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Old 07-06-2006, 01:38 AM   #1
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Question eBay Intercooler woes. Opinions?

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.)


Last edited by Joe Perez; 07-06-2006 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:05 AM   #2
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my suggestion swallow it. 100 bucks still a good deal. For the reducer coupler thing, go to an exhaust shop (they should have an hydraulic tube expander) and ask them to expand your intercoolerpiping at the ends that meet the intercooler to 2.75. You could do it yourself but the expander isnt cheap and its a pain to do by hand. Just go during a down time and offer the guy 10 bucks. But when your doing your piping youll have to keep that in mind to keep some straight edge to expand.

As for the intercooler. Before making a judgement on whether flow resitrctions were more/less important than efficeincy the over all system would have to be looked at. For example if i had a system that was running very cool (egts were well undercontrol) without knocking/pinging and running proper fuel ratio. I would care more about flow than temp. If those conditions werent the case, temp wuld be numero uno . And since better safe then sorry, keep the more efficient intercooler. (although at this point its more of a fuel issue than not)

As for decreasing the efficiency of the turbo, that would only be the case if you were running the turbo outside of its capabilities. I havent looked at your turbo map, but i doubt youll be loosing that much efficeny.

My question is, did corky quantify his statement? Did he mention the pressure drop (head loss) through the intercooler?

PS. The intercooler is over kill, dont worry about it. I bet if you swapped out the intercooler and kept everything the same, you wouldnt notice a difference (unless the flow restriction is that bad)
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:56 PM   #3
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That isn't tube/fine... its just a modified frontal edge... Apexi style FMIC. I'd use it and enjoy it.

I'm running an SSautochrome/XSPower on my turbo honda (hate the company...) but for 150... the FMIC works great.

I purchased a larger one from them for my miata build... which, once I get to it... I'll try to document.
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitime
That isn't tube/fine... its just a modified frontal edge... Apexi style FMIC. I'd use it and enjoy it.
Next time ill look at the pictures
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki047
Next time ill look at the pictures
exact opposite of me; I usually look at pictures first and don't read.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braineack
exact opposite of me; I usually look at pictures first and don't read.
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