Tarp as smooth bottom? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-13-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
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Tarp as smooth bottom?

With the appropriate attachment points, tensioning springs (if necessary), and clearances or shields from heat sources, could a tarp be used to make a smooth bottom? I was thinking about a way to make it cheap and also easily removable. Easy enough to add more grommets if it needs to be an irregular shape.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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plastic tarp + hot exhaust = melted mess

if you can avoid that and the flapping, maybe.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:53 PM   #3
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That's why it needs to be tensioned really well. I can weld on attachment points to assist, I suppose. I was thinking that coroplast would melt, which is what got me thinking. Or do they avoid the heat just by being low enough? I'd need to put in standoffs to maintain distance in that case (the tarp would stretched over them). Need to scout out the bottom of my car I guess. I figure smooth is more important than 100% flat, although that's the ideal.

Trying to think of cheap, flexible, high temperature materials. No luck, though.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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I think people using coroplast don't cover the exhaust.

I'm sure that coroplast would be a far better material than a tarp, but I wouldn't mind seeing someone give the tarp idea a try.

Oh, and finally...you can't post the word "tarp" around me and not expect me to post this, can you?
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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Of course, with grommets and springs, I could just remove the cloroplast quickly...which was the original point. I should wait at least a day before posting ideas like this.

I could avoided the obvious (in hindsight) trap...
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #6
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nothing a complex pulley and block system couldn't tension.

And nothing coroplast with a few self-tap screws wouldn't solve in half the time with half the screws and mounting points and guaranteed to not flap in the wind no matter what.

Hard decision I know... damn tarps and their good uses..
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:53 PM   #7
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Someone here already tried that on a Dodge minivan. I forget who though. As I recall, it didn't work out well, and he ended up ripping it off halfway on a long roadtrip (To Florida I think)

-Jay
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:32 AM   #8
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Tensioning a tarp to avoid almost all movement is the only way it'd work, and that's gotta be more work than a quick release system for a rigid panel (I want easier removal than just screwing it to the bottom, especially since I'm still under warranty). Maybe weld nuts and some plastic (to avoid corrosion) wing bolts. Of course McMaster Carr doesn't stock plastic wing bolts, so that doesn't bode well. Maybe weld nuts with plastic threaded rod glued in them and then plastic wing nuts? Those components I can actually get.
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Function: noun
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
Someone here already tried that on a Dodge minivan. I forget who though.
Found the thread. Never wound up getting tried and they went with an air dam instead. Based on the design restrictions: only attached at edges combined with slits cut in it and < $5 tarps, I think it'd have croaked pretty quickly, unfortunately.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:42 PM   #10
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I've wondered about using aluminum flashing and rivet pieces together to make it the width you need and it would also be easily cut and fit. I would think it would be durable enough to withstand as much or more than coroplast. You could beef up the mounting area by sandwiching the flashing between some flat 1/8" thick steel or aluminum about 3/4"-1" wide to give it enough strength that it wouldn't rip out. What does everyone else think of my idea? Would it work? I've never tried making a belly pan so I'm sure some of you with experience would have a good idea whether this would work or not. Everyone give me some feedback of the pros and cons.
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