Finished Subaru engine display

Mishimoto Subaru Engine Display

Finished Subaru engine display

What does one do with a blown Subaru EJ20? We asked this question on one of our social media outlets and had a ton of responses. This included a coffee table, flower pot, speaker system, stove, and even a boat anchor. After spinning a few rod bearings during some dyno testing (this WRX led a pretty rough life), we decided it was time to get creative with the remains. With an upcoming open-house event, we were determined to turn this grimy, beaten engine into a display unit for our Subaru product line.

With little time before the event, we set one of our engineers to the task of disassembling and refinishing this filthy engine. Our goal was to have a mobile display unit that could be used as a great conversation starter at events we attend. The entirety of our product line would be used to provide a neat glance at what we offer for the Subaru WRX/STI. Check out the build process below!

After a few hours in the shop, the engine was finally out and ready for disassembly.

WRX engine removed
WRX engine removed

Once out, we began to disassemble the engine for cleaning/painting.

WRX engine disassembly
WRX engine disassembly
WRX engine disassembly
WRX engine disassembly
WRX engine disassembly
WRX engine disassembly
WRX engine cylinder bore
WRX engine cylinder bore

Once the engine was mostly disassembled, Dan set about to fabricate the rolling frame which would support the engine, radiator support and Mishimoto components.

Frame fabrication
Frame fabrication
Frame fabrication
Frame fabrication
Frame fabrication
Frame fabrication

After degreasing and sand blasting all necessary components we mocked up the setup and prepared everything for paint.

Pre-paint mockup
Pre-paint mockup
Pre-paint mockup
Pre-paint mockup
Pre-paint mockup
Pre-paint mockup

Now we could lay some paint! Dan has a background in bodywork/paint so we knew this would turn out looking great.

Paint prep
Paint prep
Laying primer
Laying primer
Laying paint
Laying paint
Laying paint
Laying paint

And the finished product! Check it out.

Finished Subaru engine display
Finished Subaru engine display
Finished Subaru engine display
Finished Subaru engine display
Finished Subaru engine display
Finished Subaru engine display

Thanks for checking out the build process of our Subaru engine display!

Untitled

6.4L Powerstroke Maintenance You Must Perform!

Untitled

We recently decided to take a look at the issues surrounding the frequent radiator failures for the 6.4L, check out our findings below!
After identifying the radiator as a common failure point on the Ford 6.4L Powerstroke, Mishimoto was quick to develop a full aluminum cooling solution for the plastic end-tank factory radiator. We are well aware of the widespread issues with stock radiator leaking at the end tanks, core, and hoses. Ford has attempted to remedy this issue throughout several years, releasing numerous TSB’s for a variety of cooling components.

The Mishimoto radiator has been finding its way into consumer trucks for over a year and we are proud to say we have developed a product that has ended the struggle for many Powerstroke owners. Our radiator features a very robust full aluminum construction. The efficient Mishimoto core is TIG-welded to the radiator end-tanks which provides a huge increase in durability and longevity compared to the factory radiator which uses crimped on plastic end-tanks which are very prone to failure. Along with providing improved durability, our larger radiator doubles the coolant capacity of the stock radiator, taking it from 1.25 gallons to 2.5 gallons. This capacity increase, our efficient core, and the aluminum construction allows our product to provide improved cooling efficiency and heat dissipation.

With all of the success with this product, we have also had some warranty exchanges and defective units. You may have noticed a few customers on the forums with complaints regarding our radiators leaking. Fortunately these issues are very few, and we have a very low defect rate for the 6.4L radiator, well below industry standard. Because of the nature of this product, we have kept a very close eye on our warranties. Each unit is shipped to our testing facility where it is evaluated and a cause of failure is determined. We are looking for any trends or frequent failure points that can be improved. We take our returns/defects very seriously, we understand the impact these failures have on our customers as well as the outlook of our company.

As a few warranties came in, we began to notice that several customers had experienced failures with multiple Mishimoto radiators. This provided a clue that perhaps the vehicle has a fault which is causing repetitive failure. The chances of one customer receiving several defective products is incredibly slim. In order to properly diagnose the concern we would need to identify any other vehicle components which could directly impact the radiator or result in the failures experienced. This explains our decision to dig deeper into the design and function of both the radiator and cooling system.

With all of the failed factory units on the market and a few failures from our radiators, we were interested to see why this was continuing to occur. Several enthusiasts groups, experts, and vendors have offered up their opinion regarding the potential cause, however the actual cause is not entirely clear.

Our team decided it was time to bring in another vehicle to investigate several components which we think may be factors in the failure rate. Despite the fact that we have a great product and a very low defect rate, we are always interested in making improvements, making discoveries, and informing the community.

Prior to the arrival of our truck we set a few basic goals for what we wanted to achieve.

Goals
•    Investigate and/or determine potential causes for radiator failure
•    Attempt to replicate radiator failure under conditions anticipated by consumers
•    Evaluate product design and adjust with any potential improvements

Testing Details
Prior to the arrival of our test-vehicle we checked the lengthy lineup of TSB’s released by Ford for various cooling system components on the 6.4L. This would provide some insight into what Ford was identifying as potential causes for failure. Our lead engineer for this project is Kevin, who designed this product from the beginning and is very familiar with the truck. Check out a few images of the truck!

