Monday, March 24, 2014

Install : Mishimoto Induction Hose

So, a few weeks ago, I responded to a post on NASIOC about the need for a hawkeye WRX as a test vehicle. I'd seen it when it was first posted, and it kept getting bumped, so finally, I just sent a private message. Shockingly, almost a month after the initial post, they were unable to get a reliable person to response... until me.

I took the car up on a Thursday night with my friend Casey in his BRZ tagging along to bring me home. We got a mini-tour of the Mishimoto facility, including their dyno and testing shop, and I was told that my car was being used to test fit a front mount intercooler that had been developed for a different year car. They wanted to see if it would fit without modification on the '06-07, and it turns out that it doesn't. :( The drive-by-wire system has a sensor in a place where a hose/fitting needs to be, so the '06-'07 kit will need to be different.

As a thank you for letting them use my car, Mishimoto gave me a new induction hose, and I finally tried to install it this weekend. I should have just included it in the list of things to install when I drop the car off at IAG next...
A shiny new silicone induction hose!
The weather was nice this weekend, so I figured it was as good a time as any to install the induction hose. It didn't seem like that big of a deal when I looked at the Perrin one that was in there. Unhook a few connections, yank it out, shove the new one in, and done, right?
It seemed so easy that one beer would cover it.
Boy, was I wrong. A silicone hose doesn't like to deform, for one. And the induction hose is really jammed into a tight space for two. Oh, and just for good measure, the hose going from the induction hose to the intercooler had a stupid compression-type hose clamp on upside fucking down so that even my hose clamp pliers couldn't get to it. I was extremely unamused by this

So, starting beer number two, I finally had rotated the offending hose clamp enough with a screwdriver applied on one side that I could get a pair of needle-nosed pliers on it and loosen it. I was able to removed the Perrin hose and I figured the Mishimoto would be an easy insert.

Still wrong.
The beginning of the blood sacrifice
After fighting with the new hose, and having Pat help me, I was no closer to having it properly installed by the time the sun went down. I'd wanted to go to Hershey in the morning to attend the PCA autocross there and get at least a little time under my belt before my first big event of the season (El Toro ProSolo, in Greg McCance's car), but it was not to be. I threw everything in the passenger seat in case it rained or something overnight, and gave up.
The turbo mocks me.
After a good night's sleep and a nice lunch at DuClaw, I was back at it. Before attempt 2.0, however, I reviewed the install video.
The only difference I saw in the video versus what I was doing was the removal of the intercooler. So, I got the 12mm socket out and pulled it off.

It gave me a little more room to work, but my hands are pretty small so it didn't seem to be that big of a deal to me. Still, things seemed to progress a lot more quickly with it out.... well, that and with a few more tools.
Matco's RTG1MB hook pick was extremely useful in getting the hose onto the turbo
The official install video lists some tools, but I'd add the blunt end hook pick to them, plus hose clamp pliers (for those nasty compression clamps), fingernail cutters (which you should use before you start -- I only broke two nails before I just cut the rest), bandages (my knuckles were torn up this morning, so I had several on to protect myself this afternoon) and beer (as my friend Curt says, it serves as a great anti-septic!).

Even though it was a good 20 degrees cooler today (45 versus yesterday's 65 degree Fahrenheit), I was able to get the hose in place fairly easily (I'd left it inside by a heater vent while at DuClaw), and with the hook pick, it went onto the turbo quickly. Next up was the intercooler hose, which, again, was fairly easy -- this one, moreso than anything else, benefitted from the intercooler being off. Then I made sure all the fittings on the new hose were on, and reattached the intercooler.
Replace all clamps with screw-type clamps when you can.

All I had left to do was find a coupler that would connect the new hose to my Cobb intake, and I'd be done. I ended up just going to the local Autozone and after conferring with one of the guys there (yes, I have an Autozone with competent people that work there!), I settled on a temporary fix.
I'll replace it soon enough!
So, I started the car up, and there were no codes or weird sounds. I drove it around the block, and the power steering felt heavy, so I popped the hood and checked everything again. I didn't seen anything that stood out, but I made doubly sure one of the hoses from the Crawford AOS was properly hooked up, and drove it around the block again. Same problem, and when I parked it this time, I saw a puddle of fluid in the driveway from earlier. Hrm. Not sure where that came from, since I don't think I disconnected anything with the power steering system, but I'll look at it again in the daylight.

So, the Mishimoto site shows the install as a "4 out of 5" on their difficulty scale. I think I'm going to go with a "3 out of 5" on the bandages scale.
It's not that it's a difficult install, per se, it's just that it's a PITA. You're trying to work in an extremely cramped area, and if it's cool out, none of the hoses want to cooperate. Trying to get the hoses to connect to their appropriate areas isn't easy either, between the tight working area and the cold temperatures. If you start with the engine up to operating temperature, and have the new hose at standard room temperature before install, it will go better. Also, take the intercooler off; every little bit of space you can get to work with is good. 

Needless to say, my patience with things like this is why I tend to have a shop do work for me, as I said in my ESP interview for SoloMatters. :) I'll be having the ancillary and radiator hoses installed by IAG while I'm at the El Toro ProSolo driving Greg McCance's unicorn. No offense to Fred and Evan, but they get paid to do this, and I don't! :)

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