Best fluid for air to water intercooler

Both are required for our biological survival as human beings, and both are used as a cooling medium for compressed intake charges in automotive applications. However, before you can get in on the debate, you really need to understand how each type of charge cooling system works. For that, we turn to Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained. In his latest video, he goes over the basics of each type of system, and their pros and cons in a production application.

This shows a simplified view of the two types of systems. On the left, the system shows an air-to-water system plumbed into the intake manifold, as often seen on positive-displacement supercharged engines, but are now being used by manufacturers on factory turbocharged applications.

On the right is a turbocharged or centrifugally supercharged application using a more traditional in a production application air-to-air intercooler.

The air-to-air intercooler system is relatively simple. It uses airflow through the intercooler to remove heat from the compressed charge air.

While in the production example Fenske is using — a BMW X3 M40i with the B58 engine, which uses a manifold-mounted air-to-water intercooler, much like the venerable lineup of supercharged Ford Four-Valve Modular engines, and aftermarket Kenne Bell and Whipple supercharget kits — the science and design of all air-to-water intercoolers are similar across the board, regardless of charge cooler mounting location.

In addition to the actual charge cooler, air-to-water systems have a secondary cooling system, much like a standard engine cooling system, but dedicated specifically to the intercooler. Front-mounted air-to-air intercoolers like this one from Full Race with the OEM intercooler in the rear act much the same way a radiator does, except instead of cooling down your engine coolant, it cools down your intake charge, once it has been compressed.

By mounting the intercooler in the front of the car, it is ensured a clear, cool supply of air. Pros and Cons. Trying to ask which method of charge cooling is better is like asking what the best power-adder is. In an air-to-water system, once the coolant has pulled the heat out of the charge air, the heat must then be pulled out of the coolant itself.

In theory, that reduction in volume and distance traveled by the compressed intake charge will not only increase engine responsiveness reducing lag but also reduce the potential of further heat soak by reducing the amount of time the charge is exposed to underhood heat.

Here you can see aftermarket examples of air-to-water intercoolers. On the left, a Vortech Power Cooler, which does keep the path from the compressor outlet to the intake manifold about as short as you can get with an intercooler, highlights Fenske's argument. However, on the right, you can see a popular setup for high-power drag racing vehicles, in which the air-to-water intercooler is located in the rear seat, requiring the intake charge to travel quite a distance, and increasing the volume of tubing between the compressor outlet and the intake manifold substantially.

Racing Applications. Up to this point, Fenske has been looking at production applications. However, once you get into aftermarket forced induction and competition settings, not only is it a whole new ballgame, thanks to specific rulebooks, but also the specific form of racing can change what you are asking of the system.

For example, in drag racing, remote-mounted air-to-water intercoolers increase the intake charge system volume significantly — the opposite of what is discussed here — and since the duration of the performance window is so much shorter, the second heat exchanger can be eliminated, and ice water used, to significantly increase the charge cooling capabilities of the system.

Conversely, for a form of motorsport that gives a lot of airflow due to sustained high-speeds, like road racing, the lighter weight and simplicity of an air-to-air system may be preferable. Again, it all comes down to application, rulebook, and ultimately, personal preference. Step one to any of that is understanding how each system works, along with its strengths and weaknesses.

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Liquid-to-Air Intercooler Cores from CSF

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best fluid for air to water intercooler

Subscribe Now.An intercooler is an intake air cooling device which is commonly used in turbocharged and supercharged engines. The working mechanism of an intercooler is similar to a radiator; the air is cooled inside the intercooler that is cooler than the compressed air coming from the supercharger.

Water is pumped through the intercooler so that the heat from the charge pipes is transferred to the water. As this type of intercooler needs water flow, it requires a water pump, reservoir, and a heat exchanger.

Water is pumped through the intercooler which extracts the heat from the compressed air as it passes through. The heated water is then further pumped into another cooling circuit and the cool compressed air is allowed to go to the engine. Water to air intercoolers are smaller than the regular air to air intercoolers and are ideal for installation when space, airflow, and intake length are important considerations.

