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Technically, I don't think there is a difference.

My understanding is that properly, intercoolers - water-to-air or air-to-air - should all be called 'charge coolers', because they cool the intake charge.

But I think some people say 'charge cooler' in reference to water-to-air intercoolers.
 

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A charge cooler is something that cools the charge air of an engine - ie. the air that an engine ingests to aid combustion. There are two main types - air to air and air to water.

Air to air is a radiator type of affair with a pipe in for the charge air, that then passes the charge air through a number of channels and back out of another pipe. Those channels are surrounded by fins that whislt the car is in motion are cooled by airflow.

Air to water is a dual sealed container. Inside are a number of passages that the charge air passes through. Surrounding those are a coolant that is pumped through. That coolant is then passed through a radiator to lose excess heat.

Both types are heat exchangers that remove heat from the charge air. The advantage of air-air units are they are passive - no working parts. However that can suffer from heat soak - they don't get enough cool air passing through to remove the required hear. Air-water units however are better at removing the heat, but rely on moving components - mainly a water pump. Liquid coolant is better are removing heat than air is.
 

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I have always been told water-air is worse for street use or roadcoarse use due to the water getting heatsoaked quicker/easier then a air-air unit. Usually when the spaces are TIGHT water-air is used, like the old lotus esprit's, simply no room for a proper air-air. You will also see most drag cars use water-air because it's easier to get the water REALLY COLD for the few second pass.

I do not know of any race cars (except the esprit) that uses water-air due to if there is enough room a properly sized air-air unit works extremely well :)
 

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Isnt there some kind of DIY AC for the intercooler?

I know that the AC pipes are sub zero and surely they could make a jacket or intercooler which would be an amazing heat exchanger if it has that Freon or R132 gas running in the same intercooler in an interlaced channel arrangment?

This intercooler would not be for the car interior, its main aim would be to rob the heat from the IC, now somebody make it, oh make sure its cheap and can be made by a Blue Peter presenter.:cheesy:

Then i have a chance to make one myself.
 

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Yeah if anyone wants to make one and pass it to me for testing on my car I'll be more than happy to bazz about and tell you what i think!:D
 

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LOL:cheesy: ok but i cant promise it will work:roll:

I think it would have to be basically two tanks with parrallel channels that would be a compression fit, with one slotted down on the other?

I have been looking for something like this and found Zero;oops:

On the subject of intercoolers how do you pressure test your system?

I dont honestly know if my hoses are good or leak or even my IC may leak, do i open the throttel and take the airflow meter off and make a DIY coupler and just use normal air from a tyre to test what the system can hold and find leaks?

I know i cant test the IC on its own but i think to know if all the hoses and connectors are good is more important, i just dont want to damage something with my strange ideas:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I beleive ford introduced a concept for something like that, but it only opperated when charge temps got to a certan high.

-Alex
 

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I personally think the water/air is a better solution for street use on the C900.

The water provides more efficient cooling than an air/air and with the limited amount of boost used on the street, you really do not have to worry about the water getting heat soaked.

I agree that water/air is not good for the race track as you are on the boost a ton and the water would get heat soaked very quickly.

I created a custom water/air setup using a spearco intercooler and the windshield resevoir for the water. With about 1.5 gallons of water in the system, it takes a lot of heat for the water to get heat soaked.

I have some pictures on the twinsaabs website.
 
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