2016 - 2018 Ford Focus RS
To complete our intercooler component lineup for the 2016–2018 Ford Focus RS, we at Mishimoto would like to introduce our Hot-Side Intercooler Pipe. This pipe has a truly innovative design that helps cool more than just air intake temperatures. It increases internal volume by 40% over stock with 2.5 inch inlet and outlet diameters, and maintains an average pressure drop of 45%. Included in the design is a cast mid-section that retains the use of the factory ducting that directs airflow to the front PTU. A standard cylindrical pipe restricts airflow, and this doesn’t help the known problem of overheating drivetrains when the RS is being pushed to its limits.
Our pipe is shaped to direct air right to the front PTU using that front duct, so airflow isn’t lost like with a traditional pipe design. In addition, this pipe comes with 5-ply, wire-reinforced silicone to attach to the turbo and intercooler, providing superior heat resistance and flexibility to accommodate for engine movement. The pipe can also fit without removing the lower cross bar. The kit comes with all necessary hardware, is a direct fit with no modifications necessary, and is backed by the Mishimoto Lifetime Warranty.
- Direct fit for the 2016–2018 Ford Focus RS
- Silicone boots absorb the stresses of excessive engine movement
- Designed to not block cooling to the PTU
- 45% less pressure drop than stock hot-side pipe
- 40% increase in internal volume compared to stock hot-side pipe
- Both Mishimoto intercooler pipes and Mishimoto intercooler provide 35% less pressure drop than stock setup
- Improves heat and pressure tolerance
- Available in Wrinkle Black powder-coated finish
- Fits both stock and Mishimoto Focus RS intercooler
- Mishimoto Lifetime Warranty
|ENGINE CODES||2.3L EcoBoost GTDi I4
|FITS||2016+ Ford Focus RS
|INSTALLATION TORQUE SPECS||27 in-lbs (3N*M) recommended for all t-bolt and constant tension t-bolt clamps. These clamps have an operating range of 18-35 in-lbs (2-4N*M). Do not exceed the maximum torque rating of 35 in-lbs (4N*M).
|SILICONE COUPLERS||(2) Silicone Couplers
|CONSTANT TENSION T-BOLT CLAMPS SPECS||(3) Constant Tension T-Bolt Clamps
(1) Hot-Side Intercooler Pipe
(2) Silicone Couplers
(2) Rubber Isolators
(3) Constant Tension T-Bolt Clamps
(1) High-Torque Worm Gear Clamp
Mishimoto Lifetime Warranty
Often, one of the first modifications to turbocharged vehicles is the intercooler. However, this time we wanted to give the spotlight to its lesser known siblings, the intercooler piping. If you have not yet had a chance to take a look under the hood of your Focus RS, we’ll save you the trouble; it’s tight in there. Not the best news for those of us who aim to squeeze every bit of power out of our RS. Increasing the flow to the turbo via the piping has power potential, after all.
The stock piping is complex in shape and constructed of plastic and rubber couplers. Overall there are eight connection points in this set of piping. The cold-side piping is fairly short, but the hot-side piping is nearly triple the length, extending diagonally across the bottom of the RS. The photos below show the path that the piping takes under the Focus.
Our goals for this project are to construct the piping out of a more durable material as well as increase the diameter of the piping. In addition, we will create the two pipes out of as few pieces as feasible to eliminate possible fail points. This is easier said than done, given that the path that the hot-side pipe takes is under the Focus, wedged between the oil pan and the transmission. This gives us little room to increase diameter without rubbing or clearance issues. Not to worry. Like the seemingly doomed hero dangling from a cliff in an action movie, we still have a plan. Since things tend to be a bit boring without a challenge (and the office is rarely boring here at Mishimoto), we set out to design some upgraded piping.
The Plan in Action
The first step was to get some general measurements of the stock cold-side and hot-side piping, allowing our engineers to increase the pipe diameter, thus creating our prototype. We began by designing all-aluminum, one-piece versions of the intercooler pipes as our first prototype.
Thanks to the quick work of Dan, our engineer, and Mike, our fabricator, we soon had some intercooler piping tacked together and mocked up on the RS.
Now that we were certain of fitment, we could fully weld our piping for a more finalized prototype. Fire up the welder Mike!
With our first prototype complete, we installed it on our RS to evaluate our piping more in depth.
We expected a tight fit all around, but we still encountered some areas where the increased diameter just did not fit. We do not want to sacrifice piping size, so it was back to the drawing board, or rather the Solidworks. Although our first escape attempt may have been thwarted, we are not ready to succumb to the enemy just yet. We intend to elude the clutches of the cramped engine bay by creating excellent flowing intercooler pipes, just in the nick of time!
