Adjustable Spoilers Part 3

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.

Severed Wing

Severed Wing


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.

Servo Fits!

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

Weight of Fibre Wing stands at 650g

Wooden Wing

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.


Fog lamp covers

I have many ideas that swims around in my head.  Often it just distracts me from my main intentions.  I would compartmentalize them into neat boxes in my brain box and try to hide it away in a brain shelf and hopefully it would reappear for later review.  Mid March 2014, I had bought some plastic sheet of clear plastic.  I think these are polyethylene.  Commonly sold in stationary shops for covering of school books.  Much earlier than this; was the thought of streamlining the front fenders that ignited this idea.  I had it pushed aside very often.  I bought the sheets so I could cover the fog lamps.

In standard form, the fog lamps would be recessed behind the front fender.  Approximately a 60cm diameter hole would allow light to pass and shine the front drive path.  In reality, it just adds more view of the lower part of a driver’s point of view.  It doesn’t provide much but it really works in total pitch darkness and helps you to avoid a rain gutter at 120km/h.  It’s functional and I like it.  However, it appeared to me as contributing to aerodynamic inefficiencies.  There is actually a gap between the hole and the front of the lamp covers to let air through.  But it also lets small pebbles or other such items to crash into the covers and effectively smash it to bits.  Such is what happened to my driver’s side lamp.  See first picture below.

One of the reasons why I procrastinated in doing something about it is because I felt it was insignificant.  It could not possibly contribute much.  I have trolled Ecomodder’s website and saw nobody had done it.  That seemed to be my sane part of the brain trying to appease my lower curiosity lobe.  But I failed miserably.  So yes, I had to do it otherwise it would annoy me no end.  So here they are:-

Covered fog lamp with thin clear sheet plastic used for book coverings

Driver Side Covered fog lamp with thin clear sheet plastic used for book coverings

Covered fog lamp with clear sheet plastics meant for book coverings

Passenger Side Covered fog lamp with clear sheet plastics meant for book coverings


I had to try and measure how these affected my fuel consumption.  I drove around Putrajaya and did the Fuel Consumption thing.  By measured value there was; as I suspected insignificant improvement if any.  It could be so minute that we could only see improvements beyond 100km.  In driving, I had felt the front end to be slightly lighter as if down force was reduced.  I welcome that as a reduction in down force means I could offset with less rear down force when I put my Adjustable Spoilers in.

There done.  Now go away; you annoying idea.

Adjustable Spoilers Part 2

It has been a few weeks of browsing through my den of broken things to put together a test rig.  The reason being to please my self doubt about what I am trying to do.  A lot of times I have questions floating in my head if I could actually pull this off.  I have been messing around on the internet and trying to find something that could show that my half baked ideas is actually worth the time.  Time is on my side.  I have stopped working for the moment.  I ended my previous job as a Manager for Fire and Gas Detection system with Draeger Safety with a small compensation package.  That bit of kit would probably last me a few months before I actually need to find a job.  At 45 years of age, that is not going to be easy.

I have taken a piece of wood from my hoardings and bought a cheap set of planer.  The last time I used this was in Secondary School in the early 80’s where we learned woodworking.  I therefore whittled down this piece of wood for two days to come as close as possible to the profile that I needed.  I also used my dremel and coarse grit sandpaper to give a good smooth finish.  Woodworking is very addictive I must say.  I find myself constantly reshaping the profile untul it looked satisfying to my eyes.  I was not looking for an effective aerodynamic profile.  I wanted it to look good.  I had to force myself to stop because I needed to do this rig and reassure myself.

I took the finished piece of wood and proceeded to find the center of gravity.  This is crucial as this would help to reduce the torque demand on the servo motor.  Placing the servo in line with the axis of rotation means reducing the weight that had to be moved around the axis.  I simply held the spoiler by the side of both hands.  I slide both hands to the center of the piece.  Where the tilted, the weight has gone the other way.  I slid the hand which had no resistance because of this shift.  I put the wood on a pen and tried to balance it as much as possible.  This way, I found the center of gravity and marked with a pen.  I then used the grain of the wood to show me the pivot point at each end of the piece.

Then I looked inside the cabin again to find unused TV stands meant for my 42 in plasma TV.  I drilled both at an approximate height.  The undriven pivot side was held by a simple screw.  The driven side had a servo hub which was nailed.  The hub has a 24T spline which would normally be attached to the servo shaft and screwed in place.  This is another issue that I would need to address.  I would need to cut an approximate width of 20mm to enable the screw to tighten the sawn wooden piece against the servo.  Once that servo is tightened, it would then be screwed to the main piece.


