Radiator Ducting Ideas? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members

Race Prep Miata race-only chat.
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Houston
Posts: 409
Total Cats: 17
Default Radiator Ducting Ideas?

I have been ducting my radiator using aluminum flashing riveted together much like FM's track car:

It works but its a major PIA to R&R... I pretty much have to destroy it and remake it every time I need to remove it. What's a better way of doing this? Anyone got some pics of good simple setups? I want something I can remove and reinstall in a reasonable amount of time without destroying it. It would also be great to use a material strong enough that I could build up separate ducted channels for separate coolers (ala Sav's setup)

I'm thinking maybe replace the front bumper support with some DOM tubing to make room. Then use alumalite or ABS plastic panel to make a tunnel from the radiator to the grill and join the edges with AL angle and rivnuts or something.
Attached Thumbnails
Radiator Ducting Ideas?-otc_ducting.jpg  
Handy Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Posts: 486
Total Cats: 45

This is pretty damn good and I'll be doing it after the turbo upgrade: Some Ducting work
Lokiel is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Houston
Posts: 409
Total Cats: 17

Thats a nice piece, but it doesn't really accomplish what I need. I need a completely enclosed tunnel going from the rad to the grill. Trying to patch up holes is just a bandaid.

I should also note that the stock plastic "bellypan" piece is looong gone.
Handy Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 09:15 PM   #4
Senior Member
iTrader: (14)
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Murfreesboro,TN
Posts: 1,277
Total Cats: 53

I used rivnuts pulled into the side panels so I can remove the bottom panel by just unbolting it. I've got some pictures on my build thread. I can pull the bottom panel and remove the IC without having to pull the side panels. The side panels are just held in with sheetmetal screws, so I just take them off most of the time.
Midtenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 09:18 PM   #5
Senior Member
iTrader: (10)
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oakdale, CA
Posts: 1,353
Total Cats: 66

Take it to a shop that builds racecars and have them build you something. Might cost more but having the right tools and materials will make all the difference. Tell them you want to be able to remove it, etc. Shops that do a lot of late models, street stocks, and other circle track cars usually have a lot of skill doing sheet metal work like this.
RyanRaduechel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #6
Free Moustache Rides
iTrader: (8)
matthewdesigns's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 1,656
Total Cats: 49

Here are a couple shots of mine. I put it together so that I can pull about a dozen fasteners and get it all out. The bottom is made in two sections: one that goes from bumper to radiator and one that starts at the radiator and extends back to the original plastic pan mounting points on the subframe. I added the dip/hump below my IC core to allow more air to get to the radiator instead of forcing air to go through the core...it dips down about 1.5" there. The sides are also in two sections, split where the IC pipe enters/exits (I wrapped the exposed metal there with split vac line to prevent it cutting my couplers). The upper radiator panel is held on with 2 bolts in stock holes and a screw I added at the leading edge. It's all fabbed out of .040 aluminum sheet.

Attached Thumbnails
Radiator Ducting Ideas?-053011184805.jpg  
matthewdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 65
Total Cats: 0

Here are a couple pics from my first effort. I also used aluminum and rivits, but used HVAC foil tape to bridge the small gaps with the radiator so all I need to do if I remove the radiator is cut the tape. The ducting on the left side is from the OEM bumper to an air dam.

This view is in front of the radiator looking up (before lower shrowd was added)
Attached Thumbnails
Radiator Ducting Ideas?-7984353004_e21b852746_z.jpg   Radiator Ducting Ideas?-7984347489_613e213c3d_z.jpg  
Ski_Lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
Elite Member
iTrader: (1)
Leafy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NH
Posts: 9,092
Total Cats: 90

DZus fasteners are awesome. I would stick with aluminum, just go a touch thicker if you want to stay with that design. The other option would be to change the design to make it work with ABS sheet, you can get a 12x24 piece of the stuff from parts express for like 3 bucks. Its flexable, bends back when you hit it, but you can cut it with a very sharp knife. Will not take sharp corners though even if you form it with a heat gun, but it will hold its shape if you form it with a heat gun.
Leafy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 12:34 AM   #9
Tour de Franzia
iTrader: (6)
hustler's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Republic of Dallas
Posts: 29,114
Total Cats: 351

I used plastic because it can be cut with a box cutter and if I bump something it doesn't kill the radiator.
hustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 04:03 AM   #10
Supporting Vendor
iTrader: (3)
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,863
Total Cats: 485

What kind of shitty plastic/ABS are you guys using that you can cut with a knife? And do you not have any cutting tools and therefore have to choose your material based on its ability to be cut with kitchen tools??

OP - having a design that is easy to disassemble and remove/install is just a matter of lots of foresight in the design. Also, obviously don't rivet the whole thing together - only rivet together sections that can stay together and be removed as a whole piece without taking the rivets apart. Use riv-nuts or U-nuts to join pieces that need to come apart from each other.

On another note... I find it tragic that a shop like FM would make something that looks so homebrew as that ducting in the first pic. All my stuff actually is homebrew, but I take the extra time to make it look presentable, line up well, have straight edges, etc.

ThePass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 08:43 AM   #11
Elite Member
iTrader: (12)
GeneSplicer's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 2,006
Total Cats: 147

PVC tub liner worked for me for 2 years, used skiccors to kut... yes, it is shitty and I LOVE rivets. On another note, this has all been ripped out for the re-build - haven't thought about how I'm going to redo it again.

Attached Thumbnails
Radiator Ducting Ideas?-dscn0807.jpg  
GeneSplicer is offline   Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 58 Yesterday 10:04 PM
Expected intake temps on the track? tazswing Race Prep 20 10-03-2015 12:04 PM
Bad head gasket or ? shooterschmidty Engine Performance 8 09-30-2015 11:28 PM
Nuke Mars! Joe Perez Current Events, News, Politics 8 09-30-2015 05:41 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:57 PM.