Targa Miata
July 17, 2011 - One problem the car has is very high intake air temperatures.
I've looked at various ways to try and pull cool air into the intake, but most of them involve more surgery than I want to do right now. There's a lot to do before Targa and not much time! So I decided to do the best I could with what I have.
Step one was this heat shield. It isolates the filter from the headers, hopefully cutting down the heat transfer a bit. It actually has a bit of history to is, it was part of my transmission tunnel cover on the Seven when I first built the car. It does cut the filter off from the hot headers pretty nicely.
entry 878 - tags: heat, intake
July 17, 2011 - Now that the heat shield is in place, I need to find a way to get cold(er) air in to that area of the engine bay.
The classic way to do that on a Miata is through the turn indicator opening. I've been collecting parts to make something like this for a while, and here's what I used: an LED light for a motorcycle, a multiple-purpose grill topper, a piece of 3/4" steel strap and a stainless plate in the shape of a Miata turn indicator.
entry 879 - tags: tsi, intake, heat
July 17, 2011 - The final product.
The light is quite visible when lit, but hidden when off. I drilled some holes in the 3/4" strap to allow a bit more air through, and the mesh is simply folded around the stainless steel plate. It only took a few minutes to put together. You can buy a setup that looks a lot like this from KG Works for an eye-watering amount of money, but this should work just as nicely. In previous testing, I've seen similar setups drop intake temperatures significantly. We'll see how it does here.
I only did one side until I determine how it works. I may or may not do the other.
entry 880 - tags: tsi, heat, intake
July 29, 2011 - Here's some of the other work done today.
I covered the transmission tunnel with Thermo-tec "Cool-it". This may not be necessary for Newfoundland, but as I found last week the tunnel gets very hot on the track in 100F temperatures. It'll make the car more comfortable.
I also put new grip tape under the pedals. I used skateboard tape, as it's both much less expensive and much more effective than the stuff you buy at Home Depot. It's about $2.50 a square foot! There's a new pedal extension on the gas pedal. The previous MOMO pedal cover was too wide for the new transmission tunnel. Not quite visible in this picture is a horn button - when I switched to the removable wheel, I lost my previous setup.
entry 888 - tags: ergonomics, heat shielding, pedals
August 2, 2011 - Tuning time.
I've been driving the car to and from work and starting to get the computer set up better and better. It's not perfect yet, but I'm learning a lot and it shouldn't take much longer to get everything dialed in.
The heat shielding on the transmission tunnel worked extremely well, making the car much more comfortable to drive. It's not as sexy looking as bare metal, but for a minimal weight gain the car is now a happier place to spend 13 hour days.
Because I had some of the stuff left over, I decided to see if it would help at all with the intake temps.
entry 897 - tags: testing, intake, heat
March 2, 2012 - I mentioned there was some heat involved.
This is what the hot exhaust did to a piece of stovepipe being used to extract the exhaust. In fact, the pipe blew some of the exhaust back out again and melted the bumper - despite having a big suction fan on the other end.
entry 1021 - tags: heat, dyno, testing
October 10, 2013 - How hot did the transmission tunnel get?
Hot enough to melt this plastic check valve. This valve is supposed to prevent the buildup of pressure inside the trans with heat. It's obviously not able to do the job anymore, which would explain why the transmission had a tendency to leak from various seals. This will obviously get replaced.
In completely unrelated news, the exhaust system was sent off to Swain for ceramic coating today.
entry 1100 - tags: transmission, heat