Intercooler Series: Derek at SpeedFactory builds Dual Core Intcercooler Pt.1

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Ok, we bring you a large amount of extremely high quality fabrication photos and topics on our Facebook Fan page.  We have also been bringing you top notch articles and topics on Fabircationlife.com, including; Quickies: Intro to Tungsten & PrepSolidWorks TipsPrep Is EverythingFabricators Series: Collectors 101, and all of our Tig’d Up Tuesday reviews.  Now we want to show you a more detailed fab session with a seasoned vet, Derek Chorum.




In this portion, we will bring you an in depth look into the assembly of a race intercooler from our friend Derek at SpeedFactory.  Derek, always submits solid work and is a strong help around at Fabrication Life when it comes to content.  Always sending sneaks of projects he has on the workbench, he has been a great lead for many into learning more about fabrication from his previews.  This intercooler project he is building is a race core, to be used in an extremely high horsepower application that will see constant flow and will take a beating from both vibration and heat.



Dual Core Intercooler

The build will show you an inside look and how to on end tank design, proper stacking, sealing and more.  How this intercooler is different from your normal intercooler assembly is that it will be for an all out drag application with dual cores, custom end tanks to provide more volume, and will mount completely differently in the setup.


Parts Acquisition

With anything you are fabricating, it is imperative to gather every part you need for your build before you start.  I cannot stress this enough.  Some fabricators will work off of the “acquire as you go” base but that is not the way we would advise you to go.  Your prep and measurement must be top notch to expect the best possible outcome of the build.



Here is our Shopping list for this project

(2) Air to Air Intercooler cores

We chose these particular units for density of the core, the denser the core is the better it can act as a heat sink. In a 8 second drag race we cannot rely on the ambient air to pass through the core to help cool the air intake temperatures, so we need a intercooler which has the highest fin count per inch available, those fins help disperse the hot air out of the core.



Why 2 cores and not just 1 as traditionally seen?

For a couple of reasons, the common since answer is CFM rating and how it relates to horsepower output.  The area we have to fit the intercooler limits the size of core we can use, the core that fits within that area is rated to 650hp, but the Vibrant Performance Civic makes well over 1000hp. We need enough CFM and heat sink to not have a inefficient intercooler for our application.  Thus the reason we paired two 650hp rated cores together.


image (2)

Other materials include

  • .125″ 5052 Aluminum sheet.


Tools used to complete this project

  • Thermal Arc 186 tig welder
  • Horizontal Bandsaw
  • Vertical Bandsaw
  • “Homemade” slip roll
  • Disc grinder with sanding wheel and cut off wheel
  • Hole saw
  • Abrasive/polishing wheel
  • Bench top grinder
  • Bridgeport Milling machine for the velocity stack square to round transitioned outlet

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Idea behind the design

We seek out the best flowing parts for our engines intake and exhaust systems, CNC ported cylinder head with proven industry leading CFM ratings, throttle bodies and intake manifolds with high CFM and smooth flow characteristics.The question then arises “Why would we want our intercooler to be the bottle neck of our smooth flowing system?”  In designing these tanks, I wasn’t necessarily looking to move the air as fast as possible through the cores (the boost pressure will take care of that), what I was trying to achieve is the smoothest transitions and routing for the air to take.  In our set up the airflow has to make 2 90° turns to enter and exit the intercooler, my job was to make that as turbulent free as possible.



What is coming next?

Next in this series, we will have the intercooler prep and mock up. This is an extremely crucial part of anything fabrication related as your measurements are imperative to fit, and your prep will determine the quality of the finished product. Please follow along, help us share the article, and join us on this special intercooler series we are embarking upon. The end product here will be a 1000+ wheel horsepower capable intercooler suited for any race application.





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