Aero Prep Work

One of the things that drew me to the Prepared category was the possibility of some limited, but useful aerodynamic mods. Specifically, the  rules allow a 10″ spoiler in the rear, and a front spoiler / splitter that fits 1) completely under the body work, and 2) does not extend rearward past the leading edge of the wheel arches.

The time has finally come.

First thing’s first: lots and lots of cussin’ fiddly work with cardboard to get everything measured properly. Specifically, getting the outline of the nose of the car for the splitter, and the contour at the rear of the car for the spoiler.





With that out of the way, I realized that I was going to be having the bumper on and off the car a bunch more, both in the fabrication process, and then in the future when to work on the splitter & mounts. Time to make it as quick release as possible. Most of that work has been done in prior jobs (cutting the fenders necessitated adding a dzus fastener per side to hold the bumper to the fender, and I got sick of dealing with hard to reach 10mm nuts, so I did another pair in the corners), but there was still the core support bar, and a nut & bolt per side where the front flares meet the bumper. I used a couple more of the pre-made spring brackets, and mounted the screws on the bumper to mock everything up:



I decided to use a pair of short hacked-off sections from the original bumper mount to mount the Dzus receiver to, as they were convenient and could be removed if I was ever working on the engine bay with the bumper removed (pulling an engine, for example) so they wouldn’t be sticking up looking to draw blood.


Beat it to fit, paint it to match…



And then added a riv-nut per side so that I wouldn’t need to fiddle with a nut to remove that corner of the bumper


With that, it was time to start positioning the front spoiler so I can work out where it’ll mount to the chassis:



Turns out there’s a very convenient spot. The 2 holes on the frame rail on the far-right of frame were originally for…something some engineer found useful, I imagine… and are pre-threaded. I’ll be able to make a pair of brackets that drop down from the frame rail to meet the rear spoiler mounts.


These are not the final design, but they should make a solid starting point for the rear mounts. I’ll probably be able to cut 1 in half and use it for both.



And finally, we ripped some ABS apart with a jig-saw and scribed out the lower and upper ‘maximums’ for the spoiler. I’ll need to notch it in 3 places where it will meet brackets made of 2 x 1/8″ aluminum as well, but more on that in the future.


Trailer Spare Tire Mount

I plan in the future to put a Weight Distributing hitch on the tow pig. The trailer has the appropriate equipment for it, but the spare tire sat directly in front of one of the trailer mounts, and also in the way when securing the front tie-downs for the car.

After a few measurements, it was clear that it would fit inside the C-Channel that makes up the frame. So I drilled 4 holes for the mount, climbed underneath the trailer on the wet driveway, and hooked up the mount. EASY! ….except that the tire interfered with the frame enough that the wheel studs didn’t even touch the rear-face of the wheel. So, back to the drawing board. A couple mock ups later with some angle iron, and it became clear that the upper and lower lips of the c-channel is bent pretty severely outwards, so welding in angle iron to those lips would lead to some seriously cattywampus fitup, so that was out. Some more chin scratching and  measuring, and I figured out that a couple of leftover pieces of 2×2 box section from the trailer ramp storage project would sit against the flat face of the C-Channel perfectly, and give me a great place to drill holes for the mount. After some cleanup work with the angle grinder, and backing the trailer partially into the workshop so the welder would reach, the box section got stitched into place:



A little work with the drill and some paint:



A few M10 nuts & bolts:



And she’s on!



Trailer Ramp Storage

My trailer was built up from a modified RV chassis, and not built from the ground up as a car hauler. As such, it’s never had a very good solution for ramp storage. The previous owner would toss them into the bed of his truck, which worked, but in the passenger compartment of an SUV it becomes problematic. I’ve come up with a few kludged solutions of varying levels of success, the latest of which had the ramps stowed between the decks, above the frame. I had some angle-iron to retain them at the front, and a ratchet strap that involved me getting underneath the race car’s hot muffler to secure them. It worked (most of the time…) but it was sub optimal.

With the offseason in full force, the time was right to fix this properly.

After a few mockups, it was apparent that the ramps could fit below the frame & above the axle tubes. Any higher  puts the retaining rains at risk of hitting the car while loading, and any lower reduces ground clearance and would also probably involve cutting into 1 or 2 of the frame rails.

The first order of business was to pre-fab a pair of rails for the ramps to live in. I made them out of 6.5′ lengths of 2″ steel angle iron, and 1-1/2″ bar to tie them together. They’ll be hung from the frame by lengths of 2″ box tubing.



A buddy allowed me to use his shop’s lift to do the welding, so that I wouldn’t be doing it on my back in the garage, which helped a lot. If you need any work done in the Athens / Winder area, give Ken at OTP Automotive a shout. After a lot of mockup, grinding off old paint and other general unpleasantnesses, the rails were hung. The ramps will be secured at the rear by a set of d-rings, and a couple lengths of angle iron at the front, and the frame rails above them ensure they can’t bounce high enough to hurt anything important.





And as always, a coat of paint to keep the rust at bay.