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ianmayco68

Intercoolers and other bits

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Hi all , it’s got to the time on my project 300tdi 90 to start thinking about the engine , front axle should be on this weekend to a finish, fuel injection pump and injectors have gone off to a friend for a full refurb and he’s upping the fip pump by 5% for me when he calibrates it . So my thoughts turned to the intercooler, having read quite a few posts off this forum and in particular Daan’s post were he actually took readings of the temperatures at the inlet and outlet pipes I’m starting to think that the standard intercooler is pretty efficient and spending great wads on shiny big ones, although they’re very well made, is probably not necessary and I’m starting to think one like this is a better option 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FMIC-Front-Mount-Intercooler-600-x-300-x-76mm-Bar-Plate-Same-Side-76mm-In-Out-/153121119759

whats others thoughts on this ? Also while some of the parts are at the engine place I’m using is there any other upgrades that would be worthwhile having done, like crankshaft balancing, I know it won’t make it quicker but it might make it run smoother. Any thoughts from everybody are most welcome.

cheers Ian 

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You could have the crank balanced, but it shouldn't be far off as they're done in the factory.  Balancing the pistons and rods can be done at home and might be worth the effort.  It certainly won't do any harm if you go easy on sensible locations.

I'd be interested to hear the feed back on the intercooler.  A colleague here gave me a good TD5 intercooler that I could use on my 109Tdi, so it'd just be a matter of brackets and hoses to fit it, but like you, I don't know if it's of much benefit in such a vehicle which isn't pushed that hard (for fear of breaking the gear box).

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Cheers Snagger will have a go at balancing the pistons , found a video on youtube , seems quite easy to do just need a set of those small scales , not quite sure about drilling the insides of the pistons but must be safe as he was doing it . The intercooler above has 3'' inlet and outlet tubes so was thinking of making the inlet on the manifold bigger to match something that Dann mentioned in his testing , that the small outlet on the intercooler limited the flow .

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With regards to intercoolers, what frustrates me is that nobody comes up with figures of how a larger intercooler improves things with regards to temp drop; The done thing is to slap a larger intercooler on your car, turn up the fuelling and boost and call it done. Sure enough, you will make more power, but what have else have you changed? I have yet to see anyone who tells me, a bigger intercooler gives me an improved temp drop of 10 deg C or anything like that. So what ever you plan to do, I would suggest running the standard intercooler first, see what the biggest delta temp you can achieve (using the thermocouples as described), then fit your new setup and compare. 

I have to say though, if it is more power you are after, I reckon the biggest improvement you can achieve will be a VNT turbo.

 

Daan

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Having read your post and reading some other posts I agree with your thinking , I think a lot of the time we tend to believe what companies tell us even when there isn’t any data provided to back it up , the only data I’ve seen is what you provided which showed the standard intercooler to be pretty effective. The 300tdi 90 I’m rebuilding will become a daily driver while I want to improve it I’m looking to do it for as least as possible, at the end of the day it’s a Defender and I’m loathe to spend thousands to get it knicked . I’ve had the fip tuned up by 10% by the bloke who’s serviced the fip pump , the turbo had quite a lot of play in it so I’m replacing the chra with an upgraded one and was looking at improving the cooling  the intercooler in the link is only £100 so not expensive but I might try what you did 1st , by changing the intercooler outlet and manifold inlet pipes to 3” . The thermocouples you used do you get the digital readouts with them when you buy them ? 

Just found them on eBay.

Edited by ianmayco68

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Would the VNT really increase maximum power or torque?  I thought it would just widen and flatten the power and torque curves to the same maximum value but over a much broader rev range, making the engine far more flexible and greatly enhancing performance at low rpm.

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The way I read Daan’s not was that he said  it increased ‘power’ not ‘maximum power’ (assuming the turbo’s maximum efficiency and capacity are equal).

Power, as you say, across the Rev range would increase.

More area under the graph - right where you want it.

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Bigger intercooler is to cool a greater volume of air  if you have bigger turbo and pipes, not necessarily to make the air any cooler than a standard one.

Ambient temperatures have a great bearing on this too. Incoming air will be a LOT cooler in the middle of winter than the height of summer.

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5 hours ago, Anderzander said:

The way I read Daan’s not was that he said  it increased ‘power’ not ‘maximum power’ (assuming the turbo’s maximum efficiency and capacity are equal).

Power, as you say, across the Rev range would increase.

More area under the graph - right where you want it.

I think the main with the VNT is that its operating range is much better, while it does not heat up intake air as much, so the inter cooler is not as critical. That in itself should help power a lot., plus it works on the entire rev range, as opposed to just a bigger turbo.

4 hours ago, smallfry said:

Bigger intercooler is to cool a greater volume of air  if you have bigger turbo and pipes, not necessarily to make the air any cooler than a standard one.

Ambient temperatures have a great bearing on this too. Incoming air will be a LOT cooler in the middle of winter than the height of summer.

