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Old 07-27-2007, 11:58 AM   #1
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Wheel turbulance Q for gurus.

I have no graphics program as yet, so bear with my goofy descriptons.

Barring full wheelwell covers, could some measurable gain be realized by simply putting a " tire scraper" in the trailing edge of the wheelwell, located as close to the tire as possible and at the height of the loaded axle centerline (greatest diameter of the tire?)

My thinking is that the wheelwell can only eat as much as it gets fed.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #2
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I have wondered the exact same thing. I hope someone gives you the right answer...
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:35 PM   #3
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i doubt that would work, if i understand your explanation.

you mean something like this?:



(if you're looking for a free verctor drawing programm check out inkscape, open scourse and easyer to use than illustrator.)

i think the clearance would have to be so big the air would get trough anyway... it might create some sort of venturi effect...

but wheel well aerodynamics are still a mystry to me for the most part, so if you can fit this on your car you might give it a try....

the closest thing to this i know is a flap in front of the wheel. i'm not totally sure about how that works but i think it's there to help prevent wheel drag so you might want to look into that as well.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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No, at the rear of the wheel, which would be at the 3:00 position on your drawing. The clearance could be pretty close back there.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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Any area of relatively low pressure will still suck air in a cause turbulence AFAIK. Even if the back is blocked off, there will be air sucked in from what's flowing over the sides. This may create more turbulence since it'll suck in way more air from the relatively smooth side flow instead of the relatively chaotic underbody flow.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
No, at the rear of the wheel, which would be at the 3:00 position on your drawing. The clearance could be pretty close back there.
Zackly.


It's like an air diet for the wheewell, skimming off at least some of the turbulence induced by the tread.

I'm sure this has been looked into before, but if the principle is sound it could also be done in the front, though to a lesser degree.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=but if the principle is sound it could also be done in the front, though to a lesser degree.[/QUOTE]

Just rethought this. If the flap were cut in a arc to match the arc of the tires during steering, the gain, if any, would be realized up front as well during normal corrective steering at highway speeds.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:26 PM   #8
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I've always thought that most of what's happening around the wheels is just the shape of wheel plus the wheel well cavity moving through the space. I try not to be fooled by the fact that the tire is spinning.

I think there's a minor turbine effect due to the tread etc. but most of what's happening is due to the cavity with tire + rim in it. I did see some wind tunnel pics where a fancy alloy wheel created it's own turbulence that was much more than the same car with a fairly smooth and simple wheel cover over a steel wheel. FWIW.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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You need to chase down the wheel skirts built by basjoos and CO Zx2. Both have full front wheel skirts.

Basjoos' front skirts are hinged with wide rollers underneath so when he turns, the tire presses on the rollers and lifts part of the skirt up out of the way.

CO ZX2's uses stretchable rubber for part of the front skirt. I don't completely understand how it works; I think maybe the rubber stretches to let the tire do its thing. I don't know how/why there's no rubbing to damage the rubber, maybe he'll post here.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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Theoretically this would work on its own. Combining it with wheelwell skirts or other mods would only enhance the effect. I'm just trying to find out if there's anthing to this principle.

I've not seen it discussed and Bill and I couldn't possibly be the only two people who've considered it.
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