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Old 06-19-2014, 09:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Some CAD work today

Today I installed a factory air dam that my car was always lacking. It was my understanding that the dam provided proper cooling to the car even with no direct flow through the grill so I tested it. After installing the damn I covered up the entire front end of the car to test this on my way home from work and it worked! Engine temp never rose above the normal spot on the gauge. Since the engine was able to cool, when I got home I taped over the cardboard to "waterproof" it because some rain is expected over the next few days. Sorry that it is kinda hard to see the dam in the pic. Only time will tell if the grill block will net better MPG. Unfortunately, I don't have a MPGuino to test running MPG to see if it's sipping less while running down the road so just have to wait to fill the tank a couple times to see if there is any benefits.

Comments and criticisms please. Did I do good? lol



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Old 06-19-2014, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well since you want criticisms

Use the card board as a template and cut new pieces out of a thin durable material ? aluminum sheet or sign material etc. etc. , then paint it with color match touch up paint.

The style suits the car nice !
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would not run your setup without an accurate engine coolant temperature gauge. The gauge in your dash might show that temps are in the normal range, but "normal" can be a 35 degree swing without any movement of the needle.

My TSX runs the cooling fans at 215 F, but the factory gauge shows no difference at that temperature as 180 F.

Running the cooling fan will negate the benefit of blocking the grill. Find some way to either accurately monitor coolant temps, or notify you when cooling fans engage.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I would not run your setup without an accurate engine coolant temperature gauge. The gauge in your dash might show that temps are in the normal range, but "normal" can be a 35 degree swing without any movement of the needle.

My TSX runs the cooling fans at 215 F, but the factory gauge shows no difference at that temperature as 180 F.

Running the cooling fan will negate the benefit of blocking the grill. Find some way to either accurately monitor coolant temps, or notify you when cooling fans engage.
Seems 3 position temp gauges (cold - normal - screwed) are becoming more and more popular. Lucky for me, the gauge on the Satty is a real gauge that rises and falls with the engine temp. Good advice though for people with newer cars...sure would be scary to experiment with "half-truth" data on display

First I need to make sure the block will net better MPG. The cardboard is literally just thrown onto the front of the car and taped down. If I get better MPG out the block, I'll do it much better, cleaner and with better materials.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cad looks a lot like my first grill block, been running a full grill block for about 5yrs now I think. I'm running 1/4" bolts I'm my airdam mounting holes instead of the original springs, which is the reason I think some s series are running around w/o an airdam
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Old 06-20-2014, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I thought CAD was Cardboard And Duct tape
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Old 06-20-2014, 03:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought CAD was Cardboard And Duct tape
^this. Been seeing this a lot recently ad thought it was the new buzzword. Sorry for the confusion Tele Man.

Thought about using bolts to hold up the dam too but until I know I'm better off with the grill block, I'm not investing any more money into the project.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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do good?

Yes,you did good!
Some of the Firebirds and Corvettes were pure 'bottom-breathers,' it may be fine for the Saturn.
Keep your eyes on the gauge.Tomorrow is 1st day of Summer,we have a few months of serious heat between now and Fall.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I like it.
Isn't that factory one spring mounted? If so, it will flex. Add more below it to almost touch the ground and don't worry about curbs or steep driveways because it will bend under n right back.
I used the plastic garden edging for lower air dam. then cut the thick rib (tube) off the edge that left me with a flat piece that could be cut for blockers. Blocked off the lil 'air scoops' (for fog lights? or just looks?) on my crx with this plastic and black electrical tape. Black bumper, black plastic, black tape = no paint!
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
Yes,you did good!
Some of the Firebirds and Corvettes were pure 'bottom-breathers,' it may be fine for the Saturn.
Keep your eyes on the gauge.Tomorrow is 1st day of Summer,we have a few months of serious heat between now and Fall.
Praise from the master; thanks aerohead!

Some of my concerns, as I look at it more are:

1: Theory is block = better aero and air flow through the engine compartment; what are some factors that could contribute to not netting better MPG other than increased frontal area?
2: Does the fact that the lower bumper pulls rearward (causing a "<" shape at the front essentially) cause the grill block to be less effective than a purely vertical or even sloped out (wedge/ramp shape like Corvette and Firebird) design?
3: Should this all pan out and net better MPG, would a splitter mounted to the bottom of the lower bumper make things even better?

I'm over thinking things, I know, but this is what happens when you should be working on your thesis and don't motivate yourself properly...

The springs are rusty and fragile, I might switch to bungee cord but then again, if I go deeper (and am thinking wider to block front tires, I'm worried about the extra resistance flexing the springs just while running down the road. Also the shield that dam mounts to is only zip tied to the car up the front because of some damage to the rear of the bumper supports so I'm a little worried about extending anything that would possibly try to rip the zip ties out while on the road.

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2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"


Last edited by spacemanspif; 06-20-2014 at 06:59 PM..
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