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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The inter-cooler on our cars are identified as one of the bottlenecks to making more power due to its small size. The factory inter-cooler core is 20" x 2.5" x 7.5" for a total of 394 cubic inches of cooling area. There are a couple of options available on the market but they are all a bit too rich for my taste.

I realize my solution may not be as refined or efficient as the market versions, but should provide 80 - 90% of the benefit at less than 1/2 the cost. All I'm after is a fun street car. Lets be real, if I wanted to race this car competitively, the first thing I would do is find a driver that weighs half as much as me. :)

So after spending a lot of time under the car, taking measurements and such, I ordered the following parts.
CXRacing 28.5 x 8 x 3.5 Core Inter-cooler​
22" X 8" X 3.5" core size​
Bar and Plate Construction - 2.5" inlet/outlet - rated for up to 400 HP​
600+ cubic inches of cooling area - 402 CFM @ 2 PSI​
Silicone 90 degree 2 1/2" to 2" reducer elbows (ordered in red and blue then decide which I like better)​
Inter-cooler tubing 2" x 6"​
2 1/2" and 2" hi performance hose clamps​
Back View
82691

Front View
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I'm only upgrading the inter-cooler and not the inter-cooler piping. One of the vendors of turbos & tuning for our Spiders stated they are confident that the factory pipes will support 260-275 HP. Parts are starting to slowly appear on my front porch. I'm sure the Fed Ex guy is thinking "This guy, again?"
Based on the tracking info I should have everything in by Monday or Tuesday of next week. There are some brackets I will have to make, but nothing complex. Estimated total cost: <$275. Hope to start the installation Friday night 3/26.

DISCLAIMER: The following information is provided “AS IS”. I make no other warranties, express or implied, and hereby disclaims all implied warranties, including any warranty of merchantability and warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.

In other words: you break it - you fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Started by removing the factory FMIC.
Here is what you see once you remove the belly pan.
That is all I removed, I didn't touch the fender liners or front bumper cover.
82804

There are dozens of posts on this forum and multiple YouTube videos on how to remove the factory inter-cooler.
You can find them HERE, HERE and HERE
No Department of Redundancy Department here :)
TIP: Note where you remove brackets, screw and nuts as these are all potential mounting points that can be used if you use a different model inter-cooler.
Here is what it looks like once you get the it out. Lots of room!
82805

See the two screws the arrows are pointing at? That is what I will be using as a mounting point for the top the inter-cooler.
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Here are the two inter-coolers lined up side by side. You can see that the intakes and outputs line up almost perfectly.
I may need to shorten the two aluminum pipes (EDIT: didn't have to cut them) that go between the FMIC and the factory tubing once I get it into place, but if so, it's easy to cut.
FYI, if you cut your tubes clean them thoroughly before using, that last thing you want is metal shavings in your intake.
82806
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here is the bracket I made for the top mount of the inter-cooler.
82837

It started as a 1 inch by 3 foot aluminum angle bar from Home Depot for about $10.
I cut it down to 24 inched then used a sander to round the ends.
I measure the distance between the screw holes on the mounting posts on the of the inter-cooler and cut two slots into the bar with a electric jig/saber saw
I then drilled two holes, 16 inches apart, for attaching the bracket to these mounting points
82838

I mounted the bracket using two M10 by 35mm long bolts and two 1 inch steel spacers. All from home depot.
82840

Next, I finger tightened the mounting bolts that came with the inter-cooler along with two washers to the top mounting posts on the inter-cooler
I then lifted the inter-cooler up into place and slid the bolts into the grooves in the top mounting bracket.
Here are the bolts and the bracket as seen through the grill. There is a washer above and below the aluminum bracket on the bolt.
The dangling wire is where the horn connects. I removed it during the install for more working room.
82841

I then tightened the bolts and here is a view of the inter-cooler from below.
82842
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
And here is the completed installation
82843

To mount the bottom of the inter-cooler I ran two aluminum brackets to the bottom of the front fascia. Even without the bottom straps I could barely move the intercooler so I am not worried about any stress to the front bumper.
The rest of the install was just sliding on the silicon couplers and tightening the clamps.
The only hard part was getting the aluminum coupler pipe to fit on the driver side hose. Lower right corner above.
That driver side rubber hose was a bit smaller than all the other hoses. I had to heat the hose with a heat gun and stretch it with pliers before the pipe would slide in.
This was the only time I found myself swearing.

