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-   -   Big Van trashcan grill block (

mwilliamshs 04-09-2015 06:39 AM

Big Van trashcan grill block
Big Van + big grill opening = big drag, right?

I can't post pics yet so I'll describe for now and show later. You can Google 1991 Ford van if you want to. 32 identical rectangular openings make up the grill of this thing. At least 10 are totally useless. 2 are blocked from the factory, 6 are open but dead-end with sheet metal bracketry for the headlights, 1 is blocked completely by the hood latch bracket...wait that's only 9. Okay 9 are useless. 8 more are questionable because they're only half-open to the cooling stack and the other half is more bracketry. That leaves 15 truly useful openings in the upper grille and 2 big functional openings just above the bumper. I bought a $3 trashcan at Walmart and cut it's matte sides into rectangles and glued them into the openings. They're not perfectly flush but are dang close and and are very discreet. I got 4 done and know I'll need another trashcan to finish. I'm going to block only the obviously useless holes for now and track temperatures. So long as things work out I'll keep blocking till I find the break-even point. I have a mechanical clutch fan so I'll have to keep an ear out for it. My fan shroud is currently removed too (repairing a crack I found when replacing the radiator) so I'll stay conservative with my blocking till it's replaced.

Daox 04-09-2015 09:10 AM

I've updated your post count so you can post pics. I'd like to see this. :)

mwilliamshs 04-09-2015 04:07 PM
Note the holes (far right) that run smack into sheet metal (faded black with light surface rust) and the column to the left of that are about 75% blocked by sheet metal on the back side and 25% condenser loops.
Same blocking here in far left column and the bottom two are completely blocked from the factory, albeit on the backside.
Shows the big open slots between bumber and grill and the hood latch completely blocking the hole above and to the right of the blue oval.
My cardboard template fitted into a hole.
Far right column is now blocked by trashcan cutouts.
Shows that the blocking is nearly flush, but not quite.

aerohead 04-09-2015 04:30 PM

Looks like OEM.Nice! ;)
The store owner here has a 2004 Econoline and it looks like Ford did to it what you're doing to yours.(which harkens back to 1974 with CAR and DRIVER's CRISIS FIGHTER PINTO aero mods)
You're van has Cd 0.48
The newer design is around Cd 0.38.A padded bra for the nose would really help.

elhigh 04-09-2015 05:15 PM

Looks good.

It's such a bluff front, I wonder how much can it help?

It also makes me think about the Bullet Truck, those guys salted radiators all over the vehicle a la Veyron, putting them where they weren't causing too much drag but could still contribute to the cooling. You occasionally see a VW Vanagon that's been repowered with a VW diesel or a Subaru flat four, in cases like that you'll often see a radiator installed completely under the vehicle. It gets enough exposure to airflow without modifying the looks at all.

I know that's an enormous project to think about when you've just gotten started, it's just a headspace filler.

I love the idea of using a waste basket for raw material, I've thought of that too - using corners just so to make nifty little tire deflectors.

mwilliamshs 04-09-2015 10:37 PM

I'm going to replace this grille with a new OE chrome one and the bumper and marker lights too, etc. Trying to get the mods figured out with the ugly parts so the pretty ones aren't experimental.

The picture aerohead posted, is that just my wake as-is, or is that the shape a tail should have, etc? I'm interested in a kamback and have started designing it but don't know the correct angles. Any help would be appreciated!

Frank Lee 04-09-2015 11:14 PM

Blocking from behind works just as good and is but a fraction the effort.

mwilliamshs 04-09-2015 11:22 PM

Actually Francis this isn't much effort and the $3 will do at least half of the job (way more if I'd not cut the first one in a rush) and to block from behind would require removing a lot of very brittle, 25 year old, Texas-sun-baked plastic so I think I made the right call. Thanks for the good vibe tho.

Frank Lee 04-10-2015 12:16 AM

Suit yourself.

chefdave 04-10-2015 12:28 AM

grill blocking slightly off topic
when i went to block my rad grill on my volvo s40 sort of cheated and used clear gorilla tape which is optically clear and uv stable. Can still see grill and if engine gets too hot can use screwdriver to punch holes through it

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