Beat the heat: Engineered to keep you cruising cool and quiet year-round

August 15, 2016

Photos By: Manufacturers

If you spend most of your drive time in a newer vehicle you understand the letdown that comes with taking the wheel of a classic Mustang during the summertime. Even with air conditioning and OEM body insulation, these classic cruisers can get pretty toasty due to poor insulation, headers, and aftermarket exhaust systems. You toasted drivers will be glad to hear that great innovations in aerospace have managed to spill over into classic Mustangs and other vintage automobiles. Sound and heat reduction are but two examples of how technology has improved the quality of the vintage Mustang cruise thanks to companies like Design Engineering, Inc. (DEI), Summit Racing, Quiet Ride Solutions, and Heatshield Products. If you visit their websites, you will find an array of heat- and noise-reduction products.

To understand the dynamics of heat, consider what we know to be true about internal combustion engines. Our engines use just 25 percent of the heat energy from a gallon of gasoline to create power. The rest of that precious heat radiates into the cooling system and goes out the exhaust pipe. Approximately 75 percent of your engine’s heat energy is lost—period. Wasted heat energy takes a toll on the engine compartment and your Mustang’s interior. Extreme under-hood heat does its share of damage to hoses, belts, wiring harnesses, weatherstripping, fuel systems, and a host of other elements. And that heat finds its way into the cabin due to the basic fundamentals of heat transfer. Heat always finds its way to a cooler environment, including your feet and backside.

Temperature’s Falling

Exhaust insulation is a terrific product that has come a long way in recent years. You can wrap it around the hottest exhaust system parts and keep heat where it belongs, inside header tubes and exhaust pipes. By keeping heat inside the exhaust system, you’re reducing under-hood and cabin temperatures—trunk, too. What’s more, confining exhaust heat to the exhaust system improves scavenging by increasing velocity, which can improve power.

There are two basic ways to keep exhaust heat where it belongs—wrap systems and ceramic coating. Heatshield Products, Thermo-Tec, and other wrap kits available from Summit Racing Equipment do an incredible job of keeping necessary heat and noise away from your Mustang’s interior.

Exhaust wrap is a thermal insulator engineered to keep destructive (yet productive) heat where it’s most effective. Exhaust-system pipe wrap can actually reduce under-hood temperatures by 50 percent, according to Heatshield. When you reduce under-hood temperatures, your engine’s cooling system is better able to transfer heat. Plus, your engine gets the benefit of cooler induction temperatures, which also contributes to power.

Excessive heat from the mufflers, which are usually mounted right up against the floorpan, can be transferred through the floorpan and increase the interior temperatures to very uncomfortable levels. Heat can raise trunk temps, which have little or no airflow to help transfer heat to the atmosphere. In addition to roasting whatever you’re carrying in your trunk, there’s also your fuel tank and even a trunk-mounted battery to consider in some cases. Heat will melt the lunch you so carefully loaded into the ice chest and end the life of your battery quickly. Hot fuel leads to vapor lock and engine stall, calling a quick halt to weekend fun. Heatshield Products offers a wide array of products you can install in an afternoon and experience cool down by dinnertime.

Whole Vehicle Systems

Another heat- and sound-reduction option is a complete noise and heat whole-car shield package designed to keep both noise and heat out. QuietRide Solutions from Mustangs Plus delivers complete noise- and heat-reduction kits for classic Mustangs, such as AcoustiShield that insulates your vehicle. QuietRide Solutions makes high-quality insulation that is pre-cut and ready to install right out of the box. The company offers full, complete kits that cover the body panels, roof, floor, trunk, cowls, and door panels. These kits are available as one complete kit or separate individual kits.

The kits reduce road noise and exhaust harmonics, eliminate mechanical noise, and stop body-panel and audio-system vibrations, as well as minimizing radiated and reflected heat.

Firewall insulation pads from Quiet Ride Solutions, engineered to keep engine heat and noise out, are also available for classic Mustangs. This can become labor intensive because the heater assembly and pedal support must come out. However, if you’re into a full build already, it’s not much more to do. AcoustiHood from Quiet Ride further contains sound and heat while protecting hood paint. AcoustiTrunk is another complete sound and heat reduction system engineered for classic Mustangs.

01. This is Muffler Armor from Heatshield Products, which confines destructive heat to the mufflers. Its sound insulation properties also reduce exhaust system noise and resonance. Heatshield Products Muffler Armor uses the BioCool thermal-barrier material to withstand 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit of continuous heat, helping reduce radiant heat from mufflers up to 70 percent. We like these locking Thermal-Tie wraps that keep the Muffler Armor wrapped tight around your Mustang’s mufflers.

02-03. Muffler Armor is placed around the muffler, as shown, with the parting gap located on the bottom. Bring the parting gap closed when wrapping the muffler completely.

