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Old 09-15-2012, 11:16 PM  
VIR Specialist

JusticePete's Avatar
Drives: Camaro Justice
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 20,249
Thermal Management

Thermal Management
Our 2010 Camaro is making over 560 RWHP and 499 RWTQ. It is also making a lot of heat. It makes so much heat it discolors the paint on the lower rear fascia and has melted some of the fascia. We can live with that, but losing power because of high IATs -- unacceptable.

ProCharger has developed a Stage II kit for the 2010 Camaro. We now run a larger intake tube and filter with a MASSIVE race intercooler. The new intercooler includes a mount for the MAF. My tuner believes that the air flow in the intercooler is less turbulent and allows him to tune more effectively. We did not gain RWHP but we did gain between 20 and 30 RWHP and RWTQ between 3 and 6K. We also dramatically dropped the IATs and should not see any on track power loss.

In addition to the new intake and intercooler we did more thermal management work. We wrapped the headers, removed the sound insulation from the plenum, wrapped the heater hoses and finally wrapped the intake charge tube to isolate it from engine compartment heat. The crew at Witt Buick did a great job for us.

We'll track test in a little more than two weeks, but the street and dyno results are very encouraging.

We do not suggest you remove the OE mufflers because they are part of the under car OE aero engineering. The shape of the mufflers flow air past the rear fascia. The OE mufflers prevent the rear fascia from becoming your drogue chute, they reduce drag at high speeds.

Under your engine cover is a plenum cover. This cover is installed to reduce air flow noise in the passenger area. We suspected it was also holding in heat. As we look to make the intake charge as cool as possible reducing the temperature of the plenum made sense.

The foam is relatively thick. With the cover removed you can lay your hand on the plenum after a hard run comfortably. It may not be scientific, but it is an effective measurement. With plenum cover -- too hit to touch. Without the plenum cover -- warm but comfortable.

Jeff at Witt Buick wraps the heater hoses that lay across the plenum. We wrapped the hose to reduce heat transmission from the hose to the plenum. Anything that we could do to keep the intake air cool and maintain all the OE creature comforts we did.

Thermal management is straight forward, but time consuming. It takes longer than you would think. Our complete project including tuning took 3 and 1/2 days.

To wrap the headers we had to remove them. Coating may have been as effective, but the full race guys we spoke with seemed to think that wrapping was more effective. We apologize to our good friends at ARH for wrapping their wonderful SS 2010 Camaro headers. Sorry about that Nick.

When it comes to wrapping headers the best thing to do is go slow. It seems that no matter how much care you put into the project there will be a gap here and there. We did the wrap and sprayed a coat of protective silicone. When the coating dried we went back to wrapping until we were satisfied.

Jeff from Witt Buick sprays protective coating.

This header is 90% complete. If you take a close look you'll find some gaps. We wrapped and sprayed again.

Header #2 gets wrapped.

Our data logging did not detect any electronic issues. That said, as long as we were taking these extreme thermal management measures we insulated the spark plug wires.

The engine compartment was shaping up as far as the wraps for stage one of the project.

The standard ProCharger, 2.5 Quart Fluidyne Oil Cooler and supplemental power steering cooler are shown here. Take note of the collector / tanks being on the top and bottom with the cores running vertically.

The original ProCharger Intercooler was sufficient to make our Camaro the fastest 2010 on a road course and at the Optima Challenge. We would have been faster with our current setup. We would have been faster because we would not have lost power due to high IATs and timing being pulled out of the tune by the on board engine computer.

The new intercooler is larger by dimension and use side tanks instead of top and bottom tanks. It also includes a mounting point for the MAF. The old system had the MAF in the charge tube. The metal tube and mount would get hot. The heat from the metal tube influenced the MAF temperature reading making the computer think the air in the tube was hotter than it actually was. The new MAF location will read accurate air temperatures. Not only with the reading be accurate, the air will be cooler due to the improved intercooler. On the dyno our supercharged air was only 2 to 3 degrees warmer than the ambient air temperature. We did our dyno work with a single fan. Recovery was almost instantaneous. With air moving at track speeds we should be seeing supercharged air at ambient temps.

The Fluidyne 2.5 Quart oil cooler is mounted above the new ProCharger Stage II intercooler. Today the ambient air temp was 91 degrees. The in car temperature gauge / model showed oil temps to be 210 degrees when the water temp was 194. Using a direct reading thermal probe on the oil tank the reading was down to 150 degrees. The intercooler after the same 30 minute expressway drive was found to be 91 degrees or the same as ambient air.

The oil cooler is plumbed with -12 lines. -12 stands for REALLY BIG OIL LINES!

In this picture look at the left lower corner where you will see the OE bumper mount un- cut.

In this picture you can see where we trimmed the bumper mount to create clearance for the new MAF location.

This is the new intake charge pipe test fit into place. The only difference is there is no MAF mount on the Stage II pipe shown NAKED.

We insulated the Stage II pipe from rubber hose mount to rubber hose mount with left-over header wrap. On the headers, the wrap keeps heat in. On the intake pipe we are using it to keep heat OUT. With the MAF reading IAT at the intercooler we wanted to make certain that the air entering the engine was the same as it was in the intercooler.

Here you can see the intake charge pipe installed with header wrap. We are only Stage I in our process. We need to add the 'astronaut' sock.

Stage II required the installation of an 'astronaut sock'. This reflective heat barrier is made of the same material as header wrap with a foil outer shell to reflect heat away from the pipe. Ryan at Witt Buick did a great job of lacing up the 'astronaut' sock in relatively tight spaces.

All of our insulation materials were purchased through Lane Automotive in Waterviliet Michigan.

The 2010 5th Gen Chevrolet Camaro is an American Muscle Car. You can see we tip our hat to acknowledge the heritage with Red White and Blue lacing. We are confident that the insulation will deliver supercharged air within a degree or two of the air measured at the new MAF location of the intercooler. The proof will come at our next testing session when we can compare data from previous runs to the new runs we make using Thermal Management.

If we had it to do all over again, we would have had the headers coated and still wrapped them. The LS3 is a furnace and anything we can do to lower the engine compartment temperatures is a good thing. The same is true of all the other things we did. On our next project car I can assure you we will do this the first time around and not install so many of the same parts twice. I should also point out that we run our 5th Gen hard, really hard. The harder you run them the more care you have to exercise regarding Thermal Management.

Last edited by JusticePete; 10-10-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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