Project SC300 Road Racer: Part 26 – It’s Getting Hot in Here, so Chillout!
closeup of SFI label on cooling shirt
Chillout Systems sells several different cooling shirts, with different safety ratings.

As you remember from my primer on personal safety, the two main organizations that govern safety equipment and ratings are the SFI and the FIA. Most US-based racing organizations expect SFI ratings on personal safety equipment.

I opted for Chillout’s top-of-the-line Pro Touring SFI-rated cooling shirt. With 160 feet of cooling tubes embedded in the shirt, their design puts the “veins” of the shirt directly in contact with your torso, and its tight, form-fitting construction aids in that regard. This two-layer garment meets SFI specifications for fire protection, which means it also counts as safety clothing as far as your racing sanctioning body is concerned. You could go with a single-layer racing suit and wear this shirt (even without the cooling system running) and be well protected. I had already purchased a Sabelt multi-layer suit, so I would just be extra well protected on my torso should the unfortunate happen.


cooling shirt feed tubes and breakaway connectors with tape measure
Chillout Systems recommends chopping the included tubes roughly 3-5 inches from the opening in the shirt, and then inserting the breakaway connectors there.

This helps to both keep them out of the way and ensure they function best in an emergency.

While the tubing is designed to work with these fittings, it is REALLY DIFFICULT to insert them. But that’s intentional, because that makes it REALLY DIFFICULT for the tubes to pop off, as well. Chillout says that you can rub a little of their coolant liquid onto the fittings to help lubricate them and aid in insertion. No one likes dry insertion. Just don’t use soap. Even regular water would help.


cooling shirt feed tubes with breakaway and quick disconnect all plumbed
That only took a quarter past forever, but it loks great.

The breakaway couplings were installed and the quick disconnect was also then installed at the end. All this tubing is going to be inside my racing suit anyway, so the fact that the tubes are not contained in some sheath is not really a big deal.


12 inch priming loop with quick disconnect
Here’s that priming loop I was talking about.

This is about a foot of clear 1/4 inch tube on a quick disconnect that mates with the insulated cooling hose, which then plugs into the Quantum Cooler. Before you get into the car, you can attach the priming loop to the system, and then turn the system on. This allows coolant to circulate through the system and to be chilled. This way you can get into the car and plug in your shirt and immediately have the desired temperature coolant flowing, instead of having to wait a few moments for the system to cool down. When it’s blazing hot outside, it only takes a few moments to get overheated.

If you’re a total baller, you could have a second cooler sitting in your pit keeping your shirt pre-cooled. Chillout is actually working on a pit crew system as we speak. Because who doesn’t have 6-12 people looking after them?

OK, let’s get the physical unit installed.

1 comment

  1. That’s cool, but not $2500 cool. Damn! The collective sum of all my winter upgrades will come in comfortably south of that. Hopefully the price comes down as the tech matures.

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