Test 1: Road Testing For Temperature and Pressure Data
Our first test involves some time on the road. Before we began digging into any of the chassis flex issues mentioned on the forums, we wanted to closely monitor both coolant temperature and pressure during a variety of driving conditions. Based on failure rates, a spike in pressure or temperature could certainly have a direct result on the failure of the radiator seal or tank. First, we installed our sensors in both the upper and lower hose.

After completing the installation we set out for some road testing. Our engineers kept a close eye on both temperature and pressure to see if any substantial changes occurred. After 2 hours of mixed driving on both the highway and around town, we found 0 evidence of any spikes in either measurement. Although this does not completely rule out either of these causes of failure, it was a great test to see if a factory truck possesses any such faults or hinted at any changes in an over pressurized system.

Test 2: Testing Chassis and Radiator Support Flex
Our second round of testing is specific to some of the comments on the forums. Many sources are claiming that front suspension articulation is resulting in the flexing of the radiator support. This flexing is then transferred directly to the radiator which causes any weak points to crack or fail. This is a valid possibility, something we have witnessed first-hand with the 1995-2004 Ford Mustang. In that instance, we were able to develop a drop-in radiator with a unique bracketing system that properly isolated the radiator from the radiator support. This allowed for greater flex and eliminated the issues with the radiator twisting and failing.

To test this on the 6.4L, we would be checking the front suspension bushings as well as the radiator mounting points for flex during articulation. We captured video of the mounting point’s movement during a 2-foot suspension drop. Our results showed that although the mounts flexed quite a bit, nothing broke or bent during the process. This provided us with the information that the upper mounting points could use some form of optimization. This is something we will be addressing in a minor design alteration for our radiator.

Pre-Installation Radiator Checklist
With all of our testing and research complete, we developed a checklist for those with radiator concerns that will help reduce failure rates and eliminate the nightmare that is the 6.4L cooling system. By following these guidelines you can extend the life of your radiator, cooling system, and reduce vehicle downtime. This has been compiled in the best interest of our consumers and its completion is necessary prior to the installation of any radiator, whether it be a factory unit or the Mishimoto radiator.

Degas Bottle
1.    Confirm if the coolant Degas Bottle has been updated from the 2-port design (Figure 1) to the single port design (Figure 2). If this update has been performed, be sure the radiator cap has been replaced with the single port unit.

2.    If a single port Degas Bottle is installed, check the cap for nicks or cracks. If the cap is damaged in any way, be sure to replace this.

3.    If a single port Degas Bottle is in place, ensure that the appropriate venture tee (Figure 3) connections are being used.

Coolant Leaks
4.    Inspect all coolant hoses/components for leaks. Failed hose O-rings are quite common and are easily identified by a white residue (Figure 4). Failure prone points include connections at the radiator and engine. If any form of leaking exists, replace the effected hose with the updated double O-ring design (Figure 5). If the hoses are removed for any reason, be sure to check the O-rings for damage prior to reinstallation.

Thermostat
5.    Factory thermostats are prone to overextension which results in thermal spikes within the radiator and potential damage. Remove the factory thermostat housing and inspect the bypass thermostat for extension distance from the mounting surface (Figure 6). This distance should be no greater than 45mm. In the case that this distance is greater than 45mm, replace the thermostat.

Refilling Coolant
6.    When refilling the coolant system, be sure to use a radiator refiller such as the Airlift Refill Tool recommended by Ford. If this device is not used, air pockets in the system can exist and result in low fluid levels.

7.    Check the coolant level after a few cycles of bringing the truck to operating temperature and back to ambient. Proper coolant level is vital for this system and should be between the two lines on the Degas Bottle when the engine is cold. From our experience, obtaining the proper level of coolant and air pocket elimination will take approximately 2-4 warmup cycles.

Bushing Inspection
8.    Check the upper radiator mounting peg bushings for damage. These bushings (Figure 7 & 8) should be pliable and free of any cracking or tears. If these bushings are damaged, replace them with OEM components.

9.    Check the cab isolators on the front of the vehicle. Perform a visual inspection to ensure that they are not worn or damaged (Figure 9). If they are worn, replace them prior to radiator installation.

Part Replacements
10.    Reference the factory part number chart below if any updates are necessary for your vehicle.

Untitled

 

Reference Images


Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4


Figure 5


Figure 6


Figure 7


Figure 8


Figure 9

Ongoing Improvements
As mentioned previously, our radiator design is extremely durable and efficient. The Mishimoto radiator provides a huge improvement over the failure-prone factory units. During our evaluation and testing, we determined that a minor adjustment to the upper mounting points will aid in reducing the transfer of flex from the radiator support to the end-tanks. This modification will be a running change in production.

Now that we have a better understanding of the 6.4L cooling system we can provide our customers with the tips and steps to reduce the chances of radiator failure. Please reference the maintenance check list above which will ensure your truck is prepared for radiator installation and all preventative measures have been taken to reduce the chances of an additional failure.

Our goal is to keep your truck on the road and out of the shop.
If you have any questions regarding our testing, pre-installation checklist, or our radiator, feel free to contact our CSR team with any questions!