Finished Test Rig

I have been trawling the pages of Servo City for a few weeks now and have ordered some bits and pieces.  I will tell why I need those a few paragraphs later.  I have made a test rig to show myself that the small servo could turn the wooden spoiler.  A video of which can be found on my facebook link here


Close up of Hitec HS-425BB RC Servo

What I have realized after playing with the test rig is that the weak link lies in the connection to the HITEC Servo.  This HITEC HS 425BB was bought from a local Arduino authorised agent at  It was the biggest RC Servo that they had.  I could see that at a speed of 200km/h and with a surface area of 7,500mm2, the wind load on the spoiler would only be contained by the servo hub and the swivel joint.  Even though this HS 425BB is a model with bearings, I would think that it would not be sufficient to handle the load. Therefore I decided a redesign is in order.  Part of the items I hard ordered online was an aluminium arm to connect to the spoiler.  But because the spoiler would have a different pivot point and than the servo, the hole on the arm must be modified to a slot.

Having two support on the driven side would increase load capability.  This also means is that the torque demand on the servo would be increased.  I am prepared to make the spoiler lighter by hollowing; making more holes where necessary.


Adjustable Spoilers Part 1

I have mentioned in some random postings on the internet of the need to have malleable aerodynamic surfaces to reduce drag in different driving conditions.  In fact has mentioned this as a stumbling block in automotive design advances.  Articles such as this one has given me ideas about changing the effect of rear roof spoilers from just providing small down-force and drag to actually help reducing wakes.

Good spoilers

Spoilers to reduce wake meant for big profile vehicles such as MPVs and SUVs


Since I mentioned about Arduino in my last post, I have actually bought one from RS Online Catalog.  I have the Starter Kit for Arduino Uno which comes with lots of bits and pieces.  I have mentioned that I had never dealt with electronics before.  The most I have done is fondled with DC circuitry.  Hence an order was given and the money was pumped into the Open Source community. I hope they use it well.  I received the box and was amazed at the amount of things Malaysian Ringgit could buy.  When I say ‘the amount of things’ it is not about the quantity of odds and ends.  Its about reusable components.  This Starter Kit is amazing in terms of what things you can make with it.

It took me yet a few more days before I started fiddling with it.  I blame it on my age.  A child would rummage through it without a second thought.  A teenager would plug it in first and jump for joy to see the yellow LED lit up.  A twenty year old would skip all the pages and build it up with the first drawing.  I am 45 years of age.  I read every single page of the manual and tutorial first.   Even then, I went to the website to have a look at the specifications of the blue thingy that i a permanent resident at the side of my bed.  Its entirely ok.  My wife has her TV/Android phone/ Android Tablet as companion.
I have this.


It started with this

What that thing does is move the servo using a potentiometer.  The LCD shows the angle in degrees from the readout of the servo.  The LCD is meant as part of the development of what I intend to build.  I would use it to adjust the angle while doing testing.  I will adjust the angle of deflection and see the effect on the fuel consumption via the on board FC computer.

Yes that servo is tiny and has a stall torque in oz-in.  It came with the starter kit.  About mid of March I bought a bigger servo from  and its a markedly bigger in size and now I have something that pulls in kg-cm.  The intention is to move a piece of aerodynamic surface as part of my car’s rear spoiler.  I have calculated that for a 1m span, the wind force acting on it at 200km/h would total 1.4Nm2.

A discussion on these sort of spoiler is well documented.  I have to admit that it does not contribute much on the actual down-force required for a front engined front drive car.  In fact, when looking at the profile, it would also provide less drag.  Quite simply when the designers made this, it was never meant to provide much effect other than cosmetics and form rather than function.  Proton now understands to sell it, it need to look nice.  Unfortunately.  In essence, the design and flow of the spoiler is very fluid.  This suggest a high amount of design work was invested in this one piece of fiber.  There is no argument that this part actually sells more of the car than any other body kit.  It is therefore wise to preserve the design as much as I possibly can.


Engine Stop-Start Systems

Starting and stoppig is merely running the starter motor after a certain number of seconds after the brake is engaged and the ignition key is still in the Start position.

Engine Stop-Start Systems Explained – Tech. Dept. – Car and Driver.

