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Why doesn't the Mustang have a fully opened front grill?

Fly2High

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Looking at the S550, why is only a portion of the front grill open?

Is it purely to reduce drag?

Why not engineer the front so that the grill matches the open part?

Why hasn't anyone offered a fully opened grill and put say a tranny or diff cooler or any other cooling improvement there ?
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nrc

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Because the front is not engineered, it's styled.

Yeah, I know that's not entirely accurate. I'm sure a lot of engineering goes into the aerodynamics, etc. But the size of the overall grill opening depends on what the stylist dreams up as long as it's not too small for the cooling requirements.
 

NoVaGT

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I do wonder why the area in front of the CAI intake isn't completely open.

That just makes no damn sense.
 

EFI

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Because the front is not engineered, it's styled.
For sure it's engineered, but not for the reasons you think of. You better believe Ford spent alot of time and effort designing that front end to get just enough cooling to the engine while being as aerodynamically efficient as possible to meet CAFE mileage standards..

The styling engineers who designed the grill and honeycomb are probably cringing to this day for what those guys did to their grilles, especially the GT500 guys.
 

RichGT350R

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Just my $0.02. From what I read and how Jim Owens (Ford Performance) explained, it was to channel the airflow in the right places, yet not increase upward pressure on the underside of the hood at high speed.
 

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gadgtfreek

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Ive wondered if adding a big mouth on a NA would even matter. It seems the opening is pretty large, or large enough, going into a CAI from outside. Just haven't felt the urge to mess with installing the kit or making more air room.
 

mustanghammer

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As stated by others, they are balancing aerodynamics with cooling and intake induction efficiency.

With respect to cooling, while it seems counter intuitive, having a grill opening that is the same as the radiator will not make a car cool better. In fact, the faster you go, less grill opening is needed. Look at how small the grill opening is on a NASCAR race car.

For my race car, a rotary powered RX7 which runs extremely hot, the optimum grill opening turned out to be about 30% of the area of the radiator. This helps to maintain aerodynamics while allowing the grill opening (and the duct work behind it) to capture and direct air through the core of the radiator. In my case, making the grill opening bigger would not help cooling and would likely hurt aerodynamics.
 

NightmareMoon

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Just my $0.02. From what I read and how Jim Owens (Ford Performance) explained, it was to channel the airflow in the right places, yet not increase upward pressure on the underside of the hood at high speed.
From what I've read, for optimal cooling you want the radiator opening to be about 1/3 the size of the radiator. If you open it all the way up (without doing other things) you're not actually doing your cooling system any favors, and you're also trapping a lot of air and causing hood and aerodynamic lift on the front end. The apparent size of the front grill is for styling purposes only.
 

Mantis

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The opening is designed to flow the air to where it is needed most. Open the grill too wide and some airflow is going to flow around cooling components.

There are also concerns with the 18+ years with opening the grill as the increased pressure to/through the air inlet can cause a disturbance in the maf readings and cause issues. THe block grill protects from that. In fact the Whipple install manual indicates NOT to open the grill for 18+. If the maf sensor were further back on the pipe it may not be an issue.
 

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shogun32

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radiator cooling needs 'smooth' air and if the air just piles up in front of it in a messy convection pattern it doesn't flow thru but spills over. Hood vents and vanes to "organize" (aka break up large tumble) like used on dirt bikes would be helpful. Some people box the rads to minimize spillover or remove extraneous input flows.

crf450radiatorvanes.jpg
 

Cobra Jet

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All I can say is I do not even know how folks who have removed their entire front grille can drive around without major damages being caused to the A/C condenser core.

My 2018, I drive 500+ miles a week, excluding weekends. Aside from the normal bug accumulations, looking in through the factory upper grille, there’s a rather large impact to my A/C condenser. This impact dented not only the core row fins, but bent a core row back and upward as well. Not sure if that impact was caused by road debris, stone or large bug... I don’t even want to imagine what my A/C condenser core would look like WITHOUT a grille in front of it....
 

Balr14

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Too large a grille opening can significantly reduce air flow through the radiator. Air will follow the path of least resistance, which may be around the radiator, not through it. I found this out back in my old street rod building days, with cars from the 40s that often had huge grille openings.

If you recall the Firebirds and Camaros from 1993 through 2002, they had no grille opening. All the air was funneled underneath and up through the radiator. The openings were small be very efficient. There was an unusual side effect, in that the air intake would sometimes suck up snow with a supercharged engine.
 

Mantis

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All I can say is I do not even know how folks who have removed their entire front grille can drive around without major damages being caused to the A/C condenser core.

My 2018, I drive 500+ miles a week, excluding weekends. Aside from the normal bug accumulations, looking in through the factory upper grille, there’s a rather large impact to my A/C condenser. This impact dented not only the core row fins, but bent a core row back and upward as well. Not sure if that impact was caused by road debris, stone or large bug... I don’t even want to imagine what my A/C condenser core would look like WITHOUT a grille in front of it....
i join you with that concern. Debris can very quickly bring an end to a joy ride. Just look at this buildup after a cross country trip.
4063D0C5-A760-41EC-8491-095C124BCA9F.jpeg
 

IamCDNJosh

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Just my $0.02. From what I read and how Jim Owens (Ford Performance) explained, it was to channel the airflow in the right places, yet not increase upward pressure on the underside of the hood at high speed.
Good thing the aftermarket is there with hoods and grills to ruin the aero on the car.
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