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Old 10-29-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Easiest/cheapest way to test intake manifold for equal flow?

I don't know anybody who has a flowbench and I don't have solidworks or know how to use it for simulating flow.

Ever since I got my tig welder (many years ago now) I have been meaning to make some intake manifolds to help pay for itself. I made one for my Protege, but the Miata market is much larger and the intake manifolds would be easier to make since I can just use straight runners. I have access to a CNC mill and a few guys here are using flanges from me for their builds.

So, what would be the easiest and cheapest way to test for equal flow? As far as I know, nobody has done this. I have no doubt that a dyno test would show gains, but that doesn't mean equal flow. I was thinking about clear tubes, ping pong *****, and a leaf blower. But, would that even prove anything since it's not simulating the valves opening, pulsed flow, etc?

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--Ferdi
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #2
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Flow Bench | Air Flow Measurement | Air Flow Analysis

You would need to rig some sort of application specific adapter jig for your manifolds.

Just getting a visual from ping pong ***** and such wouldn't really do anything useful for you. You want clear, concise, numerical data in CFM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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Well, I am definitely not spending $1000 on my own flow bench.

--Ferdi
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:47 AM   #4
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i hope you make more intakes. As soon as i get my bonus ill hit you up on that transmission work and maybe a custom intake for my 1.6?
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:22 AM   #5
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I just got one of his intake flanges, genius work!!!
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftjandra View Post
Well, I am definitely not spending $1000 on my own flow bench.

--Ferdi
Well, you could always look at what they're using for parts, and go ahead and build your own. That was kind of what I'm implying. Even to buy theirs, $1000 is a negligible cost to have a functional flowbench test if you plan on building and selling performance manifolds. Get creative with it. Grab a DigiKey catalog, a shop vac motor, some sensors & meters, etc. The most difficult thing will be finding a suitable data acquisition unit, and software to match. Call me crazy, but I bet MegaSquirt could be adapted to work for this application. It does data acquisition of sensors, and has software.... Hell, I bet a plain 'ole MAF sensor would work. You just need to know the correlation between mV and CFM, and convert the values accordingly.

Again, to get any real use from a flow test, you're going to need sensors that provide numerical data, rather than just a visual "looks the same to me" test.

http://www.flowbenchtech.com/forum/ <---Flowbench theory, classifieds, etc.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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I think if you want to get serious you'll need to buy/build a flowbench.

Otherwise you can imitate designs of companies who do this for a living and "hope" yours flow as well and as evenly.

But we definitely need more intake manifold options around here either way, so please don't get discouraged or abandon this idea.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:46 AM   #8
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I would say, get some sort of modeling software. Think, solid works individual license costs like 3 grand. A grand for a flow bench and then how many prototypes are you going to have to make to get it right? If you arent just really lucky while making the prototypes its going to be cheaper and faster to just buy solidworks and use cosmos. You should look at openfoam though, and figure out if one of the free cad suites are compatible with it.

But honestly, look at the other intakes made for this car, they're not tested or even designed with flow simulation. I think if you just put a tad more effort into researching what makes a good balanced log style manifold (tapered plenum, raised velocity stacks, etc) you can just eyeball something better than whats out there.
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