intercoolers, some more equal than others?

Yugguy

Torque King
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I'm pondering changing the intercooler as it's looking a little battered and bent vanes.

Is there a good reason why I should pay around 100 quid more for one made by Hella than for one made by Nissen?
 

Yugguy

Torque King
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It's just on my C220.

I've been doing some research though and I'm not sure it's worth it.

The same unit gets fitted in the E320 CDI, so it can obviously cope with much bigger flow and cooling demands than when fitted in my car so a few bent or blocked vanes is unlikely to make a difference.

When I get the car up on the lift on Saturday I might just blow through the vanes with an air hose, blow out the crud.
 

T9 man

TC ModFather
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I gather that intercoolers are designed to take a hiding by the very nature of the location at the front of the car. Carefully straighten some of the vanes but don't go mad and blow the rubbish out with an airline and not a pressure washer.
 

old-git

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As T9 says. There is no real point in changing the intercooler unless it is actually damaged/leaking or there has been a big BHP hike. Spend the money on something that will make a difference or keep it in the bank.
 

TCJBOLDIE

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As T9 says clean the IC with low pressure and from the back.May I also suggest that before you start spray it with some bug and tar remover and let it work for a few minutes to loosen the gunk before cleaning.
If you have removed the IC then pour degreasing fluid into it and shake it to help loosen any oil wait a while then empty it and flush clean water thru to remove any oil film out and let it dry before refitting.

Note over time a film of oil can coat the internals of the IC and reduce the heat transfer/reduction capability of any intercooler.
 

HDi fun

TC ModFather
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Diesel engines are especially 'good' at the oil mist intercooler inside coating trick. TCJ is also right about bug remover on the outside. It's also a good idea to use bug remover on the OUTSIDE of the coolant radiator, the AC condenser rad and any engine oil and transmission oil coolers.

You can get away with rinsing using a jet wash lance, keep the washer jet parallel with the fins to avoid bending them.
 
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jarrus

Pro Tuner
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Suzuki Swift Sport
Have a look at Eric the Car Guy on youtube, he called the condenser on his air con system and saw a massive drop in head pressure in the system, cleaning the intercooler should return similar results I would have thought
 

SLEEPER

Pro Tuner
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562
The nature of what an intercooler is tells us that it is possible to improve the efficientcy by a better design.
But this "extra efficiency" will only make a difference if the intercooler being used cant cope with the power/heat , only then will an upgrade make any difference.
That upgrade can be
a better position
better routing of the connecting pipes
better design
better made (probably almost the same as better design )

I would try all these first before fitting a larger size as this can slow spool up.
 

TCJBOLDIE

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FWIW I would be very very careful using a "jet wash lance"around a radiator or intercooler as the fins between the tubes are thin and easily damaged so it is easy to do more harm than good.

Agree with Sleeper as any increase in the volume of air twixt turbo and throttle body can slow the onset of boost pressure.
 
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HDi fun

TC ModFather
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FWIW I would be very very careful using a "jet wash lance"around a radiator or intercooler as the fins between the tubes are thin and easily damaged so it is easy to do more harm than good.

Agree with Sleeper as any increase in the volume of air twixt turbo and throttle body can slow the onset of boost pressure.

Exactly what I meant. I have done this many times with intercoolers and radiators. Very very carefully indeed. Perhaps I've had luck on my side, too.

Not many throttle bodies to be found on a diesel engine.
 
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HDi fun

TC ModFather
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Thanks 4 reminding me about the lack of TB's on diesels HDI

Thanks for reminding me about the delicacy of rads etc. On balance I think I am probably more lucky than skilled when it comes to using pressure washers. If you saw the state of my car you'd understand. If you got inside it you'd be well advised to have your jabs firstly :)
 

MADRod

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Its down to how much you are prepared to pay. Core efficiency is what its about not size or looks. I did the research for Spec-R one of the leading after market Supplier. For a cost point of £800 we found bar & plate cores 4/5 times as efficient as those being sold. If we had raised that to £1200 even more efficient cores are made . The difference from Fords solution (rs500) is almost a joke. On Topspeed runs using the RS500 Cooler the methanol injection would be activated after around 10 secs of full throttle to stop the Charge Air temp going over 40 deg & ECU pulling ignition to save the engine. With the new Cooler ( Its actually smaller) but has 100% airflow ( see pict left) we had negative temps on intial acceleration & never saw over 23 even after a 30 sec Topspeed run to way over 200mph. Be carefull though the average supplier wont have heard of core efficiency as they are ruled by the customer wanting things cheap & looking good. The most efficient cores we found were 3k just for the core so not for the average guy.
 

TCJBOLDIE

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Did you mean to say "4 to 5 times MORE efficient" ?-/
Is the new IC in the same place as the factory unit ?
Who makes/supplies the "most efficient " cores ?
 

obi_waynne

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If they cool well then they also slow up the airflow, there is a compromise between cooling and drag.

Cooling usually wins back any drag induced gains though. Larger is not always better either. There is, like exhausts, an optimum size and OEM is usually pretty much there unless you've modified the car extensively.

Front mounting an OEM intercooler is usually better than where the manufacturers choose to site them though. In Audi's they are generally inside one of the front wings, not a great place for airflow.
 

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