The Benefits of Installing Side Skirts on Your Corvette and Camaro
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Side rockers, otherwise known as side skirts, are the trim panels that attach to either side of your vehicle underneath the driver and passenger-side doors. They serve two valuable functions: offering protection and increasing aerodynamic performance. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of side skirts and if they’re right for your vehicle.
Side Rockers Provide Protection
After you’ve spent money to improve the look of your C6 Chevrolet Corvette or 2016+ Camaro, you want to make sure you refine it to the best of your ability. The best side skirts reduce the number of rocks which kick up and damage the paint of your vehicle. This allows you to protect your precious investment.
They perform a similar function to mud flaps because they stop the rocks or road debris from making its way onto your paint. This keeps your auto paint repair cost down in the future and allows you to spend more money on the modifications that matter.
Side Skirts Offer Aerodynamic Properties
For the best performance, you want the air moving front to back over the car undisturbed. With side skirts, you prevent the air from rushing underneath your vehicle which affects your aerodynamics.
The closer your side skirts are to the ground, the more effective they are. What’s important to note is that the side skirt won’t reduce the air pressure found on the sides of your car. There’s no way to work around that. What they do is effectively split the bottom of your vehicle into two parts.
The first is the underbody which features low pressure and high velocity. The second part is the side of your vehicle which has a higher air pressure. Without this barrier between the two, air rushes from the side into the underbody. The result is a reduction of downforce. On sports cars, side skirts are a great way to improve your downforce level without investing too much time.
Getting the Most From Your Side Rockers
Side skirts stop the amount of high pressure that makes its way underneath your car. It does this by blocking the side high-pressure area from the underbody. When you do this effectively, what you’re left with is high pressure on the outside which causes downforce and improved performance.
The results you achieve largely depend on how close to the ground the side skirts sit. For maximum effectiveness, you’ll want them to sit at 2 centimeters or less from the ground. With each measurement over that, you lose aerodynamic properties.
On most road cars, the side skirts simply act as a cosmetic addition. They add another layer to your performance appearance. If you want to purchase for the presentation only, you’ll go by what looks best to you. If you desire to buy based on performance, you’ll have to be more careful about your choices.
With the planning, you’ll also want to prepare for additional aftermarket products that work together to create an aerodynamic vehicle. Adding an entire body kit is the best way to tackle this project such as a front splitter. Not only will they provide multiple aspects to create an aerodynamic experience, but they also upgrade the appearance dramatically.
Look for side skirts that are fitted with vents in the rear so your brake disks cool down easily. For example, our C7 Chevrolet Stingray Widebody all have optional brake ducts to improve the airflow to the rear brakes for added cooling. In addition, you’ll want to be sure that your kit fits properly. Otherwise, you’ll face trouble over speed bumps and with your engine cooling. Make sure you check your engine temperature after you have the skirts fitted to ensure that it’s performing better, not worse.
With an effective diffuser or air dam, the side skirt does an even better job. They will reduce air leakage, increase downforce and decrease drag all at once. You can check out our diffuser options for the Corvette and Camaro to see what might be right for you.
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