Our team now had a functioning oil line adapter to convert from the stock oil filter housing to –AN fittings. Now we would be able to move forward with designing the actual heat exchanger for our kit. We reached out to a few of our local friends and sourced this Oxford green example!
Our friend Andrew at Open Road Tuning was kind enough to loan his vehicle for a week of development! First we tore off the stock cooler to get a look at what kind of space we had to work with.
Our engineers set to work gathering dimensions and collecting data for mounting points. After reviewing some of the specifics, we made the decision to ditch the stock cooler shroud in order to maximize the size of our cooler with the space given. After collecting our dimensional information, a prototype was created in 3D and can be seen in the rendering below!
This cooler would be designed to mount to both the stock and Mishimoto aluminum radiator. We would be increasing the core size significantly and including a -10AN fitting on each end tank.
Once we had a finalized design in 3D, we worked up a prototype to begin testing both fitment and performance. Check out a few shots of our prototype cooler!
A few close-up shots of the -AN fittings and core!
After verifying that this cooler met all the specifications of our model, our team bolted this cooler to the base of the stock radiator, exactly as it is mounted in the vehicle. Check out a few shots!
This prototype fit perfectly with the stock radiator. All mounting points lined up correctly and we anticipate perfect fitment once installed in the vehicle. Next, we mounted this cooler to the Mishimoto aluminum radiator. Our radiator utilizes identical mounting points to the stock radiator, so we have no reason to believe this would not fit in an identical fashion. Check out a few shots of what we consider the ultimate cooling solution for your E46 M3!
Alright, so now we had a functioning prototype that fit well on both the stock and Mishimoto radiators. Check back with us next time when we compare the physical size of our cooler to the stock unit and install our oil line adapter on our test vehicle!
Time to put some numbers behind the effort our team has put forth on this project! As mentioned in the last post, we would be collecting real-world driving data to analyze the effectiveness of our performance aluminum radiator against the factory unit. To prepare for this, we attached our temperature sensors to both the inlet and outlet of the radiator. This would allow us to analyze the efficiency of the radiator by comparing the reduction in temperature from inlet to outlet. Check out these sensors attached to the factory radiator.
Now that we had everything installed and the cooling system was bled of any air bubbles, we could begin to collect the necessary data. To keep things consistent, identical testing conditions were used to ensure that this was as close to apples-to-apples as possible.
Ambient temperature: 68°F–72°F (20˚C–22.2˚C)
Data collection on the highway at 65 mph, cruising for 10 miles
Attention given to vehicles in front of the truck to ensure sufficient airflow
Once we had our data for the factory radiator, we installed the Mishimoto unit and performed an identical test. Check out a close-up of the sensor installed.
This data would provide the information needed to compare the efficiency of both radiators tested. Prior to analyzing this data, we put together a few charts to display the physical benefits of the Mishimoto radiator compared to the factory unit.
Core thickness is a big deal to a lot of consumers. Core thickness plays a large role in fluid capacity as well as heat transfer and dissipation. Simply adding a larger core cannot guarantee improved performance, because the core also needs to be designed properly to take advantage of this increased size. The Mishimoto radiator provides a 10% thicker core compared to the factory radiator.
Core volume correlates with core thickness. The greater the fluid capacity, the greater the impact on cooling performance. The Mishimoto core utilizes shorter external fins, which allow us to pack more cooling tubes into the core. Core volume is also increased by 10% with the Mishimoto radiator.
Next we compare coolant capacities. The Mishimoto radiator has a 37% increase in capacity over the factory radiator. These gains are achieved through the use of more coolant tubes, as mentioned above, and a thicker core. Additionally, our end tanks increase in volume as well, which results in a total capacity increase.
Because the Mishimoto radiator uses shorter fins compared to the factory unit, we are able to provide more total fin area. External fins make direct contact with air, which then transfers the heat from the coolant tubes. This means that more fin area will result in greater overall heat transfer. The Mishimoto radiator provides a 20% increase in fin area.
This increase in fin area will have a direct result tube area, which is increased by 15% compared to the factory radiator.
So what does all this mean for you? How do all these gains translate into actual real-world coolant temperatures? Check out the compiled efficiency chart below from our road testing!
