What Does An Intake Manifold Do?
On older ICE engines, an engine intake manifold collects and pulls the air and fuel mixture (oxygen and gasoline mixtures) from the carburetor to the cylinder of each combustion chamber. An intake valve opens, which allows the mixture into combustion chambers. The sudden intake of air pushes the piston down inside the cylinder, and as the crankshaft makes a revolution, the piston head rises, and the spark plug fires, igniting the fuel/air mixture.
The resulting explosion generates the energy needed to move the drivetrain. The process repeats itself, firing all eight cylinders in a particular firing order to generate energy continuously. An intake manifold controls the airflow mixture into the engine through channels and tubing so that each cylinder gets enough air/fuel to function correctly.
The older type stock manifolds (which the Edelbrock replaces) sit just below a two or four-barrel carburetor and are designed with split-plenum, dual chambers (180-degree configuration). The manifold sucks air through the two or four barrels and splits the air in half (the air from one/two barrels goes one way depending on two or four barrels, while the other goes in the opposite direction.
The result of the channels is that the V8 becomes two V4s. The dual V4s split in half again, leading to a pair of two chambers on each side. The carburetor is bolted to the top of the manifold, and the manifold is connected to the engine block on top of the cylinder head, again using gaskets to help seal them to the engine, keeping the air/fuel mix inside the engine where it can be most efficient.
Most stock intake manifolds are designed to be practical for the average user rather than for speed demons. Manufacturers like Chevy were more interested in keeping production costs down and providing consistent functionality than pushing rpm and horsepower limits. Most classic car restorers want just the opposite. Even casual enthusiasts want significant boosts in rpms, so they put aftermarket intake manifolds to channel the air into producing additional horsepower.
It is not unusual for the manifold to develop leaks due to gasket wear or cracks from overheating. Internal combustion engines can generate a large amount of heat, so the intake valve plays a critical role in pulling air in keeping the engine cooler as it fires and releases hot exhaust gasses out of another manifold (exhaust manifold) and out the tailpipe of the car.
Review of Edelbrock Performer 2701
The Edelbrock Performer is an aftermarket intake manifold designed to provide more torque and horsepower than stock intakes. While the company makes almost every intake manifold known to man, the 2701 is one of their best-selling units. This particular manifold is built for 1955 -1986 Chevy small block V8s with cubic inch ratios of 262 - 400.
The Edelbrock Performer 2701 is a dual-plane 180-degree configuration that sits low over the cylinder block and provides excellent throttle response. The runner is tuned to help classic Chevy owners increase performance by squeezing every drop of horsepower out of their engines. While the increase in performer rpm is evident over the lower range of rpm, from idle to 5500, it can generate a significant boost when you need the extra push off the start line.
The 2701 intake is made from natural aluminum with a stunning satin finish. (When paired with the carb, it looks doubly significant). Once installed, the aluminum lightens the engine’s weight over the use of cast iron manifolds (the Performer is light-weight at barely 14 lbs). As a general rule, the Performer allows the airflow to pass into the cylinders more easily which small block Chevy V8s tend to respond well to receiving. In addition, Edelbrock’s composition resists corrosion, and it just looks lovely on a rebuild. (Not to mention the bump in power it generates).
The downside is that a new intake manifold may create hood clearance issues (especially a stock corvette hood). While the bump in power is significant, it probably won’t blow the doors off the Chevy like you hoped it would. You may have to make some adjustments, even though Edelbrock claims that their intake is “tuned”.
(Don’t forget that usually a stock manifold with original numbered parts is best to keep the value of your small block Chevy high, but sometimes a restorer has to do what a restorer has to do). The consensus is that if you plan on using an Edelbrock carb on your rebuild, you might as well get some good intake by replacing the manifold with a Performer 2701.
The 2701 has received a ton of good press on Amazon and elsewhere. The rating is 4.7 out of five stars and is #1 for manifolds on Amazon’s bestseller listing. It is built in the USA (which we like supporting small businesses when possible), is offered at a great price, and is very easy to install with the standard 12 bolts. (Edelbrock makes the gasket and bolt kit, so you will want to purchase those suited to the manifold - just saying).
Depending on the vehicle you are restoring, various Edelbrock intake manifolds exist. The easiest method is to determine what your speed needs are (whether you are restoring a small block for racing or just need more power for a better-than-stock street ride). Then consult the website to find the exact model that fits your ride. (We found the website very helpful).
The customer reviews for the Edelbrock performer intake tend to be overwhelmingly positive about the Edelbrock Performer.. Most reviews indicate that restorers were getting around a 5 - 10% spike in horsepower and torque. While differences vary, for small block V8, that upgrade is significant.
- Excellent aluminum quality manifold
- Increased torque and HP at a lower RPM range
- Made in the United States
- 90 Day warranty on manufactured parts
- Very reasonable price
- You need to watch for hood clearance.
- Recommended intake gasket sold separately
- Be careful with the fit on q-jet engines.
- Single Carb with Non-EGR
For complete information regarding the Edelbrock 2701, see the manufacturer’s website.
For pricing information, see Amazon.
What Is The History of Edelbrock?
Edelbrock is a company that began in 1938 when the owner Vic Edelbrock moved to California and, in his spare time, worked on trying to devise a way to increase the airflow to inline sizes that ruled the day. One specially designed manifold called the “Slingshot” boosted his 1932 Roadster to new speed records. (It was less than three years later that Edelbrock set a national speed record on the Muroc Dry Lake of 121.45 mph). As soon as word got out, the company began producing the new intake manifold (which incorporated two carburetors rather than the limiting airflow of one).
After the war, the company put its energies into developing dyno packages for new racers that were beginning to test the boundaries of land speed records, as well as racing circuits. During the 50s, Edelbrock’s designs continued to be used in vehicles, and when Chevy introduced the small block V8 in 1955, Edelbrock and GM began to develop an even closer relationship. He developed CrossRam manifolds for Chrysler and Pontiac as well.
In 1962, the company passed from father to son with the death of Vic Edelbrock, Sr. Today, Edelbrock is known for their quality carbs and manifolds, all of which are designed to aid in aftermarket rebuilds. The company has extensive experience in racing, and when Chevy introduced the small-block V8, Edelbrock took off, expanding its reach. Today, the corporate offices are located in Olive Branch, Ms., and they have facilities in both North Carolina and California and employ about 650 workers.