Intercooler, because why not.

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Growlerbearnz
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Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:43 am

For a while I've been wondering about the huge empty space above radiator air intake deflector panel thingy.

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The oil cooler vents into this space, but there's *way* more empty space than the oil cooler needs, and only a few pipes cluttering it.

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And then one day I noticed that the Ford Ranger/Mazda BT50 intercooler was an odd size, and wondered if it might fit. One trip to the wrecking yard later...

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And it fits! I moved a few pipes around to make more room behind it, and here it's just held in place by tie wire, but it's going to work.

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Now I just need to make brackets, and piping, figure out an air duct, maybe move the radiator a tiny bit, add a fan.... Fun!
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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby lrp374 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:42 am

It's been along time since anyone tried to add an intercooler. I guess most, like me, just got used to the power. Anyway, Garyo who was on the site some time ago did a nice job of it and it may help you with the piping which is always the problem. My ( and others) solution was a water to air unit in the space behind the front wheel as the hose was much easier to run than the intercooler piping. Good luck and please provide pictures of the progress.

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1947&hilit=intercooler

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:40 pm

Gary's setup has been a great inspiration, except for the bit where he painted the pipes red ;-) I'm planning on keeping the cold air inlet in the wheel well, and routing both pipes past the right side of the radiator. The oil cooler lines used to go through that space, but I've shifted them down a bit. There *should* be enough room for a couple of 2" intercooler pipes- but we'll find out.

My main reason for fitting the intercooler is engine longevity. I've modified the engine a bit and am making more power, which is nice for towing, but I've noticed a dramatic difference in EGTs and power on a hot day vs a cool day. This suggests that my timing, boost, and fuelling are close to their limits, and a few degrees difference in intake temperature is enough to over-advance the ignition point. An intercooler should reduce that risk.
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Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:52 pm

...aaaand we're done. Lovely.

First I made up some brackets and painted them black, fabricated a new intake stub, and bought a box of generic intercooler plumbing.

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(The new inlet was needed because the old one was aimed the wrong way, and the pipes I'm using are 2" rather than the turbo's 1.5")

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Then simply installed it all. Yeah right.

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Getting everything to fit was as tricky as you can imagine. I had to re-angle ("clock") the turbo compressor housing, and had a couple of goes at getting the inlet pipe right. The plumbing needed a few strategic dents to clear bolts and whatnot, and there really isn't much room between the turbo and the engine cover- almost as if it wasn't intended to have an intercooler. Weird.

Not pictured: the 90 degree reducer adapter to turn the turbo's 1.5" outlet into 2" to suit the rest of the pipes:
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I pressure tested it to a terrifying 30psi, although my wastegate is set to limit boost to 20psi. Many, many leaks were fixed (tighten clamps until farting noise stops).

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But it works! The cooling fan comes on at 50C (off at 30C), and also turns on the radiator fan. It's difficult to tell if there's any extra turbo lag. There's no more power than before (as I haven't changed the fuelling) but the black smoke has completely disappeared, which means there's more air getting into the engine now.

Update: Fuelling increased now, and there's a LOT more power (and about the same amount of smoke) available to my right foot. Neeeat!

Oh, and it's practically invisible:

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby lrp374 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:39 am

Boy that was a quick install!! I'm curious about the intake pipe. Did you make it or find it? It looks like a different pipe. Nice job as per usual. That flexible pipe must have helped out a bit.

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:04 pm

Boy, I'm temped. Nice job with the grille, eh? How is the engine temp/performance working out?

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:06 pm

I made the new silver coloured intake pipe- bashed it out of a steel fuel filler pipe I had lying around (from the fuel tank project), and welded it onto a flange made out of a bit of heavy steel plate (from the tow bar project). It's silver because that's the colour of paint I had lying around :-). The original wiggly aluminium pipe was too small to match my new plumbing, and aimed in the wrong direction.

The flexible silicone pipes are lovely. The engine can shake around all it likes and the intercooler doesn't move at all. The pipes do inflate a bit at 30psi, but the highest my engine goes is 20psi and they're fine there.

The change in EGTs is surprising. Every time I've looked at the gauge, it's been about 100F lower than I expected. Now it's 750-850F cruising at 100kph, up to 1200F full power up a long hill. The engine's also quieter at high load (less clattery) and makes absolutely no smoke when the boost exceeds 5psi (previously there was a haze from the exhaust pipe- nothing dreadful, but definitely visible).

