Intake manifolds have had a long and strange history in the automobile industry. This important piece of your vehicle keeps your engine running smoothly, but how exactly does it work? And why should you care?
Read on for our handy guide to intake manifolds, their workings, and what you should consider when upgrading your project vehicle!
An intake manifold helps provide air to your engine’s cylinders. It works alongside other parts of your vehicle’s engine system to make sure your engine is drawing the correct mixture of fuel and air. This ensures the engine is burning that mixture efficiently, giving you more power and torque.
For carbureted engines, the intake manifold helps distribute the mixture of fuel and air from the carburetor to the cylinders. For fuel-injected engines, the intake manifold helps draw in a high volume of air and then distributes that directly to each cylinder.
To start with, air travels through the intake, into the throttle body, and into the intake manifold’s plenum (or body). From there, the plenum distributes the air to the runners, which are tube-like structures that feed into the intake ports of the cylinder heads.
When a piston moves down, it creates low pressure inside the cylinder. This siphons air out of the intake manifold’s runners and into the cylinder. This cycle repeats as the piston opens and closes, lasting as long as the engine is running.
OEM parts (or Original Equipment Manufacturer) have a lot of regulations and restrictions on them. When a vehicle is made, the engineers not only have to worry about performance, but emissions, fuel efficiency, and cost. This means your standard intake manifold often provides less power to your engine than it could.
That’s why many people buy aftermarket intake manifolds to improve their vehicles, particularly muscle cars, and boost their engine’s airflow. A high performance intake manifold can improve your engine’s performance, add maximum power, and even save weight and heat in your engine!
Many people replace their standard intake manifolds to ensure that they get maximized performance from their vehicles. If you want to get an intake manifold for your vehicle, don’t just buy the first one you see! There are several important factors that determine which high performance intake manifold is right for your vehicle.
Namely, you need the correct runner length and carburetor pad height to fit your engine. Many people make the mistake of trying to fit the biggest and most expensive intake onto their engines and end up struggling because parts don’t fit right. A proper fit is almost always better than simply a bigger fit!
Intake manifolds are an important part of any engine and can be a fun way to upgrade your vehicle. But it’s important to do it right!
If you have more questions about engine parts, vehicles, or just automotive life in general, check out the rest of our automotive blog! We’d love to help you grow and gain knowledge to succeed in any way we can.