eBay and Vibrant Core

Project: Bicooler Upgrade First Direct Comparison

Background:

Evaluating intercooler options for a bicooler upgrade has produced two candidates to replace the eBay FMIC on my GTI, the Treadstone TR8L and Vibrant 12810.  The task now is to piece together data to try and evaluate how these products compare in terms of cooling and airflow performance with the eBay Majesty v2 intecooler currently being used.

eBay and Vibrant Core
eBay and Vibrant Cores

Airflow Testing:

All three intercoolers have been previously tested for pressure drop.  Results are shown on the chart:

Bicooler Candidate Flow Test Results
Bicooler Candidate Flow Test Results

Cooling Testing:

Previously I’ve described the development of a test procedure to evaluate intercooler cores outside of the GTI.  This procedure is used to test the eBay Majesty intercooler.

eBay v2 Bench Cooling Test
eBay v2 Bench Cooling Test

Results compared to the stock GTI intercooler are shown in the next chart:

eBay Majesty FMIC Bench Cooling Test Results
eBay Majesty FMIC Bench Cooling Test Results

For direct comparison of numeric values the temperature above ambient at two minutes into the test, when the fan is turned on, is recorded.  This test is repeated three times to obtain an average value for the 2 minute temperature rise.


Next the Vibrant core is tested using the same procedure.  This test is also repeated three times to calculate an average temperature rise.

Vibrant Bench Cooling Test
Vibrant Bench Cooling Test

Results compared with the stock GTI intercooler are shown in the chart:

Vibrant Bench Cooling Test
Vibrant Bench Cooling Test

Combining the bench test cooling results:

Combined Bicooler Cooling Results
Combined Bicooler Cooling Results

Cooling performance and pressure drop both factor in to determining how well an intercooler suits an application.  Ideally the intercooler will cool well and have little pressure drop, to account for these two factors the results from these tests are placed together on the next chart:

Bicooler Bench Testing Composite Results
Bicooler Bench Testing Composite Results

The upper left corner of the chart is where an efficient cooling, higher airflow, intercooler would be located.  The bottom right corner is where a product that has low airflow and poor cooling performance would be placed.

The stock GTI intercooler has better airflow than the Majesty and Vibrant FMICs, but does not cool as well.

Conclusion:

Slightly better cooling performance from the Vibrant core during the “no cooling air” phase of the cooling efficiency test is the sole reason to consider switching away from the Majesty FMIC for my bicooler.

The Majesty core has a lower cost, available installation hardware for a bicooler arrangement, and less pressure drop.  The Majesty intercooler will remain my top choice for now.

Next will be an evaluation of the TR8L core.

2 thoughts on “Project: Bicooler Upgrade First Direct Comparison”

  1. I was a bit surprised back in a day when LT motorsports IC was tested on the bench as a standalone instead of as a bicooler setup, given that it’s basically a Treadstone TR8 with custom brackets.

    I even remember checking their own photos and I couldn’t tell for sure, it seemed like they just left the stock IC on but didn’t have it connected, which seemed like a total waste to me.

    I think along with these two, the LTM IC should also make a comeback but now in a bicooler setup, as it should have been marketed in the first place.

    Probably it’s an even better choice than TR8L because, “L” version is lower fin density for high HP applications and in bicooler setup, personally, I would rather take higher fin density than lower.

    1. That’s an interesting point about the TR8 versus TR8L. As a bicooler having high airflow through the front core is less of a concern for me. I may look more into the standard TR8. I asked LT Motorsport about making a piping setup to use the TR8L as a bicooler instead of the pure FMIC that they sell and they wanted no part of that.

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