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Old 01-04-2006, 12:23 AM
intelligent
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What is an INTERCOOLER?

Sorry guys for this question but could someone PLEASE tell me what an intercooler is and exactly what it does and why people want to install it? Also, can I/should I install an intercooler on my non-turbo 1995 E300D? What will it do?
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:37 AM
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Good question. Simply put, an intercooler is basically a radiator to extract heat out of the air / fuel mixture going into the engine. As turbos and super chargers compress the intake air, the air heats up. Some of the benefit of compressing the air is lost as it heats up, because hot air expands. An intercooler is used to cool off the compressed air so that it remains as dense as possible. The denser you can keep the air / fuel mixture that's going into the engine, the more power it will make. I don't think it would be worthwhile installing an intercooler into a non turbo engine. Perhaps our diesel friends can provide input.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:40 AM
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Lightbulb Cold air = power!

Turbochargers and superchargers compress the air going into your engine.
Air + Fuel = Power
The more air and fuel you can cram in there means more power.
The act of compressing the air causes it to get hotter. (PV=nRT)
Hot air produces less power in your engine than the same amount of cooler air.
An intercooler cools the compressed air before it enters your engine. Since it is located between the turbo and the engine it is an INTERcooler.

There is little to be gained by using an intercooler on a normally aspirated engine.
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Old 01-04-2006, 01:33 AM
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An intercooler cools the hot compressed air from the turbo by one of two methods. There are air to air intercoolers that are essentially mini radiators that cool the warm compressed air with air at ambient temps. Since the air going into your non-aspirated engine should be relatively cool anyway, there would really be no net change in temperature. The other methos uses an air-water heat exchanger where the incoming air is cooled by what is in a well-designed system a deciated water circuit with its own radiator. The water is cooled by ambient air and thus the net temp of the air will not be cooler than the ambient temps in either circumstance.

The net effect of an intercooler on a naturally aspirated engine is that it will have no effect at all on anything.
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Old 01-04-2006, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmaster
Hot air produces less power in your engine than the same amount of cooler air.
Awww...and you were doing so well up to this point.

The reason you want to cool the air off is because cooler air is denser than hot air for a given volume.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moneypit SEL
Awww...and you were doing so well up to this point.

The reason you want to cool the air off is because cooler air is denser than hot air for a given volume.
Yep. More O2. I knew what I meant...it just wasn't what I said!
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