Track-Day/Aero Mod: DIY Cooling Plate

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When it comes to increasing the cooling efficiency of a radiator, it is necessary to seal all of its’ edges along the intake path to prevent air from leaking, or moving around, the cooling fins.

Doing so effectively increases cooling efficiency, reduces lift, and makes the car more aerodynamic. I did this so I could install a partial grill block for even better aero without affecting the cooling capability on my 2.0, but this will be beneficial for the 1.5T guys as well.

The stock grill flows fairly well and has somewhat of a seal on the bottom and sides, but is extremely lacking on the top of the radiator, where a large gap exists.

Additionally, aftermarket cooling plates are nothing more than underhood bling and do not provide a seal in any form. This DIY goes over a cost-effective method of sealing the top of the radiator to provide better cooling. A side effect of this mod is increased efficiency of the AC system as well.

Supplies needed:

-12x36” ABS plastic 1/8” thickness
- Double sided foam/sealing tape
- zip ties
- drill
-knife
-reciprocating saw

Measurements don’t need to be exact. I just eyeballed the contour of the bumper, marked it, and cut it to shape.

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The seal is what’s important, so foam/tape should be placed where the plate meets the top of the radiator and front bumper support.

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Now, I should mention that I removed my bumper for demonstration purposes, but that is NOT necessary to fabricate and install this piece.

I secured the piece by using zip ties on the radiator support brackets and hood release mechanism. I used a 3/8” bit to drill the holes, but a knife/dremel will work too.

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This piece fits under the stock radiator shroud and does not require any modification of the bumper or related components. It does not interfere with the stock hood latch mechanism either.
Total cost was under $20.

I installed this piece last year and even with a partial grill block, it never budged above 190* in south MS/LA summer heat. I’ll be putting it to the test again this summer when I drive through the Sonoran desert.

 
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I thought I would expound on my theory and where I got it from. It started with studying airplane radiator aerodynamics, but the principle is the same for cars.

http://contrails.free.fr/engine_aerodyn_radia_en.php

sml_radia_lignes.png

Photo GTH

It is often wrongly believed that a radiator or finned barrel directly exposed in a free airstream will achieve efficient cooling.

Actually, less than one third of the air arriving in front of the radiator will effectively flow across the core. The rest will flow around the obstacle, not without violent turbulence.
The efficiency is poor and the drag is prohibitive.
My overall goal here is to create a sealed duct that doesn’t allow any air to go around the radiator, thereby increasing cooling efficiency through a reduction in turbulence.
 

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Good to see so much interest in this all of the sudden!! I have been messing around in the same area but for a different purpose....cleaner colder airflow to the intake. Since you have been in there to look did you notice how the factory allows air to the vent in the stock cooling plate to the intake? look at what is right under the placement of the factory opening....radiator....
 
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Good to see so much interest in this all of the sudden!! I have been messing around in the same area but for a different purpose....cleaner colder airflow to the intake. Since you have been in there to look did you notice how the factory allows air to the vent in the stock cooling plate to the intake? look at what is right under the placement of the factory opening....radiator....
On the 2.0 It uses a separate bumper scoop which leads to the sealed airbox. You’d be better off first sealing the radiator, then making a separate duct for the intake, if you’re dead set on using that location, preferably using a sealed airbox with no gaps.

I experimented for years trying to make that location work, but I found that heat soak always degraded performance eventually. The front fender I’ve found is far superior for the coldest possible air ala PRL Cobra.

FB9ADF5C-B39C-4A23-B180-67EB876BEC1D.jpeg
 

scallywag502

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On the 2.0 It uses a separate bumper scoop which leads to the sealed airbox. You’d be better off first sealing the radiator, then making a separate duct for the intake, if you’re dead set on using that location, preferably using a sealed airbox with no gaps.

I experimented for years trying to make that location work, but I found that heat soak always degraded performance eventually. The front fender I’ve found is far superior for the coldest possible air ala PRL Cobra.

FB9ADF5C-B39C-4A23-B180-67EB876BEC1D.jpeg
Really interested in this thread/ creating cooler conditions. After installing the RV6 catless downpipe and aem short ram intake on my 2.0L, i've noticed some not terrible, but not preferable intake temps. I've long thought about extending the intake down to the lower fender instead of in the bay, and it seems you've done it. Have you a thread explaining how you did this? If not, I'd love some advice on doing this.
Thanks!
 

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The stock grill flows fairly well and has somewhat of a seal on the bottom and sides, but is extremely lacking on the top of the radiator, where a large gap exists.
Really interested in this thread/ creating cooler conditions. After installing the RV6 catless downpipe and aem short ram intake on my 2.0L, i've noticed some not terrible, but not preferable intake temps.
Thanks!
Hold up- have ya'll not checked out one of these "high-airflow" aftermarket grills yet? Since I didn't see them being mentioned here yet (unless I missed something).

They are a significantly more open design compared to the restrictive stock grill. Here's an active thread regarding it:

https://www.civicx.com/threads/new-performance-grille-for-10th-gen-civics.16873/page-17

There should also be some cheaper ones on ebay, but I don't think they come with an emblem.
 
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The problem with some of those aftermarket high flow grilles is that they do not align with the OEM cooling channels on the sides of the radiator, which is bad for aerodynamics, as much of the air is going move around the radiator and not through the cooling fins. My link expains why.

This results in reduced cooling efficiency and an increase in drag and lift. And the purpose of this modification is as much for aerodynamic improvement as it is for cooling efficiency.

I personally had one, and while it looked cool, it didn’t function as well as stock so I changed it out.

EEF38D12-F4C5-49F5-8E6F-80BE426649E9.jpeg
 

scallywag502

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Hold up- have ya'll not checked out one of these "high-airflow" aftermarket grills yet? Since I didn't see them being mentioned here yet (unless I missed something).

They are a significantly more open design compared to the restrictive stock grill. Here's an active thread regarding it:

https://www.civicx.com/threads/new-performance-grille-for-10th-gen-civics.16873/page-17

There should also be some cheaper ones on ebay, but I don't think they come with an emblem.
I actually have already installed one, and it works great, and i have now decided to eventually install an intake hose from the bottom of my aem heat shield/airbox, leading down to the lower fender. Ill try to post pics when ive done this!

 

 
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