Call me heretic or blasphemer and get it out of the way
As we saw in the mid engine Insight thread the cutouts can look good if properly done. Well based on that I decided to give it a try. I truly love this car and what it can do, but those skirts have been the main sticking point. I also grew up wanting a CRX and this mod really makes this car look more like a new gen CRX.
I started by making a compass with and a pencil and drew and arc roughly 1" past the diameter of the tires. I pulled off the skirts and proceeded to carefully cutout the circle / arc. I then used some chrome trim that I picked up at autozone. It cost about $4 a package, 2 was enough for both sides. However with the cuts being so close to the tire I decided it didn't look right, the chrome also contrasted too much with the stock rims. So I took back the unused trim and picked up a 15' rool of black trim for $11 minus the package of chrome I didn't use. When I made the second cut I started with a 1" overlap as before, but this time raised the center point of the compass by about 2". This is closer to the Frankeninsight, other than my springs are a touch higher. To me it looks better.
The only issue I see and this is what has most likely made previous mods like this look bad. The rear wheels are inset where the Frankeninsight isn't. It looks normal, and mine is about half way from stock to being lined up with the front end due to the wheel spacers. These were mentioned in a thread last summer. The black trim also looks a lot better and matches the lower black side panels. In the future I might look into eitehr wider spacers or method to widen the rear tires to bring them close to flush with the outside of the panels.
Mpg wise I see no difference before and after the mods. On Saturday I took a roughly 100 mile trip and netted 80mpg. Speeds ranged from 45 - 65 mph, 2/3 of that at the higher speed.
The skirts are being held firmly in place and if anything are more secure than before due to ~75% of the material being removed. They weigh very little now. Also, the previus owner had used a screw on each side as I assume he lost 2 of the quick locks. I might even go a step further and used 4 short bolts with self lock nuts as the skirts no longer need to be removed to change the tires. In fact the only time they will need to ever be removed is for suspension work and that will still be optional.
I might also add a plastic wheel well cover as our cars don't have any and there is a lot of exposed metal. I guess they figured since you couldn't see it due to the spats they weren't needed.
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