For more information about the Mishimoto 6.4L Powerstroke Aluminum Radiator, check out the videos and information below!

Features & Benefits

Installation Guide

Product Specs and Information

http://www.mishimoto.com/ford-6-4l-powerstroke-aluminum-radiator-08-10.html

Thanks
-John Marsteller
Mishimoto Automotive

Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno

2008–2014 Subaru STI Performance Top-Mount Intercooler, Part 4: Testing, Data Compilation, and Product Completion

Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno

Testing day! After a long ride through development and design, it was finally time to see the fruits of our labor. Before strapping the STI to the dynamometer, we needed to prepare the coolers for testing. This included drilling and tapping the coolers for our temperature and pressure sensors at both the inlet tank and outlet tank.

Check out a few preparation shots of our stock cooler!

Stock intercooler testing preparation
Stock intercooler testing preparation
Stock intercooler tapped for sensors
Stock intercooler tapped for sensors
Stock intercooler with sensor installed
Stock intercooler with sensor installed

Next up is the Mishimoto cooler. For testing we used our powder-coated cooler rather than the raw aluminum unit. (The finish has little to no effect on performance.) This version of the cooler is identical to what we have planned for mass production, assuming our testing is successful.

Mishimoto intercooler tapped
Mishimoto intercooler tapped
Mishimoto intercooler with sensor installed
Mishimoto intercooler with sensor installed

Time to get this guy onto the dyno and start making a few pulls.

Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno

We then strapped the vehicle down and set up our top-mount intercooler (TMIC) fan.

Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno

Next, we performed pulls on both the stock intercooler and the Mishimoto prototype. Three to five pulls were made with each cooler or until we obtained three consistent runs that could be averaged. Breaks between each pull were timed to ensure accurate data.

Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno
Mishimoto 2010 STI on dyno

You didn’t think we would make a bunch of dyno pulls without capturing video, did you? Check out this quick video that includes a few pulls with each cooler!

Time to review our data! First we took a look at some of the comparisons of the stock intercooler to the Mishimoto unit. A few easy-to-view charts put the gains into perspective.

Volume

Both the internal flow area and core volume of the Mishimoto intercooler showed a huge increase compared to the stock intercooler. This is reflected in the benefits we saw from testing.

Now, let’s evaluate power output. Check out the plot below.

Dyno Plot

This plot shows that the Mishimoto intercooler provided gains of 4–5 whp compared to the stock intercooler throughout the run. Although this may not seem like a huge number, keep in mind our primary goal with this product is to decrease intake temperatures. Doing so will allow for more aggressive tuning and therefore improved power output. So, how did we do with our temperature data? Check out the data below from our dyno testing.

Temp Dyno

After reviewing the results, we were not entirely pleased with the temperature benefits of our cooler. As you can see, temperatures are relatively close, with the Mishimoto unit providing gains only toward the end of the run. This test was compiled on a dyno with a blower fan providing 40 mph of airflow. After reviewing the data and discussing it with the team, we decided it was necessary to perform some road testing to determine if airflow was limiting the efficiency of our intercooler design. All testing was performed on a closed course, with pulls made from first to third gear using all the same equipment used on the dyno.

Temp Road

These are the gains we were looking for! During the first to third gearpulls we saw an average drop in temperatures of 10°F. Now that we had concrete, real-world testing data, we could evaluate the efficiency of our cooler against the stock unit.

Efficiency

Gains in efficiency totaled 15%, which are great numbers for a TMIC. Lastly, we needed to check our pressure drop across the core to be sure we were not overworking the turbo to obtain the temperature drops.

Pressure

As you can see, the Mishimoto intercooler follows the stock pressure rather closely, with decreases limited to about 0.25 psi. This is an acceptable number considering the increased heat transfer and density of our core.

Now that our data is compiled and deemed successful, our last task is to review our initial goals to be sure we could close the book on this project.

Project Goals

  1. Must be direct fit and require very limited vehicle modification

This intercooler is a direct fit and requires no cutting or drilling on your WRX. We include new gaskets for installation as well as a new silicone PCV hose that runs across the front of the cooler to replace the stock metal line. Installation is quick and requires only normal hand tools.

  1. Support vehicles up to 400 whp

With the added volume and core density of the Mishimoto intercooler, our engineers have given the “thumbs up” for vehicles up to 400 whp.

  1. Provide reduced IATs

Our road testing showed an average IAT decrease of 10°F when using the Mishimoto TMIC. On a higher-horsepower/boost vehicle our engineers estimate even greater performance gains compared to the stock cooler.

  1. Increase core volume

Core volume was increased by 39% compared to the stock tube-and-fin intercooler.

  1. Improve power output

Our testing showed that the Mishimoto TMIC had average increases of 4–5 whp across the entire rpm range. Additional power is certainly possible with tuning.

That’s it for the Mishimoto 2008–2014 STI TMIC! This is a great cooler that will provide substantial benefits to both stock and modified vehicles.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out our blog at the link below for updates on our new front-mount intercooler design!

Engineering Blog

Thanks!

Stock (top) vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype, intercooler inlets

2008–2014 Subaru STI Performance Top-Mount Intercooler, Part 3: Prototype and Stock Comparison

So just how much better is the Mishimoto top-mount intercooler (TMIC) compared to the stock unit? Well … only our testing will confirm this. Physically we can already see several improvements. Let’s compare the core size in a simple chart.

