View Full Version : Intercooler

05-15-2003, 11:03 PM
We are building up a Thunderbird SC to be a NASA American Iron road racing car, and need some help. We are looking to cool the supercharger air temperature as much as possible. The options are: Double intercooler, front mount intercooler from Magnum Powers, or source the biggest intercooler possible from something like a powerstroke deisel (they are huge). Mounting is not a problem as this is a fabricated race car. So try to think out of the box. We are going to use the powerstroke intercooler unless we hear something different (and cheaper) than sourcing a junkyard intercooler the size of 3 SC intercoolers!

Any other thoughts on cooling the intake charge and getting it out of the motor are welcome. We intend to cool the charge as much as possible, and use the stock boost. The colder we get it, the less boost we need to make HP.

Thank you in advance for the help!

Lawrence Mansier

05-16-2003, 08:24 PM
why not go to some heavy truck wrecking yards. some of the smaller heavy trucks have intercoolers that are close in size to a powerstroke, but have 4 inch inlet and outlet.

05-16-2003, 10:24 PM
Do you know of a resource, or do you know which exact intercoolers have the same inlet and outlet sizes as the SC? A little difference is not a big deal, but getting close would definitely be helpful. As long as the intercooler is much larger than the stock one, we are interested. 1% power gain for each 10 degree temperature loss is what we are all about!


05-17-2003, 05:32 PM
in my area, east central indiana, g.w. peirce and trucks and parts, may be worth a try. i would look at some of the smaller conventional international trucks. probably in the 20,000 to 40,000lbs. class 300 hp. also freightliner may have something. one thing is to make sure that you are looking at air to air not air to water. oh another truck bone yard is hartly's. as far as measurments i do not really know, i will try to remember to get you some info monday, i think i can get what you need while still on the truck. i have an intercooler from a mercedes that is the same width as the radiator and about half as tall. do not have it on yet though. the inlet and discharge need reworked.

05-20-2003, 02:17 AM
on a side note, i heard that for every 10 degrees cooler you can get the intake air is a 1% increase in N/A cars, and 2% in boosted vehicles. Dont remember where i heard that tho......

05-22-2003, 08:32 PM
i finally remembered to measure one of the intercoolers. 36"x40", this was on one of the larger trucks. the smaller truck would be more or less the same width and probably 30" tall. the inlets will be plenty big enough. some of the ryder rental trucks, single axle with a van body have intercoolers, if they have the right engine. cat or cummings. sorry that i dont know exactly witch trucks would work, but i mess with the heavy iron. i would contact a local truck wrecking yard for better info. good luck.

05-23-2003, 02:19 PM
Found out that the super duty ford trucks use an intercooler that measures 32x18x2 with 3" inlet/outlet. That is the business area of the intercooler. It is about 38 wide with the tanks. If the radiator has similar measurements, we might just source both of them. That would be plenty large for the application. We would duct it from under the nose, then through the intercooler, then radiator, then out the top of the hood. Or find some way of mounting the intercooler so that both can have their own private source of ducted air, and still go out the hood. We'll have to see that everything measures when on the car!


Doug Franklin
06-18-2003, 02:33 AM
Thought about all of this before and even some strange water radiator moved inside but ducted away from me, or in the rear, or even split the front end into 2 large ducts and out the top of hood. I just did not want to make a ducted hood at this time. But eventualy if running a SC engine I would want the front to be drastically different to keep cool on the hotest days. I really would like a large radiator next to a large intercooler. Want air scooped in as much as possible with the front bumper frame cut off. I assume you are lowering the car a lot. Wondered what your hood will look like. Maybe the way to go. What are your thoughts. Air pressure is pretty high at places on a hood or near the windshield so a lip on front of escape air duct necissary I guess. What are your ideas on the hood?

I need ducts for brakes, but getting some large ones from a Co. in Houston.

For sure getting rid of the heat on these engines is a huge priority over the looks of the front end. I just hate radiator showing but I have a hard time finishing a session with out taking cool off laps for the engine temp.

06-18-2003, 09:07 AM
Our initial design is to run two intercoolers in the front and to the sides of the radiator. Air would come into these coolers and duct out the sides of the bumper, like a Porsche GT3RS. There would then be center ducting to a much larger radiator, oil cooler, and other coolers. This would then duct out of the hood. We will most likely also run a louvred area above the headers and may also louvre the small area above the wheels to vent undercar pressure. All would utilize the lips that you are speaking of to create a low pressure zone to suck the air out of the vent.

The hood should come off today, so I'll get some measurements going!


06-18-2003, 10:35 AM
The problem with some of those big truck intercoolers is that they are very wide and very tall. While you can think out of the box, the part has to fit in the box, somewhere.

With the limited frontal area of the SC, I would think the ideal solution would be a Air to Water intercooler with the water storage and the heat exchanger maybe mounted out back somewhere or in a ducted fender.

But assuming Air to Air is what you are limited to you can try many different things.

I'd start with the first thing being you are not limited to stock SC plumbing. The inlet is pretty much fixed, but the outlet can be sized how you need, and the piping can be any configuration that works.

If you are relocating the stuff mounted on the left and right of the radiator (battery, coolant recover tank, air filter) you might be able to create a Y coming out of the SC top going to two stock SC intercoolers, one each mounted next to the radiator, behind the lights, but facing kind of down with ducts for directing air flow across them.

So you Y- out to the dual intercoolers and then you Y back together for the inlet. I'm not sure what impact on pressure drop that might have, but it's cooling efficiency should be greater than one of the double intercoolers.

Just a thought. Space is so limited it's hard to imagine how to make it all work. There is one person around here that just took the tubes out and ran the IC straight out of the SC top, so the lengths were real short. The IC stuck out of the top of the hood to get cooling air that way.

I never saw any dyno charts or heard any comments on if it worked any good or not.

Doug Franklin
06-18-2003, 04:09 PM
Are you still running an aotomatic?

I was trying to avoid more heat into the wheel wells due to brakes, and the high heat I will see in August down here 100-107 and higher on the track surface. I guess I need to see what the Porsche looks like. I assume you mean 2 stock ICs one on either side and way forward in order to exit air out the side of the bumper. (Interesting if it doesn't come back in wheel well) Would the ICs be sideways?

With a tube front you get rid of all that underside sheetmetal that is nothing but in the way for more than airflow. Thats good. We are not tubing the front, just a cage this year. For 6k I saw a NASCAR car for sale, I just passed it up.

I like your duct in the hood but like I say I was going to put it all in there, or split it for giggles. However I wanted much area up front to draw or scop air in. Need it for the low speed corners. What about fans? I need them on high speed all the time, now. I guess I could get radical and duct the passenger side compartment, but my thinking has been to build a car from ground up for ultimate cooling. Won't look like a T-Bird even though all running gear would be. I want side radiator and side IC in a custom frame/body layed out in the garage. Still front engine. We believ we can do it low cost. But then I am not running NASA events, yet anyway.

Some of the club Miata guys have water cooled IC on a charged engine. They have told me that it is not as efficient but they don't have room for anything else. Seems after many laps they don't cool as well. I don't know the details. Maybe no airflow in a water radiator.

06-18-2003, 04:27 PM
We are looking to trade our just rebuilt fresh core Automatic, for a 5 speed. This Auto has 6 miles on it!

The hot air from the intercoolers won't come back into the wheel wells because the air from the brakes is also pushing out. It will most likely run along side (if the bottom is built well). The IC's would be about 45 degrees.

We'll have to see how it all fits. At any rate, the coolers will all duct from a front air dam/splitter arangement into the coolers, then up through the hood. The IC's may duct out the sides.

See you at the track!