This direct comparison of respectable inlet and outlet temperatures for the factory and Mishimoto radiators provides the data needed to support this radiator as a performance benefit to your truck. Thanks to the core improvements and size increases, we are able to achieve an overall 5% improvement in cooling efficiency compared to the factory radiator. Greater efficiency is extremely helpful during heavy load towing and hauling, or aggressive driving situations. Now that we had all our data points and a product that works as designed, it was time to recap our goals and results.
Must be direct fit and require no vehicle modification.
This radiator bolts into the factory mounting points and functions perfectly with all factory equipment and shrouding in the engine bay. Despite an increase in physical size We confirmed this by test fitting the radiator in several vehicles.
Provide additional coolant capacity and an efficient core design.
The Mishimoto aluminum radiator provides a 37% increase in coolant capacity compared to the factory radiator; this allows for greater efficiency. Additionally, the core that our engineers designed provides improvements in volume, fin area, and tube area, which resulted in real-world decreases in fluid temperature.
Test and provide data regarding radiator performance compared to OEM unit.
Our real-world data collection and comparison showed a 5% increase in radiator efficiency compared to the factory radiator. These gains will be extremely useful for trucks in a towing or hauling situation or when driven aggressively.
So that’s it, all goals for this project have been met! Our team really hit a home run with this radiator. The additional cooling efficiency we can provide for our customers will surely help those who ask a lot from their Powerstroke. We look forward to the independent customer reviews.
The BMW S54 won the “International Engine of the Year” award at its inception in 2001 and was consistently on “Ward’s 10 Best Engines” list for four years. It’s hard to argue against the E46, an 8,000 rpm, 3.2L straight-6 producing over 330 hp and 260 ft-lb of torque, with a competent chassis, an exhaust note that straightens the neck hair of all within earshot, and a body styling that is unmatched in uniqueness. Although my opinion is slightly skewed, being a fan of most BMW products, many would agree that the E46 was a fantastic vehicle for the street and even better for the track. E46 M3 pricing has trickled downward over the past few years, meaning that even those on a tighter budget can find their way into the cockpit of one of BMW’s finest. We are seeing these vehicles at track days, drift events, parking lot autocross battles, and at the drag strip.
Many of our followers watched as we developed a new radiator design for the E46 M3. We took advantage of the talented engineering crew we have here at Mishimoto to develop and test a radiator solution for the M3 that would provide optimal performance in any condition that our customers could throw at it. We traveled to Florida for hot-weather testing and posted our development process on forums so the enthusiast world would get an inside look at what we do.
This project will be no different. We will be documenting the build process of our direct-fit oil cooler solution for the E46 M3. After successfully designing a performance radiator to efficiently decrease the S54 coolant temperatures, we turned our attention toward the oiling system of the venerable inline 6. Normal operating temperatures range from 170°F to 250°F (76.6˚C–121˚C); however, track driving has proven to raise temperatures to near 300°F (149˚C) for some folks. At certain points, the stock oil cooler cannot provide the efficiency needed to keep oil temperatures from rising. A 3,400 lb vehicle making repetitive 8,000 rpm pulls on a road course in 90˚F (32˚C) ambient temperatures is going to have some issues keeping cool. Our team felt the need to provide an oil cooler replacement that would enhance performance and provide improved efficiency for those who drive their M3 like they should.
Before jumping into this project, we set a few goals to keep our team on the same page throughout the process and to help visualize the end product.
Kit must be direct fit, all inclusive, and require no irreversible vehicle modification.
Must provide a proven reduction in oil temperatures.
Pressure loss must be similar or better compared to the stock cooler.
Must function with stock or Mishimoto radiator.
Let’s break these goals down a bit.
Fitment is always an enthusiast’s concern when installing an aftermarket component. Fitment is a goal for 99% of the products we develop. Vehicle modification is a touchy subject with consumers, and we understand this completely. This kit will install similar to the stock cooler, and any components we add will be completely removable if one were to revert to the stock setup. Additionally, we will be including all components necessary to install this kit. This includes any hardware, fittings, etc. needed to bolt this cooler into position.
Cooling efficiency is the primary purpose of any heat exchanger. If you are having issues keeping your E46 cool on the track, we want to help solve that problem with an efficient product. We will be thoroughly testing this product to ensure that our cooler is more efficient than the stock unit. Aggressive driving demands a lot from a cooling system, and we want to provide the security and peace of mind needed to beat on your car lap after lap.
