Cold is your friend!
One of the most important aspects of any race car is keeping all that energy under a constant and controlled temperature. Even with a large radiator, inter cooler, oil coolers and good room around working components of a race car sometimes you need a little more assistance!
I was approached last year before the 2012/13 season had begun ,by a company in Auckland, Evolution motorsports by the managing director/owner Alvin Hooi who had been watching my website and was very interested in the car and what I have achieved to date. Evolution Motorsports wanted to be a part of LJ Racing and a sponsorship arrangement was made in the form of a product called TSD, a boron nitride spray on coating which is heat dissipation cooling technology, in a can. As most people would think including myself, is that this is a product in a can so it won’t be any good at all, right?
SO! Knowing what it takes to build a car as reliable and competitive as possilble, I was very skeptical of it working even remotely well. After a few phone calls and emails plus a bit of research, I decided it was worth a try. Now I should point out at this stage I was managing to keep the car within a comfortable operating temperature or be it only just, with temperature creeping problems on hotter days I was facing having to modify the ducting and increase radiator sizes to help promote temperature stabilization.
As it turned out I needed to go back to SpeedTech Motorsport to dyno the car after a few changes, so I used this as an opportunity in conjunction with STM and Evolution Motorsports to run a few tests on the product. With the radiator already coated and a knowledge of what the water temperature was on previous dyno runs It was a simple case of tuning the car first then doing several power runs to establish a consistent figure. This is where it became very interesting! My tuner was very interested to note that the water temperature would not go above 83deg C, every run saw the water climb to 83 and stay there, even on the last run, it is quite normal to see water temps creep up under full power runs even on well sorted race cars. Factors to consider with this result are things like air flow through the radiator given this is on a dyno so a fan has to be used to provide the air flow for what is a static car, this represents an artificial environment as a true flow of air through and around a dynamic car on track makes for different results, aspects like the ambient air temperature on the day and the time spent at full power which is not as punishing as during a 15 minute race are some of the issues not seen on a dyno. This aside and taken into account, the results showed really good control of the water cooling system and will really be tested on track, on a 30deg C ambient day, I will reveal the results I experienced later.
After the car cooled down a bit I removed and coated the inter cooler with the TSD three times then allowed it a short time to dry before re fitting ready for testing phase two.
Now you don’t often hear products in a can providing proper HP gains, it’s one of those areas people know just does not work out. I would at this stage like to point out my reputation is on the line so the results are realistic and true, it is well worth investing in TSD if you are serious about getting every gain you can without having to resort to more boost, different cams, and in general a more stressed engine.
The dyno runs with out the coating produced a consistent 481.2hp atw, with the TSD coating we saw an increase to 485.3hp atw. That’s a 4.1hp increase on a 2ltr engine running 23.8psi boost at 6226rpm with a rpm limit of 8000. It must also be mentioned that the hp power potential is limited by the ignition coils at this stage so with a coil upgrade not only would the hp increase but the TSD would aid a power increase at the same time. TSD coating not only pulled up the hp but also had a small positive effect on bringing the boost on quicker, which is what you need in a race car.
Remember this was all gained from a spray can!
Other positive ramifications to take into account besides the hp increase, is that air intake temperature is down helping decrease the chance of detonation and helping to keep the water and oil temperatures lower at the same time, giving these radiators less work to do! The same applies to all the radiators I coated. Alvin also supplied me with enough to coat the gearbox, which has always been a very big problem with burning the oil jet black after just one round of racing. This was an area that had to be sorted. after the coating but taking in to account I had increased the gearbox tunnel size in the car during the off season, fitted an oil cooler, filter and pump the drained oil came out of the box nice and golden with a slight burnt look, but after two full rounds which showed I finally had good control over the temperature. I have also fitted an oil temp gauge as a monitor and on the hottest day I have raced so far, with track temps hitting 65deg C and ambient above 30deg C the gearbox oil never went above 90deg C, this means a big win as the gearbox now has good protection from it’s lubrication. Unfortunately even with the help it did not stop the end of the cluster shaft snapping clean off right behind 5th gear on the rear of the gearbox housing separation plate resulting in a 4 speed box with no reverse. SO MUCH FOR THESE R33 det boxes being strong! That’s two I have been through now with the first one cir-cumming to synchro failure and the second a breakage plus the synchros were on the way out. Admittedly the unfortunate thing with running road boxes is that you have no control over the history of the box or how it has been treated? For all I know this could have been behind a 700hp car? Then I purchased it and with the constant power, the slick tyres, and hard suspension plus a triple clutch could have helped finish off a fatigue crack that may have already existed? I’ll never know!
Heading back to the water and oil temperatures. The above mentioned 65deg C track day, which were the hottest conditions I have raced this car in, the water temp like the dyno never once climbed above 83deg C, where as before hand I would easily expect to see it climb to 93/5 deg C on a hot day, the engine oil stayed at 85deg C and gearbox gauge needle slightly above 90deg C. The same could not be said inside the car, I think I lost half my body weight during that session, resembling a 4 ft shrivelled up dried apricot after I got out of the car.
So in conclusion, now that I have had the chance to use TSD and I know what it is capable of, I would not hesitate to use TSD in an area which I am having trouble with or even if I was racing in a production series and I could gain a few hp simply from a spray can, then you can’t go wrong. You do however need to be very careful of copies and fakes. !!! USE ONLY TSD BRAND BORON NITRIDE !!!!