Mechanic is saying that removing the airdam could cause overheating issues... - Page 2 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #21 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:27 AM
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This fellow did a 2 year before-and-after report about removing the air dam. He lost a whopping 2/10 of a gallon average.
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post #22 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:39 AM
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This fellow did a 2 year before-and-after report about removing the air dam. He lost a whopping 2/10 of a gallon average.
Not necessarily an accurate test, but that's about the difference I would expect [Edit: I would though expect the difference in the opposite direction.]. Manufacturers would love to get a .2 difference in mileage. Reportedly they'll even try to reduce electrical load to improve mileage.

Cooling is another issue entirely, but for mileage I would expect the difference to be rather marginal.
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Last edited by Goodspike; 05-08-2019 at 11:48 AM.
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post #23 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rriddle3 View Post
This fellow did a 2 year before-and-after report about removing the air dam. He lost a whopping 2/10 of a gallon average.
well that was a pretty scientific test huh?

people say there mpg goes way up as their truck breaks in, maybe he lost his break in gain?

I wonder if that little trailer changed his "average"

Don't believe anything you see on the internet, especially on a forum!

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post #24 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
Not necessarily an accurate test, but that's about the difference I would expect. Manufacturers would love to get a .2 difference in mileage. Reportedly they'll even try to reduce electrical load to improve mileage.

Cooling is another issue entirely, but for mileage I would expect the difference to be rather marginal.
Heck ya they do, read up on our charging systems, and why we have electric steering now, and direct injection, ect. ect. it's gets pretty insane what is done for MPG now.

Gotta meet those CAFE standards somehow.
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post #25 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:51 AM
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Heck ya they do, read up on our charging systems, and why we have electric steering now, and direct injection, ect. ect. it's gets pretty insane what is done for MPG now.
I have the Duramax, and the alternator does seem to be considerably different than anything I've seen in the past, and the cooling fan is mechanical, but with an electric clutch similar to an AC unit. I'm not sure how that is more efficient than an electrical cooling fan, but I suspect it is.
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post #26 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I have the Duramax, and the alternator does seem to be considerably different than anything I've seen in the past, and the cooling fan is mechanical, but with an electric clutch similar to an AC unit. I'm not sure how that is more efficient than an electrical cooling fan, but I suspect it is.
The magic is in the BCM and the way it controls the charging system (alternator).

Yes, I bet on the diesel it is more efficient, at least it is shut off when not needed. Most gas cars have been electric for years so I'm guessing it's by far the best/most efficient for them.

Remember not so long ago with the old fan clutches? The thing would suck power and sound like an airplane taking off even when it was dead cold.

As for the steering, they say removing the hydraulic pump which had to pump even when not needed is the reason for going electric.

MPG has pushed lots of technology innovation for sure.

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post #27 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:18 PM
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Remember not so long ago with the old fan clutches? The thing would suck power and sound like an airplane taking off even when it was dead cold.
Yes, I had to replace the one on my 89 Ranger because the noise level at higher RPMs got to be crazy.
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post #28 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:29 PM
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I laughed when the OP's mechanic said to keep an eye on the temp gauge. The coolant temp gauge on our trucks is a dummy gauge, it doesn't reflect reality except for the rare occasion when the coolant temp is actually at the same temp as the gauge indicates...which is pretty much never. Watching the temp gauge will tell you nothing and it only goes up if the coolant temp is really high and you're risking overheating. By then it's pretty much too late because the gauge didn't tell you what was really happening.

You want to see if there's any consistent temp increase then you'll have to use an OBD-II scan tool with datalogging and graph the long-term results both with and without the airdam.
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post #29 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDrax View Post
I laughed when the OP's mechanic said to keep an eye on the temp gauge. The coolant temp gauge on our trucks is a dummy gauge, it doesn't reflect reality except for the rare occasion when the coolant temp is actually at the same temp as the gauge indicates...which is pretty much never. Watching the temp gauge will tell you nothing and it only goes up if the coolant temp is really high and you're risking overheating. By then it's pretty much too late because the gauge didn't tell you what was really happening.

You want to see if there's any consistent temp increase then you'll have to use an OBD-II scan tool with datalogging and graph the long-term results both with and without the airdam.
lol, good point!
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post #30 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDrax View Post
I laughed when the OP's mechanic said to keep an eye on the temp gauge. The coolant temp gauge on our trucks is a dummy gauge, it doesn't reflect reality except for the rare occasion when the coolant temp is actually at the same temp as the gauge indicates...which is pretty much never. Watching the temp gauge will tell you nothing and it only goes up if the coolant temp is really high and you're risking overheating. By then it's pretty much too late because the gauge didn't tell you what was really happening.

