Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

I tried searching for this but came up with nothing. I was thinking of either mounting light metal plates or strips or rubber across the bottom of my truck that could be easily removed for maintenance to decrease the drag on the bottom of the truck. I know that this concept works on race cars and with the ease of getting under these trucks and my ready supply of thick rolled rubber i was thinking about doing this. Don't know much about calculations to figure this out but would be interested if anyone had any input or has tried this. I know it sounds like i'm trying to rice it out but from what i understand it would decrease the slowing of air under our trucks, decrease our upforce, and decrease our wind resistance. I my materials are just lying around i'm thinking why not try it.

02 F250 7.3L PSD, 6sp manual, 4WD, SCT livewire, AFE custom WAI, single stack, no muf, 285 BFG AT
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 01:32 PM
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

I've thought about it, but I worry about heat areas...
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 01:43 PM
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

Alot of the European cars come to the US with a fully panned underside. The salts used in snow and ice removal causes accelerated rusting. Something to consider if you are in the snowbelt.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

accelerated rusting behind the plates or of the plates? I'm mostly thinking of using heavy rubber since I have an ample supply of it and that shouldn't rust. If it does I'll blame it on my dog cuz i'm sure he would have had something to do with it.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 07:50 PM
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

The chassis rusts due to the plates retaining dirt, salt and moisture. Who would care if the plate rusts?

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 01:35 AM
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

I was thinking almost like airplane paneling. You could make them attach with Cam locks and it would be easy enough to get in there and clean it all out or do any sort of work.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:41 AM
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

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accelerated rusting behind the plates or of the plates? I'm mostly thinking of using heavy rubber since I have an ample supply of it and that shouldn't rust. If it does I'll blame it on my dog cuz i'm sure he would have had something to do with it.
I had a dog just like that. That sob was always getting me into trouble!

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

The retaining moisture concept does seem troublesome. Hmmm

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 11:51 PM
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

Yup. These things (generally called Ďbelly pansí) do work. The underside of your truck is the draggiest part of it. Bellypans are common to all super-high MPG vehicles.

Front-engine, rear-drive trucks are not easy to do a belly pan on. As TheSleeper noted, heat could be an issue. Particularly on the rear axle. Our axles are marginal on heat control as is. Thatís why the trucks come with exotic synthetic gear lube Ė to take the heat. Newer trucks with the DPF have a definite heat challenge. Exhausts in general could be a problem.

An idea that helps with the heat problem is to use screen as your belly pan material. At the Reynolds numbers that trucks generate, screen closely approximates slick materials as far as air flow is concerned.

Belly pans and air dams are somewhat competing ideas. The belly pans eases air flow under the truck, thus reducing drag. Air dams divert the air flow around the truck leaving less air flow under the truck to generate drag. I personally always liked the air dam because it generates a little vacuum under the truck as it makes air flow through our condenser/intercooler/radiator stack better.

Bonneville cars use both air dams and belly pans in their no-holds-barred search for speed.

Funny thing. Speed is the enemy of super-high MPG, but super-high MPG vehicles wind up looking a lot like Bonneville racers. Slick is slick at any speed.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Plates on bottom of truck to decrease drag/increase MPG

I like this screen idea, if it really does generate similar numbers as plates but allows some heat to escape and would definitely help moisture to escape I can't think of much of a reason not to try it. I think this concept sounds like its worth at least doing some experimenting with.

02 F250 7.3L PSD, 6sp manual, 4WD, SCT livewire, AFE custom WAI, single stack, no muf, 285 BFG AT
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