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Old 09-18-2006, 11:28 PM   #1
ltjake22
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Cool DIY Intercool Fan Project...

Well I got kinda tired of heat-soak... and I had heard of the ol' fan on the intercooler trick... But most people were just slapping the fans on the core and calling it a day which helps but it kind of "cores" the (excuse the poor vocab) intercooler core; meaning that it didn't really cool the WHOLE intercooler just the parts over which the fans sat. So in working with duct all day and the design of such, I though it would be a cool idea to create a pressurized plenum out of the space betwixt the lip of the intercooler and obviously the core.... So I drew up a cover plate that looks something like this...(There is a 1/8" wide medium temp adhesive gasket inbetween the plate and the I/C this creates the "plenum" effect)



Theres a subaru logo on it that was laser etched (the joys of working for a business with a laser cutter ) that looks like this...



The fans are SPAL 6.5"-inchers, there was a minor clearance issue with the hood scoop pin on the right most fan in the upper right corner, but nothing an exacto knife can't fix. The air splitter was removed as it's not needed anymore (forced induction if you will). This helped with keeping some air on that top plenum of the I/C too... I bought some LED tipped toggle switches (blue for cool :-) ) and drilled a hole in the blank next to my cruise and fog lamp switch. Then jsut hard wired the fans together and to the battery so could control them without the keys having to be in the car. The philosophy behind this being that when I went into Wendy's or whatever i could leave the fans running and cool down my intercooler... etc... etc... The switch installation was kinda trick and required a good deal of Dremeling :-) but it got done and soldered. Looks kinda like this...



Had to kinda bend the LED ground lead back a bit to make it fit, but it works out ok... just drill a 1/4" hole in the bottom rung of the blank and plug solder it. Here's a side view to get a good glimpse of the gasketing...



Performance

Whilst I'm not one to make crazy claims, I can honestly say this greatly, greatly reduced heat soak while driving and at a stand-still (there is a bit of short-circuiting at a stand still but moving air is better than static air when it comes to cooling). I don't see it as a power adder per-say, but it definitely helped with keeping the "fun" if you will around longer. Plus it's pretty cool to see that LED shining in the night. I haven't been able to quantitatively collect any real empirical data reagarding the air charge temperature but i do know this: When i get done driving (spritied like) I can open my hood and put my bare hand on the top intercooler plenum and the core with out burning myself... where i couldn't before. It was a fun project for sure. I'd like to get thoughts, positive and negative.

After I got to looking at my dash with the one toggle switch (where the STI's I/C spray is) and the two push buttons and a yearning to make my foggers independant I decided to convert all my switches to toggles... The Foggers were just rewired and wired to the Accessory fuse (Green LED to jive w/ stock colors :-) ) and the Cruise is an amber LED. I'm still figuring out the electronics of the Cruise cause theres a lot more going on in that switch than toggle on/off. I'm getting there though (if anyone has thoughts let me know ) Thanks for readin, hope you enjoy.

pstiem
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:38 PM   #2
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How does the intercooler get air with all that on top of it?
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:46 PM   #3
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Those things water-proof?
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:01 AM   #4
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The fans push 660SCFM (330 ea. @ 13v, they push plenty of air...)

and yes they're water-proof
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:14 AM   #5
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Cool idea. A+ from me. I do see these as being a restriction at freeway speeds though.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:19 AM   #6
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Ya know, I thought it would too... That was actually one of my main concerns, but to date I haven't had any trouble and every time I get off the freeway (this has been tested too, the I/C has been pretty cool (although aluminum does give up heat pretty quickly I guess...)
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:33 AM   #7
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I just notice you are in Michigan aswell so its not like you have many 100 degree days.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:59 AM   #8
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The only adjustment I'd make would be to make some more vents in the metal to keep your air flow from being completely cut off
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:12 AM   #9
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Well i'm sure your set up works well because it is sealled to the IC and the air has to go through the IC when the fans are on. As for driving around town it will keep the IC heatsoak down at the stoplights and while parked so it's a plus. As for the highway I couldn't say. You need a temp senser in there to find out.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:18 AM   #10
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PSM - The reason the vents weren't added is becuase the fans (being elevated off the face of the core) would short-circuit of basically just pull the air right around the fan housing which in turn, doesn't push ANY air through the intercooler... the closed face really acts as a plenum to force the air through the intercooler and prevent that unwanted recirculation. It looks like it blocks a lot (which it in reality does...) but those fans are goin like gangbusters... 660cfm is a lot of air

