So I'm gathering the parts right now to begin my Greddy install, and I decided to try my luck with a $100 intercooler off ebay. Here's a link to the original auction: http://tinyurl.com/ebuc6
Now, I wasn't expecting Track Dog quality for $100, but this is damn near fraud. Basically, the description (and picture) indicate a bar & plate intercooler with 2.5" I/O, and what I ended up with is a tube and fin design and 2.75" I/O. So I'm trying to decide what to do.
My options, as I see them, are:
a) Demand a refund, which could take a while (or never happen) and then take my chances again with a different no-name rice vendor. Or...
b) Politely ask for him to refund what I paid for shipping (on the grounds that I'll need that money to buy 2.75” to 2.5” reducers and joiners) and get on with life.
What I'd really like to hear is some factual data on whether the intercooler I now have is going to be adequate for my desires, which are basically 10psi into a 1.6 engine using a TDO4H turbo, EMU, some kind of MBC, and probably a Bosch recirculating valve.
I tend to regard Corky's “Maximum Boost” as something akin to minor gospel, and he has this to say on the subject:
The plate style generally offers less flow resistance, whereas the extruded-tube style tends to be more efficient.
My interpretation of this is that owing to greater pressure drop across the intercooler I will need to increase the wastegate release pressure, which will decrease the compressor efficiency somewhat. This thermal gain however should be offset by the slightly increased transfer efficiency of the tube cooler. Additionally, the tube design (being somewhat sloped towards the front & rear) should be slightly less restrictive of airflow to the radiator, which is always a Good Thing when one is driving through the Imperial mountains and across the Sonoran desert. Still, boost in the low to mid RPM range (before the wastegate set point is reached) will be probably degraded...
Dimensionally, the core measures 2.25” thick, 6.5” tall, and 20” wide. The overall construction appears to be of relatively good quality- the welds look clean, the brazing of the tubes is pretty good, and the top and bottom plates along with the end tanks are quite thick and solid-feeling.
Also, on the plus side, the mechanical construction of this intercooler carries an unexpected bonus- the top surface is a flat plate 1/8” thick, separated from the first tube row by about .4” worth of fins. This would be a perfect
place to mount my Earl's oil cooler, and will save quite a bit of fabrication work on my part.
Here are some pictures of the intercooler. Click to enlarge in new window. (it takes a while, but it will load.)