Lawrence has been hard at work to get started on our front bumper design. This is what he’s done so far. This is not a final design, we are going to keep tweaking the aesthetic, then run it in OpenFoam to get the results, then tweak it a bit more based on our results.
So I’ve been travelling the Midwest the past few days to visit some of our manufacturers. First, I went to see our suspension parts being made. They have a large facility with a lot of CNC 3 and 5 axis machines, lathes, mills, benders, water jet, and welding stations. This is only about 1/3 of the whole shop floor.
Since they had a bunch of defense projects laying around, I wasn’t able to take more pictures due to security reasons. Then, I got to catch up with some of my old college friends and was told they were going to a 7 post rig test at ARC, so I watched that as well.
ARC also has a wind tunnel testing facility, but the team I was visiting didn’t have any wind tunnel time booked, so I didn’t get to see that. Because the body panels were off the car and the guts were exposed, I couldn’t get any pictures of the car on the rig. Sorry. It’s been a very enlightening last few days, but I can’t wait to get back home tomorrow.
I stopped by our manufacturer’s shop today and got a short clip of the LCA being milled.
We got our hands on some OEM bumpers and I will begin designing a lip kit shortly and Paul will tweak it based on his CFD results. Lawrence will get started on designing our aero kit shortly, but here is the basic concept
We wanted to create something simple and clean. For BRZ owners, you will be able to retain the DRL (since it’s one of the coolest features). For FR-S owners, you can retrofit BRZ DRLs or use one of the optional covers we will make. The front bumper will cover the bumper beam as well as have a lower, flatter, even chin for a cleaner look
There also be an optional lip as well as splitter available. The pieces will be made of fiberglass, but we may offer a carbon fiber option. We are still working on designing the rear bumper and diffuser concept.
We believe computer simulation is only one side of the coin, real world testing is the other. We are just as careful of selecting our testers as we are in designing our product. We choose people that will really push our products to the limit and put them in the conditions they were designed for.
Robert Fuller, owner of Robispec, most well known for suspension setup, tuning and component development for Evos and STis, will aid us with development. He actively competes in time attack and NASA time trials and has one of the fastest FR-Ses on the west coast. He will be testing the full gamut of our suspension components customized to his specifications and providing us with feedback for further improvements. To stay updated with Robi’s FR-S, please check his build thread here.
For those without race cars and that want to see its road-worthiness, Edmunds.com will be testing our control arm on their long-term test car. Their goal is to create a pure dual-purpose car that is just as comfortable and livable as OEM, but outperforms it at autocrosses and track days. They are very selective of their modifications and will be making small changes at a time to see how each modification affects the vehicle. To stay updated with their long-term test car, you can check out their website here.
First, parts for the BRZ/FR-S/GT86. A replacement AT paddle shifter
The paddle will be 40 mm taller overall, 25 on the top side and 15 on the bottom. The bottom can not be made any taller without running into the cruise control stalk. However, this should still be large enough to be able to shift with your hands at the 2 and 10 o’clock position or 5 and 7 o’clock position. If we can reuse the OEM electronic box, we will have a core exchange program. If we cannot reuse the OEM electronic box, we will make a custom box, and try to create an adjustable spring tension system for those who want to a heavier shift feel and would like to customize it to their preference.
We are also making two shift knobs: a Delrin piece
It will be about 55 mm tall, 50 mm in diameter, and weigh about 215 g (slightly heavier). We were also commissioned to create a SR20DET to E30 swap tach signal converter. We were going to use an off-the-shelf enclosures but they were all too large for our liking
Unhappy with this solution, we are creating a custom enclosure. The part will be made of billet aluminum, with a machined down bread board, Deutsch motorsport connectors with flying leads. This is a rendering of what it what Zach is thinking of making
Thanks to our decision to use domestic suppliers, we get incredible turnaround time on our parts. I ordered this mock up template on Tuesday, received in on Thursday. Even I was shocked to see such them fill an order so fast. The supplier has vast experience in building products for NASCAR, IndyCar, and Grand-Am, and now I see why.
This is a mock up the splitter currently
This is the first Hancha project that both Paul and I have collaborated on. Paul being in Indianapolis, is doing CFD testings while I, being in Chicago, have been taking the physical dimensions for packaging purposes. The final product will be made of composite Polypropylene plastic. This is a sample of the material
1. It’s stiffness-to-weight ratio is phenomenal. For the same mass, it is 18% stiffer than carbon fiber
2. It’s light. It’s density is .78 g/cc, less than half of that of carbon fiber.
3. It’s tough. So tough, it can be used as ballistic armor. It also doesn’t splinter or shatter like carbon fiber.
4. It’s resistant to abrasion. It wears similarly to aramids.
5. It’s easily machinable. It allows us to put recessed holes to keep mounting fasteners out of the clean air stream.
6. It’s fully recyclable. Since the material is made purely of plastic, if and when it breaks, if the part is no longer salvageable, you can place the material in the recycling bin. This helps reduce waste energy.
7. It’s (relatively) cheap. It is about a tenth of the price of carbon fiber.
8. It’s a proven material. NASCAR, IndyCar, and Grand-Am cars use this material for various purposes (splitter, skid plate, etc).
9. It looks cool.
This is why we have chosen this material. We are firm believers that this is currently the best material available on the market to produce splitters.