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$200 for an intercooler. What do you do?

Discussion in 'Forced Induction' started by radnulb, May 13, 2004.

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  1. radnulb

    radnulb Senior Member

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    In http://www.hondaswap.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=38180 this flamefest, we managed to establish a few things and waste huge amounts of bandwidth on bullshit. I'd like to try to get the unresolved technical issues addressed in a manner that doesn't involve 4 pages of ppl callin each other names and other such fucking garbage. If you aren't positive you have something to contribute, you probably don't so shut the fuck up.

    Things that we will assume are true and not argue over:
    1. Intercooler efficiency is a big deal. It makes a big difference to a quality turbo system.
    2. Pressure drop across an intercooler is a big deal because it makes a turbo push a higher pressure (and work harder) to make the same pressure inside the plenum, unnecessarily raising intake air temperatures.
    3. Once an air-air intercooler has absorbed enough heat to be at the same temperature as the air the turbocharger is putting out, it will cease to be of benefit to the car and will instead be a flow restriction. Flow restrictions make the turbo work harder, leading to more detonation sooner.

    Things that we will assume are true in this thread so we don't have to argue over them again:
    4. Johnnyracecar's intercoolers have a large pressure drop, which makes for poor intercooler efficiency. There is a better choice for $200.

    So, to quote myself from the previous flamefest:

    Engineering is about compromise. You can't always get titanium beams to build your bridge out of so you use steel and reinforce them more. If you sleeve a motor, the sleeves can sometimes crowd the coolant jackets surrounding them, leading to a motor that has a tendency to overheat easier. If you make a rod more lightweight by removing material, you reduce its strength. Why do I bring this up? The statement that "budget" and "turbo" don't belong together does not reflect the existence of compromise in design. By this logic, junkyard / DIY turbo people that use OEM turbo car parts that are obviously substandard are guaranteed to blow up their motors. How do companies like Subaru, Saab, Mitsubishi and Volvo that have a lot of turbo cars as a part of their line manage to avoid going bankrupt from warranty replacement when they use so many substandard parts? I'll tell you the answer, and it is one word: compromise.

    With that out of the way, there is a legimate problem at hand here. There are lots of people on limited budgets that will find a way to have a turbocharged car. I have around $4000 in my B18B turbo CRX (car, mounts, swap, turbo, ic, piping, injectors, exhaust, management, bigger brakes front+back, fiberglass hood, cripsy 91 Si seats... ), and I've already broken some shit... (and beat many "fast" cars.) I will not argue at all that reliability is certainly harder to achieve than speed. Why don't we focus on trying to solve the more difficult problem of "reliable turbo on a budget" rather than dismissing it? Compromises will be key, but learning to make good choices on what to compromise on is not easy.

    I'm going to be looking at replacing my starion IC with a more capable IC. I paid $50 for the starion IC, and welded new tanks on it. I wasn't planning on running more than 7psi of boost initially. It seemed like an acceptable compromise at the time even with its CRAP efficiency and high pressure drop. It doesn't now, as I'm looking at different goals.

    I looked hard at both the johnnyracecar and customcoach intercoolers when I was piecing my setup together, and I was nervous about pressure drop and efficiency. I'd really like to hear more about how you tested Locohonkey. I don't have a manometer, but I was wondering if that's the only method to make measurements? Could i run my WG directly off the turbo and then run the WG off the manifold and compare peak boost levels to get an approximate idea of the pressure drop of an intercooler/charge pipe setup? What tangible, practical criteria can the average person use to evaluate intercoolers?

    $200 is a decent price mark. It's enough money to be able to buy someting. It's not enough money to be a HUGE investment. If all you had to spend was $200, what would you do and WHY? If you wouldn't get anything at all, WHY? Would you save for an air-water? Would you save for a more expensive air-air?

    Because I'm good with electronics and I could build an injector controller pretty easily, I've also looked at getting a 8 injector JG manifold and running 4 injectors for fuel and 4 injectors for water/methanol mix. Water injection is a whole different can of worms than air-air intercoolers. You lose combustion mixture heat heating water present, you lose combustion mixture temperature because of the heat of vaporization as liquid droplets turn into vapor, you gain (at a micromolecular level) a buffer by decreasing the statistical probability that a fuel molecule will collide with an oxygen atom with enough energy to overcome the activation energy of combustion and start a spontaneous combustion event (detonation). If you put hot air in, you will have issues. How does water injection compare to intercooling in terms of efficiency, effectiveness in varying conditions and ability to scale to "hotter" situations?

