This is the documentation of my Air-to-Water intercooler setup (AWIC). I am basic stage 2, running E85 in the summer.
I want to do something unique and different.
I want a clean and clutter-free engine bay. FMIC pipes aren’t too bad, but they are
I wanted a TMIC but with increased cooling characteristics to a traditional TMIC. I am actually going to test the efficiency of the Water-to-air IC to see if this is really the case.
Running water lines is simple and easy, which allows me to do it on my own.
What did it take?
Here is my full parts list with pricing:
Possible ways to cut costs from the above list:
You could cut some costs, such as the AVO TB hose. I was just sick of dealing with the foreskin on the stock hose. It bothered me. The AVO hose made things a little more difficult because it is longer and just as stiff - so it really forced me to wiggle everything around to get it all to line up. Its a nice piece. I used a t-bolt clamp on the TB, highly recommended.
You could also recess the AC condenser a little bit so that the 7" fan that came with the kit will fit behind the heat exchanger. I moved it a little bit to fit the SPAL fan, but noticed it could probably be moved more, which means the fan that came with the kit (which is .5" deeper than the SPAL) might have fit with some work. I wanted a nice SPAL fan, though the one that came with the kit did not look too bad.
Just those two items lower the cost about ~$115.
That being said, I got such great deals on the other items that it just might be a wash. For instance, the welding and flanges were cheap, and I made my own overflow can. Anyway, you could probably put together a kit for slightly less.
Why did I choose what I did?
– This intercooler was small and easily fit where the stock TMIC goes. It was rated for 450 CFM, which is plenty. The inlet and outlet are in a good location, and from what I read this is a good end-tank configuration.
– The size fits in the bumper well. Also, it is a dual pass, meaning the water goes across the top, makes a U-turn, and then goes across the bottom. PROS: water velocity is higher, CONS: The hot water immediately hits only half the vertical surface area rather than the whole area (single pass style). From my research, having the velocity and lower restriction is slightly preferred to having the single pass. This is subjective. In reality, the water is exposed to the same surface area, just with a different flow path. It will have a hotter spot right at the inlet.
– Well, it came with the kit. BUT, I did do my research. I contacted the company that makes the pump and it is rated for 600 hours of continual use without burning up the motor. It is rated for 500 GPH under continuous use which is 8.3 GPM. This is right around the other flow-rates I have seen for AWIC packaged systems. The motor is water-cooled so that is nice (hopefully it’s not heating up my water too much). It can also be used with glycol-based coolant just fine according to the engineer I spoke to. It also allows you to swap the motor in and out of the housing in case it does fail. Further research showed that people we really happy with this pump. I will use it until it gives me a reason not to.
– I chose ¾” hose because the pump had these fittings and it just kept things simple. The more fittings, the more restrictions. The filler cap also had these fittings. It might be overkill, I have seen 5/8” on other systems. I found a good flexible hose, and it fits in the space well. No sharp bends were needed with my routing.
– They are common and not too bad on the wallet. They should work fine.
– 50% water, 40% anti-freeze, 10% wetter. I read this on a few other forums and other manufacturers also recommended this. Until I hear otherwise, it’s what I am going to use. After filling pu the system, it took about ¾ jug pre-mized (50/50) and a bottle of water wetter. So, my ratio is slightly different. Supposedly the watter wetter with the 50/50 coolant has the same cooling properties as 100% water. This is according to data given by Redline.
How did you install everything?
The pictures are pretty self explanatory:
[Pictures with bumper off to come later - there you will see pump and pipe routing and heat exchanger mounting]
Cold pipe - its short!
This gasket works great for the turbo outlet:
I am going to make a shield for the rubber hose over the turbo.
The water runs the opposite direction of the air. The cold water comes from the driver's side, then goes through the TMIC, then down the passenger side.
Bracket makes use of the bolt on the t-bolt clamp. Brilliant!
Again, this hose will have a shield for the turbo heat:
I will get better daytime pics...
IAT sensor - not hooked up yet:
Efficiency of this system:
I purchased 2 GM IAT sensors and I am going to place them at the inlet and outlet of the TMIC. I will then measure the difference between the inlet and outlet temperatures. This will allow me to find out how well it is doing, especially with heat-soak. This data is pending. One sensor (outlet) is installed thus far.