Recently our fully paid 2003 Hyundai Trajet MPV (its a People Mover), had a faulty starter.  This took some days to find out.  The car was parked in our porch for quite some time.  The problem was trying to get it to a workshop that could handle the problem.

Initially I thought it was a battery problem and had it charged using our solar panel system.  On one weekend I managed to start it.  Since it had been a while, I decided to drive it around Putrajaya.  I thought the charging system/alternator was causing the battery not charging.  Then I stopped at a shop close to our house to buy a pack of cigarettes.  I was feeling quite confident that I had solved the problem upto the time when I failed to fire the engine up.  It was up to me to get the car fixed.  On a Christmas day.

I drove around and found a workshop that only closes on Fridays.  They had a team of two mechanics come over our house in about an hour.  I was chuffed.  I drove the other car to see them having a go at it.  I explained what I suspected.  They went on to hammer the starter but could not give it life.  A replacement was all it needed and it worked.  It was not exactly the same Hyundai starter.  It was a reconditioned starter from a Proton Perdana.  I understand that all it needed was torque and matching helical gears.  No problem.  RM 300 including labour and gave them RM20 for being good boys.

This lengthy story leads now to using that motor in a Start-Stop system.  I am not so fond of having to use a bigger battery.  The Hyundai Trajet uses a DIN55 battery as it is.  Two big batteries then?  The Trajet is worth it to make it go better.  Why not?

A Start-Stop system would need:-

  • Input contact from the accelerator
  • Input contact from the brake (or get input from the brake switch)
  • A programmable controller with a timer activated relay.
  • A motion sensor

Sounds more like you could have all those on an Arduino board.  Yes?  Anybody who is serious enough could do it then.  You would also need to know a bit about programming. I shall delve into my deepest memory of BASIC programming on a Sinclair Spectrum 48K to do a bit of this.

Arduino UNO

Arduino UNO. A developmet board. Its supposed to be for prototyping. But nobody said you can’t use it permanently

ACL = 0, BRK=0, TMR = 100; IGN = 1

For i = 0 to TMR

PEEK 681091; IGN:  PEEK 681092; ACL:  PEEK 681093; BRK

IF ACL > 0 AND IGN < 1 THEN Next A

IF BRK > 0 THEN GOSUB Starter Motor




SUB Starter Motor

FOR t = 1 to 10

POKE 681094; 255



I am just toying with this idea.  BASIC is something that I have left for close to 30 years.  Sorry if it is wrong.  But I understand the requirements of the logic and I would not think if it was long.  I would like to think of this as an excuse to get a micro controller installed for some other fuctions which I have in mind.

NASA ADS: Influence of fuel temperature on atomization performance of pressure-swirl atomizers

NASA ADS: Influence of fuel temperature on atomization performance of pressure-swirl atomizers.

I have been going through the publicly accessible data throughout the internet on the difference in fuel consumption of caricatured engines and fuel injection.  All point to the possibility that carbed engine CAN be much more efficient.  The web leads me to websites that allegedly champions the carb.  When you go through the details there is always an air of a Conspiracy Theorists.   People were saying that the technology for 200mpg engines existed for decades and it was just the big corporations did not want to see it happen.

I have my own perception on these so called energy savers.  Its not truly a carburetor. It is more of an evaporator.  The thinking that gasoline does not burn as a liquid is a known fact.  Carburetors are bad at making small droplets as there are no effect that could separate the layers and the surface tensions of liquids.  But carbs work when you need power.  They were and still are effective to give you the power that you want.  Not the economic side though.

Doing another search revealed that much has been known of the effect of higher temperature on fuel.  It has been archived by Automotive Engineers

It may seem that using microwave to heat up a sample of fuel a bit over engineering but they have always been known to do so.

This NASA link however is not a full report on the study but it does indicate for temperatures between -20 to 50degC, there is an effect on droplet size.  Although the full report would make a compelling reading, suffice to say that it has be researched.

Two separate results from two different engineering entities should lead me to somewhere close to heart.  A simple solution. It cannot be as simple as my previous ones but it should save money and it should be simple for most people to make themselves.

Brian is gone Bro.

Fast And Furious Star Paul Walker Killed In Fiery Car Accident.


Paul Walker

‘Brian O Conner’ played by Paul Walker passed away today. He was an icon of the Car Modifying scene that lasted longer than Max Power.  Though his acting was not much to be cheered about, he went beyond that.  He was something most of us gearheads wanted to be.  Driving fast cars for a reason. Maxing out potentials without being caught and suffer.  May Allah be merciful on his soul.