2G Air/Liquid Intercooler

Posted by shinzon, Feb 12, 2018

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  1. shinzon

    shinzon Proven Member

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    I'm been looking at my intercooler options for my '96 and I just don't like what I'd have to do to the car to make a front mount work. I don't like that I'd have to sacrifice the crash bumper and my fog lights, I don't like sacrificing serviceability by losing all the space between the turbo and the radiator to piping, nor do I like the extra bling at the front of the car. More than aesthetics and fitment, I don't like the spool penalty all the 90degree bends in the typical short route adds, and most importantly, this being a southern car that already sees ridiculous underhood temperature in the summer, I'd rather not add another airflow restriction in front of the radiator--this is a 2ga after all; we already don't have much airflow to work with.

    It would seem a air/liquid intercooler would solve a lot of problems for me. It'd allow me to move away from the stock sidemount to a better cooling solution without adding an airflow restriction on the front of the car, and while keeping a keeping a mostly stock looking presentation both on the exterior and under the hood.

    So where do I place it under the hood? Well, my first thought would be to mount the intercooler where the stock sidemount is located, which means I can basically keep the stock intercooler pipe routing. As for the heat exchanger, I was thinking I could remove my air conditioner condenser since the system hasn't functioned in a decade, and place it there. The electric pumps would be easy enough to mount.

    Does anyone here run an air/liquid setup? Has anyone tried mounting one in this way? Can anyone think of any roadblocks I'm ignoring, or anything else I'm missing?

    Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. techboy

    techboy Proven Member

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    I think you're on track to mount it in the stock location and retain the stock piping if your main concern is hacking up the front of the car. Although don't be surprised if you have to modify the piping a little bit to accommodate the new IC. Just a thought ... I don't know if any companies still do, but years ago there was a company or two floating around making beefier side mounts that were basically bolt-on. Now, they weren't liquid cooled, but you might be able to get at what your trying to accomplish performance wise with just one of them (if they're still out there) without even doing a liquid setup.
     
    My DSM:
    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST

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    13.876 @ 106.97 MPH
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  3. shinzon

    shinzon Proven Member

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    Yeah, I was figuring I'd have to custom make the intercooler piping. Might be able to find a hard pipe kit meant for the stock side-mount that would work, but I still want to run my EvoX blowoff valve so at minimum I'd need to make a custom flange.

    I didn't know anyone made aftermarket sidemounts meant for us. I'll have a look around for one, but given the space restrictions, I'd assume the efficiency of an air/air that would fit down there would be nothing compared to a air/liquid of a similar size. I also considered the Supra sidemount that people used to use back in the day, but that comes with it's own set of fitment issues.

    From what I found, the dimensions of the stock sidemount are:

    Core:
    8" wide
    7" tall
    2.75" thick

    Overall:
    8.5" wide
    12.5" tall
    3" thick

    Frozenboost.com has an intercooler with these dimensions:

    Overall:
    9.25" wide
    11" tall
    3.5" thick

    and that has a similar inlet outlet configuration as the stock sidemount:
    intercooler_type13_picture.jpg
    http://www.frozenboost.com/air_wate....html?osCsid=e9951c508ecde18cdd45d264f847c0d1

    I'd just need to fab up some tabs to mount it.
     
    My DSM:
    1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    14b   automatic
    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

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  4. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

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    What happens when that water gets hot though? it wouldnt take long under normal boost even. Water over air intercoolers seem to be marketed at drag racers that only make one pass and then let the car sit to cool the system down in between runs.
     
    My DSM:
    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST

    Drag Race Build

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  5. shinzon

    shinzon Proven Member

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    I'm not sure what'd it take the heatsoak the heat exchanger; it's something I need to research more. The AC condenser is rather larger, so replacing it with a heat exchanger of a similar size with a couple of slim pusher fans might be enough to keep IAT reasonably close to ambient. It seems a lot of people are using Ford Cobra electric water pumps that have a good LPH so at the very least the circulation should be strong.