Untitled

A shot of the thickness comparison!

Comparison of core thickness in stock intercooler (left) and Mishimoto TMIC prototype
Comparison of core thickness in stock intercooler (left) and Mishimoto TMIC prototype

A look at the bottom of both intercoolers reveals quite a few differences.

Stock vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype
Stock vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype
Stock vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype
Stock vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype

In addition to the increased size, you will also notice that our inlets are different than those on the stock cooler. This feature sets our cooler apart from any other product on the market. We designed these ports with both flow and air dispersion in mind. Check out the close-up below.

Stock (top) vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype, intercooler inlets
Stock (top) vs Mishimoto TMIC prototype, intercooler inlets

The most obvious change is the diverters we have placed in the center of each port. Through CFD testing we found that by adding these diverters we are better able to disperse air throughout the length of the core. Improved dispersion means that more of the core is being used to transfer heat; therefore, we are optimizing the size of our core for actual results.

Check out the CFD comparison of the stock cooler and the Mishimoto prototype below. The dot is a graphical representation of airflow. The dot color denotes the velocity of air at that point in the cooler: red (highest velocity), yellow, green, and blue (slowest). This analysis shows that the factory Y-pipe is rather efficient for airflow. It also shows the effectiveness of our diverter and end-tank design at pushing airflow to the entire core.

CFD analysis of stock cooler (top) and Mishimoto TMIC prototype cooler
CFD analysis of stock cooler (top) and Mishimoto TMIC prototype cooler

Additionally, we have increased the size of these ports to improve flow. Yes, these will still mate up to the factory Y-pipe; however, a larger gasket is needed to take advantage of this flow increase. We are including a gasket for both inlets! Check out the comparison of the stock sizing to the Mishimoto unit.

Stock intercooler inlet sizing
Stock intercooler inlet sizing
Mishimoto prototype intercooler inlet sizing
Mishimoto prototype intercooler inlet sizing

Now, a few millimeters may not seem like much, but if you know anything about porting you will understand that every little bit helps. Our size gains are summarized in the chart below.

Untitled

One more look at the inlet on our powder-coated prototype!

Mishimoto intercooler inlet
Mishimoto intercooler inlet

Last, take a quick look at the end tank comparison of the factory unit against our prototype. We designed quite a beefy unit!

Comparison of Mishimoto end tank (left) vs. stock end tank
Comparison of Mishimoto end tank (left) vs. stock end tank
Comparison of stock end tank (left) vs. Mishimoto end tank
Comparison of stock end tank (left) vs. Mishimoto end tank

And finally we have a few really neat renderings of the end tanks for our prototype unit. Extreme care and precision went into the design of these components and it really shows here.

Rendering of Mishimoto prototype cold-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype cold-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype cold-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype cold-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype hot-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype hot-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype hot-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype hot-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype hot-side end tank
Rendering of Mishimoto prototype hot-side end tank

That about wraps up our initial comparison of the stock unit to our prototype. Check back next week when we will be preparing the coolers for testing and collecting our data on the dyno!

Thanks!

Mishimoto TMIC prototype, end-tank logo

2008–2014 Subaru STI Performance Top-Mount Intercooler, Part 2: Prototype Introduction and Evaluation

The wait is over! Time to reveal the full details of our prototype top-mount intercooler (TMIC). This unit is unpainted, and one of the more obvious features is its massive size! First, a few overview images of this cooler.

Mishimoto raw aluminum TMIC prototype
Mishimoto raw aluminum TMIC prototype
Mishimoto raw aluminum TMIC prototype
Mishimoto raw aluminum TMIC prototype
Mishimoto raw aluminum TMIC prototype
Mishimoto raw aluminum TMIC prototype

As you can see we designed two fully casted end tanks for this cooler. Both the BPV flange and Y-pipe flanges are CNC-machined. The thickness and construction of our casting will provide the durability needed to run much higher pressures than your STI will ever see. Each tank is then TIG-welded to our core. As with other projects, we are using a bar-and-plate core for improved heat transfer and resistance to heat soak. Let’s take a closer look at the core itself.

Mishimoto TMIC prototype, external core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, external core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, external core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, external core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, internal core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, internal core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, internal core
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, internal core

For both the internal and external fins we are using an offset style. This means our heat-transfer contact points are significantly increased, which will result in a higher rate of transfer. We crammed a ton of fins into this core; our testing will show if this has any negative impact on flow and pressure.

In recent projects, we have been trying to find creative yet subtle ways to put our branding onto our products. We understand that some customers might not be interested in promoting the brand of the products they use. For this particular cooler, we used two simple M logos cast into the tanks. Our team really digs it!

Mishimoto TMIC prototype, end-tank logo
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, end-tank logo
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, end-tank logo
Mishimoto TMIC prototype, end-tank logo

After confirming fitment of this prototype, we also had a few units powder-coated for testing and video purposes.

Next we would be comparing the size and features of our prototype to the stock intercooler. Check back in a few days for updates!