There's a new turbo whistle- presumably all the air whooshing over all those pipe joins. It's no more intrusive than any other turbo vehicle, but it's new.

The grille appears to work. I can hear the intercooler fan come on when driving around the hilly part of town and after coming off the motorway, but on the motorway it shuts off. Clearly there's enough airflow to keep the intercooler below 35C (which is where the fan stops).

I'm rather pleased. In a while I'll tinker with the fuel pump to take advantage of the extra power (and maybe reduce the smoke at a couple of points in the power curve), but for now I'm happy.

I've also improved my understanding of what an intercooler does, and how it does it- any why it's especially awesome on a diesel engine. I might write a thing about it someday.
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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:50 pm

I haven't seen Gary for a while, perhaps two years. One of the last times I saw him we happened upon one and other on a road in Burnaby called "Canada Way", which runs from Boundary Road (that marks the boundary between Vancouver and Burnaby) and into New Westminster (the other end of Burnaby). Gary told me that he used an intercooler out of a Skyline and then put the 33" tyres on. The first thing to go was the tranny (weakest link in the chain). He originally thought it might have been a cause of an old tranny ~ he replaced it with another one, which also broke. This time he took it apart and rebuilt it with stronger gears. I think the main issue here were the 33s he put on, that the wider diameter added excessive work for the tranny. When I saw him on Canada Way that time, we were both going into New Westminster. There is this big hill that you climb, a little before you get to NewWest and I climbed that with him ~ he was shooting black up that hill.

I think the intercooler idea is a good one but I don't see any point to the huge tyres beyond looks. One question I have that you may or may not have an answer to ~ that has made me think: Why did Mitsubishi not make the Starwagons with an intercooler? Same motor in the Paj has an intercooler, everything else has an intercooler... but not the Starwagon. Was it a wager between the engineers about how the one could make the mighty Astron move two tonnes of Delica without an intercooler?

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:37 am

I think it was all down to budget. The starwagon happened before the intercooled Pajero, and there isn't really anywhere to add the intercooler. The Delicas always seem to end up with a slightly less glamorous engine- even the current D5 has a detuned version of Mitsubishi's latest and greatest diesel.
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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:16 pm

Growlerbearnz wrote:I think it was all down to budget. The starwagon happened before the intercooled Pajero, and there isn't really anywhere to add the intercooler.

You think? You found a good space for it. I have this piece of armour where you placed the intercooler that, fitting in with the aircraft theme of the Starwagon with all her cooling systems, looks like it comes off of an aeroplane, complete with scoops that seems to be made for the addition of an intercooler. One thing about that drive with Gary up the hill on Canada Way ~ I was keeping up with him and I wasn't panning it.

Image

Growlerbearnz wrote: The Delicas always seem to end up with a slightly less glamorous engine-


Back in 1968 the Delica (aka Colt) had a petrol engine. According to Wikipedia (which is often flawed) the 2.5 litre 4D56 Astron was released in 1986, improving on the 2.3 4D55 that was released in '82. The second generation L300, with the 4D55 was entered into the Paris-Dakar but didn't fair as well as her little brother. By the time the Gen Threes came out in '86, with the introduction of the 4D56T... would have been a great time to add an intercooler. I guess this is all cooled water beneath the bridge, as it were but I have often fantasized having one of those dinners with famous people, in this case a table full of the Mitsubishi engineers that designed the Delica Starwagon versions, who miraculously speak English for my benefit and we have a little shōchū to splice the main brace. You may call it dreaming but then dreaming is really what it's all about, isn't it... grins.

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby TRUTHautomotive » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:38 pm

Great job!
I've been considering this project for a long time but haven't quite figured out the best way to go about it. I think you've really hit the nail on the head here. It kind of blows my mind that your pushing it to 20psi!

The EGT's you're describing are pretty much identical to where I'm at stock, I think my fuel curve is as good as its going to get but Ive been getting concerned about pulling 1200F (sometimes more) up hills, do you think this is sustainable? Or is this why we crack heads all the time.

Like others on the forum I've been frustrated about the lack of power going up hills on rocky mountain highways. Have you done any testing yet to determine any power gains from this mod?
I'd be satisfied at 12-15psi if I could just maintain 100km and 1100F up any hill or pass.

