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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been labeled a Nissan guy for a long time now. My 1995 Nissan 240SX has served me well during the six years I’ve owned it, sticking with me through the second half of college, nine states on the east coast and more drift events than I can honestly count. Being a Nissan guy (specifically a 240 guy) has really been the one thing I could easily identify with, other than usually being able to see over crowds and get the “Did you play college ball?” question. While I’m familiar with what is known as the S-Chassis, I’m a car guy through and through, and I can appreciate the builds and the individual styles that come from all sorts of different personalities and backgrounds. This is exactly why when I saw this new 2016 Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo Hatchback pull into our parking lot last week, I got excited.



Even though it isn’t a rough-around-the-edges mid ‘90’s drift car, I can appreciate something that is this good looking. These new 2017 Civic Hatchbacks are not very common yet, especially in this Rallye Red and with a six-speed transmission. The owner told us that this is the only Civic of its kind in the entire state of Maryland right now. It was special-ordered from Europe, and took about a month to arrive. With a factory turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine putting out a baseline 175 horsepower, a sleek, stylish and aggressive body, and a starting base MSRP just south of $22,000, I’d be hard pressed to find a better deal on a brand-new, 2017 car. Let’s also not forget about the increasing aftermarket support this application is getting. We currently have a performance intake and a baffled oil catch can kit readily available for this Earthdreams engine, so it’s time for us to slap the hood prop up and start working on what Mishimoto is well known for – an intercooler.

Knowing we have products out for this car, the layout of the engine was not unfamiliar to our lead engineer. Our notoriety in the aftermarket performance scene is based off our proficiency with cooling, so bringing in our expertise with this newly designed Civic platform will create great potential for great builds.



Given that the Civic’s power-plant is relatively small, having only 1.5 liters of displacement, we expected smaller components in the intercooler system. The stock core uses a tube-and-fin construction as most stock applications do. This design is generally more lightweight, flows more air through the core exterior and are cheap to make. One drawback, however, is how damage-prone the intercooler can be. I know a lot of you Civic drivers are concerned about your intercooler sustaining road damage, especially in inclement weather, so durability is something that we must consider in our design. Tube-and-fin designs also are typically less capable of effective heat transfer (increasing the chance of heat soak).



The flip side of that coin are bar-and-plate intercooler cores. This is the most common route taken when it comes to aftermarket intercooler core construction. If you want to have increased cooling efficiency and higher resistance to physical damage, this is the design you want to go with. Due to their increased structural integrity over a tube-and-fin design, weight is sacrificed, making the same size intercooler heavier. Airflow through the core exterior is also limited as a result, but this can be overcome with an efficient design and adequate ducting to direct as much air through the core as possible.








An interesting subject about the stock intercooler core on this 2017 Civic hatchback deals with end tanks. These tanks have flanges that connect to the intercooler pipes instead of the more commonly seen couplings. It’s important to point out because the pipes seal to the end tank flanges with O-rings, which is something we’ll also need to think about when designing a core. This will affect how we upgrade the intercooler pipes, which will both have an increased inner diameter, making fitment something to keep in mind.

With the end tanks, we will of course do away with the plastic. The constant heat cycling this plastic is exposed to can eventually cause cracking and boost leaks. No thanks. If I planned on keeping a car like this for a long time, I’d want to prevent the possibility of cracking end tanks. Our intercooler will incorporate cast end tanks, making for a sturdy core.



Our intercooler core design will also improve all-around performance for the Civic. Although we plan to make the intercooler slightly thicker, we aren’t putting all our eggs in that basket. Instead of making the intercooler as thick as possible, we think that it will be better if it were taller. Our engineer wants to push the core out slightly to clear the front crash beam enough to add some height and a bit of width to our core.