If you want to replicate this install here are the parts. Other than the aluminum angle brace and mounting hardware, you can get it all from Amazon.com

CXRacing-Front Mount Universal Intercooler 28.5"x8"x3.5", 3.5"Core: 22x8x3.5 - $209.00 ea
EMUSA 4-Ply Silicone 2" to 2.5" Hose Coupler 90 Degree+2" Hose Clamp+2.5" Hose Clamp - 2 @ $17.99 ea
Aluminum Straight Coupler 2.00 Inch Diameter 6 Inch Length - 2 @ $10.99 ea

ISPINNER 2 Pack 2 Inch Stainless Steel T-Bolt Hose Clamps, Clamp Range 56-64mm for 2" Hose ID, Pack of 2 - $9.99 the set

Parts Total: $276.95

Home Depot hardware: $15.00
 

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I've thought about this and agree. For example, the Tork Motorsports uses the Treadstone Performance TR6 Intercooler based on their own pictures. With the addition of a few tabs, hoses and clamps, it can be installed for close to 50% of the sales price.
 

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This is such an interesting find. I had been so close multiple times in getting tork motorsports intercooler upgrade but have been hesitant due to the price, if I went your route.... where could I find these parts or what sources did you use ? thanks in advance!
 

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This is such an interesting find. I had been so close multiple times in getting tork motorsports intercooler upgrade but have been hesitant due to the price, if I went your route.... where could I find these parts or what sources did you use ? thanks in advance!
Ive been thinking about getting the Treadstone Performance TR6 Intercooler as well, but I dont know where to purchase that and the other parts I need ?
 

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Classica AT | EC P2 | V4 Intake | Forge BOV | aFe Axleback | Vaitrix Gauge | 51R | Bilstein / FM
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I'm definitely curious about this too and plan to follow how this goes -- I too was able to figure out the near-equivalent for the Tork version, but the mounting is the daunting portion of it for me... the lack of proper metal-working tools and such and the cost involved of paying someone to weld new mounts and such put me off.
 

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I'm definitely curious about this too and plan to follow how this goes -- I too was able to figure out the near-equivalent for the Tork version, but the mounting is the daunting portion of it for me... the lack of proper metal-working tools and such and the cost involved of paying someone to weld new mounts and such put me off.
Ive seen a very easy to install video on youtube where it explains how to torks intercooler is installed, its very simple process and shouldnt take more than 30 min, its literally a plug and play. I would buy the treadstone FMIC today, but I dont know the right dimensions for the silicon elbows and the tubing... also the clamps.. if anyone knows this information, could you please share ?
 

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Ive seen a very easy to install video on youtube where it explains how to torks intercooler is installed, its very simple process and shouldnt take more than 30 min, its literally a plug and play. I would buy the treadstone FMIC today, but I dont know the right dimensions for the silicon elbows and the tubing... also the clamps.. if anyone knows this information, could you please share ?
True, but the one directly from Treadstone doesn't have the top-welded mounting tabs, does it? That's the part that I would have most difficulty with -- fashioning a new bracket to mount instead.
 

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True, but the one directly from Treadstone doesn't have the top-welded mounting tabs, does it? That's the part that I would have most difficulty with -- fashioning a new bracket to mount instead.
hmmm true, I dont believe they do come with the mounting tabs...that does make it a tad bit more difficult I guess. good think you caught that. not sure what we could do... im all ears and im interested in doing this nonetheless.
 

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If anyone is interested, I have a Treadstone TR6 that I bought some years ago for another project and never used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've had a couple of people reach out asking for information on this build. Just letting everyone know that, until I actually complete the install, all the parts I have purchased are a "best guess" of what I think will work. I can't provide details on part sizes and such until after I complete the project, hopefully this weekend. Then I will be happy to share the info on what did and didn't work.
 

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Do I need to upgrade the stock intercooler piping?
If your Spider produces less than 300 HP at the flywheel the answer is NO

