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Old 04-15-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
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Trying an experiment. had the Tcat tore down for a good cleaning and other work And while I was at it, I pulled off the entire intake manifold. The inside surface of the Y-Tube and the Ells that attach to the cylinders is a very jagged rough sand cast aluminum. Had some **** that were large enough that looked like they could break off from vibration and be sucked into the cylinder The casting on the inside was lot rougher than it was on the outside surface. Also the rubber sleeves that connect the Ells to the Y-tube have an internal flange or lip whose ID is smaller then the ID of the Ells and the Elbows. This induces a lip about 1/8 high that intrudes into the air flow pathway almost all the way around and reduces the inside ID of the manifold about an 1/4"

I trimmed the rubber flange so the ID is now equal, and while I was at it, with a dremel and a couple flap wheels in 120 grit I cleaned up all the rough casting to a near smooth surface. Will this work in improving air flow into the engine? I can't help but think that it will, especially at higher RPMs.

Don't ask me if I've seen any performance improvement because I'm still working on the cat, doing a throughout inspection and adjusting of valves and everything else yet. It will be a few days before I get a chance to take it out and see if there are any gains. I suspect there will be some, how much is anyone's guess, maybe not even enough to feel the difference. But every bit helps right?

A picture of the finished manifold showing the semi smooth surface. Take my word for it, this is a 1000 times smoother then it was
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Intake manafold-04132010030.jpg  
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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yes it will helo increase air velocity however sometimes the manufacturers rough sand cast the inner parts of the intake manifolds on cars to increase heat dispersion and promote turbulence in the intake runners. the rough casting allows there to be lots more surface area inside the manifold which dissapates heat alot faster than a smooth finish. will you see gains? most likely yes. will the IATs rise? most likely by 1-2 degrees but i would not think more than 5. i started out as a fabricator and built myself some forward facing sheet metal intake manifolds for a few high HP engines i was into building at the time and ended up getting into the intake making business for a while. i found out that the rougher the surface on the inside of the intakes, the cooler the outside of the intake stayed (dissapating heat) we were running AEM standalones with IAT sensors and wideband tuners and you could clearly see the IATs were higher after a pass on a smoothed intake versus sometimes 10-15 degrees cooler with a non-smoothed intake. those few degrees may cost you 1-5hp. nothing serious but still was a negative side effect. on all factory intakes they leave the intakes rough to promote turbulence, does it work? heck i know on a race head you want it to flow as much as you can as fast as you can. with my intakes on a flowbench, there was no change in the CFMs in the two intakes, the smoothed out inside of the intake versus the rough surfaced intake. they both flowed the same, one just dissapated heat better.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:10 PM   #3
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I see what you are saying. And would say that yes a rough surface could transfer heat better and if the intake air internal was hotter then surrounding outside air then what you are saying would be true. That I agree, however in the Cat intake manifold heat comes from outside the manifold and through convection from the heads. So if I do in fact experience less heat transfer then it should be less likely to transfer external engine heat to the cooler airflow flowing inside.

Granted turbulence can help induce swirl and a better Air/fuel mix in the cylinders in theory. In practice I've I've never seen anyone actually get any performance improvement or mileage improvement from those turbo-vane tornado snake oil intake tube insert devices. But many have seen improvement from a well made smooth polished tube cold air intake system on trucks and automobiles. Based upon my own experiences in the past I'm confident that I'll experience no loss in power and might actually improve it. And my own knowledge in temperature transfer Along with a fair amount of hot rodding knowledge, I'm less likely to have external engine heat transferred to the intake airflow inside the manifold because of the semi polished surface. So in reality I'm extending the practice of cold air larger bore intakes.

Use a dull rough surface where you want heat to escape or transfer and a smooth bright surface where you want to reflect or minimize a temperature change. The ambient temperature between the two cylinders of the Tcat is HOT. I do not want this high external temperature being transferred to the cooler intake air flowing inside the manifold. Also the smoother surface help increase air velocity which should help charge the cylinders at higher RPMs

As for your sheetmetal manifolds, Mass mean a lot in temperature transfer, Lightweight mass changes temperature absorbs and radiates a lot faster then thick cast iron would. Although mass does hold heat longer too. On top of an V-8 there is a lot of heat radiating from the lifter galley underneath that gets a lot of hot oil splash. You would want to expel heat from the manifold since air temperature inside the manifold is probably higher then the air temperature outside in the engine compartment at low to middle RPMs
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:01 PM   #5
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I thought the intake needed to be course to mix the fuel and air better.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
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that is on carb bikes. the EFI bikes do it all on its own in the combustion chamber. the intake on the T-cats does not carry the fuel, the injector sprays into the base of the intake runner so the air traveling thru the intake has no fuel mixed with it. it is just air flowing thru an intake.