With the added height, there will be more fin surface area for the air to contact. This improves the cooling efficiency by increasing the intercooler’s ability to transfer heat. Core surface area and internal volume are important factors in cooling potential, but the path the air has to travel is just as important. In an application like this, a core that is more thick than tall, could wind up losing potential cooling efficiency. This is due to the added depth the air travels, and since the deeper end of the core would be pressed right up against the radiator, those fins will be much warmer. In addition to that, you also restrict airflow to the radiator, keeping things hotter in areas where you want things to be cooler with more circulating airflow.



Our engineer has made a basic frame to represent the dimensions of the intercooler core (above) You can see it is just as wide as the stock core, a little thicker and a bit taller – all attributing that make a superior design. When considering all of the plans we have laid down, the stage is now set for this project to begin taking shape.

We love what Honda has done for this platform. It’s sad to say, but this generation has begun moving away from getting hands-on with cars. With the looming takeover of electric vehicles and the staggering technological advancements made in vehicular systems, it’s getting harder and more expensive to modify newer cars. Thanks to this Civic, the seemingly dwindling automotive aftermarket has been kept alive, with a well-priced, turbocharged platform we are confident will have aftermarket support. We have some really cool plans for this project, and I’m excited to bring you guys along as we roll out more updates. Stay tuned!

-Diamaan
 

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Awwwwwwesome
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Bring A Jacket: Intercooler R&D, Part 2: Core Framework

Bigger is better. This is the American ideal that has been the foundation of many in the automotive world. However, in modern times, it’s all about consolidation; next-level vehicle technology comes in smaller packages, but broadens the ranges of performance potential. Our engineers shared the modern vision when designing an intercooler for the 2016 Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo. You can’t just throw a huge core on this car and call it a day. With a cramped engine bay and the factory intercooler, radiator, and air conditioning condenser tightly bundled together, it’s vital we get crafty. It’s time to take the road less traveled with the core design to properly surge the maximum amount of cooled air into your Earth Dreams motor.



I mentioned that we are going for height over depth with this design in the last update, making for a unique change compared to other intercoolers. There are two reasons for choosing height. First, if a core is going to be thicker, it will add weight. While a thick core is great, we do want to keep in mind that this is a Honda Civic, and they aren’t known for upgrades that add a lot of weight. We want things light to keep this car nimble, so our core won’t be too thick. Second, fin surface area for the air to interact with is important. These fins are responsible for the cooling during the heat transfer process. The more fins the air directly hits, the more efficient the heat transfer. With a tall core, it improves the heat transfer and creates more space in the back to keep the core further away from the combined heat of the A/C condenser and radiator.



If an intercooler stays closer to those components, it will heat the core quicker, negatively affecting heat transfer, thus making your air warmer than it should be. There also won’t be any space for the air to move behind it and cycle some of that radiating heat. By moving our core forward to clear the front core support, we were able to make it taller and slimmer, negating the effects of a core that is deeper and closer to that radiating heat.

Since the core is moved forward, fitment is also something we need to pay attention to. The Sport version has a slightly different bumper than the sedan, so we also ordered a spare EX-T bumper from our local Honda dealership to be sure that our core frame fits. All systems go!



Emphasizing height means having to manipulate the movement of airflow. The use of ducting functions within our design to funnel air into the core. Our engineers want to be sure that every morsel of air is directed right at our core. A pair of ducts will come with our end tanks to ensure that happens. These ducts will seal against a part of the bumper to direct the air to the core and prevent air from moving around the end tanks.





We 3D printed end tanks to mimic our intended design, now that it’s clear ducting will be involved. The end tanks will be cast with a bar-and-plate core. Honda also did something interesting with how they connect their charge pipes to the stock end tanks. They bolt to the intercooler with an O-ring seal, a rare design feature, as most designs use a boot or a coupler. We want this intercooler to work with stock piping and our intercooler piping, so adapters will come with the kit for both versions.

With our complete design plans set in motion, we need to get a functioning prototype in here to see how our theory holds up. It’s now a waiting game until we get to dyno this Civic with our intercooler and find out the results.

Stay tuned. (Typical sendoff, or could I be foreshadowing something this time?)



-Diamaan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Guys,

I know it's been a little while since we've been able to update you, but we're going to have an update for you soon!

