ppl w/ wheel skirts..what about flats? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-17-2008, 12:54 PM   #1
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ppl w/ wheel skirts..what about flats?

I have run out of the relatively easy mods to do so I am looking into some more advanced ones. I just have questions about them.

for wheel skirt owners, did you put a mechanism on them so that they are easily removable in the case of a flat? how did you do it? was it easy?

for belly pan owners, what about oil changes? do you have to take off the belly pan to get to the filter and plug? did you create an access panel?

so far I have done:

grill block
WAI
scangauge II
more tire air pressure (40 I think)
lots of PM (air fliter, fuel fliter, plugs, wires)

I am open to suggestions on my next move.


Note: I am not comfortable doing the EOCing or neutral coasting since I have an auto.

thanks
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:02 PM   #2
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I won't beat this horse into the ground, but if you want to neutral coast but are afraid, you can try it a little at a time at progressively higher speeds; and I've had a few GMs all of which were fine with it (mainly done in 87 DeVille, 97 Grand Am, and 02 Sierra). You probably can't EOC without risking your transmission.

Edit: I bet your transmission is exactly the same one as was in my Grand Am, and tuned the same way.

I wonder how much paint it takes to spray wheel skirts. I'd consider them on my car but only if I can make them look stock (and therefore not attract any more attention than necessary). Matching paint may be expensive...
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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rivet/weld tabs for dzus fasteners to the car. then use dzus fasteners to secure the skirts to the tabs. they remove easily when necessary
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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I tried the wheel skirt mod but my gas mileage went down dismally.

I had each side held with five screws. I took some small angle iron and sliced off about 3/4" pieces. Appropriate holes were drilled to screw them to the wheel well lip. Small nuts were welded to the inside of the angles and received the screws that held on the skirts. If I were to ever have a flat I only needed to unscrew five screws.

They weren't as slick as dzus fasteners, but dead simple to make and install.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #5
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holycow, I have the 4spd auto (not sure of numbers) also did it lock out reverse when you were riding? that is my biggest concern. I know of people that do the neutral coast that say that they have hit reverse a few times.

also I have had an idea about using shatter proof plastic sheeting as fender skirts. I have had pretty good luck using a heat gun to bend the stuff. I was going to make 3 tabs. one at the top and one at each side. I was just going to use the top one to keep it sturdy (maybe make a slot on the inner fender for it to go. I was going to actually mount the other two some way. I am still not sure it is worth the effort since I usually travel at slow speeds and I don't do the engine off coasting or neutral coasting.
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
holycow, I have the 4spd auto (not sure of numbers) also did it lock out reverse when you were riding? that is my biggest concern. I know of people that do the neutral coast that say that they have hit reverse a few times.
Reverse lockout has always been dependable for me with console shifters, where you have to press a button. I've never accidentally hit R, but with a column shifter the lockout isn't quite as sure since it's easy to accidentally pull back while pushing up. Yesterday I was doing it in my truck with its column shifter, and found it to be far easier and less tiring than doing it with a manual transmission, where I fear making a mistake from fatigue after a long day of driving - though I suppose accidentally putting it in 3rd instead of 5th wouldn't be as bad as R, even when the R danger comes with the cushion of a torque converter. With a console/floor shifter it would be a cakewalk, just a little nudge into N and a little nudge back into D.

At 70mph with a steady foot on the gas my truck's tachometer reads 2000 rpm. With my foot off the gas it's something like 1600. When I shift from N into D at 70 it takes a second to engage then the tachometer comes up in a couple steps until 1600. It does not jerk or buck. I usually get impatient and get on the gas a little soon and I don't detect any danger in doing so - no slippage, no noise or jerking.

If your Cavalier is equipped with significantly lower gearing then I could imagine it getting a little jerky and needing some rev-matching, which is really what's happening when I get impatient and get on the gas early.

Quote:
also I have had an idea about using shatter proof plastic sheeting as fender skirts. I have had pretty good luck using a heat gun to bend the stuff.
Where does one get this stuff, and how much does it cost?
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:28 AM   #7
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FYI your car has gone over 45 mph and thrown in reverse before anyone ever bought it. Cars are lightly tortured before being approved for delivery. Also, lots of cars with allow you to go from D to N without pressing the button (console) or pulling back on the stick (column). When shifted this way you can't accidentally throw it into reverse.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:40 AM   #8
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holycow, I have bought the plastic sheeting from lowes home improvement and have seen the shatterproof stuff their too. it is near the lumber in the glass cutting area. you usually buy it in smaller sheets depending on size. if you look at my grill cover, it was made with the non-shatterproof stuff and the sheet was $13 and it made that grill cover and enough is left for another. I think it was 2x3 feet. I used a jig saw with a metal cutting blade (finer teeth) and still had problems with cracking. I think the shatter proof was $20 or so for the same sheet. I wish I would have used that instead.

all, I think I am going to try the neutral coasting on monday but not a lot. I will see how I feel about it. this has been one of the best cars for me and I don't want to kill it trying things so I am going to take it easy. thanks for the encouragement. I do have the shifter in the floor and noticed that it won't go back into reverse unless you push the button.

proceeding with caution.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:37 AM   #9
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OK it's monday and I tried the neutral thing. I was impressed how easy it was to get back into gear. it actually felt like it was simply shifting like it was going from first to second.

I am feeling alright about this right now. I didn't see much of a gain coming to work but it seems like coming to work is an up hill climb and going home is more down hill. hopefully I will see more of a gain going home. one thing about doing the neutral glide is it forces me to pay more attention to the car. I can easily see myself revving the engine because I forget to put it back into drive.

I can definitely see the benefits of it as my instantaneous MPG hit 175 today on the way to work. I think the best I hit before that was 150 or so.

how far do y'all let the speed fluctuate? 5mph maybe 10? does it depend on traffic?

still proceeding with caution but with more confidence
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
how far do y'all let the speed fluctuate? 5mph maybe 10? does it depend on traffic?
Thank you, I was going to ask the same question. It should be further qualified, though, by saying also that the answers should be in the context of engine-on coasting. People who do engine-off coasting will almost certainly stretch their P&G cycles more.

My P&G cycles have been huge, taking as large a bite as traffic, safety, and not getting a ticket will allow. Sometimes it's been between 35 and 70mph, though usually my total delta is closer to 20mph.

Should I not do it in such huge chunks? Should I not do the tiny nibbles of 5mph that I can manage in traffic? It seems kinda pointless when I accelerate for two seconds then coast for two seconds.
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