Civilized Pipelines - Mishimoto’s Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo Performance Intercooler Piping R&D

  1. Mishimoto

    Mishimoto Senior Member
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    #1 Mishimoto, Feb 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    Civilized Pipelines - Intercooler Piping R&D: Part 1, Design Plans

    Turbocharger compressors like denser air, which is why us car enthusiasts joke about how, although the winter is the motorsports off-season, it’s peak “boost” season. Cars with forced induction love the colder, denser climates because by driving in colder weather, the turbocharger or supercharger gets fed a bit more air than in warmer weather. That’s why you might feel a harder punch from the gas pedal in the middle of a freezing Chicago December compared to a Daytona Beach July.

    Since we don’t all boost happily in the Siberian Tundra, the way to replicate this effect is by finding a way to supply more air to your method of forced induction. One way to do so is by making your intercooler piping or charge pipes larger. Larger pipes allow more airflow, which translates to more power. Our lead engineer for this entire intercooler project is very familiar with this idea, before creating larger pipes, we must first evaluate the stock pipes – hot side and cold side - to know exactly what we are dealing with.

    The Hot Side

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    The hot side intercooler pipe is the side that connects the turbo to the intercooler and is where the hot air enters the core to be cooled. The construction here is fairly simple. There is a rubber hose that attaches directly to the turbo, and that piece connects to the rest of the plastic section leading to the intercooler. We want to eliminate this inconsistency. There are two connection points where airflow needs to travel through to get from the turbo to the intercooler, and we want to reduce that to one. Doing this will provide a smoother and larger pathway for the air to travel, boosting performance.

    We plan on replacing the lower section of the piping with steel reinforced, silicone tubing, allowing for minor flexibility while staying rigid enough to prevent collapsing under vacuum. We will fabricate the rest pipe from aluminum. Designing our pipe this way is superior to having one long continuous piece going from the turbo to the intercooler, which would cause extra stress on your charge pipes due to the engine movement.

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    So, now we have a clear line of sight for how to improve the hot side pipe. It’s the cold side, though, that happens to be the tricky side.

    The Cold Side

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    The cold side intercooler pipe is the side that connects the intercooler to the throttle body, delivering cooled air from the hot side of the system. On this Civic, the cold side has three ports directly on the pipe for a temperature sensor, a MAP (mainfold pressure) sensor and a vacuum line. Having these attachments directly on the pipe provides a bit of a challenge when it comes to designing our pipes. Our engineer will probably have to design a machined part that will be welded on to the pipe for that to work. In addition to that, this pipe uses a bracket to securely anchor itself in place on the engine. We are still working out how we want to incorporate that bracket as well since it’s important transfer as little movement to the pipe as possible.

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    The lower section of the pipe also has an accordion section to give some flexibility in the event of the engine moving under torque. While the idea here is solid, the inconsistent surface through which the air must travel needs to be smoother. We plan to remedy that by not only increasing our pipe diameter here, but also having a long silicone section to act as a coupler, connecting the aluminum pipe to the turbo.

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    Our prototype pipes will be designed and fabricated in-house at our R&D facility. For an accurate design, our lead fabricator has an interesting process to make a physical copy of whatever our engineer finalizes in his computer-aided designed. It is a process we have used in the past and yields efficient, quick and precise prototyping that is cool to observe, and should make for an entertaining read in the next update. Stay tuned!

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    -Diamaan
     
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  2. SilverGhost

    SilverGhost Ktuner tuned X2 CivicX.

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    Excited
     
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  3. kshawn

    kshawn Senior Member

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    intercooler? or just the 2 charge tubes
     
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    Mishimoto

    Mishimoto Senior Member
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  5. mugenx78

    mugenx78 Senior Member

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  6. OP
    Mishimoto

    Mishimoto Senior Member
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    Civilized Pipelines: Intercooler Piping R&D, Part 2: Fabrication Magic

    Enlarging charge pipes for your turbocharged engine must be a detailed and accurate process. Think about it. It’s not like companies make a charge pipe kit that is well-designed, well-documented, direct-fit and requires no modification to, let’s say, a twin-turbocharged LS1 V8 engine fitting 1995-1998 Nissan 240SX’s. You are going to need a fabricator for that, a very good one. It will be a one-off kit specifically for the car brought into the shop, not able to be mass produced due to the unique setup.

