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Intercooler Efficiency...

Howdy Turbo Enthusiasts...

Not to knock some of your innovative ideas for cooling your intake charge,
such as spraying water, nitrious, etc into your intercooler fins, as it
does work, and sometimes pretty well, however  these methods are
compensating for either a poorly designed intercooler system, or poorly
installed system.  Of course, if its OEM, we can assume like everything
else in production cars, compromises between efficiency, design etc were
weighed against manufacturing costs.  That's okay, things can be done. :)

I think Corky Bell's "Maximum Boost" is an excellent resource, and have
read it cover to cover several times as I'm building my own vehicle, with
twin turbo's, and will run into many, if not all of these issues.

Since I am not an engineer, I won't toss out all the theory, I'll let
Corky's book do that (buy it now!), but I will add to the list of cheasy
mickey-mouse intake charge cooling tricks.

1. Ice box.  Run your post-intercooler charge through an Igloo ice chest.
Make holes on either side of the chest matching your intake hoses, and make
fittings, and use structural adhesive to bond the hose fittings to the
chest (rivits with head gasket sealant works also).  Lots of ice, but don't
block the airflow entirely.

2. Air Conditioning.  A friend of mine, running a twin-turbo Mustang 4.6L
modular engine has created what I think is a bizarre solution.  He
re-routed the air-conditioning elements from the interior heater box to in
front of his intercooler, then created a nice shroud to ensure the airflow
goes through the air conditioning fins, then through the intercooler.  I
laughed in his face for months while he was constructing it, because the
air conditioning compressor would draw a lot of power, thus alleviate any
HP gain from the intercooler.  He laughed in my face after completion of
the project as his 1/4 times went down almost 1/2 a second.  He underruns
the A/C compressor by using a larger pulley.  I would imagine on a smaller,
lower-torque engine the HP gains would not be as high as his, as A/C
compressors do draw a lot of power.  To be fair, he doesn't have an
Alternator, power steering pump, or a mechanical water pump.  All this
stuff runs off two Optima batteries, and the car is set for full-drag, not

Sorry for the slightly off-track conversation, but I thought the list-folk
would enjoy it.

Frederic Breitwieser
Homebrew Automotive Mailing List
Bridgeport, CT 06606
1989 AG Hummer 4-Door
1993 Supercharged Lincoln Continental
2000 Mid-Engine Sports Car <smile>

Seeking Info on: GM Tubular Upper and Lower A-Arms