Oil pressure is obviously important for the health of your vehicle. Manufacturers recommend both a high and low pressure limit for most engines. A general concern of most would be a low oil pressure situation in which bearings are starved of oil and wear is greatly accelerated. Normally when adding a larger cooler, pressure loss is increased slightly due to the increased volume. Our goal would be to provide near-stock oil pressure with minimal loss.
This oil cooler design would need to function with both the stock radiator and the Mishimoto aluminum radiator. This means we would need to incorporate stock-style mounting points, something our engineering team would have no issues designing.
The first key component we would need in developing this kit is an oil cooler line adapter. From the factory, the E46 BMW uses hard lines from the oil filter housing down to the cooler. A portion of the lines consists of rubber hose to allow for flex. Our cooler would utilize -AN fitting connections, so we would need an adapter to convert to -AN at the filter housing.
First, we removed the stock oil filter housing from our test vehicle to collect dimensions needed to create our adapter.
Once removed, our team collected the necessary dimensional data and put a 3D model of our planned design into Solidworks. The adapter would consist of two fittings that press into the housing using an O-ring to create a seal. The opposite end of the fittings would feature the -10AN threads. Although slightly difficult to visualize and explain, the following images will help to portray this better. We would also need a plate that secured the fittings to the housing using a bolt in the center, similar to the way the stock lines mount. Check out a few renderings of potential designs.
Once we selected a design and made a few minor adjustments, we were able to utilize our 3D printer to create a live prototype. You can now see the fittings and how they fit into the plate unit.
We then installed this prototype to check fitment in the stock housing we had on hand. This plate adapter will be using the OEM BMW O-rings to seal the fittings to the housing. We are also designing this adapter to function with the E90 oil filter housing to expand the product fitment. For reference, check out this 3D component mated to the E90 housing!
Now that we were able to confirm fitment of this component in the E46 housing, the E90 housing, and even the E36 housing (Euro only), we moved to the next portion of the process. A final prototype was machined from the materials we intended to use in producing this component. The fittings are crafted from CNC-machined 6061 aluminum, and the tie-down plate is machined from 303 stainless steel. Check out this final prototype next to our 3D printed unit!
We then verified fitment with our machined prototype on the oil filter housings to ensure it was identical to our previous prototype. As a side note, for those who prefer a DIY oil cooler setup for their vehicle, we will be offering this adapter as a separate product sold on its own. Whether you have an autocross E36 or need some extra cooling in your E90, this adapter will provide a simple solution to –AN fitting conversion. Check out a few shots of our final machined adapter prototype.
Now that we had an adapter designed and ready for testing, we would need to begin development of our actual oil cooler unit. Check back next time for the initial design and prototyping of our cooler!
Now that the prototype was complete and all dimensions checked out with our drawings, it was time to drop this into a truck to ensure that fitment was spot on with all engine bay components. To give you an idea of the scale, take a look at this unit next to one of our Subaru WRX aluminum radiators.
Now we can shoehorn this monster into the engine compartment to check fitment of the brackets, mounting points, and engine bay components. Below you can see the radiator mostly installed. We needed to remove numerous components before we could access the factory radiator.
The secondary radiator installation is shown in the next image.
Finally, the front end is back together!
The install went great! All components bolted into place properly, and fitment was identical to the factory radiator. Once installed, most of the radiator is not visible in the engine bay; it is covered with other heat exchangers, shrouds, hoses, and covers. That’s too bad, because this aluminum radiator not only fits perfectly, but it also looks fantastic!
Now that we knew the radiator fit perfectly and looked the part, we would need to test it to ensure that it provides the performance and efficiency gains we wanted.
Check back next time for the testing of our Powerstroke 6.7L radiator and the conclusion of this project!
Time to design a new radiator! Now that we had the factory radiator removed and the engine bay dimensions documented, we needed to determine the individual dimensions of the factory radiator. We set the radiator up on our Romer arm to begin drawing this component in 3D. Check it out!
This tool allows our engineers to capture dimensions in a controlled environment. The radiator is secured to the table, while the arm is used to note the position of critical points. When complete, the engineers can use these points to develop a full model of the radiator.
