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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Civilized Pipelines - Mishimoto's Honda Civic 1.5LT Performance Intercooler Piping

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





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.



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



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 (manifold 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.



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.



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!



-Diamaan
 

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Taking the bumper off is my biggest hang up on changing the intercooler out.But that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Taking the bumper off is my biggest hang up on changing the intercooler out.But that's just me.
It wasn't the easiest bumper to take off, I won't sugarcoat that, but it really isn't that bad. It just requires patience and a bit of finesse, to make sure we didn't scratch anything or break any clips off. This bumper is a little different from the regular EX-T sedans, so we had to be careful the first couple times we took it off and put it back on. Further down the road when we have an install video, we will absolutely include an in-depth guide to how it comes off!

-Diamaan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Civilized Pipelines - Mishimoto's Honda Civic 1.5LT Performance Intercooler Piping


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.



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.



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.





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.



-Diamaan
 

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I'm really excited to try this out.Im tuning with #Ktuner on my Sport Hatchback and my intake temps are around 125-130 degrees F.Im sure that this will help that situation as soon as it's released.
 

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Its really interesting to see the R&D engineering process behind these things. Some folks just don't know how hard it is and its definitely easier said then done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm really excited to try this out.Im tuning with #Ktuner on my Sport Hatchback and my intake temps are around 125-130 degrees F.Im sure that this will help that situation as soon as it's released.
I'll have some updates on how the piping works very soon! Our's just came in and is getting installed on our loaner Sport Hatch for a long day of dyno testing tomorrow.

Also sweet username:


Its really interesting to see the R&D engineering process behind these things. Some folks just don't know how hard it is and its definitely easier said then done.
I'm glad to hear that you appreciate it! We just wanted to be able to show everyone everything that goes into each one of our products! Thanks for keeping up on our process!

-Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Guys,

Sorry for the delay on getting you this info!

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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Any idea how much $ this will cost? Thanks in advance.
 

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Any idea how much $ this will cost? Thanks in advance.
Unfortunately, it's a little too early still to release the pricing details, but I can say that it is priced competitively, especially if you get in on the presale! Speaking of, we're planning on launching the presale in early to mid April and the intercoolers will be shipping about 4-5 weeks after, so make sure that you keep an eye out!

-Nick
 
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