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Old 02-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #21 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Dakota
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WonderWagon - '94 Ford Escort LX
Last 3: 51.52 mpg (US)

DaBluOne - '99 Ford Escort SE
90 day: 48.97 mpg (US)

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Originally Posted by Mazda_2.3 View Post
I based my decision on the fact that the lower grill was so large and with the OEM belly pan (extends from the front bumper to just past the axles) it seems that a lot of air would be getting trapped in the engine bay. Could you possibly elaborate on why it would be better to block the top grill? Oh, and I have a picture of the grills on my profile.
Seeing the hatch work lower grill (nice looking Mazda3s), I'll change my mind and like leaving the upper grill open better. If the lower grill wasn't such a mess, I'd have suggested partially blocking it in addition to fully blocking the upper. You could probably fully block the lower and still partially block the upper. Take a look at the tiny opening (picture) on basjoos' aerocivic (ugly as sin, but insanely good mileage) which has a full belly pan.

The engine compartment must be designed to vent excess air somewhere. Maybe the front wheel wells??? In any case if you block either grill, there's going to be less air to vent.

Normally it's better to block the upper grill because most cars don't have any sort of belly pan - muffler, mud flaps, oil pan, transmission, steering linkage, struts, ... hanging in the wind, making lots of turbulence. Better to send more of the air over the top where there are fewer obstructions.

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