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Old 04-22-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
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General discussion on pressure zones

So, i am bored at work and as i'm sure many of you do, i ended up browsing the internet and coming across some very interesting articles. Doing research for my miata (should be race ready by this fall, fingers crossed) i came across a very nicely put together article using a tool called a magnehelic gauge and had to have one.

Dwyer Magnehelic Series 2000 Differential Pressure Gauge, Range 2-0-2"WC: Industrial Pressure Gauges: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Basically, if i understand correctly, the purpose of this tool is to measure pressure differentials. Now, from a performance mindset, i figured this tool could provide massive amounts of data for various forms of motorsports.

I plan on ducting the radiator to my miata and venting the hood - little bastards like to run hot apparently - and this is the perfect tool for the job. So, a little back story on heat exchangers for those who are unfamiliar:

Heat exchangers only function because of pressure differentials; you basically need high pressure on one side, and low pressure on the other to force the air through, a 0 differential would result in no flow. So, i can basically measure the differential on either side of my radiator now, measure when the front is ducted (increasing high pressure zone in front) and when the hood is vented (decreasing low pressure zone behind) and measure the effectiveness of those mods.
But wait, it can be taken one step further, i can measure differential on either side of the hood to see where is the best spot to actually put a vent. Towards the base of the windshield actually tends to be a HIGH pressure zone as the air stacks up, placing a vent there would mean air flowing INTO the engine bay, which would suck for cooling (reducing differential across the radiator). So, the neat thing about that gauge is it not only shows differential, it shows differential in direction, so i can know which way the pressure would flow.
I also plan on measuring pressure under the car and at the rear bumper for the sake of a diffuser / wing at some point to find any stagnant air. There is literally no end to what can be measured ... its crazy.

So, i figured why not do some mustang testing too, since i still have access to quite a few. I'd like to measure the differential across the radiator on a bone stock 2013 5.0 (has hood vents) and see how that compares to a 5.0 with the CDC grille (assuming increased frontal pressure). I also have a CDC grille / Gt500 hood on my fiance's car and can take it one step further and see how much better a gt500 hood reacts than a 5.0 hood. Judging by the placement of the vent very far forward, just aft of the radiator, i would expect it to be far superior. Lastly, these tests could be compared to a v6 with various hoods and no hood venting to compare. So I dont know the direct conversion factor for pressure vs cooling, but you can assume less pressure in the engine bay is always a good thing for aerodynamics and cooling.

This data is likely pointless for 99% out there since the cars will not see extreme environments or conditions, but why stop there, why not measure useful every day questions? This kind of got me thinking ... we're looking to reduce our underhood pressure, but that's where our intake is? We're basically asking air to flow from low pressure to low pressure? Hows that going to work?

So, I figured i'd also like to do some testing with the air intakes. Assuming snorkel for the intake is in a "ram air" position right in the front grille, it would not be unreasonable to assume the airbox could become partially pressurized at speed. When going to an open element filter however, you lose this (presumed) pressure ... Now, we know to an extent an air intake seems to make "some" more power, so obviously pressure is not the end all be all but ... hell, having all this data never hurts, it just may take someone smarter than i to do anything with it or make sense of it.

I know some people also track their cars and do autocross, and the subject of brake ducts comes up quite often. When i made my first set of brake ducts for my 5.0, they didn't work very well at all. Reason being, they were too far outboard in the bumper and were not receiving good high pressure air, in fact, they were actually in a slightly stalled / low pressure zone. So, you could measure pressure zones across the bumper to see where the best source of good flowing high pressure air is... I'm going to have a field day pressure mapping my whole car!
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:45 PM   #2
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Way out of my league haha! To smart for me So basically your trying to get better air flow in the car?
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
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Or more or less just understand how it is flowing through and around the car.
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:19 PM   #4
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I didn't understand all of that either Professor Voltwings. Can you go over it one more time please? This time slower and in greater detail?

Haha
This is a topic that one is more likely to see on an aviation forum, regarding the air flowing through the engine cowling on a high performance airplane.
It is fascinating how air flow is affected by different sizes and shapes of air intake and extraction designs.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:35 PM   #5
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It would be very interesting do do some a to c testing on different cleaner elements. Pressure before and after elements . Ford vs K&N etc. Even velocity at the Throttle Body, as positive pressure would be relative to velocity. Interesting thoughts, although the only real measurements most of us members would be cooling, ie., under hood pressure, CAI measurements, in addition to air cleaner numbers.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:24 AM   #6
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Very interesting, something to certainly look into.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:49 AM   #7
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I am in the process of doing something similar to help me design a 10" rear spoiler and functional front splitter package. I am also curious as to the effectiveness of the GT hood's heat extractors. If you want to take a quick look at one of the more aerodynamically advanced S197 GTs, take a look through the Vorshlag build thread for their TT3 car.

