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Old 04-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Grill Block (First MOD!!!)

So I decided to do my first mod after I got a truck shipment at work and had some extra cardboard. It looks horrible and ridiculous, but it is only temporary, so I can see how my FE increases (hopefully!). Later, I will make a long term and probably open-able one.

On the top block, I left the bottom row open, mostly because that's what size the cardboard was, but since this is my first try, I also don't want to block it too much and get it too hot. I decided to block the top row instead of the bottom row, so a little more air hits the radiator, rather than hitting some other parts which are higher up behind the grill (i.e. the hood latch and some other stuff). On the bottom, I left the sides open for pretty much the exact same reasons.

Full View:

Don't mind the damage on the left... previous owner

Upper Grill:

Just the lower row is not blocked. Full block on top and middle row from side to side.

Lower Grill:


Laying on the ground looking up (blurry):


Laying on the ground looking up (straight on):

The upper grill is further back then the bottom grill.

Laying on the ground looking up & slightly forward:

I scuffed up the cardboard, but it didn't go all the way through, so it won't be a problem. I'm not really sure why my car has Styrofoam in the bumper, but whatever

I'll keep everyone updated with how it works on my FE.

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Old 04-19-2013, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Its a start, and it should gain you something.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, something...... Typically blocking the radiator helps in heat, blocking the front of the grill helps in aero, yet allows enough room for a fan to draw air as needed if things get a little too warm.

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep an eye on your coolant temperature, especially as ambient temperature rises.
And in San Jose, I expect they can rise pretty high
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good start!
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I scuffed up the cardboard, but it didn't go all the way through, so it won't be a problem. I'm not really sure why my car has Styrofoam in the bumper, but whatever

I'll keep everyone updated with how it works on my FE.
My grill block had a marginal effect when I mounted it behind the grill. It was more effective in front of the grill. I believe the air pressure was deflecting the coroplast and flowing around it.

As for the styrofoam, that is quite common in modern cars. It will absorb energy and deflect. In low speed accidents it will prevent damage to hard bits and is cheap to replace.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Its a start, and it should gain you something.
Thanks, that's all I was hoping for at this point was to gain some extra knowledge and *hopefully* grab an extra MPG or two. That and decrease warm-up time.

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Yeah, something...... Typically blocking the radiator helps in heat, blocking the front of the grill helps in aero, yet allows enough room for a fan to draw air as needed if things get a little too warm.
Depending on where this goes, I might end up blocking the front with something a little less... obtrusive. I like the idea of keeping it stock. I'm thinking when I do the belly pan, that will also help to warm-up the engine faster, meaning a front block might be more useful for me. I also want to do an openable one, so I might have to experiment with front and back before I do that. There is a lot of room for air to go under the air dam/fender and up into the radiator, so I might play with that when I do the belly pan. For now not too worried about air flow (but still staying vigilant).

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Keep an eye on your coolant temperature, especially as ambient temperature rises.
And in San Jose, I expect they can rise pretty high
Yeah, I'm staying on alert with the temp. Unfortunately, my Ultragauge won't be here until next week, so for now I only get the stock temp. gauge in the instrument cluster, which means I won't know if it's getting too hot until I can just see it coming from under the hood (more or less). But there is a lot of places for air to move around still, so I'm not *too* worried.

It is about 80-81 degrees today and with a mix of city and freeway driving, nothing seems to be a problem. We shall see in the near future though!

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Good start!
Thanks! Gotta start somewhere, right?! I always say you can't get to 3, if you don't get to 2 first and you can't get to 2 until you get to 1 first, so this is my 1. I can't wait for next week when my 2 gets here and I can use it for all my gauges and stuff!

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My grill block had a marginal effect when I mounted it behind the grill. It was more effective in front of the grill. I believe the air pressure was deflecting the coroplast and flowing around it.

As for the styrofoam, that is quite common in modern cars. It will absorb energy and deflect. In low speed accidents it will prevent damage to hard bits and is cheap to replace.
Yeah, I will have to try out both front and back. I definitely plan on getting something stronger for the final assembly, so I might keep it in the back (especially if I install an operable one). I already noticed by pushing it with my fingers it deflects, so will see how much it does (I ran out of zipties, so I couldn't button down the hatches quite as well as I liked!).

