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Old 11-03-2010, 11:46 PM   #1
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Drag car wing fabrication

This thread started over in the drag racing forum but didn't suit the thread it was in so I decided to start another.

I've decided that I'm to the point where I could use a bit more downforce down track to aid in some stability. The factory Z28 3 piece spoiler has done it's job well over the years but it's finally time to upgrade to a proper wing.

My factory rear glass hatch and heavy steel deck lid disappeared many years ago. The rear window is now a piece of Lexan fastened to the body and the deck lid is a piece of aluminum with the factory spoiler bolted to it. From a distance, you can't tell it's not original.

There are many aftermarket wings available that can be used on a third gen. Ed Quay and Racecraft have third gen specific wings while other companies such as Moroso offer a generic kit to be modified and installed on any vehicle. All of these kits assume you still have the factory sheetmetal to attach the wing onto. Since my factory deck lid is long gone, I decided to fabricate my own custom wing.

I've seen a bunch of different designs and haven't narrowed it down to exactly which one I'll use but it will probably be similar to the Moroso generic wing. I'm still gathering a few more parts before construction begins. Stay tuned to this thread for updates as the project progresses.

First of all, this is what I'm starting with. The aluminum sheet with the factory spoiler attached held onto the car with Dzus fasteners. With a simple flat blade stubby screwdriver, I can take the lid off to access the battery if I ever need to. With rear mounted boost posts, I hardly ever remove the lid. I'm going to have to relocate the parachute mount lower. It's currently positioned to catch the air coming off the spoiler. The wing won't need the chute to be mounted so high. The aluminum lip under the spoiler was bent down to add stiffness but you can't see it. The spoiler itself is very heavy and very rigid.

Click the image to open in full size.

This is the structure I fabricated to hold the Lexan and the lid. A strip of angle iron was welded from side to side then an aluminum channel was riveted to it to provide a channel for the Lexan to slide into. On the underside of the lid is a rubber strip so that the lid didn't scratch the Lexan. The Dzus fastener mounts were welded along the sides and the Dzus springs were riveted along the channel. With the stiffness of the spoiler, I never installed any mounts along the back. Without a hatch seal, there was an air gap under the lid but then the whole car isn't watertight anyway.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I'm planning on making a completely new deck lid which will extend back to become the spoiler. By simply undoing the Dzus fasteners and disconnecting the struts, the entire lid/wing can be lifted off if it ever needs to be. If you want to do a similar wing on a car that still has the factory hatch, the wing just needs to be secured to the deck lid and will open when the hatch is opened. (After the struts are disconnected)
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:47 AM   #2
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Sounds like an awesome idea, interested in how it turns out, subscribing
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

you`ll need to extend that chute mount as well. Caught what you said in the other thread about pics, let me know if you need something more specific than these..
my original thread about my install

http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/fa...g-spoiler.html
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Those pictures are fine. They show me what I wanted to know. As much as I'd like those side skirts I may just keep the original spoiler ends and put the wing between them. That way I won't have to fill in all the holes.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Awsome, subscribing.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:12 PM   #6
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

In this photo, How is that fastener attached to the sheet metal?

Click the image to open in full size.

Picking up components is still progressing. I almost have everything I need (I hope). Using some posterboard, I mocked up a side plate similar to the above photo. I don't want them to look too close to a commercial version. The mockup I made extends down to cover the bottom spoiler hole and will extend 3" above the lid. I'll still have to sand and paint the area that was under the spoiler ends even though the end plate covers most of it. They haven't been off the car since I painted it gloss black 10 years ago. Flat black is so easy to match up. In my above photos, the flash makes the car look dirtier than it really is.

I figure if I make my spoiler like the full length design, the side plates can cover all the holes from the spoiler end pieces. The "free" sheet aluminum I have access to is a stiff alloy. It can be bent slightly but even in a metal brake, trying to put a 90* bend for a lip will break it off. Since I can't make the lip to join the wing with the sides, a strip of aluminum angle will do the job just fine. Just means more screws to hold it together. I'll run a strip of angle across the back also to add rigidity.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:24 AM   #7
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

I want to see how you make yours, I'm gonna keep an eye on this.

