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      07-10-2012, 03:37 PM   #1
radiantm3
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Drives: >1000 HP in my garage
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Danville, CA

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2011 E92 M3  [4.80]
2013 BMW X5M  [4.33]
Warning: 3M tape is not enough for some front splitters

What happened to my 2 month old $2000 Challenge GT3 front splitter:



First of all I want to state that no one is to blame for this but me (for the most part). I got this part about 2 months ago and we installed it using 4 factory screws and the 3M tape that was already applied to it. After a few weeks of driving I noticed one side of the double-sided tape start to come a bit loose in some areas. I assumed that it might have been caused by the clearbra install I had done to the splitter about an hour after we installed it. I thought maybe some of the soapy liquid from the clear bra might have dripped into the cracks and loosened things up.

I took the car to Laguna Seca a few days later and by the end of the day half the splitter was hanging off. The other side was stuck on pretty good still so I just drove home without removing it. When I got home I removed the splitter and removed all of the double-sided tape. This time, we completely prepped the splitter and the bottom of my bumper with adhesion promoter before applying a new strip of tape. When we were done, I made sure to let the car sit for a good 1.5 hours and then drove it home (taking only local streets at no more than 40mph) to let it sit for another day.

Splitter seemed fine and stuck well for the next few weeks. Then I had a track day at Thunderhill which is about a 2.5 hour drive on the freeway. After that drive, I noticed the splitter starting to come loose again in some areas. I did my first session in the morning and checked the splitter in the paddock. Looked no worse than it was when I got there so I left it on. Halfway through my second session I started to hear something rubbing occasionally. At first I thought it was just cars around me because I only really noticed it when I was passing cars. But when I was exiting the track after the session I could hear that it was definitely me dragging something on the ground. I pull into the paddock and the splitter is hanging from the car.

So I know the guys at Challenge have been recommending that if you track the car, you should add more screws to hold the splitter on, but for that to work, the bolts would have to be toward the front of the splitter and I just don't feel right about drilling into the front area of my bumper. Also the splitter kept coming loose just from freeway driving. On the plus side, this diffuser is obviously producing downforce.

So in retrospect, I should have went with glue instead of the 3M tape. I think that would have been the better solution. Again, I'm not trying to blame anyone for what happened but me. I just figured I'd share my mistake with the community so you don't end up destroying an expensive diffuser yourself.
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(1:40 @ Laguna Seca, 2:03 @ Thunderhill, 1:52 @ Infineon)
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