2015 Mustang Expansion Tank Project, Part 2: First Prototype Test Fit

Last time we gave you some insight into the internal and external design of our expansion tank, and now we have our first prototype! Keep in mind, this prototype was constructed to verify fitment and functionality. We selected our standard polished finish, but we are certainly keeping in mind all the feedback regarding the finishes and colors everyone would prefer.

Mishimoto Expansion Tank Prototype

No more stalling, check out our prototype tank!

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype installed
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype installed
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype installed
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype installed
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype installed
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype installed

A look at the mounting points for the fan shroud!

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, mounting points
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, mounting points

Our setup for the fluid level indicator is shown in the image below.

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, fluid-level indicator
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, fluid-level indicator

And here’s a look at our CNC-machined aluminum fill neck, which is designed to function with the stock radiator cap.

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, fill neck
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, fill neck

One additional feature to note is our incorporated overflow nipple on the expansion tank fill neck. In the event of overheating and a highly pressurized coolant system, this nipple will bleed off coolant and pressure. We will be including a silicone coolant line which routes from this nipple to the ground in order to properly release coolant being pushed from the reservoir. Without this line, fluid expelled during an overheat would be thrown on the engine and electronics, not something you want.

For those who are seeking a system with NHRA compliance, a sealed reservoir can be attached to this silicone line in order to prevent fluid from hitting the track in the case of an overheating situation. Any of the universal sealed fluid tanks we offer can be utilized for those seeking such a system.

Mishimoto coolant reservoir tank

Back to the test fit! Everything fit perfectly on the shroud, with the fill neck, and with the stock hose routing. We also checked the clearance of our tank to ensure that it was not making contact with the hood insulation.

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype clearance check
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype clearance check

Prototype Internals

With a successful test fit, we decided to cut open this prototype to compare the internal baffling with the stock tank. Although the aluminum design is a big improvement over the stock tank, the baffles are one of the unique features of our tank in particular.

Check it out!

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, internal baffling
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, internal baffling
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, internal baffling
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, internal baffling
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, internal baffling
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype, internal baffling

Check out a few comparison shots showing our tank next to the stock unit. Take note of the port locations that are designed to function with the stock hoses.

Stock expansion tank (left) and Mishimoto expansion tank prototype (right)
Stock expansion tank (left) and Mishimoto expansion tank prototype (right)
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype (left) and stock expansion tank (right)
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype (left) and stock expansion tank (right)

Design Modifications

So far, everything was looking great with our tank design. That said, after a brief discussion among our team members, we determined that a few aesthetic modifications were needed. When you open the hood of your new Mustang, the expansion tank is the first component you see. Our current design is a bit square and seems like just a box sitting within the engine bay. We decided to tweak the front face in order to blend this component with the existing components within the engine bay. Check out what we have planned.

Mishimoto expansion tank prototype modification
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype modification
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype modification
Mishimoto expansion tank prototype modification

Another interesting adjustment is the modification of the tank mounts. Previously we had used two individual tabs mounting to the shroud. We decided to merge these into one solid mounting point.

What’s Next?

After deciding on adjustments, we needed to revise our models and work up a new prototype. Check back next time for a look at our final prototype design. We will also have details regarding our upcoming discounted presale for this expansion tank.

Thanks for reading!

-John

Dropping Focus ST Oil Temps! Mishimoto Oil Cooler R&D, Part 1: Project Introduction and Initial Fabrication

After knocking out some projects for Japanese turbocharged vehicles and European sports cars, we finally freed up some garage space and engineering time to begin much needed development on one of the hottest hatchbacks on the market.

As general gearheads, we have been keeping a close eye on the Focus in terms of aftermarket product support as well as how the enthusiast world accepted this new vehicle. We found numerous gaps in product support for cooling, yet a very active and enthusiastic community of Focus addicts.

We have a ton of awesome plans for the ST, the first of which is a direct-fit oil cooler solution. Throughout the past few years we have had numerous requests for this component. It seems that extensive track use puts serious stress on the stock cooler setup, necessitating a solution for those pushing their ST hard. Sticky tires, engine power output modifications, and long-duration track runs will certainly play a part in rising oil temperatures.

