I’ve been thinking about making my own front splitter ever since I read this article in Special Projects Motorsports. This got me thinking that a good splitter should be: a). disposable and b). cheap. I then came across this thread about building your own splitter for the MINI. So I got the template and set about to make a splitter out of (mostly) found materials.
Here’s how I made it:
Start with this template.
Rough out the splitter out of light-weight plywood or ABS plastic. I used some spare under-layment that I sandwiched together with some waterproof glue. Cost: $3 for the glue.
Next I covered it in some resin and fiberglass I had from a previous project. Then I sanded it smooth. Cost: $0.00.
When the resin was dry, I used some automotive spray paint to paint it black and then cover with clearcoat. Cost: $0.00.
Since you have to think of the splitter as disposable (and your bumper cover not) I wanted the mount to support the load forces to be applied, but break away under shear force. I made some T-brackets out of spare metal stock and connected the splitter with snow-blower shear-bolts. Cost: $3.50 for the bolts.
At this point, the mount was strong enough for highway speeds, but it still had quite a bit of flex. It certainly wouldn’t be good enough for track speeds. I ordered some slick splitter turnbuckles, but they won’t be available in time for the track this weekend, so again I headed back to the hardware store.
This took some creativity to piece together. I started with a turnbuckle used to support a sagging gate. I replaced one end with an eye bolt. I attached it to another eye bolt attached to the splitter. At the other end of the turnbuckle, I heated and shaped the rod to form two 90-degree angles like a zig-zag and I cut it off about 6 inches from the threaded end. I drilled a hole in the bumper and threaded the zig-zag end like you do a tool hook in a peg-board — if that makes sense. Once I put tension on the turnbuckle, it pulled out the gap under the chin spoiler and would now support my weight when I tried to stand on it. The pair formed the most expensive parts of this whole project. Cost: $27.
Total Cost: $33.50 (and the better part of a 4-day weekend.) Now that I have the template, I’m going to work up a couple of spares.