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Western Expansion – Aluminum Expansion Tank R&D – Concept to Completion

Just from looking at the Civic Type R, you can tell that it’s built to perform. The exterior styling is aggressive, yet functional. Every grill, opening, and spoiler incorporated into the design is there for a purpose, and that purpose is speed. Even with the amount of legwork that went into making this Civic the cream of the crop, everyone is still after increased performance.

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When most think about the performance of any vehicle, they think of how fast they can make it. Dreams of tunes, intakes, intercoolers, and exhausts are what drift through every enthusiast’s mind when it comes time to start modding. Performance should really come from the car’s ability to keep performing every time you push the start button. Making sure all the components under the hood are doing their job is a good first step.

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With all the heat that’s being generated over the CTR’s cooling system we thought we’d take a look at the potential failures. Since we have some plans in place for other cooling enhancements, all eyes are on the FK8’s expansion tank. For one, it’s quite the eyesore under the hood. Once you prop the hood latch, that distinct Rallye Red engine cover is the centerpiece for the Type R’s beating heart. A huge splash of color added by Honda’s engineers to let you know that these four cylinders are something special. That all starts to get a little foggy with the beigest of beige coolant expansion tank taking up residence right next door.

All meticulous R&D starts with cutting something in half. We know what we want the outside of the tank to look like, but we need to make sure of the baffles.
All meticulous R&D starts with cutting something in half. We know what we want the outside of the tank to look like, but we need to make sure of the baffles.

We here at Mishimoto have a plan to make sure the engine bay matches the sporty exterior’s motif and increases the K20’s ability to perform. To start, we’re evicting the tan plastic. It’s no secret that the CTR’s engine bay can be described more as a kiln than an engine bay. The stock tank might not see any issues up front, but the extended exposure to excess heat, especially for those hitting the track fairly often, could start to see degradation and leaking. This hot hatch already has enough cooling issues, just imagine when it’s losing coolant.

One of the first steps in our design process is to create a physical copy of our model as a 3D print. With the proper fitment confirmed, we move on to producing the real thing.
One of the first steps in our design process is to create a physical copy of our model as a 3D print. With the proper fitment confirmed, we move on to producing the real thing.

To combat the inevitable decomposition of the OEM reservoir tank, our engineer devised a sleek new containment tank for the hot coolant that can stand up to the test of time and look good doing it. We’ve replaced the plastic construction with a full aluminum shell, complete with internal baffling to keep the coolant from sloshing around.

Just like our catch can bracket and intercooler pipes, we wanted to add another splash of red under the hood of your CTR and will be offering this tank in a matching hue.
Just like our catch can bracket and intercooler pipes, we wanted to add another splash of red under the hood of your CTR and will be offering this tank in a matching hue.
For those who want to stay stealthy, wrinkle black will be another option
For those who want to stay stealthy, wrinkle black will be another option

With any enthusiast focused car, improving on the performance is always on just about every owner’s mind. We already have some of the other “go fast” bits already covered for the CTR, so now we want to make sure that it keeps performing for years to come. Where the FK8 already has the speed thing sorted, we want to make sure that it keeps all its coolant in one place. Plus, it never hurts to look cool while improving durability.

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Thanks for Reading!

 -Nick

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