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Old 10-16-2006, 06:07 AM   #1
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Default piping material for Intercooler?

What is type of material is acceptable for intercooler pipeings?

could I get away using cheap intake pipings? what are the pros and cons?

What would be an Miata turbo site standard?

Thanks guys
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:08 AM   #2
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Aluminum bend, SS bends, mild steel bends. All the same in my book. Just think about how each radiates/absorbs heat, weight and cost.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:59 AM   #3
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I used 2.5" SS bends that I picked up off ebay for like $200 and it came with more then I could use. If you go to a speed shop, they might charge like $30-40 a bend. Just look around on ebay. You can tell whats liget and whats not.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:29 AM   #4
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used dryer vent
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #5
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Three major schools of thought here:

Mandrel-bent aluminum tubing is very lightweight, has good heat dissipation, and is easy to cut and grind. The downside is that welding it is beyond the reach of most DIY'ers, so every joint is a silicone coupler. This is not entirely a bad thing, as it builds a degree of flex into the system, but you may need to fabricate a hanger or two to keep everything in place. As an added bonus, the pipes polish up nicely.

Mandrel-bent stainless tubing- Not quite as popular, it's heavier than aluminum, though within the ability of some advanced DIYers to weld.

Mandrel-bent steel tubing- If you're stuck to the idea of welding your pipes, this is the way to go. You can buy a cheap flux welder for $120, though personally I regret having done so, and would have rather picked up one of the $200 convertable units and added the extra hardware to do gas-shielded welding. You'll have to finish these pipes with paint or powder-coat.

My system is mostly aluminum, though after several failed attempts at brazing, I did have to make one piece (the up-pipe into the intake manifold) out of steel so that I could properly weld a couple of fittings to it.

You can buy aluminum and stainless pipe rather cheaply off ebay. Go into eBay Motors and search for aluminum bend or stainless bend. Some popular vendors endorsed by locals on this forum are veccohighperformance and Verocious Motorsports. Be aware that these guys don't have all their inventory advertized all the time- sometimes you'll have to check in every day or so for a week or more to see all the pieces you need.

For regular steel, an often-overlooked option is Summit Racing. Go to their online catalog and look at exhaust -> individual bends. The prices aren't too bad.

Check out this thread: https://www.miataturbo.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4904

That having been said, I'll give the same final conclusion here that I did there. If this is for a 1.6 Greddy, just buy Stripes' kit.
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:39 PM   #6
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Thank you guys for all the inputs.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:51 PM   #7
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Aluminized steel seems to be a popular choice, cheap but better oxidation resistance than plain mild steel.

Personally I went with Aluminum on my Nissan. I don't know if I would go with it again, up front it costs more and then I had to pay to get it TIG welded. I don't think the increase in cost is worth the couple of lbs I saved over aluminzed steel.
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:58 PM   #8
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I say aluminum for the charge pipe at a minimum. There is a reason that aluminum makes up the heatsink for almost every computer in existence. It's one of THE best heat exchangers. Every degree counts!
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:59 PM   #9
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titanium pipes would be even lighter and more bling. yum.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:23 AM   #10
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Anybody try using this stuff for welding aluminium ?
http://www.muggyweld.com/5clip2.html
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergus View Post
Anybody try using this stuff for welding aluminium ?
I have, and you can read my experiance of it in post #9 of this thread: https://www.miataturbo.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4904

Suffice to say that while it bonded very well to the copper fittings I was using, it did not stick well to the aluminum pipe. This may have to do with the fact that the pipe had been polished previously, however I tried to be very thorough in my surface prep, using a combination of sanding discs and 3M abrasive pads. After a few days' use, both joints I made with the Muggy-Weld compound failed.

Previously, I'd also tried Bernz-o-Matic AL3 aluminum rods. These didn't fare well either- by the time I had the joint hot enough to flow the rod, the pipe melted.

Efini~FC3S is right. TIG is the way to go for joining aluminum.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:54 PM   #12
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Anybody ever tried an aluminum conversion kit for a MIG?
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbored View Post
titanium pipes would be even lighter and more bling. yum.
since it's not structural, titanium wouldn't likely be lighter since you could use a thin wall aluminum and still have plenty of strength for dozens of psi.

however

it aint as neat. for whatever that's worth.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:13 PM   #14
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Autospeed has a weird write-up in which they use copper tubing as intercooler piping. Looks, well, interesting.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:23 PM   #15
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heck i just used exhaust tubing.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
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used dryer vent
still the best option
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:59 PM   #17
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if it is steel yeah but they are real big.
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta93LE View Post
Autospeed has a weird write-up in which they use copper tubing as intercooler piping.
I remember seeing that, but have you checked the price of copper plumbing lately?
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:10 PM   #19
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yeah its crazy high now
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:30 PM   #20
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Not really conducive to making intercooler piping, no. But for those who like to put gold pinstriping on their car ::vomit:: it may be a good (gross) option.
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