Once we had the radiator prototype modeled, we developed a prototype unit to test fit into a truck. This would help us ensure that we reached our first goal, perfect fitment. Check out a few shots of our prototype unit!
This radiator prototype looks fantastic. Polished aluminum end tanks are TIG-welded to the core, and all brackets are precisely TIG-welded to the tanks. The core itself is extremely dense and features a very short fin, which allows for additional coolant tubes throughout the core. Later on, we will have details regarding the comparison of this core to the factory unit.
One of the key features of this radiator is the CNC-machined inlet and outlet. The factory cooling system uses quick-disconnect fittings on the radiator in place of the older clamp-on style hoses. Numerous OEM manufacturers are beginning to use these quick-disconnect connection points in cooling systems, PCV systems, and various other hose connections throughout their vehicles. These specialized fittings require extreme precision, which is something our engineers specialize in when they design new products. We have designed numerous other radiators (BMW E46, BMW E90, Ford 6.4L Powerstroke) that utilize such connection points. Check out a close-up of these components!
These CNC-machined components turned out beautifully. We tested the connections with the factory hoses to ensure that our dimensions were correct. Everything fit perfectly and we prepared to install this radiator to check for proper fitment. But first, let’s take a closer look at the end tanks themselves.
Check back with us next time to see this radiator installed in our test vehicle!
The Ford Powerstroke 6.4L has not had a fantastic reputation for radiator reliability. Radiator failures are nearly a guarantee, with many vehicle owners experiencing frequent failures in an extremely short time frame. Ford began tackling the problem with a variety of Technical Service Bulletins for coolant system upgrades to remedy the issues. To provide even more protection, the team at Mishimoto developed a very successful bolt-in radiator for the 6.4L that eliminates several common failure points in the factory unit: the plastic material used in the end tanks, and the crimp connection of the core to the tanks. We also investigated the reasoning for frequent failures in certain trucks, and we identified several factors that would have an impact on overall radiator longevity. These include coolant system components such as the degas bottle and thermostat, as well as chassis bushings, which play a huge role in radiator flex. Check out our post at the link below for more details regarding our findings.
Enough about the 6.4L. The focus of this article is on the new Powerstroke on the block, the mighty 6.7L. Ford has done a great job with the new engine. Although we’ve heard of some turbocharger issues and additional minor problems, the new truck seems fairly stout and responds well to modifications. The 6.7L is the first medium-duty diesel designed and built by Ford; International is no longer the engine supplier.
During our time spent on web forums, with enthusiast groups, at truck events, and in discussions with our vendors, we began to receive feedback regarding a need for a 6.7L aluminum radiator solution. If enthusiasts need a cooling solution, we are always ready to tackle a problem to develop an effective solution. We set some initial goals for the project to ensure that our engineering team would stay on track and create the product our consumers were requesting.
Must be direct fit and require no vehicle modification.
Provide additional coolant capacity and an efficient core design.
Test and provide data regarding radiator performance compared to OEM unit.
Let’s break these goals down for a quick look at each.
Make It Fit
Fitment is one of our primary product goals with all components going through the development process. We want our products to fit just as well as their factory counterparts. Our team comprises automotive enthusiasts and consumers, and we all have had experiences with an aftermarket piece that does not fit as well as it should. That situation is quite frustrating. Our products are engineered for an exact fit, and we put all our products through a strict process of vehicle test fitting to ensure that the final design is optimal.
Our team will be using the factory radiator to model the mounting points and to develop a 3D rendering of our proposed product. Additionally, we plan to increase the capacity of this radiator, which normally results in an external size increase. We will need to account for this, as we do not want any vehicle modifications necessary for installation. Balancing the increase in capacity and fitment will be key to developing a great product. In short, this radiator will need to fit properly without altering any portion of the truck.
Increased Capacity and Efficiency
As with any of our radiator projects, efficiency is going to be our primary target for product design. Manufacturing this radiator out of aluminum provides improved reliability and durability. This benefit alone is a reason to make the upgrade to aluminum, considering the frequent failure of plastic end tanks. Because of the constant and frequent variation of temperature, plastic end tanks have a reputation for degrading over time. Aluminum is far less susceptible to heat-induced wear, and aluminum will also provide improved heat dissipation. This means it will recover from high temperatures more quickly, which is very helpful when towing or driving aggressively.