    Lets try to keep this discussion back on track. All the hateful, personal attacks in the forced induction forum lately have really started to hurt the signal/noise ratio of this place. Everyone will benefit from grounded, rational discussion. Everyone will benefit from learning how to discern effective parts from hyped parts. Everyone will benefit from learning how to solve a difficult problem within a tight budget. And everyone will benefit from learning to exchange ideas without insults...
     
  2. HondaMoCo

    HondaMoCo Senior Member

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    even though the JohnnyRaceCar IC is alot larger and looks like it would flow good, just look at the veins inside the JRC IC compared to the veins inside the starion, could that be the reason it has a bad flow rate? i mean im not the smartest man in the world but it doesnt look like air wants to go through that very easily, and with that much shit in there it looks like it would heat up quicker.
    [​IMG]









    as with the quality vs quantity thought, thats just the way things are right now, everyone wants to have a super fast and furious ride, top quality parts have been forgotten and replaced with the mass produced cheap parts to get to that fast car look.

    top quality= hours upon hours of Research and Development

    top quanity= an hour to try and copy a quality part not actually knowing the research and development aspect of the part

    Jeff from homemadeturbo.com is a cool guy and he has turboed alot of cars, but hes the first to tell you that reliability doesnt matter to him all that much, in fact i think he said something along the lines of "i could care less about the rod ratio of the b18 or honda longivity, i never have motors in my car for more then 30,000 miles anyway" and thats all good if you wanna be like that, but if you want a good quality turbo set up thats going to last and is going to be good for your engine you have to go quality.

    Greddy, skunk 2, HKS parts are largely out numbered compared to OBX, Tenzo, Dragon type R parts when you pop the hood of all the honda's out there. It all comes down to that old saying though "ya get what ya pay for" when your broken down on the side of the road your gonna wish you speant money on the small little a/f ratio guage vs the super 12 inch monster tach with the mag-lite shift light.

    just my .02....ok maybe .03 ;)
     
  3. bigwig

    bigwig Junior Member

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    Okay, lets talk about intercoolers if you want to talk about intercoolers.

    There are a few points to make. Cross sectional area/fin design is the MOST important thing about an intercooler.

    Now with the Tyrus FMIC it has its good points and its bad points. The fin design is quite standard, but surprisingly efficient and holds boost quite well with actually a minimal amount of pressure loss depending on how you mount it(heatsink). Although the length/width is not necessarily the optimal it is still a basis of goals vs money. A tyrus FMIC will allow you to easily reach that 350whp mark with minimal pressure drop and still efficent cooling.

    Would a thicker core be more efficient? Absolutely! But not everyone has $400 for an intercooler. There are more and more ebay intercoolers poping up everyday at 2.5-3" thickness so they are something to look at but you also have to take a look at end tank design. Box tanks are can be as detremental to a FMIC's performance as its specs. The optimal are the curved end tanks for the air is able to flow around the curves and enter every row of fins.

    There is a lot to take in account with intercoolers. Personally, im dedicating part of my summer to develop an intercooler with some sort of common mixture of liquid that would be optimal for thermal conductivity but doesnt change states as easily as Ice. FMIC's are generally not efficent because air is a piss poor thermal conductor but has a high Thermal diffusivity which allows it to make heat exchanges that will actually allow the temperatures to drop.

    All in all, this discussion is mildly worthless. Instead of wasting times explaining why one intercooler isnt good enough for you, even though it is fine for most 300whp or less hondas(which is what it was designed for) why not try to figure out a way to lower intake temps via another more efficient method since air itself is an inefficent method.
     
  4. radnulb

    radnulb Senior Member

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    thanks for your thoughts bigwig. Do you think that water injection is worth applying to this situation? Air-liquid intercoolers have their pros/cons too - what design parameters are you trying to work around?

