24 Jun Viva Auto Repair : Cold Air Intake MX5 SE
One of the cheapest easiest ways for an automotive repair shop to increase performance of a car is to get the engine to breath more freely. This is best done by fitting a better flowing exhaust and by modifying the intake, so that it gets the intake air from a source that is protected from the hot air surrounding the engine. A custom built exhaust made by a good exhaust fabricator is the best way to improve the exhaust. For some vehicles there is a variety of different cold air intakes, but when one of our customers came to us with a limited edition Mazda MX5 SE Turbo, the only off the shelf unit available, was out of stock, with no ETA on more stock arriving. This meant that we needed to design and build our own unit, and Marque set about doing just that.
This project started by getting the car in, removing the original air filter, and turbo pipes, so that we could design a replacement. Plans were drawn up and pipe, hoses and new filter were ordered. We then put the car back together for the customer to continue driving while the system was fabricated and the pressure pipe got ceramic coated.
A few days later we got the car back, stripped it back out and proceeded to install the new car spare parts. This required a slight rerouting of engine breathing and turbo blow off valve hoses, and the fitting of a new pressure pipe from the turbo to the intercooler intake.
From there the turbo intake pipe could be mounted directly to the turbo, removing the need for the intake air to be routed through a long and restrictive series of pipes and hoses. to this a new K&N pod style air filter, mounted to the air flow meter could be fitted, giving even better flow of air to the turbo.
The only thing remaining to do was to design and make a shield so that the intake was protected from the hot air that surrounds the engine, particularly the exhaust. Some convoluted aluminium plate was bent up and mounting brackets made, and the system was all bolted together ready to be tested on the road. Along with the free flowing sports exhaust system that had already been fitted, the engine was now able to breathe so much better and the performance increase was quite phenomenal. The customer is extremely happy with the finished product and is now looking to fit a larger intercooler to finish the project off, with an expected gain of over 20kw at the wheels.