As water is better suited to handle heat transfers, these intercoolers are more efficient than the air to air intercoolers in handling a wide range of temperatures. Water to air intercoolers is designed to push water flow across the cooling core and the cooler air to the other side into the engine.

best fluid for air to water intercooler

You should take care to select a size which will offer efficient cooling and should also provide you the amount of CFM needed by you. Smaller sized water to air intercooler will pull too little heat from the charged air coming out of supercharger. It is also likely to lead to flow restrictions if you try to flow more CFM than the intercooler can handle. The larger the heat exchanger, the more energy it can extract from the water before pumping it into the intercooler.

The air to water intercooler pump plays an important role in ensuring the flow of the good volume of water flowing through the intercooler. If the pump is unable to flow sufficient volume of water, then the water could be getting heat soaked and taking too much heat before being cycled out. You should ensure to have sufficiently sized intercooler lines for allowing a flow of the volume of water which is required to efficiently feed the intercooler and the heat exchanger the amount of water it needs.

The Water to air intercooler is more technically advanced and complex than an air to air intercooler.

best fluid for air to water intercooler

You should check the intercooler model which best suits your needs and will provide the best cooling before deciding to buy it. It allows you to get intake temperatures which are much below the ambient air, thereby providing a drastic enhancement in power to you. Another added advantage of using an ice box is that as the water system is separate from the air system, it can be mounted anywhere in the vehicle including the trunk, passenger floor, back seat, etc.

It is ideal to use the top ports for the water return line and the bottom ports for the feed line. The middle port can be left as it is plugged- or it can be used for an in-tank pump or sensor. To achieve maximum efficiency, it is highly recommended to wrap the ice box, feed line, intercooler, and the upper intercooler piping with a thermal wrap. The installation process for different types of water to air intercoolers may vary according to the brand and types.

However, a generic installation process for a water to air intercooler starts with selecting the best spot for it to be installed.

Generally, to ensure lowest intake volume, the best spot for installing water to air cooler will be right on the top of the engine in the same spot as the factory turbo intercooler. You can use reducing couplers on the inlet and outlet to ensure a smooth and much lower volume air path.

You may also need some bent pieces of aluminum bar stock to hold the IC in place and mount to the engine. The heat exchanger which is an important part of water to air cooler needs to be fitted in front of the car before the radiator and oil cooler so that it will get the coolest air. The pump is important to install as it allows a sufficient amount of water to flow through your water to air intercooler.

In the absence of an adequate amount of water flowing through the intercooler, the water can get heat soaked and take excessive heat before being cycled out. You must then install the air to water intercooler lines, which must be sufficiently sized to allow the flowing of sufficient water to feed the intercooler and heat exchanger with the amount of water it needs.CSF not only has come up with a trio of core sizes to start, but has brought to market in the trio 2 new sizes that have never been made for mass availability.

On top of our unique sizes and industry best performance, because of our world-wide economies of scale, CSF has been able to bring these new liquid-to-air cores to market at a much better value than what is currently being offered in the USA market at marked up prices. For the pressure side of the core, CSF has wind-tunnel tested multiple configurations. Finally choosing a multi-louvered, staggered 6mm fin height.

For the water side, CSF has developed a unique ultra-efficient 2mm fin height turbulated and staggered fin set-up. This new internal water fin design is sure to grab industry attention quickly!! These new liquid-to-air intercooler cores will be available in extremely low quantities throughout the 1st half of Hi im interested in the HP bar and plate core for my mazda r that runs on e85 i have a Chinese made one and my air temps are too high 47 degrees what will it cost to get this to Australia including delivery Thanks.

Also cost on two hp cores as an option. Boost on air side will be 20psi water preasure will be about 15 psi.

Secret Part to going FASTER!!! Air to Water Intercooler!

Everyone at CSF Race eats, sleeps, and bleeds automotive aftermarket. The has carried the torch for Porsche and continues to live strong until this day. The design was ahead of its time and, if it were released today, it would likely give the a run for its money. CSF manufactures a wide variety of sophisticated cooling systems with more than different applications ranging from high performance all-aluminum direct-fit replacement radiators, to complete custom applications for race cars, power sports, off-road, marine, and industrial uses.

