Jeff Stevens' Noble M400 web site

All pictures are thumbnails.  Click on them for a larger version.

aerocatches replace 1/4 turns

The front and rear clams are held closed by 1/4 turn fasteners, four on each end of the car.  This has been aggravating for two reasons, having to always carry a phillips head screwdriver, and the little pins that provide the locking function will not stay centered.  Centering them requires using a pliers.  I decided to replace the 1/4 turns with AeroCatches.

locking aerocatches in back

I wanted to use existing 1/4 turn fastener holes, which limited my placement options.  Note that the rear AeroCatches are locking.  Now I can park the car and leave it knowing that merry pranksters can't ruin my day by unlatching the rear clam.  A UK Noble owner had his rear clam fly open at speed.  The result was not pretty.

factory tow hooks, weak

I think the factory tow hooks are included for looks.  The one shown above (not mine) was put to good use just once, and you can see how much the thin aluminum stretched.  I would not want to be standing nearby when the ring breaks and the tow hook goes ballistic.

new hooks, much stronger

My university degrees are in Electronics Engineering, not Mechanical Engineering, but I wanted to learn SolidWorks.  Designing stronger tow hooks seems like a good first project.  I selected 3/8" thick 6061 T6 aluminum for the parts, and paid close attention to cross sectional area and force paths.  SolidWorks estimates tensile strength is a bit more than 13,000 pounds.

new front hook installed

Here is the raw CNC'ed front hook installed on my car using the factory mounting tabs welded to the frame.  The ring part of the hook projects through the expanded metal mesh.

new rear hook installed

Yay, I got the mounting hole spacing and diameter correct!

new front hook weight

The new hooks are quite sturdy, but even the larger front hook comes in at less than 1/2 pound.  I'd rather cut weight than add it, but tow hooks are worth it if you need a flatbed ride or a tow out of the kitty litter.

new rear hook weight

Rear hook is a nudge over 5 ounces.

clear side marker surgery

Yellow side marker lights on a black car bug me.  They look wrong.  I found white lights with a very similar form factor except for the electrical connector.  I found that a common Molex part number (used to be sold at Radio Shack) had the right pin spacing.  A little hobby knife surgery was required, but I ended up with a mating connector pair.

clear side marker installed

I don't expect unanimous support on this one, but I think the white markers are an improvement over the factory yellow markers.  BTW, this pic also shows the factory M400 wheels.  Page 1 of this exterior upgrades section has pics of the Forgelines I bought to replace them.

But wait!   There's More!

You're on page 2 of a two-page set.  Click the buttons below to switch between the two pages of exterior upgrade descriptions.

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