Carbon Based Life Form - Part Two
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
are very high quality units and provided a perfect fit for our C6 Z06.
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.
a low profile jack
with a puck is all that is needed
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.
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
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
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.
instead of pop rivets we used self drilling hex head
screws, these things will never back out unless you want
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
only other minor complaint with the carbon splash guards is that the polished
side of the guard only extends to the outward section. It
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.
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