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Old 07-09-2008, 03:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Cypress, TX
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Formula - '96 Firebird Formula/Trans-Am
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Originally Posted by twentysixtwo View Post
Airdams (and the flexible flaps you see hanging down on some vehicles) do help the radiator but primarily when you are stopped.

The worst case for cooling is typically when you stop at a stoplight or pull into a drive through. The air coming out of the radiator bounces off the engine and ground and gets sucked back into the front of the radiator (recirc / stagnation).

This can have the effect of raising the rad intake air temp by 60 degrees or more!

When you are at speed your radiator almost always sees ambient air temp so even though your engine is pumping out more heat, air dams don't really change the equation.
Maybe on a typical car with a typical nose (with a grille there). Ask any F-Body owner that knows well about their car, and ask them to take off the air dam and drive the car around at speed. Most will refuse. Or ask one who has had their's accidently ripped off on a rough road or something.. I can have the folks over at back me up on this as well. My air damn is bent back from 18 years, 270,000 miles of driving and drive-ways, but stock they stick straight down to an effect..

I'm not trying to start an argument over the basics of an air dam, but on these cars and in my experience and other F-Body owners I've talked to; they rely on the air dam to push air into the radiator, or they over heat.

Lets see how far it can go

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