Just installed Coroplast panels in both upper and lower grille openings. Left an open space in each the same width as my license plate (a little less than 12" wide, as tall as the stock opening. Painted them black so not so obvious.
Gonna go on a little drive and see what happens. Will keep sharp eye on SGII.
I'll try for pictures when I get back in town this weekend.
Yesterday was in the mid-70s. xB usually runs at 184-186F with a bit higher in traffic. Yesterday and today it seems to run at 186-194F. Sitting through three traffic light cycles at one intersection yesterday it ran to 202F. Dropped back to 190 when I got moving. I'll just have to watch it some more. It goes up faster and down more slowly--temperature I mean.
Pics won't show much. I made four panels, two for each grille section--with a 12" gap in the middle when they're installed. Painted them black, so from any distance it just looks like an xB. Yeah, I know--pics.
The temps seem to be OK with the grille blocked--leaving a couple of 12" wide openings in the center. Most of the time it just runs about five degrees higher. It's rainy and overcast, so no pics today. Recessed black panels on a navy blue car don't show up.
This was a terrible tank to try to evaluate anything. Mostly traffic and a loaded round trip to the airport. I hope this week results in better numbers.
I think you may NOT want to run any block in the summer - you don't want to be running the engine hot and it WILL heat up - I think they run the water pump pretty slow. Watch your coolent level. Fan turns on at 205 in my xB. Also your AC cooling is there so that will end up not working as well either. Works great in the winter time however - really generates more heat for the cabin.
JanGeo, up here in the great Northwest it's hardly Summer. In traffic I saw the temp go to 204F. That's the highest. Usually 188-192. Without block it's been cconsistently 184-186. Your advice is sound and I'll keep it in mind. I watch my SGII all the time.