While we had the car apart for a while, we went ahead and purchased the Thermo-Tec aluminized tape and header wrap that you see below. We had always wondered if this stuff helped to keep the heat in the exhaust system and out of the intake system and for the relatively low cost it seemed like now would be a good time to experiment.
We started by first wrapping all of the intake piping in the aluminized tape. Below are the before and after pictures of the different pipes.
Intake pipe that runs from the MAS down to the turbo inlet
Lower IC pipe that runs along the bottom of the radiator by the down pipe and through into the driver's side bumper opening.
Upper IC pipes. The bottom one in the picture runs from the IC itself through the sheet metal and the upper pipe connects to the TB and has the BOV flange.
The exhaust wrap proved a little challenging with the manifold, turbo, and O2 housing still on the car. It took some time but we were able to get the manifold and O2 housing wrapped well. We opted not to wrap the turbo for fears of the wrap interfering with the waste gate operation and causing boost control problems. You can see the wrap after it was done underneath the new upper exhaust heat shield. (The old one had cracked and rusted through.)
After the initial test run (cut short by an exploding lower radiator hose), when we lifted the hood there was a dramatic drop in ambient under temps that was tactile. If you own one of those turbos and I'm sure we all do, where when you pop the hood after driving you are greeted by a nice HOT blast of air, then using header wrap may be worth your while. Once we get the lower radiator hose fixed and can get some real tuning done, we will get a better idea of what if any real performance gains the Thermo-tec stuff offers.