GT500 Absolute Zero Intake Manifold
Coming Summer 2020
The biggest, baddest, best cooling components for the GT500 ever devised!
We’ve learned a lot about air to water (A2W) intercooler (IC) systems over the past 8 years. We have done extensive testing (we think more than anyone else) looking for a solution to the all too common problem of intake air temperatures (IAT) being too high. High IAT’s mean less power, a lot less power. And who wants that?! You paid a lot of money for that power to not have it all the time.
Let’s Get Right To The Performance
The GT500 billet aluminum/composite intake manifold/intercooler is based on our technology in the 3v R-Spec Kit, GT550 Coyote manifold, and our NHRA Cobra Jet program. It flat out works. Why? Primarily, cooling. Here are some stats:
* These stats are based on 20+psi of boost. Boost is what makes the heat. At 20psi you will have roughly double the blower discharge temp that you do at 10psi. In reality 20psi will be more than double 10psi due to higher boost levels generally meaning the blower is further out of its efficiency range. These figures are also based off the rest of the intercooler system (pump, lines, heat exchanger, ice chest, etc) being set up correctly.
-Maximum water flow using the best pumps available through the OEM GT500 manifold/intercooler is – 9.3gpm
-Maximum water flow using the best pumps available through the best aftermarket GT500 manifold/intercooler solutions currently available – 20.5gpm
-The maximum water flow through our GT500 manifold (Limited by the available pumps) – 28gpm
-Right off the bat our GT500 manifold/intercooler flows almost 50% more water than the next best option. Testing has proven that we want to run even more. But right now, that is the maximum water speed with the available pumps.
- Cruising temp 8-12deg over ambient. Even on surface streets/in traffic.
- A 20-25deg rise in intake air temp during a 1/4mi run using just water/heat exchanger. On a 75deg day you can expect to go through the traps at a 100-120deg IAT. And it will recover (not heat soak) almost immediately. To put this in perspective, a stock intercooler system at the same boost levels, can easily hit IAT's of 170-190deg in the same situation.
- With ice water you can expect to go through the traps on a 75deg day in the 60-70deg range. If you run a really smart system and have your burnout/launch/pump timing/ice capacity sorted out really well we have seen 50deg IAT’s going through the traps.
-On the engine dyno we are seeing a roughly 1:1 IAT drop/HP ratio. A 50deg IAT drop is picking up about 50hp just in air density. If your current IAT’s are 130+deg you will see a much bigger gain than that stacked on top because you won’t be pulling ignition timing anymore.
-Overall, we're talking a 70-80deg drop in IAT's when compared to a stock GT500 intercooler system, or 40-70deg drop in IAT's compared to a highly modified GT500 intercooler system. That is simply astounding! But what does it mean? It means that not only are you making more power due to the lower IAT's themselves, it allows the PCM to automatically (and safely) add anywhere from 4.5-8* of timing advance compared to before. Contrary to popular belief, the PCM does NOT simply begin to pull timing only above 136deg IAT. It is constantly changing it based off of a number of inputs. The ONLY time you're getting commanded (full) timing, is at 108deg IAT or below. Anything above 108deg, it's pulling timing. On the flip side, anything below 108deg, it's actually ADDING timing.
-The “pan” and internal manifold volume/shape is quite large and has fantastic flow characteristics. Much more suited to big air volumes than anything else we have seen elsewhere.
-The intake ports are incredibly easy to ports match to hogged out heads. And can go bigger than even the most wildly ported heads.
-The bottom line is this. There is nothing out there that performs even close to our manifolds/intercoolers. You will never utter the words “heat soak” again.
The intercooler core we are using is quite a bit larger than the OEM intercooler. But that doesn’t tell the real story. The way the OEM manifold/intercooler is set up has the back 23% of the intercoolers face and volume shrouded by the manifold body where the bypass valve is located. People have machined the manifold to “unshroud” that section of the intercooler but there simply isn’t enough material to get an effective air gap for good flow through. Because we are working with a clean sheet design we are able to use a intercooler that is larger, but most importantly we were able to move it so the effective “face” or flow through area is utilized much better. The OEM manifold has the intercooler sitting back 1.75” behind the front of the blower discharge port. There is a “ramp” cast into the manifold that deflects the air coming out of the blower back into the intercooler. That is obviously not ideal. You want the air going straight through the core. We set our intercooler location up so that it sits 1.75” further forward than the OEM setup. This not only eliminates the ramp that the OEM manifold has, it opens up a lot more effective flow area.
