When rebuilding a car, this is the best time to consider heat management. You can plan all the heat protection you will need, especially in all of those hard to reach areas! There is nothing worse than completing your track car build or your classic car restoration and having a huge heat issue or even worse a fire on your hands! So, plan early in the car build, put heat management where it matters and put your worries about heat to bed!
There are lots of buzz words surrounding this subject, Gold heat tape, Turbo Blankets, heat sleeving, heat shielding etc, but where do you even start? You start at the start, with the basics.
Some thought should always be given for the following sections when building a car, and understanding how heat may affect the final running and performance of the car. Each of these have their own challenges to consider along with performance gains for each!
- This is vital to be kept at the optimal temperature. Too hot and you will likely damage internal engine components, too cold, and it is unsafe for the engine to experience high load. A coolant system needs to be kept in its own free air and ideally not close to hot components such as exhaust systems or turbos, as this could heat the fluids to a higher temperature than desired and actually heating the engine up as opposed to keeping it cool! A hotter oil than designed will change the lubrication qualities of the oil you are using and therefore increase the chance of an engine failure!
- You have read the point above and thought, “its ok, I have that covered with my radiator”. Well, not necessarily. If the radiator/cooler isn’t big enough (or is too big), the heat exchange will not work as well as required, and therefore could cause an engine failure due to the temperatures being incorrect for the engine type. One other big thing to consider – which always gets missed. Radiator positioning and ducting. If the exchanger does not have cool and fresh air flowing to it, it will likely be inefficient. So make sure you have tight and sealed ducting into and out of the radiator. Another rookie error which people make is to put a sensitive component behind the cooler. The cool air traveling in, will now be hot air traveling out, bear this in mind when mounting other radiators, intake pipework or electronics behind your cooler!
Think about in and out routes
- Air typically flows into the engine bay via the front bumper, then out under the floor. But this isn’t always possible due to flat floors, bumper design, wheel arch liner design, and tunnel design. But it is definitely something to consider – if air is expected to come in, it also needs a way out of the engine bay, otherwise stagnant HOT air will remain in the engine bay. This is not something that is going to help any of your components Perform well or even survive! Ensure air has a good path in, and out of the engine bay (ideally using ducting) to keep this transfer of heat at ideal!
- A lower intake temperature will always result in a more efficient combustion (and therefore more power)! There are so many ways to keep your intake pipework cool, with a heat sleeve, Reflective Heat Tape and/or a more efficient routed charge cooler! Intake Cooling is a topic which will affect road cars, race cars, track cars, and rally cars alike and so we have created a post specifically for this. You will find that here.
- Exhaust routing can be complex depending on the space you have available to you. Bear in mind the proximity to chassis components and body shell, this can make the internal cockpit temperatures very hot, as well as weakening these components through excessive heating then cooling from exhaust systems. Choose to either insulate your exhaust system, using wraps and blankets found here. Or insulate the body with heat shields and blankets which can be found here.
Routing of braided lines
- Much like engine oil, brake fluid, when hot does not provide the same stopping power as when it is at optimal temperature. Braided lines can also help cool turbo systems and alike. It is important to protect these lines from excessive heat transfer using heat sleeving and keeping the routing clean and away from hot components. If you want to be sure that your car will remain safe, use a heat sleeve from our impressive range. These can be found here
- Electronic components are becoming more and more vital in the running of modern cars. Heat can cause sensors to read incorrect values, or provide a misfire on the ignition systems. Where possible, it is important to keep these protected to ensure that the car will run as intended.
Still a little unsure? Still, need a little guidance?
PERFORMANCE. PROTECTION. RELIABILITY.