Of course I can't just say that without a teaser photo:




More info and photos coming soon!

-Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Guys,

I know it's been a little while since I've been able to update you on the progress of this project, and as I hinted at before, our production sample is in, so now it's time for a closer look at the design!

For the full write up, head over to our Engineering Blog.



To recap from our design process, we were limited on space. "Bigger is Better" is mostly always true when it comes to intercoolers, but due to the densely packed front end in the 10th generation Civics, when had to get creative with just how we were going to in crease the size. Our main option was to go up. We added 3 additional rows to the height, and, while being limited in the space we could expand the width, we added 26mm to the core's thickness. All of this equates to a total core volume of 637in³, a 102% increase over the stock unit.



With effectively doubling the internal volume, we had to make sure it would fit. So, we called again on our Rallye Red Sport Hatch loaner vehicle to help up not only double check our fitment, but also put some time in on the dyno for performance testing. Even though we went over the step of fitment in the design process, it never hurts to double check:



We also enlisted the help of an Si sedan:


Not to worry for those of you sporting the EX-T front fascia, we got our hands on one of those bumpers during the design process as well. Since the overall design has remained the same, we can gladly report that our intercooler will fit those models as well.



Since we collected a massive amount of data on the testing for this core, and the piping, the specific dyno numbers will be coming in a separate post coming very soon! The Civic's intercooler piping is also getting a make over as well, make sure to check out our other thread for more info on that project.

For more info on the 1.5T intercooler, make sure to check out the full write up on our Engineering Blog.

Thanks for following along, and as always, feel free to shoot me any questions you might have!

-Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
NEED MORE UPDATES!! When are you thinking this will be available for purchase?
As of now, we're planning on early-to-mid-April to launch our presale with the intercoolers shipping out about 4-5 weeks following that!

Now, for a more recent update for you guys!

As promised the next installment of our Civic 1.5T/Si intercooler kit development has arrived! Make sure you head over to our Engineering Blog to get all of the juicy details!



No matter what car rolls into our shop, it's almost a guarantee that everyone in the R&D facility here at Mishimoto is going to shuffle out into the shop to get an up close look. The same is true for hearing the dyno results of said vehicle after hours of it bellowing through the shop. The plucky little 1.5T powered Civic Sport Hatch was no exception. This conspicuously red Civic has made several visits to New Castle, but this time was the grand finale, and we wanted to see what it could do.



In the few days it was here, we played musical intercoolers, testing not only the stock core, but two variations of our design. Using our dynapacks, we lined up a series of tests to show the true potential of our Civic 1.5T intercooling system, but first we started with some baseline tests. These tests were conducted in two stages. The first was a series of 5 runs to get a gauge of the flow, and the difference in inlet and outlet temperatures. The second was the heat soak test, in which we collected the same data, but only after the heat exchanger was sizzling.



It's plain to see from this graph (and the previously posted video) the effect of heat soak on your intercooler. With the true potential of these cars being unlocked with a tune, we equipped our loaner Hatchback with the Hondata +9psi tune and ran the same tests.



As you can see the inlet temperatures spike by almost 100°F which has an effect on your outlet temperatures as well. The secondary effect is that all of the heat soaking into your intercooler is being transferred to your radiator, and can raise your coolant temps.



Enter the Mishimoto intercooler. Our larger core with a bar and plate design is able to shrug the heat off from both the stock and Hondata tune, keeping both your intake temps and coolant temps down. To see exactly how cool, head over to the Engineering Blog to find out!

As always, feel free to ask any questions you might have!

-Nick
 

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Hey! I'm in MD as well. Pasadena, south of B-more. If I wasn't leasing a Sport Touring with the CVT, I'd jump on the opportunity to upgrade. Maybe I'll upgrade with the next Civic. Great posts though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Guys,

Just wanted to bump this up and let you know our presale is still coming up! I'll hopefully have a more concrete timeline for you guys in the next week or so!

Thanks!

-Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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