Installing Altec Moulded Plastic Splash Guards onto a C5

So I pick up my brand
new 2001
C5 Coupe at the NCM and what’s the first thing I do to it? Why,
drill holes in it, of course! This is a brief photo log of the process
of applying Altec’s moulded plastic splash guards to a C5.
The Altecs
are available from Mid America Designs (MAD) in
both black plastic and
color-matched painted (for some
colors.) At the time I purchased them,
MAD was charging $35
for the rears and $34.99 for the fronts. Is there
a penny’s
more plastic in the rear pair…I dunno but that’s what they
charged me – before shipping and hanlding. Thanks to the awesome people
at the museum for allowing me the space to get this job done
and especially
to Jerry Watts who stayed with me and helped me
through the entire process!!

If you have a lift
available, use it – it makes the job so much easier. You will need to
lift the car off the ground at each corner to fit a drill under the car
as well as a screw driver. A floor jack may be used but a lift
works better.
The museum had a Stinger lift in the back that
they allowed me to use
(Thanks to Dick Yanko for offering this
to me!!) so in my case, we used
both, as a Stinger lift is a
drive-on lift as opposed to four arms. The
floor jack was used
to hold each corner up while on the Stinger lift.
The Stinger
simply put the car at a height at which it was much easier
to
work. The Altecs have a distinct front and rear splash guard that is
designed to fit the contour of the C5 wheel wells/skirts. Unlike the flat
plastic splash guards that MAD sells as their own, these have
a clam-shell
design for greater rigidity so that they dont
bend back from the wind.
They also have a more refined look
once installed.

The first thing to
do is pull and count
all parts. You should have totals of 12 black pointed
philips
sheet metal screws with flat heads, 4 aluminum(?) “L” shaped tabs
and 4 splash guards – 2 front, two rear. Also included are 8 black machine
screws with 8 nuts with star locks attached and 6 flat nuts -
the kind
that are like flat springs with a whole in the
middle.

The directions that
come with each pair of guards is
not very good and the pictures leave
a lot to be desired (as
mine probably do as well…) The directions in
either package
are for front and rear regardless so it does not matter
which
you open first: front or rear.

You will need the
following
additional tools/aids:

  • Roll of masking
    tape (preferably >1″ wide)
  • 9/64″ Drill Bit
    & Drill
  • Sharp pencil or
    ball point pen
  • Pair of Pliars
  • Phillips Head
    Screwdriver
  • Lug Socket to
    remove wheels/tires (back) / Lug
    Wrench

With the car fimly
on the lift
we rasied it to a height that would be easy to do the work.
The driections say start with the front but since it really doesn’t
matter
and it was easier for us, we started with the rear. The
directions also
do not show a clear difference between front
and rear flaps.

Here
is a picture of the rear flap prior to
mounting:


Here
is a picture of the
front flap prior to mounting:

Notice the back has
what looks like two “bites” out of it and the front (sorry about the
lighting)
has just one. This proved confusing for a couple of
minutes but when you
actually place the splash guard up
against the car in it proper mounting
point, the fit becomes,
well…not clear but visible :-)

Now that front/back
guards have been identified, apply one “L” shaped tab to the inside back
of each guard using two machine screws and lock nuts per
guard. Mount
them to the guard so that the “L” is facing into
the car. There’s a slight
notch in the guard to show where
the tab should stick up. Next bend each
tab as it extends
above said notch such that it is 90 degrees (perpendicular)
to
the guard lip. This piece will mount on the bottom of the car – thus
the bend. I apologize that I have no pictures…my wife was getting tire
of this project already ;-) and she was the camera operator.

As stated, we started
on the back. We put the floor
jack on the Stinger lift and lifted the
rear corner of the car
just enough to get the tire off the surface of
the lift. Then
using a lug wrench and socket, removal of the wheel/tire
was
the next step. Now (moving to present tense :-) for the masking tape:
place a long strip of tape down the inside lip of the back of the wheel
well. This should extend from about 3″ above the bumper cover
seam all
the way to the bottom of the car. Place another stip
of tape on the bottom
of the bumper cover lip just behind the
wheel well (about 2.5″ long or
so) or you may choose to extend
your long piece of tape such that it goes
under the car. For
fear of wrinkles in the tape, we chose not to do this.

Place the guard on
the car where it will be once
mounted. Using your sharp pencil or pen,
make a mark through
the mounting holes onto the tape. This will be your
drilling
points.

Leaving guard in place
look under the car and make sure the tab bent to 90 degrees is resting
on the bottom lip of the bumper cover. If not, bend it until
it does then
line up your top marks and make the bottom one.
This process may be easier
verifying the tab bend prior to any
marking but since the lip is curved,
the gurad may be placed
differently when you go to mark it, thereby forcing
you to
rebend the tab anyway. We had that experience and had to lengthen
a mounting hole. From that point on we chose to mark and realign – just
to be sure

Next, remove the guard
and
dirll a single hole a the marked points using the 9/64 drill bit.
Like this:

And this: (Notice
the face – even the bravest of men make faces when drilling into a car
they haven’t even driven yet!)

Now for the bottom
hole – for the once “L” shaped
clip…

Next, remove the tape.
Hold the guard in place and sliding a flat nut behind the guard and the
bumper cover lip inside the wheel well, apply a pointed sheet
metal screw
throught the hole at the bottom (again inside the
wheel well – not under
the car.) After this screw has been
thightend, hold a flat nut on top
of the inside lip of the
bumper cover on the bottom of the car and apply
a sheet metal
screw and tighten. Last apply the screw to the top hole
in the
guard. This one is a bit more tricky as you have to place the flat
nut between the wheel well cover (black plastic) and car body
(fiberglass).
It helps to have an extra pair of hands pushing
the wheel well cover in
enough to fit a finger and the nut -
as you cannot see where the screw
will come through. Apply a
pointed sheet metal screw through the top hole
in the guard
and you may have to move the nut slightly once you can feel
the point come through the body panel. This is the most difficult part
of the whole job.

Repeat these steps
for the
other rear guard. All is the same for the front guards except
they do not use the flat nuts. The sheet metal screws go directly into
the car panel and wheel well cover. It’s actually quite a
simple job but
once you start drilling, you’re committed.

Heres a picture of
Jerry Watts who helped me do the
job (Thanks again Jerry!) and works for
the
museum:

And here’s the finished
job from
several angles:




I don’t think they
look too intrusive myself and the pics from my garage are
after the 500
mile trip home – in heavy rain the entire way!
As you can see the car
is quite dirty from the trip but the
lower panels are relatively unaffected
- The things really
work!

I hope this has helped
you either make a decision,
choose a flap set or install the ones you
have.

Happy and safe motoring!!