Gotta Keep Em’ Separated- Ford Focus RS Baffled Oil Catch Can R&D Part 2: Prototype Installation

Focus RS Catch Can Pre-Sale

It’s the year of the horse…power, that is, wherein the land of the aftermarket, power modifications are king. They are the body builders of the modifications stomping around yelling about protein, bro. We all want to beef up our cars and hear them roar in the face of their stock counterparts. Understandably, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of dyno charts and power numbers while overlooking the little guy in the background. This little guy, probably talking about something nerdy, is our good friend the catch can. He doesn’t scream horsepower, but instead whispers about carbon buildup on valves. And for this post at least, we are going to hear him out.

If you missed our last post, we discussed the importance of using a catch can on our brand-new Focus RS. In this post we are going to give the catch can a chance to put its money where its baffle is.

The first step was to construct our test unit. We began with our compact baffled oil catch can. Based on the similarities, we adapted the bracket and hoses from our Focus ST catch can kit. The fit was similar and needed a small amount of tweaking to be a direct fit to our Focus RS.

Removing the intake manifold for the Focus RS catch can
Removing the intake manifold for the Focus RS catch can

We needed to remove the intake manifold to install our hoses and fittings. Both fittings are located under the intake manifold, which is a hard spot to access, but after the catch can is installed,  it has the added benefit of maintaining a stealthy, OEM look even after the catch can is installed.

Focus RS parts disassembled
Focus RS parts disassembled

In the photo above you can see the location of both fittings that we will use to route the blow-by mixture to our catch can, before sending the air back to the intake manifold. Our catch can will sit underneath the car, utilizing the bracket from our Focus ST kit. This bracket mounts to an open ear on the transmission, which is the same mounting point as the ST. Although this means the RS will need to be raised to empty the catch can, we have a plan to make draining a breeze.

Focus RS catch can installed
Focus RS catch can installed

After having a look at the kit installed on the RS, we saw some room for improvement. Second to functionality, convenience and ease of maintenance are primary goals of this project. We began working on a direct-fit drain kit, utilizing one of the air ducts in the undertray. This would allow the can to be emptied by simply reaching under your RS and turning a petcock. Check out our prototype version installed on the RS below.

Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed
Focus RS catch can kit installed

By reaching through the small cutout shown in the photo above, you will be able to turn the petcock easily and drain the contents of the catch can. Style and functionality? This catch can is beginning to grow on us after all. Perhaps this nerd should be spared the swirly we had lined up.

Coming up!

We are wrapping up the results of our Focus RS catch can testing, and will be posting the results next week. In the meantime, we are kicking off our pre-sale a tad early. We couldn’t wait to get a catch can on our Focus RS and you shouldn’t have to either! Check out our discounted pre-sale below and let us know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

-Sara

Focus RS Catch Can Pre-Sale

 

It Takes Two! – Ford 6.7L Super Duty Secondary Radiator R&D, Part 1: Factory Review and 3D Models

Whether we’re talking about turbochargers on an F-150 EcoBoost, V8 engines in an offshore powerboat, drummers in the Allman Brothers Band, or pieces of Carvel™ Ice Cream Cake for dessert on my birthday, sometimes two is a better option than one. This was very much the school of thought that Ford’s engineers adopted when designing the cooling system on the 2011+ F-Series Super Duty trucks, including the F-350, F-450, and F-550. These trucks feature two systems that work in parallel to handle all of the cooling needs in your truck, and both are equally important.

Our engineers at Mishimoto also see the value in the “two can be better than one” mindset. When we bought our Mustang GT, we didn’t stop there – we bought a turbo model, too. Many of you may know that we have already released a high-performance primary Ford 6.7 radiator, but I am excited to announce that we have been busy developing a Mishimoto Super Duty radiator for the secondary system as well.

The front of the 6.7L; The Secondary radiator is front and center, behind the AC Condenser
The front of the 6.7L; The Secondary radiator is front and center, behind the AC Condenser

Before I go into too much detail on how we will be upgrading this system, let’s review the factory Super Duty radiator setup, so we can understand what’s going on under the hood of this truck to keep everything from getting too toasty.

Wait, the 6.7L has TWO cooling systems? What the…

The factory cooling system on the 6.7L Ford Super Duty trucks is very elaborate, and it actually comprises two mostly independent cooling systems that use their own coolant pumps and are almost completely isolated from one another. The first, more conventional system cools the engine by sending coolant through passages in the block and to a heat exchanger up front, and also directs coolant to an oil cooler and the heater core. It incorporates a large radiator (the primary Ford 6.7 radiator) mounted forward of the engine, but behind the other heat exchangers (secondary Ford 6.7 radiator and AC condenser). This system is similar to those found on most other vehicles.

