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Aug 2, 2019

Heat Shielding for Nissan Skyline : Header Shields : Thermal Management

Things melt.  Chocolate melts between 86F and 90F (30C and 32 C). Steel melts between 2600 F and 2800 F (1425 C and 1540 C).   Somewhere in between those numbers are the various parts of your car. Plastic connectors, aluminum parts, bundles of wire, rubber hoses.

Normally melting all those kinds of things would be bad. On a car, underhood, an internal combustion engine isn't very efficient. It turns a lot of its energy into waste energy in the form of heat.   On a turbocharged car like a Nissan Skyline GT-R we have a hotside of the engine, and a cold side of the engine.

Nismo S2 engine with carbon fiber turbopipes, and carbon fiber airbox

On the hotside of the engine we have the turbochargers. That is the passenger side, or the left side of the engine bay. You always want to run the heat shields on the exhaust manifolds. At a minium you also want to wrap the outlet of the front turbo.  The rear turbo on a R32, R33, and R34 Skyline GTR almost always fails first. It gets hot.  On the R34 Vspec II, Nissan added a NACA duct to the hood, to help direct air at the rear turbo, to cool it.

Look at those exhaust manifolds glowing. Thanks Mr. Kirby. 

The hotside of a RB26. These are Tomei turbos, and Tomei exhaust manifolds. 
On the cold side of the engine we have the collector, the throttle bodies, the fuel rail. The right side, or drivers side is the cold side of the engine.

Our goal in life, should be to keep the hot stuff, on the side side, and the cold stuff on the cold side.  In the video below, HeaderShield runs some testing with Data on a Porsche Cayman race car.  Not turbocharged, not a GT-R, but still shows their product

Buy USA Legal R32 and R33 Skylines at! for Nissan Skyline GT-R and GT-R parts.

Do turbo blankets actually work? What is the purpose of a turbo blanket? What are the advantages of using a turbo blanket? This video involves two tests, one completed by myself and Humble Mechanic, the other as a thesis for a masters at UT Austin. For our tests, we seek to see if there are any major temperature differences between using a turbo blanket, versus not. This can mean different cabin temperatures, lower hood temperatures, lower engine bay temperatures, and even lower intake air temperatures. The idea of a turbo blanket is that it keeps all the exhaust heat contained within the turbocharger, rather than radiating out from it. This means more heat is contained as useful pressure, and that pressure spins the turbochargers. With more pressure, you create more power. Does it actually work? Let's watch and find out!

There are also other types of products, and methods to keep things from melting underhood. These range from coatings, and wraps, to air gaps, and heat shields.  In the Navy, we used lagging and blankets on turbochargers and other hot equipment to keep space temperatures lower.

In the past we have tried lots of coatings, and the one one we really like is Swain.
Automotive Coatings  . Our friends from MotoIQ love it, as do we.

Whether turbocharged or normally aspirated, there are significant engine benefits with a Swain Tech coated manifold or header.  In turbocharged engines, it helps spool the turbo.  In a normally aspirated engine, the sustained velocity through the header improves exhaust scavenging, which also can increase power. 
The other way power is optimized in both applications is reducing the under-hood temperature.  Swain reports a coated exhaust header radiates between 35-55% less heat in the engine bay.  Obviously, many other parts in the engine radiate heat as well, so this claimed percentage range probably wouldn't be proportional to the drop in intake-air temp.  But even if it were half of the minimum 35%, we're talking a near-2% improvement, potentially, as well as extended life for nearly every rubber and plastic component under the hood. 
Skyline GT-R front or down pipe. One for each turbo with a flex joint in it

More information about Heat Management from MotoIQ

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