Thanks

Mishimoto 2008–2014 WRX Intercooler installed

2008–2014 Subaru WRX Top-Mount Intercooler, Part 4: Data Presentation and Project Completion

Thanks for returning to the final portion of this build. Now that we have finished testing, it is time to review our data and see the improvements our cooler provided. To start things off, here is a shot of the cooler fully installed!

Mishimoto 2008–2014 WRX Intercooler installed
Mishimoto 2008–2014 WRX Intercooler installed

Let’s dive into the data. First, we’ll compare the basic specs of our cooler versus the OEM unit.

Internal flow area for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler
Internal flow area for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler

The Mishimoto intercooler features a 37.9% increase in internal flow area compared to the stock intercooler!

Core volume for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler
Core volume for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler

The Mishimoto intercooler features an 80% increase in internal core volume compared to the stock intercooler!

Total intercooler volume for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler
Total intercooler volume for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler

The Mishimoto intercooler features a 79.5% increase in overall intercooler volume compared to the stock intercooler!

Now that we have the physical specs covered, let’s evaluate the data from our testing. For intercooler efficiency and AIT benefits, this data was collected during road pulls. We tested both the stock intercooler and the Mishimoto intercooler on a secluded road. The vehicle was driven from 3,000 rpm to 6,500 rpm in third gear. Each cooler was tested with three separate pulls, and these pulls were then averaged. To replicate consistent testing, we allowed the vehicle to cool for exactly five minutes after each run. The results are displayed in the graphs below!

Comparison of intercooler efficiency for Mishimoto vs stock
Comparison of intercooler efficiency for Mishimoto vs stock
Comparison of outlet temperature for Mishimoto vs stock
Comparison of outlet temperature for Mishimoto vs stock

These two graphs represent the big improvements you want to see with an intercooler upgrade. The Mishimoto intercooler was 10% more efficient at cooling AITs and was able to reduce outlet temperatures by 12°F on average. This is a great improvement on a nearly stock vehicle! Our engineers anticipate even greater improvements on a vehicle with higher boost, generating more heat.

Next up was our dynamometer results. Check out our plot below.

Comparison of power output temperature for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler
Comparison of power output temperature for Mishimoto vs stock intercooler

This testing was completed in a single day with little variation in ambient temperatures. The vehicle was strapped to the dyno and the intercoolers were swapped with the vehicle still on the dyno to ensure that none of the variables changed other than the intercooler itself. Each intercooler received a warm-up run and 4–5 additional runs until we had three consistent pulls to average. The fan shroud we fabricated provided the intercooler with 50 mph of airflow. The Mishimoto intercooler provided an average increase of 6 whp and 8 wtq compared to the stock intercooler. These are nice gains for a heat exchanger swap!

While we had the vehicle in the garage, we fitted it with our throttle body hose as well. Because the stock throttle body hose is quite prone to blowing out, we will be including our silicone replacement hose with this intercooler. We are assuming a majority of those upgrading their intercoolers are running higher boost pressures, so this is a great inclusion for some additional reliability.

Mishimoto silicone throttle body hose
Mishimoto silicone throttle body hose
Mishimoto silicone throttle body hose

So that essentially wraps up this project. Time to recap our goals and see how we did with meeting some of the tough requirements we set out to tackle.

Goals

  1. Must be completely direct-fit for the 2008–2014 Subaru WRX and also utilize the stock-style turbocharger flange connection.

The Mishimoto intercooler bolts into position just like the stock intercooler and functions perfectly with all stock equipment. No vehicle modification is necessary for installation.

  1. Support vehicles from stock power levels to 400 whp.

Our engineers recommend this cooler for vehicles from stock to 400 whp. We are setting a maximum rating of 500 whp, but we do recommend a front-mount intercooler setup for vehicles that achieve above 400 whp.

  1. Reduce efficiency and AITs compared to the stock intercooler.

Our data showed a 10% improvement in intercooler efficiency and an average of 12°F lower temperatures compared to the stock intercooler.

  1. Improve power output compared to the stock intercooler.

The Mishimoto intercooler provided 6 whp and 8 wtq average gains compared to the stock intercooler.

  1. Increase cooler volume to support higher power and heat.

The Mishimoto intercooler features an 80% increase in core volume compared to the stock intercooler.

So that rounds out our project! We were very successful on all fronts of our testing and development. We are very confident that this intercooler will provide the temperature reduction needed for your vehicle. Check out a shot of this cooler viewed from the scoop!

Mishimoto intercooler installed
Mishimoto intercooler installed

Thanks for following along with the build! Feel free to follow up with any questions regarding the intercooler or our data!

