I am thinking about making a grill block for my VX, but wonder what it will do with th engine temp. Now I have read some threads where no problems occurred as long as you leave some of it open, but someone that has driven a lot of Civics commented on my temp gauge and said he thought it was on the high side already. My temp gauge when the engine is heated up is pretty much always almost in the middle. I'd say just a fraction under. The person I mentioned said that Civics he had driven had their temp gauge usually only a third up.
Now since the temperature seems to be totally steady and does not go up no matter how warm it is I am thinking that it might just either normal or a misreading. But with the grill block plans I thought I had better make sure and ask where temp gauges are with a warm engine from other VX owners.
Stock temp gauges are an approximation at best. Yours reading higher than others could be tolerances in the sensor and gauge a little larger than normal and adding up in one direction, reading warmer than actual. If you're really concerned, swap the sensor from your friends known good vehicle to test your sensor at operating temps.
Also try an infrared non-contact thermometer (they're getting cheap and are useful in gobs of other applications). Check top and bottom of the radiator, various locations in the radiator to look for blocakages (cooler) and of course the engine block and area immediately around where the sensor is mounted. Temperature is not the same all around the engine, by taking lots of readings on your car and readings on other similar cars, you'll get a good feel for how hot your VX is really running.
the honda VX came with a grill block when it was new, it was a cheap sheet of plastic that mounted to the rear side of the grill and was held in place with magic and luck, so they don't alwas stay in place, they left an area of the grill about 5" wide open in front of the radiator, the rest of the grill was blocked off, unless air conditioning was added, then the grill block was often removed.
if you know where your engine temp is normaly, then as longa as you keep an eye on it and can removed the grill block if you do notice the temp spike, then go for it.
I don't trust the factory Civic ( mines a '93 ) guage at all. I blocked off a large area of my grill and ran it in 98* temperatures for several miles.
It never moved past it's usual just-above-half-way mark .... so just to see what I had to do to make it overheat, I blocked off the entire grill and did the test again.
To my shock, I found that the guage actually dropped a little, yet I could feel the extra heat from within the cabin, and the gearshift was hot to the touch.
Thanks for the advice. Do you think a grill block would be most efficient where the stock one used to be, on the inside, or covering the outside with the grill, pretty much making it flush with the bumper?
the only advantage that I see with doing it from behind the grill is that you don't see it, flush with the grill is going to make sure that the air is going more smoothly around the outside, but mostly, you don't need that air going thru the engien compartment.