Lifetime Fuel Economy: 39.49 mpg

Monday, July 7, 2008

New grill block - work in progress

I removed the old grill block completely, and made a new one with a new purpose in mind. Rather than direct air below the car where I'm unlikely to make it really aerodynamic, push air up over the car and to the sides. I did some reading on the forums and decided to go for it, using a higher point of attachment on my bumper (the furthest forward part) and having the grill block hang straight down and slightly forward at the bottom, like I suggested in my "new idea" post, but not as extreme. Best would be to have a low, pointy nose. There are three reasons I'm not doing this. First, it would scrape on the ground EVERYWHERE. The one I designed will do that enough. Second, it would be forcing a lot of air upward when traveling on the highway. Newton's second law, F=ma, shows that a large force would be required to make a large mass of air accelerate upward, which would likely wreak havoc on my poorly constructed grill block frame. Third, (and Newton's Third - it's a good thing I did it in this order!!) the large force imparted upward on the air would be pushing downward on the block and my car.
A long lever arm in front of a lightweight car with some force on it could make the 'scort do funky things at highway speed by taking weight off the rear tires. Too much to worry about.
I used more free parts here: coroplast campaign signs for the flat stuff, and the frame that goes around the whole bottom and also attaches the center to the bottom of the radiator support is made of some drop-ceiling metal trim that I found in the dumpster by my house. I'll have to be careful; Linda will want to take out the trash to prevent me from finding more stuff if I'm not careful!
Here's progress so far; you can click on images to enlarge them if you wish.

I still have to do some work on the underside, to make my front belly pan, and on the air intake portion to keep air from just shooting down around the radiator.

BELOW: Shot from in front of air intake, looking slightly downward.

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