Since the splitter would be made out of plywood, PAD didn’t make sense so CAD was brought into play. Fortunately, a large screen TV box was made available and that proved to be the perfect size to start laying out our splitter. Making several support blocks our of wood, the rectangular piece of cardboard was set out under the car. This was ideal for making measurements for the supports, often referred to as trailer hitches, that would be bolted to the car. Wherever possible existing threaded holes were used, as adding more holes/welded spots is simply a concern. Strength is a huge concern for splitters and the mounts are actually bolted up to the factory tow hook locations. Lots of strength there.
PAD came into play here again as we were able to cut the support pieces, drill the holes, fasten them together to test things out and then take them apart and use the plywood templates for drilling the metal. No pics were taken of the PAD setup when it was bolted to the car and they were used as firewood ages ago. Here regular steel was used – a bit easier to weld than aluminum (equipment access) and as the size of the mounts was kept small the weight disadvantage was also kept small. I have to admit that during this process a few calls were made to James Houghton (yes, James of the K-Tuned Type R) to discuss the issues and the potential of this aero project. I always welcome feedback about my driving and I certainly welcome feedback on my build.
My friend and racing buddy, Jeremy, is also an enabler. He did the aero work on his car last season and absolutely encouraged me to proceed with my project. He also had a piece of marine plywood that was too small for his build but that sounded ideal for the Nissan. In the article on The Ridge I mentioned his budget Honda build and that car really has to have an article done on it soon. The marine plywood just barely fit into the Mazda CX-3 even with the drive squashed up against the steering wheel and the back door still open.
Once home the CAD template was laid out on the plywood and the newly acquired Bosch jig saw (what’s the purpose of a project if not to pick up some new tools along the way!) finished the job in no time. Al had finished welding the splitter supports so the cut plywood splitter was able to be fitted to the car and the Greg Amy air dam set into place. It looked pretty good (pretty rough some might say) but the difference between the NX2000 and the NX1600’s noses were evident with the air dam in place. The NX2000 has a very prominent body cladding so, while I knew the fitment would be off, it was a bit more disconcerting than anticipated.
Now all of this was completed this past February and everything was well on the path to being ready for Knox Mountain Hill Climb in May. But as we all know, then came the official pandemic in March and a lengthy list of closures and the need for isolation. Long time readers will know that my grandson is medically fragile, therefore, the need for self-isolation is huge. As a result everything slowed down and, while it didn’t come to a complete halt the push subsided and very little was completed during March and the first part of April.