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  1. #1
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    N54 Intake Manifold

    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

    Hey guys my name is Mat, and I am attempting to introduce a cast aluminum N54 manifold to the market. I manage the CNC operations of my family business. We make foundry tooling, molds and prototypes for the oil field, automotive, motorcycle aftermarkets, NASA, the military, etc. I've had this project on my mind for about two years. I am not a vender so I don't know how much I can say about it other than the manifold details. It will be made of of aluminum (red is just better to see against the gray back ground), weigh about 15lbs, features a larger plenum for a better top end, tapered runners that act as a velocity stack for more toque, 1/8 to 3/16 wall thinness. The kit will come with a phenolic spacer for heat issues, and some type of gasket.

    I did not include aux port injectors because it seems that the DI, although limited, can push a lot of hp. Also, I do not own a n54, and I need one to really do it right. I just purchased a new CNC machine, and adopted a baby so my resources are a little light right now, but I hope to get one soon.


    Next week I will have a phenolic spacer cut to confirm the ports and bolt holes, after that I will have the first two runners 3d printed to confirm the fitment in reference with oil filter assembly and alternator, next will be a rapid prototype wrapped in fiberglass to be dyno'ed. Then I will make the foundry tooling, casting, machining, polishing and then road testing. Hopefully the N54 will finally have a proper manifold.

    Any input/critiques would be nice, thanks.

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    Hey buddy, nice to see you on here, welcome. In terms of the intake manifold a member on here @DBFIU is one of our resident experts on the topic. @DBFIU, what do you think?

    To give you a bit of background, as for myself, I'm running a set of hybrid turbos (RB) which are a pretty popular upgrade on this platform (see www.rbturbo.com so I don't have to go into details on those). Alternatives to them are ASR and TD Stage 2. So far people have pushed to 500-520whp with them on the N54 and a bit more might be possible with some future supporting modifications to the intake piping and the cylinder head porting. They are said to be capable of flowing around 55lb/min vs 42lb/min on the stock turbos, for the pair. They spool really close to stock while providing more power to redline. There are also single turbo kits coming from Vishnu that have shown power to 640whp (Dynojet) on the stock motor, using the stock intake manifold/throttle body (you can find some of these dynos on this and the other forum where you posted originally).

    Some questions I have about the stock intake manifold:

    1) Do you know what the intake manifold looks on the inside?
    2) Do you know the plenum volume?

    My car's apart at this time so any measurements you may need let me know and I'll try to get them for you.

    Cheers
    Click here to enlarge

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    @Mat Morkin
    Thanks for accepting my invitation. Welcome aboard!

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    I see you found your way to the N54 advanced technical discussion board Click here to enlarge

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    I can give a rough estimate of 300ci. Mine is about 350ci. The inside is very rounded, like a football. Mine has .75 radius all around with .5 around the runners. I can get the plenum, a little larger by adding to the top. I need the runners measured, I can call you tomorrow to explain.

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    This manifold is exactly what the N54 platform needs and we thank you for lending your expertise for our community. Welcome aboard and let me know if you need a test bed in Toronto Canada.

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    Okay, I went back to the drawling board, I increased the size of the plenum to almost 375ci. Here is a pic of the inside of it.Click here to enlarge Don't mind the small fillets on the runners, Autodesk hates running large radius, but I can manually make them larger, later.

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    I saw this post on E90post and I am glad to see it here as well since I can't make comments due to a temp ban. Here are my thoughts:

    The design looks good, but I think aluminium is the wrong material to make it out of. The engine bay gets extremely hot. This will increase the intake temperatures significantly over the plastic manifold. Also, if you plan on making meth ports or additional injector ports, hot aluminium will be potentially more dangerous than plastic. Lets also not forget that methanol is corrosive to aluminium parts when it pools on them. So this could be a problem if someone has a leaky meth nozzle.
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    Click here to enlarge
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Counter point, some of the fastest cars in the world have Alum intake manifolds, it is the industrial standard in the aftermarket. I don't do plastic, Injection molding is not my bag.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mat Morkin Click here to enlarge
    Counter point, some of the fastest cars in the world have Alum intake manifolds, it is the industrial standard in the aftermarket. I don't do plastic, Injection molding is not my bag.
    Can it be made out of stainless?
    Click here to enlarge

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    Good invite @alpinedevil335, I was hoping this guy would make it over here. I will def be curious to see if @Mat Morkin dives into an exhaust mani sometime too.

