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Thread: Intercooler efficiency

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2010-08-11 00:21:24
Intercooler efficiency
Is it possible to have too big of a intercooler....would this have any negative effects like increased turbo lag? or is this one of those situations where bigger is always better?
2010-08-11 01:15:44
Yes and thats what she said.
2010-08-11 01:25:09
somtimes if you have a very large intercooler it will cause a little lag on a smaller turbo anyways
2010-08-11 02:04:22
yes an intercooler does throttle responese i.e. effect lag.

do a google search or im sure ben fenner will post up some good links haha.

2010-08-11 02:51:38
Topdog, there are some threads I'll point you to if you don't find them by searching by the time I get back. My general opinion is that bigger is almost always better. Yes there is a tiny effect on throttle response and boost onset but it is almost imperceptible. Not nearly as pronounced as people would have you believe.
On top of that, even though you build boost the tiniest bit slower, you still make more power than you would with a smaller intercooler. Building boost by restricting or down-sizing charge pipes and intercoolers is bad science. It is basically adding a restriction to the system so you'll build boost faster when in reality you want the air flow.
2010-08-11 05:55:36
I changed from a medium to small sized intercooler to a big sized intercooler when I had my T25 and it was nearly the same thing... I must say I didnt have any perception of increased lag...
2010-08-11 15:24:32
Topdog I know this isn't the same exact topic, but go give this a read for my take on the matter.
Charge pipe sizing & differences: - e30tech.com Forums

On top of the boost onset difference being minuscule, it is also not related to power output. You'll make more power with no boost if your charge pipes are high flowing over 1 or 2 psi of boost on restrictive piping. Building boost at the end of the day isn't the goal. The goal is flow. You could build tons of boost real fast if you went with tiny intake valves. You'd get the best boost onset in the world. Boost would come on like never before. You wouldn't make any power though. There's a difference between getting the turbo up to speed to flow, and "building boost" just for the sake of getting pressure.

Now I know you asked about intercoolers and I'm talking about charge pipes in that BMW thread, but a larger intercooler is even more important, and even less of a "problem". The larger intercoolers tend to flow a lot more and have much less of a "pressure drop" across them. They cool better, and they flow better, and they only add a tiny bit to the actual volume of the intake track. And if you use my formula in that linked thread you can find out in seconds how much of a difference in time it will take to make the same amount of boost if you change the intercooler volume (if that is something important for you to know).
2010-08-12 06:06:51
That is a crazy thread you pointed me to Ben.....I do understang the gist of it though. I did not know you were into euros. good taste.
2010-08-12 06:09:30
Turbo no Intercooler
I am just curious, What is the most power ever made without a intercooler. I do know it is proper to run one, again just curious. I am all about being sleeper.
2010-08-12 06:23:45
If you want to be a sleeper, run a side mount IC or a water cooled system. Running without one at all is counterproductive and makes no sense.
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