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Official Forklift Driver
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Folks,

Long story short, My radiator area was packed with all kinds of crap from grass blades to a plastic bag which caused my engine cooling and oil temps to be teetering on the 250 degree range. I cooked a few parts under my hood because of that. I cleaned that out and it ran much cooler, of course. Then 1 year later I checked in on that radiator area and damn, it started filling up again. I went with a homemade debris screen to prevent that build-up from happening again.

There is a sponsor over at CF that sells radiator debris screens. The product looks good visually and looks like it should work preety good but DAMN!!! $129 for a sheet of Stainless Steel!? :surprised :surprised :rolleyes:
Holemaster

The only way anyone would see it is if they got down on all fours and looked under the nose for it. This piece does not have to be visually attracting. I made my own debris screen with some galvanized chicken wire from Home Depot. I zip tied the top and used the bolts for the spoiler center section to fasten the bottom. The chicken wire can be cut to fit PERFECTLY leaving no gaps what so ever. Best part is I spent no more than $20 and I have enough chicken wire left to do 2 more cars! :cool:

Of course my radiator area is set up differently than the slant style radiators but after looking at many C5's and F-Bodys the same chicken wire can be used on those also. They just have different mounting points. And you DO need one whether you know it or not. The ones with the worst build-up was any car with the Ram Air through the radiator shroud set up. Any car, it didn't matter C4, C5 Firebird.... get under there and feel all the way up toward the top of you air box. Next in line are the daily drivers, yep you need to check too. For you Garage Queens, just put one on just so you know it will never get clogged. When you make your screen selection at the hardware store, make sure it will keep out small debris but not hinder the airflow like a window sreen would.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask and oh, I'll be at the PowerHouse show on June 1st if anyone cares to take a look at my screen.

Have a Nice day. :buhbye:
 

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That's a clever idea; hope it does the job. You will know by next spring how effective it is.

I think a lot of C4 owners don't realize how much "stuff" accumulates in there.

My radiator was replaced 3yrs ago just after I took possession and I recently removed a pile of leaves and debris that nearly came to half way up the radiator.

If you don't use a debris screen this area should be on the "spring cleaning" chart.

I run a SLP ram-air intake so this is another reason I clean the K&N several times per year, regardless of mileage.
 

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John,
Pretty good idea, thanks. I have access to a Strippit punch press @ work. There's about 5 minutes of programming time, 15 mins of engineering time (to get dimensions and layout) on that job. There's also about $20 tops worth of material there.
If I get some free time to do this I'll let you know.
 

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DC Pit Crew
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great tip....:D
 

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Official Forklift Driver
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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by 65Z01
That's a clever idea; hope it does the job. You will know by next spring how effective it is.


Every once in a while I get an itch to pull the upper shroud off and look in there but the knowing the PIA factor of doing that kicks in right before I do it. :laughing:

I bent down and checked on it last week and I didn't see anything that got past the screen that is in front of the condensor. I did see a few dead bumble bee's that got wedged in between the screen and the spoiler.


If you don't use a debris screen this area should be on the "spring cleaning" chart.
Without a doubt!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

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Official Forklift Driver
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Discussion Starter #7
vettn94 said:
John,
Pretty good idea, thanks. I have access to a Strippit punch press @ work. There's about 5 minutes of programming time, 15 mins of engineering time (to get dimensions and layout) on that job. There's also about $20 tops worth of material there.
If I get some free time to do this I'll let you know.
That's cool Nick! :cool:

Whip one up for your car and let us know how it works! The later C4's with the slant style radiator and C5 are more difficult to do than mine. It's all about getting around the center spoiler. Plus I know the C5 for sure has no protection on the bottom between the A/C condensor and radiator.
 

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Official Forklift Driver
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Discussion Starter #8
Just a friendly reminder ttt or just plain 'ol Public Service Announcement. :D

There is a post on CF that 69mako started about his home made debris screen. http://forums.corvetteforum.com/zerothread?id=609845 Keep in mind that you can use whatever you want as long as you don't block the airflow.

The reason I left out the other generations in my original post is b/c I've never seen the underside of one. I just saw my first earlier this week and it was a 1978. I really couldn't tell if it needed one or not. The radiator is way back in the nose clip and I saw no debris in the nose at all. The bottom in between the radiator and condensor was completely covered like it is on the early C4. I didn't get a chance to ask the owner if he's cleaned it out already. So the jury is still out on those generations, unless someone can get on here and let the others know if a debris screen would be benificial to them.

Keep 'em cool! :thumbsup:
 

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aloha,
im not trying to be a smart butt,i like to fabricate.if the holes a to big(chickin wire)cigarette butts will still get up there with little chuncks of rubber making it threw also,this is what i find most often,holes to small and paper bags,tarps,etc..will clog up the screen and more over heating problems.i guess its easier to clean the screen instead of radiator/condensor.you may laugh,but i clean mine once a month.i use industrial strenght coil cleaner(for a/c condensors).its so humid in hawaii the a/c runs all the time.so i made a monthly list- radiator and condensor cleaning,a/c drain from inside car(big time for c5s),fluid checks,fluid leaks, battery volts and leaks,and clean MAS wires with electric cleaner,if you use a scanner on your car(i do)you can see a difference.dont forget dirt alone will clog radiator fins.my car is so low i can suck things in that are not even in front of the car.wow,250* is up there.how long,that can take a toll on head gaskets.good reminder as most people over look alot of these type things.good times Todd.
 

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Official Forklift Driver
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Discussion Starter #10
aloha,

Thanks for the heads up to the people. I completely understand about the chicken wire, you are correct, that would be almost useless to use. I forgot what it was that I bought so I said chicken wire in the original post. What I made my screen out of is 1/4" hardware cloth. When I originally took the radiator out, the bottom 1/4 of it was packed with mud and grime. I drilled 5 nickle size holes in my lower radiator support in between the radiator and condensor in hopes that rain water or spray from the hose will wash the dirt down those hole instead of letting it build up and clog the radiator again. I'm sure that helped the temps hit 250. I ended up losing the head gaskets 8 months after the high temp situation. It's been 8 months now and so far so good with my current set-up. :thumbsup:
 

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:thumbsup: the holes probably work good.on my current car,i have such a big piece cut out of the shroud its pretty easy to get in there now:thumbsup: good to see you back on the forum.i remember you said you would be off for a little while.:partyon:
 
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