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Intercooler upgrades – What is different?

600 300 Brooke Hamilton

600x300_intercoolerModern common rail diesel engines are different from what they used to be. The turbocharged cars of the present times need an intercooler because of the much higher power and efficiency demands. Therefore, while going for intercooler upgrades too, one has to bear in mind the changed scenarios.

The major difference of present day common rail diesel engines from the older models is that today the factory computer with numerous sensory inputs is watching what is happening and automatically corrects any error on real time basis. So, if in an exhaust, the E.C.U senses a change, it alters the tune to correct it. It also means that for the intercooler its unlikely to get a gain in power, even if you do get a significant gain in efficiency.

Benefits of an Intercooler

Nevertheless, the fitting of an intercooler is still quite valid for two reasons. One – The actual power gain from an efficient intercooler design over OEM could be between 5% and 10% with a temperature drop of 35 to 40 degree C. As this largely depends on the ambient temperature, we can conclude that the bigger the difference between intake temperature and ambient temperature, the better the cooling effect. Although it will not really change the stresses and strains on the engines, the cylinder temperatures are lowered a bit. However, this might not be enough to impact engine longevity and the like.

But, our focus is on the second – a significant reduction in pressure drop. There’s always a pressure drop across an intercooler. Since the E.C.U. has its boost pressure sensor after the intercooler, it means that it accounts for the pressure drop, whatever it may be. By running a more efficient intercooler, we won’t gain any more boost because the factory ECU will be pulling the turbo back. Yet, therein lays the main benefit.

How is pressure drop beneficial?

If for instance, we measured a 2.1-PSI pressure drop across the intercooler whereas our R & D intercooler had measured only 0.2-PSI. It is almost a ninety percent reduction in pressure drop across the intercooler. Even though there are additional advantages like slightly better combustion, they are barely noticeable. The main advantage is that it will have a significant impact on the turbos’ longevity because the turbo will be spinning at lower RPM. As a result, the machine will last longer.

The bigger the better?

All turbo cars can benefit from intercoolers and modifications/improvements can be made on the factory fit intercoolers. You would want as much air to be sucked into the engine as possible. If the intercooler hinders the airflow, there is a risk of you actually losing power. Normally, the larger the intercooler, the longer it resists heat soak, but can create throttle lag and can be too large to physically fit. Therefore, for maximum benefit, you need to get the optimum sized intercooler. That is where our expertise comes in.

We can help you choose the optimal intercooler for an upgrade to ensure the best performance and maximum longevity.


2 comments
  • Os.

    What do you suggest for a d40 auto 2007?, at present it’s a big catch can. Bought a catch can from a 4wd specialist work shop and it’s useless. Very interesting the adding of two stroke oil, how does this match other additives. I’m using Chemtechs Diesel Power and I’ve got Flashiness Diesel Conditioner I’m going to try next. I don’t have much black smoke only a little bit at start up. Os

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