Liquid to Air Inter-Cooler V.S. Front Mount inter-cooler

Posted by couch, Oct 28, 2012
Newbie Forum - Beginner DSM modification questions and discussions. Common, repetitive, and general discussions will get dumped here from other tech forums. Unless you're a Probationary member you shouldn't post threads here.

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What is a better Inter-Cooler set up for Autocross (while keeping the A/C unit)

  1. Liquid to Air Inter-cooler

    3 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Front mount inter-cooler

    8 vote(s)
    53.3%
  3. Upgraded Side Mount Inter-Cooler

    4 vote(s)
    26.7%
  4. Stock

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. couch

    couch Probationary Member

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    spokane, Washington
    I have a 95 eagle Talon TSI with a td05 16g turbo with all supporting mods except a upgraded inter-cooler. I would just get a FMIC like everyone else but I would like to keep the A/C unit in place and don't want to deal with over heating issues.



    That being said I think my options are a upgraded Side Mount Inter-cooler or a Liquid to Air Inter-cooler.



    I have read that you can tie a Liquid to Air Inter-cooler with the stock SMIC. Is this true and what are the pros and cons?

    Is an Upgraded Side Mount Inter-cooler sufficient for autocross with a td05 16g turbo running 1.0 bar?

    Is a Liquid to Air Inter-cooler better than a FMIC?

    How do you set up an Liquid to Air Inter-Cooler?
    #1
  2. PrimerPLus

    PrimerPLus Proven Member

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    If this is going to be a DD you will be fine with a FMIC. No need for liquid cooled. If you are worried about overheating you can always upgrade your radiator. But I hear the stock radiator and stock fans do just fine.
    #2
  3. 4Lurker4

    4Lurker4 Proven Member

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    Brampton, ON_Canada
    This thread may be of help since the T28 is close enough to the 16g

    http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/turbo-system-tech/399557-autocross-t28-intercooler-options.html

    I personally love my upgraded SMIC, fits perfectly and looks stock. Also didn't have to upgrade my radiator. If you do go with the SMIC option, make sure to duct it properly. That's the main thing people forget when running a SMIC, you need to direct the air towards it. As a DD it'll run perfect and you can still have fun autocrossing with it.

    Water to air is overkill on this set up, but you could also look into water injection. It'll cool the charge effectively and you can use it with the stock SMIC if you wanted to.
    #3
  4. SY1100

    SY1100 Proven Member

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    Stick with a FMIC for DD purposes, unless you plan on racing it all the time then you may want to switch to L2A but I have not seen a need to do so for the average weekend racer..
    #4
  5. ariman

    ariman Proven Member

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    CA, California
    for
    DD --> FMIC
    for
    Autocros --> FMIC
    for
    Drag --> Liquid/Air
    #5
  6. Idaho AWD

    Idaho AWD Proven Member

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    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    Nice to see another local on the board!

    I think an upgraded sidemount would be more than enough for your setup and for autocross. If it got to a point where you needed more cooling you could add a water injection system. Another pro of the sidemount is that its stock appearing and you wont have to race in a modified class.

    Let us know what you decide/buy.
    #6
  7. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    Jackson, Georgia
    Or water/meth injection. Use stock smic/increased octane/better fuel mileage/lower iats/cheap LOL. Downside is tuning and getting the right meth injectors
    #7
  8. Colt4G63 also

    Colt4G63 also Proven Member

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    Honestly I think liquid to air would be your best bet if you can afford it.
    1) You don't need a lot of piping. Extra piping creates lag, and can become damaged while bottoming out and crushing cones. I even saw a guy with an EVO who had problems with FMIC couplers collapsing during decell. Your L2AIC can sit above the transmission between the compressor outlet and the TB.

    2) L2AIC setups use extremely small radiators, which do not block all the airflow to the cooling system. The reason a FMIC causes such cooling problems is that A2A heat exchangers are extremely inefficient, and require a 3"-4" thick exchanger with very dense fins. Hardly any airflow passes through to the radiator. With A/C that becomes a problem even at interstate speeds.