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    Hi Mat and welcome. Thanks for taking the time to produce a manifold. Vasillalov is right though, cast aluminum will get very hot very quickly unless you run some type of phenolic spacer, even then it will get hot because of engine bay heat soak. Since most people inject meth though, I guess it doesnt matter.

    As for the design, I think overall it is good but if you can manage to add a few things this is what I would do.

    1. On cylinder 1 there is protrusion in the runner, what is it for? That will disrupt the flow to that cylinder.

    2. Can you attempt to make a manifold that actually moved the TB farther away from the runners? This way you can have better diffusion to each runner. Naturally you will need to design a new charge pipe but those are cheap. I think lots of gains can be had by using a supra style manifold with the inlet horns etc...

    3. My opinion on the stock manifold TB placement is that BMW had more of a packaging problem, the stock manifold is overall not a very good design because the TB is very close to the runners making flow unevenly distributed and pressure drop high because the air has to turn very sharp as it exits the TB and tries to make it to cyl 1 or cyl 6.

    Overall, gains can be had just by englarging all ports and increasing the plenum volume, so pardon my attention to detail.

    Take a look at this thread, I simulated an intake manifold for a fictitious engine, you will get an idea of what I am talking about.

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/showthrea...ntake-Manifold
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
    Vasillalov is right though, cast aluminum will get very hot very quickly unless you run some type of phenolic spacer, even then it will get hot because of engine bay heat soak. Since most people inject meth though, I guess it doesnt matter.

    He said he would be running a spacer.

    As for the design, I think overall it is good but if you can manage to add a few things this is what I would do.

    1. On cylinder 1 there is protrusion in the runner, what is it for? That will disrupt the flow to that cylinder.

    I think its for the oil filter housing, no?
    .

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    I remember APR used stock plastic intake manifold for their 650 whp 2.0T. They stated aluminum would have way too much heatsoat and the properties of that plastic would actually be better.

    Still really cool that you came up with all these by yourself. Really looking forward to progress and testing.
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    Guys,

    I know a phenolic spacers help with heat, but they only work well for engine bays where you have sufficient airflow. The phenolic spacers/gaskets help prevent heat transfer from the engine head to the manifold.

    The N54 engine bay is extremely cramped and poorly vented out. The heat buildup on the manifold will not be occurring from heat transfer from the head, but rather from the extremely hot ambient temperatures all over under the hood and around the engine bay.

    The only way to prevent an all-aluminium manifold from absorbing all this heat from its surrounding hot air is by completely wrapping it in insulation material. This will make it very expensive, difficult to remove, maintain and check on and somewhat unsightly.

    Mat, please, don't take this as an attack towards your skills or intents. While the design looks really good the theory behind it is sound, I think you need to spend a bit more time learning the "environment conditions" in which this manifold will be used: high temp, cramped, non-vented engine bay.
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    Yes, very interesting!

