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      06-23-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
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Exclamation DIY Track Aero: Side Splitters and Varis Rear Diffuser... well maybe

After seeing some of the aero upgrades on fellow forum members' cars like the inspiration pics below, I've been toying with the idea of getting some Side Splitters and a Rear Diffuser system. Only thing is they're not cheap, mostly cosmetic (unless tracking over 80mph), and pretty ricey, which breaks my own modding rules.

But, after some research and talking with a friend who made his own splitter for his Lotus Exige S track car, I convinced myself that I could probably make a pretty decent set using 3/8" ABS. So today I started making a template for the side splitters and snapped a few photos to see what you guys think. Kinda tough to tell b/c the paper template was sagging in the middle, but you get the idea.

I figure if I make them and don't like them, I can just take 'em off and I'm only out $50. If I do like 'em, I'll try my hand at making a functional rear diffuser next (walk before I run).


Links to some good Reference Threads:
- Brian's DIY Track Aero mods - helped me decide to give it a shot.
- EAS site selling VRS Carbon Fiber System 1 Rear Diffuser
- EDIT: added a link to my friend's Lotus DIY splitter discussion, and a link to his thread showing what he ended up creating.
- EDIT: added a link to Forcewerkz E92 M3 Side Splitters
- EDIT: added a link to Carbon Creations Universal Side Splitters


INSPIRATION:
- figured I might as well post all the pics I've been looking at for future reference so I don't have to keep all those tabs open on my browser

Click pic to see original thread...








Click pic to see original thread...


Click pic to see original thread...


Click pic to see original thread...
















SSR Wheels BMW 335i by 1013MM, on Flickr


SSR Wheels BMW 335i by 1013MM, on Flickr


SSR Wheels BMW 335i by 1013MM, on Flickr













Pics of Tee's DIY carbon fiber diffuser sides (quality work) and click to view the original thread:



PICS OF PHASE 1 - SIDE SPLITTER TEMPLATE MOCK-UP



















Right now my design is very basic as it's just a flat edge, whereas, Powerbeast's yellow E90 M3 up top has a rounded flare to his side splitters. I may take that on later, but I figure I'll keep it simple for now. I know I won't get to work on this again until next weekend, but since I now have a template I plan on going to pick up some ABS and mounting fasteners. Also, I'll be talking to my friend with the Lotus or maybe even LTMW to pick up a few tips about how they mount their side splitters.





Here's what LTMW's Side Splitters final product looks like...




6/28 - UPDATE

My friend with the Lotus shared his local Socal, secret supplier... Calsak Plastics

As for installation, I consulted with LTMW and plan to do what they do:
- Fit-check on the car and align as desired
- Mark sideskirt and splitter with alignment marks to ensure correct location once removed from car
- Remove the sideskirt from the car (2 screws at rear wheel well, 1 at front, 8-10 torx T30 fasteners for underbody panel)
- Re-align sideskirt to splitter on workbench and clamp together
- Match-drill 6 to 8 holes thru skirt into splitter
- Secure splitter to skirt with bolt, washers, and nut
- Re-install skirt to car and re-secure underbody panels
- Enjoy custom splitters
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Last edited by SneakyDeeky; 07-07-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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      06-23-2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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Reserved for updates...

Phase 2 - Side Splitter fabrication and mounting using ABS - COMPLETE

Phase 3 - Rear Diffuser Template - IN WORK (Rear fins complete)

Phase 4 - Rear Diffuser fabrication and mounting using ABS (will likely melt near exhaust) IN WORK (Rear fins complete)

Phase 5 - Rear Diffuser fabrication and mounting using Aluminum sheet metal painted flat black



EDIT 7/6 - Progress on Phases 2 & 3...

So I made a little progress on my track aero project over the 4th of July holiday break...
- Drove out to Rancho Dominguez and purchased (qty 3) sheets of 1/8" ABS from CALSAK Plastics. I wanted to get the 1/4" thick sheets, but they're too rigid and couldn't be rolled up so they wouldn't fit in my wife's Toyota Rav4. I bought a bunch of extra in case I mess up and b/c I plan on making a smooth bottom for the entire car (less a few key cutouts for proper air flow around the engine, downpipes, rear diff, and exhaust).
- Purchased some 3M carbon fiber vinyl wrap (ordered from Amazon here)
- Cut out side splitters and approx sized pieces for rear diffuser
- Went to Ace hardware in Torrance and purchased a bunch of different fasteners, washers, nuts, tee nuts, rivets, and L-brackets for mounting the splitters and rear diffuser.
- Created template for rear diffuser side pieces, but I'll probably tweak it a little b/c after reviewing the pictures I took I think the edge near the rear tire should be more straight and a little less rounded.








Pretty happy with how similar my 1st cut is compared to the VRS piece. When I cut it from ABS I'll make the left edge more straight near the tire / wheel well.






