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Louvers - I'm Impressed

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Thread starter #1
Background: I live in Central Florida most of the year. (Also the Rochester NY and the Roswell NM ares when not in Florida). Florida, and much of the Deep South has the famous Love Bugs, every May and September. Up to now, every car I've owned, I install a screen directly in front of the radiator, behind the grill. I leave it there year round. When the "seasons" start, I install an additional temporary Love Bug Screen across the entire front of the car, removing it when the season ends. Did not have a chance to install the one in front of the radiator this past May, so I decided to do the job today. First off, I could not get to the radiator from the top, so I looked through the grill to see if there was any easy way to get in there. Guess what I found. Louvers. Yes, Louvers. They were open of course.

I AM IMPRESSED. I figured that the Continentals with the 2.7T and the 3.0T might have this, but not the standard 3.7 engine.

I wonder at what speed or temperature they open or close.

Now next September, I'll have to revert to the external bug screen.

BTW, the screen also works great catching the White Fluffy "Cotton" that comes off the Cottonwood trees up north in late May or early June.
 
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Thread starter #4
I've been told that the louvers also close to help the aerodynamics.

So far, I've not looked under the car, but looking down from above, I think it also has a belly pan. What I really want to know (if it does indeed have a belly pan), where does the hot air escape?
I see no vents. That engine compartment gets HOT. The battery is in a location that stays hot and will not last long. (Also difficult to change out).
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Slick Fan

Senior Member
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Utah
#5
Yes the louvers are thermostatically controlled to allow the engine to warm up more quickly. I has been on Ford and Lincoln models for a few years. Not surprising at all that they are on most all models now.
Huh, I didn't know that. I'm going to have to check them out, next time I am poking around new ones on a dealer lot.
 

Town

Senior Member
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
#7
I've been told that the louvers also close to help the aerodynamics.

So far, I've not looked under the car, but looking down from above, I think it also has a belly pan. What I really want to know (if it does indeed have a belly pan), where does the hot air escape?
I see no vents. That engine compartment gets HOT. The battery is in a location that stays hot and will not last long. (Also difficult to change out).
The Continental has a non-metallic shielding on the underside of the engine compartment up to the small air dam at front and behind the engine/trans at the rear. It extends to the suspension area on each side with some plastic to route air around the wheels. At the rear past the engine it narrows. It looks like the airflow would go down by the front suspension and McPherson strut tower and out in front of firewall and beside the narrower part of shielding.

There is an opening under the engine to allow access to the large yellow drain plug, but I think the shielding has to be dropped from the front or back for effective oil draining. It is an inch wide drain plug opening so the flow is substantial and you need room to place the drain pan properly.

Regarding the louvers aiding aerodynamics, I think they would if they stayed closed. Airflow through the engine compartment is just drag since it impedes airflow. Any improvement would likely be marginal if the louvers are open for most of the time. In the cold of winter the louvers would be closed for longer and at speed would not be fully open to keep engine temperature at optimum. When the ambient temp reaches about -30 C my Town Car would not achieve normal operating temperature; I would imagine the Continental would need the louvers partly closed for optimizing engine temperature and that would benefit the aerodynamics and fuel economy to some extent.

Good luck.
 

Town

Senior Member
3,607
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
#8
Here is a pic of the under tray on my car. On the right is part of the air dam to move air around the wheels. The forward part of the tray extends lower than the rearward part of the tray and provides an opening of a couple of inches for air to exit from behind the rad assembly. The exhaust pipe is from the cylinders near the rad and goes under the engine; you can just see the exhaust from the cylinders close to the firewall behind the engine cross member.

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