Rear wing protectors

A common problem with 7-style kit cars is that the front wheels tend to shower the rear arches with stones.  My initial plan to protect the rear bodywork was to fit some front mud flaps, but these didn't look great and were only partially successful, so were soon removed.

However, after a year on the road, covering the best part of 5000 miles, including a rather gravelly trackday at Elvington, the rear arches were really starting to look past their best.  Given the state of the paintwork, I didn't really like the idea of using the clear protective film you can buy, as the existing chips would still be visible.  So, some kind of adhesive backed sheet seemed to fit the bill.  After a bit of a dig at the westfield boardroom, I came across various mentions of this stuff: a sheet with a real carbon fibre weave rather than the imitation stuff.  This sounded as though it would be tougher than the vinyl stuff, and look better too.

So, I popped into my local motorcycle shop to see what they had in stock.  The sheets come in both A4 and A3 sizes, and I had decided that a single sheet of A3 (or 2 A4) would be enough.  The shop had various different types of the Motrax woven sheet (see the motrax site for more details), and I decided to go for the 'titanium weave'.  This has a darkish metallic grey colour, which I though might look slightly better than the really dark carbon sheet.

To fit the sheet, I made a template out of paper.  Aware that the woven sheet was not very stretchy, the paper was a good check that the sheet would fit around the contours on the wing.  I then transferred the pattern to the sheet and cut out- this was surprisingly easy using just ordinary kitchen scissors (sshhhhh, don't tell Liz...). 

I then applied the sheet, and smoothed around the edge of the air intake.  As per normal with a kit car, the pattern I made for the right hand side was no good for the left, so I had to make a new one from scratch.  I then added an extra section in front of the join between rear wing and the main body tub (I decided it would look rubbish if I just slapped a single piece of the sheet right across the join).

Although I wouldn't exactly say I prefer the look of the car with the protectors in place, I don't think they look at all bad, and certainly cover up a wealth of stone chips!  Time will tell whether they resist the hammering they are likely to get in the future...


Rear wing protectors - closeup

Rear wing protectors

Update: Well time did indeed tell- the protectors were fine until using the car in the rain, at which point the top surface of the material separated from the woven backing.  I removed them and returned the sheet to the shop, hoping for a refund.  The shop phoned Motrax, who requested that the sheet was returned to them for inspection.  I have heard nothing since...  You would think that the sheet would cope with wet weather, as it is after all designed for use on a motorbike, but I guess the road spray was just too much for it to cope with.  I will put up with the stonechips for the time being...