The radiator on my Canter is located about 600mm behind the front grille, so airflow is somewhat restricted with this type of setup. To allow the radiator to work at peak efficiency, it must be kept clean. In a vehicle that spends the majority of its life on the tarmac, keeping the radiator clean may not be a challenge, however, if the vehicle is going to be used off road, as mine will be, then protecting the radiator from damage, mud or debris becomes quite important.
Also, on my truck an intercooler is mounted directly in front of the radiator. Airflow restrictions, like a build-up of dust on the front of the intercooler can be relatively easy to remove, but if anything gets stuck between the back of the intercooler and the front of the radiator it would affect both the efficiency and cooling of the engine, not to mention that it would be extremely difficult to clean.
At this point I should also add that cleaning a dirty radiator or intercooler must be done with extreme care.
Never use a pressure washer to clean a radiator/intercooler, as these devices have the potential to cause a lot of damage very quickly.
The radiator/intercooler fins are very easily bent/damaged and if this happens their cooling capacity will be seriously affected.
Adding a splash guard under my radiator and intercooler has always been on the “to do list”, but I never got around to it; until now…
Maintaining good airflow to the radiator is mandatory, so I decided it would be prudent to do some before and after flow testing, to confirm that I was not fixing one problem and creating another. I purchased an anemometer and made a simple custom bracket that allowed me to mount it securely in front of the intercooler. Before mounting the splash guard I did numerous runs on the highway at 80 kph to establish a “before splash guard” baseline and was impressed that the airflow readings were very similar after each run.
This splash guard is not a bash plate and because of this it does not need to be anywhere near as strong or heavy. The design is very simple and uses 3mm aluminium sheet, folded at the outside edges to give a bit more strength. The splash guard is attached to the truck using two different sized bullbar LED light clamps: two at the front and three at the rear. I was going to manufacture my own clamps, but given that the ones I chose to use cost less than fifty bucks, it did not justify the time or effort required to make my own.
After test fitting the splash guard I took the truck for another run to see how its addition had affected airflow. I did five separate runs of about 3 kilometres at 80 kph on the same stretch of road I had done the “before” testing. It would appear that my new splash guard is acting as an air scoop, as airflow in front of the radiator has improved by an average of 25%, which is excellent. Splash protection and improved airflow… definitely can’t complain about that.
This was a very simple modification and took a minimal amount of time and effort to implement. Given the increased airflow to the radiator and the added protection a splash guard offers, I would definitely recommend a similar modification to other Fuso Canter owners.