I understand that bit, but most tuners tweak the pump and fit a bigger intercooler, while leaving the turbo alone. I would still like to know what difference the intercooler makes.

In my measurements, I found that the delta T between intercooler in and out is almost unaffected by ambient. so a temp drop of 60 degrees in summer, is pretty much a temp drop of 60 degrees in the winter.

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I've recently been paying some attention to my long neglected engine (a 300Tdi but in a 110 USW).

So far I've replaced a blown manifold gasket and replaced the jubilee clips with those bolt based ones (T clamps?) and been able to tighten them up quite nicely.

Those two changes along with setting the valve clearances and changing cambelt have made a marked improvement on how she pulls (bearing in mind I'm running a 1.2 transfer box). I've got a bit of a knock which I suspect is a dodgy injector but not narrowed it down yet. But I suspect giving things a bit of an overhaul will make a big difference. Given it's done 160k in my ownership and basically just had oil changes done (and not at particularly regular intervals in the past).

I'd be inclined do the sensible stuff like cleaning it up, new gaskets and running a standard intercooler first. See how it goes and then potentially talk about upgrades. I've never had an issue with mine and it's not been looked after as well as some but it's been 160k of trouble free motoring and it's always got me there.

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3 hours ago, Ed Poore said:

I'd be inclined do the sensible stuff like cleaning it up, new gaskets and running a standard intercooler first. See how it goes and then potentially talk about upgrades. I've never had an issue with mine and it's not been looked after as well as some but it's been 160k of trouble free motoring and it's always got me there.

That's the plan Ed , engine's being totally rebuilt , fuel injection pump and injectors rebuilt by a diesel engineer friend asked him to tweak the pump when he calibrates it as he can set it up much better than I can , I need to replace the chra in the turbo as that was knackered anyway . The question about the intercooler was more whether a bigger one is really needed or do we fit them because were told there better , I started thinking about this after reading Daan's testing that he did . In theory we tweak the pump then throw a big intercooler on because that's what were told , there's no results published anywhere that backs up this , also I might be wrong in my thinking on this , but you tweak the pump which puts in more fuel which If my thinking's right means you need more air , so you fit a bigger intercooler which cools the air down lower and makes in denser , but I've not heard of anyone increasing the size of the intake pipes to feed the gigger intercooler or feed more air into the engine , so is a bigger intercooler actually worth spending £500 on ? Or would it be better to increase the pipe work to 3'' and run the standard intercooler ? I'm no expert on this and I could be talking total rubbish but after rebuilding the 110 , which was my 1st project and spending cash were I probably didn't need to because I was new to this and a bit naïve I've started reading up on stuff a lot more with this project and questioning whether parts we fit are useful or just there for the bling factor .

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Presumably you have a standard intercooler lying around? If it were me I'd just wire up an EGR and see how she goes.

In general I've found that LR actually do a damn good job on the engineering of their vehicle. There aren't very many things they actually got wrong. Yes I realise everything can be upgraded but as a production vehicle they generally do a damn good job.

I remember a thread I read on a Yank forum about upgrading their axles to fully floating and how it was the bees knees and so revolutionary not supporting the weight of the vehicle on the drive shafts. Hmm, surprising no one had done it before... :hysterical:

Anecdote aside what I was getting at is these vehicles in standard trim run quite happily in the desert and much hotter climates that would benefit from an intercooler. Therefore I don't think you'll have an issue in the UK. Whether you see any performance benefit is an unknown.

I do seem to recall that Ian Bell did a load of dyno testing and if I remember correctly the only thing that was really significant in terms of affecting power and torque was intake airflow and the only thing that really affected that was snorkel and pipework design. I.e. If you want performance don't bother fitting a snorkel, the ram air effect people talk about with (notably those with Safari style) was rubbish. The snorkel itself does far more damage to the airflow than could ever be achieved from forcing air down.

Not sure if the report he did looked at different intercoolers. Wonder if my rally contacts know anything. My folks company has also done some work for the guys in Llanelli who build all the cooling systems for the new Land Rover products so they are likely to have some hard facts.

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Yes got the standard intercooler still . That’s exactly my thinking Ed , I think Daan’s test results proved that Land Rover actually did a good job with the results he got , his engine was standard I believe but there isn’t a vast difference between tweeked and standard , that’s why I was questioning whether a bigger intercooler was actually necessary given that a 300tdi is no race car , and would increasing the size of the pipe work and making the intake duct better be more beneficial . On snorkels Ed I was looking at vent turbos on turbo technics I think it was and they stated that there vent turbo shouldn’t be fitted if you have a snorkel fitted .

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There was a thread on def2 about a chap seeing how much power he could get out of a 300Tdi purely for academic purposes. Might be worth seeing if that thread is still around.

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From a non scientific approach I have a gueswork tuned 300 90, it gets 22psi of boost at the inlet manifold and leaves a slightly more than acceptable black exhaust haze at WOT higher speeds with a pre turbo egt of approx 900 degrees c, it runs a supposed Brunel uprated standard size intercooler although I have no proof of this apart from the thicker and less frequent core tubes, 1.4 t box and 235/85 tyres.