Stock Oil Temperature Regulation

Being a factory turbocharged vehicle, we can assume that Ford has equipped the ST with some form of oil cooling system. For a majority of models we encounter, this is the case. That said, if you checked out our coverage on the Mustang EcoBoost oil cooler development, you would have seen that the Mustang is void of any oil cooler from the factory.

Luckily, the ST does indeed have an oil cooler setup from the factory. Like many other stock setups, this is a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger, which uses engine coolant to effectively heat and cool engine oil.

Notice I mention heat and cool. The rapid warmup of oil is key to raising fluid temperatures as quickly as possible. This will reduce engine wear over time.

Check out a shot of the stock oil cooler setup!

Stock Focus ST oil cooler
Stock Focus ST oil cooler

The image below shows the oil filter, oil filter housing, and the coolant lines running into the heat exchanger.

Stock Focus ST oil cooler
Stock Focus ST oil cooler

Although these heat exchangers are typically reasonably efficient, they are designed for stock vehicles that are mostly street driven. This is not a track solution, and many ST owners are beginning to find that out. One reason for this is the installation of a larger front-mount intercooler (FMIC). A larger heat exchanger blocks airflow to the radiator, which has an impact on coolant temperatures as well as oil temperatures.

Now, we aren’t saying the stock setup is poorly designed or that it needs to be replaced in every case. For most folks, seeing track time is a pipe dream and they use weekend autocross events to get their speed fix. For these owners, the stock system is likely efficient.

For those seeing frequent track time, or who would prefer additional peace of mind during all driving conditions, we want to offer a bolt-on oil cooler setup that provides proven decreases in fluid temperature while appearing to be a stock option.

Initial Inspection

Enough talk, let’s get right into our plans. To start this development, we needed to select a location to place our liquid-to-air heat exchanger. Obviously we needed a location with appropriate airflow, but we would also need to consider aftermarket components such as intercooler upgrades. Fighting for front-end real estate can be a challenge on some of these projects.

First, we needed to find out what we were working with in terms of grille area. Off with the bumper!

Removing Focus ST bumper
Removing Focus ST bumper
Removing Focus ST bumper
Removing Focus ST bumper
Removing Focus ST bumper
Removing Focus ST bumper

We then selected our first choice for cooler location.

Mishimoto oil cooler mock-up
Mishimoto oil cooler mock-up
Mishimoto oil cooler mock-up
Mishimoto oil cooler mock-up

As you can see, we selected the upper grille portion for our heat exchanger location and yes, that is a gold oil cooler! We are experimenting with a few new finishes on our coolers, and this color looks quite nice against the blue of the ST. Check out a closer look of this cooler with the stock shrouding in place!

Mishimoto oil cooler mock-up
Mishimoto oil cooler mock-up

Cooler Bracket Fabrication

After verifying ample airflow to this portion of the grille, we could begin fabrication of our prototype cooler mount. We elected to move the cooler to the passenger side of the grille for access to the mounting-bolt location. Check out the beginnings of fabricating our cooler bracket.

Mishimoto oil cooler bracket mock-up
Mishimoto oil cooler bracket mock-up

First we created the bracket on a cardboard template. This provides the needed flexibility and ease of modification while finalizing the design.

Mishimoto oil cooler bracket mock-up
Mishimoto oil cooler bracket mock-up

After a couple revisions our basic bracket shape was complete.

Mishimoto oil cooler bracket template
Mishimoto oil cooler bracket template

Coming Up!

Check back next time for a look at the conclusion of our bracket fabrication, our sandwich plate installation, and the routing of our lines.

We will also be conducting on-road tests to evaluate temperature comparisons with the stock oil cooling system.

Thanks for reading!

-John

Unleashing The EcoBoost. Downpipe Development, Part 2: 3D Printing and Initial Prototype

Mishimoto downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto downpipe 3D model

It has been awhile since our last update on the Mishimoto downpipe, however I assure you it was worth the wait. We have had our engineers tackling a ton of awesome new products for the EB, this exhaust system included. We left off with an evaluation of the stock downpipe. Once that was complete we set out to design our own system.

3D Printing

Is Mishimoto going to print out an entire downpipe? Not entirely, but we do intend to flex the muscles of our new 3D printer on this particular project. If we have the technology, why not use it. After creating a model of our design in Solidworks, we began to print components that would require additional time to fabricate. This includes bungs, flanges, and bends within the system.

Check out a shot of our printer pumping out one of the bends on our design.

