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Old 01-01-2013, 10:38 PM   #31 (permalink)
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My thought in insulating the valve cover was to put the insulation as close as possible to the mass whose heat is to be preserved. A small amount of insulation wrapped over the valve cover seems to do a good job of conserving the heat.

Insulating further out from the engine can also help. But keep in mind that the further out you put the insulation, the more the heat energy will disperse before the insulation traps it.

However because you can't (I believe) insulate the whole engine, there is potential gain in insulating the hood or engine bay, and maybe even insulating outside the car as pete c suggested above.

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:49 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I've never considered to insulate the valve cover, but after seeing some Cummins and Detroit Diesel engines fitted with valve covers and oil pans made out of fiberglass-compound materials I've already considered to do so in other engines. Would involve some custom-made parts, but to me it doesn't sound like a problem.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #33 (permalink)
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been giving the small garage idea more thought. Trouble is it's kinda big and expensive. How about something smaller that would be more like a boot that could just cover the front clip? Make it about four feet tall, maybe 2 ft wider than the car, stuff it with lots of fiberglass batt insulation with a tarp on the inside which would hold the insulation up. Opening with the car not there would be a little smaller than the front clip. As you pull into it, the tarp/insulation expands for a nice cozy airtight fit. You could even place insulation on the floor which would sit roughlt the same height as the bottom of the car.

Done right, there would be virtually no airflow. I would think that such a device could keep the engine at least warm to the touch overnight.

I think you could build this for under 100 dollars.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Here is the engine bay insulation on my car.




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Old 01-02-2013, 06:35 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete c View Post
been giving the small garage idea more thought. Trouble is it's kinda big and expensive. How about something smaller that would be more like a boot that could just cover the front clip? Make it about four feet tall, maybe 2 ft wider than the car, stuff it with lots of fiberglass batt insulation with a tarp on the inside which would hold the insulation up. Opening with the car not there would be a little smaller than the front clip. As you pull into it, the tarp/insulation expands for a nice cozy airtight fit. You could even place insulation on the floor which would sit roughlt the same height as the bottom of the car.

Done right, there would be virtually no airflow. I would think that such a device could keep the engine at least warm to the touch overnight.

I think you could build this for under 100 dollars.
Sounds like a more elegant version of what I did a few years ago when I didn't have a good enough anti-freeze mixture in my car when winter began to set in, and couldn't get it started to circulate new antifreeze through the engine block.

I basically draped a plastic tarp over the hood & held the edges to the ground with rocks & bricks, then put a couple 150 watt light bulbs under the engine plugged into extension cords. It was ugly & I'm sure my neighbors weren't too impressed, but my engine block didn't crack. I was finally able to get it started & enrichen the antifreeze mixture during a warm spell, so I only needed to keep it that way for a couple of weeks.

But I like the sound of your idea - add some sort of a heater under there, and you'd really be "set" - even a light bulb on a timer!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:58 PM   #36 (permalink)
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This isn't a mod you can easily remove and reinstall.
None of the best one are.
I'm not going to remove my turbocharger off my suburban for A-B-A testing.
Maybe if I had a lot more time on my hands.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:02 PM   #37 (permalink)
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If you want to cover your engine bay, or whole vehicle to keep from defrosting a canvas tarp would be a good canidate.
Only problem is a canvas tarp large enough for a vehicle is going to run $50 to $70, but its cheaper than most mods.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I really like the idea of the insulated micro garage. Due to lack of portability it really would only help at home, but it could help a lot there.

It definitely deserves its own thread if anyone builds one.

One design challenge it has is where it needs to snug up to the windshield, and hopefully also snug up to the car's belly pan. Probably could use a drawstring in those places, maybe elastic. A bit like the internal cuffs on sleeves of a good winter parka.

Hmmm...
I was thinking it would be a framed structure filled with insulation and a liner.

Instead it could be like one end (half) of a sleeping bag, just cloth and fluff. Stow it in the trunk or back seat when you leave home and pop it on when you arrive at your destination.
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Last edited by brucepick; 01-03-2013 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #39 (permalink)
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It would need to be waterproof.

Frame it using 2xs Sheath the outside with 1/4 plywood with the exterior painted. I would have it shaped pretty much like a lean to, taller at the open end. . Use any old tarp for the liner. Maybe even use an old sheet as it would likely be nicer to the car's paint finish.

Where in E. Ct are you. I'll donate the old tarp and my supervising/design/criticizing skills.

I think getting a fairly airtight seal along the bottom is possible. Just lay a few batts of insulation across the ground at the opening. Drive right over it, it will pop back up after your tires cross it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Great ideas - I started a thread for the car front shelter

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucepick View Post
I really like the idea of the insulated micro garage. Due to lack of portability it really would only help at home, but it could help a lot there.

It definitely deserves its own thread if anyone builds one.

One design challenge it has is where it needs to snug up to the windshield, and hopefully also snug up to the car's belly pan. Probably could use a drawstring in those places, maybe elastic. A bit like the internal cuffs on sleeves of a good winter parka.

Hmmm...
I was thinking it would be a framed structure filled with insulation and a liner.

Instead it could be like one end (half) of a sleeping bag, just cloth and fluff. Stow it in the trunk or back seat when you leave home and pop it on when you arrive at your destination.
Collapsible & Portable shelter / cover for front of car

My wife is a quilter, so she has the sewing skills. I have 1/2" pink foam insulation at home. If it is cut into sections, and taped at the seams, it can fold and articulate, but still hold together inside the inner and outer shells.

Feel free to chime in on that thread. It is a concept thread. I would build a mockup over a toy car before I got too far. I hope to see what people come up with...

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