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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen people do a custom, body-color-painted panel that mounts between the grill and radiator brace like the one on the 55 nomad below. Seems like it doesn't serve any purpose other than aesthetic, but I do like the look. My car is in the 2nd pic below.

Wondering what others think and if anyone else here has done this? If yes, can you tell me about the experience and share a pic or two? Thanks in advance!

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Car Land vehicle Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Grille
 

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56 BelAir 2 door hardtop. Small block 400 with TH 350 9" Ford rear end.
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I haven't seen any that I really liked but again that's a hard part of the car to make look nice. I think they might help with cooling since about all of the air that comes in the grill has to go through the radiator.
 

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I have heard that they do help a little on cooling if done right. The top part of the radiator in the one in the picture would get very little, if any air flow, so you would loose part of the cooling efficiency. It's hard to make one look good on a 55, because the grill is so close to the radiator. The radiator core has to be completely under the cover, to be efficient.
The theory is that they eliminate some of the turbalance of the air in front of the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have heard that they do help a little on cooling if done right. The top part of the radiator in the one in the picture would get very little, if any air flow, so you would loose part of the cooling efficiency. It's hard to make one look good on a 55, because the grill is so close to the radiator. The radiator core has to be completely under the cover, to be efficient.
The theory is that they eliminate some of the turbalance of the air in front of the radiator.
That's funny, I purposely didn't say anything about the top of the radiator on the 55 Nomad but I was thinking same: potential net reduction in cooling capacity because of the portion of the radiator core that sticks above the shroud they made.

I think I could do one that allowed the top of the radiator to stick out but have all the core beneath the shroud. If not I wouldn't bother because I also don't like how it looks with part of the core sticking up.
 

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I think I could do one that allowed the top of the radiator to stick out but have all the core beneath the shroud. If not I wouldn't bother because I also don't like how it looks with part of the core sticking up.
I would guess it was made that way to allow access to that upper A/C fitting
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would guess it was made that way to allow access to that upper A/C fitting
Looking at what he did, I think if he needs to monkey with any of his fittings the shroud will need to come off...but you could be right. Looking at how everything lines up (brace height/radiator etc) I can see why he did what he did. And I am certainly not trashing the car I think it looks nice. I would just want to do it a little differently.

But the difference between "thinking" and "doing" is that when I actually get to making it I may end up having to do exactly what he did. Won't know until I try, and haven't decided if I want to take the effort yet. Still hoping to hear from someone else (here) who has gone down this road...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not that anyone asked me but I would paint the radiator tank blue in the first picture. Or at least polish it .
Todd
Opinions are always welcome. The bottom pic is my car, and I was thinking if I did the shroud I would design it so that only the top portion of the radiator stuck out. If I did that, I could polish the aluminum to look almost as good as chrome. I suppose I could actually do the polishing no matter what…
 

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Opinions are always welcome. The bottom pic is my car, and I was thinking if I did the shroud I would design it so that only the top portion of the radiator stuck out. If I did that, I could polish the aluminum to look almost as good as chrome. I suppose I could actually do the polishing no matter what…
My comment pertains to that ugly creation above yours. Your car is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes your car is fine. The front shroud on the other car is okay but that radiator just sticks out like a sore unpolished thumb with that shroud.
Todd
LOL, thanks for the candor. I am actually thinking/wondering whether it would really look ok if I was to design something that only had the top part of the radiator sticking out. I will probably mock it up in foam core or poster board and paint it blue to see what I think. I will probably polish the radiator no matter that.

I'm at the point where the car is 99.7% done, it's just finishing touches that I'm doing. But I don't what to do things just to do them, or if they don't improve the quality of the build.
 

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My $.02, and worth less than that: your car looks better than the example with the radiator cover. Unless you can improve cooling efficiency, I’m not sure I see the point. I like how yours looks: clean, and every component is visible, serviceable and serves a purpose.
That said, I certainly can understand the impulse to keep tweeking a car that is mostly complete…it’s what we do!😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My $.02, and worth less than that: your car looks better than the example with the radiator cover. Unless you can improve cooling efficiency, I’m not sure I see the point. I like how yours looks: clean, and every component is visible, serviceable and serves a purpose.
That said, I certainly can understand the impulse to keep tweeking a car that is mostly complete…it’s what we do!😊
Well thank you and that's what I'm struggling with myself...I'm not sure it will actually make the car look better. I will probably mock it up first, paint the mock and see what I think.

This is my engine bay as it stands. I will definitely polish the radiator.

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A good craftsman, artist/sculptor, fabricator needs to know when to stop the work and call it finished. Maybe a feeling comes over you that tells you it is finished. I bet it is difficult to know when to stop painting for an abstract artist. When did an artist like Jackson Pollack know when to stop with his drip paintings?

If you are bored with nothing to do, start another project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yup, that cover is fugly.

That air cleaner on yours looks a little restrictive though.
Man you guys don't miss a thing!

That's a great story: That air cleaner came with a foam filter element when I bought it. I was out dialing in my carb (before I switched over to FiTech) and was doing some pretty aggressive acceleration runs. The car was not performing as expected and when I got back to my shop and pulled off the air cleaner, the suction had literally deformed the bottom plate of the part that holds the element into a funnel-shape!

So what you see there is a piece of furnace filter which is far less restrictive.
 

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Consider instead of covering up the chasm in front of the radiator, use the space for cold air intakes on each side of the radiator through the support panels. Takes some creativity, but turns a sows ear into a silk purse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A good craftsman, artist/sculptor, fabricator needs to know when to stop the work and call it finished. Maybe a feeling comes over you that tells you it is finished. I bet it is difficult to know when to stop painting for an abstract artist. When did an artist like Jackson Pollack know when to stop with his drip paintings?

If you are bored with nothing to do, start another project.
Yes I get it, I'm actually an industrial designer by education and have made a living in product development and manufacturing...so I'm no stranger to the notion of "resisting the urge to over-work it".

And that's the whole reason I started this thread: I only want to do this to my car if it really improves the build, and I am not convinced it will. In short, I'm struggling with the decision so I reached out to like-minded people for opinions. Maybe the fact that I'm not sure is an answer in itself. Regardless, I appreciate the input from everyone.

I will probably mock something up in foam core or poster board and paint it blue to try and simulate the look.
 
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