Notes about spoiler efficiencyI know that the house built Alpina and Hartge rear spoilers, the little black ones, were tested to provide at least 30 Kilos worth of downforce at speeds above 180Kph. So 70 lbs at a little over 80mph for the english standard folks. Front air dams reduced updraft by 35 to 40 Kps depending on the firm.
These are the ones known to work since they were designed with functionality in mind and not looks. Not sure about the FOHA, Zender and others but I would think they should do the same since they are pretty similar in design and materials. For example the rear spoiler on any of the early BMWs like the M635i and the e28 M535 or the 535iS they all have smaller spoilers than what most would consider a "spoiler" in present day fashion. They were tested and found to do the job well at autobahn speeds well in excess of U.S. road speeds.
Personal experience is driving the 323i with and without the Alpina front air dam and above 70mph the nose does tend to feel lighter regardless of the lowered and considerably firmer suspension. Put the air dam back on and once again it feels firm and planted to the road. Never tested the rear spoiler since it is a hassle having to unbolt the sucker from its perch.
You would be amazed at how clean the air follows the roofline and pushes down on the trunk. Some of the days that we have had light enough snow I have taken the car out and have watched how the air follows the lines of the car by looking at the snow that is mixed along with it. Kind of a cheap man's wind tunnel but I was surprised how clean the line was until it hit the tubulence midpoint 8 inches up from the trunk and 10 inches back from the rear window. The rest just glided up and over the rear spoiler. I know kind of cheesy but it is stuff you notice if you have owned these cars long enough. I would say they are more than functional and a worthwhile addition to the car.
A lot better than the JCWhitney 129.00 "mock-titanium-pseudo carbon fiber-extruded ABS-sheathed in the latest neon colored sticker with optional erector set hardware at an extra 49.95 plus shipping and handling Visa not accepted.
Written by RDAvena.
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