This 2015 Chevy SS came to us with a meth problem. Now I know what you’re thinking – why would a nice clean cut Chevy get started with meth? It had everything to live for – shiny paint, chrome wheels, heck it even had some life left in its warranty. Well once it got supercharged, things got hot in there, and the meth – or water-methanol if you want to be specific – keeps things cool and ups your power level.
The problem is, the meth has to be injected into the intake. And with a new LSA supercharger from a Cadillac CTS-V on top of its LS3 engine, the stock elbow just wouldn’t fit right and the meth had nowhere to go. The LSA throttle body is offset to the driver’s side (or passenger side if you’re reading from this Chev’s country of origin), moving it closer to the airbox. This Chevy already had a trick Roto-fab cold air intake that the owner wanted to retain, leaving a very tight space between it and the throttle body. So we fabbed up an aluminum elbow to set things right.
Coming out of the air box, in addition to changing direction, we need to include the mass air flow (MAF) sensor, a key component in this whole engine thing. In designing this we worked backwards from the throttle body to the air box as the 90 degree turn required into the throttle body is tight. The only way we could get such a tight bend in a 4″ diameter tube was to use a cast aluminum elbow – mandrel bending creates too large of a radius in the bend and wouldn’t fit right.
With the throttle body side of things solved, we killed some brain cells finding a place for the MAF. Ultimately, we placed the MAF partially inside the Roto-fab air box, creating a block-off plate to secure it and fill the extra space in the air box opening. Connecting the MAF and elbow is a mandrel bent section of aluminum tubing, and we sliced it in just the right place for a perfect fit. Naturally, we measured at least 2 times (was it 20?), and cut only once. A little bit of TIG welding and voila, we’ve got a nice elbow.
To finish off the elbow we need a port to connect the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) output to. A 3/8″ hose barb does the trick.
Now, back to that meth you keep thinking about. The AEM injector nozzle uses an 1/8″ NPT port, and those bungs are easy to find. But, the available bungs were so deep that the nozzle outlet was shrouded, so we trimmed down the depth of the bung (if only we had a nickel every time we trimmed bung!), and opened up the nozzle side, and welded it in. Being perfectionists, we welded every seam on both sides, and for the meth nozzle outlet we ground the surrounding area for nice smooth flow.
With the aluminum portion solved, we added silicone couplings – including a bellows coupling for the boosted engine – and buttoned it all up.
Last but not least, who wants their elbow getting all hot when we’re piping in air through a “cold air intake”? Right, we didn’t think so. Design Engineering Inc. provided the gold NASA-spec heat shielding and we think it looks just right. Now, this may not actually be used on NASA spacecraft, but this Chevy will fool most of the people most of the time.
We offer custom fabrication services across a range of materials. In the metals section, we work with steel, stainless steel, and of course aluminum. What can we make for you? Contact us to tell us about your project.