The front of the 6.7L with the Secondary Radiator removed
The front of the 6.7L with the Secondary Radiator removed

Ford exercised some real ingenuity with the secondary cooling system, which is relatively complex compared to what one would typically find on other vehicles. The secondary Ford 6.7 radiator, mounted in front of the primary, is responsible for heat exchange within the system that feeds coolant to anything else in the vehicle that is not the engine block itself or the oil cooler. This includes the transmission cooler, the EGR cooler, the fuel cooler, and perhaps most importantly, the charge-air cooler (but more on this later). A degas bottle is also present within this system, and the AC condenser is mounted on the front of the secondary radiator with four bolts.

Interesting. Well how does the secondary cooling system work?

Schematics of the secondary Ford 6.7 Radiator system (© Ford Motor Company)
Schematics of the secondary Ford 6.7 Radiator system (© Ford Motor Company)

The exchanger itself is unique in its design; it uses two thermostats – one incorporated into each end tank – that direct the flow of the coolant as it flows among the numerous passages. Additionally, the heat exchanger utilizes three rows of internal coolant passageways, but one of the aforementioned thermostats opens and closes one of the rows, giving the unit the ability to function as a two or a three-row radiator. When the third row is closed off, coolant is directed to the other side of the Ford 6.7 radiator via a pipe that travels across the front of the unit. This design element presumably allows the truck to heat to operating temperatures within a more reasonable amount of time, and to begin cooling more effectively once conditions are appropriate and the third row is open.

Cool! (ha). So why would I need to upgrade my secondary Ford 6.7 radiator?

Now you might be wondering what exactly the benefit would be in upgrading this secondary radiator. If it already adequately cools all of these accessory components, what good would any marginal efficiency increases do, and how would they make this Super Duty radiator worth upgrading?

First of all, lower coolant temps will certainly prolong the life of all of the aforementioned supported accessories, making your truck even more tough than Ford advertises it’s having been built. Additionally, there is one key component this system services that could see some performance gains after this radiator upgrade, particularly if coupled with a tune.

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The charge-air cooler (aka intercooler) on this truck, unlike many others you may be familiar with, is a liquid-to-air heat exchanger. This means that it uses coolant rather than ambient airflow to cool the charge air. This is a highly efficient method of lowering air temps in turbo applications, but it limits the efficacy of upgrading the size of the intercooler to boost power, as one would do with an F-150 EcoBoost or a Subaru with an air-to-air exchanger. So if upgrading the intercooler’s size doesn’t do all that much for this truck, how do we further cool those charge air temps to make our trucks quicker?

That’s where the secondary Ford 6.7 radiator comes in. Dropping coolant temperatures with a larger, improved heat exchanger will allow the factory charge-air cooler to operate even more efficiently by doing a better job at cooling metered air coming from the turbo, which could provide power gains when coupled with a tune to optimize the ECU to the colder, denser air.

What does a better secondary radiator look like?

Having thoroughly explored the factory design, let’s take a look at some 3D models of the Mishimoto 6.7L Super Duty Radiator design.

Front view - Mishimoto's Secondary Super Duty Radiator
Front view – Mishimoto Secondary Super Duty Radiator

As you can see, we will be retaining all associated factory functionality, as is standard for all of our performance parts.

Front 3/4 View - Mishimoto's Secondary Ford 6.7 Radiator
Front 3/4 View – Mishimoto Secondary Ford 6.7 Radiator

We have included two custom engineered external thermostats in the design to ensure that our radiator preserves the factory ability to toggle between two and three-row operation.

Custom Engineered Mishimoto Thermostat and Housing
Custom Engineered Mishimoto Thermostat and Housing

The Mishimoto secondary Super Duty radiator is designed with all factory attachments in mind, meaning that the AC condenser will attach to it just as securely as it attaches to the factory piece.

Side view - Mishimoto Secondary Ford Super Duty Radiator
Side view – Mishimoto Secondary Ford Super Duty Radiator

A word on factory fitment – Our secondary radiator is designed to work with the primary factory Ford 6.7 radiator as well as the Mishimoto upgraded primary radiator. This means that you can have the Mishimoto primary, the Mishimoto secondary, or both Mishimoto radiators, and all factory components will still be compatible regardless of your setup. We want to accommodate all of your performance needs!

Great! What’s next?

Now that we’ve outlined the factory Ford 6.7 radiator system and laid out the Mishimoto plan for making it even better, you can expect some prototype images in the not-too-distant future. That, of course, means that a discounted pre-sale will follow not long thereafter!

Thanks for reading, and keep your eyes peeled for updates on this exciting project.

