Here you will find answers to some of our frequently asked questions.
My car has high mileage, will an intercooler add stress?
We regularly install intercoolers to vehicles with over 200,000 miles and in fact an uprated intercooler is actually a benefit on higher mileage engines.
Any increased stress is related to tuning and thermal stresses.
The intercooler basically gives a larger safety margin as it reduces thermal stress by introducing cooler, more dense oxygen rich air, making the engine more thermally efficient.
So if you tune a car with standard intercooler, you reach dangerous stress levels quickly, whereas with an improved intercooler, the stress threshold is higher and the engine can be tuned within that larger margin.
Why don’t vehicle manufacturers use larger intercoolers?
Manufacturers know the extra power is there but they have to compromise many factors. They have to design the vehicle to suit the possibilities of model variations such as the inclusion of Air Conditioning and auto gearbox, also the engine tuning needs to suit the varying grades of fuel around the world. We hand build kits to suit every model rather than one size fits all price compromise of the manufacturer.
Can I intercool my moped?
Technically……err…. yes…….. as long as it has some form of forced induction,
we are fairly diverse in our experience of most forms of internal combustion engined vehicles, but we are not aware of any turbo charged or supercharged production scooters.. but that said, we are happy to make bespoke items to your spec and help with the design, but the question surely should be – why……..?
Will the modifications affect any warranty?
As with insurance, we would suggest asking your dealer prior to installation, but generally there are few problems.
We have designed our systems to need as little alterations as possible to the vehicle and in fact we supply many main dealers with upgrades.
Why will I benefit from an uprated intercooler?
Your vehicle will have a more flexible engine with greatly increased power in the lower and midrange revs meaning less gear changes, improved low speed pickup, better acceleration and improved towing ability. Also, the thermal stresses in the cylinder head are reduced and due to increased oxygen levels, fuel burn is improved and economy increased.
The science behind intercoolers is all about feeding the engine with air that is as cold as possible IE Ambient…
Cold air can be compressed more and as such will introduce denser, more oxygen rich air allowing your engine to engine burn the fuel more completely and produce more power… it’s that simple..
We could go on about coefficients and fin density, pressure drop, cross flow versus double – pass, vacuum brazing technigues and TIG welding but we’ll save that for another time…
If you have any technical questions please do not hesitate to contact us. or see our Intercooler Theory pages.
Can an Intercooler be too big?
It’s a question that comes up pretty often this one…and there are plenty of misconceptions from “experts”!
Basically, the answer is yes it can be too big, BUT there are many things that should be taken into consideration, and in reality being too large is never an issue….
From a power point of view, it is a case of the bigger the better as cooler, denser and more oxygen rich air means a more efficient and powerful engine. A 100% efficient intercooler will bring the intake charge (turbo outlet) down to ambient temperature, and although we cannot expect to achieve this, we aim to reduce the temperatures as much as possible.
It is technically possible to calculate the ideal size of intercooler for a vehicle, but the amount of information required is immense. Some of this information is impossible to know 100% as each application is different, and are the many driving scenarios that the vehicle will endure.
Calculating technically ideal intercooler dimensions will generally produce a size that is too big to fit into the car anyway, so as a rule we design intercoolers that make as much use of the space as possible without being too difficult for people to install.
The turbo can make the intake charge air extremely hot as by its nature it is driven by the exhaust and also any form of compressor creates heat. We have seen air at well over 180 degrees exiting a turbo and an efficient intercooler or charge cooler can reduce this to around 20 – 25 degrees.
One of the main concerns people have is of turbo “lag” with a large intercooler. When you consider that some vehicle manufacturers produce cars with more than one intercooler, and we also manufacture intercooler systems using two or even three intercoolers plus pipework for certain applications, even then there is no noticeable lag. Once air is compressed at one end of the system it is, for all intents and purposes instantly compressed at the other.
More important factors should be considered such as the design and construction of the intercooler and this is why we have ended up at the design and method of construction we use. This is why some of our intercoolers may have the same external dimensions but give great power gains through improved flow, heat transfer and even weight can be a factor.
Are there adjustments to make to the fuel pump?
Yes, but the methods depend on the type of fuel system on your vehicle.
Intercoolers affect the air intake temperature and as such affect the fuel/air mixture. Adjustments are made to compensate for the change in the mixture and help release extra power, torque and efficiency.
We can optimise mechanical pumps and boost with simple adjustments, or for vehicles fitted with an ECU, where possible we re-program the chip with a new “map” created by us to suit your specific vehicle’s modifications.
Alternatively independent external tuning systems can be supplied and fitted.
Will the modifications affect my fuel consumption?
Generally, economy will improve as the engine will be running far more efficiently and burning fuel more completely, but there are many variables including personal driving style. A worst case is that you will have extra power for the same economy.
Can an intercooler in front of the radiator cause overheating?
No, the intercooler core we use is a “coarse fin” design allowing air to pass easily through to the water radiator.
We sell a majority of kits export to hot climates where many cars are fitted with air conditioning. A/C condenser cores use a much more tightly packed fin density which are more restrictive than even our “fast road” intercooler cores.
We produce intercooler kits for some cars which are fitted with A/C and auto gearbox coolers with no overheating issues.
We are of course assuming an efficient cooling system.
Will the extra power affect the drivetrain?
No, although drivability is vastly improved, the power is still well within the vehicles’ design limits; generally the drive-train is the same as used on petrol models with greater power output.
Unless specifically asked, our conversions are aimed at sensible, safe gains; we do not rely on false claims to sell our products.
Many race teams use our products meaning are thoroughly tested on events such as the Dakar rally, Breslau Adventure rally and even some WRC cars.
How accurate are the performance figures you quote?
The figures quoted are taken from actual tests on the rolling road or on-road performance meter.
However, individual figures will vary per vehicle due to many factors including history of servicing and even daily changes in ambient temperature and pressure.
Whenever we develop products for new vehicles we use a local rolling road to gain information on before and after power figures.
We aim to suggest realistic figures that are regularly exceeded rather than using wild figures to make sales.
Should I inform my insurance company?
We have to advise you to, as with any modification and we find companies respond according to their understanding of the conversion.