    I'm not at all concerned with JR IC, Tyrus IC. I'm concerned with trying to find a decent setup, period. I'll buy generic if it works. I have a AC TIG and plenty of gas, so I'm thinking of trying to find a LARGE core and cut it down. I was planning on trying to carefully construct baffled endtanks... something like

    Code:
    INTERCOOLER
    \     |   |   |     /
       \  |   |   |   /
         \  \  |  /  /
          |  | | |  |
          |  | | |  |
    
       inlet/outlet
    
    ascii art is hard on this forum :)
     
  5. bigwig

    bigwig Junior Member

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    Now im not an expert in the least but from what ive studied/read i believe that if you do a 6" High 3" thick FMIC probably about 20-22" long
    (http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=33742&item=2478177019) as a core

    Then i would probably do center about 2" from the bottom where the tubing would go and make it look that but have the "\" curved
    ______
    ==== \
    ==== \
    ==== \___
    ==== ___
    ====__/



    http://www.ecimulti.org/uberdata/forum/attachments/ic.jpg

    Here is my very rough sketch of what i was thinking of. I was thinking of it being bolted in the upper corner of the engine bay, passenger side. I still havent found a liquid that has the properties that would allow this to work. One of my big things is it has to be a commonly found liquid. I dont want any special bullshit. I was thinking coolant and i was also suggested the freon used for AC. Its still in a very very rough part of design but i figure if you make the "tank" big enough, and the cooling properties are great enough, it should easily out do an Air to Air FMIC
     
  6. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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    I offer my suggestions as merely to "stir up some thinking". please take it as such.



    along the same lines- the REAL compromise here is output.

    take the turbo off a saab or a volvo making 220 hp, and i bet the motor still makes 180-ish. on the other hand, the 200 hp d-series DIY guys are nearly doubling the output. a small increase in power from a turbo, as in a stock car, is a lot different than trying to double your wheel power.

    So, where is the line when its just not "good enough"?



    Agreed.

    And this is where shit always goes array.
    people are willing to spend 250-ish on a manifold, like a used drag or something, but simply flip out at the idea of fuel management. they thing a fpr will be fine.
    and then theres the kids who want to run 10+ psi on an fmu....

    IMO, i'd rather run a hacked together mani from some dude's garage with shit welds that cost $40 in JC whitney bends and a flange to make instead of the 'name brand' manifold than to ignore the most import step of building a cheap setup.



    i think the internet has a lot to blame for this one. all the time i run into kids on the street talking about how awesome the starion intercooler is. lol at least you knew what you were getting.... and thought it would suit you.



    pressure drop is easy to find... but efficiency is not.

    a quick not-so-accurate way is to simply run 2 or more boost gagues at various places both before and after the IC. the closer to both sides of the ic, the more accurate the loss from the IC can be found.



    a hooker? maybe 2? lol



    i think air/waters are good, but for our applications, they are simply overkill. but, again, it depends where you live too.
    an air/water still gets the water cooler cooled by air... so at some point too, the water will become the same temp as the charge.... or worse, boil away. lol



    water injection doesn't cool the charge- but rather makes the combustion more efficient or something like that. I'm not too up on the ins and outs of water injection...
    but either way, you're still throwing in the hot charged air. I don't think h20 injection is a replacement for intercooling, but perhaps a supplement.



    easiser said than done... but yes, i agree.... even if you are a fucktard :D j/p
     
  7. pissedoffsol

    pissedoffsol RETIRED

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  8. spectacle

    spectacle Senior Member

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    Amen to that shit. OBX?? never again. i swear lol
     
  9. TurboEF9

    TurboEF9 Junior Member

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    Ok... ..wtf?!




    I was linked to this thread, read some of it and quit. I sat here STUNNED that something like this is even being discussed. Are you naysayers actually serious? What "Honda Vault of Knowledge" are you reading from? ..because it's OBVIOUSLY not a 9th grade scence book where the basic princples of thermodynamics are first shown to any welfare assisted public school, not to mention your typical suburbian yuppy school.



    First off, *ANY* intercooler is better than no intercooler at all. Mother nature dictates that.

    Lets clear up *exactly* how an intercooler works. I don' tknow if it was discussed in this rats nest of posts that comprise this thread. We'll walk through this very simply.

