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Mopar1973Man

Winter Fronts - Best way to keep you Cummins Warm!

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

Basically my winter front is a old road sign cut up to fit the opening in the grill. (Thank you! Kelly Hinkley - "The Metal Shop" Riggins, Idaho) I've seen several other ideas including, stainless steel, plexiglass, lexan, and several other materials. But the principal is simple. Keep the cold air from blowing across the radiator and engine. This will aid in engine warm up times and fuel mileage.

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Remember the cold air will extend the warm up times hence this will cause more fuel to be consumed till the engine is completely warmed up. (Roughly 160-190°F) I've seen about 5-10 miles before I got full engine temperature without the winter front. Now with the winter front its less than 3 miles to get full engine temperature.

Excessive cold air for air intake will actually degrade performance. So with the winter front in place it will trap more warm air under the hood for engine use. Compression engines (diesel) require compression of air to make heat to fire the fuel. When the air get cold enough it will start to degrade the performance and fuel economy.

As for overheating... Not likely. As long as the fan is in place with the winter front the fan will engage to help cool the engine down if the temperature was to rise from extra load or steep grade.

Updated - November 24, 2006

I'm seeing people that are putting a piece of cardboard in front of the coolers and radiators or putting it between the radiator and the coolers. Most people put a good size hole in the middle and insert it... This is WRONG! DON'T DO IT!

Why is cardboard inserted wrong??? Well when you put a piece of cardboard against radiator or coolers your block air flow completely all the time. Then when you cut a hole in the middle of the cardboard your blowing cold air on the fan clutch keeping it unlocked always... If the fan clutch did lock it couldn't cool the engine down you got cardboard block the flow of air. Remember also there is a lot of air pushing against this and will plug the face of the radiator/coolers with what ever material you use! The only air flow is going to be at the center where the hole is at... So now you got a overheat problem possibly with both coolant and exhaust temperatures.

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So why is the winter front CORRECT?? Because the winter front block the cold in coming air but it leave a gap between the grill and the coolers. So now if the fan should happen to lock it can pull full flow of air through it to cool not only the radiator but the intercooler too!

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flagmanruss    80
flagmanruss

This is a slick solution... I'll be scrappin my cardboard. What holds the winter front in place? Russ

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

This is a slick solution... I'll be scrappin my cardboard. What holds the winter front in place? Russ

Really simple... If you look in the middle of each panel you'll see a bolt (5/16" x 1 1/2") with a body wash on the back side tied down by a nyloc nut (5/16") They are slighly bowed so when you mount them up it will pull the bow inwards to keep them tight against the grill. They can't be pryed out and stolen...

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Guest   
Guest

So the airflow going throught the lower dam is enough to keep your engine cool?What temps would you think that people would benefit from having a winter front installed ?

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

With a winter front the engine can get to full operation temps in as little as 2-3 miles in -20*F weather instead of 10-12 miles. This makes for a big savings on fuel. Instead of running in cold mode for 10-15 miles your only running 2-3 miles. Now overheating... It can happen all the way up to 40*F outside temp. The fact is there is still air space around the radiator face and if the coolant starts to warm too much the fan locks and cools the truck back down. But if you got card board laying on the radiator then it overheat because it can't breathe... Like in the two pics with red warnings...

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dorkweed    313
dorkweed

I made my own winter front for my truck last week. I know in the past that I said I never needed one, but what the heck, I had some time and some spare parts!!! I essentially copied what you did Mike with yours!! :smart I made my front out of some clear lexan. I hope it holds up and doesn't get brittle in the real cold!!! I just hacked out the general shape and then fine tuned the fit on my belt sander. Not perfect, but good enough. I had the lexan in the garage.....all I had to buy was some bolts, washers and wing nuts. Came out to about $5.00 in hardware!!! It was 48 degrees here today and my truck ran at normal temps. :thumbsup There's still a lot of air getting to the cooling system with these in place even with the air restriction from these. Truck does warm up fast though!!! :thumbsup

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

Yeah but when the coolant is cold you don't have cold wind blowing across the radiator, block and such making it even longer to warm up... Like me I got to add in the last 2 covers on my grill it only 28-30*F right now... (Brrr)Last few day the mornings would be cold 32-35*F then warm up to 65-70*F during the day so I've been only running the upper 2 covers and left the lower 2 covers off. This allowed for quicker warm up but allowed for enough cool air to keep it from getting hot.

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dorkweed    313
dorkweed

Twas over 50* here on Friday, and my truck still ran at normal temps!!! Won't really know until it gets under freezing for a while!! Can't hurt though!!! :thumbsup

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Guest   
Guest

ok so i am getting ready to go to wyoming for work and my question in doesn't someone make a stainless stell replacement grill that you can like slide open when air is needed and close when its cold?

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

Just make a set out of what ever... I'm using a old aluminum sign and cut it up to fit the grill. I used a nut (Ny-loc) and bolt with a fender washer to hold it on.

