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Old 07-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Permanent Grill Block

I went to look at my grill block last week and it was deteriorating quite a bit with all of the rain lately. It was made out of two layers of foam board and wrapped in tape around the 75% of the grill.

I decided to go all the way when I started thinking about a permanent solution.

I started with putting cardboard behind the grill and then inserted three 1 1//2" PVC pipe sections into the existing grill for venting. Then I sprayed the entire grill with gap seal. It's like insulating foam, except doesn't cause the same problems that other people have had on this board. Once the foam cured, I cut it to shape using a hacksaw blade. Filled in gaps with more foam, cured, cut again.

Once I had the shape I wanted I went for a test drive. Turns out 3 little openings were't quite enough for cooling the engine. I was getting temps around 210F on the highway and 220F+ with stop and go traffic. Went home, cut 4 more holes and went for another drive. 7 holes seems to be the right number for my Saturn. No overheating.

After all the foam was cured, I started putting Bondo over everything. I still have quite a bit of sanding to do before I paint it with factory spray paint. I'm hoping to get it so close that you can only tell from a few inches away where my paint job started.

Not done yet, but the pictures should give a pretty good idea of where I'm at.

As a side note: the test drive I did was after I installed the belly pan.

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Old 07-14-2008, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I really like the smiley face!
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Raysp30 -

Wow, you are going for it!

PS - Better make sure that the dog-catcher doesn't see it until it's done, or (s)he'll try to have it put down for having rabies!

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Old 07-16-2008, 02:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I seem to remember something about letting air escape out of the engine through ductwork that would patch into the front wheel wells. Would that be more important to do since I also have a belly pan on there?

I think it was Bajoos that commented on that a week or so ago. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, do you have pictures of your set up?
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My car has a 6" diameter opening connecting the engine compartment to each front wheel well through which the driveshaft runs, so I didn't have to do any mods (other than installing the underbody panel) to divert the air out through the front wheel wells.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basjoos View Post
My car has a 6" diameter opening connecting the engine compartment to each front wheel well through which the driveshaft runs, so I didn't have to do any mods (other than installing the underbody panel) to divert the air out through the front wheel wells.
Basjoos - I looked at every one of your 96 pictures that you posted a while back. I don't suppose you could post #97 when you get a chance so that I can see what you're talking about?
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Completed Grill Block

Okay, I finally got the paint to come in. It's not perfect. You can see where the mod began, but you can't really tell from more than 4 feet away.

I had to make the center opening a little bigger than what I started with. It now runs at a very consistent 195F-200F on the highway. She gets a little warm when in a traffic jam or heavy city traffic, but with my manual fan override switch, it hasn't been a problem. I'll start cooling it down when it creeps past 210, so the fan never has a chance to automatically kick on at around 226F.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks good.

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