Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mini Aero Project - OK So That Didn't Work... What Was I Thinking?

So in my quest to modernize the car, in addition to mechanical and electrical items, I stumbled upon this:
This is the driver side rear view mirror from the Lexus LFA - note it has the horizontal strakes built in, presumably to better manage airflow going around the car.  So I began to wonder if there might not be an easy to way to replicate this on one's existing mirror?

I found this:

From the manufacturer's description, this appears to be just what I was looking for!

Apparently, with the strategic application of these double stick tape rubber pieces, you can straighten out the flow of air around your car, and in the process, reduce wind noise!

For less than US$8.50 (JPY 830), this was too good not to try.

So while June is rainy season in Japan, on a sunny day I broke out the can of KR4 spray paint (which I still have left over from the fluidic nozzle mod) and spray painted the two pieces for the mirror in the hopes that they would blend in fairly decently.

Then on a trip to Chiba prefecture just today (to implement Step 1 of my long awaited audio upgrade... stay tuned, pun intended) I had the opportunity to try these pieces out.  Mounting was as simple of finding a place to put them, peeling off the double stick tape, and sticking them on:

On the B Pillar

This was the only place this piece would stick on the door sail

You can see the knob sticking out off the bottom of the mirror

And then it was a matter of driving to see what the difference was.

The verdict?

Uh... well... I could NOT tell the difference - not because these don't work - maybe they do - but because the road noise and engine noise coming in from the firewall area, plus the sound of the exhaust, basically made it too loud for me to hear any wind noise. For my audio upgrade, while I did lay down sound deadening as well as undercoating looks like I will have to do the firewall...

I even drove (a bit ?? lol) over the speed limit, in the hopes that at really fast speed wind noise would be more apparent - but no difference.  The only thing I DID notice, however, was that my BNR34 rear diffuser was working quite nicely - sending up a rooster tail of water at speed (it was raining quite hard by the time I was driving back home today).

Thankfully, again this aero mod cost me less than 850 yen to try.... maybe I can find a Prius to try it out on...


Matt said...

Hi there, I've been following your blog for quite a while now and I have to say your attention to detail is truely inspiring and some of the mods you have done, I have done also :)
While on the subject of mirrors, I have been searching high and low for do-luck mirrors to fit the R33 (As shown on the R33's on the do-luck website) but, despite my best efforts and weeks of trying, no one in the UK can offer any help whatsoever.
If you could offer any advice I would be eternally greatful and forever in your debt! lol

Ibonibo said...

Wow, your plastic trim around the windows look like new.
Incredible for a car that age!

And yes take your wind diverter off, doesn't look good.

While the aerodynamic Cf of the GTR's are not that great, they are great for cars of their age.
Plus they reach 300. So they can't be that bad. I don't think adding those on the mirrors will do a lot. Maybe the high speed goes up 0.01km/h :lol:

I think if you want to eliminate that point, and go full on, the only reasonable option is 3rd party mirrors, maybe competition mirrors, but they are small, and in a lot of places illegal.

I end on this, otherwise it will be pages :D

Always a great read :thumbup:

Aki said...

Hi Matt - thanks for the nice comments! About the mirrors - on the Japanese or UK Do Luck site? If it's not possible to get in the UK, maybe try Bulletproof, who I think is the US distributor for Do-Luck?

Ibo - thanks as always. Agree on the aero parts not working. As for aerodynamics, yes it was good for its time but if it could be improved, so much the better. The rear is fine, plenty of downforce, but it would be nice to have more downforce up front... So I shall continue to see what I can do...


Matt said...

Thanks very much for the reply, I'll give them a go :)
It was the Japanese site where I've seen them. I've already got the Aero Wivern body kit, which I love, and I fancied something a bit different Instead of the standard Ganador aftermarket replacements which everyone seems to fit. The do-luck ones are advertised as "universal" but I've been told they don't fit the R33 (By the uk distributor), how frustrating, especially since the picture that promotes them on the site clearly shows an R33 GTR (If you wouldn't mind, have a click around on the site and you'll also see other images of the GTR and GTST with them fitted)
Here's the link:
And here:

Let me know what you think :)
Thanks again for the reply.

マット said...

I think we're limited on choices for creating front downforce on a road car: Front diffuser, front canards, vented front bonnet, vented front fenders to extract wheel arch air pressure, etc.

Some are not very suitable if you want to maintain the stock look of the car.

By the way, I've always wondered if you drive your car in the rain! Now I know. :)

Aki said...

Hi Matt - OK I missed those, sorry! If Sumo in the UK can't get them, try contact Wouter at Parts Box in the Netherlands, he has a good connection with Do-Luck

Otherwise, let me know and I'll inquire next time I visit Do-Luck!


Aki said...

マット - well yes, but remember I've been talking to an aerodynamicist engineer (Andrew B) lately, and he has some ideas...

Ok so I don't drive in the rain that often. However, this trip was ABSOLUTELY necessary, as you will see when I finish this project. Unfortunately, I won't be done until about mid-August because the guy who's helping me - who I drove out to visit - is busy until then. Stay tuned!


Matt said...

Ok, thanks Aki that's great. I'll try Parts Box and let you know how I get on :)

Karl said...

Hi Aki, a great read and I chuckled from start to finish. We all ddo the mods that are a 'great idea at the time'.
Seems it's all action talking about wing mirrors here, although have to say that Matt your incorrect and you don't see many genuine Ganador Super Mirrors in the UK, due I think to the price and the fact that they seem only to make to order now (they made me a set anyway).