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Rear fender skirts look great, but flunk in other ways  April 8, 2021 – 07:59 pm


September 19, 2011 - 3:20 pm ET

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News. Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

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FRANKFURT -- Rear fender skirts certainly make a car appear sleek and extremely aerodynamic.

So it is just a matter of time before they become standard equipment on all cars, right?

Automakers continue to search for a wide range of styling tricks to reduce aerodynamic drag in an effort to improve fuel economy.

General Motors global styling boss Ed Welburn, interviewed last week on the sidelines of the Frankfurt auto show, said “anything that helps reduce the interference along the side of a car is a good thing.”

So it looks like removable rear fender skirts are a done deal, right? Not so fast.

It turns out after extensive testing by GM, removable fender skirts flunked. They are more of a problem than a solution.

According to Welburn, there are several drawbacks:

• The fender skirt causes tire pressure to increase. Although he did not say it, neither GM nor any automaker wants to create a design that increases the probability of tire failure.

• Removable skirts are difficult to keep in place properly, plus there’s the added cost of each skirt.

• Pick one: To use a fender skirt, the rear tires need to be narrower to fit inside the wheel well or the vehicle track needs to be narrower or the body needs to be what he called “pulled out” to accommodate the same size tires that are steering the car.

Welburn said pulling the body out, essentially widening the body where the rear tires are located, increases aerodynamic drag.

While Welburn didn’t explain the other two choices described above, a narrower tire would reduce vehicle capacity and a narrower vehicle track could slightly increase the probability of rollover.

Says Welburn: "The short answer is, skirts don’t help on a production car."

Source: www.autonews.com

Indian Chief?

My dad had one (48 chief), i remember the fender skirts on and the indian thingy on the front fender that reminded me of a hood ornament, I was just a grammar school aged kid at the time, my parents would tell me later on when i got older that the loud exhaust made an impression on me and i called it "the voooden voooden thing"

Another tip I was given..

..is that if you have some real small areas to fill after you've laid most of the cloth, before you start you should take a couple of pieces and cut it up REALLY small so you can just blend a little at a time with the liquid. Not having to tuck in or otherwise deal with too long edges of the cloth where you wanted to fill in a little bit will make the job easier and neater too.
This reminds me, I need to 'glas up and redrill the mounting holes in the RD60 front fender. The stock metal one was really dented, and I'd found a nice plastic fender but the fork area skirts weren't long enough, so I kind of gusseted it with same width longer strips of fairly thin metal and 'glassed over it all

Feel the power  — Milton Daily Standard
It had been lowered two inches in the rear and had fender skirts on the rear wheels. It was pretty, it was fast and it was noisy, and I ..

Allmendinger wins in NASCAR's first visit to Mid-Ohio  — Coos Bay World
The race was plagued by spin-outs and fender benders. The last one almost .. Hornish made a run at the leaders almost immediately and also tried to skirt inside McDowell at the first turn. ..

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