Anybody that really knows me will know that I don’t do standard! If you look back at my past vehicles they have all had modifications. In fact it’s pretty easy to modify a car, motorbike, scooter or campervan with off the shelf items, and this had been the case for most of my previous vehicles purely because it was so easy if you could afford the parts. Owning my campervan has lead me to be a little more creative with items like the bespoke slide out drawer, chopping board and installation of the campervans off grid solar supply. So I guess my creativity and willingness to learn new practical skills has put me in a situation where I feel i have the confidence to tackle things where some may not!?
If your reading this you either have a campervan, or a Twizy. If neither I would wonder how you found this page, but Twizy owners are most likely to have an interest in this for obvious reasons.
I will just add that this is an entirely bespoke modification. I have not kept any of the templates, measurements or little to help anybody build this with any degree of accuracy from this guide. It’s not that i deliberately want to be obstructive or unhelpful, It’s just that it’s all been put together on the fly, hoping and praying things fall into place without having to start again from scratch. So I apologise in advance for not being able to send out CAD files, or a detailed DIY guide for what you are about to see. (Also, at time of publish this is not a finished modification and very much work in progress!)
You can see from my initial Twizy post my reason for wanting such a vehicle. So hopefully that will give you some background. That said, I love the look of the F1 Twizy, and although it is a little extreme with the front spoiler, I felt that a rear Wing and side Foils would give my take a more balanced look once I have completed some of the other Modifications.
After consulting numerous images of different angles of the F1 Twizy I started to softly commit to the prospect of a rear wing by masking out an area that could offer a mounting point for the main fixing bracket. This was always going to be convoluted slightly by the curve of the bodywork. So I added a flat in the form of a piece of corrugated cardboard.
It was from this that I created a side on template to get the profile i needed to elevate the wing slightly. I don’t have the cardboard template unfortunately , but the following two images show the aluminum profile created, and the highlighted profile used for the production
With the aluminum cut, this was folded in the marked lines to form the basic shape of the main bracket. To further increase the structure I used 3mm hardwood ply. The template was used to cut four corresponding elements that would sit either side of the two main supports.
All of these components were carefully profiled, mated up and drilled to provide fixings using a pot rivet gun. The laminated ply was further countersunk to ensure the rivets didn’t protrude above the facings. This clip shows everything mated up prior to the rivets being fixed.
The initial location mock up used a corrugated cardboard flat to emulate the bracket surface. With the profile of the rear being curved I would need to create a leveling base plate so the new bracket would mate correctly. To do this i masked off the rear of the car with tape. After this I sprayed adhesive and applied baking foil so the resin couldn’t adhere once complete. From here i cut fiberglass strips in varying thicknesses to create a flat pad.
The plywood components were gel coated on the inside with fiberglass resin, and rivet gunned together. Once dry they were gel coated in fiberglass epoxy, then covered in fiberglass. The main bracket can be seen being mathed up to the leveling pad.
The finish on the bracket would never be production quality without any intervention, so it would need to be filled and prepared if it was to look anything like acceptable. Here you can see it with the newly created leveling pad after some body filler.
Here you can see some progress in terms of the sanding and flatting of the main bracket, along with some matching up of the leveling plate.
Basic matching up after the bracket and leveling pad have been bonded together using epoxy
To create a broad area for the main aerofoil / wing, i felt it would be better to fix this to a plate rather than the actual bracket. I had decided that the main wing fixing plate would be riveted and bonded using metal epoxy as a belt and braces approach, so below you can see the wing fixing being matched and drilled.
Once I had the main bracket available I used a variety of different materials to establish the upper profile of the Twizy. From there i used a plywood template to gain the profile I needed to map onto the 3mm aluminum sheet i felt was appropriate for the wing.
Template used to cut the 3mm aluminum.
This modification was always going to require drilling holes into the bodywork to mount the wing bracket and tower foil elements. I wasn’t 100% comfortable doing this to the existing bodywork so I sources a second hand set from Montenegro. Bit of a strange location to get the parts from I hear you say. I posted a wanted advert on the Renault Twizy Facebook group and the parts were offered up by a chap that was breaking one. Although I was a little apprehensive at first, the more I chatted to the person via messaging, the more convinced I was that the goods would come through. That said I wasn’t fully convinced that they would arrive in one piece, but they did so happy days. The bonus was they were already black.
These two pieces of bodywork are plastic and very flexible. I didn’t want to be working on the Twizy as it would mean I couldn’t use it diring the fabrication. So I decided to make a jig in the form of a wooden structure to mount the upper bodywork to. The added bonus was that I could position the part at a more comfortable level on my Black & Decker workmate whilst the work was carried out .
The image below is jumping forward a little more than I would like for all the reasons I explained in the initial paragraphs. But here you see the main bracket (1), the wing (2) cut from ply template, the wing fixing plate (3), the bodywork leveling pad (4) and the side foil fixings (5)
As can be seen in the above image, reference 5 is for the fixings to the side elements / wings. These are basically 90 degree aluminum angle brackets, cut, drilled, epoxy glued and riveted to the main wing (seen below)
Below shows progress with components aluminum elements etch primed, them primed before paint.
Both main parts at this point have been painted satin black, and the main wing has had a carbon wrap.
I had ordered some graphics for all of the parts I was working on, so the main wing was liveried up and mounted to the bodywork
I decided that the most cost effective way to make the side elements would be to use 3mm fibreglass sheet. Other options included carbon fibre, but this would have been ludicrously expensive, and I really couldn’t justify spending upwards of £200. The largest size of fibreglass i could source was A3 (329mm x 483mm). This would have been too small if I had wanted to try and closely replicate the F1 Twizy spoiler, but I had to be realistic regarding the material I was working with. Any larger and the strength, stiffness and weight of the fiberglass would start to become an issue. So it really was a compromise. Having said that, I feel the proportions I commited to will be more acceptable as a day to day vehicle.
The fiberglass sheets were ordered in November (2018) but because of an issue with my delivery address it didn’t actually arrive until mid December at which point I had a bad chest infection that put me out of action, so little progress happened. Once I started to feel batter i was back in the garage measuring up the glass sheets and deciding on a shape. Once I was happy the sheets were taped together and the profile was cut using a diamond cutting wheel on a dremel. From there the position of the 3 holes on both side elements were marked and drilled.
At this point i decided that it would be better to move the bodywork onto the car so I could check and refine anything that wasn’t quite sitting level or at right angles. The side foils were attached and at this point I had to start thinking about how I was going to tie it all in and secure it at the lower part of the bodywork.
TO BE CONTINUED