Somewhat off topic, but have you ever considered "covers" for the headlight buckets Alky? At your speeds, I'd almost bet you could see an ET difference with the reduced drag. Purely theoretical of course though
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

I have some Lexan already cut. Just haven't decided how to mount them yet.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:35 PM   #9
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Here's what I was able to accomplish today. All these pieces will be taken apart, cleaned up and painted after I finish fabricating it. Some of this aluminum is bare with scratches. Some is painted white. I'll paint it all silver to give it that nice shiny aluminum look from a distance.

With the spoiler and side pieces off, this is what you have to deal with. Two large holes through the side and one on the top. Anyone good with a welder and sheet metal can easily just fill them in.

Click the image to open in full size.

I made a posterboard template last night and took it into work today to cut out some side panels. I have access to a 2 foot metal shear and brake so these were easy to make. They extend down far enough to cover the bottom hole. The bend at the top is vertical and the bend at the back lower is angled just enough to give the piece a bit more rigidity. The piece is about 16" x 9". I could have angled the bottom cut upward as to goes to the back but I like the look of the full side piece better.

Click the image to open in full size.

As much as I wanted to make the deck lid and wing one big piece, I decided to leave the deck lid alone and cut a piece of aluminum for the wing. Just means I'm going to need to buy a lot more screws and lock nuts to secure it to the deck lid. It's currently supported under the sheet to give it about a 10* angle in relation to the deck lid. I haven't decided on the final angle yet. The supports I'm going to make will not be adjustable. Because the side panels are tapered inward to keep the body lines, I angle cut the wing to fit. I really wanted to attach the angle aluminum under the wing but the underside angle between the side panel and the wing was too great so I mounted the angle aluminum on top where there's a 90* right angle. Drilled a few holes to attach the side panel to the wing and set it on the back of the car to see how it looks. The side plates cover the holes in the sides, the wing covers the holes on the top. I'm thinking about using a Dzus fastener to secure the side panel to the body.

Click the image to open in full size.

This is what the angle aluminum looks like on the back side. Nothing pretty but it works. The sheet aluminum I have is a stiff alloy. It will break if I try a 90* bend to make a lip to attach the two pieces. The sheet aluminum was free so I can't complain.

Click the image to open in full size.

Looking down the side of the car, you can see how much the side panels taper inwards. Will this cause too much drag? Will it help funnel more air over the wing to produce more downforce? Don't know, don't really care. It's how I made it and it doesn't have to be 100% perfect.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by AlkyIROC; 11-05-2010 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:00 PM   #10
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Looking very good so far! "yes" on the angle inward on the spill plates, the angle in on mine is quite a bit further than your mock up. As for that fastener you asked about , its a dusz screw, no spring just the screw, a flat or near flat dusz spring is pop riveted to the body behind the spill plate, the rivet heads on the outside of the quarter and the spring lives on the inside. The end of the "deck" of the wings sometimes have a small 90* angle formed or attached to it, its called a "wicker bill" its optional and considered a tunning device, they range from a 1/4 to 1 inch in height. The advantage to having a removable one would be having the ability of increasing or decreasing the downforce. One thing to consider as well is running no wicker bill puts more force on the wings forward portion versus the tail portion, adding a wicker no matter how small will move the downforce rearward to the wings tail or trailing section. The wing`s other main purpose is to get air that usually would "tumble" just behind the car away cleanly. The turbulent air cause more or less a "vacuum" behind the car and also creates a higher pressure area just under the bumper, reducing downforce. So the wing with or without the wicker bill will get the bad air away from the car.
I would suggest fabbing some sort of adjustment if your not planning on a wicker, 10* is steep. Mines set a 0 maybe a hair under even- but its got a wicker to put enough force on it even at a level position. Everything being equal, your car should perform better with than without the wing, it should never hinder the performance.

Hahhaaa I had a match to your "blackened" thumbnail, sucker just grew out completely a few weeks ago!
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:17 PM   #11
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

After looking around for a suitable fastener, it looks like a Dzus screw with a spring on the inside was going to be my best option.

My 10* angle is in relation to the deck lid. I don't know what angle the deck lid is to the ground as the car is currently sitting on 4 jack stands. I'm pretty sure the deck lid angles down so the wing angle up in relation to the ground probably isn't that bad. After looking at a bunch of other photos, an adjuster could be fabricated but it would also mean using something like piano hinge positioned somewhere along the wing. The entire wing would be hard to adjust since the spill plate which are attached to the wing are also attached to the side of the body. I have seen brackets that attach to the spill plate then instead of just attaching the spill plate to the body the brackets are attached to the struts. I'll build it as planned and if I feel I need some sort of adjustment, I can always redesign later.

