scoutdriver wrote:Both burned out quickly due to air spaces between the engine and the pad. He installed them very carefully to prevent the air space!
Yup. I there isn't anything in contact to take away the heat, they will get hot spots, which lead to more resistance at the hot spot and more heat and....you get the picture.
Use epoxy if in doubt. You can easily get thermal epoxy from an electronics supply firm. It has aluminum impregnated it it. Then "wring" the bead of epoxy from one end to the other to prevent voids, just as if you were pregging a composite layup. The idea is as thin a layer as you can, with no voids, to allow even heat distribution.
RTV works as well- I have 3M thermally conductive stuff.