Ya we don't get many 100* days but we got enough 97*-er's to prompt my thought process...
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxdrvr View Post
Well i'm sure your set up works well because it is sealled to the IC and the air has to go through the IC when the fans are on. As for driving around town it will keep the IC heatsoak down at the stoplights and while parked so it's a plus. As for the highway I couldn't say. You need a temp senser in there to find out.
I'm thinkin' of putting a test port on the TB connection from the I/C and droppin a thermocouple in there and takin' some measurements... Know of any good ways to do that?? Anyone?... or SAFE ways, rather.
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltjake22 View Post
I'm thinkin' of putting a test port on the TB connection from the I/C and droppin a thermocouple in there and takin' some measurements... Know of any good ways to do that?? Anyone?... or SAFE ways, rather.
Here's my effort at IC temp control.. There's 3 albums,.. wrxdrvr, ICmod, & Info. http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b111/wrxdrvr/ . Because of my temp sensors I know that my IC temps are now as good as a front mount ... thats the same size. Maybe even better since there's no long pipe for the air to get re-heated up again by the time it gets to the throttle, like a front mount would need to have, I have read that the temps can get heated up by about 10*F to 40*F from the time it comes out from the front mount and makes it into the throttle.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:47 AM   #13
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Thats actually pretty freakin sweet wrxdrv... By far the most elaborate fan set up or Heat reduction set up i've encountered. Kinda sucks that you had to break the lines of the car with the 1/2" hood lift, but if you're getting delta T's like that I'm sure it's worth it for ya. Do ya have a part number or description of those fittings you used in your throttle body connector? Thats about exactly what I wanted to do... I like the research you've done, pretty interesting stuff...
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:20 PM   #14
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Thanks, As far as the hood lift... it's probly better not to do it if you don't have any vents & bigger hoodscoop, as that is a higher air pressure area and at higher speeds the air "may" stall and not go through the IC. It mainly helps at lower speeds and when car is parked it allows hot air to escape. For the fittings it was just see what fits... and I don't have a part # for the compression fittings. Tho you must make shure it doesn't vibrate loose and go into the intake.
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Old 09-19-2006, 02:52 PM   #15
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Sweet idea man. I've thought of doing this myself, but I'm running a Hyperflow IC and don't really have a way to mount the fans without hacking into the IC. I was just going to make them run continously, always on.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:22 PM   #16
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Hey CrazyKev are you running a Front mount or a top mount? If you have the front mount, Perma-Cool (www.perma-cool.com) makes high performance fans for radiators and such but they have a unique mounting system that puts a "zip-tie" of sorts through one of the cold pass fins and attaches via two padded flanges... might work if you really wanted to mount them. Don't know what kind of space ya got but it'd be worth looking into. My buddy has a 96 T-bird supercouple with a huge front mount and he has them on both the front and back (push and pull) and they work great...
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:34 PM   #17
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Top mount. I think I've seen what your talking about and that would be my best bet.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:45 PM   #18
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dude.. thats an awesome idea. great job!
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:30 PM   #19
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great idea, maybe add some water sprayers to it to increase the cooling capacity a bit when needed
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:52 PM   #20
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nice set up crazykev. Ya i would look and see what SPAL has to offer as they do sell bigger (much bigger) fans. I do believe that you can buy that mounting system seperatly... which would be cool and all it needs is a hole to go through. I wouldn'nt put a plate on yours (obviously) but i think fans would definitely help eliminate heat-soak and increase your cooling capacity.
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:36 AM   #21
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Very interesting, but without the splitter, how do you know the fans are pulling air from outsude the engine compartment? Would it have been better if you could have used the splitter and pulled air through instead(from the bottom)? Might this have stopped the fan motors from possibly heating up the air that they push through the intercooler? How many amps does each fan use? Might you need an alternator which puts out more amps to avoid misfire because of the power being used and the possible drain on my ignition system? How do I know that it's not hurting performance? Not saying that I think it's a good idea or bad(not that I think it's a good idea ), but these are some questions I might ask myself.....

hippy

Last edited by hippy; 09-20-2006 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippy View Post
Very interesting, but without the splitter, how do you know the fans are pulling air from outsude the engine compartment? Would it have been better if you could have used the splitter and pulled air through instead(from the bottom)? Might this have stopped the fan motors from possibly heating up the air that they push through the intercooler? How many amps does each fan use? Might you need an alternator which puts out more amps to avoid misfire because of the power being used and the possible drain on my ignition system? How do I know that it's not hurting performance? Not saying that I think it's a good idea or bad(not that I think it's a good idea ), but these are some questions I might ask myself.....

hippy
Thanks for the feedback hippy. Well during driving I know the air is coming from the outside because of the hood scoop forcing it in there (there is probably some mixing), at a stand-still (as I eluded too in the OP) there is a small amount of short-circuiting right now. I may put the splitter back in, but we'll see if there are other options. Maybe someone has created a pull-through system, if they have I give them mad props for being able to fit a fan worth fitting on the back of our top-mounts. As for the current draw, they pull 6.3A a piece; it's definitely not a small amount, and you bring up a very good point with the draining effect. I haven't (and didn't feel initally) and performance drops, mis-fires or anything of the sort, but I suppose the only real way to find out is to dyno it... and I'm not made of money. If I start to labor the electrical system more I will think about a different alternator, but for the 2 months I've had these on, it hasn't been a problem.
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Old 09-20-2006, 11:10 AM   #23
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12.6 amps isn't a ton, unless you have other devices also taking up a lot of amps. Stereos, injection systems(almost anthing), and what's already there(like the ignition system) can eventually add up to the alternator possibly not puting out enough for the needs. That thought wan kinda random thought.... Not that your system doesn't work, cause it might work great. Course ya might never really know, and compared to other options which will cool charged air(and possibly have other advantages) it might not be so great.

peace

Last edited by hippy; 09-20-2006 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:57 PM   #24
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There's no raining, I understand what your saying. I guess no one would ever find out if someone didn't try.
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:08 PM   #25
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The minnimum you need (should) do is get a cheap 10 $ car temp gauge with an outside temp sensor on a wire and stick it into the fins of the IC to get an idea of how the IC temps are effected with your set up. As you never really know...
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