Last updated Monday March 26, 2012

Wheel Skirts and Smooth Hubcaps

Friction is ultimate energy waster and contributor of finite range.  

Others on the Ecomodder website have experimented with using perfectly smooth hubcaps.  They have shown that these smooth covers can significantly contribute to decreased aerodynamic drag. 

I found a set of Teflon pizza pans at Wal-Mart that fit my wheels perfectly. I took my existing "egg beater" snap-on hub caps and cut out the center portion of them, leaving just the perimeter.  I caulked a pizza pan to the hub cap and then snapped the whole assembly to the wheel.  In this way, I can easily remove the hubcap to add air or remove a tire.  

It's a universal constant, a fact of nature, an unbreakable rule, that nothing sticks to Tefelon, especially at 75mph. 

In hindsight, I should have scrapped off the Teflon on the concave side of the pizza pans before bonding them to the original snap-on hubcaps. I should have let the adhesive set up longer too.  

On my first high-speed run, well. Let's just say that after being spun up to twice the speed of death, Teflon pizza pans will roll on their side for a good 200 meters straight, ringing like a bell the whole time, before they cross 4 lanes of traffic and ditch into the weeds; Or hit a bump and fly over a sound wall. I don't want to talk about it anymore.  

I bought some regular $3.48 metal pizza pans and glued them on. They hold tight and look pretty good too. 

I have since painted them black to prevent them from rusting.   

I also followed AndrewJ's example on the ecomodder website and made some rear wheel skirts out of sheet metal and an aluminum carpet/tile joiner strip for support.

I painted them white to match the paint of the truck. I am loving the color that I picked for my truck. A $2 can of glossy white spray paint can fix a scuff or scratch in no time.

Next Article:  Bed Cover