Building a Nova Rear Wing – Part 2
Finally getting around to documenting the rest of the wing project here. After getting the brackets and rods all setup, the next issue I ran into on this project is that after I attached the wing strut brackets to the rear bumper, I had too much movement going on – not up and down, but in and out. The bumper was flexing too much, so first I added two more dzus fasteners to support the top of the bumper. That certainly helped as far as pushing the bumper in and out, but it still wanted to deflect if you put much weight on the strut rods. So next I put an adjustable striker bolt underneath each strut rod bracket. That worked great and made the top of the bumper quite stiff.
Next up was making the sail panels which I first mocked up out of some plastic and tweaked till I found the shape I was happy with, then cut them out of the aluminum sheet. This is a time consuming project as fitting the panel to the body closely takes some effort. As you can see in the underside photo, instead of using rods and heim ends, I used a bracket bent out of aluminum – an idea I picked up from Craig Ondrick when he did his wing on his Firebird. Saves about $50 worth of hardware and seems to support the bottom of the sail panel great. The only drawback is it’s not adjustable, which isn’t a problem for what I’m doing.
One note about all this stuff, the Aircraft Cleco’s are invaluable doing this work! With so many screws if I would have had to undo the mounting hardware every time I took a panel on or off, I’d still be there working on it. They save a bunch of time, if you don’t have some, get them before starting a project like this.
So here’s the wing all finished up. The only thing I was disappointed with was the overall weight added to the car. I’m guessing it added at least 12-15 lbs to the back even with the use of all aluminum struts, etc. but haven’t actually weighed it by itself yet. My plan is at some point in time finding some carbon fiber sheet to make a new one out of if I can find some suitable thickness material that would be stiff enough. Anyway – this project is finished up for now and I’m moving on to the front end of the car to make a tube frame radiator support and rig the front end up so that it can be removed like a fiberglass front end.