Front Wheel Skirt Experiment - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-11-2006, 07:02 PM   #1
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Front Wheel Skirt Experiment

Vehicle - 2005 Honda Insight

Goal - 1.)See if Coroplast will work as a front wheel skirt
2.)Is the aerodynamic gain measureable in FE

Concerns - 1.) Coroplast rubbing on tire and melting
2.) Retraction system failure and wheel skirt gets ripped off in the airstream

To address concern #1, I glued thin sheets of white Teflon to the rub areas.



The retraction system is simply a latex glove cut into strips and doubled up to give the proper tension.

Also installed a small block at the front of the wheel well to prevent the skirt from being pulled in too far.

Tomorrow's commute to work will be the first test run. It's a known course, with a years worth of fuel economy info. I'll see if it's measurable. I'm guessing it won't amount to much.

I'm bringing a few tools just in case they fail during the drive and have to be removed.






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Old 05-11-2006, 07:07 PM   #2
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cool stuff.

cool stuff.

have you road tested these yet to any significant speed? what's the max speed of your commute?

edit: just re-read and saw you haven't tried it yet. good luck tomorrow - i hope that latex is taut enough!
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:15 PM   #3
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The drive to work in the

The drive to work in the morning will be the first test.

Will they still be on the car when I arrive?
They have to withstand 55MPH max and lots of turns.
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:19 PM   #4
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i don't want to sound

i don't want to sound pessimistic, but i think there needs to be quite a lot of tension to hold them flat against the car at 55 mph. at that speed, if they lift away just a little, they'll be off in an instant.

i think you'll be okay for the turns, since you'll most likely be below speeds that would be a problem (on/off ramps notwithstanding).
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:25 PM   #5
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seeing this makes me wish i

seeing this makes me wish i could do this kind of stuff full time! looking forward to your results.
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:12 AM   #6
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Personally, I think they'll

Personally, I think they'll fly off.

My idea of front skirt was always just see how much we could cover before the wheel starts to hit it.
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Old 05-12-2006, 07:28 AM   #7
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First test drive

The drive to work this morning was the first chance to test the wheel skirts.

At first I could hear the skirt flapping and slapping the wheel well stop. Speed was 38-40 MPH.
Then it got quiet after I picked up the speed to 48MPH.

Arrived in the parking lot at work, got out to see how it looked.

Oops! No front wheel skirts. They sheared off at top folded hinge. Coroplast won't hold up to the forces and the retraction bands need to be much tighter.

Lesson learned. Back to the drawing board (cafeteria napkin).
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Old 05-12-2006, 07:48 AM   #8
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yeow

Someone got a load of coroplast in the windshield!! LOL Didn't you see them fly off???

You may want to add an overlapping piece of material over the leading edge of the cover taped to the front bumper/fender in front of the wheel so that the leading edge of the wheel cover can not scoop air into the wheel well. You may want to make it a two part wheel cover allowing the front part to hinge on the leading edge on the fender ahead of the wheel and keep a vertical overlaping seam at the center of the wheel so that only the front edge opens up when the front edge of the tire sticks out and the rear edge opens up when the rear edge of the tire sticks out.

Think in terms of the air flow not gravity for your hinges. Also you may only have to cover the edges of the wheel well close to the tire but not over the tire if you have smooth wheel covers. This way the cover would not have to move when the tire protrudes - slight tradeoff but much easier to fasten and retain on the car.

Sort of like stuffing a really big tire in the fender so you can't get your hand in there between the tire and the fender opening like the guys say on the xB forum - if you can fit your hand in the wheel well your tires are not big enough!
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: First test drive

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Originally Posted by hawkgt647
Back to the drawing board (cafeteria napkin).
that's too bad. i still think it's a worthy modification and hope you can make it work.
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #10
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Well, I'm pretty certain

Well, I'm pretty certain something like this would work, but it would take some ingenuity (and wheel clearance) to get it strong enough and to make it fit. It's the only way I would personally feel comfortable doing it.



Basically it's just a framework that would be attached to the steering control rods so the framework would turn with the wheel. Well, at least it gave me the idea of plexiglass or lexan wheel skirts while I drew it up...
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