You have fitted a tubular exhaust manifold with a top mount turbo and you have fitted a massive 100mm diameter downpipe connected to your turbo with a V-Band clamp.
The map is spot on and your car is absolutely flying but the problem is your engine bay is giving the surface of the sun a run for it’s money in the temperature department.
It is great having big bore intercooler piping, a huge turbo and a super free flowing downpipe it is not so great when you start to melt oil feed lines, water hoses, electric cables, fuse boxes and your battery. And if your air filter does not have a cold air feed and is not insulated from the heat of the engine you could be losing 10-20% of your power without even knowing.
You could say 10-20% is an exageration but I have seen some air filters mounted directly to the turbo, god knows how hot the air entering the turbo is when you are on a mission through the gears.
So why I am making a big issue of heat. Am I just complaining or do I have a solution?
Luckily, I am not the sort of chap who complains about anything unless I have a solution and the solution for your big-turbo problem is heat insulation.
With the correct choice of turbo blankets, exhaust wrap and heat shields you can turn you the volanco you call your engine bay into a place of serenity, harps and unicorns, no wait, I mean it does not have to be so hot, you can get your engine bay temperatures back down to stock levels with the right products.
Stock temperature levels are good for so many reasons.
Every single part, mechanical or electronic, will thank you if they do not have to live in a place where it is 100-1000C all year round.
Okay Richard, you got me, what products do I need?
First off you need to get that turbo under control and that means a turbo blanket. DEI make probably the best available, check it out
Not only will this protect everything close to your turbo it will also let your turbo spool up slightly earlier.
Next you want to wrap your manifold, again, this will help your turbo spool up faster by putting the heat into your turbo rather than into the cable that runs to your knock sensor.
There is an added benefit to wrapping your turbo manifold and that is reduced likely hood of cracking. Cracking of the exhaust manifold happens when the manifold is constantly heating and cooling and therefore constantly expanding and contracting when you are on & off the loud pedal.
Exhaust wrap or exhaust insulation will keep the temperature of your exhaust manifold much stabler meaning less expanding and contracting and less cracking. This is what you call a win-win modification.
Next step. That elephant trunk you call a downpipe. Get it wrapped. Again, DEI have the goods with their titanium exhaust wrap. You will be shocked at how much lower your engine temperatures will be when you use DEI Titanium.
Going off on a tangent. There are loads of sellers claiming their exhaust wrap is “Titanium” some are even so clueless as to claim their exhaust wrap is made of actual Titanium. The fact of the matter is DEI created Lava Rock technology, I have seen a lot of these so called Titanium exhaust wraps and they are nothing more that the old fibreglass technology made into a weave that looks like DEI Titanium, they even go as far as giving their exhaust wrap a nice shiny coating. Stick with the branded products is my advice, your going to all the effort of wrapping your exhaust system, which is not the job of a few minutes, be a friend to yourself, fit quality products or all that time could be wasted because the inferior products you fitted are leaching heat like a broke fire hydrant. You saves a few bucks but lost hours of labour. Penny wise but pound foolish.
Rant over. Back to taming that volcano.
So you’ve got your header wrapped, you have your turbo blanket fitted and the elephant trunk is looking awesome dressed in DEI Titanium, what’s next?
Hold on, what’s that? Your saying there is absolutely no way you want to be take apart your exhaust and turbo system to put all this wrapping on?
I hear you, believe me, I hear you! And the good news is, so does DEI!
For the exhaust manifold. You want to get that bad boy under control and you want it done fast and you don’t mind a slightly less pro finish.
Let me introduce DEI Aluminised blanket sans sticky backing. Fast, effective, does 80% the job of Titanium. Wrap that bad boy over your bad boy, attach with some stainless steel clips are your good to go in about 30 minutes. It will be like you installed air conditioning in your engine bay compared to having an exposed header.
One word of warning using this blanket/matting, the silver finish will start to come off over time.
For the downpipe. If you want to keep that pro finish and get something on in about 30 minutes, DEI do this pipe shield.
It is held on by 3 clamps and you are good to go.
Want something cheaper, our old friend aluminised matting/blanket can work here also.
So going back to before I was so rudely interrupted, you have wrapped or covered your manifold, you have got a turbo blanket in place and your downpipe is wrapped. What next?
You have the heat emitters in your engine bay under control now you move on to reflecting the heat that is still coming off the exhaust system.
Anything electrical, cable, plugs, battery, go wrap them with reflect-a-gold. You are going to look and be a baller with a gold engine bay, that is a fact. Your budget is going to tell you how far you can go with this but start with the close expensive stuff and work down to the cheap far away stuff. That’s the formula I use.
And don’t forget about the hot things that are designed to be hot but actually work much better when they are cold. Yes, I’m talking about your radiator and oil cooling system. Just because they run hot does not mean they like it. If your turbo is next to your radiator, try to seperate the two. You have a turbo blanket, see if you can get another barrier in there to make the radiator work even better. Don’t forget, a cooler running cylinder head will let you run more ignition advance.
With all this in place, not only is your engine bay going to look a million bucks, when you pop the hood after a blast, you are not going to be hit by a burning wave of heat escaping your engine bay, you are going to met with… nothing much at all. Just a normal temperature engine bay even though you are rocking a GT42 like a boss. When you do feel the heat wave you know you are making your engine last longer.
Honestly, if you have an aftermarket header with no heat insulation or if you are running and aftermarket turbo kit with no insulation, you know what I have been talking about, you know how hot your engine bay gets and you know deep down that that much heat next to your electricals, next to your intake, next to your cable, sinking into your cooling system, getting sucked up by your oil system is not good and is probably asking for trouble.
You’ve spent a few dollars getting big power, spend a few less dollars finishing the job with DEI, you know it makes sense.
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