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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a little concerned that a sizable area of the radiator is unprotected from road debris (small stones, etc.). Does not take much to damage todays lightweight radiators. Anyway, I would like to install some sort of an open mesh rustproof screen thing-a-ma-jig; probably just on the inside of the bumper. Anybody know of something that will work and is prefabricated and easy to mount?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Until co-pilot posted a subsequent thread which also expressed concern for the exposed radiator no-one else seemed to feel it was a potential problem. However, I still felt some type of protection would be prudent in the long run. So, yesterday I placed a piece of dark colored fiberglass window/door screen between the backside of the grille and the front-side of the radiator. Removing the large plastic cover over the top of the radiator made the work area much more accessible. I also learned that you don't want to let the top of the grille pivot forward as it tends to slip loose from four brackets that you have to simultaneously realign to get the grille firmly reattached. Through trial and error stretching of the screen I found that many of the existing plastic fasteners that hold cowling pieces together could do double duty and also hold the screen both top and bottom. The screen is nearly unnoticeable unless looking for it.
 

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Be careful with that screen. It might disrupt the airflow and not let the engine cool sufficiently.

I know someone who bought a Chevy Suburban from a guy who could not figure out why it was overheating all the time. He gave up and sold it. The purchaser decided to try removing the screen which was in place to protect the radiator, and voila, it ran fine...

This is what I plan to use something like this when I get the time Grill Mesh

Just keep an eye on the water temp gauge in the mean time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
GreenMachine - Thanks for the word of caution. Kept a eye on temp gauge on recent 550 mile trip. Needle seems to stay just a tick below center. Since I didn't pay any attention to the normal running position before installing the screen in front of the radiator I don't know if this is the norm. I payed close attention to the gauge when we hit some pretty heavy but intermittent snow squalls as thought the snow would build up on the fine mesh screen (which it probably did) but temp guage did not move up. I had brought along a pair of scissors should it have been necessary to remove the screen while on the road.
 

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More concern with A/C on!

The weather is too cold to have much impact on the radiator temp -- ambient air temp will suck off the heat pretty well until temps hit the 70s. Come summer you will have problems. I know that the A/C has a greater need for air flow over its "coils". The radiator is pretty well oversized, so that as it ages and clogs up (which is all but inevitable unless you put alot of effort into flushing/using only distalled water with coolant/keeping overflow tank spotless....) The A/C needs all the airflow it can get in the summer, especially when dealing with the humid heat common in many parts of the US.

Window screening is too fine a mesh, it won't let air flow through at higher speeds. Just as an experiement I suggest you try to hold even a tiny window screen out the window at 45+ mph. The force is nearly as great as if that were a SOLID piece of board.

You are better off using some extra wide mesh, maybe like that almumin mesh or nylon fencing.

Good luck.
 
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