Interesting, I've never seen it before this car, but it makes sense. I guess for those fender benders, it will help ease the damage. Anything stronger than that and I assume it won't do much good.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just an Update:

Soooo... it was hot today in San Jose! When I left work, the car's ambient temperature gauge displayed 89. It stayed pretty steady at 89-90 the whole trip. At one stop it hit 96 , but then later went back down to 90 a couple miles away. In other words, it was HOT! I was a little nervous, but watched my temp. gauge like a hawk! The whole trip, it never went above half way up the gauge, which is standard even without the grill block, but no concrete numbers to know exactly what was happening. I don't know if the fan ever came on to keep the temp. down. Coming up to a stoplight, I heard a sound I've never heard before, but I was not able to pin it down to the fans to know for sure. I only heard it the one time. When I got to my 96* stop, I left the engine running, opened the hood and the fans were not on. Obviously that doesn't mean anything for my drive, but at least at that point they weren't on.

One of my stops was to my post office to pick up my UltraGauge!!!!! I haven't been this excited in a long time, I don't know why, but I guess it's just an eco-modder thing! (YNYAEM if...) So tonight I can start to calibrate it and get the screens how I want it and tomorrow I can attach it and see what the temp. of the engine actually is, rather than relying on the stock temp. gauge. I'm still trying to decide a location where I want to put it, but I have a couple of ideas. I have had the grill block for about half a tank (~200 miles), so the UG will be useful to know if the block is working or not without having to drive for tanks and tanks and tanks.

The three things I noticed/heard today: 1) A weird sound (maybe the fans?). 2) Occasional engine sound (knock?) 3) brakes squeaked a couple of times even though they are new (replaced all 4 in 2012), maybe it was just the heat?, it didn't happen every time.

I got two ideas today from being so focused on the grill block. The first is an added benefit to the grill block besides aero and warm-up time is my stock intake (which is sort of a CAI, its really close to the front grill) will take in hotter air. That increases knock potential, but I have a VVT-I engine, so I don't think that matters (maybe, thoughts?). I heard an unpleasant sound a couple of times, but I have never heard knock, so I don't know if it was knocking or not.

The second thought was an ability to know if the fan is on. Like a little LED light that comes on when the fan is on. It could be really inconspicuous, since it probably won't be on very often, but would be useful, so you could know when/how often the fan is on. Unless of course an UG/SG has the ability to show fan on/off, then that would be the most useful

Long post, but a lot to get off my chest!
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The three things I noticed/heard today: 1) A weird sound (maybe the fans?). 2) Occasional engine sound (knock?) 3) brakes squeaked a couple of times even though they are new (replaced all 4 in 2012), maybe it was just the heat?, it didn't happen every time.
Number three not likely related to the grill block.


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The second thought was an ability to know if the fan is on. Like a little LED light that comes on when the fan is on. It could be really inconspicuous, since it probably won't be on very often, but would be useful, so you could know when/how often the fan is on. Unless of course an UG/SG has the ability to show fan on/off, then that would be the most useful
The LED fan light is a good idea as the UG does not directly show fan on/off. One thing I would recommend is that after the UG install is that you let the engine idle until the fans come on note the temp and also the temp at which they shut off. Also see if you can find the fan operating spec on line to verify what you observed. Some stock gauge only go outside of center if there is a significant temp increase and even though the fans are coming on may not rise above the center.

I live in South Florida, in the summer the cycling of fans at a stop light is normal on my car with the AC off, even without grill blocks. Several of my recent cars actually run warmer when the AC is off, this is cause by the continuous operation of the fan with the AC on. Even had one car the fans would run for a short period of time after the car was shut off.

All that to say in order for you to know what is outside of normal for your car you need to know what is normal.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeff88 View Post
The second thought was an ability to know if the fan is on. Like a little LED light that comes on when the fan is on. It could be really inconspicuous, since it probably won't be on very often, but would be useful, so you could know when/how often the fan is on. Unless of course an UG/SG has the ability to show fan on/off, then that would be the most useful
I have read about people on here doing that and I actually asked about it a couple of months ago. Here is the thread, but I will jump straight to the end.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...led-24563.html

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So, it is that easy? Find the fuse, drop in two wires, run the wires through my firewall, and mount an LED?
Sven also suggested:

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If you get one of the larger (~10mm dia) lights with built in bezel you can drill a hole in a blank dash panel and it will look OEM. Loose LED's are kinda hard to mount.
Just yesterday I read a post where someone said that his car actually got better mileage with enough of a grill block that his fan needed to run more.

I hope that is enough.

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