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Old 10-16-2014, 09:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lower grill block

I've done one section. Is it safe to block the entire thing? They'll all be colored black to match better.

IMG_20141014_201143.jpg

These are the average temps in my area. Not terribly cold (or warm) throughout the year:

Whitehaven, United Kingdom Weather Averages | Monthly Average High and Low Temperature | Average Precipitation and Rainfall days | World Weather Online

Much to be gained from this mod and what about the lower part of the upper grill?
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmt257 View Post
I've done one section. Is it safe to block the entire thing? They'll all be colored black to match better.

~86F is considered "moderate" temperatures here. We just had a cool spell and it's 80 right now.

Much to be gained from this mod and what about the lower part of the upper grill?
I used one piece of the split foam rubber that is used to cover 3/4" dia A/C pipes as only one strip across my lower grill. We get 90 to 100F temperatures in the summer and I haven't seen any good or bad affects from the grill block.

As far as a noticeable mpg increase, I doubt it is measurable with one tube. The coolant temperature may go up but your frontal area has increased compared to the air being able to flow into the grill instead of having to change course to go around the car. That area of the grill is at a 90 angle to the air flow.

Also, I picture some of the air flow that goes upward after hitting the upper part of the bumper as being able to go into the upper air intake rather than being disturbed air flowing over the bonnet and windscreen if the hood opening is blocked.

Just remember that other posters have reported that the Insight temperature gauge is a rather lazy one. If you see it go up one or two bars the engine is very hot. They recommend if you want to really cover up a lot of the grill that you ought to have a more sensitive readout device.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It is not safe to block the lower grill unless you monitor air intake temperature or if it is not sweltering hot.

I run my lower grill block all year round, but I do monitor air intake temperature.

You don't want to get the under hood air temp up too high, the 12V battery should not get hot for instance. Anything above 40C / 105F for a prolongd time should be avoided.
That only happened to me when I got stuck in a traffic jam on the hottest day in 6 years, A/C running all the time.
The MID (nose) temp showed 40C.
Air intake went gradually up to 50C, then sharply to 70C. I killed the A/C and it went slowly down. On the move again it dropped below 40C quickly despite the full lower block.

Come winter I'll start blocking some of the upper grill again too.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you have to run the A/C with a grill block in, your block is probably costing more fuel usage then it saves.

Reduced condenser efficiency -> more gas used to turn the compressor getting you to the same temperature.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies chaps.

I would only use the grill blocks in the winter time (average lows approx 2 deg C and highs 7 deg C). I drive using hypermiling techniques so the engine gets an easy ride. Not too much heat generated there either.

RedDevil- is your foam just crammed in there or have you secured it somehow?

olrowdy01- the gen 2 doesn't have a temp gauge. An icon illuminates when telling us when the engine is cold or hot and that's it. There is nothing to indicate that the engine is anything in-between, other than the absence of both.
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Last edited by dmt257; 10-17-2014 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmt257 View Post
Thanks for the replies chaps.

I would only use the grill blocks in the winter time (average lows approx 2 deg C and highs 7 deg C). I drive using hypermiling techniques so the engine gets an easy ride. Not too much heat generated there either.

RedDevil- is your foam just crammed in there or have you secured it somehow?

olrowdy01- the gen 2 doesn't have a temp gauge. An icon illuminates when telling us when the engine is cold or hot and that's it. There is nothing to indicate that the engine is anything in-between, other than the absence of both.
The upper grill does allow enough air in to cool both radiators even when A/C is full on, unless you are stationary.

I did test my grill block at 30C and it helps even then, at least when going 55/60 mph on the flat. I could hold a steady 3.0 l/100 km with the grill block and 3.3 without. Now I dont think the block alone gives me a 10% better economy; there must have been outside factors. But it is unlikely to be detrimental.

Bottom line: you need to remove the block when the fans kick in regularly.
I had that happen only once this far, the aforementioned traffic jam on the record hot day.

I routed the out feeler of a cheap in/out digital thermometer in the air intake before I had my UltraGauge. You can also make a LED indicator parallel to the fan to indicate that, but then you get no prewarning.

When it is really cold (below -5C' I could not get the interior up to 20C within 20 miles. With the lower grill block it takes just less than that, with both grills blocked in 10 miles

The foam is just crammed in, but I made the fault to use wide pipes. I cut them in half so you only have a front. I lost one already and had to push them back in regularly.
I painted them black which looked nice and lasted at least a week or 2.
When I make a new grill block I'd use a black plate or so instead of the foam and hinge it on the top to allow some air in from below if needed.
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Last edited by RedDevil; 10-17-2014 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I use foam pipe insulation for lower grill on my G1. I cut notches to fit the vertical parts then push into place. Nothing to fasten it, stays there all winter, easily removable.

Here's a link to a G1 thread with a few examples. Mine is on page 2 post #12

I'm not familiar with the G2, but for the older models we're careful on how much blocking is done unless we have a device to read actual coolant temp. Our G1 temp indicators on the dash are slow to respond and result in cooked engines before the gage shows hot. I use Peter Perkins' OBDIIC&C to monitor ect.
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Last edited by Mountain driver; 10-17-2014 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
The upper grill does allow enough air in to cool both radiators even when A/C is full on, unless you are stationary.

I did test my grill block at 30C and it helps even then, at least when going 55/60 mph on the flat. I could hold a steady 3.0 l-100 km with the grill block and 3.3 without. Now I dont think the block alone gives me a 10% better economy; there must have been outside factors. But it is unlikely to be detrimental.

Bottom line: you need to remove the block when the fans kick in regularly.
I had that happen only once this far, the aforementioned traffic jam on the record hot day.

I routed the out feeler of a cheap in/out digital thermometer in the air intake before I had my UltraGauge. You can also make a LED indicator parallel to the fan to indicate that, but then you get no prewarning.

When it is really cold (below -5C' I could not get the interior up to 20C within 20 miles. With the lower grill block it takes just less than that, with both grills blocked in 10 miles
Great info thanks.

Looks like I'll be ok for the winter then without knowing temps. I'll keep in the blocks year round if I can monitor temps.

Mountaindriver- I'd thought about doing that. I'll give it a try.

Should be done this weekend
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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edited while you posted.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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idem
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