3D printing of prototype components
3D printing of prototype components
3D printing of prototype components
3D printing of prototype components
3D printing of prototype components
3D printing of prototype components

Once out of the printer we needed to clean up the parts and file down some portions of the support material.

3D-printed prototype components
3D-printed prototype components
3D-printed prototype components
3D-printed prototype components

First Prototype

With our components printed, we could then combine this with piping to match our design, allowing us to put together a prototype for test fitting.

Mock-up of downpipe prototype
Mock-up of downpipe prototype

In the foreground we see the flange that meets the cat-back portion of the exhaust system. This follows the same path as the stock downpipe. We are using the stock exhaust hanger points, which you see mounted to this flange piece. Now, a look from the top.

Mock-up of downpipe prototype
Mock-up of downpipe prototype

This pipe reflects our catless design; we will also be offering a catted pipe. From this image you can see three oxygen-sensor bungs on the pipe. The first sensor is located in the exact location of the stock unit, while the second sensor has been placed slightly more downstream. This is done to account for a catalytic converter in between the first and second sensors.

The third sensor bung is an added feature with our pipe. As you may be aware, the stock pipe uses only the first two sensors. Our third sensor has been included for folks interested in adding a wideband oxygen sensor to monitor air/fuel ratios.

Mock-up downpipe prototype
Mock-up downpipe prototype

This last image shows the flange that mates to the turbocharger exhaust housing. We have modeled our design to the exact specifications of the stock flange for flawless fitment.

Test Fitting

Now that we had our prototype put together, it was time to install this unit and check for clearances. If we find any issues at this point they can be easily corrected before we construct a functional prototype. Check out how this unit fits into place.

Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed

The prototype mated up perfectly with the stock turbocharger housing as well as the front downpipe mounting point.

Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed
Downpipe prototype installed

3D Models

After inspecting this prototype fully installed, we made a few minor adjustments to our design and moved forward with producing a functional prototype. In the meantime, check out some cool 3D models showing our downpipe.

Catless Downpipe

Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catless downpipe 3D model

A few more interesting features to note! Toward the end of the pipe near the cat-back connection you will notice a slight bulge within the pipe, which is an intended flex joint. Exhaust flex is important to consider with our design. A rigid system without play may end up with cracked welds or damage as the engine moves during acceleration.

At the cat-back flange you will notice a neck-down piece in place to mate with the stock slip joint. This flange is connected to our exhaust with a V-band. We are working on a cat-back system that will mount directly to our V-band on the end of this downpipe. This allows for compatibility with both the stock cat-back as well as our future 3” design.

Catted Downpipe

The downpipe equipped with a catalytic converter is very similar to the previous design, but with the converter placed within the confines of the front mounting bracket. Check out a few more renderings!

Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model
Mishimoto catted downpipe 3D model

Coming Up!

Our next task is to construct a functional prototype for test fitting, sound testing, and power output tests. Check back soon for more details on this!

Thanks for reading!

-John

8th Generation Civic Si Intake Development, Part 1: Prototype Design

Stock Si engine bay
Stock Si engine bay

With a K-series power plant, 6-speed manual transmission, and a limited slip differential, the Si is a great choice as a fun commuter that can double as an autocross machine on the weekends. As with any performance vehicle, more power is always on the minds of enthusiasts. Mishimoto has been working to develop brand-new intake systems for a variety of vehicles, and the 8th generation was next on our list for some R&D.

Getting Started

We started with a blank slate on this project. We researched the type of intake we wanted to design as well as where we would place the filter. A true cold-air system would have the filter in the driver-side fender well. Our team investigated the details of installing a true cold-air setup (filter within the fender well) and found the process to be quite extensive. While some DIY folks would appreciate the challenge, it demanded quite a bit in terms of moving engine-bay components and modifying stock equipment. Typically, we try to stray from vehicle modification with our product installs and seek bolt-on installations that are reversible.

After much discussion, it was decided that our first prototype be a short-ram system in order to alleviate install concerns. We would be utilizing one of our high-flow oiled air filters and expected to see some very solid power gains. If all went well with testing, we would be able to provide an easy to install system that produced solid bolt-on power gains. If we end up not achieving such results, we can certainly experiment with a cold-air system.

Intake Pipe Fabrication

First we allocated the correct MAF housing for the Si and selected our filter location. We would be tucking this unit near the location of the stock airbox to take advantage of stock air ducts.