Here are some intercooler comparison specifications. We are only including the unshrouded portions on the intercooler because it’s the best way to represent “effective area”.
-4.5” wide x 4.75” tall x 8.625” long
-Total “face” – 38.8sq in
-Total volume – 184.36cu in
-4.9” wide x 4.5” tall x 10.375” long
-Total “face” – 50.84sq in
-Total volume – 228.77cu in
How The Intercoolers Compare
-Our intercooler has 24% more effective “face” or flow through area. This means more heat transfer and less resistance to airflow (less boost drop at the core).
-Our intercooler has 20% more effective volume. You guessed it, it has better heat transfer.
-And don’t forget, the blower discharge port is completely unshrouded with our intercooler/manifold.
More Intercooler Info
Our intercooler allows the use of up to a 1.25” fitting/hose (can still be run at .75” though). The ability to run up to a 1.25” fitting/hose is CRITICAL to water speed. We even tested them at 1.5” but did not see a flow improvement. And we were happy about that. Packaging 1.5” fittings/hoses would be an absolute nightmare.
We are running the intercooler as a dual pass (like the OEM one and almost all air to water intercoolers) because we found through testing just water speed that there was no difference in water speed between a single or a dual pass intercooler. Some people claim that by going single pass you double the flow through the intercooler. That is 100% false with the pumps available. The water speed through the entire system is exactly the same (or within .25gpm, which is the margin of error in testing) if the intercooler is single or dual pass. What changes is the water speed in the intercooler itself. The water speed in the single pass is half of what it is in the dual pass. The water enters and exits the intercooler at the same rate, it’s only the speed of the water in the intercooler that changes. On paper/theory says that a single pass can have some advantages over a dual pass in some areas. And a single pass can have some disadvantages to a dual pass in other areas. And they are very small. In addition to doing actual water speed testing we have also tested single vs dual pass on the engine dyno running some nasty nasty 10/10ths race motors and the difference between the two was immeasurable. And if you can’t measure it on the engine dyno, you can’t measure it. Because we were unable to detect any sort of performance difference between a single and dual pass we went with the dual pass for packaging reasons (more on that later).
Composite heat barrier
We offer an industry only option. Our composite heat barrier. Our composite heat barrier is part of the manifold, not spacers that are added to the manifold. This allowed us to design the manifold to be exactly the same height as the OEM one, so you won’t run into hood clearance and belt length issues.
The composite barrier works because the manifold bolts directly to the cylinder heads. Cylinder heads are HOT. 200-235deg. Aluminum is a fantastic conductor of heat. The problem with bolting an aluminum intake manifold to 200+deg aluminum cylinder heads is that the intake manifold quickly heats up. That hot manifold in turn heats up the air inside it, which is your intake air…….that you want to keep cool. If at all possible you want to keep your IAT’s down below 108deg. That is nearly impossible when the “box” (the manifold) you are running them through is anywhere from 180-200deg. Our composite heat barrier is just that, a heat barrier. Heat has a very hard time passing through the composite material we chose. That means far far less heat is transferred to the body of the intake manifold, which means far far less heat is transferred to the intake air charge.
That is not the only advantage though. The intercooler (all intercoolers as far as we know) are attached directly to the intake manifold. The manifold is aluminum, the intercooler is aluminum. The intercooler has cool water running through it, the manifold is hot. What ends up happening is that the intercooler uses some of its ability to extract heat to cool the body of the intake manifold. That is not the intercoolers job, its job is to cool the air coming out of the blower. If the intercooler is using its LIMITED ability to extract heat to cool the intake manifold body it’s not doing a very good of a job at what it’s supposed to be doing, and that is cooling the air coming out of the blower. Additionally, if the intercooler is cooling the body of the intake manifold there will be more heat in the water. More heat in the water means that it will not do as good of a job cooling the intake air temps. In short, cooler water is better. And with the composite barrier the water in the intercooler system will always be cooler.
