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Without a doubt pre-warming the air intake certainly works. For me best results have come from blanking off a portion of the radiator.

I am reluctant to install the extending of the air intake down to the Catalytic Converter for fear of drawing in water from puddles etc and damaging the engine as we have regular heavy rain here in England this time of the year.

I connected a temp probe adjacent to the air intake and was suprised to see that the under bonnet temperature did not stabilise until approx 25 minutes of driving (to around 25 degrees C). So as a test I completely blanked off the raidiator to shorten this warmup period. My LMPG is currently at 82 but the recent cold weather has reduced my normal daily MPG of approx 88 ~ 90 to less than 75. But with the tempory full raidator blanking my warm up time was around 10 minutes and my "one day test" MPG returned to the levels I was getting in the summer with a 64 mile round trip MPG (with two cold starts) of 95mpg. I monitored the fan during the test and as I had a gap, albeit small, between the blanking and the raidiator some cooling still took place and I did not see temperature levels go above about a third of the temperature display.

So I now plan to install some sort of temperature controlled blind to the front of the raidiator. Has anyone else undertaken any similar modification. Feedback would be welcome.....
 

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Hey Lean,
I just put the very simple warm air mod using the 2" preheater hose around the rear of the engine to the upper catalytic yesterday and picked up over 4mpg on my 50 mile commute. It is high enough that if you get water up there, you have other problems.
robert
 
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