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Old 06-07-2008, 02:17 PM   #1
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Question Grille blocking suggestions? (Photos embedded)

Edit: Please scroll down to my new post where I ask some new questions...
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread....414#post107414

See and zoom in on complete pictures at
http://picasaweb.google.com/ronanian...icModQuestions

First, the truck, which is pretty simple and I can pretty much figure it out for myself:


Any non-obvious suggestions? Just block all/part of it and be done with it, eh? How can I do it without making it ugly, and how do I know when I've done it so much that the fan has to run more? It's an old-fashioned clutch fan, so I can't just tap the wire that operates it. Eventually I hope to replace it with E-fans.

Is it counterproductive to do it so much that the fan has to run more?

Is it worthwhile to try to do something with the gap above the front bumper? How about the open space below the license plate and around the tow hooks?

It's of the utmost importance to me to not make it ugly or conspicuous. I do not like attention, and (believe it or not) I blend in pretty well like this. Any suggestions how to do it without making it conspicuous?

Now on to the VW, more difficult...


The little grilles in the bottom corners are called "fog grilles", and don't appear to have any function here. The passenger side one is blocked already, but still has the grille lattice sticking out enough to look like a grille:

I don't know why that ugly screw is right in the middle of it or what those few small holes are for.

The drivers' side is more open:


The lower main grille just exposes the radiator, no need to post pics.

The upper grilles are a little more complicated to consider. They are where the intake gets its air, and the way they are setup, if I block them it will severely restrict the intake, rather than warming the intake air as on many other cars. The top slot is directly lined up with the intake, the middle slot is partially lined up with it, and the bottom slot merely exposes the radiator slightly more.

Again, inconspicuity (is that a word?) is important to me, even more so in this car which is a little more conspicuous and which I drive more conspicuously while hypermiling because it's a manual transmission.

Here's my guess:
- For the upper grille, I could block the bottom two slats with something black inside them and try to make it smooth/flush, and it should be invisible except up close.
- For the lower main grille, something smooth and black could conceivably be inconspicuous. I guess I should probably block much of it. Maybe if I block the upper two rows of lattice and leave the bottom row it would be good?
- The fog grills can be completely blocked, but how to do it inconspicuously?I think I'd have to paint something to match the car, or maybe something dark gray with a black lattice pattern could work...
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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i got some coroplast(convention signage), turned the back(blank white color) facing out, painted it black, then fastened it. election time is near(freebies).

i first applied some foil tape to do test runs for temperatures however.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:37 AM   #3
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no matter what you do, it will be noticeable to a point. I had this same delema when I went to block my grill. I ended up usin plexi-glass. it isn't actual plexi-glass but a thin plastic sheeting. it is about 1/8th of an inch thick and will bend pretty easily. I got it from lowes home improvement. they sell a shatter resistant version as well. I used the regular because it was cheaper and it is a bear to work with. difficult to cut but it turned out alright. I would use the shatter resistant if I had it to do over.

I have pics in my garage if you want to see how mine turned out. also I used feneder washers to hold it on with. I don't even thin I needed them either.

also with the way i did mine, I can take it off in about 10 minutes and there were no alterations to my vehicle at all (I didn't cut or drill anything on the car itself.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:04 AM   #4
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That might work okay. It looks like yours might not be too conspicuous from far away. How much does that material cost?
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:23 AM   #5
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Here is what I did on my car. It is less obvious when when not in direct sun.
( This example is in direct sun with the strong shadows and all. )
Also, of note is the number plate. I moved it down to act as a grill block - a stealth style grill block.
The wheel spoilers are made from rubber and flex if I hit a curb.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
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That is very nicely done. What kind of rubber / where did you get it?
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:20 PM   #7
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my fake plexi was about $13 for the sheet that I got and I have enough to do another vehicle left. I think the shatter resistant was around $20. I used fender washers in front of and behind it. it is just held on with the pressure and not through any drilled holes or anything. I also used nylon wing nuts on the back of it so that if it comes right down to it, I can stop on the side of the road and take it all off.

I thought about how to do a grill block for a while before I tried something. I could have done it better if I had put more time into it but I am overall happy. I also used weather stripping to cover the small gap between the hood and the bumper. prices and locations below.

fake plexi = lowes home improvement (near glass cutting around the lumber area) $13

weather stripping = advance auto parts (universal in a roll) $7.99/10ft
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
That is very nicely done. What kind of rubber / where did you get it?

Thanks !

They have the rubber strips at either Lowes or Home Depot.

Actually, it is rubber base moulding. You will find it in the flooring department.
It comes in several colors, but of course we are interested in black.

No need to buy a case of it. If you look around the area, both HD and LWS sell it by the piece.

Please let us see what you come up with ( post some pictures )

You can plug the grill openings around the VW logo using rubber insulation ( in black ). The best thing about it is that you can remove it in a matter of seconds if the car gets a little warm.

You can find it in the hardware department .

I think it is over at the Ecomodder site, but a fellow did it to his '05 Civic.
It looks 100% factory from anything over a few inches away.

very clean.

And ...yes I work at Lowes.



I really like your car BTW. I almost bought one myself.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:51 PM   #9
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If you notice, I just moved the plate downward and used the bolt holes that are already in the bumper - no need to drill into the car.
After looking at your car, you could do it even more easily than I did.
Just move the plate down and use the bottom bolt location to secure the plate in place.
My car is junk, so I drilled into it to cover those fake brake cooling vents.
In your case, I would buy a nice set of flush driving lights and install them there.
They make some for my car, but I'm to damn poor ( or just cheap ) to buy them. They fit flush with the body of the car and not only effectively act as a block, but serve a purpose ( and look good too ! )
I'm sure they make some for your car too.

Check it out.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:04 AM   #10
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Hahah, I knew I recognized that rubber from somewhere! I used to be in construction...

I bet my dad has some base moulding. If not, I'll just buy a little or something.

It will be a little more complicated than just using the bottom bolt location. The nice mount behind the plate is shaped to match the bumper. I think the mount is screwed to the car in places other than where the 4 visible screws are, but I can deal with whatever I find.

They do make OEM lights but I'm too cheap/broke and I'm not sure how much they would help aerodynamically. Here's what I'm thinking for a plan:

- Try blocking the fog grilles with something smooth, see what the effect is. If it's good, I'll have to see what I can do to smooth it without making it conspicuous. Maybe I could bring the fog grilles forward so they're flush with the front, and fill them in with rubber so it's mostly smooth but still looks like a grille.

- Move the license plate down.

- Install a light to monitor the cooling fan usage so I can see if it goes up after grill blocking mods. Or, just ignore that and see if FE goes up -- do I care if the fan runs more as long as FE goes up?

- Block the bottom one or two slots in the upper grille.

- A ghetto ram air system would block more radiator, leaving not much exposed.
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