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Thread: What is the consensus on air dams?

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    Registered User ROOPZ's Avatar
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    Default What is the consensus on air dams?

    I am nearing the time to order the air dam for my Z. I see that MSA offers them in both fiberglass and urethane. Is one better than the other? It seems like the urethane is the better choice because it isnt going to get busted up so easily. Last thing I want is having to repaint every six months because I screw it up coming into my drive or something. Any opinions? Advice?
    Thanks!

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    I have the urethane version but I've heard people complain that it deforms too much at speed. Screwing up the paint will happen with any air dam. With fiberglass you have to worry about damaging the air dam itself, not just the paint.
    -Mike
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    Unstockafied Zrush's Avatar
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    Urethane can crack also. I like the mild look as opposed to the snow plow style.

    Vicky
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    Registered User ROOPZ's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike.
    I have heard that also. I realize the paint will get screwed up either way but doing fiberglass work then paint is a whole heck of a lot more work than repainting alone.
    Can the urethane dam be reinforced somehow to alleviate that problem?

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    Registered User MikeW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROOPZ
    Thanks Mike.
    I have heard that also. I realize the paint will get screwed up either way but doing fiberglass work then paint is a whole heck of a lot more work than repainting alone.
    Can the urethane dam be reinforced somehow to alleviate that problem?
    I have heard of people adding a rigid strip along the bottom. I don't know how bad the problem really is as I've never had an opportunity to watch it at high speeds.

    As far as paint goes, I know that my painter used a flex additive when he spayed the air dam.
    -Mike
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    Registered User Victor Laury's Avatar
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    I painted mine, and didn't use the flex additive. Result? I'm touching it up 3 times a year.
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    Registered User ROOPZ's Avatar
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    Yes, that flex agent will definitely make a difference! I plan to use it. If the only problem with the urethane is the high speed issue then it definitely sounds like the better choice. I have no problem making some brackets to reinforce it a little. I really hate the idea of doing 'glass work!

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    Senior Z Car Enthusiast billcapp's Avatar
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    All of the above. I've had a Paul Neuman designed dam on now for the past 20 years. It is fiberglass and I've had to repair it twice due to low curbs while parking. The urethane will flex somewhere above 50 MPH and deform quite a bit at higher speeds. The fiberglass will also flex and vibrate at higher speeds (100+). I have strengthened mine by adding to the bottom lip with a metal rod encased in more glass and have added a bracket in the center for another mounting point. The stock mounting on the dam is only around the turn signals and at the leading edge of the fender well. With the mods I've made, I don't have the flex or vibration. It appears very solid. I hope to stay away from the curbs but I certainly love my dam...it really starts applying down force noticibly around 90. Now all I need is something for the back.
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    Unstockafied Zrush's Avatar
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    As far as the fiberglass cracking during vibration, wouldn't you find this more often if it's molded onto the body of the car. A friend has the same kit we have and he molded his to the body, went over a simple speed bump and the dam cracked and seperated from the car ever so slightly. Our fiberglass kit is not molded onto the Z. It is mounted with stainless screws from behind with a light thin strip of cushiony rubber thats undetectable on the car. The rubber absorbs the vibration and jolts of rough roads. So far so good.

    Another advantage of not blending the kit to the car is if you do scrape a curb the dam is easily unscrewed for a quick repair, then screwed back on.

    Vicky
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    the QuackWacker GunnerRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billcapp
    ...it really starts applying down force noticibly around 90. Now all I need is something for the back.
    You could load the back up with lead additive encased in asbestos (to soak up any spills!).

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    Fibeglass air dams are no problem, just learn to look where you are driving and parking and remember that you have an air dam to take care of.

    A Z is fairly short so there's no reason to run up all the way to the curb in a parking space. If you have a steep entry to a driveway, always drive in at an angle, not straight in.

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    Hey ROOPZ, or anyone else

    I've got a urethane air dam that came with my Z when I bought it from the P.O.

    I never bothered to put it on since the car already had a fiberglass one on it, which I like the looks of a lot better. The urethane one has been sitting in the gardening tool shed for about 3 years now, never been used, and it's only been gathering dust.. So if anyone is looking for one I'd be willing to part with this one for cheap.

    It's similar to this one on MSA site http://www.zcarparts.com/store/merch...gory_Code=7AD1

    Attention: I do not know from where this airdam was purchased, all I know is that it is similar looking to the one in the link above. Like I said it's never been installed on the car, and it's not been painted, it's still the orginal black.

    It has a slight twist to it from being hanging over stuff in the tool shed, but from what I saw there weren't any cracks or anything.. I'm willing to let it go for at least 50% less than what MSA want's for a new one, and probably less than that since it's not doing me any good except taking up space.

    I'll try and post pic's tonight, and if anyone is interested try PM'ing me.

    -Phil

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    Last edited by phil359; 05-19-2005 at 08:10 PM.

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    Registered User ROOPZ's Avatar
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    You got a pm

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    Datsaholic Mr Camouflage's Avatar
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    Heres a tip for avoiding the kerbs in parking lots.
    Get very good at reverse parking.
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    Registered User Victor Laury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil359
    I've got a urethane air dam that came with my Z when I bought it from the P.O.
    Looks like mine!
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    You can add some aluminum bracing to stiffen the air dam up in th center and at the front corners and ahead of the wheel wells and it will not deform.

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