    An air pump compresses air. Compressed air is heated. The air flows through the intercooler making contact with the sufaces (fins) inside. The excited particles (heated air) transfer thier enegry to the less excited partciles (cold metal). until the temperature difference is ambient. While this is going on, the air making contact with the intercoolers outside fins are going throug the same process, however, it's opposite. The intercooler is transfering it's heat energy to the passing air particles, and the air takes them away, since it's moving. The void left by the moved particles is filled with cooler partciles. Thus a cycle ends, and begins again.

    Any intercooler will do this. The result? The cooler denser charge enables more air to be packed in the same volume. More air, more power. Plain and simple.

    ..still with me?

    Any person who says "no intercooler is better than the JohnnyRacecar" is a moron who obviously dropped out of school before hitting the 9th grade, and thier opinion, yes, opinion, is not valid. If that person claims to have experience in this, they're lying. Intake air temperatures range in excess of 185 degrees (as logged by TurboEDIT, my software, which pulled realtime data from the ECU) with no intercoler vs that of temps barely cresting 100 degrees. Same turbo setup.


    With that covered, as far as "flow".. are you KIDDING ME?! ...It's positive pressure people. This is not an "NA" setup where velocity of the intake charge plays and the "pump" drawing in air is your engine. It's a TURBO! ..the turbo is literally PUSHING air into your intake. It doesn't care.. It's going to continue to push. Yes, sacrafices are made int he area of intercooler, because yes, velcity is slower, but the pros outwiegh the cons 10 fold. So much so that this is not an issue.


    And last.. pressure lost due to the fin configuration? ...that's ludacris. You get pressure loss due to increased volume. Not increased density, or flow restriction. How do you fix that? Turn up the boost. Sheesh... you should always be measuring your boost levels from right before your throttle body anyway. This will give you an accurate measurement of how much boost is actually hitting your chambers.

    _This_ is also not an issue.



    ...geezzz.. you people aren't arguing over a hundreth of a second. When you're driving an 9 second turbo Civic, worry about velcity of the intake charge, pressure loss due to the ENORMOUS amount of space required to adequately cool the 30psi you're running...

    ...sheesh.. this thread is ridiculous, and should be deleted.
     
  10. JDMPlaya

    JDMPlaya Senior Member

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    I like you post some more :)
     
  11. beerbongskickass

    beerbongskickass Senior Member

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    Yeah, everything TurboEF9 said... B)
     
  12. tab

    tab Super Moderator

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  13. Smonkeyboy

    Smonkeyboy Senior Member

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    velocity is slower. and in intercooler like the cheap johnny racecar ones that leak 4psi. are gonna kill any power you hoped to make.

    theres 2 reasons. name 20 pros now. since you said they outweigh the cons 10fold.



    wow. 2 things about that.
    1. you ever tried to breathe through a straw? its hard and after about 30sec you cant do it anymore. now try breathing regularly. you can do it forever, efficientyl. and yes i know breathing isnt a turbo, but the properties are the same, shittly disigned cores WILL kill the velocity as opposed to well designed ones.

    2.turn up the boost. wow. that was the most intelligent response ive evar heard :slap:
     
  14. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    I don't know......

    I say, I'd only run aquality intercooler anyways, you get what you pay for. If you want cheap, then that's your fault if your car runs cheaply and breaks like a good amount of cheap stuff does.

    It's oine thing to get a deal on a quality product then to buy a cheaper product because it was in your price range. I say buck up and buy something that is worth it and is tested so and designed. Not hacked jobbed together by some back yard mechanic.

    And yeah, I :concur: with smonkey boy.
     
  15. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    PV = nRT

    Assume constant volume and temperature. n = mols of substance, R = thermo constant. Lose V, T and R from the equation and you have P and n left over.

    P ~= n

    P varies with n. Decrease the number of mols of substance and you decrease density- given the same volume, you have less mass, so you have less pressure.

    Flow restriction will also induce a pressure change. Go read a fluid dynamics book.
     
  16. TurboEF9

    TurboEF9 Junior Member

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    SmokeyBoy:

    You're right, a turbo is NOTHING like breathing through a straw, so why even bring it up? No, velocity isn't an issue on 10 to even 20psi, "I'm hoping for break 13 seconds" Honda.
    The pressure build up in the manifold _will_ speed the air up. If we were talking an NA application, I would totally agree with your statement. But we're not. We're talking a budget bolt on turbo setup for a stock to mildy built Honda.

