View Full Version : 2003 Toyota Matrix Grill Block
I took this weekend to work on a grill block for my Matrix this weekend. The reason? My wife uses the car for work. She makes many trips from company to company throughout the day, many of them are short trips. So, anything I can do to reduce warm-up time should be of benefit not only to fuel economy and emissions, but also to her comfort (yes, bonus points for the husband.) :D
Anyway, its fairly straight forward I think. Here are some before and after pictures. It doesn't fit perfect, but its not bad. I also used toolless fasteners so they can be removed anytime.
After. Upper grill block.
After. Upper and lower grill block. I ran out of fasteners so I used the upper ones on the bottom until I ran to get more.
12-09-2007, 08:54 PM
Looks nice! Now paint those fasteners black and it will be great!
Right Lane Cruiser
12-09-2007, 10:40 PM
I'm impressed! Much better than my cardboard jammed in front of the radiator. :o
What did you make them out of?
12-09-2007, 10:52 PM
Looks really good
___Nice looking work!
Thanks for the compliments guys.
Your one step ahead of me Blake. I ran out of time so I didn't get a chance to do any painting. I had to go to Grandma's house to help her put up her Christmas tree. :) Maybe sometime this week after work... We'll just have to see.
The blocks are made out of foamboard (two thin plastic sheets w/ foam between them). This wasn't what I wanted to use, but it was the only thing I could find locally that fit the bill and was already black. I wanted to use corrugated plastic. However, the foamboard will have to work for the time being. I just don't think it'll deal well with rocks/ice chunks hitting it. I think corrugated plastic would hold up a lot better. The fastener is a spade thumb screw with a smaller fender washer in the front, and a large diameter fender washer in the back, with a wingnut to hold it together.
Right Lane Cruiser
12-10-2007, 09:31 AM
Mighty nice. I'd be interested in hearing how well that foamboard does hold up.
How did you make the templates for them?
I only made a template for the top block. It was made of cardboard. Quick, dirty, and easy to cut to size (used a good heavy scissors). The bottom block is just a rectangle with a slight radius at the top to follow the contour of the bumper, so it didn't need a template.
12-17-2007, 11:39 AM
Very cool Daox! I especially like the cut-out for the Toyota logo - I want people to know who made what I drive :) :)
I'm thinking I might try to do something like this for my FEH (would I owe you royalties? ;)) - it would definitely be more likely to hold up in the carwash than my cardboard-covered-with-tape grille-block :)
Where did you get the foamboard - office supply/art supply store?
I actually just looked over the block before I went to the meet Saturday as its been in use about a week now. Its of course half covered in ice. The smooth black covering over the board is now wrinkled on the outside, but the board itself is still intact. If I would have used the white side, I'm pretty sure it would still look fine. But, come summer I'll probably find something to replace it. However, if you are still wanting to try it out I picked it up at the local Hobby Lobby. I'll see if I can get updated pictures tonight of what it looks like now.
Alright, here are some pictures of the wrinkling. Its hard to see with all the salt so I cleaned off an area.
After removing some ice chunks...
12-17-2007, 06:31 PM
Daox, it seems to be doing well considering the abuse it's been through lately. How is it doing as far as the max coolant temp goes? The reason I ask is that I had to stop on the way to the meeting Saturday and remove one of my pipe-insulation pieces from the bottom slot when I saw my coolant temp go over 200F. The cooling fan comes on at 206F(?) and I didn't want the extra load messing up SHM.
That is a great question, and I don't have an answer. I haven't had the chance to hook up the scangauge to the Matrix since I put the grill block on. Once I get it back from my friend I'll be doing some testing when I have a spare minute. I should mention that the grill block only blocks the front of the car. Between the main structural memeber that holds the radiator and the plastic bumper cover is fully open on the underside of the car. I think I'll eventually need to close this up if I really want to get the temps up quick. After the structural member there is a full plastic shield almost to the back of the engine bay.
12-18-2007, 09:05 AM
... I should mention that the grill block only blocks the front of the car. Between the main structural memeber that holds the radiator and the plastic bumper cover is fully open on the underside of the car. I think I'll eventually need to close this up if I really want to get the temps up quick. After the structural member there is a full plastic shield almost to the back of the engine bay.
I'm seeing the same thing with the 'rolla. I'm not sure if I want to close that up or not. The coolant temps already get into the "almost too hot" range as is. I'm afraid that if I block it any more, it will get into that "too hot" range rather quickly. One side effect that I'm enjoying, is that with the warm ICE, I don't need to run the heat in the car. The little bit of airflow coming through the vents is enough to get me nice and toasty.
Has anyone done any or seen any testing with a full grill blockage / under body tray and its benefits in warming up? Doesn't have to be on a Matrix/Corolla. I realize the problems with overheating, I'm just wondering how well this works taken to the extreme?
12-18-2007, 02:35 PM
On my daily commute, 11 miles. I'm just picking a couple of my data points here.
No grill block, 60F ambient, final temp 141F
Full grill block, 60F ambient, final temp 190F
This is a complete front block, and the factory undertray covers the front half of the engine.
In preperation for my vacation trip to Wyoming this comming week I'm going over the Matrix to make sure she's ready to go. However, winter took its toll on my good 'ol foam board grill block. The nice satin black finish was totally worn off to a paper like material under it. Needless to say it looked kind of silly on an all black car. So, I took the night to remake the block in coroplast.
The old grill block. Still worked fine. I guess I'm just picky about looks.
The new grill block. Looks strikingly like the original. It has a few minor tweaks and fits slightly better.
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