I have purchased an Original Copy of an R3 rear spoiler for the Satria Neo to work on as a working development platform. It is made out of Glass Fibre. I normally would not do this if not for the fact that I was the told that the real deal would take some time to be ready. I had gone to the Proton Parts Centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, Selangor to buy some parts for my other car. I had asked for two sets but was told that it is not normally held in stock. I was told that these parts do need to be back ordered.
Since what I am trying to do is make a full scale mock up and as a real working unit for further tests and development, I guess it would be ok. It costs RM 140.00 which I purchased from an accessory shop called Brother’s from their main office in Kelana Jaya, Selangor. There are actually two models of similar looking spoilers. The difference is on the mounting holes. I bought the proper one and took two more days before doing something about it.
I transferred dimensions from the spoiler to the wooden prototype wing and vice versa. The wooden wing was wider than the spoiler’s trailing edge. I chose to cut by 40mm offset from the shoulder of the trailing edge. The hardest part was trying to cut it exactly straight as the spoiler is curved on all axises. I used another straight wooden piece to make it straight. I used a wooden saw, a dremel and a powered jigsaw. And it came out shitty. In retrospect, I should have just used the jigsaw. I just had to be steady with it as an oscillating power tool is difficult to hold steady.
Once the trailing edge was cut, I tried placing the Standard Hitec Servo Motor around the cavity to see if there was room. This has been the main question in my mind for weeks. If the servo was too big, additional modifications are needed which would drag my schedule longer.
Placing the servo for fit testing
You can see from that picture that the Glass Fibre wing was made in several separate pieces. Where they mate and glued to each other, there is some internal projections that hampered the fitment.
While finding placement for the servo it dawned on me that it would be easier to use the glass fibre cutoff as the moveable wing. All it need would be to fit wooden pieces at either end. These wooden pieces would then act as a swivel point on one end and a driven end at the other. The driven end would only be a place for me to install a Servo Arm. Then it occurred to me to measure the weights of the wooden wing and cutoff to compare.
Weight of Fibre Wing stands at 650g
Wooden Wing weight is at 442g
This appeared to me as simply amazing find. While it is well understood that Glass Fibre is light and commonly used as lightening body shells, in this case; wood would be the ideal material. Wood has very good compression properties. In a spoiler, there would be some downforce on the top surface and wood would be excellent in this aspect of design. It is strong while remaining light. The negative side of it is its long term condition when exposed to wet, hot and humid weather of the tropics. A nice light coat of shellac or even Plastidip could help reduce that.
While I had the wife’s baking scale out, I weighed the remaining part of the glass fibre wing. It weighed in 1073g. In total the whole glass fibre wing would then be in excess of 1.7kg. If we replaced that with wood, we could see a weight savings of more than 20%.
This could lead to replacing most of the structure into wood. Saves fuel consumption by making a cleaner aerodynamic profile while saving weight! Looks like I am onto something good here.