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ZR8ED Two Piece Belly pan project

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Ok here is my thread about my revised bell pan. I am taking my experience with the current pan, and expanding on what I have learned from the wind tunnel testing. That is why I have put it in this forum. The belly pan in the pic below has been on the car for about 10 years, and has resulted in the car being very stable at highspeeds beyond 140mph. I am documenting my redesign and extension of the pan. I am also redesigning the airdam itself. I will attempt to resculpt it using fibreglass to cover the front wheels better, and be a bit lower. I have removed my long used lawn edging airdam extension, that has been on the car for about 17 years.

 

 

bellypan.JPG

 

newlowerradblockoff.jpg

 

I have started by redesigning my lower rad block off plate. I have done this to improve the fit, and clean up the look a bit.

 

Next I will begin prepping the airdam to reshape it using expanding foam and then laying fibreglass to blend and bond to the airdam. I hope "while I'm at it" doesn't get the better of me. Once the airdam is modded, I will make a new template of the bellpan. It will be a two piece design, that will end at the transmission. It will stop where ever it will make mounting it easier. I will also likely add small fins going front to back, but I will get into that as I build my mockup.

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Ok I've jumped in head first on this one. I've got a pic of my new favorite tool. It is an electric metal shear, and it cuts through aluminum with ease, and I can even make decent curves and shapes. It made making the rad lower blockoff plate very quick and accurate to cut. It took me 10 times as long to make the template out of cardboard'

 

DSC06640.jpg

 

I've sanded the lower part of the airdam to the bare fibreglass. Geez a perfectly good airdam. It's making me a bit nervous.

 

DSC06639.jpg

 

I spent quite a while building a wooden platform that will become the base of the airdam from which I measured and placed carefully under the car. That was a bit more complicated that I thought, but I need the lower part of the airdam to be straight, and finding a common measuring point on both sides of a 30 year old car was not easy.

 

I then got the expanding foam and starting shaping the foam into a reasonable shape that when hard, I will then start the process of shaping it with a knife.

I used two small cans, and I will wait until tommorow for it to harden. This next stage I think will take me quite a while. I sure hope it works!

 

DSC06644.jpg

I know it looks kinda messy, but this is a trial and error project for me.

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In case you have noticed, I have only used the foam on the airdam all the way to the top. Once I get the shape I need, I will build a secondary foam/fibreglass part to blend in and even out the stock fender. It curves inboard slightly. My fenders are steel, so I don't want to blend a fibreglass part onto the panel, so I will make it "bolt on" so to speak. I'll take a pic of my prototype when I get a bit further along.

 

I hope that from the front, you will no longer be able to see the front face of the tire. That it will be covered by the modded airdam.

 

custom-z.jpg

I am using this photoshoped pic as an inspriational guide.

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This is EXTREMELY interesting and will follow same. Am interested in doing something similar to my 240Z such that it has good aero at higher speeds. Also want to form a duct from a smaller opening in the air dam to a larger radiator opening to obtain very good radiator cooling. Additionally would like to get a scoop for engine air intake, above the radiator intake, to form a ram air intake. Need to make up cardboard panels to try out some of these ideas.

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Will wonders ever end? Scott is using power tools and still has enough fingers to type a message!

After putting on a belly tray I found the front end stability improve over 130 MPH. There was no more bouncing side to side from one wheel to another. My pan was not nearly as elaborate as this. It should work quite well for you Scott.

Cheers; Glenn

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LowCarbz. I did not construct that belly pan, but it is a copy of mine. I'm not sure I ever saw the final installed product.. It was a long time ago.

 

Scott.

 

Ah I see. Thanks for the response, looking forward to updates.

 

And I will mention that the high speed stability is almost perfect on my car. I haven't driven a stock Z to see the difference, but from what I hear the stability is usually nothing to write home about. I'm sure the combination of my G-Nose and underbelly can take credit for that.

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Next update. I have begun shaping the foam using a drywall knife, which is pretty quick, and gives me a basic shape. I am now switching to heavy grit sandpaper to get it a bit closer. This pic is after using the knife. It is a bit more difficult than I thought.

 

I'll keep sanding, and then i will refill any of the airpockets that are in the foam, and then sand sand sand. Then I will get into the glassing. It is much easier to sand this stuff, and get it as accurate to the shape I want.

 

stage2shaping.jpg

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Stage 3. I have removed the table, and I now have a nice flat edge. I spent a couple of hours measuring, looking, sanding, measuring looking, sanding, and looking some more. The more I look at it though, I don't know why I'm so nervous. I have been looking at the original airdam, and it is not exactly perfect, so I don't feel as pressured to make it perfect to the millimeter. Plus or minus a mm or two is not going to be noticeable..at least no more noticeable than the less that perfect "bolt on" airdam.

 

I have now added a bit more foam to some of the airpockets, and when cured, I will start laying the glass. I have tested the foam with some of the resin I will be using, and it doesn't appear to eat it, so it looks like it is a go. I was thinking of my options if the resin disolved the foam, but I lucked out.

 

Something I have learned so far.

I should have used the plastic rap to cover the platform to ease removal, and I should have also used it to wrap the cardboard that I used to make a backer for the foam to shape to. I needed to get creative to remove some parts of the cardboard, and i will have to shape the backside of the foam to make it look neat under the car.

 

 

stage3shaping.jpg

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