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32. Winter Upgrades - Front Splitter

32. Winter Upgrades - Front Splitter

Winter Upgrades - Front Splitter

For the previous year we had ran with no splitter or under tray, wasn't a problem for the number of trackdays we did but going forward thought it was sensible to have an under tray to protect the underside of the engine/gear linkage etc from gravel and the like. The plan for the splitter also used the under tray as the mounting point.

We had some requirements for the splitter which we felt were important so it didn't become a problem to run with:

  • Still allow the quick release bumper to be removed without removing the splitter. Being able to take the bumper off in a matter of seconds is really useful, makes access to the front of the engine and front suspension very easy. So didn't want to lose this feature.
  • Easy loading onto the trailer. Currently we have to remove the bumper to get the car onto the trailer as the bottom edge of the standard splitter just catches. Therefore want the splitter to be able to bend/pivot so it can easily slide along the trailer ramps.
  • Like the quick release bumper want to be able to remove the splitter fairly easily if needing more access.

First was to make the under tray. I had made a template for one a couple years ago when the rivnuts got put into the front frame. However to get clearance to the gear shifter with a flat sheet and no cut outs the bottom section had to be spaced out by 15mm. Made the under tray out of 3mm aluminium, so nothing overly strong, doesn't weigh much but will be perfect for keeping gravel from damaging anything (and no doubt collect lots of gravel too).

With the undertray fitted with a bunch of washers spacing the bottom section away from the front subframe, I bought some aluminium spacers, similar to the bump stop spacers too. I welded these onto the under tray so it is less faff to take off and on if needed.

That was the under tray sorted so next was sorting the splitter. Used some aluminium extrusion make a couple of brackets to make the pivot point.

These brackets are going to be the pivot point of the splitter with gas struts supporting the front of the splitter which will also allow the movement. These were purchased from SGS Engineering. Went with 75N for the front and 60N for the side struts. So in total that will in effect give 27kg holding the edge of the splitter down. Can always change these if they need to be more or less in the future but seems a reasonable guesstimate, and in the end it did feel about right.

Cut to a shape which mostly followed the shape of the bumper.

Fitted the air dam from BYC Designs, contemplating making something myself but wasn't going to be able to make anything as neat as the BYC Air Dam and thought it was a reasonable price too.

I used countersunk bolts for all the fixings to keep the bottom of the splitter flat and so none of the bolts would catch on the track or trailer. Painted the splitter with the trusty Jotun Jotamastic 90 but in black this time rather than the aluminium version we have previously used.

Couple of coats later and the plywood was completely sealed and also gives a pretty good finish. Will see how long it take for it to need another coat of paint to tidy it up. Added some door seal strip along the top edge of the air dam where it is in contact with the bottom of the bumper.

By disconnecting the front two gas struts the splitter drops enough to allow the bumper to be removed just like before.
Really pleased how to turned out. 
Will it give us any performance increase, who knows, more than likely pretty marginal. 
Is it worth it just for how it looks? Most certainly! Can't have a racecar without a big front splitter really even if it is a Clio.

One thing I forgot to do was mark up the other half of plywood for a spare splitter, so will have to take it apart and mark up for the spare splitter incase the first one breaks. Should have mentioned the splitter is less than 600m deep so you can get two splitters out of an 8x4 sheet.

Don't need too many guesses what is coming up next! Can't be having a front splitter without a big rear wing.

Previous article 33. Winter Upgrades - Fibreglass Boot and Rear Spoiler
Next article 31. The start of FrogJam Motorsport

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