Question abut stock intercooler and potential upgrades

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Marlo42

Marlo42

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Let's back up and explain what it is an intercooler does before all this talking about heat soak. Turbos heat air as they compress it. Engines like cool air for peak performance. The intercooler goes between the turbo and the throttle and acts like a radiator, cooling the hot air coming out of the turbo by radiating heat into the outside air.

Heat soak is when the intercooler's no longer able to effectively cool down the air coming from the turbo, because the intercooler is too hot to effectively radiate the heat from the charge air to the outside air.

Cold weather helps delay heat soak because the air outside the intercooler is that much cooler than the air inside the intercooler, so it's more effective at pulling the heat out through the intercooler.

As your intake air temps rise due to the IC heat soaking, you won't necessarily notice right away that the car is performing worse, because it's using the knock sensor and pulling timing to deal with the higher intake air temps as seamlessly as possible.

Anybody saying their stock IC is fine with a tune, I'm not inclined to believe that unless they've checked their intake air temperature sensor readings and can confirm the stock IC is not heat soaking. Otherwise they're relying on their butt dyno and the ECU can too easily fool most butt dynos into not noticing heat soak as it's happening.

Think about it this way: the Si has a bigger turbo than the base 1.5T Civics, but the same intercooler. Running an aftermarket tune with higher boost means more heat, all thru that same intercooler used on plain regular 1.5T Civics that make way less power than a tuned Si.

Upgrading the intercooler won't make big sexy power gains on the dyno, but it will gain some power, and the big thing it does is make sure your car performs consistently with the higher boost levels from a tune.

Intercooler is going to be my first bolt-on upgrade to go with a tune. The rest of y'all can do whatever you want but IMO this is the smartest thing to do to ensure consistent performance.
wow, this is really useful and helpful! Thank you for explaining some of this to me. This helps a lot.





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I only got a ktuner, and my next mod hopefully around April will be an intercooler. Colder Air temperatures do make a difference on performance anyways. Specially with the extra fuel getting in the engine from the tune. I think it will also help you to keep the knocking (pre-detonation) down specially if you decide to put a CAI with a Race MAF.
 

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I have been tuned for 3 years on Ktuner with only an intake with the stock intercooler. The only time I ever have an issue with temps is when its 90+ down here in Texas and IAT 1 and 2 get over 110+ It take a minute or two of driving to get it back down close to ambient. Its not really going to be an issue for you if you are just daily driving. Now if you are tracking it or racing a lot, you would be way better off with an aftermarket intercooler. And not because it makes more power, but because it allows you to continue making the power you are making with repeated drag races or laps around the track without heat soaking and pulling timing out.
 

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The stock intercooler is rated for stock boost. If you aise the boost 7-9 pounds and you're adding a lot more heat just from compression alone. for rough math, every 14.7 lbs of boost you double the temperature on the outlet. So some running of yall 28-30 psi have doubled the ambient temps and require a intercooler capable of that much heat transfer
 

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The stock intercooler is rated for stock boost. If you aise the boost 7-9 pounds and you're adding a lot more heat just from compression alone. for rough math, every 14.7 lbs of boost you double the temperature on the outlet. So some running of yall 28-30 psi have doubled the ambient temps and require a intercooler capable of that much heat transfer
Nobody is running 28-30 psi safely on the 1.5 turbos reliably for the long term.
 
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Nobody is running 28-30 psi safely on the 1.5 turbos in the long term.
yep, if they are they are on the upgraded turbo kits and most likely running an aftermarket IC too. Im running 23-24 on my stock IC and my IAT2 is almost always within 5 degrees of ambient unless Like I said above its 90+ degrees or hotter out. when its over 100 out I dont beat on it at all
 

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Nobody is running 28-30 psi safely on the 1.5 turbos reliably for the long term.
i use 28-30 psi to make the math easy as it is trippling an atmosphere.

my comment wasnt geared toward or about stock turbos but more about heat transfer
 

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Thanks for the response.

