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Grille Swap / Air Intake Alignment


Eltee

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I swapped the grille of my XLT with an all black grille from a Sport. I searched but could not find much about this, the intake to the air cleaner box now seems blocked by the panel behind the honeycomb of the new grille.

In my search I found some comments about not worrying about the differences in the grille layouts but I wonder if air intake would be improved if I opened up the area in front of the intake as shown in this pic with the grille off. My logical side says the airbox was designed for a direct access to incoming air (similar to a "ram air" intake layout) but the car seems to be running fine as is. I just get OCD sometimes. :)

Any input appreciated.

AirIntake.jpg
 


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Eltee

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I am thinking if MIGHT improve cold air intake to the filter box if I remove the material in the marked area (lined up with the opening to the air box as seen in the other photo).

I swear I thought a saw a post where someone did cut out some of the grille filler pieces behind the honeycomb to allow airflow into the air box but I searched for several minutes without finding it.

AirIntake2.jpg


ExpNuFront.jpg
 
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Sgt1411

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LT,

What I did with my 2014 Sport Grill was to use a Dremel tool and carefully cut away the solid gray material directly behind the mesh where the new grill covers the airbox intake opening. Without cutting the gray mesh.

Obviously, while the grill was off the vehicle to improve access to the back of the grill area.

 




Eltee

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LT,

What I did with my 2014 Sport Grill was to use a Dremel tool and carefully cut away the solid gray material directly behind the mesh where the new grill covers the airbox intake opening. Without cutting the gray mesh.

Obviously, while the grill was off the vehicle to improve access to the back of the grill area.

That's exactly what I was looking for, thanks. Too bad my grille is already mounted. When I get ambitious I'll pull it off (worried about breaking those plastic tabs).

My OTHER (alternate) theory is that the engineers designed a "fresh air chamber" between the back of the grille and the sealed off area ahead of the engine bay as shown in the picture in Post # 1 of this thread. There also seems to be some sort of channeling of airflow based on the deliberate design (see backside of grille in Post #2) albeit for a different vehicle / engine type.

May see if I can compare outside air temp, intake air temp, and engine air temp using my ScanGauge 2.

Or, I'll quit being lazy and pull off the grille and cut it.

Wonder if doing the 60's era method of funneling air directly from the outside of the grille into the airbox intake would make an improvement? Would be very easy to do once I gut out the hole in the grille backing.
 




drudis

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FYI, another way of getting rid of backing is a belt sander to "thin" thru the material in the back..

I did this on my Mustang (notice extreme right/left edges):



 




Eltee

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I am thinking more and more based on Sgt1411's photo in Post # 3 and my photo in Post # 1 that there is potential to create an old school Cold Air Intake system. Old muscle car CAI's often used a piece of thick foam / rubber to direct outside air into the air box. My thoughts are lining up the hole in the grille with the intake port on the air box, thereby using the OEM air box and filter design, and connecting the two with a piece foam / rubber which would allow the box to draw cold air from outside of the engine bay.

I may have to factor in a way to divert water unless someone knows offhand if the airbox has a water channel built into it.
 
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Jon M

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I am thinking more and more based on Sgt1411's photo in Post # 3 and my photo in Post # 1 that there is potential to create an old school Cold Air Intake system. Old muscle car CAI's often used a piece of thick foam / rubber to direct outside air into the air box. My thoughts are lining up the hole in the grille with the intake port on the air box, thereby using the OEM air box and filter design, and connecting the two with a piece foam / rubber which would allow the box to draw cold air from outside of the engine bay.

I may have to factor in a way to divert water unless someone knows offhand if the airbox has a water channel built into it.
Odds are the computer would just compensate for the extra air, and you'd see no change. That's basically what happens anyway, if it isn't tuned to the change in air flow.
 




Eltee

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I have a tuner used for my previous Explorer Sport Trac and planning to later purchase a tune or two for the XLT if the machine is compatible.
 




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