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Old 2003.02.27, 04:25 PM   #1
West.F1
San Marino GP- 4/25/04
 
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Product Review: the CLK Front Bumper Plate

I came across the front bumper plate for the clk by Megatech last week at the hobby store. Being an avid clk owner I couldnít resist getting this item just to see how it worked on my beloved Mercedes sedan. The following is my review on this front bumper plate made by Megatech:

http://www2.gpmd.com/image/m/mtcc1082.jpg

The first thing I noticed after opening the package was how much softer it is compared to kyosho's bumper for the F1. It's somewhat pliable though still firm enough to not bend after applied pressure. I was concerned that it was not as sturdy as the F1 plates knowing it's purpose is to protect the body from damage. Iíll cover impact results in a while.

Installation of the bumper was quite simple. It comes with two mounting screws with flat beveled heads which is intended to replace the ones used for the front adapter on the chassis. The holes on the plate are also beveled so as to give a flush fit once the screws are in place. The length of the kit screws are longer than the stock screws and also doesn't share the same thread pattern so a bit of effort has to be made to get the bumper plate and body adapter to fit snug. Overall the fit is good after installing the kit screws without any sag with the frontal portions of the plate which essentially floats freely without additional support.

pictured here is how the plate looks from the underside. notice the sides of the plate allow for good clearance of the wheels so as not to inhibit turning radius
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/...3/fc983f37.jpg

another pic from the upper view

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/...6/fc983e28.jpg

Once installed, the Megatech plate extends forward a decent amount throughout the length of the the clkís front bumper. There's some question though on how much actual protection it could provide. more on this later:

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/...e/fc983d19.jpg


These next two pictures shows the ground clearance of the bumper plate after installation. This first one is on my stock chassis:

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/...f/fc983c86.jpg

This one is on the mod chassis w/ 2 degree camber knuckles:
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/...4/fc983e89.jpg


Initial performance tests last weekend yielded less than stellar results on the carpet track. From the very onset the sedan suffered poor turn-in response when taking corners. I contributed this to the sides of the bumper plate making contact with the carpet as well as the added 1 mm thickness of the plate itself decreasing the ride height of the front end. I did however use my stock chassis with stock springs during this initial testing. Future tests with stronger springs might yield different results. Also the use of stock mounting screws vs the kit screws may have had some added effect though i didn't experience any problems with drag on the straights. either from the bumper or the screws. Further testing this evening on my kitchen floor seemed to help minimize understeer effects from the plate quite dramatically. clearly the effects of any drag is surface dependent despite the ground clearance being unchanged.

Concerning impact testing, I didnít bother doing any at the carpet track because I knew the low setting plate wouldnít do much to protect the nose of the clk against (rounded) pvc pipes. I did perform some impact tests at home and found the plate helped significantly during impacts against any objects that was remotely verticle ie chair legs, walls, books, etc.. protection was good with both direct and indirect impacts.

Conclusion: i will say that the idea behind the bumper plate is a good one. It helps to protect the nose of the clk as long as the source of impact is fairly vertical and of course the speed of impact is not so dramatic. i feel the bumper ads to the aesthetics of the car as well. i plan to paint it black but left it's original color for the sake of examples. Any negative effects i experienced with handling on the carpet track was not shared when i ran the car on my smooth kitchen floor. essentially any effects on handling is surface dependent. also, use of the stock chassis (due to heigher clearance) and stock springs was used in this test review.

As it stands, my advise on this product is that if you like having every possible option part installed on your sedan, then by all means get it. Itís a pretty cheap item and it looks good for show reasons. For racing applications however, i would use caution. Depending on what surface you race on, it may or may not affect our cornering ability.


thank you for your time.

Last edited by West.F1; 2003.02.27 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 2003.02.27, 04:38 PM   #2
Ken Mifune
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don't forget to flush

Aren't the new screws suppose to be longer by the thickness of the bumper? If they're still too long, why not trim them to length.
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Old 2003.02.27, 05:49 PM   #3
West.F1
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the thickness of the bumper isn't that much. under 2mm. i was able to use the stock screws without needing the kit screws anyway.

as for trimming the kit screws, i was just too lazy
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Old 2003.02.27, 06:59 PM   #4
ZIZI
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NIce review but you should have trimmed the screws cause the stock ones would sitck out under the plate and that might have been the braking action you got but the ones that came with it are flush fit which would mean no sticking out under the plate...and possibly no more of that drag...

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Old 2003.02.27, 07:14 PM   #5
West.F1
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new data. update soon..
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Old 2003.02.27, 08:40 PM   #6
2G2GOLDENSTRAT
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i have a powerline bumper on my z and it drags on carpet but doesnt touch the ground in the garage...it looks cool on my mr-s body but its too low to really protect the body to much and it gets stuck under doors......if anyone cares
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Old 2003.02.27, 10:49 PM   #7
West.F1
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thanks for the input guys. i've edited my original post and conclusion based on further testing completed this evening.


goldenstrat- any additional comments on related products are welcome.
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