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Water Vs. Air Intercoolers

Discussion in 'Forced Induction' started by turtl631, May 21, 2003.

  1. turtl631

    turtl631 Member

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    are there any advantages to air/water intercoolers over air/air intercoolers for daily driving?
     
  2. dcsports413

    dcsports413 Senior Member

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    For street applications, air-to-air technology is easy to install, highly effective, extremely reliable since it has no moving parts, and requires no maintenance. Air-to-water intercooler systems, on the other hand, are much more difficult to install as they contain an intercooler, a separate radiator to cool the water, a water tank, and a pump. But probably the biggest drawback to air-to-water on the street is that this technology requires the addition of ice to match the efficiency of air-to-air technology. Additionally, the requirement of ice and the possibility of pump failure or leakage means that air-to-water is also inherently less reliable.

    For race-only applications, air-to-water works well since the need to add ice at the track prior to each run is not a big drawback. The other issues are the same as listed above for street applications, and efficiency will be comparable with the use of ice.

    Hope this helps. :D
     
  3. liquid00meth

    liquid00meth Senior Member

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    water's are more of a headache then they are worth for the average car IMO


    Air/Air's do a great job.
     
  4. JDMilan

    JDMilan Senior Member

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    Yup, if your ride only sees the track once a week and for events, go with water to air, air to air is better for daily driven.


    Milan
     
  5. Slo86GT

    Slo86GT Super Moderator

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    WTF? With JUST water, my water/air intercooler is more efficient than an air/air.

    The air/air's heat up MUCH fater, because they just have the metal to cool the intake charge. Once the metal gets heat soaked, that's it until the air can cool it again.

    Water/Air's have the metal, and then the fluid that is in the vaines cooling that metal, which is getting cooled off VERY quickly by the air in the front of the car. With a reservoir of UNTOUCHED water, the water tends to stay cool for EASILY 2-3 Minutes of hard driving without heat soak.

    hell, I performed 31 runs on the dyno in less than 2 hours with no heat soak, and the intercooler was still just slightly above luke warm when we made the final "money run" at 15+ psi.

    Water/Air gets my vote!!! :)

    [edited for spelling]
     
  6. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    you dont need ice in a air/water system. you can have it setup so the radiator cools the water without the aid of ice.
     
  7. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    But wouldn't the point of having a front mount intercooler so the wind cools the actual intercoolers, thus cooling the air inside in a air/air system? Sounds like a hassle having water IMO.
     
  8. K2e2vin

    K2e2vin Senior Member

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    so that means you would acutally have to be moving...faster you go, the cooler it gets(more air carrying heat away), instead of staying cool at any speed.
     
  9. Slo86GT

    Slo86GT Super Moderator

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    Precisely. My air can be 45 degrees entering the throttle body off the line with a little bit of dry ice in the water tank at the track. On the street, the intake air temps RARELY increase 20 degrees over ambient, even when sitting still in traffic, or whatever.

    That is exactly what can happen to drag cars or street cars. The Air/Air can get heat soaked, and you're basically running a NON intercooled kit until your vehicle speed get up over 30-40 MPH when the air is moving fast enought to cool the intercooler to maximum efficiency.

    I dunno about you, but I don't wanna take off on the street with a hot intercooler, and at the top of first as the boost reaches maximum, that little bit of detonation makes all the difference to your engine in the world.

    Heat is Heat. I like getting rid of it ALL the time, not jsut when the car is moving.
     
  10. turtl631

    turtl631 Member

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    how does the cost of water intercoolers stack up against air intercoolers? do you have any reliability or maintenance probs with it? seems awesome for a sleeper...no front mount crap...
     
  11. Slo86GT

    Slo86GT Super Moderator

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    Cost was only a few hundred more for some custom parts like the lines, pump and whatnot.

    It's not too hard, and on a Honda turbo, there's plenty of places to hide parts!
     
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