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2017 Impreza Sport MT
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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone removed the lower grill section on their Sport? I ordered a 22in LED Light Bar that I'm hoping to install there but id like to save the plastic grill piece that's there in case I want to reinstall it. I circled the section im talking about in the picture below
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Would a light bar block airflow? Sometimes the open grille is part of the airflow design. These cars don't seem to have cooling issues, but something to look into.
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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I haven't looked that closely but I suspect you'd have to remove the bumper. Keep in mind that area has a set of louvers that open and close to manage the cooling air so it's not just a regular open area. There will be mechanical and electrical bits in that area. I guess you can remove that stuff but it will mess with your cooling somewhat.
 

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Would a light bar block airflow? Sometimes the open grille is part of the airflow design. These cars don't seem to have cooling issues, but something to look into.
Yes, it certainly would block airflow, and from what I can see behind the bumper cover, the lower grill opening is the primary cooling inlet. This is why most light mounts (at least the professional ones) mount the lights in front of the bumper, so as to not block crucial cooling air inlets. FWIW, those light bars are made for trucks, mostly for mounting on rollover hoops, above the cab.
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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One thing, if you do install a light bar, please please make sure it's properly aimed. Nothing worse than getting blinded by these light bars, Lots of trucks have them here in KS. I typically get blinded anyway driving the Miata since it's so low but these things are the worst. I think a lot of it has to do with there being so many sub par cheap versions that are really flood lights and not a focused beam like a driving light, focused long range beam only on with hi beams or a fog light, low wide beam with a sharp cut off to get under bad weather. In my experience good lighting, that's properly engineered is not cheap but worth it if your purpose is to see better at night. My go to place for quality lighting is Diode Dynamics, I'm sure there are others too.

Light Bars

Subaru mounting kits

I think these are cool if you are thinking only for off road, I bet they'd be a direct fit on the Impreza too.

Stage Series LED Ditch Light Kit for 2018-2020 Subaru Crosstrek
 

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2017 Impreza Sport MT
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the advice! Is the 16' Impreza cooling system different? Reason I ask is that I follow a guy on IG that has a light bar in the same spot and he doesn't seem to be having any issues. Pic for reference below.
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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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I'm not sure if that year has the active louvers or not, it looks different but hard to tell from the pic.
 

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Yes. The active aero shutters didn’t start till the gen5


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2019 Base CVT + Eyesight + Fogs
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it just comes out, there isn't even clips or anything, once you get to it you won't have any problems
 

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2017 Impreza Sport MT
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Discussion Starter #10
So from my research on these active shutters it looks like I should still be okay. From what I understand they open when the car is started to allow more airflow and help the car reach temp. faster and they close during highway driving to allow for better aerodynamics. The light bar will block most of the opening but there will still be space to allow air to flow around all sides of the light bar. Im gonna install it and see how it goes... I live up in the Mountains in Colorado and outside temps don't usually get over 80-85° in the summer and that's only for maybe a month or so.
 

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Not ALL of the gen5 has the 'active shutters'.... My base-model does not.

Infact, I am in the process of making a cover for the ENTIRE lower grille area for winter driving. When ambient temps. are below 0f, I prefer to have some heat INSIDE the cabin.
 

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ModFather
2019 Subaru Impreza Sport 5 Dr. Manual Shift
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Not ALL of the gen5 has the 'active shutters'.... My base-model does not.
I see that only the Sport and Premium have the louvers, the OP has a sport that's why I mentioned them is all. Reading around seems like an aerodynamic thing to save fuel near as I can tell.
 

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Correct, my sport and my truck both have them. It doesn’t help the vehicle warm up any faster than without. My last truck was 100% identical to my current truck, other than the fact my current one came with the aero shutters. I really noticed no difference. Just another thing to appease the epa gods for a fraction of a mpg difference. Usually they only put them on the higher trim cars first, and then work their way down to the entire line.

Blocking that lower portion won’t help the car warm up, that’s the whole point of a thermostat.


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Blocking that lower portion won’t help the car warm up, that’s the whole point of a thermostat.
When one drives in very cold ambient temperature, it is not unusual to have to cover grille in the winter.

I understand the function of thermostat.... but it ONLY works if the engine is generating enough heat. At very cold ambient temperatures, the thermostat NEVER opens. Instead, the engine-computer forces the RPMs to remain over 1800 all the time while driving in an attempt to generate enough heat to warm up the xMission.

The xMission case is a HUGE hunk of aluminum which dissipates heat into the surrounding air. When ambient temperature is below 0f, the engine struggles to bring it up to operating temperature.

I have done many experiments over the past 2 winters and when ambient temperature is very low, the xMission sucks too much heat from the cooling-system. If the cabin-heat is turned on, the engine RPMs remain above 1800 all the time while driving. This is the engine-computer responding by trying to generate enough heat to bring the xMission up to operating temperature.

In other words, when ambient temperature is very cold, the engine cannot generate enough heat for BOTH the xMission and the cabin. This forces the thermostat to remain mostly closed.

When I cover the airflow into the radiator, this all changes. The engine generates enough heat to bring xMission up to operating temperature WITH the cabin-heat turned on. This allows engine RPM to fall into 'normal' operating range.
 

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You’re going to have to cover more than that little slot in the bottom them. And I live in upper Pennsylvania. It’s regularly in the single digits.

I should also mention our gen4 didn’t have them, warm up times to work were the same.

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You’re going to have to cover more than that little slot in the bottom them.
Agreed - for the past 2 winters, I slid cardboard BETWEEN the grille and the radiator. I had to open the hood to install/remove.

This winter, my experiments continue and I am fabricating covers for the lower and upper grille instead of the cardboard. I have already developed templates and will be cutting some rubber-roofing material for the actual covers.

My biggest issue at this point is attachment... I want the covers to be easilly installed/removed in just seconds as needed. Perhaps velcro will do....? ... or perhaps some kind of clips?
 

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Fender pins would work. Just have to drill a hole somewhere to push them into


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Discussion Starter #19
An aside for @Gnarlife

I like those red stripes on your grille! Are those just well placed vinyl stickers?
They are! Their on Jdmfv.com. says their for the sedan sport model but they worked on mine. Only like 15$ if I remember correctly and they went on SUPER easy. Just a tiny bit of trimming
 

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They are! Their on Jdmfv.com. says their for the sedan sport model but they worked on mine. Only like 15$ if I remember correctly and they went on SUPER easy. Just a tiny bit of trimming
That's wild - they look like they're a separate piece entirely with a little cutout. Nice!
 
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