The cold side here is a standard design, connecting the turbo to the cold side of the intercooler. The unique part, though, is the material we plan on making this product out of. The entire prototype, which is more of a finished production sample at this point, will be constructed from durable, steel reinforced, five-ply silicone. Worried about boost pressure? You won’t have to with this one-piece tube. The steel reinforcement makes it highly resistant to misshaping under vacuum, so it will perform just as well as an aluminum counterpart.
Because our cold side piping is designed as one solid piece, it will eliminate need for couplers. No one likes a failing coupler at the track, unless you enjoy having boost leaks. This is especially important for the RS because we found that there is a good bit of engine movement with hard driving, and it would stress the traditional coupler-and-aluminum-pipe setup more than it should. Our design has flexibility while being very rigid, so it will do a great job handling the engine movement as it decreases the amount of connections necessary to have a cold side pipe. Now you have two connection points or clamps instead of four!
Less clamps means two things: a cleaner look and an easier install. This hose will not be difficult to install for anyone. In fact, our lead engineer for this project, Dan, wrangled this hose in there within five minutes just so I could take some pictures of it installed. It routes right in front of the alternator and snakes around and up to the motor from the cold side intercooler inlet.
I know this tube looks pretty on the RS, but it isn’t only an aesthetic modification. While there were no direct power gains by adding this piece to our RS, we significantly improved the airflow that surges through the tube. The smoother, one-piece design and enlarged diameter helps promote this efficiency over the stock piping, which opens the door to run more boost without restriction. In turn, this makes other modifications, such as an exhaust, more effective. This was confirmed by testing the pressure drop of this tube versus the factory induction tubing.
On average, we measured a pressure drop of about 46%, across this pipe. This improvement in airflow is largely in part due to an increase in the volume of air this tube can hold. Our tube increases the internal volume by a whopping 40%! Who says bigger isn’t better?
Along with the awesome looks and proven data from our cold side intercooler pipe, we have reached our goal for this half of the RS intercooler piping project. The one-piece design will absolutely be a great addition for anyone looking to squeeze a bit more potential out of their hot hatch. This product will be available on our website next week for purchase, so stay tuned for that. I will update this blog with a link when it becomes available. But what is cold side intercooler piping without the hot side?
Next: The Hot Side
Sample pieces have recently arrived at our facility and we wasted zero time getting testing done. Our hot side intercooler pipe for the RS is very unique, as the design kills two birds with one stone: providing performance and accommodating the ducting to the front differential. Stay tuned for more!
If you want to be the best in your field, pay close attention to little details. It’s what will set you apart from the rest of the pack. Our engineering department has honed their skills in noticing the details. In the case of our 2016 Ford Focus RS hot-side intercooler pipe, we paid close attention to airflow and noticed a problematic aspect – not with the pipe itself, but with the components surrounding it.
In the very first blog post about this project, we showed you a prototype (above) of our first version of the hot-side pipe. It was a full 2.5 inches through-and-through, wrapping around the front drivetrain and oil pan. While this was all good and dandy, our engineer noticed a small, yet significant problem: restrictive airflow to the front power transfer unit (PTU). The prototype pipe is big, but it completely blocks airflow to that PTU, which doesn’t do favors for the overheating differential issue – which we are still working on.
But how were we going to make a pipe larger than stock and still allow for airflow to the front PTU? Ford has ducting for this unit on the factory undertray, so our engineer, Dan, went about incorporating it into our design.
The solution was to change the mid-section of the pipe behind the oil pan in such a way that it acts like an airflow catalyst for the fins on the PTU, making for a unique, one-of-a-kind shape and design. Dan used our in-house 3D printer to test fit a prototype section he came up with.
And just to be sure, we used the undertray during the test fit to see if the two could coexist.
Retaining the use of the factory undertray makes this a direct bolt-on part with zero modifications required. Keeping the ducting functional for the PTU is a great bonus since it helps cool the complex powertrain system.
How Does It Perform?
We had a functional, fully cast prototype made so we could test it on the RS to record the improvements.
Even with the odd shape, we were still able to increase the internal volume by 40% with 2.5 inch inlets and outlets, and we saw an average pressure drop of 46% over stock. Like the cold side pipe, there were no power gains, but increased airflow, size and airflow for your front PTU are all outweighing benefits.
See some shots below of our final prototype installed on the car. Don’t mind the craziness from our differential cooler project!
This pipe will be in presale soon, so stay tuned for that announcement. That concludes our R&D for the 2016+ Ford Focus RS intercooler piping.