Also are you able to explain why the fan is a necessary addition to a front mount intercooler?

Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:06 pm

Our engines are quite capable of handling a measly 20psi, being built to handle combustion pressures around 600psi. A stock turbo *will* make 20psi, but it's well outside of its efficiency range, turning most of the energy into heat rather than boost and overspeeding the turbo. I ran my stock turbo at 20psi for a while until I was happy with the fuelling and power, then replaced it with a new modified turbo designed to make 10-20psi efficiently.

Opinions vary on what a reasonable EGT limit is, and why heads crack. I believe heads crack from rapid temperature change rather than from maximum temperature, but high head temperatures also have other drawbacks. I'm happy to run 1200F (pre-turbo) all day, but back off if temperatures reach 1400F (the exhaust turbine in the turbo is good to 1750F). I avoid pushing the engine hard when it's cold, or if the coolant temperature rises above halfway (I'm concerned about localised boiling and resultant temperature gradients- possibly unnecessarily, but I'd rather play it safe).

At the moment I haven't changed my fuelling or boost from pre-intercooler levels, but I think it has more power when hot. Then again, I think it has more power when it's freshly washed and waxed, so I'm not trusting the seat of the pants dyno just yet. Smoke levels have definitely reduced though, which suggests a better burn and thus more power. The real test will be when towing the caravan- just a touch more power and lower EGTs would be lovely. For some reason* my Delica weighs 2200kg when empty, so it's never going to go up hills very quickly.

The fan isn't *absolutely* necessary. At highway speeds (100kph) there's enough forced air through the tiny grille to keep the intercooler below 35C (which should help economy) but since the intercooler was mounted at such a low angle, and the intake grille is so small, I was concerned about airflow at lower speeds- like when in town, or towing a caravan up a steep hill - just when you need the intercooler the most. The fan is set to turn on when the intercooler reaches 50C and off at 35C, and it does run when going up long hills around town, so I know it's doing something. If the intercooler were mounted vertically in front of the radiator it should get enough cooling air even at low speeds- it didn't have a fan in the Mazda it came out of.


*probably something to do with the 120l fuel tanks, sturdy wooden interior fitout, over-engineered tow bar, stereo, spare tyre carrier, and all the sunroof Exceed options.
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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby lrp374 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:46 am

Growler you just about slipped the " MODIFIED " turbo comment passed me. I've been running with a max 15 psi ( with the occasional 18 psi ) since I got my van 6 years ago.I modified the intake to a 2.5" pipe upped the boost and increased the exhaust to 2.5 " which had a substantial effect on EGT. Quicker more consistent turbo response would be great. I read about modified turbos but have no had access to someone who has made the changes. Is yours a completely new unit or have you just modified the internals?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Larry

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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:39 pm

It's a factory stock Delica turbo unit (that happens to be brand new), machined internally to take a 13G compressor wheel.

I did a writeup, complete with flow map comparisons of a few candidate compressor wheels, here: http://www.delica.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16840&p=127128&hilit=td04#p127128

Having the turbo shop fit the 13G wheel and balance the turbo cost about $250. The rest of the brand new turbo was $750, but there's no reason a new compressor wheel can't be fitted to an old turbo.
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Re: Intercooler, because why not.

Postby winelover » Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:30 pm

Great write up! I guess just about everyone with an L300 and some mechanical ability eventually ends up fiddling with intercoolers. One of the very first mods to my deli was an EGT gauge, and I was shocked at how high they were for what I considered relatively sedate driving. I found an old saab all aluminum intercooler, and after much head scratching, swedged it in under the seat, and moved the intake tubing and air cleaner out in front, following the path of your intercooler tubing, more or less, up the right side of the radiator. It, like yours, dropped EGTs at least 100F during normal cruising. I am still working on airflow through intercooler core. I think some work with a go pro and some tufts of yarn taped to the area will give me an idea of how air moves through the underseat area that used to be occupied by the stock air cleaner. I have my boost set to 12 psi, and will simply slow down(or shift down) if the EGTs rise over 1050F, which, as I live in a mountainous part of Arizona, they can.

Sorry for the poor pic, I took this as I was experimenting with using the now defunct rear window washer pump and tank to spray the intercooler externally, but as far as I could tell, it made no difference in EGTs...
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