    As far as "how to setup a L2AIC"
    Hot water flows from the L2AIC to the small L2A radiator in front of your A/C condensor, from there to the pump which should be mounted at one of the lowest points in the system, and back to the L2AIC. Simple. Now if you want even colder than ambient temps, you can add an ice box to the system. The ice box would be mounted directly before the L2AIC so that you get the coldest possible water in there, and so the water gets precooled by the radiator before flowing back to the ice.

    Now that I think about it, a decent FMIC that works, will cost about the same as a complete W2A setup.
    #8
  9. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    How about a little cheaper option i just thought up. Use the stock smic, plumb the front with a coil of copper tubing with a hundred or so pin size holes connected to a high pressure pump pulling from a gallon sized water tank. Idea is to spray a fine mist onto the intercooler constantly, as water cools 3x better when it can evaporate on the surface of what youre trying to cool. Plus no need for an extra radiator. And if you wanted, you could plumb in an icebox for ice cubes or even dry ice
    #9
  10. Tyeler18

    Tyeler18 Proven Member

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    This. W2A is great for someone who wants a quick spooling turbo. My 1g is getting a true twinscroll hx35 on 2.3 stroker, with a W2A intercooler because I wanted something that could provide enough torque to hang with vettes through the straights, while eating them up through the twisties.

    The stock SMIC heat soaks so quick it's not even funny. Logging IAT's on my stock intercooler system on the GVR4 with 14b was netting temp increases from ambient temp (65-70F) all the way up to 210F+ just from doing one 3rd gear pull, this was at 11psi. Back to back pulls would instantly skyrocket in IAT's and knock would skyrocket as well. A more efficient SMIC with better than factory ducting would help greatly, but still isn't that great. You slap even a s16g on and IAT's are awful.
    By the time you have that all setup and routed, you're nearly at the cost of an intercooler itself.
    #10
  11. SY1100

    SY1100 Proven Member

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    Then you have the problem of water getting on the track and the track officals dont like that to much. L2A works best if you can run the coolant through something ice cold to bring down the temps, simple running it through another radiator defeats the purpose. you basicly have A2A with more piping in the car.
    #11
  12. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    This is why you would have pin sized holes. To mist it on. You wouldnt want enough water to soak the intercooler down and potentially cause a spinout from a soaked tire. Just enough to get the cooling effect from the evaporating water. Just a thought from my sleep deprived brain though LOL. Water injection is still better because you get the cooling effect directly in the air entering your engine plus the added octane boost
    #12
  13. SY1100

    SY1100 Proven Member

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    depending on your location of georgia where humidity is in the 90% I dont think spraying water on a IC before or on the track is a good idea. Here in Vegas where is hot/dry as hell spraying the ic down does little to nothing in the way of help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
    #13
  14. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    Aint that the friggin truth LOL.
    #14
  15. Firsts tuner

    Firsts tuner Proven Member

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    There are actually kits you can buy or build that use c02 to cool. Set it up just like nitrous but rather than running it into your intake you do the copper tube with pinholes to spray down the ic. The cheap e bay kist are set up to use the little co2 cartridges like on a BB gun but I am sure you Gould get a decent sized bottle and fill it at a paintball place. I did this to an old turbo coup of my buddies once, so long ago though I can't really remember if it did any good or not.
    #15
  16. dsmcurse

    dsmcurse Proven Member

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    I have a ZEX ten pound nitrous bottle that I plan on plumbing INTO the intercooler. Just waiting on a refill, bottle brackets, and a differant size nozzel. Once some funds free up ill finish the nitrous set up but the plan is to spray it into the intercooler.

    12.5"X24"X4"thick FMIC and on the first end tank, right above where the 3" IC pipe comes into the end tank is where I plan to inject. Need a bung welded into my endtank so I can safely screw the high pressure nitrous fitting into it.

