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Old 05-21-2008, 05:28 AM   #1
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Flush Handles: Worth the effort?

Aircraft have flush door handles.


Has anybody actually replaced a stock door handle and adapted the bodywork or produced some sort of clip on fairing to cover a handle?

These seem more flush than my Jetta IV pull handles but would need bodywork.




Finally, here is a true "flush handle"

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Old 05-21-2008, 05:49 AM   #2
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Well when you've got the general shape of your vehicle under about a .28 drag coefficient, and you're intending to drive over 100mph, then probably you'll start seeing a difference. On a bang per buck front, you'd never see it pay off, unless you're on the "How fast do you wanna go and how much money do you got?" program.

If you wanna do a bang per buck mod, look and see if you can tweak the adjustment on current handles so they stick out 1/4 inch or less. Or make a fairing out of a sliced 500ml soda pop bottle or similar.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:39 AM   #3
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Lots of folks who mod for looks (rather than speed or FE) use flush handles or completely remove their handles and install electric openers. Check with those sort of folks for info on how it's done. There's loads of 'em on gmfullsize.com (forum for GM full size trucks), and I'm sure they're easy to find on lots of other forums.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:40 AM   #4
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my car has flush handles wich i like, this appeared on a lot of opels from this periode, later they reverted again external handles on the vectra, wich i think is a serious technical flaw, but wich arguable has more "character", and might be cheaper to produce as you don't have to have such a big resess in the door.

what would be really cool are fully flush handles that pop out when the doors are unlocked, but that would create more problems that it would solve

upgrading to flush handles shouldn't be all that difficuly in theory, but it might be a lot of work that won't trancelate in measurable gains. i suppose you could get flush handles cheaply from a junkjard... some seemingly boxy 80's cars showed more dedication to aero in their details than todays smooth cars (sometimes with Cd's that are much the same as well)

getting the locks and mechanisms to work interact might take some workmanship, but it's not undoable, especially if you can do some real surgery on the car.


maybe you could do some tuft testing to see how the flow is affected by the handles (it might already be messed up by the mirrors etc)
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:48 AM   #5
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10:4 10:4 What's your handle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
Well when you've got the general shape of your vehicle under about a .28 drag coefficient, and you're intending to drive over 100mph, then probably you'll start seeing a difference. On a bang per buck front, you'd never see it pay off, unless you're on the "How fast do you wanna go and how much money do you got?" program.
Yeah, I guess continuing down this avenue would include taping the hood and door gaps closed...

...my family would finally have me committed if I insisted that everybody board the vehicle through the hatchback! Not to mention safety for exiting the vehicle!

My very best MPG in the Jetta TDI is crawling at 25-26mph by letting the idle pull me in 5th gear. (2 mile flat circuit around a city park lake)
This is nowhere near 100mph.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtFox View Post
My very best MPG in the Jetta TDI is crawling at 25-26mph by letting the idle pull me in 5th gear. (2 mile flat circuit around a city park lake)
I wish they had put that transmission in my Rabbit. Idle in 5th is something like 15mph. What's your RPM at 70mph?
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtFox View Post
Yeah, I guess continuing down this avenue would include taping the hood and door gaps closed...
I used to think that was completely pointless at our speeds, but have been considering that right at the front of the car, it may be worthwhile to attempt to seal gaps, for instance round the lights and grille and the front edge of the hood, due to increased air pressure at this point making for relatively more resistance on surface features up there than on the rest of the car.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWarrior View Post
I used to think that was completely pointless at our speeds, but have been considering that right at the front of the car, it may be worthwhile to attempt to seal gaps, for instance round the lights and grille and the front edge of the hood, due to increased air pressure at this point making for relatively more resistance on surface features up there than on the rest of the car.
yea maybe between the hood and grille/headlights at interstate speeds but around town it would be useless i think


but getting flush door handles would be purely for looks, you wont see a noticeable gain (impossible to measure because it would be so very small if anything)
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