Pete Epple Technical Editor
August 3, 2010

The anticipation of Ford Racing Performance Parts' (FRPP) new Three-Valve intake manifold has been huge, to say the least. When rumors first started about it, a buzz quickly grew on the Internet and in performance shops; racers and enthusiasts couldn't wait to get their hands on it. Well, it's finally here!

Wanting to test Ford Racing's newest induction upgrade, on a number of different combinations, we headed to Livernois Motorsports in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, for a closer look and to put the new FRPP Three-Valve intake manifold through its paces.

"The Ford Racing intake gives you more plenum volume with shorter intake runners," explains Jesse Kershaw of Ford Racing. "The stock intake has about a 14-inch runner; the new intake's runners are 9.5 inches. The stock intake is also designed to have very low NVH, so when we (Ford Racing) design an aftermarket unit, we don't have to worry about noise levels."

FRPP's Three-Valve intake manifold is designed to fit the '05-'10 4.6L Three-Valve engine. It's constructed from the same composite material as the stock intake manifold, and takes advantage of the weight savings and heat dissipation offered by the plastic material. The composite material is 30-percent glass filled PA6, commonly referred to as Nylon, which Dupont owns.

"Another advantage of the Ford Racing intake is the composite construction," Kershaw adds. "When underhood temperatures go up, an aluminum intake will become heat-soaked, and you lose horsepower and torque.

"The composite material used in the Ford Racing intake will not be affected the same way an aluminum intake will, so horsepower and torque are much more repeatable. The composite intake generally weighs half as much as most aluminum intakes."

A common misconception with composite intakes is the ability to stand up to boost. According to Kershaw, Ford Racing tested the Three-Valve intake to 2.5 bar pressure, or roughly 35 psi, and after some ballooning in the early development phases, the intake manifold has specific reinforced areas, which allow for extremely high boost levels.

Even above this the manifold will not burst. Instead, the gasket is designed to bleed off the boost and re-seal as the boost level drops. One could theoretically RTV the manifold together eliminating this "blow off" safety, but at over 30 psi, a dedicated sheet metal manifold might be a safer option.

To get our test underway, Dan Millen of Livernois Motorsports bolted a stock Three-Valve 4.6L to the engine dyno. Eight combinations were tested to see how well the intake manifold performed on a stock motor, as well as tests with a set of Ford Racing's Hot Rod cams and multiple levels of ported Three-Valve cylinder heads, also from Ford Racing.

Cylinder-Head Data
StockStage 1 (N3VPA)Stage 3 (463VP3)
Combustion Chamber51 cc53 cc48 cc
Intake Runner Volume174 cc202 cc214 cc
Exhaust Runner Volume62 cc73 cc73 cc
Intake Valve Diameter34 mm34 mm35 mm
Exhaust Valve Diameter37.5 mm37.5 mm38.5 mm
Intake Flow at 0.600 Lift223 cfm272 cfm291 cfm
Exhaust Flow at 0.600 Lift153 cfm190 cfm (No pipe)191 cfm (No pipe)

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