    Pros: Price, Size, Upgradability, Durability, Efficieny for targeted application, Tank Design, Availability, Fitment, Look, and did I mention Price? It's worth two.


    As for the "turn up the boost" comment, yes, it is intelligent. If you're losing 4psi, by from the diffuser, to the throttle plate, why would you _not_ compensate at the wastegate for the pressure loss to "gain" that power you're losing.

    Longer the waste gate is closed, the faster you'll reach your maximum boost anyway. Wastegates operate on a spring/diaphram. The longer the gate is close, the more exhaust is used to spool the turbo.

    More boost, faster spool. Walk to your vehicle, and test that princple.

    --------------------

    Slammed89Integra:

    Maybe that works for you...

    --------------------

    Calesta:

    I understand that, but on a Honda, as a front mount intercooler, heat soaked intercooler would be an object of incorrect installation, not under efficiency. The design of the engine bay, upon correct installation (like not dumping your turbo exhaust into the bay, or like I have witness some customers do, install it BEHIND your radiator, maybe wrapping your manifold if you live in a higher temp area location) your intercooler, while your vehicle is in motion, will not trap heat in.


    Yes, based on straight ideal gas law formulas, you seem correct. But, if you read exactly what my statement says..

    "You get pressure loss due to increased volumn. (Here is the important part -->) _NOT_ increased density or flow _RESTRICTION_".

    Enter the Ventrui Effect... As velocity increases, air pressure in the given space is decreased. When air is moving, a vacuum is created in the space previously occupied by those particles. This newly created vacuum then sucks air particles in to fill the space. Thus, a pressure _DECREASE_ ...apply this effect to your "super flow intercoolers", and your actually hindering your power output MORE by increasing velocity.

    Second supporting fact for the ridiculous claim that flow restriction decreases pressure is... Has everyone forgotten the fundementals on how a turbo works? How does it _create_ positive pressure? In the diffuser. What does the diffuser do? Uh oh... slows down particles sucked in by the inducer. This slow down creates a "back up" of air particles, which is bombarded with more air particles from the inducer, thus compressioning them.

    "Flow restriction will also induce a pressure change" ..you're right. Flow restriction will _increase_ pressure. Thank you.
     
  17. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

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    This is gonna turn into another thread where people start talking about all the science classes they took and blah blah this. Mike, remember what happened last time? No need to waste your time. Just close the thread now and save your energy. Word to the heat soaking stuff, we just learned that this week in heat transfer.
     
  18. TurboEF9

    TurboEF9 Junior Member

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    Performance modidication, and tuning _is_ a science. Is it not? :roll:
     
  19. MikeBergy

    MikeBergy Blah blah blah....

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    You should check your attitude at the door, as the starter of this thread made it clear that he wanted it to be an intelligent debate.

    The pressure will drop across an IC. The pressure drop will happen if there is no intercooler. Air viscosity and surface roughness of the plumbing material are to blame for this. But this is a moot point, especially when the pressure that is contolling your boost is measured at the intake manifold.

    If the piping or IC is restrictive, the turbo will just respond by closing the wastegate a bit more. Is this good? Not really, because the turbo is going to have to work harder to make up for the restrictions. So, your manifold will be reading 8 psi of boost if you set the controller to 8psi. But that doesn't mean your compressor is only boosting 8psi. The pressure rise across the compressor could be double that, depending on how restrictive the piping is. This extra pressure is causing an increase in temperature. If the IC was less restrictive, then the turbo would have to work less to create the desired manifold pressure.
     
  20. Smonkeyboy

    Smonkeyboy Senior Member

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    intelligent for an asshat who wants to blow his motor.

    and youre just gonna lose more power because in turning up the boost you are not only gonna overwork the compressor, but you are gonna raise your charge temps by 30-40 degrees and that is gonna heatsoak your shitty intercooler so as loco said, itl turn into an interheater further raising your carge temp hence greatly reducing the life of said motor.

    the only reason the bbka hasnt detonated yet is sheer dumb luck from his uberdata tuning.
     
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