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JohnCRS
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2020/08/06 11:41:51 (permalink)

Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread

Fitting radiator grilles – or not.  This thread is in response to many queries from Cayman Register members.
 
Firstly the disclaimer.  This is based on my research and personal experience and is not attributable in any way to the Porsche Club GB or its representatives.
 
All Caymans have intakes in the front bumper, some larger than others.  These provide air for radiators and condensers.  These are largely unprotected on all but the GT models, allowing small furry animals, sundry bits of vegetation, rubbish and road debris to enter.  There is no exit so it all accumulates.  This accelerates corrosion of the radiators etc. which are already vulnerable to being punctured by stones.
 
Two basic strategies:
1.  Leave as Porsche intends, in which case a good vacuum cleaner with a long hose is recommended to regularly suck the rubbish out.  This is easier on some (981 GTS) than others (987 R).  In addition, I found it beneficial to remove the front bumper annually, to give everything a good clean and attend to any issues. (every 15000 miles in my case).
 
2.  Fit some sort of grilles:
                2.1          DIY.  Both aluminium and plastic meshes are available from the usual suppliers and on line.  The aluminium is easy to handle in that it can be easily shaped to fit over the back of the apertures and fixed in place with a silicone putty or other bonding agent.  The same applies to plastic which can be usually moulded with a heat gun (although best to experiment a bit first!)  The downside is that it is virtually impossible to do without removing the bumper and the more securely they are fitted, the harder they are to get off.
                2.2          After market grilles designed for the specific model.  My personal experience is from using Zunsport grilles which are of good quality, were easily fitted and do not detract from the overall appearance of the car.  They are removed as easily as they go on, taking about 30 minutes.  A discount code is available on the Forum.
 
3D printing has also opened up possibilities for individual grille design and production.  There have been some comments on the forum about this development but I have not seen any results.  Please post links to any information found elsewhere on line that might be helpful.
 
Risks: there have been suggestions, including from informed sources, that fitting grilles would reduce the air volume sufficiently to cause overheating and related engine problems.  However I cannot find any reference to this happening in practice, or reported detectable rises in operating temperatures.  There is plenty of information about corroded radiators and condensers.
 
Warranty: again, from my research and from personal experience fitting grilles will impact warranty cover. 
 
1. Manufacturers warranty in first three years:  under the terms of this Porsche warranty grilles should only lead to a rejected claim if they were shown to have caused, directly or indirectly, the  fault being investigated.  Therefore, grilles should not affect your claim, but may make it more difficult.
 
2. Extended warranty after first three years: this is essentially an insurance policy and the underwriter dictates the terms.  Every item on the car should be to the original specification, including things like battery, wiper blades and other consumables.  Fitting of grilles or any other non OEM modifications invalidates the extended warranty.  An extended warranty requires a 111 point check of the car by an OPC.  They have been instructed that a car should not pass if grilles are fitted and, in most cases, will not even start the check.
 
There have been reports of exceptions to all of this, but I do not think these can be relied upon.  There are also instances of owners fitting grilles after obtaining their extended warranty, but the cost of the warranty is a lot to put at risk.  Perhaps not surprisingly, none have admitted to having a claim subsequently refused. 
 
Conclusion: radiators, themselves, are not covered by any of the warranties, so fitting of some protective grilles is well worth the effort.  However they are not compatible with the extended warranty and if you are considering that, the increased vulnerability of the radiators should be factored into the equation as an additional potential cost.
post edited by JohnCRS - 2020/08/07 11:08:31

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33 Replies

ralphmusic
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/08/06 11:47:10 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby TimG 2020/10/01 12:34:40
..and in the case of the Porsche mesh on the GT4, small stones still seem to find a way through although a deer or badger would find it difficult.
 
Ralph 

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COD981
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/08/06 12:08:28 (permalink)
If you hit a deer (common occurance here in Scotland) the grille will be the last of your worries there won't be anything left to attach the grille to 😂
AlistairF
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/08/06 14:35:27 (permalink)
I have just had the condensers changed on my 981s. One had sprung a leak and was replaced under extended warranty.
While I understand why some may be concerned about reduced airflow, the number of crushed fins and dead flies on mine must have reduced the airflow to an extent anyway... 
AndrewCS
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/08/06 16:26:41 (permalink)
ralphmusic..and in the case of the Porsche mesh on the GT4, small stones still seem to find a way through although a deer or badger would find it difficult. …. Ralph

 
1,000 miles into testing that … 
 
The few badgers encountered have already been `terminated` but best to still avoid, they have very `hard heads` that`ll damage most things !
 