Will you be running in a spec Miata class for road racing, or building it for autocross in sts or csp?
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelastsumurai View Post
It would be very interesting do do some a to c testing on different cleaner elements. Pressure before and after elements . Ford vs K&N etc. Even velocity at the Throttle Body, as positive pressure would be relative to velocity. Interesting thoughts, although the only real measurements most of us members would be cooling, ie., under hood pressure, CAI measurements, in addition to air cleaner numbers.
You could probably use a pitot probe to measure the pressure differential by temporarily running it through the PCV port on the intake, or the vacuum port next to it if you have a manual (since it is just plugged).
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jande063 View Post
I am in the process of doing something similar to help me design a 10" rear spoiler and functional front splitter package. I am also curious as to the effectiveness of the GT hood's heat extractors. If you want to take a quick look at one of the more aerodynamically advanced S197 GTs, take a look through the Vorshlag build thread for their TT3 car.

Will you be running in a spec Miata class for road racing, or building it for autocross in sts or csp?
I'm very familiar with their car, its whats inspired a lot of what is going into the miata. This will just be an HPDE car, i like to tinker so i dont want to be bound by any class rules. Eventually we may get more serious, but at least right now, half the fun is building the car.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jande063 View Post
I am in the process of doing something similar to help me design a 10" rear spoiler and functional front splitter package. I am also curious as to the effectiveness of the GT hood's heat extractors. If you want to take a quick look at one of the more aerodynamically advanced S197 GTs, take a look through the Vorshlag build thread for their TT3 car.

Will you be running in a spec Miata class for road racing, or building it for autocross in sts or csp?

I'll just quote you to revive this thread for the sake of partially answering one of your questions.

So, to recap, i used my magnehelic gauge (first time, so i very well may have been doing something wrong) to measure pressure differentials between the hood vents and atmospheric on a gt500 and GT hood. I didnt really see any appreciable differential until about 70 mph on either hood, and it was consistent until about 80-85, which was the fastest i could get up to.
First picture (assuming the photos upload in the order i want them to) is taking a reading them the dead center of a GT500 hood. I probably could have taken readings on left / right / center, but i can always do that later. Anyways, you can see its right around .4-.5 in/hg @ 70-80 mph. The vent also has an area of 52 square inches - just measured end to end, didnt account for the honey comb and structure fins and blah blah blah.



Second pictures are the front and back of the GT hood vent respectively, the very forward most "slot" and the very rear most. The front vent seems to pull about .4 give or take, whereas the rear one was .6, almost .7 at times. Really caught me by surprise, as i figured usually most cars have the areas of lowest pressure near the front around the radiator, and higher towards the cowl. Very interesting. There are 5 "slots" on each hood vent, which measure ~ 3" x .5", which gives a combined area of roughly 15 square inches if my math is right ((3 x .5) x 5 ) x 2.


So, itll take someone smarter than me to figure out what the affect of the different areas and pressures are, but there's the data. The GT is 100% unmodified, stock Grille, stock underhood liner, everything. The GT500 hood is on a '14 v6 with a CDC gt500 style grille, but is otherwise unmodified for the sake of this discussion, assuming any of that is relevant.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:57 PM   #11
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It is not surprising that the rear vent had the highest pressure differential. You will have a higher pressure at the front, with low velocity airflow, and a lower pressure, but high velocity flow situation at the vent. Typically, you place a hood vent at the rear edge of the highest curvature to create an additional low pressure zone to help "pull" air through. This is why cowled hoods are so effective at moving air through an engine bay, they create a natural low pressure zone at the base of the windshield. The trick is to merge those two streamlines in a manner that promotes laminar flow, as opposed to turbulent.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
I'll just quote you to revive this thread for the sake of partially answering one of your questions.

So, to recap, i used my magnehelic gauge (first time, so i very well may have been doing something wrong) to measure pressure differentials between the hood vents and atmospheric on a gt500 and GT hood. I didnt really see any appreciable differential until about 70 mph on either hood, and it was consistent until about 80-85, which was the fastest i could get up to.
First picture (assuming the photos upload in the order i want them to) is taking a reading them the dead center of a GT500 hood. I probably could have taken readings on left / right / center, but i can always do that later. Anyways, you can see its right around .4-.5 in/hg @ 70-80 mph. The vent also has an area of 52 square inches - just measured end to end, didnt account for the honey comb and structure fins and blah blah blah.



