Our amazing partners Funk Motorsport have provided us with this insightful guest blog that breaks down the major areas of heat risk and how to mitigate them.
As we know, unwanted heat can kill an engines reliability whilst also reducing a cars performance. In reality, heat management in drifting is something that is often overlooked although vital to performance and reliability. The discipline of drifting is made up of high intensity short burst runs, followed by shut down while waiting for results or wait to line up again for the next run. While stationary, without airflow through the ducts, there is nothing to keep the vital engine components protected. From this vulnerable position, it is soon time to turn the key and go again, unleashing unreal horsepower to the tarmac once more. Short, intense bursts of heat can also cook drivers within the cockpit since the heat has one clear exit path – directly through the bulkhead. The need to keep cars running at optimal on full throttle and high power, while sustaining long periods, is an engineering nightmare. Especially without any forced airflow! Heat soak is a real issue and it’s important to prevent vital components from excessive thermal exposure.
So, how do you tackle this issue? How can we help? We have broken down 9 ways in which Funk Motorsport Heat Management products have been used within the British Drift Championship over the past few years.
1. Gold Heat Tape on the bulkhead or around the engine bay.
Our list begins with Gold Reflective Heat Tape. Made famous by the Mclaren F1, gold will naturally help reflect heat away from components in which you are trying to protect. When we apply this to the world of drifting, key applications include the thin firewall between the driver and the engine bay, as well as any other body panel/chassis rail exposed to the harsh reality of heat. Gold Reflective Heat Tape is easy to fit to any custom shape or panel, whilst providing powerful results for a reasonably inexpensive cost. Cockpit temperatures are often overlooked until the fatigue of heat under competition causes a lack of concentration when it matters.
2. Turbo Blankets to reduce engine bay temperatures.
The Funk Motorsport Turbo Jacket is the cornerstone of our range. Constantly being developed and upgraded to ensure maximum performance, these Turbo Blankets work two-fold. They help keep the exhaust gases hot – actually improving spool up times and a faster exit of those hot gases, while dramatically reducing under bonnet temperatures. Keeping the intake cool and the compressor half of the turbo working at a preferred thermal range improves a cars performance, while protecting components such as fuel rails, starter motors, ignition systems and much more! The Funk Motorsport Turbo Blanket provides an unrivalled level of performance while adding an aesthetic edge to your engine bay.
3. Intake protection
An entire topic on its own – Intake Protection! In short, a cooler intake provides a bigger bang within the combustion chamber, leading to increased overall performance. What people forget is that a car will never produce the same figures as a “perfect world” dyno throughout the entire run. After the engine bay has begun to increase in temperature, the efficiency of the (now warm) air is decreasing. With a range of products designed to combat this issue for any system type – Velcro induction Sleeves, Heat Reflective Tape, Lace Up Induction Sleeves and more- we are here to help! You will find a much more in depth intake cooling guide on the Funk Motorsport website.
4. Gold Reflective Heat Blankets used to protect fuel cells.
Originating from Funk product development within the BTCC, Gold Reflective Heat Blankets have quickly found their way into the BDC and the wider drift community! A Gold Reflective Heat Blanket takes the gold taping, discussed in point 1 to a whole new level! These blankets are not only designed to help protect from Radiant Heat transfer, but also against Convectional heat transfer. These blankets look very neat and can be cut and shaped according to your requirements. Many people line the areas beneath their fuel cell to ensure that the fuel entering the engine is as cool and dense as possible to provide maximum energy within the cylinder head.
5. Ignition system protection.
Whilst it may seam trivial, the ignition system is responsible for the initial kick start of energy for the combustion cycle. If we damage this, or produce fatigue in one way or another, the energy produced from the individual cylinder will be reduced and overall performance harmed. As you can understand, these components work within hot and confined spaces – of which can end in a misfire. As seen on all of the top drift cars, thermal protection is available for wiring, sensors, HT leads and Spark plug caps. Don’t get caught out on such a simple part of your car.
6. Oil line protection.
Oil does two things in an engine; it lubricates and cools the internal components. Its lubrication qualities are based on the numbers on the bottle, for example 0w30 (yes, those numbers really do mean something!). When they stretch outside of their operating temperature window, their properties change, and therefore become denser or thinner – leading to overheating or under lubrication. Needless to say, this is never good for a Drift car that is designed to work faultlessly for a maximum attack 30-second run. We offer a wide range of heat protection sleeving, which can protect these lines from external heat sources and keep the oil system working efficiently.
7. Fuel vapour lock protection.
Vapour lock is something that we see far too often within a hot engine bay. Motorsport is all about high flow fuel systems that require consistent fuel
flow to allow power to be activated on request. Vapour lock is a situation where we see the fuel evaporate within the fuel lines (or fuel cell), becoming a gas, which does not flow in the same way. This therefore creates an interruption within the fuel delivery that could lead to a misfire or even an engine failure! To solve this, many drifters use Funk reflective heat blankets to protect their fuel cells as well as heat protection sleeving on the lines within the engine bay to protect against the likelihood of heat soak while waiting for their run to begin.
8. Brake Fluid and Clutch protection.
A common misconception is that drifting isn’t about how fast you can slow down. As we all know, that brake pedal can be a useful tool to allow the car to point where we need it to, to get us out of a tricky situation or even initiate by pulling on that hand brake. Brakes are something that you rely on when you absolutely need them. Far too often we see brake fluid boiling due to the position of the lines or the master cylinders. Sometimes the positioning cannot be avoided, but we would never recommend leaving these unprotected. Create a heat shield or apply one of our new master cylinder protection covers (currently in development), which would maintain a lower temperature of the fluid at all times. Brake lines can also be sleeved and protected to create maximum stopping power at all times.
9. Exhaust/Downpipe protection.
Similar to a turbo, the laws of thermodynamics state that gases accelerate quicker when they are hotter. Keep this temperature up and get those gases out of the system as fast as possible – whilst minimising heat transfer into the engine bay. Look at this V8 Turbo MX5 for example. An engine bay full of large pipework in an extremely compact space. It was a requirement to reduce temperature where possible, so wrapping was the best idea.
Despite this, there is more than one way to achieve your desired outcome. Sometimes only a small section is required to protect a nearby electronic component, fuelling component or intake section. Here at Funk, we have recognised this and developed a clamp on exhaust blanket and a wrap around exhaust blanket, designed to look great whilst being easy to fit.
Heat Management and our mantra are the combination of three aspects:
Increase PERFORMANCE. PROTECT vital components. Maintain RELIABILITY.
PERFORMANCE. PROTECTION. RELIABILITY.
Funk Motorsport – Your Heat Management Specialists and proud sponsors of the British Drift Championship/Drift Games.