“Breaking Out” The Engine Coolant
In addition to the composite heat barrier we “broke out” the engine coolant from the intake manifold to keep manifold temps down. Even if you’re running a 160 thermostat the engine coolant running through the OEM intake manifold is still dumping a lot of heat into the manifold body. Which in turn heats the air inside of it up. By breaking the engine coolant out and using the composite barrier we see 50-75deg drop in the intake manifold temperature. Not only does that keep the air in the manifold cooler, it also keeps the blower cooler too. You have the choice of engine coolant parts/fittings that will plug right into your stock stuff. Or “generic fittings” so you can run whatever hoses/fittings you want.
Internal manifold volume and design are a huge deal when the air volumes go way up. The OEM GT500 manifold was designed originally to support 450ish rear wheel HP. Now it’s common to see 700rwhp and there are a lot of 1000+rwhp cars out there. That is a massive difference in air volume. One of the GT500 manifolds weak points is the “pan” directly under the intercooler where the air exits. Right below the intercooler the maximum distance to the pan is .700”. And there are quite a few points where it’s less. To add insult to injury the bottom of the pan is almost flat. You’re trying to tun that air around 180deg in at best, .700”. Not good. Then once the air is turned around and trying to get up past the sides of the intercooler it’s pinched down to 1.25”. It gets wider from there, but that is a big choke point. It may work fine at 450rwhp. It may work fine at 600rwhp. But when is it “not fine”? As far as we know no one has sat down and tested a bunch of different pan/intercooler designs to find out where you run out of manifold volume. We do know from testing we have seen on other manifolds that it’s not unreasonable for it to be problem as low as 700rwhp.
Because we have a clean sheet design we addressed this choke point. And threw everything at it. The bottom of our pan is shaped like a pair of butt cheeks or two “U’s” side by side to facilitate a smooth transition. We were able to open the gap up between the intercooler and pan to almost 2”. That’s a massive difference. We also opened up the choke points on either side of the intercooler to 1.5”. It doesn’t sound like it’s a lot more than the OEM 1.25”. But it is. It’s a 17% increase in available “port”. A 17% increase when measuring just about anything is significant. Especially when the thing you started with was a “choke point”. How much HP/boost drop/parasitic loss will you see from this pan change? We really don’t know. We have some data from other projects that all point toward good size gains. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a 75rwhp gain at 1000rwhp. It could be more than that, it could be less (we’re guessing more). One thing for sure, it’s an improvement.
The internal volume of the manifold body (cylinder head to blower) has also been bumped out as far as we could get it. In addition to that we “ported” (well, the opposite of ported because we added material) the area where the intercooler meets the intake manifold body. The OEM manifold has a hard 90deg turn on both sides of the intercooler. We put a radius in there so the air “flows” better (there is debate about how to define the air driven by a PD blower) into the intake ports.
We moved the fittings/hoses to the back of the intake manifold. Getting .75" fittings hoses past the blower belt isn’t easy. Ford “solved” it with their water contraption that adds four hard 90deg turns and 18” of .55” diameter passage. Which absolutely kills water flow. Getting 1” or 1.25” fittings/hoses through there is next to impossible. The use of auxiliary idler pulleys for more belt wrap at the blower does make it impossible without introducing flow killing restrictions/bends.
Moving the fittings to the back of the manifold also allowed us to run the intercooler further forward so it’s directly under the discharge port of the blower (discussed above in the intercooler section).
There is plenty of room in the back of the manifold to run big sweeping 90deg -20 (1.25”) AN fittings. You can even install/remove them when the manifold and blower are on the motor.
The manifold has -20AN O ring (ORB) female fittings on it for the intercooler ports. This allows you to use readily available fittings to run whatever size/style hose/fittings you desire from .75” all the way up to 1.25”.
The intake manifold is the exact same height as the OEM unit so you will not have any surprise hood clearance issues. The manifold is almost a direct replacement/bolt on. The only thing that needs to be changed is the intercooler hoses are run around the back of the intake. If you’re continuing to use .75” hose it’s a simple matter of running extensions and different fittings which we can supply. If you’re moving up in hose/fitting size you were running all new lines anyway.
Pricing is not set in stone yet. We’re shooting for $5500. There will be an initial group buy at a lower cost than retail. Most likely $500 off.
Optional anodizing in just about any color $350