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Old 07-22-2003, 11:59 PM   #1
satrya
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Arrow Crack-proof front lip for impreza (DIY)

Wanted to have something to reduce the amount of air that passes through the underbody without lowering the car, and not have to worry about curbs and objects breaking it. Most front lips I've seen are made of fiberglass, carbon fiber, or abs. I recall seeing polyurethane lip, but even that is still not impervious to breakage imho.

Found a neoprene material used for sealing long gaps. It has a somewhat "L" shaped cross section, perfect for a simple, hard-to-break, lip. One side for the lip surface, one side to bolt on to the front bumper cover. Granted, it's not as thick as aftermarket lips out there, so it doesn't reduce the amount of underbody flow that much, but it's much more durable, and less expensive (read: less than US$15 total hardware) to replace. The black neoprene matches surprisingly well with the color & texture of the black oem pieces on the front bumper and sideskirt, even though none of them are neoprene.

If you're into subtle (almost oem-like) looking lip that can reduce underbody flow without worries of it breaking, or costing too much, these photos may be interesting.
p.s. That tall pipe you see in the trunk area is a DIY tractor-semi trailer style muffler. Just kidding.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:01 AM   #2
satrya
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Default side closeup

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Old 07-23-2003, 12:02 AM   #3
satrya
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Default front half closeup



More pics. Added on 20030725

Closer look on the side view:


Front:


Other angles:



Bottom side. Arrow indicates which way is the front side of the car. Duct tape can be used to hold neoprene piece prior to drilling & bolting.


Cross section of remainder piece.

Last edited by satrya; 07-25-2003 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:40 AM   #4
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That actually doesn't look half bad. I wonder if the entire thing will deform when subjected to 80+ mph winds.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
I wonder if the entire thing will deform when subjected to 80+ mph winds.
I'd like to know too.
The cross section of the neoprene is rather thick, i.e. it doesn't look like a flat "L" shape. I would expect some deformation, but probably not enough to completely fold itself. Had the material been wider (say, 2 inches or more), it would probably need reinforcement.

I make no claims either way.
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:13 AM   #6
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where did you get this at?
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:31 AM   #7
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How do you think it will hold up to be painted?
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:08 AM   #8
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Hmm, I like that too. Thats a home depot type item right? Might be an option for my car too, since I really dont have any lip options
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Old 07-23-2003, 09:51 AM   #9
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The king of DIY stikes again (that's a good thing). Very nice, was this a Home Despot purchase?

Tom
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:36 AM   #10
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Looks very nice.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:50 AM   #11
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Thanks all.

(1) where:
This was found in home depot, but I've seen an Ace Hardware store near my place sell something similar (Ace brand) for less. Specifically, look in sealing/gasketing section. Iirc, this was made to seal the lower gap of small garage doors. The total length is 9 feet, but it looks like 8 feet is all you need to cover that much.

(2) how much:
Depends on where you buy it at. Including fender washers, bolts & nuts, it would cost between US$10-15; no more.

(3) paintable?
Imho, it won't be paintable, because the neoprene surface seems to be quite porous, and it's probably too flexible for any flex additive to be effective. Imho, the oem black pastic look is what's attractive about it, in that it looks very subtle, and no one would suspect that the car didn't come with it. That's not what everyone wants, of course.

I think that covers the questions for now. Imho, if you find something similar that is wider (this one results in a ~1.25 inch wide lip), the install would be a bit more complicated.

In retrospect, from the point of view of reducing underbody flow, the lip should've been mounted further back, making it less visible. There are lower attach points if you're willing to do that, and I think it would reduce flow quite well, in spite of some deformation due to air pressure.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:30 PM   #12
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Looks good. Why don't you want to lower your car though? Even a small drop will help aerodynamics.

JC
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:41 PM   #13
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Default lowering the car..

Quote:
Why don't you want to lower your car though? Even a small drop will help aerodynamics.
Short of an adjustable ride height like the one that Praxis is developing, I'm against lowering my car in fear of curbs, potholes, and any objects that can damage the underbody. Some places I've been to even inflicted scratches on the lower portion of the front bumper cover with only myself on board and a stock suspension setup. It's better to have some object like the break-proof lip to virtually lower the ground clearance, imho. It's more cost effective too.

But yes, I agree that lowering helps reduce the amount of underbody flow.
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:40 PM   #14
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I like it. looks subtle but aggresive at the same time..but those fogs petruding form the grill thats a diffrenet story,i do like the ones consealed behind the grill though.


steve
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
I like it. looks subtle but aggresive at the same time..but those fogs petruding form the grill thats a diffrenet story,i do like the ones consealed behind the grill though.
(I believe) my motivation on both counts are function over form. The subtle lip is there to hopefully reduce underbody flow, although I can't say how much. The fogs are there to improve visibility in inclement weather (they do a really nice job), but are too large not to protrude like that. The ones behind the grille are much smaller, hence they can fit there.

