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Engine - General, Exhaust & Induction Topics about the general engine items, exhaust system discussed here & Improving the intake tract - air filter to intake valve.

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Old 04-06-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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Hey gang,

Back when I was doing an N/A neon build, I remember how the intake pipe size and length could put additional torque peaks throughout the band, improving power in some areas, if not all. From what I recall (been years), the longer the pipe, the lower the peak torque was added. The bigger around the pipe, the less restrictive to preserve top end performance. I ended up doing I think a 2.5" or 3" pipe that snaked through up into the fender that was like a few feet long all together. Never did get a chance to dyno the difference, but I have seen other people who have.

Now in the turbo world, I was curious: does this phenomenon play a roll?

Currently, I have the S60 Turbonetics on my 2.5L. Being the stickler that I am, I want to try and get everything done "right". Currently, the intake goes: Turbo > 3.0L rubber pipe > Cone filter. I think the rubber pipe has to be ~12" or longer. This places the filter right next to the tranny mount.

I am about to do a new tranny cooler, which leaves a nice, large area of fresh air to enter the engine bay. I wanted to extend the intake pipe to get the filter in on that action, as it is a straight shot to do so.

I know a lot of SRT owners go straight to a full 3" pipe on their turbos. I also know most SRT owners just buy whatever is available without a thought into it. I'm cursed with that scientific/perfectionist need. The inlet is currently a 2.5" from the turbo. I was thinking of doing a stepped system, like going 2.5" pipe > 3" pipe... or even trickier, doing a "funnel" design to do the same thing.

Anybody have any insight or am I just rambling about something simpler than I want it to be?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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I'd go 3inch, for intake. More air being moved, better throttle response
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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Originally Posted by NoDestiny View Post
Hey gang,

Back when I was doing an N/A neon build, I remember how the intake pipe size and length could put additional torque peaks throughout the band, improving power in some areas, if not all. From what I recall (been years), the longer the pipe, the lower the peak torque was added. The bigger around the pipe, the less restrictive to preserve top end performance. I ended up doing I think a 2.5" or 3" pipe that snaked through up into the fender that was like a few feet long all together. Never did get a chance to dyno the difference, but I have seen other people who have.

Now in the turbo world, I was curious: does this phenomenon play a roll?
no sry,
the presence of the turbo in the intake tract pretty much negates any potential tuning effects upstream of the turbo (inlet)

however, intake manifold tuning is still valid,
from Manifold (automotive) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Modern intake manifolds usually employ runners, individual tubes extending to each intake port on the cylinder head which emanate from a central volume or "plenum" beneath the carburetor. The purpose of the runner is to take advantage of the Helmholtz resonance property of air."

Helmholtz resonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:28 PM   #4
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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yeah, I get the intake manifold design, was just curious on pre-turbo intake to see if some of that N/A theory holds up.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:28 AM   #5
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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every degree dropped on the intake pipe increase compressor efficiency and decreases exiting temps. Then adding a 3" intake tube also increases efficiency of the compressor as it isn't under such an ugly vac.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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The 2.5" pipe on the turbo is the restriction. Going from smooth 2.5" to 3" netted me a 10hp gain at the track and I was still sucking in hot air till I could get my cold air box made.
Cold Air Intake
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:57 PM   #7
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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Alright, talked me into it...


Old "warm" air intake. Tucked back there.


Here is the old intake vs. new one. Going from less than a 2.5" to a full 3" aluminum.


New intake installed. Gets the fresh air directly from the front.

Took it around the block (errr, whatever, I live in the country). Stayed at 18psi pretty constantly without knock (where 17psi was usually my limit... this is without any adjustment other than the intake swap itself). I'll be doing more testing as I didn't give it a REAL good run earlier.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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why didn't you go out to the grill?

still sucking rad air?
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:40 AM   #9
Re: Turbo intake pipe: Optimal Length and Size?  
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lol, should have had it sticking out of the grill a good foot. Call it "Car Ramrod!"

The end of the filter is actually only a few inches from the grill and nothing else in front of it (just relocated my tranny cooler to make this happen). Eventually, I'll build a little box around it that forced it to only pull air from the front.
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