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Air to Water Intercooler

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It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Every true manufacturer has a story to tell… We're cooling the world. News Blog Videos. Hi Karl! Thanks for reaching out.

Intercoolers 101: A Turbocharged Engine’s Best Supporting Actor

Boost on air side will be 20psi water preasure will be about 15 psi Need pricing and options. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Read more…. About CSF. CSF, Inc. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.

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Necessary Always Enabled. Non-necessary Non-necessary.Easier maybe? Check out our other website specializing in Air to Water Intercooler Kits. Improved Website Policies Changes to some of our policies. Shipping Method Updates! Shipping Updates. Unlike most of our kits, it does not include a radiator or fans.

Leaving the radiator out of the equation can have the effect of keeping your cooling fluid colder, further cooling the intake air. This only makes sense if you will always be adding ice to your reservoir for drag racing. You can still drive on the street with this kit installed. Even if there is no ice in your reservoir, the water will still absorb a certain amount of heat from the intake air before overheating.

This means turn down your boost or drive conservatively. In zero-boost situations, the intake air will actually be cooling the water back down through the intercooler core. Please be cautious because if your car is tuned for the ice cooled air and you overheat the water, the results could be expensive. This is not a typo! Inlet: 3. Some Water to Air Intercoolers that you can buy online do not contain true water to air cores.

A true water to air core has water passages that are much smaller than the air passages. This is part of what allows the water to air intercooler to be so small and have such low pressure drop. Some water to air intercoolers that you buy online use an air to air core design where the air passages for ambient air and intake air are the same size, with an enormous loss of efficiency. Buy from us to make sure that you get a genuine water to air intercooler core!

By plumbing this in to the water system of your Water to Air Intercooler and adding ice, it is possible to get intake temperatures BELOW ambient air, resulting in tremendous power gains. And because the water system is separate from the air system, you can mount this Ice Box Reservoir anywhere in the vehicle, including the trunk, passenger floor, back seat, or bed of a truck, without hurting performance.

Comes with four ports on the front for high versatility. We recommend using the top port for the water return line from the outlet on the intercoolerone of the bottom ports for the feed line to the inlet of the pumpthe other bottom port as a drain plug, and the middle port can be left plugged or used for an in-tank pump or sensor.

All four ports come with screw-in, removable anodized plugs installed, allowing you to use any number of the ports or use this as a simple storage tank. Used in conjunction with our Full Port Ball Valves sold separatelythis box makes changing the ice in your system incredibly fast and easy to do right in the staging lane.

best fluid for air to water intercooler

For maximum thermal efficiency, we recommend wrapping the box, your feed line, your intercooler, and your upper intercooler piping with some kind of thermal wrap the heat wrap used for exhaust manifolds works well. You can also add some water wetter each time you replace the ice. The pump is the key to producing such an economical kit. Other pumps which are purpose built for water to air intercooler systems cost up to ten times as much! For detailed specifications, please review the specification document provided by Rule: Pump Specifications.

Still not convinced? Please read more about the benefits of water to air intercoolers by clicking HERE. Intercooler Pipe Fabrication. Gauges Radiators and Fans Air Filters. Headlines Easier maybe? Description This water to air intercooler kit is designed for drag racing only.

Turn off your Water to Air Pump Close the ball valves for the inlet and outlet Open the ball valve for the drain and let the water drain out of the box, then close the drain Remove the lid on top and fill with up to 20 pounds of ice, top off with water, replace lid.

Leave one inch of room at the top when filling with ice.Skip to main content Air to Water Intercooler. A unique size that Frozen Boost does not offer. Customer service was excellent! See All Buying Options. Very good although I wish it used a stronger water pump. A must for intercoolers.

If you are looking at this product you know what I am talking about. Water to Air Intercooler Radiator - 12x12x2 Type Just as described. Water to Air Ice Box Reservoir. Shipped very fast and came with everything except the hose connectors.

