Front crossmember rubber flappy thing

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BeefFajitas
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Front crossmember rubber flappy thing

Post by BeefFajitas » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:44 am

Does anyone know the purpose of the rubber flappy thing hanging down off the front crossmember? I'm wondering if I can leave the piece of sheet metal, that holds the flappy thing, off the car.
-Nate
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Post by flylear45 » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:01 am

Without it in place my car gets hotter on prolonged drives at highway speeds. It seems to help direct the airflow through the radiator. I made one out of a piece of garden edging material.
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Post by Colin » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:49 am

Hrmmm...? :?

I guess mine has already been removed, then. :?
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Post by DereX » Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:05 am

I know its designed to direct air into the engine bay to help cool the car, says somewhere in the shop manuel that its not recomended to drive without it.

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Post by Mike McCreight » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:43 am

It's supposed to create a vacuum under the car, to draw more air through the rad. My "new" one is made of black rubber runner designed for floor protection, backed with a strip of stiff plastic. It DOES make a difference...
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Post by anglin » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:56 am

Colin wrote:I guess mine has already been removed, then. :?
Very, very few cars have their original flaps in place. There should be one at the bottom of the radiator and one along the front edge of the front crossmember. I've replaced the one at the crossmember on my racer, but never bothered to replace them on any of the XRs I've owned over the years.

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Post by BeefFajitas » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:58 am

I'll hang onto it then!

I think I noticed some VWs with the flappy thing too when I was at the dealership my friend works.
-Nate
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Post by Freejack » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:56 am

Just a note for those who need to replace that piece and want something that will last longer than garden edging, use round baler belting.

If you are in farm country, or near any place that sells hay equipment, most of those places will stock round baler belting in bulk, just ask for a few feet of 3" wide belting. Its nylon re-enforce rubber, so it will handle things like curbs without tearing.

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Post by BeefFajitas » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:25 pm

anglin wrote:
Colin wrote:I guess mine has already been removed, then. :?
Very, very few cars have their original flaps in place. There should be one at the bottom of the radiator and one along the front edge of the front crossmember. I've replaced the one at the crossmember on my racer, but never bothered to replace them on any of the XRs I've owned over the years.
Hmmm.. I've got the crossmember one. I don't think I had one on the radiator on either of my cars.

That's kinda why I wasn't sure about it. I've heard it was for getting air into the radiator, but I can't see how the flap behind the radiator is going to help. The flap behind might actually build up pressure behind the radiator, which wouldn't help.

Anyone with a cosworth-type grill opening and no flap have trouble with cooling? I wonder if the grill opening will help enough to not need the flap.
-Nate
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Post by Ed Lijewski » Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:44 pm

anglin wrote:
Colin wrote:I guess mine has already been removed, then. :?
Very, very few cars have their original flaps in place. There should be one at the bottom of the radiator and one along the front edge of the front crossmember. I've replaced the one at the crossmember on my racer, but never bothered to replace them on any of the XRs I've owned over the years.
Chris: This isn't to pick a fight--just want to know your source of reference for this. As many times (MANY!) I've R&R-ed XR radiators for one reason or another I've seen no indication of where an air deflector might have been installed. What was the size and shape of it?

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Post by vcallaway » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:10 pm

Rapido also sells a kit to replace these.

The purpose is to create a low pressure zone behind the radiator to draw more air through. The mount comes off easy. There are about a half dozen bolts across the bottom of the crossmember. Remove those and the mounting plate slides forward and comes out. You can then repair it on a bench instead of crawling around under the car.

Another source of material is mudflaps. You can find various sizes at truck and RV supply places.
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Post by jasonty » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:46 pm

Some "early" cars had them. call Russ @ Rapido if you need to confirm. ive seen 1 that i can recall

Ed Lijewski wrote:
anglin wrote:
Colin wrote:I guess mine has already been removed, then. :?
Very, very few cars have their original flaps in place. There should be one at the bottom of the radiator and one along the front edge of the front crossmember. I've replaced the one at the crossmember on my racer, but never bothered to replace them on any of the XRs I've owned over the years.
Chris: This isn't to pick a fight--just want to know your source of reference for this. As many times (MANY!) I've R&R-ed XR radiators for one reason or another I've seen no indication of where an air deflector might have been installed. What was the size and shape of it?

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Post by anglin » Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:06 pm

Ed Lijewski wrote:... just want to know your source of reference for this. As many times (MANY!) I've R&R-ed XR radiators for one reason or another I've seen no indication of where an air deflector might have been installed. What was the size and shape of it?
I'm not completely positive, because I've never had an intact flap on any of my XRs. However, I have seen the rivets and the remnants of remaining material along the bottom edge of the radiator. I think it was on my racer (an 87), so I don't know about Jason's suggestion about early vs. late, or at least what defines early and late. I'd go look at my road car, but I'm pretty sure it has a replacement radiator.

As radiators are replaced (I was replacing the radiator on my racer when I saw it), the evidence of them goes away. But, who knows, you could be an original owner who R&Red the radiator the week you purchased the car as practice for future tasks.

I do know that my installation instructions for the Rapido IC include mention of cutting the flap to allow the IC pluming to pass by more closely. I think there is actually a picture of it in the directions. (I KNEW I hung onto those directions for 12 years for a reason!)

I don't think the flap was very large. Perhaps just about 2" from the bottom edge. It should have been the width of the radiator. Based on my memory of the "forensic investigation" of the flap remnants, it is made of the same material as the flaps that are on the sides of the radiator (attached to the chassis, not the radiator), assuming my memory is accurate.

So, my info comes from a variety of sources. Unfortunately I can't say that my information is more than just obscure.

That reminds me... when I put the replacement (homemade) flap on the crossmember of my racer, I installed it with steel bolts. Since the factory used aluminum rivets, I guess I need to redo my fastening system, or else I would have made it HEAVIER than stock. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was I thinking?!?!

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Post by John Brennan » Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:59 pm

I remember reading, many years ago, in Rapido Group TSB publications (all of which I still have), that the cars were supposed to come from the factory with a rubber seal/flap at the bottom of the rad. However, my '88, which I got new, never had one, so I think it was discontinued at some point.

All the cars, of course, have the air dam under the crossmember (4 10mm bolts), which has the effect of "pulling" and "elongating" the low-pressure area behind the rad to be behind the crossmember-- and thus to the rear of the engine compartment-- in order to more effectively "suck" air past the turbo/engine/transmission area.

I have often wondered whether some horizontal panels, mounted between the crossmember and the lower lip of the front bumper, might not only be better at this, but also keep dirt and debris out of the engine compartment as well. These are seen as OE on many cars.
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Post by Ed Lijewski » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:36 pm

anglin wrote:... I have seen the rivets and the remnants of remaining material along the bottom edge of the radiator. ....
I don't think the flap was very large. Perhaps just about 2" from the bottom edge. It should have been the width of the radiator. Based on my memory of the "forensic investigation" of the flap remnants, it is made of the same material as the flaps that are on the sides of the radiator (attached to the chassis, not the radiator), assuming my memory is accurate.
Attached to the front, or rear, bottom edge of the radiator?

OK, here's goes another commitment of theory without possession of a license: maybe that flap was intended to increase air flow through the A/C condenser. :idea: :?:

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