Malibu El camino front air dam questions.

Doug213xrj

Doug213xrj

Royal Smart Person
Dec 30, 2011
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West Michigan
Does anyone know or have an idea why Chevrolet used different front air dam to help cool the radiator, I think the 1978 and 1979 use a longer and wider one then the 1980 through 1987 ? Also has one been proven to do a better job at cooling ?


Thanks Doug
 
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airboatgreg

airboatgreg

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Oct 2, 2016
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I have been looking for an one for my El C. Just have not found one the looks good to me and seems to actually work. I think they were put there for looks of mileage
 
500/600

500/600

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2018
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West Virginia
Does anyone know or have an idea why Chevrolet used different front air dam to help cool the radiator, I think the 1978 and 1979 use a longer and wider one then the 1980 trough 1987 ? Also has one been proven to do a better job at cooling ?


Thanks Doug
You’re talking about the black air dam below the core support?
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

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Sep 14, 2014
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Elderton, Pa
Per the Chevy cataogs all '78-'80 cars used the same p/n, 10013485. This was also used from '81-'87 on the Malibu (to '83) & El Camino. The '81- '88 Monte Carlo used 14023685.
 
500/600

500/600

G-Body Guru
Supporting Member
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Looking at pics of both I can’t imagine one being better than the other. I had a ‘91 firebird (didn’t have a grille opening) and knocked the air dam off on a gravel road. The car overheated like crazy without it. The air dam looked very much like these and was very effective on a firebird at least. Since g-bodies have grilles maybe the air dams were less necessary. GM engineers would likely argue the opposite.
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
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Elderton, Pa
Could it be because of the '81 up Montes have smaller grills then the '78-'80's & the Malibu/El Camino that the engineers put a different one on them for the better/more air flow? It could also be the oposite where one didn't need as much either. So it can be a 50/50 gamble on improving the air flow.
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 2, 2015
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Using the aforementioned air dam creates a low pressure area in front of the radiator, forcing the air through it. Especially at highway speeds. Removal of it loses this function and relies solely on air flow through the grille(s) and, as mentioned, is insufficient.

I can vouch for this first hand, from experience. Wide or narrow, make sure you retain it.
 
Longroof79

Longroof79

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Oct 14, 2008
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Gainesville, Fl
I agree with Mr. D. It is an essential component to direct air flow into your radiator. However, it's more functional when the vehicle is moving above a certain speed. Of course, that's how it was designed.
 
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  • Agree
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Doug213xrj

Doug213xrj

Royal Smart Person
Dec 30, 2011
1,488
63
West Michigan
The 78 El Camino has the factor wider longer one. The Malibu has run the shorter thinner one, But now I have the factory longer wider one . I just wanted to know if theres a difference between the two. I know to use one a friend tried to cool his 81 El Camino without one .

Doug
 

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