Although the wickerbill may help a little bit with this wing design, From what I've been able to look up, it's more useful on a full size wing that has air flow over the top and bottom. A sprint car wing for instance. I think I could almost design an adjustable wickerbill. On the underside of the trailing lip, I plan on attaching some angle aluminum across the full length to add rigidity. If I cut about 1 to 1-1/2 off the trailing edge and reattach it with some piano hinge then attach brackets at both ends using small turnbuckles, an adjustable wickerbill could be made. Just an idea but not something I want to tackle at this time.

As for the blackened thumb, I was wondering if anyone was going to mention that. I can't even remember how I did it but it was work related. I may have been swinging a hammer over my head, left handed while laying under a truck. It takes about 3 months for a fingernail to grow out. I had a blackened nail for 9 months once. Just as it was about to grow out I hit the finger again. When that was about to grow out, I hit it again.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:28 PM   #12
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Did some more research on the wickerbill. Design the wing so it sits with zero degree angle. Adjust the wickerbill. not the wing angle, to change the amount of downforce. So the only purpose of having adjustable struts is to position the wing for a zero degree angle. After that, they're never adjusted.

I may have to put the car back on it's tires to check the angles. The car however doesn't go down the track at the same angle as it sits on the ground. The front end is extended in the air all the way down the track. Maybe a good point of reference would be to just take the angle of the rocker panel which I think stays relatively level as I go down the track. That way I can leave the car on the jack stands and adjust the wing accordingly.

After looking at more wing designs, I think I have a solution on how to do a wickerbill. Under the rear lip of the wing, I'm going to run a 3/4" angle aluminum for strength. If I flip it over, the angle would point upward and it would work fine however there's no adjustability. Leaving the angle pointed downward, drill holes across the backside of the angle aluminum and attach another strip of aluminum sheet to make the wickerbill. 1-1/4" strip would make a 1/2" wickerbill. Now for adjustability, slots could be cut for the mounting screws but this may not turn out 100% accurate. Cut a tall wickerbill with multiple adjustment holes and much it of it would sit below the wing and if raised high enough, some of the mounting holes would be above the wing. So how about multiple height wickerbills?

The 1-1/4" height wickerbill makes it 1/2" above the wing. Remember it's attached to 3/4" aluminum angle under the wing. 1-1/2" makes 3/4" above the wing etc. Just means you need to have an assortment of aluminum strips to try different heights. Might not be high tech with lots or laser cut brackets etc but it would still work. You might get a sore wrist after removing and installing all the screws just to change the height.

So lets say you want a maximum height of 1" with a wickerbill. At 1/4" increments, you would only need 4 strips from 1" to 1-3/4"

Wickerbills are also known as Gurney flaps.
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Just did a quick angle check. On top of the rocker panel and ground effect, I zeroed the angle finder. Placing the angle finder on the wing, it's only about 2* up so it's not going to be a big deal to get the angle close to zero.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:47 AM   #14
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

I think as long as you have something at the end, you`ll be in the ball park, less is more. racecraft has something interesting going on at the end of their wings, not sure if it`s an adjustment or not but here a pic from their site, I`ve seen the same scallop on other wings with struts as well as the strut less ones.

Click the image to open in full size.




Check that it is a bolt on wicker, its in the instructions here..http://s294275360.onlinehome.us/PDF%...-%20Sheet1.pdf


Look at how much inward angle they have on the third gen wing, spill plates look to cover the OE spoiler holes as well..AND it looks to be up a few degrees from this angle
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:31 PM   #15
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

If you look at those instructions, you can see the multiple bolt holes for the wicker. Depending on hole spacing, I'd say there's at least 3 adjustment positions with that design.
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:40 AM   #16
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

The job is progressing. I now have the sill plates attached to the wing.

First picture just has the wing sitting on the back of the car. It's supported to hold it up roughly in the position I want it.

Second picture shows the back of the wing. You can see the aluminum angle I'm using across the rear. I may upgrade this to a wider piece to allow more adjustment of the wicker I plan on using.

