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Old 02-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just a word of caution: maybe the permanent block works in the flatlands of Ontario, but if you ever decide to drive west and climb some mountains, you will quite likely run into overheating problems. Even in the winter, with my 1/2 radiator block that barely keeps coolant temp at the normal 195F on level roads, driving up to ski (4500 to 8900 ft elevation change) will send the temps into the 215-220 range. In summer, without any block, I can easily see 230F or more.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, people driving in mountainous country need a variable block more than I do. Open on the way up, closed on the way down!

My nearly full block has worked perfectly for my typical use. My fan has come on maybe twice. That said, one design consideration is that it will be easy to remove, should I ever venture into big hill country.

But your point is worth repeating for people who are new to the grille block idea.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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4 more options:
You can try applying a second coat to the first.

Try stretching some polyester cloth over the opening. It can be heat shrunk then make your part over it with composite and epoxy.

Using a similar technique make a mold from some layers of duct tape.

Get some two part foam You mix it just before you use it. It cures hard.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Another option is to use some 20-25 oz cloth, It will bridge across a lot of defects.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think if you're going to go with liquid foam, 2-part is the way to go. The cured product is easier to work with than the canned expand-a-foam. I would look into 2-part for making more complex parts than this grille block, which lends itself nicely to foam board.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
My nearly full block has worked perfectly for my typical use.
Since the cold spell in January I've been using a 100% full block. I have black vinyl completely covering the upper grille opening, and the Eco's active grille shutters stay closed in cold weather blocking the lower opening.

I have not verified that the lower grille shutters are not opening once the car gets up to temperature, but I don't think they are. Every time I shut the car off and check them they are closed, but in the summer months they are open with the car off (they close above 40 MPH and open again at some lower speed).

A small future project will be to mount a small position switch on the shutter actuator and have an LED or something light up to indicate when the shutters are open.

So far with a (assumed) 100% block I have not had any overheating issues. The temp gauge stays right in the same place it always has (yes the gauge is just a glorified idiot light, but the engine doesn't get hotter than the gauge's "normal" operating range). This is true so far, with everything from slow around town driving to highway trips with the cruise control set at 100km/h, though the temperature has barely gotten above freezing. In warm weather I anticipate issues unless I unblock part of the upper grille opening.

For those who don't have active grille shutters ( ) and desire a lower grille block in winter months, driving into a snowbank can accomplish this rather effectively and at minimal cost.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Progress update...



Step 1: make a newspaper template



Step 2: transfer template to 3/4 in. foam board, bevel the edges, kerf the back side to make it easier to bend



Step 3: fashion the behind-the-scenes supporting/foundation piece, made from a 2 in. thick piece of foam. The bottom of this part is also shaped because the grille opening is "dished" from side to side. Secured with two screws through the bumper cover at the rear.



Step 4: et, voila!

Still lots of finishing work to do (e.g. like making a finger hole so I can reach the hood release lever ), but that's the big stuff completed. At least for the upper block.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
So far with a (assumed) 100% block I have not had any overheating issues. The temp gauge stays right in the same place it always has (yes the gauge is just a glorified idiot light, but the engine doesn't get hotter than the gauge's "normal" operating range).
If you're driving an Insight, the temp gauge isn't even a glorified idiot light. Mine jumps to 5 bars at ~145F, and stays there even at 230F (per Scangauge).

Also, I don't see any temps much above normal on level ground, at any speed. It's only climbing that apparently produces more heat than the radiator was designed to handle.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
the Eco's active grille shutters stay closed in cold weather blocking the lower opening.
Interesting. I'm sure I had read somewhere in the early days of news about your car that below freezing they always stayed open to prevent a situation where they might ice up and then will not open. Obviously they changed their approach.

Quote:
driving into a snowbank can accomplish this rather effectively and at minimal cost.
Been there, done that, left a perfect impression of the front of the car behind!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Good job on the mold metrompg. Every time you make something custom like this you will learn better how to do it.

Jamesqf: I thought only Ford did that, putting a "gauge" then hooking it to a switch. The temperature gauges on many Ford cars are just a glorified idiot light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
If you're driving an Insight, the temp gauge isn't even a glorified idiot light. Mine jumps to 5 bars at ~145F, and stays there even at 230F (per Scangauge).

Also, I don't see any temps much above normal on level ground, at any speed. It's only climbing that apparently produces more heat than the radiator was designed to handle.

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