Airtec Intercooler

Discussion in 'Mechanical - Engine, Gearbox, Exhaust etc' started by Mark., Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    I've not tested it myself but the feedback on the prototype was that it was fine on standard and RS Tuning's stage 1. K-Tec Racing do a 90mm intercooler but it looks tube-and-fin design, not sure about the Forge one. I think Airtec want bring something better to market. Airtec coolers tend to be bar-and-plate which is generally better for performance, more robust and reliable. I have a huge Airtec intercooler on my Focus ST and was dubious of lag when fitting it but I never noticed any difference, even with a smaller a turbo a few years ago. Airtec are now supplying intercoolers into many race series such as Time Attack and the BTCC, so they know what they're doing.
  2. Sounds good but pricey ?
  3. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    People will choose to buy what they can afford. I suspect most will go for just the front lower grill. Others may just opt for the rear grills... who knows! Either way, there will be discounts for club members :wink:
  4. Cant beat a discount:wink:
  5. Would be interested in a 265 version of the airtec cooler, pending testing of course :smile: do not want to introduce lag.
  6. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    A 250/265 version is on their radar for sure. I'll have an update on the progress of the Megane 2 intercooler in a week or 2.
  7. Id be interested in this in the future if all plans come together! Grill idea is very nice!
  8. Any more news on the AT cooler for R26? Really would like one soon
  9. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    I should have an update on the intercoolers next week. Grill development is also planned for next week, so only 2 weeks before you will see them :-). They will be available soon after.

  10. For the people who dont know maybe you could give the pros of tube and fin over bar and plate core design. Its not like there isnt any.
  11. +1 ^^
  12. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    Good point and you're quite right. There's a lot of information available on the comparisons between the two types and much of it is contradicting or biased. There are also many different types of each, so the following list should be considered general and not a comparison of one manufacturer's solution vs another's.

    Tube and Fin
    External ambient airflow through the cooler is better than bar & plate (depending on depth and speed of travel). So radiators behind the IC will get better airflow.
    Cheaper (quite often due to amount of material used)
    Lower pressure drop internally

    Weak, can be damaged by debris, deform, crack, burst, rot depending on quality of manufacture and materials
    Internal cooling efficiency not as good as bar and plate = less power
    Flow not as good as bar and plate = less power
    Reacts to heat soak faster
    Needs to be larger than bar & plate for equivalent cooling

    Bar and Plate
    Internal cooling efficiency = more power
    Better flow internally
    Strong, not prone to cracking or damage from debris.
    Can cope with higher boost pressures
    Can be smaller than tube & fin equivalent

    External ambient airflow through cooler is not as good as tube & fin because the cooling fins are flat and wide. Not an issue on cores up to 100mm and when speeds are over 40mph. Plus you can uprate other components such as fit an alloy radiator or remove the A/C radiator to improve airflow.
    More expensive (often)
    Pressure drop internally

    Some more info here.

    There are other factors that make better coolers which are not specific to core type, such as end tank design. Cheaper end tanks tend to be a welded aluminium sheet type fabrication whereas cast end tanks can be nicely curved for better airflow. Then you have some manufacturers adding air-scoops to force more air into the core. (Airtec have both cast end tanks and scoops in the case of the RS Megane 2. )

    Discuss.... :smiley:

  13. I like the air scoop, and looking forward to the grilles.
  14. Reacts to heat soak as a con. Yes it warms up quicker but it also loses heat quicker. I see this as a pro on a road car. On a track/drag strip car I would choose bar and plate but for normal driving on the road with the odd bursts of boost tube and fin every time.

    Also states weak. Maybe weaker than the heavier bar and plate but how many evo's are still driving round on their original tube and fin intercoolers? Not exactly weak.
  15. Swings and roundabouts, we're driving road cars mostly for commuting with the odd 'non competitive' track days. Does the very last degree of cooling or one bhp really matter?