Second pictures are the front and back of the GT hood vent respectively, the very forward most "slot" and the very rear most. The front vent seems to pull about .4 give or take, whereas the rear one was .6, almost .7 at times. Really caught me by surprise, as i figured usually most cars have the areas of lowest pressure near the front around the radiator, and higher towards the cowl. Very interesting. There are 5 "slots" on each hood vent, which measure ~ 3" x .5", which gives a combined area of roughly 15 square inches if my math is right ((3 x .5) x 5 ) x 2.


So, itll take someone smarter than me to figure out what the affect of the different areas and pressures are, but there's the data. The GT is 100% unmodified, stock Grille, stock underhood liner, everything. The GT500 hood is on a '14 v6 with a CDC gt500 style grille, but is otherwise unmodified for the sake of this discussion, assuming any of that is relevant.
You'll have to excuse me but I'm trying to follow this.
You're measuring differential between two locations, so how do you tell which location is the low pressure side and which is the high side? Is this by knowing which of the 2 hoses is in a specific location and then seeing whether your reading is positive or negative?
Also, why do you make reference to inches of mercury while you gauge appears to read in inches of water?
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jande063 View Post
It is not surprising that the rear vent had the highest pressure differential. You will have a higher pressure at the front, with low velocity airflow, and a lower pressure, but high velocity flow situation at the vent. Typically, you place a hood vent at the rear edge of the highest curvature to create an additional low pressure zone to help "pull" air through. This is why cowled hoods are so effective at moving air through an engine bay, they create a natural low pressure zone at the base of the windshield. The trick is to merge those two streamlines in a manner that promotes laminar flow, as opposed to turbulent.
Most pressure maps of hoods i have seen have the lowest pressures towards the front, and higher towards the cowl. The base of most windshields - cowls - actually tends to be a high pressure area does it not? That is what actually forces air into the engine bay.

See the pictures below, the CFD shows the cowl as a high(er) pressure zone.

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You'll have to excuse me but I'm trying to follow this.
You're measuring differential between two locations, so how do you tell which location is the low pressure side and which is the high side? Is this by knowing which of the 2 hoses is in a specific location and then seeing whether your reading is positive or negative?
Also, why do you make reference to inches of mercury while you gauge appears to read in inches of water?

Correct, notice how the gauge has zero in the middle and can go either way, you basically just track which direction the needle moves. I had one nipple running to the vents, and the other just open to the cabin for the "atmospheric" reference. That being said, most of the time, unless you're completely shooting from the hip, you typically have a good idea of where the high pressures and low pressures are. Also, to my understanding, inches of water and mercury were interchangeable units since vacuum is typically measured in in/hg.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:03 PM   #14
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Inches of water and inches of mercury are not interchangeable. The way that your gauge is giving you pressure is a height difference of two columns of water. The pressure differential is then equal to the height difference in inches multiplied by the specific gravity of the fluid in question. Mercury has a specific gravity that is 13.534 times higher than that of water. The pressure differential may then be used to calculate the velocity of the streamline, along with the area, which can be used to calculate force.

You are correct in that there is typically a low pressure zone in the front third of the hood of a car. The reason being is that this is typically home to the end of the smallest radius of curvature on the structure. This is very true for the NB Miata that you are mapping, and have a CFD plot for (that plot looks suspiciously like it is for an NA, but I am not a Miata expert, having only competed in one on a single occasion). There is a major difference in the hood to windshield design of the Mustang to the Miata. The Miata does not have any major cowling, where the Mustang has significant cowling. The base of this cowl (where the windshield wipers go to rest) is going to home to a low pressure zone on the mustang that is directly proportional to the body speed (especially since there is not an accompanying streamline from the inside of the engine bay). You would not be able to efficiently push air into the engine bay from the base of the windshield for two reasons. The first is that the air moving over the hood has a significant amount of energy that would have to be overcome in order to make essentially an extremely low radius 180 degree change of direction, and that would require an extreme amount of external energy input. An example of how this stream is actually going to rise away from the base of the hood due to the height of the cowl is the late 90s dodge durango. Those were notorious for losing all HVAC function at around 80 MPH because the streamline of air coming over the top of the rather large hood cowl would lift over the inlets behind that cowl, causing that inlet to suck on significantly less than atmospheric pressure. The second is that especially on a very open front car like this, there is significant mass flow through the grill into the engine bay, carrying a similar velocity to the air over the hood, but since the engine bay does not have a major upper vent, that air is forced out the bottom of the car (only after creating a relatively high pressure zone under the hood, which is why it is more aerodynamically effective to shut off the upper grill opening, which eliminates some of the drag).
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post

