AC vs Non AC Grill Surround and Aftermarket Intercoolers - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 21st, 2014, 02:37 PM
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AC vs Non AC Grill Surround and Aftermarket Intercoolers

How much further does the grill stick out on AC truck vs a non-AC setup?

I am thinking about mounting an aftermarket intercooler below and between the frame rails and putting an oil cooler for the R380 in the void left by the factory intercooler. Will I have enough space with the AC grill to run 2.5" pipes between the radiator and the grill surround?

Wait let me start from the beginning; Anyone got any specifics on aftermarket intercooler set ups that don't cost ungodly amounts? There has to be a good way to make use of one of the under $100 "fast and furious" aftermarket coolers you can pick up on ebay.

I am working with a non-Ac 300tdi with R380 and I am going to fabricate the bumper and steering guard so I can accommodate and protect a remote mounted intercooler and trans oil cooler.

Any thoughts or experience?
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  #2  
Old August 21st, 2014, 03:34 PM
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IIRC about a little further than an inch over the non-AC version.

As far aftermarket intercoolers go, all I have to say is...it's not worth it. If you were running at 35lb/min of air at 2 bar boost or something, then sure. But the power of a 300tdi is less than a naturally aspirate Honda Civic.

Are you planning to install a bigger turbo and run more boost?
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Old August 21st, 2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
IIRC about a little further than an inch over the non-AC version. As far aftermarket intercoolers go, all I have to say is...it's not worth it. If you were running at 35lb/min of air at 2 bar boost or something, then sure. But the power of a 300tdi is less than a naturally aspirate Honda Civic. Are you planning to install a bigger turbo and run more boost?
Not going for a bigger turbo anytime soon just fiddling with the pump a bit and looking to ditch the viscous fan for electric.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
IIRC about a little further than an inch over the non-AC version.

As far aftermarket intercoolers go, all I have to say is...it's not worth it. If you were running at 35lb/min of air at 2 bar boost or something, then sure. But the power of a 300tdi is less than a naturally aspirate Honda Civic.

Are you planning to install a bigger turbo and run more boost?


I'm going to respectfully disagree with a few things here.
First of all, the A/C grill surround sticks out approximately 2" (I can measure exactly if you'd like), but I just struggled with the issue of getting an OEM brush guard and fog lights to fit and I can assure you it's not 1"


Second, while I agree that spending $1,000 to gain modest HP gains may not be for everyone, it made a big difference in drivability in my truck. True, the intercooler alone will not get you there, but after the intercooler upgrade the injector pump can be "tuned" and right now I no longer have to downshift to 4th gear on hills on the highway and easily keep up with 75-80mph traffic on the highway. Maybe it only added 5hp or modest torque gains, but all I can say is that it made a difference and it was worth it to me. To say that adding a larger intercooler is worthless isn't exactly true.


Okay, with respect to the aftermarket intercooler being added between the frame rails, that may not be what I'd choose to do with a truck that sees mud and debris at bumper level. I guess it depends on how you plan to use your rig. I'm sure you could get other aftermarket intercoolers to fit where the Alisport full-length IC fits, or even where the double thick Alisport IC fits, but the money you save with the intercooler will be eaten up in fabricating mounts and trouble shooting issues maybe. Not saying it can't be done, but think this through with a parts list with pros-cons of home-fab vs. Alisport or Allard. Sounds like a cool project and based on some of the home-fabbed mods I've seen from Arjun recently I'm not going to suggest that you shouldn't try to improve upon things yourself. Just that you'll struggle with a few issues and it may just be easier, faster and more cost effective in the long run to use a proven product. That said, if I can help in any way from my experience take a look at my Alisport intercooler install thread and there are some pictures that show the mounting points etc that may help you.


EDIT: BTW, you don't need the $200 or so AC grill for the Alisport intercooler, I just used one because it gave me even more room. Both Alisport options are designed to be used with standard, non-AC grills. If you subtract $200 from your parts list then the Alisport option becomes more cost feasible. THen again, maybe you pick up a junk yard intercooler off a truck or something and buy the $200 grill so it fits in there?
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Old August 21st, 2014, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post
True, the intercooler alone will not get you there, but after the intercooler upgrade the injector pump can be "tuned" and right now I no longer have to downshift to 4th gear on hills on the highway and easily keep up with 75-80mph traffic on the highway. Maybe it only added 5hp or modest torque gains, but all I can say is that it made a difference and it was worth it to me. To say that adding a larger intercooler is worthless isn't exactly true.
You con't need an intercooler to get these gains. simply adjust the boost up a bit and the pump. I can happily drive at 75 to 80 mph in my 90 on the stock intercooler.
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  #6  
Old August 21st, 2014, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
You con't need an intercooler to get these gains. simply adjust the boost up a bit and the pump. I can happily drive at 75 to 80 mph in my 90 on the stock intercooler.
okay, but don't things get pretty hot (EGTs) without cooling the charged air?
(EGTs increase with fueling increases, thus heating the turbo and manifold gasses which translates into higher intake temps. something should be done to mitigate those intake air temps, no? )
I'm asking here, not disagreeing. I'm still learning.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 04:14 PM
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The "better" intercooler should improve the long time EGT increase if you sit at full throttle for minutes on end in hot weather. Someone would need to measure IAT with different intercoolers to see how much these really help. I suspect it is little improvement unless you are running a fair bit more boost than stock.

