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TESTED: Crawford Performance FR-S/BRZ Power Blocks Intake Manifold Spacers

by Mike Kojima

Last week we got a text message from Subaru tuner extraordinaire Quirt Crawford.  Quirt was pretty excited about one of his company's, Crawford Performance's new products, a set of Power Blocks intake manifold spacers for the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ FA20 engine.

Quirt told us that in their testing these spacers made a remarkable power difference in the notoriously fickle and difficult to tune FA20 engine.  The spacers would make a big difference in area under the curve said Quirt and he then arranged to ship us a set.

We were somewhat sceptical but were eagerly awaiting the parts' arrival at the palatial MotoIQ Megashop.  In the meantime we located a bone stock Subaru BRZ in order to perform our testing.

Check out more of our FR-S and BRZ testing here!

The Crawford Performance Power Blocks intake manifold spacers are CNC machined from billet aluminum and raise the intake manifold up over an inch.  This lengthens the intake manifold runners which increases the runner volume and lowers the rpm where they resonate.  Lengthening runners typically helps low end power at the expense of top end power.  The kit comes complete with all the stuff you need to perform the install including longer bolts and O-rings.
Howard Watanabe starts off the install by removing everything on the intake manifold, all the lines, intake tube and wire harness clips.  He also removed the stamped steel noise covers from the injectors.
Howard places the supplied O-rings into the machined grooves in the Crawford Power Blocks.  The grooves are tight so the O-rings stay in place.  The stock intake gasket has molded in rubber sealing rings and can be reused so we simply put that back in place between the spacer and the stock manifold.
We unbolted the direct injector high voltage driver box from the intake manifold and the block.  With that we were ready to install the spacers.
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Comments
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1:59 AM
Mike, after three days in a row, I can safely say you're a writing machine....or you saved these up to pull the staff through Spring Break! Either way, exciting stuff from Crawford. I was thinking that some forced induction might be a more exciting way to test out these spacers but bolt ons should be fun, nonetheless. I'd be interested to see the Dyno results before anymore parts(ie. A few weeks or month out) to see if the ECU pulls it back like with a lot of the other mods out there.
Crousti
Croustilink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:48 AM
Little tip here to keep the orings in position: put vaseline on them. They become a bit sticky, yet it allows to also move a little bit more when in place, helping to seal better (when bolting, they will take the best position). It also protects them a bit, so they last more bolt/unbolt action. I started using that method to seal fish tank external filters and i have to say it works wonders.
Ben_G
Ben_Glink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 9:55 AM
Would be interesting to see if the ECU detunes things back down again like it has been doing with every other non-FI upgrade....
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1:28 PM
We will test again after some miles but Crawford has told me that the power will stay.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 2:57 PM
Speaking of FRS/BRZ....we getting an inside look at Dai's BRZ after this weekend?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 3:40 PM
I will do it after the car passes Formula D tech and we are approved for Long Beach.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 10:49 PM
Thanks, very excited!
mbretschneider
mbretschneiderlink
Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:34 AM
Please, mr Mike, i have a question: This manifold spacer (or any manifold spacer of a simmilar engine) sits in between the intake manifold and the head in a way that makes the injectors to be positioned farther from their original mounting points, relative to the engine head?

If so, doesn't it makes the injected fuel to "puddle" in the spacer before being rammed inside the valve opening by vacuum, disrupting the factory proposed "ideal" flow for the spray of fuel?

Sorry if i make it hard to understand, i am not a native english speaker (and i am self thaught at it).

Thanks for your time and consideration
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:45 PM
The spacer is above the injectors.
Ben_G
Ben_Glink
Sunday, April 27, 2014 11:54 AM
Any idea if the gains made by the blocks have stuck, or has the ECU tuned it back down?
Nick A.
Nick A.link
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:47 PM
If this was added to a system with a 4-2-1 header design, would it even everything out? The Power Blocks for down low with a small peak reduction paired with the EL 4-2-1 header for the peak increase and slightly less down low (compared to a UEL. Still better than the factory EL due to primary and secondary sizes). To me that sounds like an even trade off for overall power and responsiveness. Am I wrong?
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