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Old 01-18-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
Unabomber
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OMGHi2U How to wrap your turbo

First off, the pros and cons of this mod.

Pros:
Easy
Cheap
Will stop 98.6% of heatsoak of your TMIC
Will stop you from visiting the burn ward while tinkering with your car

Cons:
None

Myth:
It will decrease reliability of your turbo

1. Purchase the Thermo Tec Turbo Wrap Kit #15003 which should cost around $37.
2. You can do this on or off the car as I've done probably 10 turbos over the years on or off the car. For a how-to, this is just easier to show and doing one on the car is only like 9% harder if that.
3. Assemble tools needed



I'm using the PROPER tool for the job, a safety wire twister. Harbor Freight sells these for a whopping $9. You can use pliers and twist it manually like the proletariat if you wish. I used the MIL-spec of 7 twists per inch though.



4. Make a paper template. This is two standard sheets of copier paper I stole from work taped together as the template that end up being like ~15" long or so. Notice how it is thicker on one end? This mimics the thickness of the compressor shape as it tapers.





5. Using a Sharpie, trace the template onto the thicker underwrap.



6. I cut two of these though the instructions only call for one layer. More is better right?



7. Cut 1/4" relief cuts every inch or so down both long sides of the wrap (and on both copies if doing two layers). These relief cuts will allow the thicker underwrap to lay flatter on the turbo body when it is tightened down. This step is optional and only for the most anal retentive.



8. If you do use two layers, it is best to secure them together so they don't shift around during wrapping. Since they will be on a curved surface, one will be slightly shorter than the other. Curve them into a circle so the slight shifting occurs and staple the ends with one staple on each end. Ghetto....yes....effective as crap....yes.



How it appears after stapling. The "loosey-goosey" appearance when not on the turbo is normal as that slack will go away when it is wrapped around the turbo.



9. This is where you mark and cut the silver overwrap. Flip it over and mark and cut the under white side. Lay down your template and mark using the Sharpie a perfect rectangle about 1/4" bigger than the thick tan underwrap.

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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Look how much extra material you have left when you are done! This is enough to wrap SEVERAL turbos depending on the size and how clumsy you are. The only item that you will need to buy more of is the safety wire which can be found at Harbor Freight. In a pinch, they sell solid strand wire at Michael's in the picture frame department you could use as well.



10. Cut two pieces of the safety wire that comes in the kit about ~8 inches or so longer than your silver overwrap.



11. Stitch the wire through the silver overwrap about 1/4" from the top and bottom edges. I did it every inch or so and wasn't terribly perfect as this isn't critical. The pic below shows the white underside to better show the stitching.



12. This part can be tricky with one person, so a helper might be useful at this point. You want to lay your thick tan underwrap in its proper position. Then put the silver overwrap over it. As you mess with the overwrap, the underwrap shifts on you, so you need to take your time as you don't want either the under or overwrap walleyed.



13. Then loosely twist the ends to hold it all in place.



14. You can now undo one side, then the other and cinch them down better. Once they are moderately tight, do a twist or three and cut off the excess. Then twist them fully making the wrap tight across the turbo body. If the whole wrap package is not tight....keep removing slack and twisting the wire until it is as in order for it to be 100% effective, it needs to be tight and secure.



15. Finished bottom



Finished top



NOTES

1. Both the under and overwrap are woven fibers. Be careful during handling as fraying can occur and you don't want to unravel the fabric to China....CUT any loose ends.

2. Trim and tuck your twisted wire ends and warn your installer about the safety wire. It may be advisable to wear safety glasses during the overwrap step as the extra wire will be smacking you in the face during the entire process.

3. Your wrap can and will smoke for the first 1-5 driving sessions. This is normal.

4. If you currently are using an OEM or aftermarket heat shield, keep using it. There is no such thing as too much heat protection.

5. The wrap on your turbo will last for thousands and thousands of miles. I've had two turbos go 50,000 miles wrapped with no real fraying, unraveling, or generally looking nasty. Turbo wrap pretty much stays day one pretty and effective after years....unlike coatings.

