Messing with front spoiler

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by carl, May 13, 2019.

  1. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Due to the wheel flare extensions at the front, I need a modified front spoiler. Stock configuration but about an inch or two deeper. I had an old rusty/beat up spoiler I had hacked up but then never used so made that the base for my new spoiler.

    IMG_0927[2].JPG

    Then I made a form out of fiberboard.

    IMG_0928[2].JPG

    That was the easy part. Now I have to figure out what to make the spoiler out of. Needs to be strong enough not to flex down when air pressure hits it. Making it from steel means I can weld it to the old spoiler skeleton but I'm open to other ideas that involve readily available materials such as a hard plastic or fiberglass panel...something I could get from a place like Home Depot or Lowes would be ideal.
     
  2. toddr124

    toddr124 Hagerstown, MD

    Location:
    Hagerstown, MD
    How about real old school. Start with a 1 by 6 and a belt sander? I have a band saw you can rough cut the wood close with and than sand.
     
  3. Waterbury

    Waterbury True Classic

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  4. Fiataccompli

    Fiataccompli Chris Granju

    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    that's an interesting idea since hard objects taking the factory spoilers out seems to be a common thing
     
  5. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    I need something four to five inches wide.
    Todd, the nice thing about a wooden spoiler is it will be the only component on the car that won't rust.
     
    Stoney#1 and lookforjoe like this.
  6. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I've dealt with this same scenario on other vehicles.

    I wanted something that would not destroy when the unavoidable incident occurs, so fiberglass was ruled out (can't count how many times I tried to repair other fiberglass spoilers over the years).

    Also needed something that would be rigid enough to retain its shape, so many cheap plastics and rubber type materials was out.

    And it had to be a material that could be shaped/contoured, and attached to existing structures, so more advanced urethanes and similar products was also ruled out.

    Even considered wood as mentioned, but I did not think it would be durable over time exposed like it is...even if varnished, etc. Plus I'm not a woodworker so it really wasn't my thing.

    There are some composite materials that would work well but they were way too expensive for my budget build.

    Ultimately I ended up making it out of sheet metal. That is something I am capable of fabricating, can be welded for attachment points, easy to source and relatively inexpensive. I designed it in such a way that the portion most subjected to potential damage was replaceable. Minor damage can be repaired like any body work. Major damage replaced with a new panel.

    But that was what fit my criteria. Might be different for others.
     
  7. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    How about starting with a Trex composite deck board or similar brand?
     
  8. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I'm not familiar with it. Is that a pressed wood product, or a synthetic material, or ???
     
  9. It is a synthetic material, not sure if it has wood content or not. It is claimed to last longer than wood. I did a bit of research on composite decking materials about 5 years ago, as I had a wood deck that was getting ready to be replaced for a third time. I found out that the composite material probably does last longer than many wood decks but they are not nearly as bullet proof as claimed. I ended up going with interlocking powder coated aluminum planks and it has been pretty much bullet proof. It also has the advantage of being a waterproof barrier. Since my deck was on the second floor, I ended up getting a covered patio for free underneath.
     
    kmead and JimD like this.
  10. AZDrifter

    AZDrifter True Classic

    Location:
    Arizona
    If you go to the hardware store and buy a kick plate for an office door, you will find that they are good stock for spoilers. I cut mine to size, then epoxy some of the leftover material to the back to double it up for strength.
     
  11. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    I would do foam with fiberglass over it. Make two and you will likely never have that oops that will cause you to need the second one.
     
  12. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Not to disagree with my best friend Karl, we normally see eye to eye. But I've had numerous fiberglass spoilers and always hated them. It is impossible to avoid them being damaged. Honestly fiberglass should not be used on the lower nose of a car in my opinion. Companies have gone to the extent of designing a front suspension that can be raised at the flip of a switch for cars like Ferraris, just to try and save the spoilers from constant damage.

    Either use something that can deform and spring back without damage (impossible to keep painted), or something that is very solid and strong to resist the damage. That being said I recently bought a fiberglass front air dam for one of my X's, and I already regret it - despite the fact it isn't even mounted yet. I intend to add a steel plate/bar to the lower edge of the fiberglass dam, like a splitter of sorts, to try and help protect it a little. But it needs to extend back to a solid mount on the vehicle as well. Not the most practical solution, but I wanted a air dam and did not want to make another metal one from scratch (done that several times, a lot of work to get right).
     
  13. Mxgrds

    Mxgrds True Classic

    Location:
    Netherlands
    1125E4AC-A534-4158-BBDC-B5C7406CDF86.jpeg 150CE850-1F3E-4E26-BA6B-BF13695C82FC.jpeg
    I bought polyester remake and made a supporting structure under it.
     
    Mike Schofield likes this.
  14. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Given my fab skill level and available materials, I'll probably go with a sheet metal spoiler welded onto the old support. One thing I have not figured out is how to make a nice fold or doubled front edge rather than a sharp edge. The leading edge has a curve to is so a simple bent over portion at the front is not an option.
     
    Karfrik likes this.
  15. fastx19

    fastx19 Administrator Moderator

    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
  16. bpimm

    bpimm Brian Pimm

    Location:
    Washougal, WA
    Carl, use a piece of plywood cut to the curve of the front edge and build up the top to support the spoiler panel, mount the panel so it can't move and hammer form the front edge over the plywood to form the front edge. You can also use plywood the thickness you want your front edge to be and hammer form it back under the wood to get the double edge you mention just be patient and keep tapping it will slowly form what you want.

    There are plenty of hammer forming videos on Youtube. like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mEKuOR-93U
     
  17. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks guys. All good stuff.
     
  18. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Yeah. Sheet metal with a hammer-formed lip to make it rigid (enough) sounds about the most expedient & in keeping with locally available supplies :D
     
    Karfrik likes this.
  19. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    The hammer forming approach does work well.
    Another thought might be to use some solid round stock (perhaps 1/4" bar) to make the leading edge. Then weld the flat sheet metal panels to it. The round stock forms the "rounded" (rolled) shape along the lip, and creates a stronger structure to help prevent damage with minor impacts. The diameter of the round stock determines the radius of the edge. I've done this with other custom panels and it is easy to do.

    There should be lots of examples online, here is one that came up:
    hot-rolled-round-bar.jpg
     
  20. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Back to using other materials. On my "shop truck" (late model F150) I have a custom front air dam made of urethane. It was a limited product made by a specialty company to create the large complex shape. The engineer that designed it said the process was very expensive.
    I've had it on the truck since new (about 10 years already...hard to believe) and it has had numerous impacts, scrapes, etc. But the urethane has not suffered any damage at all, although the paint has. I've touched it up many times, completely repainted it twice, and it desperately needs it again. Overall I think it is a great material for this application but I doubt it could be easily made at home (that I know of). Urethane can be purchased and used to make 'solid' engine mounts, etc. Anyone know how something like a full air dam could be molded without creating a massively thick (solid) part? It might not be cost effective though.
     

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