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Old 05-31-2007, 05:40 AM   #1
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New Air Dam Extension = Best Tank Ever

This morning I achieved my best ever fillup: 32.01 MPG (highway)
EPA highway: 24 (old rating).

This was the first tank driven following completion of Stage III of the lower air dam extension on this car. Project also includes a belly pan covering the area forward of the front axles, right up to the air dam's lower edge.

I think with this setup I should be steadily between 30-32 MPG for the summer. I hope to do additional aerodynamic work on the car however other needs at home may come first.



Yes I'm sure that a splitter (as opposed to an air dam) plus front end treatment would be give even better results. But I don't want to rebuild the car into something else; I want it to still look like a Volvo 240. I'm considering side skirts, rear wheel skirts and a truncated boattail (spoilers actually) for the rear.
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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 05-31-2007, 06:52 AM   #2
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Interesting, but not that attractive. What you might do is use bondo to smooth it out and make it look sleek, then use that part to make a fiberglass mold. Here is an excellent primer on how to do fiberglassing, I plan to use this link to help rebuild the interior on my truck. Looks like that piece is made from steel, a fiberglass piece would be lighter. You could also do this splitter you are talking about at the same time, and add on little tire deflectors. Definitely understand about home matters coming first, the same problem is what makes my one day projects become six month ordeals .
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Telco View Post
Interesting, but not that attractive. What you might do is use bondo to smooth it out and make it look sleek, then use that part to make a fiberglass mold....
A friend of mine who also drives a 240 wants to mold it in fiberglass.
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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 05-31-2007, 07:02 AM   #4
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Screw the Bondo. You need about 100 of those short metal spikes they put on leather wear extending from the lower edge forward.

Nice results. I suspect that the belly pan is a large part of that improvement.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:49 AM   #5
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Good job. Can you post some pics of the belly pan? And do you have any engine cooling issues from covering the belly pan?
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:20 AM   #6
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Good job. Can you post some pics of the belly pan? And do you have any engine cooling issues from covering the belly pan?
Thanks! (and of course thanks to all who gave a written thumbs up).

See the three screwheads on the side panel? They go into brackets attaching that panel to the edge of forward belly pan. Pan is about 3/8" below the screw heads.
See the lower screwhead on air dam front panel (there are 5 of those)? Same idea, except pan is 3/8" above the screw head.
If I had moved the camera 1/2 a foot to the right you could see part of the pan, peering in between tire's edge and trailing edge of air dam side panel. Dig?

I'm pretty sure I have pics of the forward belly pan that I added. At home, so I'll have to post them later. Might take a day or two till I can do it. I don't have a pic showing how it all goes together under the car; you'll just have to picture it in your mind's eye. I should be able to take a photo of the oem belly pan from above so you can see that.

BTW - odd that you could see a belly pan from above, right? Old rwd car. Had a mechanical radiator fan with a big shroud between fan and radiator to duct the airflow. My e-fan conversion got rid of the shroud and oem fan, so there's a nice space between radiator and engine where you can see the belly pan below that space. Good for some under-the-hood jobs, too!
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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 05-31-2007, 11:49 AM   #7
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A friend of mine who also drives a 240 wants to mold it in fiberglass.
Excellent. If those screws are the mount, then devise a simple way to mount from the inside, make a good fiberglass mold, and start selling them. You can make some cash, and help Volvo owners everywhere get a bit better mileage, whether they know it or not.
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:10 PM   #8
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Excellent. If those screws are the mount, then devise a simple way to mount from the inside, make a good fiberglass mold, and start selling them. You can make some cash, and help Volvo owners everywhere get a bit better mileage, whether they know it or not.
Maybe even better than that. He might be able to mold the oem air dam, my extension, and the new forward belly pan all in one piece. The oem air dam attaches to bumper with some tabs/clips and TWO screws! Forward belly pan attaches to oem one with 2-4 screws. That way it's all one unit and should install very easily.
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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 05-31-2007, 03:10 PM   #9
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Screw the Bondo. You need about 100 of those short metal spikes they put on leather wear extending from the lower edge forward.

Nice results. I suspect that the belly pan is a large part of that improvement.
I agree. It would be interesting to remove the air dam and just run the belly pan and see if the improvements still there. Nice numbers.
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