You want to see if there's any consistent temp increase then you'll have to use an OBD-II scan tool with datalogging and graph the long-term results both with and without the airdam.
I did a little test on mine. the gauge started to go over the 160 at 85deg. At the 185 mark it was about 100. Then it slowed way down and the closer it got to 210 the more accurate it got.

Makes me wonder, maybe it is accurate at/near normal temps? I can't really test it at higher temps because it never gets hot.

How do you know the gauge would do no good when getting hot? Have you seen one of our trucks overheat and saw what the gauge said?

I get it that it is hard to trust being it is not even close at lower temps but it still can be very useful...Know what I mean?
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post #31 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:01 PM
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Make sure your air dam fluid level is good!!!
Just changed mine the other day,,used Full synthetic,,sooo much better now! runs alot cooler!

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post #32 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by White016 View Post
I did a little test on mine. the gauge started to go over the 160 at 85deg. At the 185 mark it was about 100. Then it slowed way down and the closer it got to 210 the more accurate it got.

Makes me wonder, maybe it is accurate at/near normal temps? I can't really test it at higher temps because it never gets hot.

How do you know the gauge would do no good when getting hot? Have you seen one of our trucks overheat and saw what the gauge said?

I get it that it is hard to trust being it is not even close at lower temps but it still can be very useful...Know what I mean?
I created a thread on this topic last year, my observations are specific to the diesel. The gauge reads 197F all the time once up to temp whether the actual coolant temp sensor reading is 165F or 220F. The diesel runs low 170's under normal conditions due to the cool factory t-stat and when towing up steep grades last summer I saw ECTs up to ~220F (I forget the exact temp, but it was hot enough to engage the fan clutch after I let off the throttle and the RPMs dropped). Gauge didn't move enough to really notice, it went from reading 197F to maybe 199F, something most people aren't likely to notice unless they're watching for any movement instead of just glancing.

The gauge on the gas trucks could very well operate differently, but the diesel gauge is a liar.
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post #33 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DB Cooper View Post
Make sure your air dam fluid level is good!!!
This. Blinker fluid is also pretty important cause if you're at less than half capacity blinker fluid, the blinkers on your trailer will also stop working because theres not enough pressure to pump the fluid through the trailer harness.
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post #34 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:39 PM
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This. Blinker fluid is also pretty important cause if you're at less than half capacity blinker fluid, the blinkers on your trailer will also stop working because theres not enough pressure to pump the fluid through the trailer harness.
I think you got it wrong. If the trailer lights quit it could be the blinker fluid pump going out.

Ok, this is just getting silly.

To stay on topic, I'm thinking the consensus is:

Removing the air dam will not hurt your cooling, doesn't matter how much fluid is in it.
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post #35 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I have the Duramax, and the alternator does seem to be considerably different than anything I've seen in the past, and the cooling fan is mechanical, but with an electric clutch similar to an AC unit. I'm not sure how that is more efficient than an electrical cooling fan, but I suspect it is.
The Duramax has a mechanical cooling fan because they're cheaper than an electrical fan. This is also why the aero shutters weren't packaged with that engine. Mechanical fans are always spinning so there is a minuscule amount of drag put on the engine. Additionally, the speed of an electrical fan can be more fine tuned to match the cooling needs of the vehicle at the time, especially at idle. The greatest challenge of a mechanical cooling fan is A/C performance at idle in high ambient temps, the idle speed can be increased to get a higher fan speed, but only so much. Everything should be fine if the engineers size the cooling components appropriately.

As far as the air dam goes, the tech was a little right. The air dam's main fuel economy benefit comes from keeping the incoming air off the underbody of the vehicle, as it's not very smooth or sealed up down there. Air from the engine bay can escape via the wheel wells or the under body (the cowl is sealed because that is where the HVAC pulls air in) and the air dam can help with this. With the vehicle's forward momentum, the air dam can help increase the density of the air in front of the vehicle and direct more air into the grills, thus increasing the efficiency of the cooling stack. This is why most trucks are squared off with up-right grills. As previously stated, you'll only see a difference during extreme towing circumstances with the air dam removed.
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post #36 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonic101 View Post
The Duramax has a mechanical cooling fan because they're cheaper than an electrical fan.

Not really. The OE electric cooling fan for the V6 can be had for $189 (list price $349). The computer-controlled viscous fan clutch for the diesel is $252 (list price $465). It's not one of the fan clutches from the 1970s.



Quote:

This is also why the aero shutters weren't packaged with that engine.

