There are two main styles of intercoolers, air to air and air to water. Air to water intercoolers are less common and are primarily used in applications where airflow to the heat exchanger is insufficient. Air to air intercoolers come in many shapes and sizes and are used in most applications due to simplicity and reliability.
Achieving adequate air flow through the intercooler is always the first factor considered when custom mounting an intercooler. This can sometimes be challenging on street-cars in order to retain factory components such as bumpers, AC condensers, and bodywork. Often airflow from a single body opening must be shared with the engines cooling system. A more efficient radiator and/or oil cooler may be recommended to maintain proper engine operating temperature.
Excessive lubricant temperatures can result in catastrophic failure or premature wear of components. In many high-performance cars and race cars, oil coolers are used to help control fluid temperature of engines, differentials, and transmissions. Usually, in the case of transmissions and differentials, an external pump is used to rotate the lubricant through the core. Oil coolers come in many shapes and sizes and are often selected by space and airflow constraints. Airflow supply to oil coolers is a critical factor of oil cooler installation. Electric fans are often used to achieve adequate air flow when flow from body openings is not available. The addition of oil coolers also increases fluid capacity which in itself, will help reduce fluid temperatures.
Often radiators on race cars are upgraded with larger capacity cores to combat excessive engine water temperatures. Aluminum radiators are available in many generic sizes and configurations. These usually require some degree of custom installation. Proper air flow to a radiator core is critical. This is often achieved by custom fabricated ducting to maximize available airflow from the front of the vehicle. Electric fans are sometimes used for additional airflow depending on application.
Piper Motorsport uses the latest techniques and materials:
- High-quality aluminum mandrel bends
- High temp silicon hose unions
- T-bolt style stainless hose clamps
- Blow off valves and compressor by-pass valves
- Precision TIG welding
- Optimized end-tank configurations and mounting tabs
- Shortest routing of pipes with fewest joints
- Stainless steel braided line
- High quality AN fittings