air to water intercooler conversion [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: air to water intercooler conversion

23rd April 2002, 02:16 PM
has anyone ever converted from the stock air to air intercooler to an air to water intercooler?
i'm figuring i will be able to move the intercooler to a better location since it won't need to be in the air flow, thus shorter distance from turbo to throttle. this will increase airflow and reduce lag considerably, no?
any thoughts?

23rd April 2002, 02:44 PM
A friend of mine converted his early all aluminium intercooler to a water / air chargecooler. Welded an aluminium box round the intercooler then used a volvo electric water pump to circulate the coolant through a secondary radiator. This worked very well.

23rd April 2002, 10:13 PM
sounds kindof complicated and not really effective i guess u would have to see how warm the intercooler gets in a regular drive would it be worth it to cool it as much really?

24th April 2002, 02:22 AM
No, it is actually a really good idea.

Forget the welded tank around factory core (very restrictive) crap though.
Do it properly with a proper intercooling heat exchanger and a small efficient radiator.

Set up properly it will have a huge induction temp decrease without the trouble of fitting a large front mount.
You must remember that you will need to have a water pump and wiring for that cause thermal syphoned ones don't work.
It will however add a fair few kilos to the car, but the performance advantage should offset this.

Plus these are far more effective at low speeds than air to air IC's, hence their use in drag racing.

Go for it.

24th April 2002, 02:40 AM
Chargecoolers work well because of their much larger 'heatsink' capacity. Once the water's hot though it's quite difficult to get rid of that heat. If you sit in traffic in the summer your chargecooler water will get quite warm by itself. Ok for drag racing because you have a long time between runs for the water to cool down. Why you see huge air to air IC on rally cars etc. is because they are much more efficient at transferring the built up heat back to atmosphere quickly.

24th April 2002, 10:53 AM
all points well taken and it just goes to show you that everything is a trade off.
since the only real type of "racing" i do is short, drag style, turbo lag is my main concern, and i think getting rid of the endless 90 degree turns in the stock intercooler set up would help allot. air to water would be a straight shot , turbo to throttle. and lets face it, who here isn't sick of being beat of the line? (a fast and furious honda civic with a 747 wing on the back and neon lights beat me off the line last night and i couldn’t catch up in time, errrrrrrr)
anyone think there is a concern of detonation?

24th April 2002, 12:19 PM
Shortening and straightening the intake path will surely improve the throttle response! Have to say that classic 900 will always be crap off the line though :sad: unless you stick another engine in the boot!

Have you considered water injection?

24th April 2002, 12:32 PM
can you get rid of the intercooler if you install water injection?

24th April 2002, 01:20 PM
You could....but more power with them both though. Guess it just depends what your priorites are throttle respose vs power....

24th April 2002, 04:14 PM
of course my priorities are both. right? [back to reality]

is water injection really worth the money?
the aquamist stage one system is about $500.

has anyone made their own water injection?

Janne Selinummi
24th April 2002, 04:29 PM
A water injection system really is VERY useful if you want to get a lot of power out of your Saab Turbo engine.

Aquamist more reliable and efficient, but self-made systems are out there, someone here might tell a bit about them, since many here have done a DIY water spray!

Why water injection is that good? Well, it does three things; 1. Reduces intake air temperature and in-cylinder temperature 2. Helps mixture burn more efficiently 3. Eliminates intercooler heat soak -related problems.

So you get more power, sustainable high boost and extra security for your cylinder head.

28th April 2002, 06:26 PM
Water injection systems are excellent but are not as good as an efficient IC setup, They are really a big compromise.

I personally would do intercooler mods first as i am also concerned about the amount of restriction which the stock one causes. Then once this is done i you feel that more cooling capacity in required water injection might be the shot.

Although don't discount a water to air setup. Heat soak in the system is not a great problem.

Sitting in traffic can only cause the water to rise to atmospheric temperature as long as kept away from large engine bay temps.

Thinking about the physics of intercooling. They are never 100% efficient however i would be absolutely thrilled if my post IC temps were only slightly above outside air temp.

To others if you are thinking about running large-huge boost and a (high pressure) water injection system, Rather than making fuel injector mods, try running methanol in your water injection sytems, it has far better heat absorption qualities than water and can be burnt as a fuel.