So, itll take someone smarter than me to figure out what the affect of the different areas and pressures are, but there's the data. The GT is 100% unmodified, stock Grille, stock underhood liner, everything. The GT500 hood is on a '14 v6 with a CDC gt500 style grille, but is otherwise unmodified for the sake of this discussion, assuming any of that is relevant.
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Inches of water and inches of mercury are not interchangeable. The way that your gauge is giving you pressure is a height difference of two columns of water. The pressure differential is then equal to the height difference in inches multiplied by the specific gravity of the fluid in question. Mercury has a specific gravity that is 13.534 times higher than that of water. The pressure differential may then be used to calculate the velocity of the streamline, along with the area, which can be used to calculate force.

You are correct in that there is typically a low pressure zone in the front third of the hood of a car. The reason being is that this is typically home to the end of the smallest radius of curvature on the structure. This is very true for the NB Miata that you are mapping, and have a CFD plot for (that plot looks suspiciously like it is for an NA, but I am not a Miata expert, having only competed in one on a single occasion). There is a major difference in the hood to windshield design of the Mustang to the Miata. The Miata does not have any major cowling, where the Mustang has significant cowling. The base of this cowl (where the windshield wipers go to rest) is going to home to a low pressure zone on the mustang that is directly proportional to the body speed (especially since there is not an accompanying streamline from the inside of the engine bay). You would not be able to efficiently push air into the engine bay from the base of the windshield for two reasons. The first is that the air moving over the hood has a significant amount of energy that would have to be overcome in order to make essentially an extremely low radius 180 degree change of direction, and that would require an extreme amount of external energy input. An example of how this stream is actually going to rise away from the base of the hood due to the height of the cowl is the late 90s dodge durango. Those were notorious for losing all HVAC function at around 80 MPH because the streamline of air coming over the top of the rather large hood cowl would lift over the inlets behind that cowl, causing that inlet to suck on significantly less than atmospheric pressure. The second is that especially on a very open front car like this, there is significant mass flow through the grill into the engine bay, carrying a similar velocity to the air over the hood, but since the engine bay does not have a major upper vent, that air is forced out the bottom of the car (only after creating a relatively high pressure zone under the hood, which is why it is more aerodynamically effective to shut off the upper grill opening, which eliminates some of the drag).


And there you have it haha. Very interesting ... now you've got me wanting to go out and measure the differential at the cowl of each car (the fiance's mustang and the NB miata we have).

I cant remember if i put it in the OP or not, but i actually bought this gauge for when we start ducting / venting the miata. The radiator has no sort of "ducting" or sealing off work in stock form, and these damn things run HOT. Basically, i was going to be measuring the change in pressure to see if my ducting was actually doing anything to create more of a high pressure zone pre radiator, and then a lower pressure zone post radiator once the hood has been vented.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:47 PM   #16
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I will be doing tech Sunday on a national level STS class NA miata, and will check with him about ideas, as he also spends a lot of spare time doing endurance races in NAs and NBs. Shooting from the hip, I would guess that the mustang will show a somewhat proportional relationship between vacuum pressure at the very base of the cowl and the velocity of the car (looking at the shape, vacuum pressure should intensify with speed).
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:33 PM   #17
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Sounds good man, i appreciate it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:13 PM   #18
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Well all I have to say is I got the answers to my simple questions, and then some.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:10 AM   #19
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Well, i ended up selling my 5.0 for the new family car, my second Mazdaspeed3. Going to be interesting again to see how Mazda makes the scoop what i assume would be a high pressure zone to force air through the intercooler, compared to what Ford did to make the top of the hood a low pressure zone for the vents.

Both have holes in the top of the hood, but one forces air in, and the other, out ... interesting.

Not my car, but a good example of the speed's hood.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:06 AM   #20
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nice family car.......way better than my wife's CRV (we don't even have kids)

her car, her choice.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:26 AM   #21
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The irony is i had a speed before i traded that in on the 5.0 lol ... came full circle. Yeah, we traded MY mustang in on the speed, yet the fiance has taken it to work 3 days this week ... i feel i got the short end of this deal some how haha. They really are great cars though, so its hard to be too upset.
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