Article No.3: Heat Retention

Welcome to another of our ‘Articles’ – a blog post illustrating the ins and outs here at Carn Bosavern Garage, based in St.Just, Cornwall. Ranging from details on a full restoration, to the intricacies of an engine rebuild, we take a look at both current and previous restorations on vehicles such as MGA’s, MGB’s, plus Triumph TR2’s, TR3’s and TR4’s. We will also give an update on our current stock of classic cars for sale.

In this article we take a look at heat retention, focusing on a performance exhaust manifold installed on a Triumph TR2.

In 2018 we restored a Triumph TR2 for a customer in Oxford. As the customer requested the sports exhaust system and manifold, we advised them about the potential implications this could cause for components in the engine bay e.g fuel evaporation. As you will know, one method of retaining heat from an exhaust manifold is to use a simple exhaust wrap. In our opinion, and that of the customer, these really don’t suit a classic car and ruin the look of the engine bay.

On several of our Triumph TR2, TR3 and TR3A projects we have installed a sports 4-branch stainless steel exhaust manifold, with a matching exhaust system. Although this is a substantial upgrade on the standard cast manifold, this manifold gets extremely hot and could potentially cause problems.

After much discussion, the customer wanted the exhaust manifold to be both efficient AND aesthetically pleasing, so we went down a completely different route.

The customer got in contact with Zircotec, a firm specialising in ceramic exhaust coatings. Their coatings have been used by various F1 racing teams and also on the Lamborghini Murciélago. The end result was the exhaust manifold being coated in their ‘Performance Chilled Red’. Temperatures on the surface of the exhaust reduced by a massive 30%. The heat retention improved engine performance and also had the benefit of protecting nearby items (alternator, carburetors, hoses etc). The inlet manifold was also coated at the same time, in ‘Performance Sterling Silver’.

With the Triumph TR2 finished in the factory colour scheme of British Racing Green exterior with a red interior, the engine bay now matches and is far more efficient than it ever was in 1955. We have since used this product again on a 1959 Triumph TR3A, where the customer went for the ‘Performance White’ finish, achieving the best thermal barrier on the market.

This isn’t the cheapest method of heat retention by any means, but it adds a personal touch to your vehicle whilst vastly improving it at the same time. If you’d like to know any more about this project, feel free to contact us.