Thanks

Mishimoto raw aluminum prototype

2008–2014 Subaru STI Performance Top-Mount Intercooler, Part 1: Product Goals and Initial Design Process

Did you think we would just develop a top-mount intercooler (TMIC) for the GD WRX and leave out the STI? No way! At around the same time we began development on the WRX, we picked up a new shop vehicle, a 2010 STI. When a new vehicle makes its way into shop service, we need to be sure it accelerates and handles properly. The STI passed our checkup. We then set out to determine what products we wanted to develop first. We already had a few items on the market, including a performance aluminum radiator and a silicone radiator hose kit. Our first target had been a direct-fit oil cooler that proved to be extremely successful, providing a 20°F drop in oil temperatures during our testing. Next we created a plug-n-play fan shroud with dual 12” electric fans. The key component of this shroud was the use of stock-style fan connectors and a very slim profile. Finally, we tackled one of our favorite projects, a performance cold-air intake. This was actually the first performance intake we developed, and it was quite a learning experience. With a garage stocked with fabrication tools and testing equipment, we were able to prove a power increase of 25 whp and 25 wtq by simply bolting on this intake. Yes, you read correctly, no tune is required for these power gains, and AFRs remain well within spec. With all these projects complete, we now turned our attention toward improving air charge temperatures. So we began with a TMIC and would later move to development of a front-mount intercooler (FMIC). Keep an eye on our blog for information regarding both projects.

Check out our 2010 STI shop ride!

Mishimoto 2010 STI shop vehicle
Mishimoto 2010 STI shop vehicle
Mishimoto 2010 STI shop vehicle
Mishimoto 2010 STI shop vehicle

This vehicle has been great for hauling supplies, product testing, displaying our current products, and occasional lunch trips (don’t tell the boss). In fact, I have been waiting for my S4 to break in the parking lot (shouldn’t be long, it’s a C4) so I have an excuse to take it home.

So, on to the project at hand. We started by evaluating products currently on the market, because our product will need to stand out from the others in some way. We developed a few goals and then set our engineers loose to see what they could do.

Project Goals

  1. Must be direct fit and require very limited vehicle modification
  2. Support vehicles having up to 400 whp
  3. Provide reduced IATs
  4. Increase core volume
  5. Improve power output

Direct Fit

This is a simple goal for all the products we develop. There is nothing more frustrating than having to modify that brand new component you purchased. We want our customers to have a hassle-free installation, so we will be including any additional components needed for proper installation. We will be test fitting this intercooler on numerous occasions to be sure any bugs are worked out.

Power Support

The stock top-mount is reasonably efficient; however, with higher-than-stock boost levels, IAT’s are prone to rise. Heat-soak is also fairly common with the tube-and-fin core used with the stock cooler. I am in no way implying that the stock intercooler is insufficient. Our goal is to provide improved IATs for stock vehicles up to our 400 whp power range. At any point above this, we highly recommend an efficient FMIC, which would eliminate any residual heat-soak and provide the temperatures needed for rotated or high-boost setups. As we have seen on many of our other intercooler projects, reaching 400 whp will not be an issue because of the space we have to expand this intercooler.

All about Coolness

Everyone wants to be cool; this is the primary target of this project. The reason for upgrading your intercooler is to achieve lower induction temperatures. If we fail on this front, the product will not reach shelves. We are hoping to provide concrete data of temperature improvements on both a stock and lightly modified vehicle.

Large and In-Charge

This goal ties into the others we have for power support and temperature reduction. The consensus is that a larger TMIC would help with both these components. That being said, there is certainly a sweet spot of size, heat transfer, and flow that would be the true challenge for this project. A core that is too dense is going to impact air flow, which may even reduce power. This component will require precision on the part of our expert engineering team.

Power

An intercooler upgrade is a supporting modification, not technically targeted toward power increases. Obtaining additional power by bolting on a new cooler can be quite a challenge. We’re hoping that we can pull a few ponies out of our design via flow increases or increased timing from lower temperatures. Although this will be a pending or secondary goal, we are hoping to achieve it even if the numbers are not substantial.

Jumping right into the project! We needed to evaluate the stock intercooler, determine our design constraints, and begin creating a prototype. Let’s take a quick look at the stock intercooler.

Stock 2008–2014 STI engine bay
Stock 2008–2014 STI engine bay

The intercooler removed!

Stock 2008–2014 STI intercooler
Stock 2008–2014 STI intercooler
Stock 2008–2014 STI intercooler core, external
Stock 2008–2014 STI intercooler core, external
Stock 2008–2014 STI intercooler core, internal fins
Stock 2008–2014 STI intercooler core, internal fins

And the engine bay we are left with upon cooler removal!

Engine bay without intercooler
Engine bay without intercooler

The stock intercooler is constructed completely from aluminum, unlike the plastic end-tank cooler used on the WRX. The end tanks on this unit are cast and crimped to the tube-and-fin core with a rubber gasket to seal this connection point. Overall the cooler is rather well designed, fits well, and the flow is reasonably efficient. At one point during development we evaluated the Y-pipe system for the inlet and found that it is well designed. Airflow through this section is more than sufficient for our planned power level support, so we would not need to modify the Y-pipe in any way.

Additionally, as you see above, the intercooler features a dense tube-and-fin core. It will be interesting to see how the heat transfer capabilities compare to our planned bar-and-plate core design. The core dimensions are as follows:

Length: 20.75”

Height: 6.75”

Depth: 2.5”

Volume: 350 cu in

Total intercooler weight for the stock unit comes in at 10 lb, good information to keep in mind for those trying to keep weight down.

With all the stock dimensions noted and a vehicle at our disposal, our engineering team began designing a prototype using Solidworks software. Once complete and reviewed several times, we manufactured a prototype for testing purposes. Check out this raw prototype!

Mishimoto raw aluminum prototype
Mishimoto raw aluminum prototype

Check back next time for full details on our prototype unit!

