Heavier Breathing – Race Intake Kit R&D, Part 1 – Concept and Design Plans

The Honda Civic is a mod machine. To some, they might be the butt of a joke, but for many, these little compact cars hold a treasure trove of modification and tuning potential. Even though the FK8 comes from the factory as a track devouring top performer complete with the towering wing, monstrous brakes, and sport bucket seats, it’s no exception to this trend. The heavy-hitting K20C1 under the hood and handling that almost defies physics only add to the to-do list for these civic owners. The drivers want more, and we’re here to deliver. 

Given the Civic Type R’s potential both on the road and the track, big turbos and custom tunes are becoming the norm for enhancing performance. However, the joy of big boost hits a wall due to the restrictive MAF (mass airflow) sensor housing. In essence, the MAF sensor is calibrated to a specific housing size for accurate airflow readings. The ECU then uses these readings to deliver the precise amount of fuel to run at peak efficiency. Making even the slightest adjustments to the housing throws off the long-term fuel trim (LTFT), causing a check engine light. That was something we were actively trying to avoid during our Performance Intake Kit development. This time, the dreaded CEL isn’t even a passing thought since we’re striving for peak performance and designing this kit specifically for custom-tuned vehicles. 

Good news for those looking to improve airflow with our current performance intake kit. We also have plans to adapt our updated inlet pipe with that kit as well.

If it wasn’t already apparent, we’re leaving the confines of the stock tune’s acceptable LTFTs, and we aim to improve flow from the front grille to the turbo. We plan to increase the internal volume of the intake system with the help of cast and mandrel-bent aluminum that will give the K20C1 more breathing room while standing up to the oven of an engine bay. Our proposed updated pipe will connect to the rest of the kit with a short silicone coupler. 

We intend to construct this half of the intake a high-density plastic rotational molded design. This construction method gives us much more leeway to fit into tight spaces and opens up the potential for more unique designs. Our planned MAF housing will still incorporate provisions for the factory vacuum lines, venturi fittings, and most importantly, the coveted MAF sensor itself. From inlet to airbox, our piping will gradually increase to an 82mm (3.2″) inner-diameter MAF housing, significantly reducing any restrictions in airflow and unlocking power potential from your CTR. 

The MAF housing will link to our airbox utilizing our patent-pending air filter grommet, making installation a breeze and removing the need for additional hardware. Our airbox is also taking a new shape, meaning you’ll also be able to ditch the factory snorkel. Our unique design will mount directly to the upper radiator support, giving the fresh air a more direct path through the system and opening the box for additional volume. 

The FK8 CTR has already proved itself to be a top performer on the street and the track, but there’s still plenty of untapped potential. With our design plans in place, we still need to prototype the kit. Hang tight while we fire up the 3D printers, and stay tuned for the first look at our prototyped design. 

Thanks for Reading!

-Nick

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