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Author Topic: Cool Shirt DIY  (Read 74998 times)
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millsj
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« on: June 14, 2012, 03:02:08 PM »


The Cool Shirt system is an ingenious way of keeping cool during the warmer months of the year.  It is made up of a shirt that has tubing sewed into it and a cooler that pumps cold water through the shirt.  You can buy the entire system or each part separately.  I am pretty good at making things, but I have no interest in trying to sew tubing into a shirt.  I ordered the official shirts, but figured I could make the cooler.  It’s basically a bilge pump mounted inside a cooler with tubing running from the cooler to the shirt and back to the cooler.  Below are links to the parts that used:

Here is the Cooler:
http://www.austinkayak.com/products/3531/Engel-13-Quart-Dry-Box-Cooler-UC-13.html

You will need 2 of each following couplers:
http://quickcouplings.net/osc/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=172&osCsid=90b6b25a048ddb84a90e4b33552ce70b

http://quickcouplings.net/osc/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=193&osCsid=90b6b25a048ddb84a90e4b33552ce70b

http://quickcouplings.net/osc/product_info.php?cPath=21_25&products_id=178&osCsid=90b6b25a048ddb84a90e4b33552ce70b

The couplers are dry break couplers (valved), so when you disconnect them, they do not leak water everywhere. 

You will also need the following parts that can be bought at your local stores:
1.   Bilge Pump-I bought the smallest bilge pump I could find at Wal-Mart
2.   ¼” clear tubing
3.   Pipe insulation-I found this at Lowes and bought the kind that was not split down the side so I did not have to tape or zip tie the insulation together after the tubing was run through it.
4.   Electrical Connectors for power to the cooler.  I used this one so I could easily disconnect the cooler from the power source.  http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3870003
5.   ¾”- ¼” copper reducer with a short piece of ¾” copper pipe and a short piece of ¼” copper pipe.  There are a number of ways to reduce the tubing, but I went with copper since I work for a plumbing company.
6.   Short piece of ¾” tubing

The first problem that I noticed was that the threaded part of the panel mount couplers were not long enough to go all the way through the side of the cooler.  I tossed around a lot of ideas, but decided to try the simplest idea first.  I cut two blocks of wood that were about the same size as the area the couplers would occupy.  I then placed the blocks on either side of the cooler where the couplers would be mounted.   Next, I took a C clamp and slowly tightened it down over the blocks smashing the insulation between the walls of the cooler.  I also heated the plastic with a hair dryer as I slowed screwed the clamp together.  I was successfully able to compact this area to a point where the couplers would pass all the way through the side.

Next I marked where I wanted the couplers to be mounted, marked, took a deep breath and fired up the drill.  Nothing like drilling large holes in the side of a brand new $50 cooler.   shocked  Don’t mess up this step!  Next I mounted the couplers with silicone to seal any gaps.

Sorry for the fuzzy pics.




Now it’s time to mount the bilge pump.  I decided to use the silicone to mount the pump, so it would not be 100% permanent in case I needed to replace it or move it.  You will need to scuff up the area with some sandpaper where the pump is to be attached or the silicone won’t stick.  As me how I know!  Glue the pump down and let it dry overnight.

You are going to need a hole for the power wire to exit the cooler.  I drilled a hole large enough to be able to install a rubber grommet on either side of the cooler.  I installed them, pushed the power wire through and siliconed the area.  You can see the black grommet in one of the pics above.

I thought reducing the ¾” output from the bilge pump to the ¼” coupler would be easy, but it turned out to be a PITA.  I finally used a ¾” – ¼” copper reducer with a very short piece of ¾” copper pipe sticking out on one end and a short piece of ¼” copper pipe on the other end.  You can then use the ¾” clear tubing and some hose clamps to connect the reducer to the pump.  Then use a section of ¼” tubing to connect the other end of the reducer to the supply coupler. 





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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 03:39:04 PM »

I did not think it would be good for blocks of ice to be banging into the couplers or the pump, so I bent a piece of aluminum and created a little wall.  I siliconed this piece in place. 





Where you mount the cooler will determine how you run the tubes from the cooler to the driver’s seat.  I mounted my cooler in the truck using an aluminum tray that I sweet-talked a friend into making.  I used the existing bolt holes for the spare tire and jack to mount the tray and some Velcro straps to secure the cooler to the tray.  I had to fabricate brackets to secure the tray and fabricate some feet to keep the tray level. 


Pretty Aluminum Tray  Smiley


Brackets and mounting locations for brackets.  I bought the correct size bolts from Lowes to mount the tray.


Bracket and feet.  The sheet metal screws were temporary until I bolted it all together.




Tray mounted in trunk


Box sitting in tray

I ran the tubes through the hole in the bulkhead behind the driver’s seat.  Run the tubes through this hole and then snake them through the insulation.  Then connect the appropriate couplers to each end of the tubes.  I stuck a piece of Velcro on the side of the racing seat and also wrapped the end of the insulation in Velcro so the couplers will always be within reach and won’t be shut in the door. 


Tubes running through bulkhead into the cabin.


Tubes running toward opening.


Insulated tubes




Insulated tubes in trunk


Tubes Velcro'd to the side of the seat.
Logged

FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
millsj
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Posts: 2575



« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 03:44:46 PM »

Since my cooler is mounted in the trunk, I decided to mount an on/off switch in the cabin of the car.  I removed the airbag switch from the mounting plate and installed a switch.  I glued a piece of plastic behind the key switch hole and mounted the switch.  I also glued a piece of plastic behind the on/off light so there would not be an open hole.  The airbag switch is just stuffed behind the dash.


Plastic piece in place


Back of airbag plate with plastic piece in place.





