Half of the engine crane has arrived and I can’t expect the rest of the parts until after Christmas, so I’m stuck carrying out other work on the car; the engine is going to have to wait. With most other areas of the car not really requiring a lot of attention I decided to work on a new splitter for the car.
This is obviously a very important component which can yield huge gains over the course of a lap. I have always tried to increase the frontal grip on the car by having the same size tires at the front as on the rear, wider front track and then the added front canards, but the car has always had a slight tendency to understeer in steady state. This behaviour can be a benefit as it allows you to push the car to the limit without being out of control, but with more grip and a more balanced setup I’m sure the times will come down. The splitter will be one step to increase the front and overall grip of the car; additionally I would like to fit extended lower ball joints at the front to increase my roll centre height as I currently experience too much camber change on the outer wheel.
Splitters have to be very stiff due to both their size and forces applied onto them, as usually there are large unsupported areas. In my eyes the splitter must also be made out of a material which is cheap and must be very easy to make. The reason for this is because I almost consider it to be a disposable component; one quick off in the gravel and it can be ripped off. I decided to go for a flat 15mm thick sheet of Ply Wood, which will be cut to shape. It can be made in about 2 hours and costs less than 50.00EUR.
The splitter will be solidly mounted to the front sub-frame in 4 places, with 4 additional beams supporting the outer perimeter. Two will be bolted to the bumper near front crash structure and will be outside the car, and the other two will be inside supporting the sides behind the bumper.
This is the final outer profile. Extends about 15 to 20cm beyond the front lip, which is only about 10cm from the front of the bumper; regulations allow for 15cm. The splitter then extend back to the front wheel axis (also dictated by regulations) where it meets the front sub-frame.
The splitter will be impregnated with weather proof coating, sprayed black and the coated with a plastifying spray paint which protect it from chips and scratches.