    I figure this way when my boosted air comes rushin into the intercooler ill inject nitous right there so the speed of the boosted air will really help carry the spray (even tho bottle pressure will be like 900-100PSI). It'll go through the entire core of te intercooler really really adding to the cooling effect, then the nitrous will continue all the way through the three inch short route IC piping, into the throttle body, and into the motor.

    Only draw back I see to this is the blow off valve may vent some spray at throttle lift in certain situations. But I think it shood be fine. I could go with the IC spray bar deal for the surface but ii see that method a less effect way to use nitrous.

    As far as the CO2 system goes, I used to think I wanted that on my FMIC but then I started thinkin bout all that CO2 makin its way into the enginebay gettin sprinkled on my turbo header and gettin sucked in by my air filter pipe... Uh, no thanks, ill keep the CO2 out of my bay. Thanks tho.

    I think a just as effective way to aid in FMIC cooling would be a nice water spray system. And hey water is for free right! I think a nice fine mist water spray would do a lot better justice than a CO2 spray system.
    #16
  17. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    You know, that was my first thought, but i dont think compressed co2 is cold enough to make a big enough difference. Propane is, but spraying outside the intake would be extremely dangerous. Compressed o2 might be, but its just about as expensive as nos.

    .

    I think a just as effective way to aid in FMIC cooling would be a nice water spray system. And hey water is for free right! I think a nice fine mist water spray would do a lot better justice than a CO2 spray system.[/QUOTE]

    This was what i thought but that idea got shot down fast. Though on a fmic itd be better because not only would it aid in intake charge cooling, but any that blew past would get to the radiator would cool it to
    #17
  18. WES_393

    WES_393 DSM Wiseman

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    C'mon guys. We're talking about an eBay 16g running 14.5psi on a DD with light AutoX use. The OP is worried about blocking the AC (for no reason), not max intake cooling on a 50-trim running 40psi. Even a PR/VRSF intercooler would be overkill for this application, W2A is so unnecessary it's not even funny.

    Not to mention with W2A, you still have a heat exchanger. Which blocks the AC condenser. Oh snap.
    #18
  19. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    Hahahaha yea i kno wes, lil off topic. Specially since anything more than a supra sidemount with a 16g is overkill.
    #19
  20. pansaias

    pansaias Probationary Member

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    To continue off topic, sorry, from what I understand; wouldn't the smaller turbo need a bigger intercooler in the attempt of maximizing turbo output? Which would cause small turbo to be in very inefficient zones of its compressor map, thus creating more heat than a larger turbo would since its in a efficient zone of compressor map? just wondering because I was trying to future proof my purchases, so I went with a front mount for my 16g, for when I try to maximize its output.
    #20
  21. Cdc1221

    Cdc1221 Proven Member

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    No. The point of running a smaller turbo is reduced turbo lag. You add lag with a fmic. You dont want to go above your turbos efficiency range anyway. Doing that doesnt add performance and reduces the life of your turbo.

    On the other hand if youre just trying to max out your 16g while saving for a larger turbo, a fmic isnt a bad buy
    #21
  22. Tiki2777

    Tiki2777 Proven Member

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    Not to hijack the thread, but you may want to look into getting a transmission cooler, especially for autocross. Hot gears do not do well and lessen the life expectancy quickly.
    #22
  23. pansaias

    pansaias Probationary Member

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    Ok, thanks for the clarification.
    #23
  24. WES_393

    WES_393 DSM Wiseman

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    Yes, airflow for airlow, smaller turbos do create more heat than larger ones. A small 16g at 30 lbs/min is working much harder than a HX35 at 30 lbs/min. However, the OP plans to run around 15psi which is nowhere near max boost for a 16g.

    Don't get me wrong, colder is always better. If you were shooting for the small 16g record I could understand W2A intercooler or pre-compressor W/M injection. But for your everyday 16g running <20psi, the money is best spent elsewhere.
    #24

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