Now I originally intended to put this in the aerodynamics section, but I had the experience of having the lower plastic lip between the front of the raditor and the back of the radiator, get torn off. My friends 89 Camero hit a speed bum and knocked off his front lower lip, so it was hanging down and I went down and pulled it off from the last bolt. So we went for a ride, all seemed well until we stopped for a light, the car started overheating, the minute we moved, it cooled off. Then while in the course of our commute, we hit some traffic, the engine got hot and hotter. So the next day, I bought a bag of bolts and reattached the lip and all was well.
Now I tell this story because allot of people I have seen here take off that lip, I wonder if you have any problems? I know my Solstice has a hug lip, I drag at every driveway and speed bump. I have been contemplating its removal, but with that, I have to make sure I make some sort of baffel that extends back and directs air to the rear, rather than what was hapening to the Camero, where the air from the electric fan, blew straight down and right back into the front of the radiator.
Cars today are so aerodynamic, but, once you get below the front bumper, that's an open area, with that lip hanging down. I plan for my next car to do a whole belly pan and closing in that area, sepparating the back of the radiator, from the front grill opening by at least 2 feet, that way improving aerodynamics and getting rid of the looping heat effect that lip prevents. Your thoughts?
That area is the intake for the radiator on late model Camaros. I don't recall from my '91 (I had the same cooling problem), but for sure on my '98, there is no airflow through the grill. One might say there IS no grill. All incoming cooling air comes from below.
Modification plans must be planned around the requirements of the individual car.
That's surprising about the fan-blown air coming down and right back up when stopped, and everything being fine when at speed. Camaros tend to have small or no grilles; they depend on that air dam for cooling, but I thought it was necessary at speed and not so useful at a stop.
A third-gen Camaro like your friend's has a drag coefficient of .33. That's pretty decent, my VW Rabbit's is .32. A 2001 Civic is .36, and a 2006 Civic is .31.
I think the lip on that Camaro is probably good aerodynamically as well as for cooling. So many people seem to get improvements through grille blocking and extending their air dam; well, that car comes from the factory with a low-hanging air dam and not much grille.
Looking at your Solstice, I wouldn't be surprised if it's similar.
Some cars/Suvs are "bottom feeders" and get the bulk of thier cold air from the bottom side. Camaros and even Jeep Grand Cherokees are like that...they need that air deflector to direct air up to the radiator.
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my car is like that. I have a full grill block (upper and lower) I do have a small opening just big enough to get my hand in when I pop the hood to get it open.
I also have a huge opening between my bumper (bumer cover) and radiator with a lip on the bottom of the radiator. I actally covered it once (the opening that is) and the temp never leveled out. it just continued to rise. it hit around the 220 mark before I cranked the heat up to bring it back down.
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Most cars have a grill inlet on the front of the body and use ram air pressure when the car is moving to push air through their radiator. The late model Camaro has a small radiator air inlet on the underside of its nose and uses the air pressure differential developed across its air dam to move air through its radiator.
that's interesting... i was going to move that little air dam foreward on my gf's car to block the opening in the bottom of her bumper because it's just the right size. it's a sunfire so basically the same as your cavalier. guess I'll have to think long and hard about it now...
Best fill up so far is now 29 MPG!
I have taken the lip off my Saturns and sheeted over the lower openings with no trouble at all. The Saturn cooling fans kick on at 220 F. The fan will bring the temp down pretty quickly.
On my SL with the liquid air heat exchanger on the intake it takes considerably longer to warm up. The intake heat exchanger and the heater are almost all the cooling I need in 30-40F temps.
I like to think of it as a regenerative cycle.
I had that lip come off on my[then wifes] Saturn. It is a 94 SL2, and it overheated like crazy on the highway during the hot wether. Worked fine at stop, and in cooler wether. I made a new one out of steel, and it runs fine now.