The Benefits of Installing Side Skirts on Your Corvette and Camaro
Benefits of Side Skirts
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.
Check out the benefits of mudflaps in our blog here.
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.
Related reading: The Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Corvette's Paint
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.
History of Side Skirts
The first time that ground effects were used in Formula One racing was in the 1970s by Colin Chapman, a Lotus designer. The Cosworth teams wanted to find a solution to close the gap in engine performance when compared to the wealthier F1 manufacturers.
The reason it was first referred to as “ground effects” was to illustrate the sucking effect that occurred underneath the F1 vehicle. They were basically glued to the track because of the new design. This offered them a unique design and insane cornering speeds.
F1 engineers created the ground effect with some simple principles. The high pressure above the car would create a force that pushed the car down, as long as the high pressure didn’t make its way under the body. Their design featured inverted airfoils which allowed the air flowing into the underbody to accelerate between the ground and the car. This is what created the low-pressure sucking area.
This design in itself wasn’t enough to create the ground effect because the air was still running in from the sides, which destroyed the vacuum effect. That’s when the Lotus engineers fitted their cars with side skirts for the first time. They were initially constructed from flexible plastic or brushes, but the most durable design was made from rubber.
The first car they implemented the design on was the Lotus 78 in the 1977 Argentine Grand Prix. Despite their best efforts, they did face some difficulties. One of the worst was how there was additional drag caused by the airflow and large rear wing. Every second they gained through the corners was lost on the straightaways.
Eventually, they built a quality design and the FIA introduced a flat underside while banning the use of side skirts entirely in the F1 cars.
ACS Composite Provides the Best Side Skirts
When you’re in the market for side rockers, or other performance parts, you could default to the big aftermarket websites that carry everything for any car. The problem with that is, you don’t receive the customization and support for your vehicle. The staff isn’t as knowledgeable about their products and you won’t get the answers you need.
With ACS Composite, we devote our time to developing high-quality parts for the Camaro and Corvette. That makes us experts in your vehicle and allows us to produce the best parts possible.
Whether you have a C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or a Stingray, we have the parts you need at a price that won’t break the bank. Everything we manufacture is designed using OEM data. This ensures you receive the best fit and the highest level of performance possible. Browse our assortment of side skirts for your Grand Sport or Z06 today.
Side Rockers for C7 Corvette Stingray
ACS Composite C7 Corvette Stingray Rocker Install
If you want more specifics on how to install our C7 Corvette Side Rockers, then you can read here for a more detailed explanation of the job.
Remember, side skirts are going to do more than just streamline the side of your car; they will also earn you show points. Make sure you invest in the best with ACS Composite. Our expert staff is available if you need any help deciding what’s best for your needs. Together, we can produce the Chevy you’ve always dreamed of.
If you have any questions on side skirts, then drop a comment below and we`ll get back to you ASAP.
- ACS Composite