Turbo Blanket Testing

1.0 Background

1.1 Summary

This test project is being undertaken to evaluate the performance impact of a turbo blanket on 1) engine compartment and air intake temperatures and 2) turbocharger boost onset when installed on an IS38+ turbocharger equipped VW Mk7 GTI.

1.2 Previous Test Results

  • No previous testing has been performed on the Mk7 GTI by the test conductor.
  • Other owners experiences are referenced later in the test plan.
  • No vendor testing of the products considered for this test could be found.
  • SAE journal articles on turbochargers tested outside of an engine compartment were found to show some performance benefits.

2.0 Purpose of Test

Determine if there are measurable differences in temperature and boost onset for a Mk7 GTI equipped with an IS38+ turbocharger following the installation of a turbocharger blanket.

3.0 Systems under test

3.1 Turbo blanket

The turbocharger blanket as the name suggests is a product that encases the turbocharger to reduce heat transfer from the turbo.  The blanket is wrapped around the turbine housing, the source of the greatest heat in the turbocharger.  The blanket is made of a high heat resistant material.

Forge Turbocharger Blanket
Forge Turbocharger Blanket

3.2 Test Item

Considered for this test were the following vendor products:

An absence of performance data to use for comparison between products left the determination to be made by other criteria.  Costs vary greatly among the products.  The least costly is the Forge turbo blanket and this vendor’s product was selected to be used in this test.

3.3 Test Instrumentation

The GTI is equipped from the factory with temperature and pressure sensors that produce useful data to support this test.  Additional data logging equipment is installed as shown below:

Engine Compartment Measures
Engine Compartment Measures

Air temperature is recorded after passing through the airbox and inlet hose by a sensor located inside the turbo inlet elbow.

Turbo Inlet Elbow Temperature Probe
Turbo Inlet Elbow Temperature Probe

Temperature at the turbocharger compressor outlet is measured using a sensor installed inside the turbocharger muffler, shown below:

034 Turbo Muffler Delete with Sensor Ports
034 Turbo Muffler Delete with Sensor Ports

Air temperature exiting the intercooler is measured by a sensor located inside the cold side charge pipe:

Mk7 GTI Throttle Charge Pipe Temperature Sensor
Throttle Charge Pipe Temperature Sensor

Temperature at the intake manifold and the ambient air temperature are recorded using the GTI vehicle sensors.

Boost pressure is recorded at the turbocharger compressor outlet by a pressure sensor located in the turbo muffler and the vehicle MAP sensor records pressure at the intake manifold.

Placed within the engine compartment are two temperature probes.  One is near the oil filter housing in front if the intake manifold.

Temperature Probe - Open Duct Test
Temperature Probe – Open Duct Test

The other is located above the turbocharger compressor housing:

Over Turbo Temperature Probe
Over Turbo Temperature Probe

Note: Available but not used is a handheld thermal camera.  The goal of this test is to evaluate the turbocharger blanket affect on performance when the GTI is in operation and the handheld device does not support that goal.

FLIR Temperature Sensor
FLIR Spot Thermal Camera

4.0 Scope of Turbo Blanket Test

4.1 Test Environment

Temperature and pressure will be measured along the engine air intake path and within the engine compartment of a Mk7 GTI.  The vehicle will be operated with ambient temperature ranging between mid 70’s to mid 90’s.

4.2 Test and Test Conditions

  • Boost onset – Full throttle acceleration in third gear from off-boost condition to boost pressure exceeding 20 psi.
  • Typical driving – Operating the vehicle in normal operating situations and conditions.

4.3 Test Criteria

4.3.1 Assessment Standards

Success / Failure Criteria – The turbocharger blanket will be evaluated for performance differences compared to the vehicle when not equipped with the turbocharger blanket.

Charts showing before and after performance measure differences will be the main form of comparison.

4.3.2 Completion Criteria

Testing will conclude when sufficient data has been collected to remove uncertainty about the performance of the turbo blanket under the conditions of test.

4.4 Limitations to Scope

Limitations due to the operating conditions are the most significant limitation to the test.  Other conditions may possibly produce different results.  As an example, conditions encountered from extended high demand driving, such as at a track event, might produce different measurement values.

5.0 Method of Turbo Blanket Test

5.1 Test Method and Procedures

Testing will consist of measurement of engine compartment and air intake conditions and analysis of the recorded data.  Additionally the turbocharger boost onset will be measured and evaluated

Additional details of the procedures used will be provided in the individual test session procedure write ups.

5.2 Support Requirements

There is no additional support required to carry out this test.

6.0 Project Management

6.1 Supplies

All testing equipment, the test vehicle, and the product under test are supplied by the test conductor.

6.2 Reports

6.2.1 Product Test Results

Links to individual test results will be made in this section of the test plan.

Turbocharger Boost Onset

Turbo Boost Onset Temperatures

Turbocharger Blanket Long Drive Test

Downpipe Wrap Test 

6.2.2 Test Result Summary

Summary charts of the data analysis will be located in this section of the test plan.

Turbo Blanket Affect on IS38+ Boost Onset
Turbo Blanket Affect on IS38+ Boost Onset
Turbo Blanket Test - Over Turbo Temperature
Turbo Blanket Test – Over Turbo Temperature

7.0 References

7.1 Supplier Claimed Benefits:

  • Faster boost onset / Reduce turbo lag
  • Peak torque earlier
  • Lower underhood temperatures
  • Limits heat soak of nearby components
  • Lower intake air temperatures

7.2 User Claimed Benefits:

  • Huge difference lowering IAT when stationary or stop & go driving. (Mk7forum)
  • Engine bay heat mitigation unbelievable. (Mk7Forum)
  • IAT in traffic is lower initially with blanket. IATs go up slower and drop faster with blanket (Mk7forum)
  • Under hood temps are for sure cooler with the blanket on. (Mk7forum)
  • Turbo spools quicker (Mk7forum)
  • DSG shifts much smoother (Mk7forum)
  • No hot air out of interior vents after parked a while (Mk7forum)
  • looks like the turbo blanket has kept under hood temps down a little bit (VW Vortex – nice write up!)

7.3 Related Research

  • Univ. of Texas study (Link)