    One would think that if a radiator of almost that size (thought admittedly much thicker) is enough to cool the coolant circulating through the engine, it should be enough to cool the charge.
     
    My DSM:
    1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    14b   automatic
    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    T25   automatic
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  6. techboy

    techboy Proven Member

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    Agreed ^^^. I've seen a couple of liquid setups in my life. Most of them were at the track on some pretty serious cars. I knew of one guy who tried to do a liquid setup on his WRX, and I think he abandoned the project after awhile. Not to say you shouldn't do it. It all depends on the goals with your car.

    Back to the IC's themselves ... That one you found there looks almost perfect dimension wise. This is going back 12-15 years, but I think HRC made a thicker core side-mount at one point in time. I sorta have memories of them having one available way back when I ordered my FM many moons ago.
     
    My DSM:
    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST

    Street Build

    13.876 @ 106.97 MPH
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  7. Vegas smith

    Vegas smith Proven Member

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    My DSM:
    1993 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

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    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

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  8. shinzon

    shinzon Proven Member

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    St. Petersburg, Florida
    Air/liquid is getting popular with the turbo LS guys, and I think a couple of exotics use them these days. There's certainly been progress with the technology from when I first looked into them maybe 7 years ago.

    The components of an air/liquid setup are so cheap this may be something I just try on a lark. It looks like I can do a complete setup, intercooler, heat exchanger, water pump, lines, fittings and charge piping for about what I'd pay for just a good quality air/air intercooler like ETS. Obviously, the air/liquid will require more of my time and effort for custom fabrication though.

    Oh, yeah, I should have said in the original post but the system will be cooling an Evo3 16g at around 23-25 psi. My priorities are quick spool, stock appearance, and power in that order. If I can get the 16g to see full boost close to the current 14b, I'd be ecstatic. Air/liquid intercoolers have ridiculously low pressure drop so that might not be that tall of an order when considered with the shorter length, less restricted charge pipes compared to a front mount. A typical short route front mount pipe kit is going to have somewhere around 6 90degree bends.

    I'll look into the HRC sidemout. I know the Supra sidemount was reported to perform well, but I didn't like how you had to cram the thing under the bumper.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    My DSM:
    1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    14b   automatic
    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    T25   automatic
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  9. Sp1kE

    Sp1kE Proven Member

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    stratford, ON, Canada
    I've played with one of those units from frozen boost for years. I think last year was the first time I had it cooling the air properly.

    -Make the water lines as *large* as possible with no restrictions.
    -Fit the biggest core possible in your wheel well. Do undersize your core(I think this is where I'm limited now)
    -I've always run the long heat exchanger from them that fits right in the mouth of my front bumper.
    -Use that cobra pump, don't use those bait and tackle ones.
    -Water volume is key. Last year is the first year I added a large reservoir in my trunk. This is when I seen the air temps drop how I expected them to.
    -Optional, fan on the heat exchanger. I haven't tried this yet. After a pull or 2 within 3-5 seconds I see the intake temps begin to drop back to ambient. But in hot weather and stop and go traffic, that fan *could* really help.
     
  10. bling5tatus

    bling5tatus Proven Member

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    Hello, I was summoned here by @Vegas smith.

    Shinzon - You're on an enlightened path my friend. I did the same thing as you are talking about doing years ago. Look at the pictures in my profile to see how mine is mounted. It works fantastically well and the car looks like a sh** box with no FMIC which is perfect.

    MotoMattx - My car is daily driven with a WAIC in sh**ty Austin, TX traffic. In an FMIC system, you have 1 exchanger cooling down the charge, the core of the FMIC. In a WAIC, you have two. You have the core and you have heat exchanger for the water to pass through. This means at cruising speed on the highway, you're cooling the water in the exchanger with the air flowing past it, and you're cooling the water inside the core of the WAIC as well since cool ambient air is being sucked through the core by the motor. This returns the entire system to ambient temp very quickly.

