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Old 12-14-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
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Has Anyone Modified the Front Radiator Intakes?

I picked up some "rain gutter" plastic mesh material yesterday to go over the 3 radiator intakes in the front….has anyone tried this?

I first saw this on @WingNut2U's GT3 bumper and thought, "Hmm, that would be a good idea". Have seen a couple others including a Pedro mod, I think.

Then, day before yesterday, some redneck "blew out" the back of his pickup truck in front of me on the highway trying to show off! Lots of black smoke engulfed me, including in my car, since I had the top down. YUCK! I feel so dirty! The leaves started flying everywhere and the guy lost his shirt too. I mean literally, his shirt (laying the back of the truck), flew out of the bed and became a projectile aimed right at me. TIP: Carry an extra shirt for a clean get-away!

I swerved and missed the shirt. The guy behind me was not so lucky and it became a bumper bug for him, but was left with a ton of leaves….now I have to clean ALL THREE rads again, "Thanks a lot Skoal Bandit!"

That is where I got the inspiration for doing the mod. Has anyone tried this? What were the results?

Most importantly, how did you secure the mesh to the underside of the bumper?

Lastly, how well did it wear with time, leaves and shirts being thrown at it?

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Old 12-14-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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Also on my list of things to do. When I get around to it, I plan on getting my mesh from here:
customcargrills.com - Custom Car & Truck Grills - Billet & Mesh Grill Inserts
They have the mesh clips etc.

Pedro also has some instructions on his site. He uses hot glue.
http://www.pedrosgarage.com/Site_3/Install_3rd_Radiator_%26_Coolant_System_Bleeding_I nstructions.html
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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This is my first post, and I have useful information (I hope) rather than a question!
I purchased a 2001 Base, black on black, back in March. After reading the warnings on the forums, one of my first projects was to clean the radiators. I removed the front bumper, and sure enough, tons of crud in front of and between the radiator and condenser.
While I had it apart, I wanted to paint the weathered gray grilles, and add a mesh to protect the radiators in the future. It's easy to do when you have the grilles out, but I think you could do it with them in the bumper, but you still need to remove the bumper to install the mesh behind the grilles.
I used the aluminum mesh gutter guard from the home center. One 3' piece will do both grilles. With the grilles on the workbench, I lined the mesh up with the inner top edge, and began rough-trimming the mesh to shape with snips. You can leave overhang in some areas, others need to be trimmed close to clear the retaining clips. Through trial-and-error, I had both mesh inserts ready in 20-30 minutes. Don't forget to cut a small hole in the right grille for the temperature sensor. I also painted the mesh with Rustoleum Satin Black spray, the same as I used on the grilles. I fastened the mesh to the back of the grilles using black electrical zip-ties. I tied the mesh to the vertical posts, below the horizontal vanes. From the normal viewing position, the ties are hidden. I also drilled a 1/8-inch hole in the right and left side of the grille to fasten the ends. This will all be clear when you have the bumper off, and can view the grilles from behind.

Hope this helps.

Bill
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billj18 View Post
This is my first post, and I have useful information (I hope) rather than a question!
I purchased a 2001 Base, black on black, back in March. After reading the warnings on the forums, one of my first projects was to clean the radiators. I removed the front bumper, and sure enough, tons of crud in front of and between the radiator and condenser.
While I had it apart, I wanted to paint the weathered gray grilles, and add a mesh to protect the radiators in the future. It's easy to do when you have the grilles out, but I think you could do it with them in the bumper, but you still need to remove the bumper to install the mesh behind the grilles.
I used the aluminum mesh gutter guard from the home center. One 3' piece will do both grilles. With the grilles on the workbench, I lined the mesh up with the inner top edge, and began rough-trimming the mesh to shape with snips. You can leave overhang in some areas, others need to be trimmed close to clear the retaining clips. Through trial-and-error, I had both mesh inserts ready in 20-30 minutes. Don't forget to cut a small hole in the right grille for the temperature sensor. I also painted the mesh with Rustoleum Satin Black spray, the same as I used on the grilles. I fastened the mesh to the back of the grilles using black electrical zip-ties. I tied the mesh to the vertical posts, below the horizontal vanes. From the normal viewing position, the ties are hidden. I also drilled a 1/8-inch hole in the right and left side of the grille to fasten the ends. This will all be clear when you have the bumper off, and can view the grilles from behind.

Hope this helps.

Bill
Thanks Bill. Do you have any pictures of it finished? Would love to see it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #5
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I happen to have this done just last week.
In short:
- Remove Bumper cover
- Remove Grills
- Cut a mesh of your choice to size. I used a metal mesh and sprayed it black
- Tied mesh to the back side of the grill using zip ties

Some pics

Make sure you separate the a/c condenser and radiator to get all the dirt out

Metal grill mesh installed, painted black

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Old 12-15-2012, 05:31 AM   #6
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O.K. a couple comments….

