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Old 12-17-2011, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dodge Ram Grille Block: Upper & Lower

My grille block is complete. I'd been running with some cardboard behind my upper grille and my radiator completely blocked off for a while now, but I finally got around to finishing my grille block this morning.

On my truck there's 2 "grilles" in the front--the upper grill (attached to the hood), and the lower "grille" (in the bumper).

For the material I used some leftover Thermo-Ply I had laying around. It's basically 1/4-inch plywood. It's used for sheeting on the outside of houses. I primed both sides with some interior/exterior primer/sealer I had left over, and then spray-painted the side that shows with some black Rust-oleum I had left over.

The upper grille is pretty easy, you just pop out 1/2 the grille, trace around it, drill a couple holes here and there, and use some black zip-ties to attach it. Here's a close-up of the outside:

and the back side:

Sorry, but I didn't have my camera out before I put it on to get a "before" picture and I really didn't feel like taking it off and putting it back on again just for a picture.

So, now on to the lower "grille" block. This one is trickier to attach because there's not actually a grille. Here's the "before" picture:

Here's the cut-out Thermo-ply:

I thought about removing the tow hooks but I decided to leave them on for two reasons. First, they're pretty hard to take off because the back side of the bolts is really tough to get to. Secondly, I'd like to keep them on especially in the winter in case I'm out on the road and me or someone else is stuck in the ditch--it makes it so easy to hook on without having worry about tearing up the bumper. So I decided to cut slots in my cover instead.

Okay, so the catch is I wanted to attach my cover to the bumper without damaging the bumper. I'll most likely take off this cover when it warms back up so I wanted to make it so I could take in on and off without affecting the bumper at all. This is what I came up with:

I took a fender washer and bent it 90 degrees. That way the forward-facing lip on the washer catches on the backward-facing lip of the bumper. I also used to 2 liscence pkate holder holes that were there.

And the finished product:

Not bad for under $10 if I do say so myself (nuts, bolts, and washers were the only thing I bought.

Next, I want to block those fog lamp holes and the gap under the lower grille. If I get some more time I want to start my belly pan too.

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My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

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BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html



Last edited by Diesel_Dave; 12-17-2011 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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...VERY CLEAN and NEAT looking!
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good job! Very clean. Don't you worry about the big engine temp? it must be pretty hot down there. Be sure to verify frequently your engine temp, also, if you plan to make a Belly pan, the temp will get even hotter, so watch out, you don't want to make start your fan too often.
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you ever decide to go with a different look, you could try this 'stealth' grille block
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperMileQC View Post
Good job! Very clean. Don't you worry about the big engine temp? it must be pretty hot down there. Be sure to verify frequently your engine temp, also, if you plan to make a Belly pan, the temp will get even hotter, so watch out, you don't want to make start your fan too often.
Not too much. This thing's pretty cold-blooded. I ran with my upper cardboard grille block in the middle of the summer with temps in the high 90's and never had my fan kick on. When it got colder I blocked off the whole radiator (sheet of thermo-ply between the intercooler and the radiator). Then one day it the temps went back up in the 70's and I had to go make a trip out on the interstate at 65 mph. After 20-30 minutes or so I could hear my fan cycling on occasionally. I actually didn't know what it was at first because I'd never heard it before!

This truck was made with a cooling system capable of hauling a muti-ton payload in 100+ deg heat. When it's just hauling my fat butt around, it runs pretty cool.
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Diesel Dave

My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


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Old 12-19-2011, 12:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Update, I swung by the hardware store yesterday and picked up a piece of black foam pipe insulation and stuffed it in that gap between the bumper and the upper grille. Worked like a charm. The only catch is, it does make it a little more tricky to reach my hand under to catch the hood release lever. Still doable, but just a little more inconvienient.
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Diesel Dave

My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


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Old 12-19-2011, 05:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hope the opportunity comes up that the truck is maxed on GVWR or durned close to it at some point that we can "see" what the ambient temp / truck work "slope" appears to be. Same for EGT's. Where the blocks need to be altered or removed.

As an old RV side note, one of the reasons Chrysler added a power steering cooler to the Trailering Package and Police Pursuit TNT-440's (plus Marine & Industrial 440-3 engines) in or by the early 1970's was that horsing a trailer around to back into a tight spot in sub-freezing would cook the PSF without airflow, but even a bit of rad fan operation would bring it back down.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When it gets warm enough that I start hearing the fan kick on, I'll start taking things off.
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Diesel Dave

My version of energy storage is called "momentum".
My version of regenerative braking is called "bump starting".

1 Year Avg (Every Mile Traveled) = 47.8 mpg

BEST TANK: 2,009.6 mi on 35 gal (57.42 mpg): http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5-a-26259.html


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Old 12-19-2011, 07:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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looks great, I worry a bit about under hood temps on components, perhaps you could put an under hood air temp gauge in somehow, you dont want to cook your electrics, I had an idea to put a very fine screen in front of my Ranger, at a certain ( unknown speed ) the air would back up and go around the screen , but at low city traffic hot day driving the air would go right through the screen to the radiator and under the hood. I am also going to put a former under the screen or maybe use a base of a thicker mesh that will hold a shape to round out the nose of the truck from the present flat configuration , your dodge has an ideal front end shape for a truck with the projected front grill tapering back to the sides, a bullet is about the most streamlined shape you need
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioranger View Post
looks great, I worry a bit about under hood temps on components, perhaps you could put an under hood air temp gauge in somehow, you dont want to cook your electrics, I had an idea to put a very fine screen in front of my Ranger, at a certain ( unknown speed ) the air would back up and go around the screen , but at low city traffic hot day driving the air would go right through the screen to the radiator and under the hood. I am also going to put a former under the screen or maybe use a base of a thicker mesh that will hold a shape to round out the nose of the truck from the present flat configuration , your dodge has an ideal front end shape for a truck with the projected front grill tapering back to the sides, a bullet is about the most streamlined shape you need
I've been monitoring my under hood temps with an open grill, partial blocked grill, and fully blocked grill fer the past year. My under hood temps didn't rise at all. Of course...I have a truck, mechanical (clutch based) fan, and enough gaps in between the grill/hood/fenders/bumper to probably offset it.

I did see that the under hood temps rise peak after driving...about 175F during the summer months.

Here's my current setup...left digital gauge is ambient, right digital gauge is under hood after sitting fer awhile (engine off).


One could easily use a cheap digital meat thermometer to monitor the under hood temps vs the expensive setups I have on mine...

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