Porsche 996 Mesh Grilles

Fitting air intake mesh to the front of the Porsche 996

GT3 frontThe 996 has large openings at in the front bumper to provide cooling air for the radiators. These are especially large on the GT2, GT3 and Turbo models.

As shown in the following pictures, these are particularly vulnerable to ingesting large amounts of road debris. In the worst case sharp or heavy objects could damage the cooler matrices.  

It is a relatively simple job to fit a mesh grille as a protective measure. The method I have chosen is fairly straightforward  and the grille chosen and shown being fitted is a black aluminium small mesh type. The effect is quite subtle, as shown in the photos and if anything (I think at least) it enhances the appearance.

Turbo grilleThe front bumper is relatively straight forward to remove, although it is a lot easier with a vehicle lift! The bumpers do vary between models but the basic fastener layouts are the same. A couple of tips though; there is a screw behind each side indicator lamp accessed from behind the splash panel. These panels have three plastic quick fasteners, which once removed allow the panel to be moved far enough to access the fastener. Also along the top of the bumper (after removing the plastic cover panel) the metal cup washers should be removed as well as the screws, if not they will prevent the bumper sliding free.

GT3 rad RH gt3 rad lhHaving removed the bumper and intake scoops the coolers can be examined.

No matter how skilful you might have been with the vacuum cleaner, debris will still become trapped at the back of the matrix. Here the debris can be seen on the GT3 Clubsport, there was more in the intake and also leaves trapped between the oil and coolant matrices.

turbo debris lh Turbo debris rhAnd here on the Turbo S the rear coolant matrix has become completely blocked in this area with mud and debris. This is hidden from the front of the car, from where everything appeared nice and clean.

GT3 intake matrix cleaningCare should be taken when cleaning the matrices, a soft bristled brush is ideal. These are fragile and high pressure washing should be avoided.  

On the GT3 there are no drain holes in the intake cowl, so here a hole has been drilled in the rear corner to prevent water from being trapped in future.

cutting mesh cutting mesh 1The mesh is a small (9mm x 5mm) black aluminium sold in 1000mm x 250mm sheet size. One sheet is enough for the Clubsport, but two were needed for the Turbo S. Cardboard templates were made slightly larger than the apertures in the bumper and the mesh was cut with tin snips. Side cutters were used for fine tuning.

fitting mesh adhesiveThe grilles were carefully shaped to match the profile exactly, without interfering with the fit of the air scoops. They were then bonded in place. Care should be taken to use enough adhesive to hold the mesh firmly, but not so much that it will be too difficult to remove the mesh if this becomes necessary at a later date.

mesh inside GT3This picture shows the mesh placed inside the Clubsport bumper ready to be bonded

mesh inside turboAnd here bonded inside the Turbo S

GT3 meshThe final result!  It took a bit of turning the car and moving the camera to get the light to reflect enough to make a clear photograph. The grilles are not as obvious as this picture might suggest and I would say that the pictures at the top of this page are more representative. 

However, if you wanted a more "custom" look there is always bright aluminium or stainless...

Neil McGurk