Thanks

Rendering of Mishimoto oil cooler assembly

2015+ Subaru WRX Direct-Fit Oil Cooler Kit, Part 2: Product Testing and Completion

WRX Oil Cooler

With our finalized prototypes in hand, it was time for some testing! We needed to perform a back-to-back comparison of the stock oil cooler and the Mishimoto oil cooler. First, check out a few shots of our CNC-machined sandwich plate!

3D printed prototype (left) and final prototype of sandwich plate
3D printed prototype (left) and final prototype of sandwich plate
3D printed prototype (left) and final prototype of sandwich plate
3D printed prototype (left) and final prototype of sandwich plate

Let’s see how this guy looks installed!

Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate installed
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate installed

Throw on a few banjo fittings!

Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings

And then we attach and route our lines.

Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate fully installed
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate fully installed
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate fully installed
Mishimoto prototype of oil sandwich plate fully installed

Here’s a shot of the rendering of the assembled kit. These Solidworks software renderings are always neat!

Rendering of Mishimoto oil cooler assembly
Rendering of Mishimoto oil cooler assembly

Testing time! We spliced our temperature sensors into the lines and hit the road for some testing. Our testing conditions are listed below.

  • 79°F–80°F with 62% humidity
  • 65 mph cruise for approximately 8 miles
  • Identical tests on the same day conducted for both the stock setup and the Mishimoto oil cooler
  • Special care was taken to ensure a smooth path of airflow in front of the vehicle during testing.

Check out the sensors!

Temperature/pressure sensors installed
Temperature/pressure sensors installed

And the results are in! Check out our temperature and pressure charts below.

Temp Data

Pressure Data

The addition of the Mishimoto oil cooler provided a 25°F drop in oil temperatures during normal driving conditions while lowering oil pressure by only 5 psi. Our engineering team predicts that even greater differences between the stock setup and the Mishimoto unit will be evident during track/aggressive driving and with higher-powered vehicles.

With successful results and our goals accomplished, we were able to close this project and put another successful oil cooler into production.

Thanks for following along, and feel free to follow-up with any comments or questions!

Keep an eye on our Engineering Blog for updates on more of the projects we are working on for the 2015 WRX!

19-row oil cooler mounted with bumper installed on the WRX

2015+ Subaru WRX Direct-Fit Oil Cooler Kit, Part 1: Product Inception and Initial Development

19-row oil cooler mounted with bumper installed on the WRX

The most obvious thing to do with your brand new WRX is to take it to the track immediately after leaving the dealership. Fortunately, the WRX is a rather competitive package right out of the box. Our initial driving impressions were very positive, and we have no doubt that this vehicle is going to make a big impact on the enthusiast world. We monitored fluid temperatures at stock power levels during normal driving conditions and found that everything seems to be in spec. We are assuming a majority of these vehicles will not remain at stock power levels for very long. Soon enough, many enthusiasts will be bolting on intakes and exhaust systems and supporting everything with a solid tune. As we have seen with our initial intake testing, the FA20DIT responds very well to modifications. We expect the 2015 WRX should be able to attain 300 whp with a few simple modifications.

With increased power comes increased heat. As we have said time and time again, high oil temperatures are detrimental to the longevity of your engine. Warm climates, increased power, and track/aggressive driving are all contributing factors that necessitate an oil cooling solution.

Our talented engineering team is not new to oil cooler development. Not only do we offer a direct-fit oil cooler solution for the entire year range of Subaru WRX/STI models, but we also cater toward a variety of other enthusiasts’ vehicles such as the S2000, BRZ/FR-S, 350Z, Genesis Coupe, and many more. The primary focus of these products is an easy-to-install kit that requires minimal to no vehicle modification. We want to take the guess work out of installing an aftermarket oil cooler. Along with offering an all-encompassing kit, we conduct real-world testing and then publish this information so our customers can appreciate the benefits our products will have on their vehicles.

Enough about our product line, let’s jump into this WRX! With less than 1,000 miles on our vehicle, we began thinking about new-product development. Our first products included some very nice silicone hose kits. As with previous generations we developed, our radiator hoses are constructed with 4-ply silicone, a nice upgrade in reliability. We also released a silicone ancillary hose kit featuring 13 coolant and PCV lines that can benefit from more durable material. Finally, we released our FA20DIT airbox hoses, a two-piece kit featuring the upper and lower hoses from the turbo inlet to the airbox. We are presently conducting some power tests to see if the smooth interior of our hoses provides any flow benefits compared to the accordion-style design of the stock units. More on this later!

Now, on to the goals for our next target, a direct-fit oil cooler. We do not release products without at least one goal in mind, such as reduced IAT’s from an intercooler or lower coolant temperatures with one of our aluminum radiators. This oil cooler would be no different, and our goals would be simple enough to allow our engineers to explore their creativity.