Last edited by Unabomber; 01-18-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Is there any reason that over or under trimming by a few centimeters on the side(s) in combination with the "lasagna noodle" effect left from the stitching on the side could have a large impact on heat soak, or heat in the bay in general?
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilfflip View Post
Is there any reason that over or under trimming by a few centimeters on the side(s) in combination with the "lasagna noodle" effect left from the stitching on the side could have a large impact on heat soak, or heat in the bay in general?
The lasagna noodle effect has no impact on heat, it is cosmetic. I can touch my turbo with my bare hand at ANY time if that gives you any indication of heat retention.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber

The lasagna noodle effect has no impact on heat, it is cosmetic. I can touch my turbo with my bare hand at ANY time if that gives you any indication of heat retention.
I knew that. My poorly written question was more, "is it worth concern if it's not wide enough by small amounts or would it be worth the effort to see together a more form fitting wrap?"
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:55 PM   #6
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working2
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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Needs more entertaining cartoons to keep me interested.

Eagerly awaiting moar.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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if yo dont mind to correct these myths.
i have heard it constrains heat which in turn harms the eternals of the turbo. heats up piping, and increases rust. NOW i have no idea but that is what has kept me from doing this. My shop said that a blanket will keep heat, to the point that once it has heated up so much that you will always be activating and driving on a red hot turbo. regardless of heat soak. im asking you if this is true.

other then that, yes it looks ****ing bad ass and something that i have wanted to do for a while
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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i got a ptp turbo blanket off ebay. they are like 80 bucks if you want to spend twice as much. they work so good you can put your hand on it after hard driving around town in summer and its warm but nothing hot to burn your hand.

i feel that this is a much better option than wrapping a downpipe because the turbo is mostly under the tmic and is cast so it holds more heat. the stainless downpipes wont and thats were it can dissipate more heat then! good writeup though. i did this first and it worked great for me.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lando View Post
Needs more entertaining cartoons to keep me interested.

Eagerly awaiting moar.
All out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris the man View Post
if yo dont mind to correct these myths.
i have heard it constrains heat which in turn harms the eternals of the turbo. heats up piping, and increases rust. NOW i have no idea but that is what has kept me from doing this. My shop said that a blanket will keep heat, to the point that once it has heated up so much that you will always be activating and driving on a red hot turbo. regardless of heat soak. im asking you if this is true.

other then that, yes it looks ****ing bad ass and something that i have wanted to do for a while
I've heard those stories as well....there are ZERO bad sides to wrapping your turbo. ZERO. NONE. All lies parroted by ignorant people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteBgeye02 View Post
i got a ptp turbo blanket off ebay. they are like 80 bucks if you want to spend twice as much. they work so good you can put your hand on it after hard driving around town in summer and its warm but nothing hot to burn your hand.

i feel that this is a much better option than wrapping a downpipe because the turbo is mostly under the tmic and is cast so it holds more heat. the stainless downpipes wont and thats were it can dissipate more heat then! good writeup though. i did this first and it worked great for me.
Those thick blankets are nice....the only problem is they are expensive as crap. Wrapping your turbo with the Thermotec product offers the same "turbo hand holding benefits" as I often touch it to prove my point to locals.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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Is that Blouch's new turbo you've been talking about?
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GDB FAN View Post
Is that Blouch's new turbo you've been talking about?
You win the sharp eye award today.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #13
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You win the sharp eye award today.
Hopefully we'll see a writeup soon!
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #14
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98.6% Ha, Ha... That's tad higher than my reality on my '02 WRX...

58.4% Turbo blanket
72.2% Water
90.3% Turbo blanket with water
97.3% Turbo blanket with water + vents with fans + header-wrap on everything...
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:03 PM   #15
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Ron, you know I love you buddy, but do we need to have a talk about why we feel wrapping exhaust parts is a bad thing?
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #16
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Turbo ain't exhaust buddy. Let's hear your reasoning, and it better be good as my old stock turbo is still wrapped to this day and still on the road with over 100,000 miles on it.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #17
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Turbo ain't exhaust buddy. Let's hear your reasoning, and it better be good as my old stock turbo is still wrapped to this day and still on the road with over 100,000 miles on it.
I'm no TiC, but my guess would be oil wicking for uppipes (oil saturated exhaust wrap doesn't like to be put out if it lights up). Getting more technical, they might discuss the phase change in the material resulting in heating it up to 1200F+ temperatures and significantly increasing the amount of time it takes to cool down. The resulting state of the material may be more susceptible to cracking due to engine vibration.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:12 PM   #18
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Can we sticky this thread please? Like McDonald's, I'm lovin it.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #19
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im loving this ****! think that it is a bad idea to wrap your turbo and DP? wont cause harsh heating up? i do agree with the science that the turbo will stay warmer longer with a blanket. and cool faster without one because heat disipates faster. but everyone i see loves turbo blankets. i think im getting one of these ****ers right now!
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:02 PM   #20
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- Is this worth doing on a stock turbo? (08 STi here)
- How can you tell if you have 'heat soak', and is it harmful other than losing a bit of power?

