Fitting a front lip spoiler – slight return

5 05 2011

Parts Department, Seat, Stockport: “Going on a SEAT, is it Son?”

Me: “Do any of them?”

We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

https://landwomble.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/fitting-a-front-lip-spoiler/

OK, this time let’s do it with the Audi.  Naturally, as everything is more expensive with the Audi I thought this was going to hurt the wallet.

Then I discovered how neatly the Seat Leon Cupra R front splitter matches with the TT’s front end.

If you’ve not come across it before, the LCR splitter has been fitted to pretty much every car you can think of.  It’s the Little Black Dress of front end mods – It’s relatively cheap (£35 from a Seat dealer), it’s made of nice, flexible ABS (hang on, this metaphor’s not really working, is it?) and it goes with anything.

It used to be even cheaper – I guess the Leon’s must be pretty low at the front, as they’re classed as a consumable.  I think someone at Seat noticed they’d sold more splitters than cars and decided to put the price up…

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It’s a high quality part, with a nice three dimensional shape to it.  Some of the three dimensional bits need to come off to get it to fit the TT.  You can do this with a sharp knife, or be a little lazier and use one of these:

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This is the Dremel plastic cutter.  If you’ve got a Dremel then this it’s probably worth buying one of these disks for this project, as they come in very handy trimming the side parts of the splitter.

I dug into the new splitter in the kitchen, as usual with my mods.  Cut off the bits of the tabs that stick up so that the top surface of the splitter is flat – see below.

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Next you need to cut the two central supports down to size.  Measure 15mm from top surface of splitter up each leg and mark it, then cut off with the Dremel:

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Once you’ve done this you can neaten it with a craft knife.

Next I used a 3mm drill bit to make a small hole in each plastic tab on the splitter.  These are where you’ll screw it to the car.  I drilled every tab, although when mounted on the car I decided to use less screws in total.  You want it to be a neat fit without necessarily using far too many screws, as there’s some merit in it being able to detach without ripping off your bumper should you hit something with it.

Those of you who read my previous post about fitting a fibreglass chin spoiler to the Eunos might recall that on its first outing I put a crack in the bloody thing parking up to a curb that was higher than I thought it was.  Nice thing about the LCR splitter is it flexes!

Now you’ll need to try fitting it to the car.  You can do this without jacking the car up or removing the front bumper, which is handy.

I marked the center line of the car on some masking tape and stuck it on the lower part of the painted bumper.  I stuck a matching center mark on tape on the top of the splitter, and then propped the splitter up in approximately the correct position using a short piece of railway sleeper.  This allowed me to make matching tape location marks on the corners of the bumper, and also stopped me scratching anything.

Now to screw it to the car – make sure you use stainless self-tappers.  I used 12mm long ones from B&Q.  You could use stainless bolts and nuts, but screws are easier and are more than strong enough.  Trust me, it won’t come off.  Even at very high speeds <cough>.

Start with a corner on one side – pass the screw through the previously-drilled hole in the splitter, and using a stubby screwdriver push upwards at the same time as you screw it in.  It’ll take a bit of doing to start making a hole in your painted bumper so you need a bit of pressure until it bites.  Tighten until the splitter is flush by that screw.

Then do the same on the opposite corner.  At this point you’ll notice that the ends of the splitter are longer than your bumper – you’ll need to cut off the end so that it sits nice and flush with the OEM undertray lips that sit in front of the tyres.  I was going to remove these bits of undertray from under the wheel to make this easier, but as the Torx bolts that hold them in get covered in crud in the wheelarch, they refused to budge.

Out with the Dremel and I cut off the end of the spoiler in sections, testing and refitting until it was the perfect length.

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Go round the splitter, adding more screws.  I used eight, evenly spaced.  Make sure the line of the splitter matches the bumper – it flexes so you can get a very OEM+ look.

When the spoiler is attached, you’ll find there’s a little flex in the central section where the two cut-off upright supports are.  Using two longer self-tapping screws, push the screw up and through the center of the V of the support and screw it in.  It’ll fix it very neatly and nicely.

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You should have something that looks like the picture above.

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Here we go – all fitted.  Unlike my Eunos chin spoiler, which made a radical difference to the front end at speed, I think this is more of a cosmetic mod – I haven’t noticed the car feel any different, really.

However, it looks great, it’s solid at speed, and best of all it doesn’t catch on speed bumps at all so far.  My car’s running the facelift S-Line 20mm drop and I was a little concerned by this but I’ve not had a single scrape on the mean pothole-strewn holes of Manchester.

 

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