Project Goals: 2015 WRX Direct-Fit Oil Cooler

  1. Must be completely bolt-on and require no vehicle modification
  2. Must provide substantial temperature reduction without significant decrease in oil pressure

From a design standpoint, an oil cooler for the 2015 WRX provided some interesting challenges. I’m sure you are aware that the oil filter is no longer on the bottom of the engine. The FA20 utilizes a top-mounted oil filter with a cup assembly to catch any overspill. This design is very similar to the BRZ oil filter setup; however, the WRX utilizes a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger below the filter to regulate temperatures. For our BRZ kit, we developed a specific CNC-machined spacer to fit with one of our oil sandwich plates. This strategy would not work for the WRX, and hood clearance became a concern when a spacer and a sandwich plate were added.

Instead of tweaking a preexisting product, we decided the 2015 WRX deserved a completely new sandwich plate of its own. This component would require the longest time to manufacture, so we targeted this first to get a jump on the completion of this kit. Bringing a product to market quickly is important to our team, as we knew enthusiasts would be tracking this one right out of the gate. Despite this, we did not sacrifice quality or due diligence in any way throughout the design process.

First the lead engineer for this project, Kevin, evaluated the dimensions of the factory oil cooler and filter assembly. He then created a sandwich plate design using Solidworks software, followed by 3D printing. This printer has been an extremely valuable asset for numerous recent projects. Being able to have a prototype in-hand for test fitment in less than 12 hours saves us a great deal of time. The fewer delays on our part means we can bring products to you quicker and get you out on the track having fun. Check out the prototype of our sandwich plate!

Prototype of oil sandwich plate
Prototype of oil sandwich plate

We then attached our standard oil sandwich plate O-ring.

Prototype of oil sandwich plate with O-ring
Prototype of oil sandwich plate with O-ring

And finally we attached our -10AN fittings and dowty seals to complete the mock-up unit.

Prototype of oil sandwich plate with -10AN fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate with -10AN fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate with -10AN fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate with -10AN fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate with O-ring and -10AN fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate with O-ring and -10AN fittings

Next, we installed the prototype of the oil sandwich plate on the WRX to decide on the lines we wanted to use and where to route them. First we tried using a pair of 45° fittings to route the lines downward and around the radiator. Although these lines fit, we found that clearances were quite tight with the overflow bottle when using a radiator that is thicker than stock.

Installed prototype of oil sandwich plate
Installed prototype of oil sandwich plate
Installed prototype of oil sandwich plate
Installed prototype of oil sandwich plate
Installed prototype of oil sandwich plate
Installed prototype of oil sandwich plate

These images provide a glimpse into the space we had to work with. As you can see, the 45° fittings forced us to twist the sandwich plate sideways for clearance – not what we wanted to do. You can also get a good look at the stock oil cooler and the coolant lines running in and out of it. Now check out a few shots with banjo fittings used instead of the 45° fittings.

Prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings
Prototype of oil sandwich plate installed with banjo fittings

The banjo fittings provide the clearance needed to mount our sandwich plate straight, and they even function with our thicker X-line radiator installed. We always strive to provide an entire line of products that fit together perfectly, so this was important. Banjo fittings will be the way to go for this particular design.

Now let’s talk about oil warm-up. You might notice that this sandwich plate does not utilize any internal thermostat. You can also see that we did not remove the stock oil cooler unit. Our engineers spent a great deal of time discussing and exploring different potential designs. We concluded that keeping the stock oil cooler intact and adding our liquid-to-air heat exchanger as a supplementary cooler would give us the best results.

The stock oil cooler also functions as an oil warmer. Coolant flows through the unit to bring engine oil to operating temperatures as quickly as possible. (Cold oil is just as harmful as oil that is too hot.) By retaining the stock liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger, we can assure a speedy oil warm-up. Additionally, our external liquid-to-air heat exchanger works to lower temperatures once it has warmed up. Although this will need to be tested, we found that this system works perfectly on the previous generation of the STI.

So, the basic design is settled. Our data will be the true test though, so stay tuned for that.

The next detail was mounting of the oil cooler. As with any liquid-to-air heat exchanger, optimal heat transfer requires proper airflow, and we want that heat transfer to result in lower fluid temperatures. The obvious choice was to mount the oil cooler in the front grille area. Airflow testing on numerous vehicles helped us to determine the optimal location. After much deliberation and testing, our team selected the passenger side of the lower grille as an ideal location. Mounting brackets were fabricated, and we then did a mock-up of our 19-row oil cooler. Check out a few shots below!

19-row oil cooler mounted on the WRX test vehicle
19-row oil cooler mounted on the WRX test vehicle
19-row oil cooler mounted on the WRX test vehicle
19-row oil cooler mounted on the WRX test vehicle

And now with the bumper installed!

19-row oil cooler mounted with bumper installed on the WRX
19-row oil cooler mounted with bumper installed on the WRX

And finally, the lines were routed. These will go behind the crash beam, around the radiator, and up to the sandwich plate. All our kits utilize preassembled stainless steel braided oil lines with -10AN fittings. These high-quality components ensure consistent, durable, and leak-free operation.

Oil line routing on the WRX
Oil line routing on the WRX
Oil line routing on the WRX
Oil line routing on the WRX

At this point we were waiting for the CNC-machined prototypes of our oil sandwich plates to arrive for testing. Once they arrived, we could install the entire kit, compile our testing data, and evaluate the results of the project.

Check back soon for part 2!

An inside look at the engineering of Mishimoto products.

%d bloggers like this: