Torque Cars

intercoolers, some more equal than others?

Discussion in 'General car Chat' started by Yugguy, 15 June 2016.

  1. Yugguy

    Yugguy Torque King

    Messages:
    4,787
    From:
    Rugby (expat Preston lad)
    Car:
    Merc C220Cdi Elegan
    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?
     
  2. jarrus

    jarrus Pro Tuner

    Messages:
    3,501
    From:
    West Midlands, UK
    Car:
    Suzuki Swift Sport
    Nissen are a good brand as it is, if its an OEM style intercooler than I would spend the extra
     
  3. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,182
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
    Is this going on a road or race car?
     
  4. Yugguy

    Yugguy Torque King

    Messages:
    4,787
    From:
    Rugby (expat Preston lad)
    Car:
    Merc C220Cdi Elegan
    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.
     
  5. T9 man

    T9 man TC Pro Founder Moderator

    Messages:
    20,369
    From:
    London, UK
    Car:
    Saab 9-3SS T9
    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.
     
    HDi fun, Lunchmoney and Yugguy like this.
  6. old-git

    old-git Moderator

    Messages:
    9,182
    From:
    Essex
    Car:
    Elan & Robin Hood
    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.
     
    Lunchmoney likes this.
  7. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,864
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    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.
     
  8. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    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.
     
    Last edited: 16 June 2016
    jarrus likes this.
  9. jarrus

    jarrus Pro Tuner

    Messages:
    3,501
    From:
    West Midlands, UK
    Car:
    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
     
  10. SLEEPER

    SLEEPER Pro Tuner

    Messages:
    2,782
    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.
     
    obi_waynne and Lunchmoney like this.
  11. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,864
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    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.
     
    Last edited: 17 June 2016
  12. Yugguy

    Yugguy Torque King

    Messages:
    4,787
    From:
    Rugby (expat Preston lad)
    Car:
    Merc C220Cdi Elegan
    Good advice chaps cheers - I wasn't actually thinking of upgrading, just fitting a new OEM one.

    I'll check it out when it's on the lift tomorrow.
     
  13. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    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.
     
    Last edited: 17 June 2016
  14. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,864
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    Thanks 4 reminding me about the lack of TB's on diesels HDI
     
  15. HDi fun

    HDi fun TC ModFather

    Messages:
    15,384
    From:
    Buckinghamshire UK
    Car:
    Passat 2.0 TDi
    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 :)
     
  16. MADRod

    MADRod Road Burner

    Messages:
    283
    Car:
    Sierra RS Cosworth
    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.
     
    Yugguy likes this.
  17. TCJBOLDIE

    TCJBOLDIE Torque King

    Messages:
    4,864
    From:
    Brisbane
    Car:
    JB Starion
    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 ?
     
  18. obi_waynne

    obi_waynne Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    41,306
    From:
    Deal, Kent UK
    Car:
    A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
    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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