Air Dam Fabrication

By: Bob Goodson
June 28, 2020
Author: Michael Yount
 
I started with a bit of cardboard to mock up what an air dam might look like.

I’d fashioned something similar for the old TE27 Corolla I raced back in the 80’s/90’s.  After shopping around a bit, I went to Lowe’s (an essential coronavirus visit) and picked up some 5″ wide landscaping border material.  This stuff is about 1/4″ thick — really, really tough.  Designed to stand up to repeated UV exposure as well as bad-ass edgers.

Because of how tightly it was wound, and the memory this stuff has, I had to reverse-wind bits of it and leave them in the sun for most of the day to get it lay flat.

I actually made one version as a proof of concept just to be sure this was gonna work like I hoped it would.  I used the cardboard template to do a rough cut of how this might work.

Then I dropped back and made a second with much more precise cuts and clean up.  I also put some bends onto the ends as the unit wraps back towards the wheel openings in the fender.  After carefully marking where the bends need to be, I placed the dam in the vice and then heated the area where I wanted it to bend — let gravity do the work.  Even I was surprised how well it turned out.

I made some simple brackets that attached to two threaded holes existing in the bottom of the lower radiator support.  A fastener goes through a hole in the dam and then through the hole in the bracket.  LOTS of time spent shaping and positioning these brackets to place the dam exactly where I wanted it and at the angle I preferred.  

Very close to each corner bend, I fashioned a rubber bumper out of a sway bar bushing.  This bumper keeps the air dam pressed hard up against the backside of the front fascia.

Then, up under each fender I made a bracket out of aluminum strap that connects the each end of the dam.

Really pleased with the way it came out.  Can’t wait to get the car out of the garage so I can see it from a bit of a distance.

**Follow Up**

A few days later I was able to get it outside for some good pics.  The weather was perfect. 

2 Comments

  1. Lee

    Very nice addition. Looks great and I’m sure functional as well. Never thought of using landscape edging. I have used a lot of flashing material in my day.

    Reply
  2. Michael Yount

    Thx Lee – yeah, I used gutter flashing for all sorts of stuff. The original race car’s dam was gutter flashing over a mild steel frame. Couldn’t get paint to stick – was beat to hell after every race. Eventually I found racer’s tape in a yellow close to the color of the car. Just taped over it!

    Reply

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