The shutter assembly doesn't fit on the diesel, the intercooler is in the way. Why would GM put more expensive parts on the cheaper engine and cheap out on the more expensive engine? That doesn't make sense, either.



Quote:

Additionally, the speed of an electrical fan can be more fine tuned to match the cooling needs of the vehicle at the time, especially at idle. The greatest challenge of a mechanical cooling fan is A/C performance at idle in high ambient temps, the idle speed can be increased to get a higher fan speed, but only so much. Everything should be fine if the engineers size the cooling components appropriately.

With the diesel's mechanical fan being computer-controlled the computer can and does engage the clutch to increase airflow at idle for improved A/C performance. Similarly, the computer can vary the clutch engagement to provide similar control of fan RPM like an electric fan, but yes at idle there is only so much it can do since unlike an electric fan it can't run at high speed at idle.



Quote:

As far as the air dam goes, the tech was a little right. The air dam's main fuel economy benefit comes from keeping the incoming air off the underbody of the vehicle, as it's not very smooth or sealed up down there. Air from the engine bay can escape via the wheel wells or the under body (the cowl is sealed because that is where the HVAC pulls air in) and the air dam can help with this. With the vehicle's forward momentum, the air dam can help increase the density of the air in front of the vehicle and direct more air into the grills, thus increasing the efficiency of the cooling stack. This is why most trucks are squared off with up-right grills. As previously stated, you'll only see a difference during extreme towing circumstances with the air dam removed.

Close. The air from the engine bay is both pushed out by airflow through the cooling stack as well as sucked out by the low-pressure area created under the truck, which the air dam helps to create. There's no escape out through the wheel wells, they are pretty much sealed off by the fender liners. The air dam doesn't direct much, if any, additional air through the cooling stack as it would have to travel up and around the bumper first. Air, like water, takes the path of least resistance. The air dam directs airflow to the lower side of the truck rather than under it which would be more turbulent. The reduced airflow under the truck while traveling down the road creates the low-pressure area that helps pull hot air out from the engine bay, much like what the plastic engine shield that is also under there does (It doesn't just protect the engine).


This is from GM and talks about the air dam and other aerodynamic designs of the truck, the same principles apply to the twins. There are also wind tunnel pics showing what the air dam does.



https://media.gmc.com/media/us/en/gm...ckup-aero.html


Hope this helps!
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post #37 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:43 PM
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I know this is the internet but, I still like to use facts.



Fact: GMs own engineers (program manager) tell you if you are going off roading to take the air damn off. They dont say 'go off roading but only for 30 minutes due to cooling"



2:15 he tells you to remove it.



Fact: GMs Owners manual tells you to remove it for offroading



Fact: I not only took mine off, but replaced the entire bumper assembly which has zero aerodynamic anilities and added a lot more weight and my temps are on the low end of the temp range.


Fact: since I installed my bumpers, I have suffered 1/10 of a MPG change so.....you got me on that one.



Fact: With no air dam, I dont even need to jack my truck up or put it on ramps to change the oil. (Im only 195 pounds so, cant verify whether some of our more robust members can fit under there as easily)



But at the end of the day, I did what others have done.....I did it to make me happy. Maybe the snow plow suits you....it simply didnt suit me.

Besides, I was afraid zombies would get stuck under there if I ran them over.



And last fact: Yea, Im gonna show it off....what else is new.
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post #38 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:27 AM
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the low pressure under my truck brought lots of rain
its all dynamics tho...i dont think the mechanic was making up stuff. dams and spoilers have been around for decades and serve a purpose....
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post #39 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DieselDrax View Post
The shutter assembly doesn't fit on the diesel, the intercooler is in the way. . . .
With the diesel's mechanical fan being computer-controlled the computer can and does engage the clutch to increase airflow at idle for improved A/C performance.
Having shutters in front of an intercooler would make little sense regardless of the room available. And the electric "computer controlled" fan could also be run when needed for the intercooler (although they could do the same with an electric fan).

One thing I will agree with Sonic on is it's not very smooth underneath the Colorado.
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post #40 of 75 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 01:07 AM
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Fact: With no air dam, I dont even need to jack my truck up or put it on ramps to change the oil. (Im only 195 pounds so, cant verify whether some of our more robust members can fit under there as easily)
I'm about the same weight, and maybe the diesel is different, but I approach the drain plug from behind the front wheel. The oil filter is up top, so that is different with the diesel (I think). The air dam would get in the way otherwise.


FWIW, it's also how I approach the drain plug and filter on my old Ranger, but there it's from behind the front wheel on the passenger side. No air dam there.
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