symonray
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:52 am

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:09 pm

Timothy Simonds
2017 BMW i3 Rex

alohart
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:55 pm

symonray wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:09 pm
There is one available on eBay.
This might be a good solution for someone not wanting to cut a protective grill although doing so is easy. I would want to know the percentage of open space in this grill to get an idea how much the cooling airflow would be reduced. I wouldn't want galvanized steel in our salty, humid environment unless I knew that the zinc coating is thick which I don't know in this case.

I used stainless steel. An aluminum grill material is easier to cut. Neither would oxidize destructively.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

sheinr4143
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:26 pm

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:29 pm

For what it's worth, beginning with the 2018 model year a baffle has been included in the space between the front grill crossbars and the a/c condenser so that the vulnerable part is not visible from the front of the car (see linked photo), cannot be struck by road debris, and yet still receives the same flow of (redirected) air.

Those seeking to modify earlier model years may wish to inspect this reengineered front grill part.

https://imgur.com/a/s4qefcX

joni3s
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:16 am
Location: VA

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:42 pm

Image

So its just a “wall” or screen?
2018 I3s rex

joni3s
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:16 am
Location: VA

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:54 pm

Is it the “air duct”

Image
2018 I3s rex

alohart
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:24 pm

sheinr4143 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:29 pm
For what it's worth, beginning with the 2018 model year a baffle has been included in the space between the front grill crossbars and the a/c condenser so that the vulnerable part is not visible from the front of the car (see linked photo), cannot be struck by road debris, and yet still receives the same flow of (redirected) air.
As best I can determine, only 2 air ducts have been available for all i3's: part #51747306421 for i3's with the seat heating driver/passenger option (S494A) and part #51747296811 for i3's without this option. There is no air duct shown that became available with the 2018 model year.

I have found the grill which is described as "insert, air intake, center". However, I haven't been able find a baffle between the grill and air duct, so I assume that it's part of the air duct.

Our 2014 BEV without option S494A doesn't have this baffle whereas a local 2019 BEV with option S494A has the baffle. These i3's have different air ducts which is evidence that the baffle is part of the air duct for i3's with option S494A.

The owner of the 2019 BEV has noticed that this baffle opens and closes in our warm Hawaii weather thus exposing the A/C condenser to rock damage while open. However, he's doesn't know under what conditions the baffle is open or closed.

Because the baffle seems to exist only on i3's with option S494A, we're guessing that its operation is related to cold weather. Because the heat pump transfers heat from ambient air to the cabin when cabin heating is on, maybe the baffle closes to block really cold ambient air from passing through the A/C heat exchanger. However, no REx has a heat pump, so the A/C heat exchanger would not be used for cabin heating in a REx, yet a REx with option S494A has this baffle.

So I'm baffled by this baffle :D
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

abeln2672
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:52 pm

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:16 pm

I'm buying a 2014 Rex out of state this weekend and making a LONG drive home with it (almost 600 miles!). I'm sure everything would be fine, but with that many hwy miles I'm a bit paranoid about the condenser. I've purchased the aluminum mesh, but I obviously can't make a template to cut them before I leave. Would it be a problem to just zip tie big sheets on the front for the drive and remove them once I get home in order to cut to fit? Or does someone else have a better idea? Or am I being WAAAAY too paranoid about this road trip, lol?!

panamamike
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:21 am

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:46 pm

Did you guys cut the wire mesh to be slightly larger than the hole? How did you manage to slip in the the mesh between the grills? Seems like you might hit the ac condenser, Can the mesh be slightly bent to avoid hitting the condenser. Wondering if the stainless would bend and leave a crease.

What's the best thing to attached the mesh? Wondering if the zip ties will stand the test of time given that they are plastic.

alohart
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:15 pm

abeln2672 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:16 pm
Would it be a problem to just zip tie big sheets on the front for the drive and remove them once I get home in order to cut to fit? Or does someone else have a better idea? Or am I being WAAAAY too paranoid about this road trip, lol?!
It's unlikely that your A/C condenser would be damaged. If this were a common problem, we'd read about it more often.

However, since you have the grill mesh material, just cut it to fit and zip-tie it to the outside of the grill.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

alohart
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: AC Condenser Protection - A How To

Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:22 pm

panamamike wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:46 pm
Did you guys cut the wire mesh to be slightly larger than the hole? How did you manage to slip in the the mesh between the grills?
All of this is discussed in the first few posts of this thread with even the mesh dimensions specified.
panamamike wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:46 pm
Can the mesh be slightly bent to avoid hitting the condenser. Wondering if the stainless would bend and leave a crease.
If you've read the instructions in this thread, you'd know that this isn't a problem.
panamamike wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:46 pm
What's the best thing to attached the mesh? Wondering if the zip ties will stand the test of time given that they are plastic.
So what if the plastic zip ties fail over time? The mesh protector is inside the grill and won't fall off the car if the zip ties fail. The zip ties would be easy to replace from the front of the grill.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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