The third picture is after I touched up the paint on the car that was under the factory spoiler and end pieces and I painted the wing. It's now secured to the deck lid and it's still supported at the back. I can't find any suitable brackets to attach the struts to yet so I'll have to fabricate something. I have 2 ideas on how I want to do it. It's just going to depend on what material I can find. Until the struts are in place and the wing positioned to where I want it, I won't install the side plate Dzus fasteners. The side plates are not tight to the body yet.

Using the rocker sill as a level guide, the wing is currently sitting at zero degrees. Until the car is back on 4 wheels, I won't know how close it is but it will probably be close enough.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 11-11-2010, 08:01 PM   #17
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Looking good for those strut tabs..Id just get 3/4 aluminum angle, cut 1 inch parts, round the corners and drill one hole on each side, one pair for each strut, 8 of them should do it unless your bracing the sill plates

EDIT: maybe two holes on the tab side that mounts to the bumper or wing
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #18
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

That will be my last resort option. I'd like some channel. A strip about 1-1/2" long per rod end with 2 bolts securing it. The rod end would be fastened inside the channel. Sort of a reverse of the angle aluminum idea however the size I want would be a weird dimension. I'm heading out tomorrow to look for metal stock.

The struts themselves are made from aluminum tubing. 3/8" OD with 1/4" ID. The hole can be drilled out slightly and tapped to use 5/16" rod ends. The spacing required for the rod end is roughly 5/8". Some 3/4" channel would do but I'd also like to find some channel with 3/4" width and 1" height. Washers could be used to fill the gap on either side of the rod end inside the channel. I guess it depends on the material thickness and if the width is measured on the inside or outside. Some 1/8" thick minimum material should be used. In a way, they would be adjustable but only by screwing the rod ends in or out for a fine tune adjustment.
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:53 AM   #19
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Out of curiosity, what is the purpose of the wing?
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:12 AM   #20
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Reduces the turbulence from behind the car (drag) and adds downforce for stability at high speed.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:49 PM   #21
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Almost done. Wickerbill is bolted on. I gave it a 3/4" lip. If that produces too much downforce, I'll have to remove it, drill more holes and drop it down a bit. The support brackets didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted but they'll still work fine. They're made from 1" channel. I wanted some 3/4" x 1" channel or 3/4" x 2" square tube but there isn't anything like that in that small size in aluminum. 3/4" channel didn't have sides big enough to use the 5/16" rod ends inside the channel.

I bolted the struts in the brackets on the wing and used a quick pin at the bottom. All that's left to do is to secure the side plates to finish the wing. After everything was bolted down, the side plates still cover the bottom holes but it's just enough. I can't use the bottom hole to put the Dzus fastener through but the next hole up will be fine. It will still hold the side plates close to the body. Once that's done, I'll refabricate the chute mount to hold the chute below the wing.

The wing is all bolted together with 6-32 screws and nylock nuts. The strut brackets are using 10-32 screws and nylock nuts with 3/16" fender washers behind the bumper cover.

I'm not really sure how well the bottom mounts mounted vertically will do. I could always shorten the rods and remount the brackets on the top of the bumper cover. It'll just be a bit harder to reach under the cover to put the nuts and washers on the screws.

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Old 11-15-2010, 11:50 PM   #22
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlkyIROC View Post
Reduces the turbulence from behind the car (drag) and adds downforce for stability at high speed.
So can you see a noticeable difference in performance or times?
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:01 AM   #23
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

I'm curious to see about times, the car should certainly feel more "stable" toward the end of the track

But there goes his sleeper look If the cage and tires weren't clue enough
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:55 AM   #24
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Primetime91 View Post
But there goes his sleeper look. If the cage and tires weren't clue enough
And the chute hanging off the back. I could make it a bit more stealthy by painting the wing flat black to match the car.

It's still deceiving as to how fast it is with the low cowl and scoop on the hood. I open the hood to reveal a BBC with a tunnel ram and nobody expects that. Near the end of the year, someone thought I was only running a SBC. When they do recognize the BBC, they normally think it's only a 454, not a 540.

I don't get track time again until May 2011. I won't get a good track surface until at least Father's day in June. Racing in May usually means a cold track. We've gotten snow up to the last weekend in May and usually get snow in mid May. When the track opens in early May for the Friday night street legal racing, I don't expect to rush out on opening day unless the spring weather is fantastic.