and you are correct wyo you will not likely see any losses. i forsee some gains in the high RPM department for sure. and you are right in the thinking of heat transfer on this small of an engine, and with the little amount of heat you are actually working with there is not likely going to be an ounce of difference either way so just rock out. it definitely looks better smooth
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:32 PM   #7
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I would say that your biggest gain is going to be from removing that lip on the flanges. If you look at a head ported by a professional you will notice that the intake runners are a rougher surface (about like the surface on Airdams clutches, maybe not quite as course). This was explained to me by someone with flow bench/porting experiance. According to him the rougher surface actually speeds up the air, reason being that it kind of creates turbulance, but not like a mixing turbulance. It allows air to, for lack of a better term, barrel roll, a very small amount right by the surface and the main flow of air actually rides on top of this "barrel rolling" air.

Picture your pick up truck with the tail gate up, the air rolls behind your cab (barrel rolls) so the air comming over the cab rides on that barrel roll and the majority misses your tail gate so you get better gas mileage/less drag. (see mythbusters episode on gas mileage)

So I would say trim/smooth out all of your lips and take a sanding roll on your die grinder and leave that sanded finish on them and enjoy the new found airflow.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:54 PM   #8
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
 Quote:
I would say that your biggest gain is going to be from removing that lip on the flanges. If you look at a head ported by a professional you will notice that the intake runners are a rougher surface (about like the surface on Airdams clutches, maybe not quite as course). This was explained to me by someone with flow bench/porting experiance. According to him the rougher surface actually speeds up the air, reason being that it kind of creates turbulance, but not like a mixing turbulance. It allows air to, for lack of a better term, barrel roll, a very small amount right by the surface and the main flow of air actually rides on top of this "barrel rolling" air.

Picture your pick up truck with the tail gate up, the air rolls behind your cab (barrel rolls) so the air comming over the cab rides on that barrel roll and the majority misses your tail gate so you get better gas mileage/less drag. (see mythbusters episode on gas mileage)

So I would say trim/smooth out all of your lips and take a sanding roll on your die grinder and leave that sanded finish on them and enjoy the new found airflow.[/b]
I agree fully, I am not polished mirror smooth its just the finish from 120 grit flap sandpaper wheels, because of what you say, it looks more polished then it really is in the picture from the glare in taking the photo. I've done flow benching in the past so know that too smooth isn't right either. The key is to get a thin layer of air trapped along the walls in the roughness. Then the friction of air against air is lower. But when the roughness is jagged and causes turbulence and back flow eddy's or reverse vortexes that's too rough

What you are describing is the golf ball dimple affect, Did you ever see that Myth Busters episode where they took clay and added it to the outside surface of an automobile made big golf ball dimples and got better mileage even though they added close to 1500 lbs of extra weight from the clay?
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Wyo_H1_Cat @ Apr 15 2010, 08:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
 Quote:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
 Quote:
I would say that your biggest gain is going to be from removing that lip on the flanges. If you look at a head ported by a professional you will notice that the intake runners are a rougher surface (about like the surface on Airdams clutches, maybe not quite as course). This was explained to me by someone with flow bench/porting experiance. According to him the rougher surface actually speeds up the air, reason being that it kind of creates turbulance, but not like a mixing turbulance. It allows air to, for lack of a better term, barrel roll, a very small amount right by the surface and the main flow of air actually rides on top of this "barrel rolling" air.

Picture your pick up truck with the tail gate up, the air rolls behind your cab (barrel rolls) so the air comming over the cab rides on that barrel roll and the majority misses your tail gate so you get better gas mileage/less drag. (see mythbusters episode on gas mileage)

So I would say trim/smooth out all of your lips and take a sanding roll on your die grinder and leave that sanded finish on them and enjoy the new found airflow.[/b]
I agree fully, I am not polished mirror smooth its just the finish from 120 grit flap sandpaper wheels, because of what you say, it looks more polished then it really is in the picture from the glare in taking the photo. I've done flow benching in the past so know that too smooth isn't right either. The key is to get a thin layer of air trapped along the walls in the roughness. Then the friction of air against air is lower. But when the roughness is jagged and causes turbulence and back flow eddy's or reverse vortexes that's too rough

What you are describing is the golf ball dimple affect, Did you ever see that Myth Busters episode where they took clay and added it to the outside surface of an automobile made big golf ball dimples and got better mileage even though they added close to 1500 lbs of extra weight from the clay?
[/b][/quote]


Exactlly, less friction air to air vs air to metal, and definatly flows faster than turbulent air. Looks good man
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:40 PM   #10
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Im sure there are so many factors to consider, but I think of porting and polishing heads and 2stroke cylinders. The diesel forum I go to for Chevs talks about polishing the intake into the turbo and getting great results. I never thought there may be a negative to basically stock motors to polish cast parts.
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