Yeah, I am aware that the upgraded IC wouldn't give any extra power, but I was asking if the heat soaking would kill all the oomph from the tune and the DP (thus getting the IC would be better since what's the point of the DP/CAI if after one pull my car loses its power). Or if the cold weather of a northern state would offset the heat soak enough that I could make the IC my 4th-5th upgrade. And yeah, I definitely want the CAI for the sound haha.

I don't exactly beat on my car or race, so the responses I'm gathering suggest do IC later.
You are Thinking in a right way as per engineering point of view.
Lets say a CAI and DP catless gives you an accumulative gain of 10whp and heat soak taking out 20 whp than what you get as a resultant is a net loss of power. I would recommend that after flashing with Ktuner for having consistant power at elevated boost level you need to upgrade Intercooler first. Otherwise your will not be getting any benifit of the mods being installed.
A Friend of mine blown stock Turbo on TSP Stage 1 & Dual starter 21 psi base map with SRI in a short period of time.
 
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Let's back up and explain what it is an intercooler does before all this talking about heat soak. Turbos heat air as they compress it. Engines like cool air for peak performance. The intercooler goes between the turbo and the throttle and acts like a radiator, cooling the hot air coming out of the turbo by radiating heat into the outside air.

Heat soak is when the intercooler's no longer able to effectively cool down the air coming from the turbo, because the intercooler is too hot to effectively radiate the heat from the charge air to the outside air.

Cold weather helps delay heat soak because the air outside the intercooler is that much cooler than the air inside the intercooler, so it's more effective at pulling the heat out through the intercooler.

As your intake air temps rise due to the IC heat soaking, you won't necessarily notice right away that the car is performing worse, because it's using the knock sensor and pulling timing to deal with the higher intake air temps as seamlessly as possible.

Anybody saying their stock IC is fine with a tune, I'm not inclined to believe that unless they've checked their intake air temperature sensor readings and can confirm the stock IC is not heat soaking. Otherwise they're relying on their butt dyno and the ECU can too easily fool most butt dynos into not noticing heat soak as it's happening.

Think about it this way: the Si has a bigger turbo than the base 1.5T Civics, but the same intercooler. Running an aftermarket tune with higher boost means more heat, all thru that same intercooler used on plain regular 1.5T Civics that make way less power than a tuned Si.

Upgrading the intercooler won't make big sexy power gains on the dyno, but it will gain some power, and the big thing it does is make sure your car performs consistently with the higher boost levels from a tune.

Intercooler is going to be my first bolt-on upgrade to go with a tune. The rest of y'all can do whatever you want but IMO this is the smartest thing to do to ensure consistent performance.
You are on the right track. I planned the same as being an engineer too and running my 1.5T CVT non Si on Stage 1 map 18psi till the updated intercooler to come which i ordered first. Than i will shift to 21psi stage 2 base map or TSP stage 1.
A minor correction... it will not gain rather retain power enhanced by Ktuner stage / starter or custom tunes.
 
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yep, if they are they are on the upgraded turbo kits and most likely running an aftermarket IC too. Im running 23-24 on my stock IC and my IAT2 is almost always within 5 degrees of ambient unless Like I said above its 90+ degrees or hotter out. when its over 100 out I dont beat on it at all
Thats interesting, along running a tune, your stock IC IAT2 yields within 5 degrees of ambient! Maybe your car is exceptionally efficient or due to the stock IC's plastic charge pipe being a poor heat conductor helps?

My normal body temperature is 98.6. So any temperature lower than that, should just feel warm, right? Here in Hawaii, normal ambient year round mostly around mid 80's, but I never could tolerate touching stock charge pipe or TIP immediately after a normal drive in my stock Hatchback Sport. So...that means temperature on charge pipe and TIP exceed 98.6!? I would be over the moon if my IAT2 is within 5 degrees over ambient!
 
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An aftermarket I/C might not be a "sexy" upgrade to a lot of people, because it doesn't add buckets of HP. Like others have stated though, it will allow the car to pull more power because it is more efficient than the stock I/C.
You'll probably find (I did) that the harder the car is pushed, the better the aftermarket I/C will work & I was amazed how fast I can see IAT2s drop compared to the factory I/C.
I'm with the group, that says get the I/C sooner, so that when you add other mods, you'll get the full benefit of them. HTH
 

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