carbon Z06
Carbon Based Life Form - Part Two
C6 carbon fiber side skirts and front splash guards

Carbon fiber exterior add ons have hit the Corvette and sports car market in a very big way.  The demand for the carbon look has in some cases outpaced the specialty manufacturers ability to produce these high tech toys.  

This is the second installment in our coverage of what has become the new styling rage, especially in the Corvette market. After installing a very cool looking ZR1 carbon front splitter on our "Project Z" car we felt that something was missing. To compliment the carbon look of the splitter we decided to install a set of carbon side skirts and front fender splash guards. Our friends at 
C7 Creations out of  San Diego California supplied the carbon side skirts. As an added bonus the skirts came with a matching set of rear carbon guards.   The skirts are very high quality units and provided a perfect fit for our C6 Z06.

A perfect fit means that the only thing required for installation is an initial dry fitting. We have heard installation horror stories of skirts that required cutting and repair prior to installation. Not so with these units they fit and looked exactly like OEM units.

carbon fiber corvette
                                                          a low profile jack with a puck is all that is needed

We did not use a lift to install the skirts, a low profile race jack is all that is needed to access the mounting points. The first step in the install is to remove the rear tires. This is required to install the new rear splash guards that come with the package. The rear guards once installed give a good starting reference point for the skirt placement.

carbon fiber corvette

After the rear guards are bolted into the rear panels support one end of the side skirt to it. Move to the front of the car and remove one of the existing fender panel screws, the front end of the side skirt will align with the appropriate screw. Secure the front of the skirt at this mounting location.

carbon fiber corvette      

After the side skirt is properly aligned it must be secured to the bottom of the rocker panel. The kit comes with a set of pop rivets. To utilize these you must first mark each hole location and then drill a starter hole for the rivet. The only problem with using rivets is that they are forever and will require some serious drilling to extract them if you make a mounting error.

We decided to do an "outside of the box" installation.  In South Florida every pool has an aluminum cage surrounding it to prevent the bugs from eating you alive. The aluminum panels are held together with stainless or galvanized self drilling hex head screws. These thing hold like a pit bull and never rust out.

carbon fiber corvette           carbon fiber corvette
instead of pop rivets we used self drilling hex head screws, these things will never back 
out unless you want them to

After aligning the skirts we started attaching the bottom mounting locations with the self tapping screws. With the self taping screws all you have to do is line up the mounting locations on the side skirts.  After aligning the skirt with the car body attach a drive socket to an electric screwdriver or drill, put a screw in the drive socket and like magic the screw will bore through the soft plastic
 body material and create a very strong connection.

carbon fiber corvette

With the side skirts installed our C6 was still crying out for something more. More carbon that is. We proceeded to install a set of front end carbon fiber splash guards that were supplied to us by RPI Designs.  RPI is an automotive specialty company that is based in Salem Ohio. RPI is an excellent source for hard to find Corvette interior and exterior accessories.

carbon fiber corvette          carbon fiber corvette

They are very nice units and went in with a minimal amount of tweaking. The only problem we found was that the under body mounting holes did not line up with the the holes on the body of the car. No problem we just drilled some new holes adjacent to the factory holes and mounted the guards using the supplied screws.  

carbon fiber corvette
The front carbon splash guards matched up very nicely with the side skirts. The guards will also help prevent road rash on the rear fenders caused by debris that is thrown back from the front wheels

In each of these installations we put a small dab of RTV silicon on the mounting holes prior to screwing the assemblies to the body. This is an old boating trick used to help secure accessories to fiberglass hulls.

Our only other minor complaint with the carbon splash guards is that the polished side of the guard only extends to the outward section.  It would have been nice if the polished section extended part way into the inner guard area. After the installation was complete we gave the inner splash guard area a shot of clear coat to render a more finished look.

Our final installment of our project cars carbon make over will include the installation of a carbon fiber rear spoiler.
The Vette Nuts

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