The parts for this project are expensive, but if you have the time and patience, you will save a good bit of money over buying the entire system.  Below are the round figures for the cost of the cooler parts.

Cooler:  $50
Couplers: $60
Bilge Pump: $20
Misc Parts: $10

Good luck.  If you live in warm climates and drive at the track, you won’t be disappointed.  It really is amazing how well it works!
Logged

FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
2004 msm
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 05:58:15 PM »

what's the shirt look like?
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millsj
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2013, 03:27:28 PM »

One last addition to this thread.  I would suggest buying an extra (or two) male and female coupler.  You will need them to drain the water from the system when you are finished using it.  It would also be easy to shut the car door on the connectors and you don't want to break a coupler and have no spares.
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FM full intake, FM DP and Exhaust, AFCO Shocks (550/400 lb springs), FM O2 Modifier, Hallman MBC with in-cabin controller, Stewart-Warner Boost Gauge, HDHCDD with Harness Bar, RB 1.125" Front Sway Bar, E-bay Delta Fin 27x7x2.5 FMIC, Ultra-Shield Rally Sport seats, Carbotech XP-12/10 pads, SS Brake Lines, PLX DM-100 Multi-Gauge, FM Crossflow Radiator, Spal Fans, FM Oil Cooler, custom in-dash oil pressure warning LEDS, i-Shift LED shift lights, 15x9 bronze 6UL track tires, COT NASCAR wing, DIY front splitter, fully ducted radiator.
SilverMiataRacer
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 05:56:49 PM »

what's the shirt look like?

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Larry

4 Miatas but who's counting!!   Cool

White Knight    1991 Crystal White   #99 CSP
Silver Bullet     1992 Silverstone     #17 SM2  FM I+ Turbo  (Gone but not forgotten)
Honey B          1992 Sunburst Yellow #99 SM2 J.R. M45
Whooosh         2004 Titanium MazdaSpeed MX5  #403 of 4000
Subie              2006 Steel Gray WRX STi Cobb Stage 2 (Gone but not forgotten)
No name yet    2008 Velocity Yellow Tintcoat Z06 Corvette
No Name yet    2014 Ashen Grey Metallic Camaro 2SS 1LE

“There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games.”
– Ernest Hemingway
mr_hyde
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Midlife Crisis on Wheels!


« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 06:54:39 AM »

I thought reducing the ¾” output from the bilge pump to the ¼” coupler would be easy, but it turned out to be a PITA.  

I made a setup very much like millsj's and it is great.  Since he mentioned having a hard time getting the pump outlet transitioned into a barb, I thought I'd share my solution.  I took the Wallmart pump to the plumbing aisle in Home Depot and found a NPT that would thread into the inside diameter of the plastic pump.  It wasn't a perfect tap but it was close.  I ran it in to cut some threads and then backed it out, added silicone to seal the threads and ran it back in.  I finished it off with a hose clamp around the plastic outlet of the pump.  The hard plastic isn't exactly pliable like a rubber hose but the clamp provides some inward pressure to the threads.

These are Watts brass pieces from Home Depot.  The barb is 1/4" ID x 1/4 in FIP (LFA-197) and the flare is 3/8" FL x 1/4" MIP (LFA-182).  This arrangement will leak a bit but since this is a bilge pump submerged in a cooler of water, who cares?



The only other recommendation to the whole project is simple:  Buy enough extra parts to build two setups.  If it is hot enough on the track to want a cool shirt, it is probably hot enough in the paddock to wish you could use it without being in the car between sessions.  The expensive part of this DIY is the shirt.  The next most expensive is the fancy cooler that won't leak all over your trunk.  Get an extra pump, couplers and lines and put them in a cheap $5 cooler to sit next to your chair in the shade.  You can power it off a long cord to the cigar plug in the tow vehicle or a jump pack battery.  In his case where Mrs. millsj co-drives the car and has her own shirt, he should get a larger cheap cooler and put two pumps in that so they can both stay plugged in when neither are in the car.

Do this and I promise you the first thought will be "why did I not do this earlier!?!?"
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:51:02 PM by mr_hyde » Logged

2005 Black Mica #290 8/27/04 w/Factory Hard Top
BEGi Intake, FM Downpipe.  Nice and calm with an edge...

1990 Red - MSM Drivetrain, Adaptronic EMS, Xida 700/400, 15x9 6uls, Full Cage, SGDP w/80mm Corksport exhaust, ~260whp @ 15psi on Forged Rods.  bow2
Build Thread: http://www.mazda-speed.com/forum2/index.php/topic,24668.0.html

2000 BMW M5 - The Falcon - Daily Driver  reddevil

2003 E350 7.3 Powerstroke Ambulance for towing '90MSM to play dates.

1991 BRG - Daughter's daily driver.
SilverMiataRacer
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WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2013, 05:38:38 PM »

Cool Shirt actually makes Pit Crew units with something like 5 hookups.  Visit their website for more ideas on how to spend money.   laugh
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Larry

4 Miatas but who's counting!!   Cool

White Knight    1991 Crystal White   #99 CSP
Silver Bullet     1992 Silverstone     #17 SM2  FM I+ Turbo  (Gone but not forgotten)
Honey B          1992 Sunburst Yellow #99 SM2 J.R. M45
Whooosh         2004 Titanium MazdaSpeed MX5  #403 of 4000
Subie              2006 Steel Gray WRX STi Cobb Stage 2 (Gone but not forgotten)
No name yet    2008 Velocity Yellow Tintcoat Z06 Corvette
No Name yet    2014 Ashen Grey Metallic Camaro 2SS 1LE

“There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games.”
– Ernest Hemingway
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