Nerd’s Eye View: The Kern’s Pikes Peak Evo IX



Enough with the safety stuff and on with the power!  The chassis is a 2005 Evo VIII, but the engine is from a 2006 Evo IX.  The Evo IX had the benefit of MIVEC giving variable intake cam timing for a wider powerband.  AMS turned the base 2.0L engine into a built 2.3L stroker.  To add to the stroke, a Manley Turbo Tuff Billet crank is used.  Lurking underneath the valve cover is an AMS CNC’d head, AMS/TMS head studs, and Kelford 272 cams. 



There’s a lot going on in this engine bay, so let’s start with the AMS tubular exhaust manifold which appears to use SwainTech White Lightning ceramic coating which has two benefits: keeping heat in the exhaust improves spool-up (heat = energy, energy spins turbo) and it also reduces the heat rejected from the manifold cooking everything around it.  Runners #2 and #3 on the manifold have what appear to be EGT taps.  The wrapped pipe going between the radiator and exhaust manifold is the compressor outlet pipe.  While the compressed air coming out of the turbo is pretty toasty, it’s still not as hot as the heat coming off the exhaust manifold.  Hence, the pipe is wrapped in insulation.  Regulating the turbo speed is a Tial 44mm wastegate.  Note the lines going to the wastegate are also wrapped in insulation.  Heat kills, wrap it up.


The copper tube coming off the exhaust manifold is for a pressure sensor.  The long copper tube isolates the sensor from the heat of the exhaust.  The MoTeC is able to adjust boost based on ambient air pressure, intake manifold pressure, and exhaust manifold pressure.  Being able to adjust boost pressure in this manner is important due to the nature of Pikes Peak.  The race starts at around 9,000ft of elevation and gains another 4,700ft.  First, if you tune the car at sea level, the ambient air pressure is going to be significantly different at the start line at 9,000ft.  Tack on another 4,700ft of elevation gain and it can play havoc with the boost levels if the boost controller system isn’t designed to handle it.  Next year, a speed sensor from Turbo By Garrett is getting thrown into the mix.  A Tial turbine housing is used on the GT3582 snail attached to the end of the AMS manifold.  I’m not exactly sure how the compressor outlet pipe is connected to the turbo, but it doesn’t look like it’ll come off. (EDIT: David informs me the clamps are Hargett Clamps which perform similar to Wiggins at 1/4 the cost.  No more boost leaks or blown off clamps.  Again, lessons learned from previous years.  Functional and cost effective!  That’s what I like to call S.M.A.R.T) Heat is thy enemy, so the oil and water lines to the turbo are wrapped in insulation. 


The exhaust gets dumped straight out the side of the bumper.  The tube is wrapped to provide protection. (That’s what she said.)  Shorter is better!  (That’s not what she said.)  


A stock styled Fiber Images carbon fiber hood trims a little weight and has the big vent to aid cooling.  Hood pins ensure the hood doesn’t fly up and block all view out of the windshield.  Take note of the entire middle section of the front end that has been opened up to increase airflow to the radiator. 



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