Ideally, it’s not very often that you have the engine out of your truck. OK, zero times is the most ideal number for a majority of truck enthusiasts. However, should you happen to find yourself in that situation, like we recently did, it would be a really good time to not only do a bit of spring cleaning, but to improve the truck’s thermal management situation as well.
After a quick scrub and several cans of spray paint, we were ready to get to the task of redoing the firewall heat shielding. After 15 years on the road, our factory cloth and fiberglass shielding had fallen apart and was a borderline fire hazard, not to mention an eyesore. We turned to the experts at Heatshield Products, who recommended their HP Sticky Shield product.
HP Sticky Shield is one of the best products on the market for keeping heat out of the cab of your pickup. Comprised of the company’s proprietary Kool Core insulation and a rugged layer of 0.003-inch-thick aluminum, HP Sticky Shield is able to reflect more than 90 percent of radiant heat. It’s flexible, can be easily cleaned, and sticks permanently to nearly any clean surface. With the ability to reflect 1,100 degrees continuously and up to 2,000 degrees intermittently, it’s perfect for protecting from heat generated by the firewall-adjacent up-pipe, downpipe, and turbocharger of our Duramax-powered Silverado.
| After years of use and abuse, the factory heat shield mat that’s typically found on the firewall had all but disintegrated. It’s no loss, really, as this fiberglass fluff was never the best at actually redirecting the radiant heat of the Duramax engine’s exhaust system. What was left of the factory material had absorbed so much grease and oil that it was a borderline fire hazard anyway.
| Before we got down to the business of applying the heat shield, we needed to clear away 15 years of dirt, grime, and oil from our truck’s framerails and firewall. Several cans of degreaser, many hours of scrubbing, and a bit of paint later, the engine bay looked good as new. Well, not quite new, but certainly better than it was.
| Engine Bay Heat Shielding Clean
| We started applying the HP Sticky Shield in the upper left corner of the engine bay. We know what you’re probably thinking, and no, that area isn’t subject to intense heat. However, it required so little to cover that we opted for the uniform look.
| Applying the HP Sticky Shield is both simple and frustrating at the same time. Achieving the professional install quality look we were going for meant templates for the pieces needed to be created. The frustrating part is that arts and crafts were never our strong suit—that’s why we work on trucks.
| Engine Bay Heat Shielding HP Sticky Shield
| We used a combination of butcher paper, cardboard, and masking tape to create templates that most closely resembled the shape of the pieces we were envisioning. From there, we transferred the pattern to the HP Sticky Shield and cut the piece. A sharp set of quality scissors is needed to cut the heat shielding material. Dull scissors or other tools will just make a mess of things. Note that a razorblade helps separate the backing from the adhesive.
| Photos really can’t do the curvature of the firewall justice. What look like simple square pieces are actually a mixed tapestry of complex shapes covering all the humps and bumps. Special care was taken in the areas where the turbo, up-pipes, and downpipe live, as these will see the most heat.
| With care, patience, and a bit of a crafty eye, the finished product can turn out looking like it was factory installed. Once all the pieces were affixed, we went back over it all with the provided seam tape, which is in essence the top layer of the HP Sticky Shield without the fiberglass backing. It gives a finished cohesive look to the patchwork of pieces that make up the firewall covering.
| Engine Bay Heat Shielding Finished Product