Along with designing this product completely out of aluminum, we will be looking to increase fluid capacity. An increase in fluid capacity will result in improved cooling efficiency, but simply making this radiator larger is not enough. We will also be inspecting the factory core, fins, and coolant tubes so we can design our radiator with a denser core. What does this mean? Core density is a measure of the fin and tube composition of the radiator core. Packing more fins into a specific area will result in more heat-transfer points, which results in improved heat exchanger function. Our goal will be to improve on the factory unit by designing a core with shorter fins so we can pack more fins and coolant tubes into the core.
Our hope is that all these improvements will result in real-world improvements in cooling efficiency. What is the point of upgrading your radiator if it isn’t more efficient than the factory unit?
Unfortunately, the aftermarket performance world is full of absurd claims by manufacturers and also skeptical customers. All products in development at Mishimoto are thoroughly tested to ensure that performance is improved over the factory unit. This allows us to provide real-world data that our consumers can trust.
We will be road testing this radiator to ensure that it cools in an efficient manner. If we can provide gains in efficiency, this will translate to huge benefits that will be seen when towing or hauling large loads.
Now that we had our project goals and guidelines, it was time to bring in a truck for some initial data collection. Check out our test subject, ready to be torn down for radiator removal!
A peek into the engine bay! Things look quite cramped in there, so this should be a “fun” radiator removal. Book time puts this at just under five hours for replacement.
As you can see, open engine bay real estate is nearly nonexistent. Ford used a liquid-to-air intercooler, which is occupying the driver’s side of the engine bay. Additionally, this CAC system uses its own cooling system, separate from the main cooling system. The CAC system needs an additional pump, hoses, and even a secondary radiator. The secondary cooling system runs on a much lower thermostat-regulated temperature.
Take a look at the extensive cooling system from the front, with a few of the front-end components removed.
Next we set our team to work removing the factory radiator. We snapped a few shots of some of the components during removal.
Here we can see the upper mounting point for the radiator on the 6.7L. The round bushing attaching the upper peg is very similar if not identical to the bushing used in the 6.4L.
Check out a neat shot of the plastic end tank crimp connections.
Finally, after a fun day under the hood of the 6.7L, the radiator was freed from the grasp of the truck. Check out a few shots of the radiator once removed!
As you can see, the factory radiator utilizes a single-row core, 43.5mm thick. Our evaluation of engine bay constraints shows that we can expand this slightly to provide improvements in fluid capacity.
Check back with us next time where we grab data points from the factory radiator and begin test fitting our prototype radiator!
The final kit is ready for installation! After months of development and test fitting, we finally had our completed prototype components ready for fitment verification prior to mass production. Check out all of the components below!
First, the passenger side catch can bracket for the PCV system.
Next up is the finished version of our dual port catch can!
A cool shot of the internal components of the catch can.
And finally we have the catch cans and both brackets included in this kit. The black finish is subtle and works well with the WRX engine bay.
We then attached the brackets to the cans in preparation for the full kit installation.
Now that we had all of the components ready to go, we performed one final test fit before putting a close on the project. Installation is super quick and possible with common hand tools. Check out a few cool shots!
Note: Blue tape is being used to protect the finish of the bracket surfaces for later photography.
Driver’s side catch can installed!
And the passenger side can!
The kit is now full installed and looks fantastic! Keep in mind, if you are not a fan of the red silicone hoses, we will also be offering this kit with both blue and black hoses.
A last check for can accessibility and this project was complete!
That concludes this project! A quick recap of our goals for this products development and we can launch this kit to the masses. The sooner we are able to release this direct fit kit, the sooner our customers can begin to benefit from a cleaner running engine.
Remove oil particles from PCV/CCV air before entry into the intake tract
This catch can is proven to provide optimal separation of fuel/oil particles from PCV/CCV air. Our engineers have identified the appropriate catch can locations and have designed a kit that will greatly improve the cleanliness of your intake tract, manifold, intercooler, and intake valves. This will ensure that the octane rating of your combustion mixture is not effected by oil particles.