    There is a reason you don't see FMIC's on the more expensive/fast cars. It's not always due to packaging restrictions like you cannot put a giant FMIC in the front of a C6 vette. Many of these OEM's are making WAIC in their cars because from an engineering perspective it's a better choice. Yes, the system is more complicated but it's efficiency is much better, the packaging is smaller for an equal amount of cooling when compared to an FMIC, and the piping can be shorter.

    One upgrade I'd like to make to mine is to put a flange for the Tial BOV on the core itself. If I did it again I'd do it that way. I'm currently in the process of turboing my stock A/T (IPT built A/T) IS300. I'm going to use a WAIC in it as well since I've been so satisfied with the one in my 91 Talon. Honestly, I'll probably never run another turbo car without using an WAIC if I have my hand in building/designing it.
     
    My DSM:

    50trim   manual
    1991 Eagle Talon TSi

    GT35   manual
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  11. Vegas smith

    Vegas smith Proven Member

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    Geez, I didn't summon you to write an essay :)
     
    My DSM:
    1993 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

    16g   manual
    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

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  12. bling5tatus

    bling5tatus Proven Member

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    Lol, I have a lot to say on the subject. If anyone has any questions just let me know.
     
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    50trim   manual
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  13. Airsign89

    Airsign89 Proven Member

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    @bling5tatus Was there a significant weight gain with your system over a tradition air to air?

    @Sp1kE same question to you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  14. b00st3d

    b00st3d Supporting Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    If you decide to go air/water, I will sell you a complete setup with cobra pump and all for a great price!
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Drag Race Build

    GT40   manual
    b00st3d 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

    16g   manual
    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST

    Street Build

    50trim   automatic
    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

    11.28 @ 126.86 MPH
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  15. b00st3d

    b00st3d Supporting Member

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    13239067_10206365488079130_4283390605730367850_n.jpg 13310420_10206365488439139_2442309828599700467_n.jpg
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Drag Race Build

    GT40   manual
    b00st3d 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

    16g   manual
    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST

    Street Build

    50trim   automatic
    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

    11.28 @ 126.86 MPH
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  16. b00st3d

    b00st3d Supporting Member

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    I also have a 2nd exchanger without the elbows welded on..
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Drag Race Build

    GT40   manual
    b00st3d 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

    16g   manual
    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST

    Street Build

    50trim   automatic
    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

    11.28 @ 126.86 MPH
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  17. Vegas smith

    Vegas smith Proven Member

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    That's a lovely color of nail polish you have there, Tony.
    13310420_10206365488439139_2442309828599700467_n.jpg
     
    My DSM:
    1993 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

    16g   manual
    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

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  18. bling5tatus

    bling5tatus Proven Member

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    I went from one of the "upgraded SMIC's" to the WAIC you see in my profile. So, yes, the weight difference was significant. It may not be for everyone for that reason. I ran rubber hoses under the car to the back of the spare tire well and put them through a grommeted hole there. Then the ice box is mounted in the trunk and the bosch pump is mounted in a hole I drilled in the stock pressboard/cardboard crap tire cover thing. I think the donut still fits in the spare well too.

    I also wired a relay to power the bosch pump off the battery like people do with fuel pumps so that it gets the most voltage possible.

    Oh and another ninja trick I did was repurposed the stock condenser core as my heat exchanger. It's massive in comparison to the aftermarket ones, fits in the stock location, and doesn't look suspect or out of place at all. Definitely adds to the sleeper look and at the same time exceeds what most of the aftermarket exchangers can do because they're nowhere near as large.

    That brings me to another point that an engineering friend of mine told me about when I was building mine. He said you can get away with an undersized core. Most of your cooling capacity is going to come from the size of the exchanger you use. So the larger the radiator you can use to scrub heat out of the WAIC system the better, the same as putting a larger FMIC on your car. The trade off with the larger cooling and water capacity is that you have more weight. My car rips pretty good though so I don't even notice any extra weight. I notice more when I have a passenger in the car than I did after changing the intercooler setup if that makes any comparison.

