Shade Cloth Insect Screen

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 13:31
ThreadID: 116979 Views:3254 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Hi all,
Friends have developed a shade cloth insect screen for their Pajero.

An airconditioning mechanic in Broome warned me about using it (I had some across the front of the Prado), as it did not let enough air through. This had the effect of making the air conditioner work harder than it should.

Is this true in anyone's experience?

I have aluminium insect mesh now, which definitely lets a lot of air through.

Bill B

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Reply By: TomH - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 14:11

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 14:11
If placed across the front of the grill yes it probably would restrict air especially if full of bugs

We bought a woven one from Supercheap and fixed it to the bull bar and it stopped the bugs and still let air flow around it Temps didnt go up so must have been Ok.
Its not the Aircon that would get hot its the radiator and the engine you need to worry about restricting the air flow to. I even removed the plastic inner guard pieces to let the air through better.
AnswerID: 549609

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 14:34

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 14:34
Bbuzz - Definitely, Yes. Any perforated screen of any type, reduces air flow by a substantial amount - even metal ones with large holes.
It's not unusual for a screen, even with large holes, to create a 50% reduction in air flow.
Many vehicles survive the reduced air flow by managing to draw increased air flow from other areas, such as adjoining gaps, under or above the mesh screen.

I would be less concerned about A/C effectiveness being reduced, than I would be about engine overheating. Correct engine operating temperatures are crucial today.

I encountered this problem many years ago on earthmoving machinery where perforated guards were installed to counter radiator penetration by sticks or limbs when working in the bush.
It was amazing how a relatively small reduction in the hole size in perforated guards created a substantial reduction in air flow, resulting in serious overheating.

Most current vehicles cooling systems operate at 90-100 deg C, meaning that any reduction in air flow increases engine operating temperature (and makes A/C's work harder).
120 deg C is regarded as the temperature where heat damage starts to commence, and this high heat level damages seals (hardens them), collapses ring tension (resulting in increased oil consumption), and weakens gaskets such as head gaskets.

With todays higher engine operating temperatures (done to increase engine efficiency), the margin between correct operating temperature and overheat is becoming narrower, as compared to the old days when older engines ran at 80-85 deg C.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 549613

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 19:13

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 19:13

In areas where the shade cloth might be needed, are also places that place the greatest strain on vehicle components.....outback Australia.

Better to use flyscreen to keep good airflow, but keep the insects/grass seeds out of aircon/radiator. There's also an expanded metal mesh available at Supercheap that is very robust, but still gives good service. Toyota sell, or used to, a similar one for 79 series utes and 80 series wagons.

About only time one could use shade cloth successfully would be wrapped across the bull bar, much like Mick O uses on his desert trips. Enough cooling air can infiltrate the large area ahead of the radiator, to keep coolant temps at a reasonable level.


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AnswerID: 549632

Reply By: peterdre - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 22:09

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 22:09
I agree with Bob Y. I have used metal fly screen wire for 15 years on various cars with no overheating problems. Easy to clean with air or water hose in situ.
AnswerID: 549649

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 00:21

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 00:21
Ditto Peter.
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