How to verify this answer:
What PSI boost is required to generate 300 Flywheel horsepower in a 1.4 liter, 16 valve/4 cylinder engine?
26 PSI (or 25.9 to be exact)
Use these Values: engine CI = 85 (1.4 liters), Max RPM = 6800 (EC P2 Tune), VE = 88 (4 valves per cylinder), HP Target = 300
Convert PSI to CFM using the following: turbo flow rate in Lb/Min multiplied by 14.27.
26lbs/min* x 14.27 = 371 CFM
* Estimate for 1446 Stuffed Turbo as unable to find lbs/min rating.
Stock Garret 1446 is ~20 lbs/min as can be seen HERE on the Garret web site (look under MAPS)
At what speed does air become turbulent?
0.4 Mach is the point at which air becomes turbulent and losses in efficiency begin to occur exponentially.
The key to air flow efficiency is to keep air velocity under that speed.
How much air flow can the stock inter-cooler piping efficiently support?
The factory inter-cooler tubing is, on average, 2 inch diameter.
Here are the airflow velocity charts for two inch piping.
The velocities are in miles per hour and mach, and the flow rates are in cfm.
300 cfm = 156 mph = 0.20 mach
400 cfm = 208 mph = 0.27 mach
500 cfm = 261 mph = 0.34 mach
585 cfm max = 304 mph = 0.40 mach
Two inch tubing will support up to 585 CFM. If you reduce this by 35% to account for choke points in the factory system, that would be 380 CFM which is still greater than the estimated required 371 CFM. So while not optimal, it is more than sufficient.
TX_Bandit,
Please take this post as a friendly response. I have no interest in getting into a pissing match or argument. I am a technician in a metrology laboratory, one of our specialties being the calibration of pressure, airspeed and airflow measuring instruments. Although the flow (CFM) is related to pressure (PSI), there is no simple and universal relationship between the two that would allow you to transform a pressure value into a flow value. Even within the same system, doubling the PSI does not in effect double the CFM. As a rule of thumb on duct work, for example (though not exactly apples to apples) the fan rule is a roughly a gain of 1/3 CFM per doubling of PSI. Also, your 0.4 Mach level for the point at which air becomes turbulent is a rule of thumb for straight line unobstructed flow. For every bend and joint in a system, some turbulence will be introduced. I am merely saying that your statement:
Do I need to upgrade the stock intercooler piping?
If your Spider produces less than 300 HP at the flywheel the answer is NO

is not supported by your math.

This is not to say that you will build a very good low cost intercooler.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
TX_Bandit,
Please take this post as a friendly response. I have no interest in getting into a pissing match or argument. I am a technician in a metrology laboratory, one of our specialties being the calibration of pressure, airspeed and airflow measuring instruments. Although the flow (CFM) is related to pressure (PSI), there is no simple and universal relationship between the two that would allow you to transform a pressure value into a flow value. Even within the same system, doubling the PSI does not in effect double the CFM. As a rule of thumb on duct work, for example (though not exactly apples to apples) the fan rule is a roughly a gain of 1/3 CFM per doubling of PSI. Also, your 0.4 Mach level for the point at which air becomes turbulent is a rule of thumb for straight line unobstructed flow. For every bend and joint in a system, some turbulence will be introduced. I am merely saying that your statement:
Do I need to upgrade the stock intercooler piping?
If your Spider produces less than 300 HP at the flywheel the answer is NO

is not supported by your math.

This is not to say that you will build a very good low cost intercooler.
Hi, OilTrader! Taken in the spirit it was offered. The numbers and formulas I used were 'rule of thumb' guides from various turbo forums where the majority of members are shade-tree mechanics like me. So, not surprised that there are errors in some of the information I picked up. Next time I post stats I'll make sure my sources are correct. I'll remove the faulty math and replace that post with something else.

Just an FYI, one of the vendors of turbos & tuning for our Spiders is confident that the factory pipes will support 260-275 HP. Their biggest concern with the factory pipes isn't with the flow but the number of potential failure points for leaks. (Hopefully their calculations are right :) ) I appreciate the update on the mathematics of fluid mechanics and agree with you that I should get a very good, low cost inter-cooler. Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Sorry for my ignorance, but what makes the inter cooler you bought better than the stock one?
Just trying to learn what the differences are. Thanks.
It is less restrictive and has a greater capacity to dissipate heat. The cooler the temperature of the intake charge, the denser it is, allowing the engine to make more power.
  • The factory inter-cooler core is 20" x 7.5" x 2.5" for a total of 394 cubic inches of cooling area.
  • The inter-cooler I am replacing it with has a 22" X 8" X 3.5" core size for 616 cubic inches of cooling area.
You can see the size differences, the larger input/outputs and the much larger bar and plate construction in these pictures
82801

82802

Note that a larger inter-cooler does not add power in and of itself.
As you increase the boost pressure you are also increasing the air temperature of the intake charge.
A larger inter-cooler allows the engine to make more power by running a more aggressive tune than the stock inter-cooler can support.
Once I have completed these hardware updates I plan to move to the P2 version of the EC tune.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Done! See top of post.
82845
 

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Dang, that mounting is a lot less involved or difficult than I anticipated. I may end up going this route too.

EDIT: I'm curious to see temps with Phase 2, if that's something you're planning to check / share.
 

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Just a word of caution. I purchased an exhaust manifold “header” from CX RACING and it continually broke at the welds. I wish you best of luck but you really get what you pay for. I hope in your situation your saving due to having to fabricate brackets and nothing else. All else the same I love your out of the box thinking and making your own system. I will likely experiment with a different style turbo once I find a replacement to my late Abarth. Thanks again for providing yet another option.
 
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