The Best

Equilibrium Tuning’s Best Intercooler

Background:

Equilibrium Tuning’s recommendations about which intercooler to use are interesting to me to see how the advice is substantiated and to consider the source.

My firsthand experience testing Mk7 intercoolers now is up to fourteen different brands. I have my thoughts on this topic, boiling down to two things; the application will matter (drag strip, road course, daily driving, etc.) and limitations to testing as well as access to the products that can be compared (I’ve only tested fourteen of thirty-seven intercooler options I know of), make identifying a “best” intercooler challenging.

I came across this statement which got my attention:

Equilibrium Tuning Recommendation for the Best Intercooler
Equilibrium Tuning Recommendation for the Best Intercooler

Encountering a vendor stating which intercooler is best at cooling gets my attention since the business should have access to more data than I have, and Truth in Advertising laws (both Federal and California) prohibit businesses from making false or misleading statements. Logically, the statement about what is the best cooling intercooler should be accurate.

To see a statement from a vendor is exciting since they should have evidence to show the statement is truthful and not misleading. I posed a question to the representative from Equilibrium Tuning to learn if they are able to substantiate the claims.

Fact-Checking:

While I wait for a response from Equilibrium Tuning I will engage in some speculation.

Equilibrium Tuning sells consumers two brands of an intercooler; do88 and AMS. – It might not be a coincidence that EQT sells the best cooling intercooler, logically the business might want to sell the best product available. On the other hand, making a pitch for these two products because they are the ones the company sells is also a possibility.

do88 offers the best cooling capacity – As mentioned above, my belief is that the conditions the ICs are subjected to will factor into how well they perform. Intercoolers are optimized for different conditions, which results in some performing better under some conditions than others. My experience with measuring the do88 intercooler shows that it cools well, but not best, under the test conditions I subject it to.

Tuners recommending products – I’m skeptical of product performance claims made by tuners or vendors. Tuners are in the business of modifying software. Exposure to a number of different products is a result of that service, but to properly record, organize, and analyze data requires a dedicated effort that is not easy. It also is of little value to a tuner who may have a backlog of anxious customers awaiting their next revision. Tuners are in the business of selling software tuning, not testing and evaluating parts’ performance.

Vendors recommending products – In general, my observation is that vendors will compare their products against the stock vehicle parts they are trying to replace. This gives them the opportunity to advertise maximum gains for a consumer. Comparing their product against an aftermarket peer is likely to show marginal performance differences, which may lead a consumer to consider other product attributes, where the vendor product might not have an advantage, such as price. My experience has been that it is exceedingly rare to find a vendor comparing their product with a comprehensive collection of competitor options.

Next Step:

Waiting for a reply from Equilibrium Tuning…

To be continued…

Link to Part 2

9 thoughts on “Equilibrium Tuning’s Best Intercooler”

  1. Joe Casantini

    It’s because of the people (consumers) that is the cult of eqt. They are clueless and have little decision making skills of their own. Don’t slight eqt for it. That’s the recommendations the cult of followers ask for.

    1. I’m not sure that is entirely fair. Agreed, the EQT Facebook group is filled with cultists who don’t know any better but some of the claims EQT makes are not verifiable. Consumers didn’t make that claim, Dave @ EQT did.

      So, yeah, waiting for their proof do88 has the best cooling capacity on the market.

  2. The cooling is one thing and the pressure loss from the intercooler is another. Likewise the compressor discharge side temperature. I can say that on a dynamometer under the same conditions, the DO88 vs. the OEM TCR intercooler in a Golf 7 TCR has a 150mbar lower pressure loss. This is exceptionally good. I’ve been riding the DO88 Big Pack Kit with 475 HP engine power in the Golf 7R for 8 months and it’s incredibly good.
    Here is the technically very good vid of one of our top tuners in Germany. Can be set with German/ English translation: https://youtu.be/SmBGBMVCxrY

    1. A comparison with the OEM TCR intercooler does not address how the do88 intercooler compares with all other intercoolers for the Mk7.

  3. Yes Jeff, that is of course correct. Only if you want to check this in detail would you have to carry out a measurement series with the different charge air coolers with the same vehicle and under the same conditions as possible. Be it on the road or on the dynamometer.
    Otherwise it is not refutable that the statement of the best cooling intercooler is not correct.
    I love your tests, but otherwise it will hardly be refutable and the advertising claim can hardly be refuted.

    1. In the United States and California, where EQT is based, the advertising laws do not allow a business to make claims that the business cannot substantiate.
      The burden of proof does not lie with the person questioning the claim, it is on the business making the claim.

      1. Sorry, I originally overlooked the fact that the advertising statement provider is subject to the burden of proof.

  4. I am a long time JDM enthusiast who purchased MK7 GTI and is going through the process of preparing for hybrid turbo after being unhappy with IS20 stage 1 and 2.

    With my Honda S2000, the two most important people are my tuner and my suspension guy. My tuner makes his living only tuning cars and is my gatekeeper of quan. He lets me know what works and doesn’t work purely based on what he has seen on the dyno. He has saved me from spending/wasting literally thousands of dollars.

    My suspension guy takes descriptions of what I am looking for and turns it into reality. I am no Lewis Hamilton so my goal is not to set up my car to be as theoretically fast as possible and then learn to drive it perfectly. I am willing to work on my driving skills, but my suspension guy is there to set up my car to work with how I drive or choose to drive.

    It’s truly nice to have professional people to turn to who provide services and sound advice rather than also pushing products. In lieu of that type of ecosystem, it’s nice to have someone like Jeff who provide valuable product performance insights to counter vague marketing claims that saturate this platform. Also, it seems like EQT is among those who, at a minimum, sell quality products that deliver results so I plan to support them in the future.

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