@billj18,

Got some pics? How well is the "engineered screen" holding up under the daily grind?

@BruceH,

Will hot glue hold it? I am worried that it will look worse after an end comes up or it starts to tear apart. That piece has a lot of wind resistance against it, so it would need to be pretty stout to hold it….especially if doing track days!

I have exact material Pedro uses, and it is a wider mesh pattern….just wondering HOW it stands the test of time.

Thanks!
mark
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:13 AM   #7
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I have some mesh guards on my car. I'll try and take pics in the am for you.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:26 AM   #8
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I like the zip tie idea my self. I have my own doubts about the hot glue. I would like to get metal mesh sprayed satin black like what Bill did.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:40 AM   #9
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Check out my DIY article on this website regards this type of installation. (Protecting Your Oil Cooler, AC Condensers and Radiators)

I did this and have not had any issues with any debris, larger than the mesh size, collecting around any of the radiators/condensers,oil cooler on my 2001 'S' front bumper inlets.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:01 AM   #10
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Thanks, that's a great write up!
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:05 AM   #11
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To All,

com3dorm3 used the same method I did, and has much better photos! I like the zip ties because it's a simple matter to snip them if you need to remove the grille. I don't think hot glue would be reliable in this environment. Besides, zip ties are so cheap.

I've had the mesh in for 9 months now, and it looks as good as new. No dents, no paint peeling. I've plucked leaves, twigs, fuzz, and I don't know what else out of the mesh that would otherwise ended up in the radiators.

Bill
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:40 AM   #12
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Grills in the inlets

I did the same thing, but added lights as well.



I used metal gutter guard from Menards.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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LED Lights on front grill

I went to autozone and bought LED lights $20. When I had the bumper off to fix my radiator I also installed the LED lights. They are bright and look good.


I ran the wires to a connector right behind the battery. It comes on with the ignition.


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Old 12-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #14
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side effects

I did the mesh guards last winter, using 1/4" galvanized hardware cloth painted black & oriented on a diagonal bias, secured with plastic welds to the intake trim. Looks nice & subtle, works well, but what I didn't anticipate was a new whistle at speed. It is not extreme, but annoying. Fortunately, it doesn't really become audible until I'm well into supralegal speeds, so it can serve as an audible reminder that I might be having too much fun
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:25 PM   #15
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Do you guys realise you are losing 25%- 30% of your air flow through these add on mesh leaf filters?
It may keep out debris, but I question the efficiency - probably the same as having all those leaves still in between the rads.
I'd rather vacuum out the leaves every month and remove the bumper & split the rads every couple of years.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Tinker View Post
Do you guys realise you are losing 25%- 30% of your air flow through these add on mesh leaf filters?
It may keep out debris, but I question the efficiency - probably the same as having all those leaves still in between the rads.
I'd rather vacuum out the leaves every month and remove the bumper & split the rads every couple of years.
Since every Porsche ALMS and Rolex Cup GT3 over the last 8 years has screened radiator vents I suspect airflow through the radiators has been tested extensively and found the screens not to be a problem.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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You're probably right, but a race car has totally different requirements to a roadcar.
I'll bet the ALMS / Rolex GT3's don't have A/C rads fitted and they probably don't have electrical cooling fans installed either. The screens are only there to protect them from flying debris.
The amount of air passing over the radiator surfaces @ 150mph is more than enough to cool the engine - running @ slower road speeds with many stop / start requirements will load up the cooling system far higher than on the track.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:39 PM   #18
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airflow

Considered this, consulted sources including those with real world experience using more limiting mesh. Gist was, no worries. And my temp needle hasn't budged off the high side of the 8, no matter what I put it through, including my mesh. So yes, thought about it, but so far less time cleaning rads is more time for driving/life.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:06 AM   #19
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Great info guys! Thanks!

I will be doing mine soon. Dunno about the lights, but I like what you were thinking.

Merry Christmas everyone!
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Tinker View Post
You're probably right, but a race car has totally different requirements to a roadcar.
I'll bet the ALMS / Rolex GT3's don't have A/C rads fitted and they probably don't have electrical cooling fans installed either. The screens are only there to protect them from flying debris.
The amount of air passing over the radiator surfaces @ 150mph is more than enough to cool the engine - running @ slower road speeds with many stop / start requirements will load up the cooling system far higher than on the track.
Day to day street driving and racing on a track are certainly different, and put different demands on the car. I see 180-210F from the on-board diagnostic tool in typical traffic with A/C on. Hot track days are a different story with temps hitting 240F when the car is fully heat soaked. Track driving generates a lot more heat so I think intake screens are a well tested and proven improvement.

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