Aero: Front Splitter

The biggest concern with making a splitter for me was that it had to be fairly easy to take on and off for loading and unloading, so the entire build is made with that in mind. I think I’ve accomplished that, as by releasing 2 pins and 2 dzus fasteners, the splitter can be lifted free from its mounts.

The constraints that the splitter must live in for a D Prepared car are:
It may not be further rearward than the leading edge of the front wheel opening.
It must fit below the silhouette of the car as viewed from above.

Given that, the first thing to do was measure measure measure and make a template:

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Next I wanted to make a set of mounts that would do most of the work of locating the entire assembly both laterally and longitudinally. I had a fairly large length of 1/8″ Aluminum Angle, and went to town with the drill and sanding drums. The hook portion will take care of the longitudinal location, and the mounts will be placed flat against the chassis mounts to locate them laterally.

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With all the ‘easy’ stuff done, I wanted to make the base of the splitter so that we could start working off of something more consistent that cardboard. The material I chose was 1/8″ Dibond, which is 2 thin sheets of Aluminum with a solid plastic core. A single sheet wouldn’t be strong enough, so I used some of the stronger 3M Double Sided tape to bond 2 sheets of Dibond together.

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I spread out some steel and lead to evenly press the 2 sheets together.

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After more measuring and fitting, I finally had a starting point:

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Now that I had it at a reasonable height, I could start measuring out to build the chassis mounts. Once those were fixed in place, I drilled out 3/8″ holes in the mounts and welded the ‘hooks’ I made to the backs of them, so that the weld metal wouldn’t interfere with the splitter mounts.

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With the rear of the splitter fixed in place, I could start making a mount for the fronts. I built it to bolt to existing holes in the bumper support. Harbor Freight actually had excellent ends for the 3mm cable I used. I used a pair of Forked Cable Ends for the chassis side, drilled out to use 1/4″ quick release pins, and used a pair of Eye Terminals for the splitter side.

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Finally having the splitter hung and being supported 100% by the car was a big moment for me, as the end was in sight and it finally started looking useful. I noticed however that in order to actually get my hands under the bumper and crash structure, the crash bar needed to be notched:

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With all of the mounts sorted, it still felt like it had a bit more flex than I was comfortable with. I used a length of 1/2″ aluminum angle along the rear edge of the spoiler to add strength. Fortunately, I had Superman there to help with the riveting work.

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For the air dam, I used 1/8″ ABS as it’s sturdy and easy to work. To join the ABS to the Dibond, I picked up some garden / paver edging from Home Depot Racing Supply. It’s nice and sturdy plastic, but also very light.

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Everything got disassembled for a couple coats of paint to keep the rust at bay:

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And finally, put back together to be viewed in all its majesty 😀

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I think maybe she might need a wash. Before then, there’s lots more work to do in the month or so before the next event.

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