Position catch cans in ideal engine bay locations with a strong bracketing system
We have designed direct fit catch can brackets that place the cans in optimal locations for servicing and packaging. Line lengths are kept as short as possible to reduce engine bay clutter. These brackets are constructed from steel to ensure durability and stability. Additionally, the brackets are powder coated for a scratch resistant finish.
Include direct fit pre-made lines for easy installation
We designed pre-made direct fit silicone lines for the installation of these catch cans. Lines are available in black, blue, or red. Silicone lines provide a higher degree of reliability compared to the stock rubber counterparts and are more resistant to fuel, oil, and high engine bay temperatures.
With our goals met, this project was now complete! Keep an eye out for this kit to hit shelves very soon!
Thanks for reading, feel free to follow up with any questions or comments.
Now that we had a finalized prototype, it was time to test this component to ensure that our improvements over the stock unit resulted in real-world advantages for our customers. An aluminum radiator provides the instantaneous benefit of increased reliability over the stock plastic unit. Despite this, cooling performance is always our primary goal with a heat exchanger.
Prior to actual road testing, our engineering team put together a few charts illustrating the improvements over the stock radiator.
Coolant surface area refers to the space occupied by the tubes in the radiator. The amount of coolant surface area affects both fluid capacity and overall heat transfer contact points. A larger coolant surface area results in greater heat transfer and lower temperature. The Mishimoto prototype features a 42% increase in coolant surface area compared to the stock radiator.
The next improvement is seen in air surface area, represented by external fin surface area in the chart above. Airflow passes through the fins to transfer heat from the coolant tubes. Once again, a larger surface area will result in greater heat transfer. The Mishimoto prototype unit increases air surface area by 34% compared to the stock radiator.
With the additional thickness of the Mishimoto radiator and its dual-row core, the fluid capacity is increased significantly. The stock radiator’s fluid capacity is 0.39 gal, while the Mishimoto radiator’s fluid capacity is 0.84 gal. This amounts to a 117% increase in capacity of the Mishimoto radiator over stock.
Now to the road testing! First we installed our temperature sensors on the radiator hoses and prepared our data collection tools.
Our test vehicle would be the Mishimoto 2015 WRX CVT-equipped shop vehicle. All data points were collected on the highway and compiled on the same day. The vehicle was driven at 60 mph cruising speeds for 5 minutes, for each particular setup. Special attention was given to the traffic in front of the WRX to ensure that a fresh stream of airflow was supplied to the radiator. We used 100% distilled water in the cooling system. Check out the temperature results below!
During our controlled test, the Mishimoto radiator showed an average reduction in coolant temperatures of 15°F–20°F compared to the stock radiator. You will notice that the temperatures seem to fluctuate and spike at similar times on each plot. This occurs because uphill portions of the highway require greater engine loads and invariably produce hotter temperatures.
Radiator efficiency is based on the same data collected in the previous plot, but efficiency is based on a comparison of the radiator inlet and outlet temperature differences. The efficiency number tells us how effective the radiator is at transferring heat (lowering temperatures).
The Mishimoto radiator provides a 15% increase in radiator efficiency. This number is a performance value given to represent how well the radiator rejects heat. This efficiency improvement will provide a huge benefit under track and aggressive driving situations.
I would call this project a complete success! Let’s go through the benefits this radiator can provide to your 2015 WRX.
As a standard, Mishimoto radiators are crafted from 100% aluminum. We braze the core to the end tanks so there are no effects from epoxy or glue. Each radiator is TIG-welded and leak tested to ensure a durable and reliable life of service. The use of aluminum provides increased durability compared to stock plastic end tanks. Stock tanks are normally crimped to the stock core and utilize a rubber gasket to seal. Common failures can stem from this seam failing between the core and tanks, or from a cracked end tank caused by repeated temperature variations that weaken the plastic. Additionally, the use of aluminum provides improved heat dissipation compared to the plastic units. This means quicker temperature recovery from high temperatures.
The Mishimoto radiator provides more than double the coolant capacity compared to the stock radiator. This increase in capacity has a direct impact on cooling performance, as we saw during our testing. Our engineers designed a specifically sized core to account for space around the turbocharger and the charge pipe for the intercooler.
Dense Core Composition
Following the lead of the stock radiator core design, our engineering team constructed an extremely dense core that features shorter fin height to allow for more coolant tubes. Our radiator features a dual-row design that provides great gains in coolant surface area.