All the holes just had plugs. Ended up custom fitting this onto my B8 Audi S4, fit perfect! Water to Air Intercooler Radiator - 24x12x1 Type As as advertised. Water to Air Intercooler Radiator - 26x7x2 Type Great product, high quality. Water to Air Intercooler Radiator - 26x7x3.

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Fits in most lower grilles. All-aluminum construction makes it very rigid. I was so low that I hit the bottom of the intercooler on an alignment rack and the mounting tabs held together.It is illegal to sell, install, or offer for sale any aftermarket part that alters or modifies the original design or performance of the motor vehicle pollution control system. All parts are for use on a vehicle that will NEVER be used, or licensed, or registered for use upon a street and highway.

All parts are for used on a vehicle that will NEVER be used, or licensed, or registered for use upon a street and highway. These products may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information visit www. Product Compare 0. Show: 15 25 50 75 Add to Cart. Emissions Control Warning: It is illegal to sell, install, or offer for sale any aftermarket part that alters or modifies the original design or performance of the motor vehicle pollution control system.

This website uses cookies. We do this to better understand how visitors use our site and to offer you a more personal experience. We share information about your use of our site with social media and analytics partners in according with our Privacy Notice. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.When it comes to turbocharged or supercharged engines, running on gasoline dictates that an intercooler will almost certainly be part of the equation.

At its essence, an intercooler is a heat exchanger. In an air-to-water intercooler, the heat exchange occurs between the air coming in and the water flowing through the intercooler—the heat from your charge pipes is transferred to the water, and cooler and denser air is sent through the other side.

A look at the Garrett cores that Chiseled Performance uses on their hp builds. The job of the intercooler is to take charged air and make it denser so that more can be fit into the cylinder for combustion. Superchargers and turbochargers generate heat when they create pressure required to make the charge of air denser. That heat equates to hot air that is less dense, which in turn means less air for the motor to work with on each combustion, and results in less power.

Additionally, that heat also results in higher cylinder temperature which can result in pre-detonation in the combustion cycle, robbing the engine of additional potential power. An intercooler helps to keep those cylinder temperatures low, and by doing so, allows you to keep the engine timing up, gaining even more power in the process. The first, and most obvious consideration is how much space you have to work with. Chiseled Performance puts together their 3, horsepower builds with three of the Garrett 1, horsepower cores.

What is the horsepower goal? Is this going to be a street car or is it for racing only? For mph performance, you want the pressure drop as low as possible to reduce turbo lag and improve engine responsiveness. When it comes to developing the latest tech, dialing in the efficiency in their products comes down to flow analysis for Garrett.

The type of pump used for the low temp radiator will dictate the flow rate based on how much pressure drop there is in the entire system, and the intercooler makes up a fairly significant portion of this and must be considered.

As is typically the case in all things performance, heat is the enemy of efficiency, so ensuring the system has an adequate flow rate to keep temperatures down is key. Additionally, the coolant temperatures at the inlet of the intercooler are another factor to consider, and is largely dictated by the size and performance of the low temp radiator in the system—an undersized LTR will have a negative impact on the performance of an air to water system by not providing cold enough coolant to drive the desired heat transfer in the intercooler.

Proper Tubing Sizes. The dimensions of the tubing used on your system can have a profound effect on efficiency as well. The diameter should never exceed that of the outlet of the intercooler and the intake of the throttle body.

It may seem arbitrary—perhaps based on the best spot for access or even for aesthetic considerations, but where you mount the intercooler can have a big impact on its performance. Longer and more complex air lines will increase pressure drop and reduced air density, which will have a negative impact on the power generation of the engine. Rojas tells us that in most of the high horsepower builds he sees, the determining factor is often based on space constraints within the car.

Some also install the coolers up front in the engine bay area if space allows. Complexity often equates to lag when it comes to the plumbing in a forced induction setup. But in high horsepower setups built for the track, dimensional constraints often dictate placement, and low RPM responsiveness is less of a priority. Optimizing Flow. Much like the air side of the equation, the best route to optimizing flow through the system is to reduce complexity.

Longer lines with more sharp bends will increase pressure drop, which in turn will result in reduced coolant flow and a reduced cooling capacity for the low temp radiator and intercooler.