 
> 5,000rpm usually warns the Deers off 
 
 

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legin
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/08/06 18:46:37 (permalink)
My 981 spyder met with a badger and the resulting bill was £11k, shortened the trunk by 25% !. The centre grill once straightened out is now fitted to my 987 boxster S. I took the PU off so its fitted behind and I did it at the same time as replacing the condensers. virtually invisible on my black car and no adverse effects. 
Good enough for a spyder then good enough for my boxster.
Buddy
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/08/09 12:43:11 (permalink)
My view on fitting grilles has been that if such obstruction drops the air pressure in front of the radiator then it will also drop the temperature of the air so as speed increases there is a trade off with flow and temperature, I've never noticed any increase in temperature with either type of grilles that I have used on my 987.1 nor my 987.2.
 
In general any restriction caused by a build up of leaves  and small creatures will be far more detrimental in both cooling capacity and in the  likelihood of corrosion of radiators and condensers. I think personally that Porsche have been very remiss in failing to fit some form of grille on most of their models for years and even a slot below the rads to allow stones and debris to remove itself or alternatively an access to allow inspection and cleaning the space between radiator and condenser from the bottom of the PU.

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Wollemi
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/09/04 17:42:36 (permalink)
Some OPCs are more lenient than others regarding the fitting of Zunsport grilles. My OPC actually suggested that I should get some fitted and apologised that they were not allowed to do the work. They happily renewed my extended warranty with the grilles on. 
( There were fitted over the plastic slats on a 987.2 so impossible to miss)

Graham - R7 CoG member
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AlistairF
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/09/08 16:25:24 (permalink)
I have now fashioned some grills using black aluminium mesh for fitting without removing the bumper etc for my 981 Boxster S
 
As the videos on the net will show, make a cardboard template first, however the one I watched skipped the game of wriggling a sharp edged section of cut mesh through the slots.
 
The mesh needs folding to get it through and I added a rubber 'U'section to the edge of my grills using small cable ties first, to avoid scratching your hands to bits or (worse still) damaging the car. I also covered the area with duct tape just in case.
 
Once approximately positioned grills were cable tied to the cross-'strakes' (only needs 2 or 3). My intention is to remove them for servicing/ cleaning etc and once fitted they don't really notice unless you get on your hands and knees. 
JohnCRS
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/09/09 10:33:38 (permalink)
Thanks for the feedback on the different approaches you have taken. 
 
It does seem to be a bit of a lottery on the warranty.  I think Wollemi's experience is the exception rather than the rule and I guess the ultimate test will only be when there is a claim with the grills fitted.  I have not heard of a claim being refused and logic suggests that this should not happen unless directly related to the grills.  But we are dealing with an insurance company here so all bets about logic are off.

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Robo
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/09/21 20:57:21 (permalink)
I have just fitted the Zunsport outside grills to my 987.2 Cayman after having had both condensers replaced. I must admit they are not as good a fit as expected. They are tricky to fit as they seemed slightly bigger height wise than the profile they go into. I ended up with a slight gap along the top edge. A few people on here have reported similar. For the cost I expected better. I am staying with them as unless you view them looking down it’s not too noticeable from head and the benefits outweigh the flaws
ohgh3cho
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/09/21 22:00:10 (permalink)
I fitted the Zunsport grilles to my Cayman 718 GTS as soon after I took delivery in March 2018 when Zunsport first launched the grills. I have the full kit of 5 grills and have had no issues at all. At my first 2 year service earlier this year the Porsche dealer pointed out that I may not be able to get the extended warranty without removing them. The only reason I fitted them was for the fact I was fed up of removing debris from inside the deep front spoiler and within a few hundred miles had already flattened a couple of radiator fins plus I had read of drivers having radiator damage from stones. The grills fit really easily and are very discreet. You can only see them is certain lights I opted for the black satin finish to match the car.
post edited by ohgh3cho - 2020/09/22 07:18:58

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PHB1969
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/09/22 19:22:23 (permalink)
I contacted my OPC and they raised the query with Porsche GB and Porsche Germany.   Both responses were “no” - warranty invalidated.
981callum
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/01 10:08:04 (permalink)
Hello,
I'm a new member of Porsche Club Gb, I bought my white 981 Cayman S 2 weeks ago. I'm deciding whether to buy the Zunsport grills or take the car to Parr my local Porsche specialist to have some fitted. The only trouble is the cost difference, Zunsport £161 minus discount or Parr's made to measure grilles fitted from behind the bumper for £540. It feels very steep for some Grilles, I'm reading mixed reviews on the quality of the Zunsport Grilles. As the old saying goes "you pay for what you get", however I do not want to pay over the odds for it. It was also noted in a post purchase look over the condenser has a slight leak, I'm not sure whether to wait till that needs replacing or fit not to protect it. Any thoughts?
 
