TECH SESSION by Mike Ash
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As discussed previously in this column, I had purchased a quantity of Koolmat insulation with the intent of installing it on the transmission tunnel and the foot boards of our MGA Coupe. We had found the Coupe to be oppressively hot in the Virginia summers, thanks to engine heat and the "greenhouse" effect of the Coupe glass. My intent was to combat both of these culprits with "space age" insulation and air conditioning. At the GT in Mackinaw City, Michigan, Mike Hickman showed me a sample of the Koolmat product and extolled its virtues. Mike said that he was working on pre-cut insulation kits for the MGA. Well, I beat Mike to the punch, and found a source for Koolmat and had ordered a 10-foot length to cut my own.
I was about to start on this project when I received an e-mail from Mike via the Magnette Owners List to say that he was now selling Koolmat insulation products, and that he had a cut pattern for the MGA, and was working on kits for the Magnette and MGB. A pre-cut kit sounded like it might save me a whole lot of trouble, so I e-mailed Mike for details. Well, the MGA kit was not inexpensive at $480.95, plus shipping, but it contained sufficient pieces for the firewall, foot boards, front and rear tunnel and both floors from front to back. It is cut from almost 16 feet of 30-inch wide Koolmat, so at $25-30 a foot that price seemed reasonable. Unfortunately, our Coupe was not torn down for restoration, so I could not use the two pieces that cover the vertical and horizontal portions of the firewall behind the dashboard; but I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a kit from Mike, at least it would provide a topic for this article.
When the kit arrived, I was very impressed with the attention to detail. Figure 1 shows the entire kit, eight pieces, laid out on my garage floor. As you can see, each piece is clearly marked as to what it is, where it goes, and what cut-outs are required. Also, all of the scrap pieces from the cutting process were provided with the kit. Figure 2 shows in more detail the two pieces for the firewall. As Mike said in one of his e-mails: "The nice thing about installing it in a fully disassembled car is, the complete firewall and shelf can be covered and when you put the harness and cables thru you just poke a little hole, feed the cable thru followed by the grommet and it keep much more hot air from getting through to the cockpit." Unfortunately, I had the wiring harness and cables already installed, so I could not use these two pieces. I do, however, have the original cardboard, felt-backed insulation in this location.
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