Intake and Exhaust System Tuning©
(Ramblings on exhaust and intake system modifications)
This is a discussion of some of the factors that go into the size, length, width, openingarea, ETC., of the intake and exhaust system. It is not a how-to article, but offers a fair amount of not easily found information. This article is an updated version of one thatwas posted to the Airheads LIST: "">>>>Some time ago I promised to do an article ontuning of Intake and Exhaust systems, and then later posted that it was becoming sounwieldy that I ripped up my notes. I really wanted to avoid long engineering discussions& mathematics (which many folks dislike). After thinking about this, I decided that Icould do the article in a way that would spell out some theory and some problems, andgive some hints. ""
....This is that article
Due to VERY complex effects having mostly to do with camshaft timing and size andlength of intake and exhaust systems, including the shape and size of combustionchamber items such as port and valve sizes, angles, flow, eddies, etc...., modifications for power or torque is a mix of science and art, even with modern computers.... needing anlarge amount of experimentation. Most folks seem to think that if the exhaust system is'opened up', that in itself will give more power, more performance. They also seem tothink that bigger carburetors will do the same. Same idea for perhaps 'freer flowing' air cleaners, or individual air cleaner elements at the carburetor mouths (and eliminating theairbox, etc.).Somechangesreally willgive improvementsacross the rpm range. Colder
air to the air cleaner, insulating the air cleaner interior. A good 3 angle valve job. Higher compression ratio within gasoline limits, and many more changes.However, some, if not many changes, will often REDUCE performance. Of course, onehas to define performance: top speed? quick acceleration to some particular speed?tractability? Torque?... so as to not needing excessive shifting? Anecdotal evidence to thecontrary,the only real way to 'prove' your "improvements" to horsepower and torque, topend performance, acceleration, etc., is either on the drag strip, or a known distancedlayout, or, better yet, on a calibrated, or at least repeatable readings type of dynamometer.Certainly you can road test for characteristics like throttle response andsmoothness, and acceleration. Dynamometer time is expensive. One could get together with some friends and build one, it need not be calibrated, just consistent. NOT expensivehere. A few hundred dollars and a fair amount of time would get you a dyno. Purchasingone is likely to cost a minimum of $3000.00, and a really good setup will cost MANYtimes that amount.