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Little secret bow the metal slightly so as you tight the bolt up it sucks it flat against the grill... ;)

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flagmanruss    80
flagmanruss

I put my plastic winter front panels back on the CTD today. I cut the panels from some plastic sheets I bought from Modern Plastics for another project. The plastic is ~ .055", black all the way through. I posted some on this previously on the CAI thread. I had hoped to remove the egg-crate OEM grill to trace a pattern but ended up cracking a mounting foot & quit. I ended up with a cut & try approach. I tried several ways to cut the plastic, saws, snips, but finally did it best with shop scissors. Because the plastic material is pretty flexible, I used (2) 1/4-20 bolts (held the panel in place & trace the egg crate on the back, drill it on the bench). It's kind of arkward to reach around to tighten the nuts (I have serious numbness in 1 hand) so I replaced the fender washer, lock washer, nut with fender washer, marine self-locking nuts. I put all 4 panels in. Temps are running high 20's overnight to 60-65 days but I'm not working the truck... it's running on the thermostat. Russ

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flagmanruss    80
flagmanruss

Happily we're in a thaw right now... I'm noticing a fair sized gap between the bumper & grill / hood assembly. Front bodywork is sure not air tight, little risk of over heating. I find my winter fronts patterned after yours to be handy & trouble free. It's really nice to get the truck fully warmed up on short trips. Russ

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

Remember you got the holes in the bumper and then the gap between the grill and bumper. so no it takes quite a bit to over heat it... But it block and lot of cold air from blowing in.

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dorkweed    313
dorkweed

Very rarely do I get to truly test my winter front out. I live in suburbia and I rarely get to drive without stopping to see how fast the engine will reach "normal operating temperature"!! However, on my Thanksgiving trip to ND, they worked quite well. With temps in the teens, we left our lodgings one mornings and drove about 12 miles to where we were gonna hunt. My truck was at normal operating temperature in about 6 miles. That's with essentially no warm up also.....Everyone gets in, start the truck, ask if anyone forgot anything, and then head out!!!! They work. If I lived way farther North, I'd consider the full engine blanket thing that a lot of the Canucks recommend!! :thumbsup

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flagmanruss    80
flagmanruss

Had to fire the CTD up today... wife moved my Cirrus & the plugged in Sat Nav drained the battery overnight. Just a run to the diner & back... stone cold start. Sensor for overhead must be under the hood. Read 30 degrees... Loafing along ran up to 39. The motor warmed up to normal operating temp within 5 miles. One of these days I'm gonna stick a probe into the air box.

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LiveOak    71
LiveOak

You can make your own or you can buy a set of winter fronts for your truck from a guy named Eric Buckel.Eric Buckel Location: 6139 south 4480 westSalt Lake City, Utah 84118USA Telephone: 801-965-6358 Tough ABS Plastic panels that bolt in your grille to reduce cold air and help your engine warm up faster.. No drilling.$30 for chrome grille$35 for Sport modelboth are shipped for $7 shipping I have his winter fronts installed on both of our trucks. I leave mine on until mid summer. Not only to they help engine warm up and keeping it warm, they also help to reduce the bugs in the condenser big time. :thumbsup I used nylock nuts instead of the standard nut and lock washer in the hardware kit.

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flagmanruss    80
flagmanruss

Depending on materials availability & how much you value your time... it might be cheaper to just buy winter front panels.Russ

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LiveOak    71
LiveOak

Depending on materials availability & how much you value your time... it might be cheaper to just buy winter front panels. Russ

I pretty much came to that conclusion in my case because buying a sheet of similar material stock was almost the cost of just buying the winter fronts. A note on the winter fronts after they are installed.......I go over the screw heads with a Sharpie permanent marker to black them out so they match the winter front covers. Kinda half *** but it is way cheaper than black anodized screws. LOL

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Mopar1973Man    3,785
Mopar1973Man

Like myself it no worse to find an old road sign laying in the ditch and take it home to chop pu fo winter fronts. I brushed the aluminum and used stainless steel bolts so it all match the grill yet... :thumbsup

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ISX    58
ISX

I went 20 miles at 60mph today until the thermostat finally opened... Your idea is awesome. I got a couple signs here too LOL We got a tig and I am gonna put a bolt on each side and tig the bolt head to the sign back so i dont have to look at that bolt head. I really dont care about it but I got 3 days off so I am gonna make this thing look good B) I will let you know if I can get the same results as you did (2-3mile warm up) I been wondering about the exhaust brake thing for idling and warming it up quick but man..$$$$ :wow Wish there was some cheap way to do it, all I want it for is for warm up though so I would think there would be some very cheap way to do it.. using an old wastegate maybe?? not sure. BTW, your site is great too, hasnt got the 300 same topic posts like all those other forums :thumbsup

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ISX    58
ISX

Damn now i actually got something to do a good job for LOL I will take some though!

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LiveOak    71
LiveOak

Thin plastic sheet material stock is much easier to machine and form to the correct shape, plus it is not nearly as abrasive to the chrome on the grill.

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ISX    58
ISX

Hmm, well I got a plasma cutter and grinder with a flapper wheel.. I think I can round it over enough on the edges to keep the grill from getting scuffed up too bad, plus I still want to hide those bolts... not sure how to do that with plastic. My grill isn't the greatest anyways though so I am not that worried about it.

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