    You can’t design good intercooler piping that fits a particular application for wide-scale production willy-nilly. Without the use of the proper tools, time, and R&D, the resulting product will be met with negative feedback from the surrounding automotive community. With the overall tight engine bay clearances of this 2016+ Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo, working around the space to design piping that will fit with a larger diameter than stock is a priority. Even slight miscalculations in the design parameters will result in ill-fitting pipes. I’ve already shown you that the factory piping isn’t necessarily the simplest, so to make a great product, there are steps to take.

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    We have a nifty tool to scan tricky design space into a computer file, easily manipulated by the engineer to create whatever part they want with pinpoint accuracy. Our engineer decided to use our scan tool for these pipes, but here is where it gets interesting.

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    A common industry trade when it comes to fabrication is the design and construction of a “jig” for automotive piping applications (things like intercooler piping, exhausts, downpipes, etc.). This jig is essentially a basic framework for piping structure. The pieced together jig is created in a CAD (computer-aided design) program by the engineer and printed out for our fabricator, giving an idea of exactly how the pipe will look. Each fixture is a part we cut out using our waterjet. Once all pieces are cut and assembled, it’s a matter of fitting the proper size, length and angles of the pipe sections through the jig and welding it together. We’ve done this for previous intercooler piping and exhaust projects, but this was my first time seeing the entire process from start to finish, up close. It’s like watching a form of automotive scaffolding take shape.

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    With both pipes finished, it’s time to move on to how we plan to connect them to the intercooler. That might sound simple and mundane, but it’s quite the opposite. Honda has connected their factory piping to their factory core using flanges sealed with inner O-rings, a relatively uncommon feature in factory turbocharged applications, and this presents a problem.

    For either our upgraded intercooler core or intercooler piping to attach to the end tanks, we need adapters to accommodate the different sizing. We want everyone to be able to use our intercooler, so the core will start out having adapters to work with the stock piping. The upgraded piping is where fitment will be a challenge.

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    -Diamaan
     
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  7. michaelnyden

    michaelnyden Member

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  8. OP
    Mishimoto

    Mishimoto Senior Member
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    We are still a ways away from release. The first version of these pipes have not yet been completed, nor have we begun testing. As soon as we get some samples in and some testing completed, I'll be sure to have an update! Hopefully within the next few weeks.

    -Diamaan
     
  9. OP
    Mishimoto

    Mishimoto Senior Member
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    You guys are going to want to stick around for our next update coming soon, it's going to be a doozy. Parts for our prototype intercooler pipes have started to roll in!

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    What is our engineer up to?! ;)

    -Diamaan
     
  10. northwestghosts_cc

    northwestghosts_cc Senior Member

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    can't wait!!!
     
  11. jaserjaser

    jaserjaser Member

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  12. TAHONDA

    TAHONDA Member

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    I know I shouldn't really post this here.. but.. can't help it.. cause I'm debating on the MY18 Civic or MY18 Accord..
    I'm really happy there's R&D going into the new 1.5T engine.. but will there be any interest/development on the Accords 1.5T and 2.0T? or may the parts be interchangeable? (for the 1.5T of course) and redesigned for the 2.0T if available..
    These developments may sway me from the Civic to the Accord and vice versa..

    sorry again.. just curious.. and thanks Mishimoto for the R&D
     
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  13. maaaaackle

    maaaaackle Senior Member

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    OOOO that is looking good.
     
  14. OP
    Mishimoto

    Mishimoto Senior Member
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    No problem, thanks for the question!

    We have not laid out any plans for Accord-specific products yet, but it's certainly something we could look into in the future if there is enough interest. A lot of our focus has been to get our 1.5T product developed for the 10th generation Civic market.

    -Diamaan
     
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  15. JDM_DOHC_SiR

    JDM_DOHC_SiR Uncle Dave

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    I take it this is for the Hot and Cold side of the intercooler..:hmm:
     
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