What I was going for was to cut down freezing (more air flow = less freezing..at least when not in recirc)and also to increase air flow in general for all climate modes. It’s pretty straightforward mod and can’t really hurt anything. If you take the grill off, you can see they’ve just got screen over the climate system intake openings (on the ends of those 3 big ribs) with a bunch of tar-like goop holding it on. I just peeled them off exposing the intakes to the climate system. I used a 3” cut-off tool to slice the sides off the existing opening to make it wider and taller. I also extended the opening on to the top of the rib a bit (inch or so). I think I probably increased the square area of the inlet by 40%-50%. Just seemed to make sense to make it less restrictive on the intake side. That’s why we pay for all those cool air cleaner elements.
1) Remove plastic “bolt” in middle of grill (pic 1)
2) Release 4 brackets at top of grill my gently pushing on the tab at the bottom of bracket while simultaneously pulling the top of the grill towards you (pic 2)
3) Once all four bracket are loose, pull the top of grill toward the front of the car and work the grill pegs out of the holes in the bottom of the grill “mouth”
4) Peel off the existing screens over the fiberglass ribs to expose the climate control inlets. Widen these as you see fit to maximize air flow.
5) Use black silicone and new screen (if your old screen is no longer able to cover the opening) and glue it back in place like it was originally. I came up with new galvanized screen from a gutter cover with almost the identical pattern as the original screen. Most any expanded metal or hardware cloth will do. (pic 4)
6) Replace grill.
7) Feel the bigger breeze…..
NOT MY BEST LOOKING WORK!! What a real hack I can be, but not usually. I meant to come back to this and smooth it up, but it just fell to the wayside…. I think I’ll fan a little flat black while I’m in here….although the Lotus OEM one looks just as bad or worse (far right).
As usual, no guarantees, no warranty, your mileage may vary, your responsibility, I am rubber, you are glue, etc.....
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