CigaR007’s Grill Block Evolution

by Tim Fulton on April 16, 2012

EcoModder forum user CigaR007 has been working on grill blocks for his Toyota Echo for a while now. He started with some simple pipe insulation stuffed between the grill slats as shown above. This version worked well for him and didn’t look bad either as it matched the car’s grill color fairly well. It was also easy to adjust for winter/summer by just pulling some insulation out or adding some insulation back in.

However, he wanted to improve on things. So, his second version was made of coroplast wrapped in some carbon fiber vinyl wrap. This looked better than the last version and seemed to work a bit better at blocking the grill off.

A bit later on, he also did the lower grill block in a similar fashion. This time he used rigid extruded polystyrene foam (the pink/blue foam they use to insulate houses) and again wrapped it in carbon fiber vinyl wrap to make it look nice.

In the mean time he also played around with some ducting behind the grill block to ensure that the air that does go through the grill goes through the radiator instead of going around it. As a side note, the Toyota Prius also does this to improve cooling.

Still not satisfied with what he had, he set upon the next step in improving the grill block. He removed the front pumper cover, lined the grilled area with foil and newspaper, and then poured two part foam into the cavity. It then expanded and formed itself perfectly to the grill opening. With a little sanding, the foam takes its shape.

He also made a foamed grill block for the top as well.

The final step with the foamed grill blocks involved some body work. He filled the air pockets that the foam left with some body filler (bondo), and then put some epoxy resin over it. Then he primed and painted the blocks to the matching colors of his car. As you can see, if you didn’t look closely you wouldn’t even be able to tell that the grill blocks aren’t an OEM part of the vehicle.

For more information on the evolution of CigaR007’s grill blocks, you can check out his forum thread that details out every step of the process.

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