DIY underbody panels - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 09:43 Thread Starter
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DIY underbody panels

Hey, I want to make my own underbody panels, but I was wondering if anyone knows where to buy like a large sheet of that abs plastic or if there is a better/cheaper material to use? I need to make my own underbody panel in the front because I have a border front which is longer than stock so I can't use the stock underbody panel. any suggests on what material to use or where to get it?
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post #2 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 10:45
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I would use aluminum sheet. .063 thick 6061 or 5053
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post #3 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 11:28 Thread Starter
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yeah, I was thinking of doing that too, but if I make the underbody panel a little longer, I could also make some splitters for it too, but I don't think I want that made of aluminum b/c if I bottom out it will look real ugly all bent up. maybe I will make the underbody panel with thin aluminum and the splitter with a thicker piece
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post #4 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 13:59
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Ecomodders have been using corrugated plastic (the stuff that campaign signs are made of). McMaster sells a heavy duty version for exterior building walls. It would be much easier to work with that than aluminum, and would be much more resistant to damage (won't dent). Just make a frame that would support it well (no sagging in the middle) and it should be just as good as aluminum.
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post #5 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 22:49
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have you tried looking at the toms underbody panels those are designed to fit a border body kit. Also look at the price that should tell you that underbody panels aren't something you make at homedepot....
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post #6 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 23:09 Thread Starter
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well I guess that depends what material you use. a high price doesn't mean you can't do it yourself. Plus if you make it yourself it will be much cheaper. I like the corrugated plastic idea. some of the heavy duty stuff on mcmaster carr looks pretty good.
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post #7 of 52 (permalink) Old August 31st, 2008, 23:48
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http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t74629.html

This post says that the sign material is a good starter, then you can use the ABS plastic which costs a little more. I was wrong about the ABS plastic being available at home depot =(
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post #8 of 52 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2008, 10:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QBlades
well I guess that depends what material you use. a high price doesn't mean you can't do it yourself. Plus if you make it yourself it will be much cheaper. I like the corrugated plastic idea. some of the heavy duty stuff on mcmaster carr looks pretty good.
agreed
the people selling the product are trying to feed their family/pay their bills
DIY is almost always cheaper
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post #9 of 52 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2008, 14:41
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All im trying to say is you just cant go messing around with a important part of aero without some research and an idea on how the airflow works. You just cant slap a soild piece of material on the bottom of a car and call it a "underbody". The underbody on the mr2 has 3 effects: it creates stability, provides airflow to the engine bay, and decreases drag. Doing it yourself is fine if you know what you are doing but doing it yourself and going at it in a cheap matter is not the way to do it. The Toms underbody is not made by the tuning company Tom's but a member on this board named Tom that took the time, effort, and research to create a better underbody using aluminum sheet metal. It was a DIY at first and if you want to save some money you can email him or baktash and they will sell you the blueprints for the cut-outs of the underbody for $70 or so last i heard.
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post #10 of 52 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2008, 15:33
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Im no aerodynamacist, but there should be a benefit from a completely smooth surface versus the stock setup. Id imagine that once you start asking a belly pan to do things other then just provide a smooth surface, things become increasingly difficult.

Ive never understood why people say that air has to be directed through the engine bay from the bottom. Our powerplants are not Lycoming O-320s and will suprisingly survive without airflow hitting their finless surface.

Id like to make one here soon and itll be very simple, 6061 bar for brackets and 6061 sheet. From lip to behind the rear crossmember with a slope thats 1" higher in the back. I cant imagine any negative consequences other then weight. But you have to take into account whether or not your radiator will still be vented to the bottom of the car and make the correct accomodations for that.
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2008, 15:51
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I think the front needs the most improvement, there is a huge gap after the radiator where air goes straight up and pushes the front end upward. If you put a flat bottom underneath with holes cut out for the radiator, I think it'd make a big improvement. TomGs flat bodys have something similar to this and I've never heard of anyone overheating with those flat bottoms. I'd test it but my car doesn't have a motor in it right now >.<
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2008, 23:19 Thread Starter
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I'm not sure why you think an underbody panel is such a complicated piece of equipment, but that's cool. Since we are all car enthusiasts, we probably know more than the average person does about aerodynamics. I didn't know I could buy blueprints for the aluminum cut outs, but since they are cut outs, it means they are just flat pieces of aluminum cut to size, nothing too magical about it. I mean, adding an underbody panel on the front of my car vs nothing is probably an improvement. It isn't like I am pulling underbody panels from my car thinking i can improve on the toyota design. I am just trying to replicate it b/c I cannot use their underbody panels and I want to do it myself. I just didn't see a post in mr2oc yet using the search button so I wanted to throw it out there if people had experience doing this before.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old September 1st, 2008, 23:41
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Blueprints for $70? You can probably get a piece of cardboard and measure it up and make your own layout. Unless there's something very special about those blueprints....
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N/A Racer
Im no aerodynamacist, but there should be a benefit from a completely smooth surface versus the stock setup. Id imagine that once you start asking a belly pan to do things other then just provide a smooth surface, things become increasingly difficult.
Exactly. If you want downforce, then yeah, it's gonna be a bit harder to calculate the correct angles. Then again, just the difference in lowering springs can knock any universal kit's angles off. Now if you just want to reduce drag, it's not hard at all to do. Ecomodders have seen a few MPG gain from just sealing off the underbody with signs.
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old September 2nd, 2008, 17:17
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Originally Posted by javajoe79
I would use aluminum sheet. .063 thick 6061 or 5053
6061 tends to crack when bent. I work for a sheetmetal fabrication company, and when possible, we use 5052-H32 sheet.
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post #16 of 52 (permalink) Old September 6th, 2008, 14:13
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It does crack when bent,unless you anneal the bend area, but it would be flat so that wouldn't be an issue. It is stiffer so that would be better. I made mine out of 5052 with some brackets off of the frame for support. So far it goes back to the back of the front crossbrace. Eventually it will go all the way to the rear with a diffuser.
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post #17 of 52 (permalink) Old September 6th, 2008, 14:14
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post #18 of 52 (permalink) Old September 7th, 2008, 00:19
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my rear diffuser, used 5053 aluminum .050".


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post #19 of 52 (permalink) Old September 7th, 2008, 02:23
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Any ideas on the best way to attach the plate to the chasis/lip, mounting points? If there is a gap between the underbody panels and the lip, then that sort of defeats the purpose. I was thinking of putting 3m double masking tape all along the front so air doesn't go between/through the underbody panel and the front lip. I'll see what fasteners they have at home depot.
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post #20 of 52 (permalink) Old September 7th, 2008, 10:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servin
All im trying to say is you just cant go messing around with a important part of aero without some research and an idea on how the airflow works. You just cant slap a soild piece of material on the bottom of a car and call it a "underbody". The underbody on the mr2 has 3 effects: it creates stability, provides airflow to the engine bay, and decreases drag. Doing it yourself is fine if you know what you are doing but doing it yourself and going at it in a cheap matter is not the way to do it. The Toms underbody is not made by the tuning company Tom's but a member on this board named Tom that took the time, effort, and research to create a better underbody using aluminum sheet metal. It was a DIY at first and if you want to save some money you can email him or baktash and they will sell you the blueprints for the cut-outs of the underbody for $70 or so last i heard.
at speeds which 98% of the community will travel i dont think one could really mess these up.
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