Unitronic Intercooler Flow Bench Testing

Unitronic IC Flow Test

I’ve been using a Unitronic stock location intercooler for a while but haven’t taken airflow measurements for this IC.  I decided it was time to measure the Uni IC but had to first remove it from my GTI.

Unitronic Mk7 Intercooler Flow Test Preparations
Unitronic Flow Test Preparations

With the intercooler out of the car it was mounted onto the flow bench.

Unitronic Mk7 Intercooler Flow Bench Testing
Unitronic Mk7 Intercooler Flow Bench Testing

The airflow reading for the Unitronic intercooler was noted and added to the other previously measured intercoolers.

Unitronic Mk7 Intercooler Flow Test Results
Unitronic Mk7 Intercooler Flow Test Results

For answers to common questions about intercoolers Bell Intercoolers has a nice FAQ.

One question in the FAQ (#3) related to this post is quoted here:

Q. Is some intercooling better than no intercooling?

A. No. It depends on the design of the intercooler, and there are two factors involved; efficiency (how much heat is removed) and the flow restriction (lost pressure) created by the presence of the intercooler. Regardless of the efficiency, if too much pressure is lost, then the intercooler is either useless or can actually decrease performance.

2 thoughts on “Unitronic IC Flow Test”

  1. I’ve got a question for you if you have a second. I have upgraded my MK7 GTI Turbocharger (the OEM unit failed) to an EQT turbo with the standard housing. I have a tuner telling me that my intercooler (Unitronic) is too small and is causing my air intake temps to rise. He suggested I switch to APR or AMS the issue I have is from your data you have posted online and others Unitronic flows as much or close to the required CFM’s, is a better design (bar/plate vs tube/fin). I have the APR carbonio intake. I would think the restriction (if that is actually the case), would be the air intake. I also have a turbo blanket which from what I understand would cause intake temps to raise. Please let me know what your thoughts are as I dont want to be spending $900 unnecessarily. I can also make the datalogs available.

    1. Hi, the airflow doesn’t indicate how well the intercooler will do with cooling. The Unitronic has slightly less mass than some other options and that will frequently correlate with how long it takes for the intake air temperatures to begin to creep upward. IAT is going to increase with any IC after continued exposure to high temperatures, the question is whether the amount of increase you are seeing warrants the cost of increasing cooling capacity. IAT falls short in indicating how well the intercooler performs since you do not know what the temperature going into the IC is. Roughly that is around 300F when boost is in the mid-20’s and the compressor housing starts to heat soak How much is your IAT rising and how much will it be expected to change with a different IC? With that, how much of a difference does your tuner expect you will be able to detect operating the car by switching ICs?

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