacron on the them. I did coat the dacron with a layer of carbon then wet it out. The dacron acts as a mold and is a mold release as well. I like the look of the fabric how it flows between the metal frame parts. I got the idea watching some ridiculous car stereo program and they built in their speaker enclosures much the same way.

I may start some real work on the rear of my minivan. I am not sure how much I will get done as I refuse to do any carbon work in my shop. Too hazardous but perhaps building the rear framework and using dacron fabric might get me started.

I have made my front grill cover permanent now. It is finally gotten smooth enough to start looking good too (Apply a thin layer of micro, sand it off, repeat.). Today I fitted it in so that that the hood could be opened without removing it. I have a 1/8" gap so that is pretty small. I may use a technique that learned to make the gap as thin as a layer of duct tape.
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The image isn't showing up.
I downloaded it, it's a blank image
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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fixed link.
Here is the stock front. From straight on it hard to get a visualization of the lower lip created by the bumper.
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"A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits."
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Ayn Rand

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Old 03-08-2011, 06:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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'Impact' van

When the Impact debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show GM also had a hybrid van which was showcased.
The van has a small Kamm-back boat tailed section and is rated around Cd 0.25,quite a bit lower than the Pontiac Trans Sport of Cd 0.30.
If I could wisk the magic fabrication fairies your way,I'd have 'em put a short tail together for your van just to see what it would do.
1st-gen Insight/Prius minivan!
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the inspiration. I have thought about putting on a tail trunk on the trailer hitch receiver.

Has anyone seen a photo of such van.


My wife really doesn't like driving the VW although she does fine with it.
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Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
When the Impact debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show GM also had a hybrid van which was showcased.
The van has a small Kamm-back boat tailed section and is rated around Cd 0.25,quite a bit lower than the Pontiac Trans Sport of Cd 0.30.
If I could wisk the magic fabrication fairies your way,I'd have 'em put a short tail together for your van just to see what it would do.
1st-gen Insight/Prius minivan!

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"A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits."
Richard M. Nixon


"The reward of suffering is experience."
Harry S. Truman

“There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
Ayn Rand
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