Aesthetics is subjective, and I believe, one's perspective can change over time.
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:16 PM   #16
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Ya i have a similar DIY lip but mine is more of a P shape, i dont have pictures now but the cross section look similar to this
, and it isnt as low down as your's is, but ill take some pics, and it does look good IMO, and it could be in my head but It does seem to make my car seem less "floaty" over like 80ish
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by WRXcellerate
Ya i have a similar DIY lip
Mine is attached like (a) in the sketch below. Curious, is yours attached like (b) or (c)?

Quote:
and it could be in my head but It does seem to make my car seem less "floaty" over like 80ish
Can't say I have a way to objectively test mine. It would be nice if I could.
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:44 PM   #18
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Do you have any better pictures of this lip in light so you can see it better. also do you have pics of how you mounted it, and the actual material.

Thanks, the pics are kinda dark, but I'm very intrigued.

David
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Old 07-23-2003, 04:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Do you have any better pictures of this lip in light so you can see it better.
I'll see if I can take more. Probably this weekend at the latest.
Quote:
also do you have pics of how you mounted it, and the actual material.
The sketch on the post above yours (Figure (a)) shows how it is mounted. Mine is mounted with regular machine screws, nuts, and fender washers. Some of the holes I'm using already exist on the bumper cover (my guess is they are for the subaru bodykits). That's it. I'm sure there's no additional info that you can get out of more pictures, but I'll see what I can do.
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:12 PM   #20
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heres the best i could do to show how i did it, it's not really that rounded at the front it has more of a sharp edge, ill take a picture here in like an hour
BTW its B
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Old 07-23-2003, 09:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by satrya

(I believe) my motivation on both counts are function over form. The fogs are there to improve visibility in inclement weather
How much inclement weather can you have you live in caili im just ragging on dont take offense
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by SjpWrx
How much inclement weather can you have you live in caili im just ragging on dont take offense
None taken.
By inclement weather I don't mean severe storms, but dense fog in the hills/mountains/backroads in the morning/evening, heavy rain in winter (sometimes), or snowfall in Tahoe/Sierra mountains. With proper lighting, these conditions can become much more manageable, imho. AWD alone won't do.
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by WRXcellerate
heres the best i could do to show how i did it, it's not really that rounded at the front it has more of a sharp edge, ill take a picture here in like an hour
Thanks. So I guessed the other way round. With that setup, I'm interested to see how the material wraps up in the corner. Perhaps you had to trim the flat part a bit to minimize the deformation of the rounded edge on the corner (near the oem fogs)?
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by satrya
None taken.
By inclement weather I don't mean severe storms, but dense fog in the hills/mountains/backroads in the morning/evening, heavy rain in winter (sometimes), or snowfall in Tahoe/Sierra mountains. With proper lighting, these conditions can become much more manageable, imho. AWD alone won't do.
I've never found more lighting to be helpful in a blizzard. Do you have special lights or something? (I'm being serious not sarcastic) Do they help?

JC
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:49 AM   #25
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[i]I've never found more lighting to be helpful in a blizzard. Do you have special lights or something? (I'm being serious not sarcastic) Do they help?
The last time I was driving under snowfall at night, the aux fog lights helped a lot. The same goes for rainy & foggy conditions. On several occasions, I tried different combinations under inclement weather to see which one works best.

I know that extra light doesn't always help, because it may make the water particles (fog, rain,..) scatter the light even more, and cause this glow in front of you. That is the case with high beams. Aux driving lights that are designed to complement high beams or spot beam pattern also don't work too well imho. Most aux lighting with reflector design and uncovered bulb wouldn't fare too well either imho.

But projector fog lights with a sharp vertical cutoff help minimize the amount of glow, and imho, allow the road illumination to be more effective. The wider (but shorter) reach of the beams also help because you're probably driving slower and need to be more aware of the objects to the side. The lack of wavelengths close to blue also help, hence yellow-hued fogs work nicely. Orange & red are better, but I don't think that's legal.

If necessary, I even turn of the low beams and just use aux fogs. There may be legal issues with running fogs only on public roads though, but that's besides the point.

Imho, the Hella Optilux projector does a decent job in improving inclement weather visibility, given its price. Don't expect long range lighting improvement (because it's not designed for that), or blinding brightness (it's only 55W). For about US$45-65, the hella optilux projector foglights give you a yellowish hue light (afaik, this is due to the projector lens' optics), a sharp vertical cutoff, and a wide beam spread. I'm sure there are other excellent ones, but probably not as cost effective as Hella Optiluxes. PIAAs of similar configuration would probably cost twice as much. Recently, Summitracing and other autostores sell units that look alike, for about US$5-10 less than the Optilux.
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