Cheers 
 
Callum
post edited by 981callum - 2020/10/01 10:09:20
DWaldie
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/01 11:21:58 (permalink)
981callum
Hello,
I'm a new member of Porsche Club Gb, I bought my white 981 Cayman S 2 weeks ago. I'm deciding whether to buy the Zunsport grills or take the car to Parr my local Porsche specialist to have some fitted. The only trouble is the cost difference, Zunsport £161 minus discount or Parr's made to measure grilles fitted from behind the bumper for £540. It feels very steep for some Grilles, I'm reading mixed reviews on the quality of the Zunsport Grilles. As the old saying goes "you pay for what you get", however I do not want to pay over the odds for it. It was also noted in a post purchase look over the condenser has a slight leak, I'm not sure whether to wait till that needs replacing or fit not to protect it. Any thoughts?
 
Cheers 
 
Callum


I too have a 981. I have the full set of front bumper grilles from Zunsport. They are really good quality and fit quiet well. Mine did need a bit of adjustment and the application of a couple of tie-wraps to make sure they stay where they should. I'd replace with the same if I change the car.
GrahamW
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/01 11:57:41 (permalink)
981callum
Hello,
I'm a new member of Porsche Club Gb, I bought my white 981 Cayman S 2 weeks ago. I'm deciding whether to buy the Zunsport grills or take the car to Parr my local Porsche specialist to have some fitted. The only trouble is the cost difference, Zunsport £161 minus discount or Parr's made to measure grilles fitted from behind the bumper for £540. It feels very steep for some Grilles, I'm reading mixed reviews on the quality of the Zunsport Grilles. As the old saying goes "you pay for what you get", however I do not want to pay over the odds for it. It was also noted in a post purchase look over the condenser has a slight leak, I'm not sure whether to wait till that needs replacing or fit not to protect it. Any thoughts?
 
Cheers 
 
Callum


Firstly, if the condenser is leaking get it fixed by the supplying dealer as it should be a warranty item whether it came from Porsche or another third party dealer.  If you bought it privately I'd still get it done ASAP but probably by an independent Porsche specialist to save some cash.
I've had a couple of Boxsters both a 981 and now a 718.  As soon as I acquired them I fitted the Zunsport grills on to protect the front radiators.  They are an easy DIY job to fit and don't look out of place on either car and so far Porsche have ignored them come service time and some warranty work.  Quality is generally good and they are quite discreet.  I haven't bothered with the other side and rear grills and don't forget about the club discount.
Hope this helps

Boxster 718s
AndrewCS
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/01 12:56:26 (permalink)
Replace the condenser now, fit grilles to rear of bumper at same time 

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trev987
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/13 09:17:17 (permalink)
Some really useful information here. I’m thinking of fitting Zunsport grills to my 987.2 Cayman. Just wondering if anyone can help me with a question I have - is there any reason to fit the centre grill as well as the two outer ones?
legin
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/13 09:54:12 (permalink)
If there is no rad in there then no. My 987.2 S manual only has corner rads no centre. I used the old factory mesh from the centre rad area of my damaged 981 spyder PU.
 
Once you have the PU off all you need is some black painted mesh a drill, tin snips and some tie wraps and fix from behind. Looks like a bought one and not an add on.
 
 
Motorhead
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Re: Radiator Grilles - Updated Thread 2020/10/13 11:05:07 (permalink)
trev987
Some really useful information here. I’m thinking of fitting Zunsport grills to my 987.2 Cayman. Just wondering if anyone can help me with a question I have - is there any reason to fit the centre grill as well as the two outer ones?



Trev,
 
I don’t have a centre rad on my manual 987.2 but I seem to recall that there’s one if you have the PDK ‘box, in which case a grille would be a useful fitment.
 
Jeff

987.2 Cayman S
North Beds (R10 & R24)
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