Intercooler Heating During Trial #5

IC Temp Testing: Trial 6

Previously during trial 5 it was found that the temperature output from the intercooler when attached to the flow bench was satisfactory.  For this sixth trial a run of the proposed test process is carried out.

To recap the current setup, one hair dryer was removed and substituted with a Wagner Heat Gun.

Testing of the heat gun with a Type K thermocouple shows that the output temperature exceeds that of the turbocharger by over 100 degF.  Output from the heat gun on the low setting is 576 degF.

Wagner Heat Gun Test
Wagner Heat Gun Test

The setup now has the hair dryer to supply a high volume of moderately hot air, the heat gun to supply a low volume of very hot air, and the flow bench to maintain a steady state airflow through the intercooler, as well as preventing overheating of the heat sources.

The setup now looks as follows:

Intercooler Bench Trial #5
Intercooler Bench Trial #5

On the left the heat sources will blow directly into the intercooler inlet, the IC does not have any air passing through the cooling fins.  The heated air exits through a turbo inlet elbow, conveniently the necessary angle to join the IC outlet to the flow bench.  Located inside the inlet elbow is a temperature probe that is connected to a data display.

Upon the completion of the heating phase a cooling fan is turned on that is positioned inline with the core.  The temperature exiting the intercooler is continually monitored.

Bench Trial #5 IC Cooling Fan
Bench Trial #6 IC Cooling Fan

Testing with this arrangement produces a suitable increase in the temperature exiting the intercooler.  Shown below is a thermal image of the left side, charge air inlet side, of the intercooler at two times during the test trial.

Intercooler Heating During Trial #5
Intercooler Heating During Trial #6

Resulting air temperature exiting the stock intercooler during the test is shown below, after baselining the values by subtracting out the ambient air temperature.

Intercooler Bench Test Trial #5
Intercooler Bench Test Trial #5


Results with the current setup and process are satisfactory for proceeding forward with intercooler comparison testing.

Note: I’m aware that a hair dryer and heat gun do not output air of the same temperature and volume of an IS20 or IS38 turbocharger. 

2 thoughts on “IC Temp Testing: Trial 6”

  1. Jeff (not the owner of the site)

    Hi Jeff,

    To potentially increase airflow passing through the intercooler instead of bouncing off the front fins and going around (path of least resistance and all), have you tried to make a “tunnel” of sorts, with maybe some cardboard to direct the air into the intercooler? Not sure if the fan is powerful enough to do that, but just a thought.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. That is something I was thinking about initially. I had in mind to completely surround the core with a cardboard passageway to have a makeshift wind tunnel and the fan enclosed at the end opposite form the core. Then I started to think about what it was going to take to get it made so it would stay in place with the core suspended and the difficulty of making it work, for the information I would get, and I decided to pass. At some point I might revisit the idea just to see how much difference there is, but I’m going forward with testing just having the fan blowing at the core.

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