Neat thread, always good info.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalm3nema View Post
- Is this worth doing on a stock turbo? (08 STi here)
- How can you tell if you have 'heat soak', and is it harmful other than losing a bit of power?

Neat thread, always good info.
It's always worth while on any turbo.

Heat soak is when your intercooler gets hot due to engine heat. Ideally, you want your turbo air to go through your intercooler and get cooled to near air temperature. When your intercooler is hot (usually occurs when stationary due to radiant, convection (hottest thing in the car is the turbo and it is directly BELOW the intercooler), and conductive heating) the air from the turbo can only get as cool as the temperature of your intercooler. So on hot days, your car is sluggish below say 30MPH and is a super bear for those that drag race and overheat their intercoolers while staging. Anything you can do to prevent this makes your car peppier in lower speeds until the hood scoop starts doing it's job.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
It's always worth while on any turbo.

Heat soak is when your intercooler gets hot due to engine heat. Ideally, you want your turbo air to go through your intercooler and get cooled to near air temperature. When your intercooler is hot (usually occurs when stationary due to radiant, convection (hottest thing in the car is the turbo and it is directly BELOW the intercooler), and conductive heating) the air from the turbo can only get as cool as the temperature of your intercooler. So on hot days, your car is sluggish below say 30MPH and is a super bear for those that drag race and overheat their intercoolers while staging. Anything you can do to prevent this makes your car peppier in lower speeds until the hood scoop starts doing it's job.
Only if you spray water onto the IC... Dry, the IC is usually only about 60% efficient, thus you would never really get as cold IAT as the IC core temperature...
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #23
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Only if you spray water onto the IC... Dry, the IC is usually only about 60% efficient, thus you would never really get as cold IAT as the IC core temperature...
Our empirical research would say it's more efficient than that. This is a 2.0 WRX with an STI turbo and STI top-mount intercooler.


With 70-ish ambient temp, we were seeing a temp drop across the core of as much as 75 degrees -- from 175 before the IC to 92 or so after. Sure, it's not all the way to ambient, but it's pretty close. 75 degrees actual drop / 95 degrees max possible drop = 79% efficient?

Sorry, I realize this is a bit off the topic.

--Dan
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #24
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Our empirical research would say it's more efficient than that. This is a 2.0 WRX with an STI turbo and STI top-mount intercooler.

Mach V Intercooler Temp Gauge - YouTube

With 70-ish ambient temp, we were seeing a temp drop across the core of as much as 75 degrees -- from 175 before the IC to 92 or so after. Sure, it's not all the way to ambient, but it's pretty close. 75 degrees actual drop / 95 degrees max possible drop = 79% efficient?

Sorry, I realize this is a bit off the topic.

--Dan
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FastWRX.com

What kind of driving was that? "Normal" Spirited or pedal to metal? If it was any other way but a pedal to metal run, you don't get a true IC efficiency number... The best I got my IC efficiency up to was 86% on a pedal to metal run (the only way you can get true IC efficiency number) from 0 to 130 MPH, with just spirited driving around I can easily get 99% and even 103% (great numbers but not really proper test numbers)...

The 60% stock TMIC set up number was a pedal to metal run too...

Last edited by wrxdrvr; 01-20-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalm3nema View Post
- How can you tell if you have 'heat soak', and is it harmful other than losing a bit of power?
Sit at a stoplight for 5 minutes on a hot day, then see what happens when you floor it. The car will magically feel 1000lbs heavier.
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