Best,
-Gardiner

Cool Air for the EcoBoost. F-150 Intercooler R&D, Part 7: Cold-Side Pipe Fabrication

Having already obtained precise dimensions from the factory piping and our test vehicle, our engineering team has begun the arduous, but rewarding process of developing and fabricating intercooler piping for our ’11-14 F-150.

Cold-Side Intercooler Pipe Fabrication

Fabricating the cold side appears to be less of a challenge than dealing with the hot side, so we decided to start there to get the ball rolling. Following the path of the factory piping, we began fabrication at the intercooler side of the pipe and worked our way up toward the throttle body.

Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication

Obtaining the perfect angle required some trial and error, as well as repeated test fitting – as you might imagine, the path of this piping is precise, and we need to be highly accurate in order to ensure fitment will be good among all of the trucks on the road.

After having finished the first portion of our two-piece cold-side pipe, we mocked up the throttle body connection pipe to ensure that the fitment would be on point.

Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication

You can see the CCV quick-disconnect line hovering around the pipe. We are designing a port for this connection as well as a machined flange for the pressure sensor – as with all of our parts, this will be a direct-fit piece, meaning all stock functionality will be retained.

After tack-welding these components to the pipe, Mike, our fabricator, welded them on more permanently.

F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication
F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication

Mike added a bead-roll to each end of this upper pipe, which completed this part of the cold-side prototype.

Having finalized our upper piece of the cold-side pipe, Mike turned his attention back to the lower portion. Using dimensions from the factory intercooler, we machined an aluminum quick-disconnect fitting for our prototype.

F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication
F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication

The full assembly was then tack-welded in place, and after one more test-fit to ensure that our dimensions were spot on, Mike got to work welding this thing together.

F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication
F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication

A pair of beadrolls completed the fabrication of our cold-side intercooler pipe. Check out the final prototype.

F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication
F-150 intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication

As with the factory piping, we used our CMM (coordinate measuring machine) table and Romer arm to capture dimensions from the pipe we created. These dimensions allow our engineering team to create accurate drawings for the manufacturing stage.

Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication
Ford F-150 EcoBoost intercooler pipe fabrication

Coming Up – Hot-Side Pipe Fabrication

Next up, we will be designing the hot-side intercooler pipe, and shortly after that, we will be ready to reveal the prototype intercooler!

Thanks for reading!

-John

2016+ Nissan Titan XD Silicone Induction Hose R&D, Part 2: The Working Prototype

Some exciting developments are brewing in the world of induction hoses! We recently received into our R&D facility our first shipment of samples for the 2016+ Nissan Titan XD, and they are all looking great.

3D modeling Titan XD performance parts
3D modeling Titan XD performance parts

Our tube’s design is not overly complex, and it will be an awesome addition to the engine bay of this Cummins-powered Nissan. The design of the factory tube is interesting because of the type of bend it has. The orientation of the airbox opening does not have an even plane for a straight-through design that can just loop over to the throttle body. The opening angles out a bit, facing more in the direction of the truck’s firewall. What results is an interesting loop that will force the hose to circle around the top of the oil filter. Check out an image of the factory system below.

Factory intake tube with the accordion elbow and odd angle
Factory intake tube with the accordion elbow and odd angle

Our goals with this project were to aesthetically improve what is underneath the hood and to smooth out the area through which the airflow travels. Making installation a breeze by keeping this part easy and straightforward to install was also important. The tubing is made with five-layer silicone that will be reinforced with steel wire to prevent misshaping under vacuum. Also getting rid of that accordion-style elbow will help slightly improve airflow consistency with a smoother surface.

Our engineer, Dan, installing the induction hose – he was fast!
Our engineer, Dan, installing the induction hose – he was fast!
Side shot of the installed hose
Side shot of the installed hose
Front view of prototype Titan XD performance parts
Front view of prototype Titan XD performance parts

That’s not all…we received several hoses in our sample shipment and I’m happy to share them with you now! This kit will come with your choice of red, black or blue hose. Check out the colors below.

All color options
All color options
All color options
All color options

What’s Next?

We have already put plenty of miles on the car, and we are sure that no codes will be thrown and that the hose will indeed stay secure, which is important because of the vertical throttle body. Engine torqueing can affect things a bit more here. Not bad for our first truck-specific induction hose! This product will be fast tracked to release, and our presale will go live very soon – stay tuned!

-Diamaan

Equipment Profile: Mishimoto is Dyno-mite!

There’s nothing quite like hearing the roar of an engine mixed with the whir of rollers spinning under your wheels, all while you watch the line on the graph climb.  Running a powerful car on a dynamometer (dyno) is the epitome of instant gratification for gear-heads.  Here at Mishimoto, we use our dynos on a daily basis.  From all-wheel-drive (AWD) hatchbacks, like the Ford Focus RS, to the high-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Camaro SS,  and even trucks like the Nissan Titan XD. Almost every vehicle we bring in finds itself strapped (or bolted) down to a dyno at one point or another.