 

I have compared against many different TDIs and no matter what gearing or wheel and tyre combo those with a bigger intercooler always begin to outpull mine above 55mph. I think a larger in cooler would be required to get the most out of the VNT or uprated turbo. Aside from a turner head perhaps I can't see the point of fitting much else to a tractor.

 

Will.

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I have a VNT - the Allisport/Turbo Technics/Bell one. It made quite a difference, but then probably replacing a worn out turbo with a new one would anyway. There is also a full width intercooler (the old one leaked). The low speed torque is definitely much better than with the standard turbo/intercooler, but it also seems to have a bit more power. I'd say though there was both more torque and it goes much lower. I guess that would come from more boost, so there is a bit more fuel, but while I haven't played with the fuelling etc yet, I think someone else has before me.  I also smoothed the inlet manifold input stub which otherwise is just a sharp step. The VNT turbo is quite a bit bigger so I guess there could well be more boost, but it seems everything can be done a gear higher.  It recently had a Griffin exhaust and that was enough improvement again for an occasional passenger to ask had I been tweaking it, but that's only noticeable as revs are increasing a bit, the engine revs a bit more freely (OK a bit less asthmatically). At the end of the day it's a TDi not an M57, it's never going to be a ball of fire, but I have such a maintenance backlog I haven't had a chance to play with it properly. 

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The VNT turbo will definitely provide more boost at low rpm.  How much is attributable to the intercooler alone is what I'm curious about.  Unfortunately, comparing a big new one to an old, possibly partly blocked and known leaking smaller one isn't a fair comparison, especially if other gas flow work was done at the same time.  I had assumed the bigger intercoolers would make a difference and that the standard Tdi units were compromised to make installation easier, but the original question remains a good one, and the fact that someone as technically savvy as Daan doesn't have a definitive answer does make me more curious.  A lot of aftermarket accessories and replacement parts are just bling with no technical improvement, and some are even counterproductive, even price not being indicative of true benefits.

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Agreed. I have worked on the a good big'un is better than a good small'un principal. I have wondered about the intercooler, having towed a horsebox from Bristol to Lancs in the height of summer, I noticed at a fuel stop the intercooler felt barely warm, but I guess it's when the engine is pulling really hard you would expect it to be a bit warmer. Incidentally, I think the gearbox was the hottest part.

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The big intercooler must shed more heat.  But I wonder if it's enough to be significant.  I have seen higher performance intercoolers that match the original Tdi type's size, so they fit the same aperture.  I think they just have thicker airways to allow easier flow, rather than shed more heat.  Which issue is more critical would be interesting to know.  

A bigger intercooler would add to lag, but since these aren't racers, I doubt that'd matter to most owners.  My gut still says a bigger unit must help, but you guys have really made me wonder if it's enough to be bothered about.  Even though I got that TD5 intercooler for free and don't mind the time used to fit it, installation would still cost me the new hoses and pipes, plus whatever I use to mount it, and I don't have money to burn! 

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Thanks all for the input this is very interesting , when I did the 110 I just brought an Allisport front mount intercooler because I read they were better , but then after reading other posts on this subject I started to question it . I've had a good look at my standard intercooler today and its not good fins are crumbling when you rub your finger across them so I've got to buy a new one , but I did a bit measuring of the standard one can't remember the height and width but it was about 63mm deep and there were 17 rows of fins across which would mean the galleries would be pretty small as opposed to one of these off ebay .

intercooler.jpg.921c782f0f1599090b58526a028f1c33.jpg

which has 11 rows.

769072031_intercooler2.thumb.jpg.59fb57112016a582eb8514981e9c1b71.jpg

Or the one above which is a Direnza one which I'm thinking of trying as it's £150 as I've got to buy one anyway

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HIGH-FLOW-ALLOY-INTERCOOLER-FOR-LAND-ROVER-DISCOVERY-DEFENDER-300TDI-2-5-TURBO/232880361572?fits=Model%3ADefender&epid=22025976177&hash=item3638c05064:g:4WAAAMXQysxR781M:rk:26:pf:0

this one actually states a 1050cfm @ 0.5psi drop , is this good or bad ? I'm going to buy some of the thermocouples as well they're very cheap and when she's up and running I'll take some measurements , will do some on the 110 as well .

cheers Ian

 

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Well in the interest of adding to this I brought this off ebay £20 ,

SAM_1758.JPG.aa35294fa4843f321211ab2e8af03684.JPG

I'm running a slightly tweaked pump , uprated chra in the turbo and a full width allisport intercooler in the 110 200tdi does everyone think it would be a worthy experiment to put the thermocouple into the turbo pipes on that and see what the results come out at ?

cheers Ian

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i think it would bu usefull to measure the temp's , at least you have a baseline to work from.

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That’s what I was thinking but thought I’d ask what people thought.

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Go for it Ian.

Mo

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