Intake pipe fabrication
Intake pipe fabrication

As you can see, also mounted this pipe to a stock airbox mounting point for added rigidity.

Intake pipe fabrication
Intake pipe fabrication

The stock air ducting can be seen on the right side of our fabricated pipe. We also incorporated the necessary ports for the CCV system. Check out our first completed prototype unit.

Fabricated intake pipe prototype
Fabricated intake pipe prototype
Fabricated intake pipe prototype
Fabricated intake pipe prototype

Filter Heat Shield

To protect the air filter from radiant heat in the engine bay, we decided to experiment with a heat shield that would surround and isolate the filter. This would also allow us to better contain and direct airflow entering through the stock duct.

We started by mocking up a template with cardboard, which we could then transfer into a steel prototype.

Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype

When this template was finalized, we transferred the shape to our steel prototype.

Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype

With two sides of our heat shield complete, we needed to box in only the rear portion.

Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype

The rear portion of the box was tacked into position, and weather stripping was added to reduce the chances of noise from the box causing vibration during driving.

Intake heat shield prototype
Intake heat shield prototype

The bracket welded to the top of the shield within the image above is for the factory air duct. The stock duct is a rubber material and we needed to add some form of securing point to reduce movement. This bracket will do the job!

Our final shield design is shown fully installed below.

Intake heat shield prototype fully installed
Intake heat shield prototype fully installed

Full Prototype

Now we had both our intake piping and heat shield complete. We could combine these with our Mishimoto oiled air filter to complete our kit for testing purposes. Check it out!

Mishimoto full intake prototype design
Mishimoto full intake prototype design
Mishimoto full intake prototype design
Mishimoto full intake prototype design

What’s Next?

Before actually beginning the production of this kit, we needed to verify the design with some testing results. Our in-house Dynojet will be very helpful in collecting back-to-back comparisons of the stock intake and our prototype. Check back next time for a video from our dyno pulls, as well as the results from our tests.

Civic Si on dyno
Civic Si on dyno

Thanks

-John

Mustang EcoBoost Intercooler Pipe R&D, Part 2: 3D Models and BPV Port Prototyping

3D Pipe Models

As with all our projects, we would be using 3D modeling software (Solidworks) to put our final design into both 3D and drawing forms. Not only does this put our design into a viewable format, but it also allows for digital tweaks as well as confirmation of fitment and precision with the overall product design.

Check out the rendering below showing our projected cold-side pipe design.

Mishimoto cold-side intercooler pipe 3D model
Mishimoto cold-side intercooler pipe 3D model

Ford made this one fairly easy for us. This pipe features a pretty smooth shape and routes from the intercooler to the throttle body. An aluminum counterpart is going to be a huge improvement over the stock rubber hose referenced in the last post. Each connection point will be secured with a Mishimoto silicone coupler and our T-bolt clamps for a solid connection. Note the bead roll on the end of our pipe for added holding strength for the coupler.

One additional feature you may notice is the bung on the top of the pipe. We are including this bung on the pipe for use with meth injection or as an additional pressure/temperature sensor. This bung is not predrilled, but it does provide the option for users who require it. Pretty slick!

On to our hot-side pipe model.

Mishimoto hot-side intercooler pipe 3D model
Mishimoto hot-side intercooler pipe 3D model

The hot-side pipe presented a bit more of a challenge in terms of emulating the stock pipe. The shape was rather simple to replicate, but that pesky BPV flange was quite a challenge. We wanted our pipe to be completely compatible with the stock BPV unit so we would have a bolt-on upgrade. To do this we collected dimensional information on the stock piece so we could design this component in 3D.

We then utilized our 3D printer to print the flange we designed so we could confirm fitment with the stock BPV unit. Check out the prototype!

3D-printed BPV flange prototype
3D-printed BPV flange prototype
3D-printed BPV flange prototype
3D-printed BPV flange prototype
3D-printed BPV flange prototype
3D-printed BPV flange prototype

Once printed, we fit this unit to the stock BPV to ensure proper fitment. With all dimensions confirmed, we were ready to construct a set of final prototype pipes to give this kit the thumbs up for mass production.

Coming Up!

Check back next week for a look at our final pipes and information regarding our discounted presale for this awesome kit!

Thanks

-John

An inside look at the engineering of Mishimoto products.

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