Turbo blankets for both stock and custom car and truck applications can be prohibitively expensive to purchase from speciality retailers, regardless of whether they can protect your engine, hood, paint job or sensitive electrical parts. Making your own turbo blanket is a quick project you can complete at home in your spare time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Heat shield cloth
- Heat-resistant fibreglass matting
- Heat-resistant thread
- Sewing machine
- Graph paper
- Permanent marker
Use graph paper and a pencil to create a 1:1 scale drawing of the turbo from all sides. These drawings are what you will use to create the pattern for the turbo. Remember to include at least 1 inch of the outlet tube and 1 inch of the inlet tube.
Cut out the drawn outlines and lay them flat on the surface of the heat shield cloth, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each drawing. Use a marker to trace around the edges of each piece of paper.
Discard the graph paper when the drawings for all sides of the turbo have been transferred. For the top, sides and bottom of the turbo, use one continuous piece of heat shield cloth rather than four separate pieces.
Thread the sewing machine with fire-resistant thread and sew the fibreglass matting to the heat shield cloth in large X-shaped patterns through and around the outlines of the turbo.
Follow the outline of the drawings to sew together the fibreglass mat and heat shield completely around all sides.
Cut the pieces free of the heat shield cloth, leaving 1 inch of extra heat shield/fibreglass mat around each outline.
Lay out the pieces as they will be sewn together.
Place the pieces with the heat shield together under the sewing foot of the sewing machine. The process will be like sewing a pillow. The turbo blanket will be sewn with the inside fibreglass matting on the outside and turned inside-out for final assembly.
Sew the pieces together using the sewing foot as a guide. Retain straight, even lines and an attractive presentation by ensuring that you sew 1/2 inch from the edge of the piece all the way around.
Turn the turbo blanket inside-out and test fit it to the turbo, using scissors to trim unsightly bits. When the fit is as you want it, secure the turbo blanket in place with header wrap or metal compression clamps.
Tips and warnings
- If you have no experience with sewing machines, consult a family member or friend who can show you how to properly thread and use it.
- Never attempt to perform service on a heated turbo. Temperatures can easily exceed 316 degrees Celsius.
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