Air Surface Area: 34% increase
Coolant Surface Area: 42% increase
These two increases in surface area result in improved heat transfer that translates into lower fluid temperatures.
Proven Temperature Reduction
Our road testing showed average temperature decreases of 15°F–20°F and radiator efficiency increases of 15%. These are huge gains from our radiator, and we anticipate even greater improvements during track and aggressive driving situations. These efficiency improvements are the primary benefits of upgrading your cooling system, especially if you intend to track your 2015 WRX.
With all of our testing complete, and a very solid product designed, we were ready to enter mass production and close the book on this particular project. We could now move on to additional 2015 WRX projects, including downpipe and cat-back exhaust development.
Swing by the blog for updates on our future projects. Thanks for reading!
Time to start designing brackets! After a quick recap of the project goals, our creative engineering team began brainstorming. First, they selected a location for the catch can on the PCV valve side. It would need body mounting points for the can bracket, and preferably a short route for the hose so as not to complicate the engine bay. Our goal is a clean installation that appears stock-like, not a medusa of hoses routed about the engine bay.
The PCV valve on the 2015 WRX is located under the intercooler toward the rear of the engine block. You can see it in the image below, taken during a later stage of development of this kit.
We also needed to consider the differences between the RHD and LHD vehicles. In our US spec LHD model, both the brake booster and master cylinder are located on the left side of the engine bay. In the RHD model, they are located on the opposite side. To avoid developing a kit for each setup, we would attempt to keep this bracket toward the front of the engine bay.
Eventually we found an ideal location between the PCV valve and the intake, near the ABS block. Check out a few shots of our initial mock-up design.
Once the primary bracket was bolted into position, we attached the baffled catch-can bracket to this piece. These brackets were designed based on engine bay dimensions and fabricated from a sheet of steel. See the attached brackets below!
Then we attached the catch can to ensure proper clearance for servicing the can when fluid collects in it.
Once we were satisfied with the catch can on the PCV side, we moved to the other side of the system to address the CCV system. Previous-generation WRX models with the EJ engines utilized a port on each valve cover for the crankcase ventilation. That setup would have necessitated either a three-port catch can or dual two-port units. On the new FA20DIT, a single CCV port is used and can be found on the driver’s side cylinder head just behind the AC compressor. Check out the port in the image below!
This line then runs across the engine bay and down into the compressor inlet pipe, as you can see below.
Once we knew how the lines would be routed, we needed to select a bracket location and then mock-up a prototype. Again, we would be targeting the front area of the engine bay to reduce the chance of fitment concerns with RHD models. We found an optimal location right next to the battery. Check out the installed bracket and catch can with some prototype lines.
After our initial prototypes were fabricated, we put our 3D printer to work and began printing the brackets as well as a few of the catch can components.
Once completed, we test fit the modeled brackets on the vehicle to verify proper fitment. Take a look at the stages of bracket design in the following images!
Now that the brackets were completed, we needed to design our custom hoses for this kit and ensure that all components worked together correctly. Our team would be designing these hoses in silicone to provide improved durability and resistance to heat and the fuel/oil particles flowing through them. These particles accelerate wear on rubber components, and our silicone lines would be more resilient.
Check back next time for a look at our completed kit!
No need for an introduction, let’s check out our second prototype!
So what can we tell from these images? The unit as a whole is very precise, and the TIG-welding is straight and accurate. All mounting points and adjustments to the previous version should make this a drop-in fit. One major difference you will notice from the GR radiator is the lack of an overflow port on the passenger top tank. On the previous generation, this line would run to the expansion tank located on the intake manifold. The FA20 does not utilize such a reservoir, so this port is removed.
Let’s take a closer look at the core of this prototype!
The fin height is a touch shorter than the stock core, allowing us to fit more tubes into the radiator itself.
A quick measurement of the prototype core thickness reveals the 35mm core we designed!
Here are a couple shots of this prototype next to the stock radiator.
The Mishimoto prototype unit dwarfs the factory radiator! This increase in size will have a substantial effect on cooling performance, something we plan to test very soon! After verifying that this unit fit perfectly in the vehicle, we set a plan to collect data so we could compare the cooling efficiency with the stock radiator. Check back next time for a full rundown on the testing process and our results!