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Thread: Smooth wheel covers

  1. #1
    Senior Member 3dplane's Avatar
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    Smooth wheel covers

    Today I made wheel covers to block airflow through the factory 14" alloy wheels of the Mirage, in hopes of improving aerodynamics.




    Now it's got that gangsta/hypermiler look to it

    Yeah but how did you do it? - Well, I'm glad you asked. If you want to see a little how-to,then read on.

    I had some plastic sheet signs. (not coroplast). About 1mm thick(or thin rather). Enough for four 14" circles.

    A little brittle,it breaks when bent 90 degrees but decided to give it a shot.

    The alloy wheel is curved so a flat sheet will not work. We need to get it convex.

    I have a homemade english wheel (I just realized most everything I own is homemade..darn!),that is basically a large C-clamp where you pinch sheet material between a curved roller and a flat roller and as the sheet is moved back and forth,the material stretches so one can make compound curves if done correctly.

    Starting out





    Work it on the inside of the circle (not the edge)'till it buckles up.





    Then the trick that worked for me was to turn it over and roll around near the edge but not touching the edge!

    This seems to stress the material to pop the dome out where the material was previously stretched around the middle.







    Checking humpyness and fit:





    Then I removed a wheel so I can trace and mark for mounting holes around the spokes and after drilling I painted them flat black.

    When that dried I mounted them with zip ties! What a pain in the neck that was with the wheels on!

    Close up:



    Test drive up to 78 MPH and they stayed on so I hope they survive for a while.

    To check tire pressure I will just cut a couple of the zip ties and hopefully get to the valve stem.


    Attached Images Attached Images        

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 66.3 mpg (US) ... 28.2 km/L ... 3.5 L/100 km ... 79.7 mpg (Imp)


  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 3dplane For This Useful Post:

    fifteenwindow (11-25-2013),MetroMPG (11-26-2013),zefke (12-12-2013)

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    Carmageddon m4v3r1ck's Avatar
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    It's a good idea just like the long distance bicycles and solar powered cars but certainly not made for sporty drivers as it will cover airflow that is used to cool down the brakes. Ur cover will make the brake overheat easily especially when used in warmer countries such as asia. It will result braking failure and may cause accident.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Mirage 1.0 manual: 47.5 mpg (US) ... 20.2 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 57.0 mpg (Imp)


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    this is great
    for hypermilers etc this would not be a problem because braking will be far less

    i have seen this on other cars to and they have no problems with over heating brakes..

    but they al drive normal and not like they have to get home because the house is on fire.
    Last edited by spacester; 11-25-2013 at 08:35 AM.

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    3dplane (11-25-2013)

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    Senior Member jamiec's Avatar
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    Nice work are going to test for fuel economy improvement with these?

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Nice write up. Its been added to the fuel economy thread index.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 49.0 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member 3dplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m4v3r1ck View Post
    It's a good idea just like the long distance bicycles and solar powered cars but certainly not made for sporty drivers as it will cover airflow that is used to cool down the brakes. Ur cover will make the brake overheat easily especially when used in warmer countries such as asia. It will result braking failure and may cause accident.
    Thank you for your concern! It is not for everyone. This appeals to fuel economy conscious people whom are far from the sporty brake stumping drivers.

    On the other hand this will not thermally insulate the rotors as there is still airflow on the inside. But I agree, one should not enter the 24 hour lemans with the wheel covers

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiec View Post
    Nice work are going to test for fuel economy improvement with these?
    Thank you! I did it to improve fuel economy but I can not really see an instantly measurable difference due to all the variables like traffic, temperature,wind etc. I can only hope that it is working

    Quote Originally Posted by Daox View Post
    Nice write up. Its been added to the fuel economy thread index.
    Thanks Tim! I was looking for a DIY section like over at EM but couldn't find one so I posted it here.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 66.3 mpg (US) ... 28.2 km/L ... 3.5 L/100 km ... 79.7 mpg (Imp)


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    hmm maybe I'll try that with MY home made english wheel awesome bro, crap you can probably easily make a full belly pan etc.

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Wow - home made english wheel!

    Going to make an access hole for the valve stem to check tire pressure?

    Any other aero-modifications planned?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage base ES 1.2 manual: 54.0 mpg (US) ... 23.0 km/L ... 4.4 L/100 km ... 64.9 mpg (Imp)


  11. #9
    Senior Member 3dplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
    hmm maybe I'll try that with MY home made english wheel awesome bro, crap you can probably easily make a full belly pan etc.
    There you go! Yeah I'm glad I'm not the only one with this homemade-mania


    Quote Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
    Wow - home made english wheel!

    Going to make an access hole for the valve stem to check tire pressure?

    Any other aero-modifications planned?
    Not planning on the access hole for now. I was hoping to cut not more than a couple of the zip ties and gently pull the cover away from the rim. We'll see if that works.

    I checked tire pressures before mounting the covers and they were at around 46 PSI so I left it at that.

    Other aero-mods,yes. Planning a small airdam, maybe a front belly pan, maybe a rear wheel skirt but only if it turns out nice and color matched.

    And if I'm still not happy with the improvements I might just go ape crap on it and do full belly pan, aero mirrors,extended kamm back,lowering etc.

    The homemade english wheel works pretty good for this kind of light duty stuff. bearings(rollers) came from a store called tractor supply (yeeeehaa) the tension adjusting on top is a telescopic steering intermediate shaft with a nut welded inside it and an all-thread rod with a knob welded at the end is how I run it up or down.

    The rest is square tubing welded together with my ready for this?...homemade stick welder. Which is two car batteries in series and proper cables...the more I say the more I have to laugh.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 66.3 mpg (US) ... 28.2 km/L ... 3.5 L/100 km ... 79.7 mpg (Imp)


  12. #10
    Carmageddon m4v3r1ck's Avatar
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    Haha i really hope it will makes difference ;-)


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Mirage 1.0 manual: 47.5 mpg (US) ... 20.2 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 57.0 mpg (Imp)


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