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How to set-up a cheap Intercooler Sprayer
Another cooling option for Forced Induction
Contributed By: enginebasics.com
Cooling forced induction
One of the reasons why we focus so much on cooling the air when it comes to forced induction is because of the physics behind it. From Physics we learn that the ideal gas law is: PV=nRT. Basically this equation shows us that pressure and temperature are directly proportional, meaning as pressure goes up, temperature will go up as well. This is why cooling is so important to forced induction. As we raise intake air pressures and force air into our engines, we are also raising the temperature of that air.
Intercoolers are a great way to cool our intake air after a supercharger or turbocharger has compressed it. Be sure to check out the intercooler section on enginebasics.com for a closer look at different intercoolers and how to make them more efficient. For the purposes of this article we will not go into them.
Intercoolers like most automotive parts, have an efficiency associated with them. Meaning based on there design they can do their job better or worse. For some performance enthusiasts who have installed and maxed out the efficiency of their intercooler set-ups, intercooler sprayers are a great way to squeeze just a little more efficiency out of them. As they squeeze that extra performance out of the intercooler they also squeeze a little more efficiency and power out of there motor.
An intercooler sprayer is essentially a set of water jets that can spray down an intercooler and soak it with a liquid. This essentially can cool an intercooler to a temperature below ambient air temperatures. Cooling that charge will not only help you increase power to your motor, but if the intercooler is mounted in front of the engine radiator, will help keep engine temperatures cool as well.
A Cheap Way to set-up an intercooler sprayer
Believe it or not one of the best ways to set-up a cheap intercooler sprayer is to tap into windshield washer hose. Once you have taped into those lines run them to the front of the car where the intercooler is mounted. From here it’s easy to install a set of fine mist sprayers, like the ones you can pick up in the lawn and garden section at home-depot. Be sure to face the sprayers toward the intercooler so that you will be able to soak the entire surface area of the intercooler.
Do I just spray Water?
This can be one of the most important things about setting up a super efficient intercooler sprayer. You can just spray the intercooler with water, and that would work, but if you're looking for even more efficiency, than you should look to use chemicals that evaporate faster than water to be able to pull even more heat out of the intercooler by evaporating the heat away.
One of the easiest to use is washer fluid that contains a lot of methanol or alcohol in it. A simple set-up to do if taping into your windshield washers is to put a simple mechanical valve that will shut off flow to your windshield and only allow flow to the intercooler sprayers. This way when you want that extra efficiency and performance all you need to do is close that valve and now every time you hit the windshield sprayer, you can actually soak down your intercooler.
If looking for even more efficiency than just washer fluid, one of the best is to mix up a 50/50 mix of water and regular rubbing alcohol. This mixture has been able to pull tremendous amounts of heat soak out of an intercooler in a very rapid amount of time.
Having problems with a over-heating engine and need more radiator efficiency? This same set-up can work for a radiator as well. Sometimes an owner doesn’t have the option of going with a larger radiator and just needs a little something more to cool off engine temps for a short while. A sprayer system will work great for this application as well.
Another thing people are doing is adding in another 'T' and spraying the intercooler along with a water meth injection kit. One of our favorites is the one offered from AEM. Take a look at the details in the link from amazon:
The next step
The next step is to give it a shot. Many people have noticed a loss of power in there forced inducted cars after running them hard at the track or for any length of time. This is called heat soak, and can be frustrating and cause engine over heating. Adding intercooler sprayers can be a very cheap and cost effective way of adding just a little more performance to your car or truck and solving some overheating problems at the same time. If you have anything to add to this article make sure to click the contact us button found in the side table menu.
Also Check out these other intercooling articles:
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