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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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! :D
 

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Yup. These things (generally called ‘belly pans’) 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. That’s why the trucks come with exotic synthetic gear lube – 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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Discussion Starter #10
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.
 

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I've thought about this for years.

I always imagined a hinged plate of aluminum running from the bumper to the bottom of the front axle. I felt that this one simple part would be the easiest to fabricate and would create the fewest problems elsewhere.
 

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has anyone ever considered going to electric fans and putting sheet metal or something between the rad and the motor? sending expelled rad air down and out the bottom of the truck. then trying to control the air movement in the engine compartment trying to reduce drag. of course heat could become a huge problem. I thinking the air coming in through the front of the truck is a big factor in aero drag??
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So I spent a little more time thinking about this screen concept and I'm wondering how the this will actually work. Unfortunately because the air is slowing under the truck it will not only be traveling horizontally it will also be expanding vertically. This being the case it can travel up through the screen but not through a solid piece of material. What will be the consequences of this and how much will this actually affect wind resistance. Any thoughts?
 

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A number of European cars use screen for hot spots like exhausts. Empirical wind-tunnel tests show it to be identical with solid surfaces as long as it is not sticking into the air stream.

Its a compromise, but not a bad one.
 

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You know, I would give a $1 a mile not to have a bumper that looks like that....
I say, you go ahead an pay Dave. Put your money where your mouth is!

Dave will still make money off you with his MPG.
 

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I would say you should start with some reading comprehension. Why would I pay someone else? You comments make 0 sense. DA
 

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I would say you should start with some reading comprehension. Why would I pay someone else? You comments make 0 sense. DA
Hey, no problem! Thanks for helping with your input on MPG though.
 

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I've been considering doing a belly pan for quite a while.
Seeing as how my truck is a 4x4, and I don't have any plans to change that, and I also use it as a 4x4, an air dam doesn't work for me.
before my truck broke down, I started to think how I would do this.
What I came up with was pretty simple, and while I haven't made it or finished designing it, I think it'll work quite nicely.

I'd start with a whole pile of fiberglass fibers and some resin. Cut cardboard in the shape of what I'm making and use it as a form. again, more planning is still required.
I was thinking four pieces- one behind where the driveshaft drops below the frame (so the axle stays cool), with room for the driveshaft to move up if I've got a load, two on each side inbetween the driveshafts, doing my best to flow around the transmission, tcase, driveshafts, and frame, and then one in the front.
The front would obviously be the most difficult. I'm thinking I'd leave the axle hanging out, as I know this would be beneficial for cooling, although not the best for aero. Wrap it from the front bumper, around the engine and back to the top of the front driveshaft, where it meets with the other plates.
Also, I would give it an opening where the air from the engine bay could escape. like a hood scoop, but less aggressive and facing the other way. If your temps start getting too high, make a bigger scoop, or do a cowl hood.
 
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