    Here's a larger picture for anyone curious
    hta88-jpg.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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    50trim   manual
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  19. Airsign89

    Airsign89 Proven Member

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    Thanks for the detailed answer. I like how you plumbed yours "short route", or in the UICP, that's gotta help response
     
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  20. shinzon

    shinzon Proven Member

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    Great idea. Hadn't thought about the wiring for the pump yet, but running it directly off the battery like a rewired fuel pump is a great way to do it. I guess it'd be easiest to trigger the relay on the same control wire I'm triggering the fuel pump relay, that way the water pump is circulating whenever the fuel pump is on (engine running).

    Another great idea. I was thinking of searching out a heat exchanger of a similar size and mounting it in place of the A/C condenser, but you can't get any easier fitment than something that was meant to be there from the factory. Can you talk about the modification you made to the condenser to make it work (maybe some pictures too).

    Since I'm planning on mounting the pump and intercooler on the passenger side of the car, and the condenser fittings are on the driver's, I wonder if using a non-turbo condenser would put the fitting on the passenger side allowing for shorter water lines. Edit: looked into it, non-turbo A/C condensers DO have the fittings on the passenger side, so it'd likely work as long as there is nothing in the way on that side on a turbo car.

    I don't claim to be an thermodynamisist, but wouldn't an under-sized intercooler core be more prone to heat-soaking? It'd be fine for drag racing and street use, I'm sure, because there are frequent periods where you're off throttle letting the system cool, but wouldn't any situation where you're spending extended amounts of time in boost, like on a road-race course, cause it to heatsoak? Do you have any experience with it heatsoaking on you?

    Awesome, thanks for the offer and I'll let you know if I need it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    My DSM:
    1996 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    14b   automatic
    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    T25   automatic
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  21. b00st3d

    b00st3d Supporting Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Glad you like it!
     
    My DSM:
    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX

    Drag Race Build

    GT40   manual
    b00st3d 1990 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)

    16g   manual
    1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GST

    Street Build

    50trim   automatic
    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD

    Street Build

    11.28 @ 126.86 MPH
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  22. Sp1kE

    Sp1kE Proven Member

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    Joined Dec 24, 2005
    stratford, ON, Canada
    I've never measured the weight of everything.
    I had some space limitations for my setup which is why I went W2A.

    bling5tatus- those lines look ridiculously small... do you have any logs of your IAT's? I'm always curious how well other W2A users can cool their intake charge.
     
  23. bling5tatus

    bling5tatus Proven Member

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    I unfortunately do not have any logs in a format that would benefit most of the people here. I use TunerPro to tune with. I don't see what lines you're talking about being small. You can only see the 90* nylon fittings on the core, but no iines.

    My system returns to ambient from a run very very quickly. I'd say less than 15 seconds. The thing to keep in mind here is that even with a "small" core, if you have a huge heat exchanger you have to look at the ability to scrub heat for the system as a whole. Even if you're "heatsoaking" your core, you're pumping freshly cooled liquid through it so the metal never really reaches a hot temp until you've heatsoaked the entire system (both exchangers and the fluid). I've done 4th gear long pulls in my car and pulled in at the gas station right afterwards and you can comfortably rest your hand on the intake manifold and the intercooler core. You can feel that the LICP is definitely hot in this scenario.

    I didn't do anything special to my stock condenser other than find hoses that fit over the lines. They're worm clamped onto the fittings that are on the stock condenser without any kind of bead on the pipe.... so they're not held on there super awesome. They are tight enough to not leak and the water system inside isn't what I'd consider high pressure so nothing crazy had to be taken into consideration in terms of preventing leaks.

    I'd also recommend a bottle of coolant booster of your choice. I'm using a product that is made for water to air intercoolers to reduce cavitation and to prevent freezing if the temps drop below water freezing temp. This is very important because your system that you're building doesn't have a provision in place for it's fluid turning into ice like the engine that has freezeplugs does.
     
    My DSM:

    50trim   manual
    1991 Eagle Talon TSi

    GT35   manual
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