Saturday, January 9, 2021

Radiator Grille Install: Porsche Project 6

Flying Car?

We've been loving the 2009 Cayman, and taking care of minor maintenance this winter too. Today's project is designed to help prevent problems with the two front radiators. This is something I've read about in the past, that the design of the car can result in road debris getting stuck up against the radiators, so you have to clean them out. The radiators are located low to the ground, with one on the driver side and one on the passenger side, hidden about 15 inches inside the front of the bumper. This design results in plenty of air flowing to the radiators, but also allows leaves, pinecones, and other foreign debris to get trapped in these little caverns, and just clump up in front of the cooling fins. The part of the bumper in front of the caves has some cool looking slats, but they are still just wide open, so that's where all the leaves get in. 

Orange circles show you the radiator grill ducts

Luckily, there are smart people out there who have developed screens to install near the bumper opening that will block the debris, but still let plenty of air get where it needs to go. After Googling around a few different designs and different price ranges, here's what we spent our money on for this: 

This screen will go on the passenger side. It comes with the 3 zip-ties already attached!
Another screen in the kit takes care of the driver side. 

From the cleverly titled Radiator Grille Store, we will install these beauties, one in each radiator duct, and hopefully help keep those radiators working like they should, and eliminate the risk of any damage from extra "stuff" getting in the way. 

You could do this by removing the entire bumper assembly, or 
just squeeze the new cover and your hand in between these slats in the opening like I did. 
Also in this photo you see the opening leading back to the radiator is plenty big enough
to let in leaves, trash, small rocks, etc. 

Bunch of leaves stuck in front of the radiator. Step 1 was to reach in, and pull it all out, 
with a little help from the shop-vac. If you've got really skinny arms no problem, otherwise
plan on scratching up your hand and arms a little bit. 

No more debris! Time to install the grills to prevent this from happening in the first place!

Here's the grill in place, now I just have to tighten up the zip ties around the original grill slats. Other than the shop-vac, and something to reach the leaves in there, no tools required!
Oh, and get a knife or something to trim the zip ties. 

This all might sound like over-kill to keep the radiators clear, so I just think of the NASCAR or F1 races I've seen where just a little bit of blockage in front of a radiator can ruin a race by slowing the car, causing it to overheat, or even knock the driver out of the race. Not that I'm being paid to drive or anything, but getting my money's worth out of the radiator makes sense to me!

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