04. These stainless steel Thermal-Tie wraps make for easy installation. You may also use other forms of tie-wrapping, including long-worm gear clamps, safety wire, and other such items depending on your personal taste and desired functionality.

05-06. You may use as many Thermal-Tie wraps as you’d like. The manufacturer advises using the full complement of six straps for the greatest wrap security. Once these tie wraps are pulled tight, trim as necessary.

07. Another low-buck option is Fox Body Mustang-style muffler heat shields, which are also available from the aftermarket. You can find muffler heat shields on donor Foxes all over the place.

08. DEI’s Reflect-A-Gold heat barriers (PN DEI-010393 at Summit Racing) are a state-of-the-art polymer-laminated glass cloth that is extremely lightweight and capable of handling continual operating temperatures of 850 degrees F. Popular uses for these heat barriers include engine covers, seat bottoms, bulkheads, and fuel cells.

09. Summit Racing’s own (PN SUM-350115) Heat Sleeving protects wires, cables, and lines from damaging radiant heat. Heat Sleeving is fireproof, oil-resistant, and lightweight. It is available in several lengths, depending upon your needs, and easy to install.

10. Burned sparkplug wire boots have long been an issue, especially if you’re running equal-length headers. Summit’s (PN 889511) Spark Plug Boot Heat Shields deliver unequalled protection from destructive header heat and withstand 500 degrees.

11. Heatshield Products makes Inferno header wraps (PN hsp-325100) to handle extreme header and exhaust pipe heat. These high-temp pipe wraps are made in the USA and will handle any extreme applications you can imagine with texturized amorphous silica filament yarn. Translated, that makes this header wrap strong and flexible when it is operating at its designed service temperature of 2,000 degrees F. continuous and 3,000 degrees intermittent. These wraps allow the exhaust gas to exit your system faster, increasing exhaust scavenging, and helping lower intake temperatures, which means more power at the wheels.

12. Those running a turbocharger in your classic Mustang can appreciate the excessive heat generated by these power adders. The turbine side of the housing throws off incredible heat when the throttle is pinned under load. The Lava turbo heat shields (PN hsp-300073) from Heatshield Products Summit Racing are custom-fit to each model of turbo and use extreme temperature materials to keep heat in the hot side of the turbo. Installation is easy. The heat shields’ silica contact layer and silica insulation allow them to withstand 1,800 degrees F. continuously.

13. Here’s another way to protect lines and wiring from excessive heat. The (PN DEI-010405) Heat Shroud is an easy-to-use heat protector made from the same material as DEI’s Heat Sheath sleeving. DEI Heat Shrouds wrap around your wiring and fasten to themselves with Velcro strips that run the entire length of the shroud. This makes them easy to install and remove when it’s time for service. Heat Shrouds fit 3/4-inch to 1 1/4-inch diameter harnesses and measure 1- by 36-inches.

NOMAR From Heatshield

This has nothing to do with heat-shielding techniques, but check out what we found on Heatshield’s website: NOMAR Carbon Fiber AN Wrenches. These are easily the coolest AN fitting wrenches available for your tool arsenal. With NOMAR you can tighten aluminum AN hose-end fittings properly and without fear of scoring the anodized finish. Regular AN fitting wrenches are made mostly from aluminum alloy.

PN 940011 -6 and -8 Combo AN Wrench
PN 940012 -10 and -12 Combo AN Wrench
PN 940013 -6, -8, -10, and -12 AN Wrench Set

14. QuietRide Solutions’ insulation packages available from Mustangs Plus is another smart way to keep noise and heat out. Mustangs Plus opted for QuietRide Solutions for its Reclaim Mustang fastback project, and this writer has it in a 1967 Mustang. These noise- and heat-reduction systems begin with stick-on body dampeners to eliminate road boom. Then, QuietRide adds thick, padded body panel absorbers to silence vibrations in a Mustang’s steel panels. This system hushes road, engine, and driveline noise. The padding soaks up noise and the aluminum sheet contributes greatly to heat insulation.

15. When you install AcoustiShield against the roof panel, it deadens road boom and keeps solar-conducted heat out on a hot day. What’s more, it keeps cold out, too.

16. Once AcoustiShield is completely installed and joined by the provided aluminum tape, it becomes seamless and shuts out noise and heat. Your greatest challenge with any insulation package is fitment of panels and carpet, which may call for trimming.

17. Heat insulation transcends wrap systems, especially when you begin at the heat source. High-temperature ceramic coatings, such as Jet Hot, have become one of the best investments you can make for two reasons—heat containment and corrosion prevention. These high-tech, high-temp ceramic coatings last indefinitely and never rust.

18. We tried high-temp ceramic on a pair of 289 High Performance exhaust manifolds in cast iron. They look natural, contain heat, and will never rust.


© 2016 Wild Pony Motorsports


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