Will the car be faster? I'd guess no. Will it be more stable at high speed, yes and if it doesn't wander around going down the track, that may pick up some ET. This is only one of a couple of projects I plan on doing over the winter. I just happened to jump at this one first after looking at wings in another thread and figured it wouldn't be too hard to fab one up. None of the winter projects are designed to increase HP although the belt driven vaccum pump may get me a few more HP over the old electric pump I currently use.

I'm amazed at how strong this wing is. If I had to, I could probably push the car by the wing. Nothing moves or flexes. The wickerbill across the back is 1-1/2" tall. 3/4" sticks up above the wing surface, the other 3/4" covers the angle aluminum under the wing. I may take my domain name off the back window and put it across the wickerbill instead. The lettering would be smaller but it would look nicer.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:00 PM   #25
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Looks good to me although I think the struts look a little outta place going to the rear side of the bumper vs. the top surface but otherwise just as functional as a $600.00 one! I like what you did for the strut brackets it`s pretty clean that way and hides the bracket fasteners on the bumper. What other plans you have for the car this winter aside from the belt vac pump?
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:19 PM   #26
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Belt vacuum pump, new valve covers but I won't put them on until I decide which side gets the fitting for the vacuum pump. I'll have to also relocate the alternator and belt fuel pump. I'm going to redo my mid plate to push the back of the tranny up higher. I want the tranny output shaft to point at the diff pinion. Right now the driveshaft goes up from the tranny to the diff. This may require a new removable tranny tunnel just to access the bellhousing bolts. While I redo the mid plate, I'd like to also see if I can reposition the front of the engine over slightly to the driver's side by relocating the front plate.

I think that's the main changes I plan on doing this winter. Nothing major. The car is running how I want it. The changes are all just cosmetic now.

Estimated cost to do the wing, maybe $200 at the most. The rod ends were the most expensive part. 8 for around $12-$15 each. The sheet aluminum was free. Angle and channel aluminum, fasteners etc for the rest. Not as perfect or pretty and a commercially available wing but works just as good.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:56 PM   #27
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Yeah! I finally got around to finishing this project. Using a flush mount Dzus fastener on the side with a spring mounted inside the car. Sorry, no inside picture of the spring. I refabricated the chute pack mount to lower the pack, angle it downward slightly and move it in closer to the body. The result has the chute pack lower than the wing and closer to the car than it was before. One winter project completed. 6 months until the 2011 race season.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:13 AM   #28
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

Looks very nice I'd have to say. I personally wouldn't paint it black to match the car, I like the way it kind of "stands out". Looks mean and functional

I keep waiting for the winter where your project is a blower LOL!
You're probably about at the point where it's really expensive to go any faster N/A, am I right? Not that going faster means anything for bracket racing
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:13 AM   #29
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

This engine isn't designed for a blower. I'd have to change the pistons to bring the compression ratio down. I could make more power with a cam swap but I'm currently going the speeds I want to go. It's always nice to go a little bit faster every year but costs go up the faster you go. If I really wanted to go much faster, it would be easier to just build a tube chassis car or yank out this engine and drop it into something like an altered.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:18 AM   #30
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

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Originally Posted by AlkyIROC View Post
This engine isn't designed for a blower. I'd have to change the pistons to bring the compression ratio down. I could make more power with a cam swap but I'm currently going the speeds I want to go. It's always nice to go a little bit faster every year but costs go up the faster you go. If I really wanted to go much faster, it would be easier to just build a tube chassis car or yank out this engine and drop it into something like an altered.
It's too bad your elevation is so high. I've always thought about that when I see your posts, you've got a hella lot into this car and because your soo elevated from sea level it's still in the 9s. We're racing here at 90 feet, and a lot of the twin turbo street cars are now into the mid and bottom 9s..

I know there is a lot of 'corrections' in place, but I'd love to see what that 540 BBC thirdgen runs at our local track.

-- Joe
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:22 PM   #31
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Re: Drag car wing fabrication

I also race on a track that has been deteriorating over the last few years from lack of upkeep and the only time it gets reasonable track prep is during big race events which is only once or twice a year. When I go out on the Friday street legal nights for some track time, we might get some prep to 100' out.

Theoretically, the car should run 8.85 @ 152 mph at sea level conditions.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:22 PM
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