Next steps:
- Optional: I'm considering using my heat gun to create a 90 deg bend on the inboard edge of the side splitters. This would have a major impact while tracking as it creates a wall for the air under to car to flow and not allow it to escape on the sides between the front and rear wheels. Downside is that it would reduce ground clearance and impact daily driving. I may compromise and make two sets of side splitters; one set for track use and one set for cosmetics / daily driving. What do you guys think?
- Remove side skirts from car and mount side splitters using tee-nuts. Tee nuts will be riveted to inside of side skirt for easy install and removal of the splitter. Basically, the tee nut is fixed on the inside of the side skirt, so when the splitter comes on and off, the only hardware installed/removed is the fastener and washer. Planning on using ~6 tee nuts on each side.
- Wrap side skirts in 3M carbon fiber vinyl (still waiting for this to arrive from Amazon).
- Install black auto door trim around outer edge of side splitters (like the beveled edged shown on the side splitters installed on Neema's black E92 shown in my original post).
- Continue creating the template for the rest of the rear diffuser.




UPDATE 7/31

Finished, wrapped and mounted the first part of the rear diffuser. Side splitters are complete and ready to be wrapped and mounted; I just ran out of time this weekend. Too much work















EDIT 8/4 - Phase 2 COMPLETE

So this weekend I finally finished off the side splitters and overall I'd give myself a 7/10 with the finished product.












1) I used this DIY guide to remove the rocker panels (aka - side skirts).
2) I managed to break 6 of the white, plastic M3 clips (note the 335i uses the rectangular yellow clips). I wasn't too worried since I figured I could just pick up a couple of new ones from the dealership, but they didn't have any in stock so it looks like I'll get to drive around with no rocker panel on the passenger side until Wednesday. For comparison, the left clip is broken and the right is good-to-go.


You can see only 4 of the 10 plastic clips are left on the passenger side rocker panel below, because I had to use some of the good ones from the passenger side to complete the driver side before re-installing.




3) The heat gun was key to help bend the black plastic door trim around the tighter radii of the front and rear end of the splitters. The trim gives it a little more weight and a nice finishing touch.
Ordered the trim from here. 15' is enough to do two splitters.






All said, I'm happy with how it turned out.



If I were to do it all over again, I'd go back to CalSak Plastics with my father-in-laws truck and use the thicker, 1/4" ABS. Because it's twice as thick, the sheets couldn't be rolled like carpet and didn't fit inside my car. Oh well. I have lots of extra. Next up is finishing the rear diffuser and then onto the front splitter. Oh, and make ChrisE92 a pair of rear fins.
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Last edited by SneakyDeeky; 11-27-2013 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Mounted Part 1 of Rear Diffuser
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      06-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #3
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I love the creativity and the time putting into this! subs.
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      06-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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subbed!
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      06-23-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
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      06-23-2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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Awesome thread!
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      06-23-2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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I've done this. +1 for the DIY!
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      06-24-2013, 12:08 AM   #8
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if all goes as plan you want to help me make some
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      06-24-2013, 12:28 AM   #9
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good job man! im in the process of making a rear diffuser now and using the varis as a guide.
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      06-24-2013, 12:41 AM   #10
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dude! BAMF stuff you're putting together. i went to my first HPDE this past friday...you're giving me some unwanted ideas as a next step...
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      06-24-2013, 02:50 AM   #11
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Cool .Wat kind of material is that?lexan?
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      06-24-2013, 02:59 AM   #12
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Looks clean! In for updates
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      06-24-2013, 03:56 AM   #13
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Looks great! Definitely looking forward to what you have coming up!

I'm working with a buddy to make one as well! I'm planning on making a similar design to the Varis one for my E90.
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      06-24-2013, 11:24 AM   #14
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Good job...I'm sure it will come out really good...
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      06-24-2013, 11:47 AM   #15
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This will turn out good. What are your plans for fastening these to the vehicle??
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      06-24-2013, 10:45 PM   #16
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First of all good luck on the build and second, how can you call side and rear diffusers "ricey" especially a piece made by Varis. Ricey is such a wrong choice of word...just saying...
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      06-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichi_ban View Post
First of all good luck on the build and second, how can you call side and rear diffusers "ricey" especially a piece made by Varis. Ricey is such a wrong choice of word...just saying...
Ricey... just sayin'







Although, I'll admit, I really like the Subie.

Oh, and for reference I added a link to my friend's Lotus DIY splitter thread.
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      06-26-2013, 11:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SneakyDeeky
Quote:
Originally Posted by ichi_ban View Post
First of all good luck on the build and second, how can you call side and rear diffusers "ricey" especially a piece made by Varis. Ricey is such a wrong choice of word...just saying...
Ricey... just sayin'







Although, I'll admit, I really like the Subie.

Oh, and for reference I added a link to my friend's Lotus DIY splitter thread.
All three pics are of nothing of what the OP is doing.
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      06-27-2013, 07:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taran.J View Post
All three pics are of nothing of what the OP is doing.
i dont think the subie is rice at all since its actually on the track
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      06-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #20
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This is awesome!
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      06-27-2013, 01:32 PM   #21
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I think I've mentioned this in each thread that someone attempts to create their own aero, but I will pay for a copy of the template!
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      06-27-2013, 02:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taran.J View Post
All three pics are of nothing of what the OP is doing.
i dont think the subie is rice at all since its actually on the track
I quoted the guy who posted those pics, I know the subies for track use.
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