Jul 09 2008
The front grill block is on of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to cut down on aerodynamic drag in your vehicle. While it doesn’t amount to much, it does make a difference, especially considering that a large amount of aerodynamic drag is caused by this opening. It’s best to leave it only partially blocked so that the radiator recieves some airflow, however, a large block is okay because radiators are typically larger than they need to be, and fuel economy drivers tend not to abuse their engines too heavily.
Many new cars, including certain Mercedes and Hondas use electronically controlled radiator shields that open/close depends on engine cooling requirements. Take a look at this Civic for an idea what this looks like:
Purpose: To prevent air from entering the grill to reduce drag as it moves through the radiator and engine bay.
Time: 1-3 hours depending on complexity of project
- Hobby Knife
- Hot Glue Gun
- Spray Paint
- Foam (for modeling)
I chose to repaint the trim on my bumper as well as do the grill block at the same time, so first I removed the bumper. If you leave it on you can get it done much more quickly, but that’s up to you. Just follow my mounting instructions with the bumper on the car.
Click here to see how to remove your bumper (as shown in the wire tuck page).
This is my bumper removed, you can see the grill opening as well as the two pockets on the side. The side pockets are not supposed to cause much drag but I covered them anyway just to smooth thing out as much as possible:
Here’s another shot to get an idea of the bumper’s geography:
I used this style of insulation foam to make templates because it is easy to work with:
One of the templates sitting in a side pocket:
I then transfered the template to the coroplast, cut some support to place down the side of the pocket to mount the coroplast to, and cut off part of the coroplast towards the center of the bumper so it would mount flush to the bumper where it tapers together:
The center pieces are just glued to the ribbing on the grill and then glued around the edges from behind:
I taped up all the painted portions of the bumper so I could respray the trim and the coroplast black:
A shot of the finished product remounted:
I think it turned out pretty darn good,