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Carbon TRc Intake Manifold for Ford, GM and Mopar

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Carbon TRc Intake Manifold for Ford, GM and Mopar
By Evan J. Smith
No matter the engine combination, one of the more fun components to select is the intake manifold. The intake manifold is a key piece of the horsepower puzzle as plenum size and runner length help define the power curve of the engine. 
For many, the intake manifold will be the focal point of your build illustrating the power and strength of what’s underneath. Billet aluminum is the usual aftermarket choice for performance, but composite is another option that’s gaining popularity. The Carbon TRc (Tunnel Ram compact) intake manifold is an evolution of the Performance Design Carbon TR naturally aspirated and Carbon TRic (intercooled) boosted intake manifolds. The new TRc is an under-hood, short-runner intake manifold optimized for boost, but does not rule itself out of a naturally aspirated option, where fitment and aesthetics are preferred over peak torque.
“The Carbon TR has been a fan favorite since inception due to its elegant carbon V twill down the center of a double-bubble upper plenum,” said Jason Harding of PD. “However, it’s large and complex, billet aluminum, 5-axis CNC-machined base made it costly to manufacture and did not allow it to fit under most factory hoods. This led us to start with a clean sheet of paper design, while evolving the TR’s aesthetic into the next generation. The key hallmarks of the new design were to maintain the carbon fiber and billet aluminum construction, manufacturability within a desired price target, fitment under the stock hood, and versatility of subcomponents to be used across a wide range of applications,” he added.
“To achieve these goals, we arrived at a modular design starting with a carbon fiber one-piece molded plenum. Carbon fiber braided sleeve layers with alternating-weave directions are wrapped around a bladder and inserted into a billet aluminum mold where it is pressed against additional hand-laid carbon fiber fabric and infused with resin. Vacuum is applied to the carbon-filled cavity, while pressure is applied to the internal volume, the bladder, and the entire tool is heated. Using this process, the tool itself becomes an autoclave and thus achieves autoclave-level part quality and strength,” he explained.
The resulting plenum is a strong pressure vessel without seams or bonding making it capable of handling over 50 psi of boost. Runners are CNC-machined, anodized 6061-T6 aluminum manufactured in two pieces to sandwich the plenum. A short velocity stack plate is installed inside the plenum and the outer runner bank bolts through the carbon fiber plenum into the velocity stack plate and is sealed with O-rings. And a billet aluminum throttle body flange is bonded to the front of the carbon fiber plenum with aircraft-grade adhesive. Billet aluminum fuel rails are also available for port fuel applications or to add port fuel to direct-injected applications.
“This modular design allowed us to develop the Carbon TRc quickly for a wide range of applications including LT1/LT4, LS3/L92, LS7, LS1/LS2/LS6, Godzilla, Coyote and Hemi, all using the same carbon fiber plenum. Compared to most billet aluminum intakes costing near $5,000, the Carbon TRc is an attractive alternative at $2,999.99.”
Specifications & Features
• One-piece molded carbon fiber plenum
• Anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum runners and 103mm throttle body flange
• Optional billet fuel rails
• Nitrous bosses in runners
• Accepts factory injectors
• Factory MAP, PCV and Canister Purge Solenoid connections
• Includes stainless steel hardware for installation
• Includes molded port and throttle seals
• Intake can be reversed on the engine
About Performance Design
Performance Design was born out of a passion for creating world class performance products that challenge convention.  We design and manufacture our own line of performance products from carbon fiber, billet and molded nylon materials.  We have developed processes to mold carbon fiber components for our products in-house to support our meticulous hand assembly process.
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