Installed Front Wheel Fairings - Fuelly Forums

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Old 12-20-2006, 06:54 PM   #1
DRW
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Installed Front Wheel Fairings

I finally got around to installing a pair of front wheel fairings today. The idea was brewing in my head for the past couple weeks when I read a post about aero mods, and someone mentioned using a 'bleach jug' instead of coroplast. That got me thinking.

So here's the result. The first pic is the raw materials I used. I was lucky to find a color that blends in with my car. The material is easy to work with, just cut with good scissors and a hole punch.

The second pic shows what shape it was cut into.
I'll pause here to make sure this post and pics come through OK.
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:04 PM   #2
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OK looks like everything worked in the first post.
Part 2:
The next series of pics show how the fairing is attached at the back, attached at the front, and a nice side view. It only took about 3 hours to complete both sides. Something similar could be fabricated just as easily for the trailing side of the tires, both front and rear.

Enjoy!

Dave W.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRW
OK looks like everything worked in the first post.
Part 2:
The next series of pics show how the fairing is attached at the back, attached at the front, and a nice side view. It only took about 3 hours to complete both sides. Something similar could be fabricated just as easily for the trailing side of the tires, both front and rear.

Enjoy!

Dave W.
Neat job, DRW. Good to see a thinking man come through. Is your FE consistent enough to get a feel for any improvement?
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:06 PM   #4
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I like your thinking DRW!
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:43 PM   #5
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Thanks!
My FE has been within 1 mpg at each fill up, so I might notice an improvement. Then again, the weather is cold and rainy this week, and the roads are clogged with Christmas shoppers, so who knows how this tank will end up. There's too many variables per fillup, and I don't think this will have a large effect on FE. I plan on adding fairings (are they still called 'fairings' if they're in the back?) to the trailing edge of the rear wheels next. Anyone else notice that the Prius already has fairings behind it's rear wheels? They're blacked out so you can't really see them. They seem to have a very long taper. Food for though.
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:09 PM   #6
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I like they way they fit.

My only concern though is this.

Since they taper down to a point and do not actually cover the entire width of the tires will they help?

Can't wait to find out. Keep up on the updates.

I work at a small lumber yard and hardware store. Lots of valley flashings and 5 gallon buckets. Makes me daydream all day long on what I could use to aero mod my Sidekick.
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Old 01-01-2007, 06:18 PM   #7
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brelandt-

Quote:
Originally Posted by brelandt
I like they way they fit.

My only concern though is this.

Since they taper down to a point and do not actually cover the entire width of the tires will they help?

Can't wait to find out. Keep up on the updates.

I work at a small lumber yard and hardware store. Lots of valley flashings and 5 gallon buckets. Makes me daydream all day long on what I could use to aero mod my Sidekick.
I was thinking the same thing but it is such a good idea that I am keeping watch at all of the Big Lots and Plasti-crap stores for a bucket (in white, the color of my car) that is the width of a tire. I have been looking at wedge shaped dust pans too, but I have never found "the right one". You actually need a "blocky" looking dust pan instead of a curvy/swoopy one.

Alternatively, I am thinking about a durable "spongy" wedge shape that I cover in thin plastic sheeting. The idea is that it will deform easily if I come up too close to a curb, but will maintain it's shape at speed. I know it would work from two angles, but I can't resolve how to cover the side view gracefully, the side that everyone sees.

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Old 01-01-2007, 06:52 PM   #8
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Get a really big hard sponge, nerf or something of that nature. cut it into the desired shape and pour a can of plasti dip on it.

maybe this would do it?
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:30 PM   #9
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brelandt -

Quote:
Originally Posted by brelandt
Get a really big hard sponge, nerf or something of that nature. cut it into the desired shape and pour a can of plasti dip on it.

maybe this would do it?
Yeah, but this also reminds me of something else, maybe pads at a sporting goods store, that would have the right texture/rigidity. But it probably wouldn't be the right shape.

I think the plasti-dip is good, especially because it comes as a spray and claims weather durability. The interior "foamy" part can't be too soft, though, because it needs to be attached with a screw ... or maybe epoxied? double-sticky-taped?

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Old 01-03-2007, 07:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brelandt
"Since they taper down to a point and do not actually cover the entire width of the tires will they help?"
It's hard to tell if they help or not. My last fillup gave me about 1/2 mpg better than normal, but traffic conditions were not normal during the holidays. The theory is that they start pushing the air down and away from the center of the tire. It should help airflow stay attached to the side of the wheel, instead of hitting the front of the tire and billowing outward. I designed the fairings after watching the front tires of other cars while driving in the rain. It's easy to see which way the air is going when it's raining. I know the design isn't ideal, but it's pretty close. I would like to have the fairings mounted farther back, close to the tire. The trailing edge of the fairing tapers the wrong way, too. I didn't expect huge gains, I mostly did it for the experience.

I like the idea of a nerf ball sculpted into a fairing, covered in rubber tool handle plasti-dip. Maybe it could be attached by skewering it with a flat bar that can be bolted down?
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