With my setup as it is, I can usually sit at fuel throttle with excessive EGTs unless you get the wrong wind flow (as I don't have a fan pulling across the intercooler).
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Old August 21st, 2014, 04:30 PM
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thanks for the correction jackie. I forgot about the grill part!
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Old August 21st, 2014, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90 View Post
The "better" intercooler should improve the long time EGT increase if you sit at full throttle for minutes on end in hot weather. Someone would need to measure IAT with different intercoolers to see how much these really help. I suspect it is little improvement unless you are running a fair bit more boost than stock.

With my setup as it is, I can usually sit at fuel throttle with excessive EGTs unless you get the wrong wind flow (as I don't have a fan pulling across the intercooler).

Yeah, I haven't seen any graphs showing air temp through the intake probably because there are too many variables (ambient, boost, different rpms etc.), but I simply took EGT readings before and after the intercooler install (which I realize the IC has no correlation on EGTs). Would be worthwhile hearing from somebody who's graphed intake temps at the mani before and after the intercooler install.
But, John, taking down the intake temp is relevant because if you're increasing EGTs via increased combustion, the last think you need is hotter air coming into the chamber. Wouldn't all the factors build on eachother causing hotter head and EGT temp?


I did install the boost gauge before I installed the intercooler and I did see a drop in peak boost. the larger intercooler does provide significant more turbulence and resistance over the stock one from what I saw.


I don't know, but Ed, you are correct in that if you're going to spend the $$$ on an Alisport, you may as well go full-monte and get the VNT turbo kit.


In my case, I was not trying to make a fire (or smoke) spitting hot rod, just needed a little extra to compensate for the extra weight I am hauling and the 1.22 transfer case.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 05:38 PM
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I have understood that an intercooler effectively cools the intake air dependent on its efficiency. Cold air is more dense (and therefore has increased oxygen levels) to increase fuel burn and effectively increase horsepower. On a small, turbo, gas engine this can result in significant horsepower. On a diesel it should increase fuel burn (how much on a 115hp engine is a source of debate as Jackie said) and should increase overall efficiency.

Horsepower gains? If you're talking 15-30bhp on a 2.0L gas engine it might only be 5 hp on a small diesel. But that represents 3-5% increase, which is pretty good IMHO
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Old August 21st, 2014, 06:03 PM
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I understand the physics and how the engine systems work.

The point is that with the stock turbo and stock boost, the stock intercooler cools well enough that there is not much to be gained with a larger one. I keep meaning to chuck in an IAT and have a look, but I've not seen a TDI with a stock turbo that goes any faster than mine. In hot weather, you can probably run full throttle longer than with the stock intercooler, but peak power is not going to be any better, from my experience.

A normal VNT conversion does not give you more boost (or power), so that is not the reason for an intercooler either. A hybrid turbo that is running higher boost or living in a hot climate are probably the only real good reasons.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 06:13 PM
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hybrid all the way. turn up the boost to 30psi. run a huge fmic. crank up your ip and get 220hp and 400 ftlbs torque. coal roll everything when off boost, but at least you get your moneys worth
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Old August 21st, 2014, 06:17 PM
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And boom goes the TDI.....

20 psi. 150 to 160 hp is as far is as safe. Get a TD5 is you want more.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
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I understand the physics and how the engine systems work
I wasn't addressing you but I'm proud you've learned about combustion.

I was trying to help the poster determine if he should install an aftermarket intercooler by providing some information and some insight. I too have learned the ways of the turbo...
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Old August 21st, 2014, 06:50 PM
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And boom goes the TDI.....
Well sure there's that
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:07 PM
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The article I read and the Allard website said a bigger intercooler, tuning the pump, and swapping for an electric fan would net 5-10hp without sacrificing component life. That 5-10hp allowing you to overcome the lag when pulling out to make a turn into traffic and maintain interstate speed in hill country.

All that said, like most of the things I do with vehicles, this would primarily be done just to do it and learn how to do it right the next time.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RockShow View Post
like most of the things I do with vehicles, this would primarily be done just to do it and learn how to do it right the next time.
Funny!
I have a Kenlowe electric fan with a manual switch. I have rarely had the need to employ its use however as the temp is usually right where it needs to be.

I don't know enough to be an expert on TDi or any diesel for that matter, so I'm certainly not going to argue about it. All I will say is that performance is improved in my 300 since installing the Alisport and conservatively increasing fueling. That's based on seat time, not numbers.

Going back to the original post and your intent, I could see how installing a cheaper but bigger intercooler would be appealing and maybe the engineering challenge is part of the reason you want to try it. It is just that by the time you get the bits and minutiea all figured out, you're going to be into the project for a bunch of time and money. I'd suggest just going with a proven aftermarket product, using the regular grill surround and mildly increasing fueling.

I think what others are getting at is that if you simply stick a gigantic intercooler in front of the radiator (at considerable effort) it doesn't mean you're going and faster.
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  #18  
Old August 21st, 2014, 10:38 PM
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Photo of A/C grill
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  #19  
Old August 21st, 2014, 11:28 PM
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A 1997 D90 with 4.0 V8 a factory A/C, the grill sits at the same place (protrusion) as the head lamp surrounds.
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  #20  
Old August 22nd, 2014, 11:25 AM
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A bit off topic but does anyone know whether it is possible to get brackets to extend an ARB bull bar bumper out from the chassis so that it clears this type of extended grille slam panel? I have one of the panels and want to mount it but do not have enough room with the ARB bumper in place.
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