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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

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

~86°F 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 100°F 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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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 40°C / 105°F 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 40°C.
Air intake went gradually up to 50°C, then sharply to 70°C. I killed the A/C and it went slowly down. On the move again it dropped below 40°C quickly despite the full lower block.

Come winter I'll start blocking some of the upper grill again too.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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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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 30°C 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 don´t 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 -5°C' I could not get the interior up to 20°C 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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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 30°C 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 don´t 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 -5°C' I could not get the interior up to 20°C 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:cool:
 

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Yes, and the cheaper UltraGauge can do that too.
There is a list of over 100 gauges to choose from (depending on what OBDII data the car will provide, but the Insight has quite a list) including intake air temp in °C or °F, coolant temp, EGR flow %, timing advance, engine load %, instant economy, anything the Insight has sensors for or what can be calculated from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)

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Neat! I was fighting a sheet of Lexan for that purpose, may do this instead and have the Lexan below.
I'm not too sure about a 100% block, I'd keep some air on the left side straight ahead of the engine air intake scoop.

That TurboGauge is cheap! Does it have the same functionality as a ScanGauge?
I got my UltraGauge from a OBD2 webshop in Germany, namely this one. Got it in a week after payment (bank transfer).
Cost some 82 min-o's all in, came with a mounting clip.
And then I did this. And then this. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've read that it's almost a clone of the scangauge. It lacks a few features, but has everything I want.

I'll check out the links.

Will have the lower to sections of the grill finished early tomorrow ready for 300 miles+ of weekend driving:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Lower grill completed.

I'm actually quite excited. I'm out for the weekend with the dog and there is a 48 mile section I travel which returns approx 77mpg. I just had 83.3 on that stretch! Wet roads too!

Time will tell of course but it looks promising!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Ok. It turns out I hadn't considered the great whacking tail wind I had that day:p That was responsible for most of my gain. In fact the next day, on the same route I achieved an additional 3mpg because the tail wind was even stronger (close to gail force). Of course on the return leg those assisted gains were taken back (and then some probably).

Regardless, my current tank should be a record. Which given the winds we are having at the moment is an good achievement.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
First days of frost on the over the weekend. Despite this I had 78 UK mpg indicated over 350 miles of weekend driving, which is a record. Seems the upper and lower blocks may be working very well:)

I've noticed that even in this cold weather the cold engine light turns off at just about the same point as it did in warm summer weather without the blocks.
 
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