Mishimoto's Dynapack system with our Ford Focus RS lurking on the Dynojet
Mishimoto’s Dynapack system with our Ford Focus RS lurking on the Dynojet

Whether it is baseline power testing or assessing the performance of prototype intakes or exhausts on a vehicle, Mishimoto’s dynos provide our engineers with valuable, real-world data they can use to make sure our products perform to the highest standards.

You may have noticed I said “dynos”, and that’s no mistake.  Mishimoto’s R&D facility houses not one, but two dyno systems: A Dynojet™ 424X and a 4-pod Dynapack™ system. Each dyno has its advantages that make it suitable for different jobs.  Let’s take a look at how each system works.  Car nerds assemble! 

Dynojet 424X

Mishimoto's Dynojet 424x utilizes an adjustable platform with two rollers, one for each axle
Mishimoto’s Dynojet 424x utilizes an adjustable platform with two rollers, one for each axle

The dyno that car enthusiasts will be most familiar with is the Dynojet.  The Dynojet 424X is a platform-style, inertia dyno that utilizes two rollers, one under the front wheels and one under the back wheels. The dyno’s computer knows the mass of these rollers and measures the rate at which they accelerate to calculate horsepower and torque.

Because we often work with AWD cars, our 424X is equipped with Dynojet’s Linx system.  The Linx system is essentially a large belt, similar to the timing belt or alternator belt on your car (except about 100 times the size) that ties the front roller of the dyno to the back roller.  This link prevents speed differences between the rollers that can damage vehicle differentials and be interpreted by the vehicle’s computer as traction loss.  These differences in wheel speed can trigger obtrusive traction control systems and even put the vehicle into limp mode, lowering power output, and nobody wants to see lower power on a dyno run.  Even with the Linx system installed, some cars just hate being on the Dyno.

Dynapack 4-Pod System

Mishimoto's 2015 Ford Mustang GT bolted onto the Dynapack
Mishimoto’s 2015 Ford Mustang GT bolted onto the Dynapack

Our other dyno, a 4-pod Dynapack system, is what you would expect if Bill Nye, Queen, and our Dynojet had a love child … or four.  Instead of a platform with a roller for each axle, the Dynapack system consists of pods, called Power Absorption Units, that bolt directly to the hub of the car via various adapters.  Inside these pods is where all the science (or witchcraft, if you’re into that kind of thing) happens.  Whereas the Dynojet uses the mass of the rollers and their acceleration to calculate power, the Dynapack pods use hydraulic pressure, which resists the rotation of the car’s hubs as it’s held at wide open throttle.  One could say the hubs are … under pressure. Now do you get the Queen reference? No? Ok. Based on the rotational speed of the car’s hubs and how much hydraulic pressure is being applied, the Dynapack software calculates the power output of the vehicle.

Mishimoto's Ford Focus RS strapped down to the Dynojet
Mishimoto’s Ford Focus RS strapped down to the Dynojet

This style of dyno eliminates many variables that may be present with an inertia-style dyno. Vehicles producing high horsepower and torque can have issues with wheel slip on the dyno roller, which translates to a loss in calculated power. We’ve all seen those videos of Evos and Mustangs smoking tires on the dyno.  The Dynpack system also eliminates the need to strap the car down.  Not only does this save us time in setup, but it also means we’re not putting extra weight, and therefore drag, on the car’s wheels.

Why Both?

So it sounds a little redundant to have two dynos that provide similar data, right? Not quite.  While the Dynapack is easier to set up, automatic vehicles hate it.  Because of the way an automatic transmission translates power from the engine, it’s difficult to run an automatic car on a dyno.  Although this applies to all dynos, the Dynojet is slightly easier to set up than the Dynapack when it comes to automatic transmissions.  Another reason to have both dyno systems is a critical component to any business: time.  The more time we have to test and tune our products, the better.  Having two dynos means we can test two cars at once, which means two products are being developed in the same amount of time that one product can be developed with one dyno.

Insert Witty Conclusion Title Here

We hope you now have a little better insight into our dyno systems and how we use them to help make great products for your vehicle.  Without our dynos we’d have no way of letting you know just how effective our products are.  Plus, we’d really miss the sounds our cars make indoors, at wide open throttle.  Speaking of which, how does a playlist of some beautiful dyno runs sound? Check it out and keep an eye out for more equipment profiles coming soon!

Thanks for reading! 

-Steve

An inside look at the engineering of Mishimoto products.

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