    Be a different story perhaps on a 400bhp setup or a dedicated track/race car.
  16. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    I've destroyed 2 tube and fin intercoolers. One cracked and the other expanded due to boost even though the manufacturer said they were tested to 3 bar! An Astra GSI blew its engine right in front of me at Brands Hatch which stripped my bumper of paint and damaged a grill. I'm not sure a tube & fin would have withstood that. However, extreme cases and the points you make are all valid ones :-)

    It does matter to many people but often the one with the lowest cost is the winner :-).
  17. Did you record the Astra blowing its engine? Bet you said a few choice words there.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  18. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    I don't recall having it on video but will check. Cleaning the windscreen and front of the car with brake cleaner wasn't fun! I was pulling bits of metal out of the front end for about a year afterwards LOL
  19. Naith

    Naith RSM Admin

    had a good look around one on dave newshams NGTC focus on tuesday, construction (visually) is top draw!
  20. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    The quality is amazing! I'll post some photos of the last one I fitted. I really need the Airtec intercooler myself... its holding up my dev and testing ;-). #GettingItchy #ChristmasIsComing
  21. I know this sounds like a stupid question to you pros but what exactly is the difference between tube and fin/bar and plate? Looked at a handful of intercoolers now and they all seem to be the same construction.
  22. Hasn't that been answered some posts up?
  23. To look at them Bar and plate look square. Tube and fin are more rounded. If that is what you meant.
  24. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    Here's a comparison photo I found online
    Its worth pointing out that no all bar & plate intercoolers are the same.
    For example... profiling to improve charge air entry
  25. Heres another. Easy to see which is which.

  26. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    Example of standard and aftermarket Ford Focus ST tube & fin intercoolers. Aftermarket alloy one also has welded end tanks, good for 310 bhp. This is the intercooler that expanded due to boost pressure (still searching for that photo) - poor quality in my opinion.
    IMG_2096 (Medium).JPG

    This is the Ford Focus RS Stage 2 intercooler. Bar & plate, cast end tanks, flow optimised, 65mm core, good for up to 700 bhp.
    P1300654 (Custom).jpg
  27. Thanks for clearing that up! So basically bar and plate is better but more expensive. Just so happens I have an IC waiting to go on my meg, anyone tell me if it's tube/fin or bar/plate and whether it looks well designed/built?

  28. Neeeeeed one of those black and red Airtecs for my 265, they look fantastic !
  29. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    Hard to tell on the photo. I would say bar/plate. Interesting end tank design :confused:
  30. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    All in good time LOL. We'll keep you drooling for a bit longer first :tongueout:
  31. Any update on the 230 unit? I'm very interested
  32. Depends what the car Is going to be used for. Both have their pros and cons. If it was my money I would get tube and fin as generally they allow more airflow through to the water radiator than bar and plate.
  33. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    I'll hopefully have some news this time next week.
  34. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    True in theory. But you can always uprate the radiator also. Depends whether you want out and out power whatever the cost or a compromise. We have an Airtec radiator coming also which I am commissioning both for the cooling benefits but mainly for strength... no more leaky plastic side tanks!
  35. Shocking is how I would describe it.

    I would sell it on ebay and get a better one with decent end tanks and more cooling rows.
  36. You keep mentioning strength and referring to tube and fin as weak but I ran 1.7 bar ftom a gt3071 through one for 3 years and never bothered it.
    Its still on now 2 years later with the new owner.

    Is there an issue with the meganes radiator being weak and leaking?
  37. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    I think its easy to make a bar/plate intercooler strong and easy to make a tube/fin one weak. However this doesn't mean all tube/fin ones are week. I too have had cars for years running them without issue. Its all down to the design, materials and manufacture. Some companies will skimp on material costs which may cause premature failure of the cooler.

    For the radiator, I've heard of a few cases of plastic side tank leaks on the Megane 2. It happens on quite a few cars from different marques too. Alloy radiators may not be necessary on the road but I feel much better when one's fitted to a track car and for the same reason I would ensure the hoses are in top condition.
  38. Track Focus Direct

    Track Focus Direct RSM Trader

    Harsh ;-). I'd like to see a few more photos. I'm sure its quite adequate.
  39. -Jamie-

    -Jamie- RSM Moderator

    That looks like all the RS250/265 Coolers do due to the placement of the boost piping.

    Looks like a Forge item, Went cheap on eBay a while back if its the same one i spotted.....
  40. It's a ktec unit which I believe Pace make for them. More photos can be seen here:

    I believe the 250 ICs demand a very specific design as blocking the radiator causes overheating very quickly.

    Don't just tell me the end tanks are 'shit' I'd prefere to learn a little whilst finding out I've wasted lots of money lol. Why are the poorly designed? I didn't realise there was so much involved in IC design!

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