So I'm planning on entering a MPG challenge this summer (the one at Green Drive Expo) which is my motivation behind these two mods.
All winter long I had some pink insulation foam blocking the front grill on my 98 tercel, and some plexiglass blocking the lower grill on the front bumper. Since its getting warmer out, I decided to remove the pink foam...plus I heard the radiator fan turn on one day when I pulled in my garage for the first time since I've owned the car.. While asking some of the guys at out local EV group, one guy mentioned a different way of improving frontal aerodynamics while still allowing for some air to get into the radiator for cooling. It sounded fairly simple, and along the lines of what I wanted; aerodynamics, and some more air for the summer months.
You can still see one line of the pink foam, left it in there because it was the only full piece that had not fallen out/cracked in the winter months...so I figured it wouldnt hurt any.
What I really want to accomplish is eliminate as much aerodynamic drag from underneath the car as possible...with out going crazy. From my reading, it is apparently a bad zone for any car.
I'm planning on making it out of corrogated plastic/corroplast. It seems like it would be durable enough, light, and cheap. Plus, I've seen several others use it to make grill blocks/under belly covers. My only concerns at this point are how close to the exhaust I can get without melting the plastic; I'm NOT planning on covering the exhaust, but rather cutting around it. Also, I'm concerned on where the best mounting points are going to be, since there are not a whole lot of them once you get past the front wheels.
Heres some photos I took of the cardboard mock-up I was working on this past weekend:
Current plastic panels covering some of the engine bay:
Current plastic sitting on top of cardboard mock-up:
Current plastic sitting on top of what is currently done being mocked-up:
Photos of the mock-up "mounted" under the car; note they are very close shots because there was not a lot of room between the floor and the car.
Driver side wheel well (Left is rear, Right is towards the front):
Clearance of Control Arm:
Exhaust Clearance; on the bottom is where it starts dropping down from the engine (top, is rear):
Exhaust, close to the catalytic converter:
Exhaust, at catalytic converter:
Front Sway Bar: