What is a splitter, why do you need it and how to install it on the car
Not everyone is satisfied with the standard appearance of their car, as it comes off the assembly line of the automaker. Therefore, many strive to change it, to stand out against the general background.
All modifications are combined under one general concept. It is tuning. And tuning can be visual, influencing the appearance of the car, and technical. Technically, cars are difficult and expensive to modify, and not everyone has enough knowledge for that; the main accent is made on external tuning.
The external tuning can include installation of a splitter. This is a car body element, which has not only visual appeal, but also can affect the behavior of the car.
What is it used for
Splitter is called an air diffuser. It is presented in the form of the so-called skirt or lip. It is installed in the front of the car on the bumper, at the bottom of the structure. This is a flat element, for the production of which plastic, carbon and other materials are used.
The splitter’s task is to reduce aerodynamic drag while driving.
If you go deeper into the essence, it looks like this. The amount of air passing under the hood, due to the hinged structure is reduced. This contributes to improving the drag coefficient, increasing aerodynamics. At the bottom of the bumper, the air is discharged, and this creates downforce. It acts from the top down. The splitter on the front bumper helps to divert air flows to the sides or up through special holes provided in the bumper. With this element, you can improve the cooling efficiency of the brakes or the engine.
There are cars on which the use of splitters is provided from the factory. But mostly this component appears as a result of modifications of the car by the owner.
Splitter is one of the varieties of spoilers, used on cars. And it performs a similar task, improving the aerodynamic characteristics. Although there are also options for tuning, when the installation of the lip is aimed solely at external changes, and the detail has no special effect on the aerodynamics.
Splitters are widespread in the field of sports racing, because here the key role is played not only by the engine power. The rules usually impose strict restrictions on the power and volume of the internal combustion engine. To surpass the competition, the emphasis is placed on aerodynamics in the design of the car. And splitters are rarely necessary.
Before you put a splitter on your car, it’s worth knowing about its properties and understanding if it is really necessary in your situation.
Short course of aerodynamics
Quite often auto modification is carried out by blind copying of the solutions you like. Many motorists and fans of home-made tuning often don’t even think about how it will affect the car’s behavior. And in vain.
Do not rush to install the splitter on your car, without first learning important points regarding aerodynamics. To be more exact, it is necessary to tell about aerodynamic resistance. Almost all modern car racing is based on it.
Aerodynamic resistance is an obstacle to the movement of the car due to the oncoming air flows. The air leaving the free space creates eddies of less density than that encountered by the vehicle.
Because of the eddies there is a resistance, which contributes to the braking of the car, in parallel increasing the load on the front part. That is, the car kind of cuts through, breaks through the air, which acts as a counter force, and tries to stop the car.
To solve such a problem, splitters installed on the bumper are used. With its help, the air currents begin to move in the other direction. This protects against violations of aerodynamics and prevents braking from oncoming flows.
To achieve the desired and correct effect, the splitter should be installed simultaneously on the rear and front bumper.
But often you can see that the splitter is only on one of the bumpers. At high enough speeds, this can have serious consequences.
- Installation at the front. To begin with, let’s see what happens when the element is installed only at the front. In this situation, downforce will affect only the front of the vehicle. Because of this, the rear wheels will start to move off the ground slightly, the quality of traction with the road surface will be broken, and everything will remain normal with the grip in front. This will have a negative effect on handling and safety. The probability of skidding increases. If the car has a building drive, then it will turn into a decrease in power and an increase in fuel consumption.
- Installation only in the rear. If you install the splitter only to the rear, then something similar will happen. Only in this case, the grip of the front wheels will deteriorate. If they drive, it threatens with noticeable changes in the car’s behavior.
To balance the car, to improve downforce and reduce aerodynamic drag, you should install the elements on the rear and front buffers simultaneously, or not to install them at all, according to all the rules and laws of physics.
What they are
There are several varieties of splitters, with which the car is transformed externally and changes its aerodynamic performance.
In addition to the division into front and rear, they are usually classified according to the materials used in production.
- Metal. Nowadays, all-metal splitters are practically not used. Only some elements of the splitter are made of aluminum or steel. Basically it is a blade.
- Silicone. It is used relatively recently. It is not afraid of heating, it is characterized by plasticity and a long service life.
- ABS plastic. One of the most popular materials. But the more in the composition of artificial impurities, the shorter the service life of the part.
- Fiberglass. Affordable material with a strong fiberglass mesh inside the structure. Rarely found in mass production due to the low benefit to the manufacturer.
- Carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Aka carbon. Expensive material, which is actively used for tuning elite cars, sports cars and racing cars.
Excluding metal, almost all materials can be used in self tuning.
To improve and enhance your car, it is perfectly acceptable to install the splitter yourself. This will require a steady hand, a set of tools and consumables, as well as the aerodynamics element itself.
The installation process consists of several consecutive steps:
- The first thing to do is to purchase the right item for your car. Be sure to make a fitting of the part.
- Make sure that everything fits perfectly by size and level. Make sure that the lip fits tightly, there are no misalignments and gaps.
- Thoroughly clean the bumper of the car from dirt, degrease it. An ordinary soapy solution will do.
- It is also recommended to remove the factory lacquer from the bumper, which will ensure a better connection between the parts. Lacquer is removed only at the joint.
- Using sealant without primer, apply a neat line connection of parts. Very handy material for such tasks.
- Apply primer and then primer to the surfaces to be glued.
- Apply a layer of sealant to the aerodynamic part. The excess should be removed with a trowel or rags. There is no need to try to rub the residue into the voids.
- The bumper and splitter are pressed tightly together and left for about 20 minutes. At the bottom, the edge of the skirt can be secured with a couple of self-tapping screws, and at the top with duct tape. It takes about 24 hours to fully cure.
- Silicone clear sealant is used in the formation of joints.
After completing the installation of one splitter, install the second by analogy.
Work in conditions without drafts, in dry weather and at a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius.
If you are not confident in your own abilities, you can apply to a proven tuning atelier for installation. But it will be much more expensive than an independent installation.
Hub (splitter). Installation, pros, cons (seat leon cupra R and EzLip).
Continuing the reports about already made changes in a car, let’s talk about today’s popular styling, namely linings under a bumper, in common parlance “lip”. Why it is necessary, what are the pros and cons from its usage and etc. And also what is there on the spectrum will figure it out. My experience.
Conditionally at the moment we can distinguish 3 types of such overlays: splitters directly, plastic lip-overlay and rubberized lip.
In a nutshell about the purpose of each. *Splitter is put to improve the aerodynamic characteristics of the car. It cuts and cuts the air up and around the edges, thereby increasing downforce and reducing drag. *Plastic lip protects the bumper and minimally the underside of the car. It is usually placed under the bumper so it is not always visible. Often these things come already from the factory. It cuts off air partly but its efficiency is minimal. *And it’s rubberized. Protects nothing, cuts nothing. If it does cut off air, then of course the efficiency is the lowest compared to other splitters. If you are going to install such a device in motorsport, it should be placed already under all splitters, to mash asphalt and not to let air under the bottom of the car.
It is clear that use in motorsport quickly attracted attention of tuning fans and such things were hooked even to civil cars. Only if in sports they are made of carbon, aluminum and other lightweight but durable materials, so in people they are made of plastic, wood, paper, snot and other improvised and available means. Do all cars have beautiful looking splitters? Certainly not. But everyone pays tribute to fashion in their own way.
The pluses of these linings have been mentioned above in principle. But what are they good for civilian cars? Do they reduce the frontal resistance? Well, if yes, then in a minimal way. For example, what is the sense from the splitter on a civilian car, where the drag coefficient is not calculated for super high-speed driving? I shall say nothing about not especially powerful engine of such car. Thus, from pluses there is only a protection of a bumper at parking, and also appearance of a car. And the last point is exactly the same, why all of a sudden everybody rushed to buy these splitters. As to a protection of a bumper, yes, it’s better to run over a curb with a lip than with a bumper, which repair will cost more. The more so, if to speak about plastic lip, it is plastic enough, not painted (not beaten), traces of collision with curbs are practically imperceptible, the more so, as the lip is under a bumper and may not be visible at all. A rubber lip survives a meeting with a curb with hurray, it easily bends in any direction and takes its shape after driving away from an obstacle. But this lip will not protect bumper in any way.
Then we get to the disadvantages Splitters (the ones that are shown in photo 1): not plastic and can break an obstacle, make clearance cars significantly lower, which with our roads are usually themselves an expensive pleasure (except for the paper, of course) and still do not know what is better to break, a splitter or a bumper)) Plastic lip: the same disadvantage in reducing ground clearance, as well as possible lack of plasticity in comparison with the rubber. In winter in courtyard ruts such lip can be left on one of ice hillocks, though, in comparison with professional splitters it is heavenly. Rubber lip: its disadvantage is that it is only and only for beauty. It does not protect from anything, it does not clears the air, because at high speed it simply bends under its weight. There is not much more to say about it.
Personally I did not like the raised and rounded at the bottom bumper of the Spectra, as well as of many other civilian inexpensive cars. Yes, it was made just for convenience of parking, not to break a bumper, but the general look in my understanding was incomplete. Therefore, after installing the spoiler, I installed the lip at the same time.
Of course, before installing a lot of different options. Here’s an example in photo 3, where an example of a plastic lip, spectrum with a lip from Chevrolet Cruze. A well-known option.
It is placed directly under the bumper, goes straight down. I didn’t like this one because my vision was a little different. I wanted something like fangs, but nothing like that could be found.
So my first lip I tried was the EZLip. And it was the original. Yes, there are fakes out there that are made of a different material. The fakes tear quickly on obstacles. Mine withstood everything. Unfortunately there is no photo on my car with this lip, as I have not yet been on the drive. But there are photos of those who have put.
I can not say anything bad about the lip. Drove with it for more than 2 years, including winter, including in snowdrifts, ruts, it was even a planted the car, the lip crumpled, thought it would tear off, but no. It was in good order. Fastened the lip on self-tapping screws from below to the bumper (“ko-ko-ko, drill bumper! 111”. What will it do? It’s not iron, it doesn’t fucking rust). First, by the way, I secured it with simple paper holders. I read this on one of the board threads. The guy did it and said that even at speed it doesn’t tear off and everything is ok! Yep. Did it exactly the same way. Sat on the first kerb sitting there reassembling those holders and fixing the lip that had fallen off. All right, I thought, I guess I had bad luck, my fault. The curb was high and I hit it with holders. Yeah, right. So the carwasher calls me! Your rubber fell off! Oh, for fuck’s sake. I hit most of the holders with the hose. Shouldn’t I water it and run around blowing dust off it? I don’t think so. Anyway, after this incident, I’ve realized that even things like that, which is in contact with the road, must be fixed accurately and thoroughly, even if it’s just a rubber band. There is also a proposal to mount on double-sided adhesive tape 3M, but it is also not so reliable and questionable in winter. In addition, the original has such a lip material is such that the tape somehow does not particularly stick to it. Or in general I did not take the risk and fixed it properly. In the end I can say that the lip is fine. It is suitable for all cars, it is universal. The excess is simply cut off. However, you should think about how to mount it in shape, because you can screw it up. Then it will be not nice. I have seen it on some spectra which were not made ok. Costs such a lip in the region of 1000r+-. It can be mounted on any side. In the front, rear, even on the sills do.
So drove around until I saw it.
Unfortunately, it did not say what kind of lip, where to buy, etc.. I started digging around on the internet and of course I found it. It turned out that this is a very popular lip. Wherever they put it. So, this is the lip from a Seat Leon cupra R.
That’s where I found the part number. 1ML 805 903, if anyone likes it. I ordered it at autodoc. The price tag was in the neighborhood of 2300-2400. At the moment it costs about the same there, well a little more expensive: 2500-2600. Pretty pricey for a lip, huh? YES! So is everything on a WAG, for crying out loud. For rubber bands are willing to charge kopecks, while analogues for 5 rubles are exactly the same quality. All right, enough grumbling.
In general, I did not even think long to be honest. I liked it so much with its fangs that I turned a blind eye to the price and with my eyes closed I ordered it. At the same time the rubber lip was still in place and everything was fine with it. The service guys installed it for me because I just painted the front bumper. I thought if I painted it, they should do it too. Hooked it a little differently than on the photo above. And the edges were recessed a little bit. On the whole, it turned out so.
After I did it, a couple of WAG owners who were there at the service at the time were concerned about getting one for themselves, because they liked the look of it. Sits this lip, as if it was there from the factory. In general, the lip has certainly changed the look of the car for the better. But there is one detail. Also for this lip I have already asked the drivers of this car. Actually that is why I am writing this post. So with this lip I drive for 2.5 years. Also in winter and summer. So far God willing, has not peeled anywhere, but in contrast to the rubber lip here I am not so calm and unnecessarily once to the curbs do not approach. Although a couple of curbs already checked it. It’s OK, it’s holding. Sufficiently plastic, the damage is either no, or imperceptible at all, but if powerfully to hit it, of course swept away. Clearance it reduces not so much as, say, from the Cruze lip. Bottom line: this lip at the moment I think the best option. Yes, I would replace it with a bumper more canine, but as you know from my neighboring post Dodger “Exclusive” with it failed. And the chevy cruze lip looks like a bit of an alien body on the spectrum in my opinion. Well maybe except for the black spectrum where it blends in with the color.
Conclusions After 5 years of driving with “lips” what can I say about them? Do I need to put them on? The answer is unequivocal – NO. For those who drive spectra in forests and the sea. Because the only decisive reason why I put a lip, why others put them – is the look of the car. We are just decorating the car, nothing more. There’s not even any talk of bumper protection here. No one is pursuing such a goal. So if you put the wheels p16-17, paint calipers and in general deal with the look of your car, then such a lip will get on the spectrum very well. No modifications or rework it does not require. The only thing is that greatly expand around the edges of it do not need, and then bend a lip and it will look on the bumper so a bad. I have seen this somewhere on the drive.
Bonus. When selecting photos for this article, came across an interesting blog) The man seriously made a splitter out of the bumper of the Spectra! I have not seen it yet) www.drive2.com/l/425209/ Very interesting of course, especially when there is a broken ownerless bumper) For otherwise it is too expensive lip comes out. But here’s to the question of who makes splitters and what they’re made of. In this case, it is a splitter, but it is made of ordinary plastic. Even if a spectra has strong bumpers, but I am afraid that it is necessary to be extremely accurate with such splitter. For example the material of a lip from a Seat, or from the same Cruze, is much more durable and plastic.
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