Heat is the enemy of boost.
The cooler you can keep the air temps, the more fuel you can pack in, the higher the boost you can run. You can change from a top mount intercooler to a front mount intercooler to try to get cooler temps. You can mist water at the intercooler or use a water/methanol injection setup to try to help cool the air. There are a lot of things you can add to the car to try to help keep your IAT’s (Intake Air Temperature) low.
I decided to try different gaskets.
At the time, I had already removed my intake manifold to clean the valves. Since I already had it the car apart anyway I decided to take a chance and try this TIG (Thermal Insulating Gasket, $38.50) from SURE Motorsports. The gasket is made from PTFE, can withstand temps up to 500 degrees, and is reusable. It comes in two widths 1/16″ and 1/8″, I went with the 1/8″. The idea behind a TIG is that the stock gasket is made from metal, which can transfer heat from the heat into the aluminum intake. By using a TIG, the non-conductive PTFE should slow down the transfer of heat between the intake and the cylinder head, which should help to keep IAT’s down. It sounded good and a it’s also a reusable gasket so I said, why not?
It sounded so good in fact that I decided to not stop with just the intake.
James Barone Racing offers a throttle body TIG as well as a throttle body coolant bypass kit ($30). This attempts the same idea as the intake TIG but goes a step further by including a coolant bypass for the throttle body. In stock form, coolant is routed through the throttle body to help keep the throttle body from freezing in cold weather. I decided to install it because my car is a warm weather car and by installing the bypass I can hope to see a reduction in BAT (Boost Air Temp) since hot coolant isn’t being routed through the throttle body warming it up. If you drive your car during the winter, this might not be the mod for you. Adding in the TIG to help isolate the throttle body and my BAT/IAT should drop and help me build more boost!
Of course, I have no data to back this up. Because I didn’t think to keep logs of BAT/IAT before I took the car apart. Sorry about that.
But I can tell you I don’t have any leaks and probably won’t have to buy gaskets for a while.