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    Good point on the heat-soak debate. Again, going back to building my race engine days we accounted for very cramped Twinturbo spaces, and no other car has a more cramped engine bay than the 300ZX TT. Believe me! What worked for the Z32 community on various parts such as pistons, manis, headers and even some turbos, was a heat emitting coating material called Swain Tech Coatings. They also have a product called BBE which is applied to help pull heat out of metals. Couple this coating with the phenolic thermal spacer and it could potentially cancel heat-soak out. The other alternative is ceramic coating. I don't think the potential heat-soak on this platform is a show stopper. I see the benefits of this new design outweighing IT's. Also, high heat isn't going to be that much of a factor when the car is in forward motion. Idle temps are relatively low to begin with. Food for thought.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by orange Click here to enlarge
    Good point on the heat-soak debate. Again, going back to building my race engine days we accounted for very cramped Twinturbo spaces, and no other car has a more cramped engine bay than the 300ZX TT. Believe me! What worked for the Z32 community on various parts such as pistons, manis, headers and even some turbos, was a heat emitting coating material called Swain Tech Coatings. They also have a product called BBE which is applied to help pull heat out of metals. Couple this coating with the phenolic thermal spacer and it could potentially cancel heat-soak out. The other alternative is ceramic coating. I don't think the potential heat-soak on this platform is a show stopper. I see the benefits of this new design outweighing IT's. Also, high heat isn't going to be that much of a factor when the car is in forward motion. Idle temps are relatively low to begin with. Food for thought.
    It wont matter if the car is in forward motion because after about 5 minutes the manifold will be up to steady state temperature. The manifold will not miraculously just cool down once the car gets to a highway speed. The mode by which the manifold picks up heat are conduction from the head to the manifold. Convenction from the air in the engine bay which is very hot and radiation from all the surfaces in the engine bay exposed to the manifold. Conduction from the head to the manifold will be reduced with a spacer, conduction will still take place through the bolts and eventually the manifold will get hot there is no preventing that.

    A cast aluminum manifold with good flow design can offset the fact that it will be hot, and more so with meth injection. But the manifold will be screeching hot once the engine is up to temperature and at any speed.

    I think if Mat has the resources and time to develop this manifold he should do it out of aluminum, pursue good flow characteristics and inject meth to remove heat from the equation.
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    Do like!

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    @DBFIU I wasn't expecting the coating and spacer to prevent heat build or cool it down. I believe that these components can dissipate heat more so than one without. Based on what you are saying, meth effects will be negated/vaporized by the time it gets to the chambers.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by orange Click here to enlarge
    @DBFIU I wasn't expecting the coating and spacer to prevent heat build or cool it down. I believe that these components can dissipate heat more so than one without. Based on what you are saying, meth effects will be negated/vaporized by the time it gets to the chambers.
    I dont understand what you mean by meth effects being negated by the time it gets to the combustion chamber. What I am saying is if he injects meth then it doesnt matter if the manifold is hot aluminum the meth can keep the air cool even with a large heat input source like that.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
    I dont understand what you mean by meth effects being negated by the time it gets to the combustion chamber. What I am saying is if he injects meth then it doesnt matter if the manifold is hot aluminum the meth can keep the air cool even with a large heat input source like that.

    So wait, I am bit confused here because I have hard time believing that a heat soaked aluminium intake manifold will produce the same IAT temps as compared to a plastic one given the same amount of methanol being injected. ...unless of course you are trying to literally drown the engine in methanol by hooking it up to a garden hose.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by orange Click here to enlarge
    Good point on the heat-soak debate. Again, going back to building my race engine days we accounted for very cramped Twinturbo spaces, and no other car has a more cramped engine bay than the 300ZX TT. Believe me! What worked for the Z32 community on various parts such as pistons, manis, headers and even some turbos, was a heat emitting coating material called Swain Tech Coatings. They also have a product called BBE which is applied to help pull heat out of metals. Couple this coating with the phenolic thermal spacer and it could potentially cancel heat-soak out. The other alternative is ceramic coating. I don't think the potential heat-soak on this platform is a show stopper. I see the benefits of this new design outweighing IT's. Also, high heat isn't going to be that much of a factor when the car is in forward motion. Idle temps are relatively low to begin with. Food for thought.
    Swain Tech has been very successful in the Evo world as well. I was actually wondering why it hadn't been suggested until I read your post. Granted an Evo engine bay has much better ventilation, but it definitely did help keep temps down. They coat manifolds an turbos in it on the Evos with good success.
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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Plasti-dip the bloody thing, LOL

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