water/air intercoolers?

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 11:24
ThreadID: 10643 Views:2438 Replies:10 FollowUps:4
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I am looking at changing my air/air intercooler to one of the water/air ones on my 4.2L diesel GU.
Any one had experiences with these?
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Reply By: Member - Rosco - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 11:47

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 11:47

No experience, but curious why you would want to ??

CheersFidei defensor

AnswerID: 47308

Follow Up By: simon - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:00

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:00
At the moment i have a front mounted air/air intercooler which dont do anything at slow speeds and does not help with the overheating problems 4.2 GU suffer.
A water/air intercooler will work at slow speeds as it does not require vechile movement air flow for cooling, can be mounted any where in the engine bay .
Its just an idea im toying with at the moment.
FollowupID: 309297

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:38

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:38
But a water/air intercooler would still need the water to be cooled. Are you thinking of using an air conditioner to cool the water? But then you need another "air cooler" for the air conditioner condensor.

Another alternative is a water spray directly onto the air cooler. Rally cars use this on their intercoolers when stationary at the check-in points. This is evaporative cooling and relies on the ambient air temp/humidity for efficiency. As it is typically hot conditions when the intercooler performs poorly, this is exactly when evaporative cooling works well.

Water sprays are a relatively cheap and easy way to improve intercooler performance at slow speeds. One could even re-direct the windscreen washer for a trial. Cheap, easy and already have the switch to turn off and on in the cab, plus a water bottle under the bonnet. Just a matter of a bit of tubing and water jets from say a reticulation store.

Anyway, an idea that just may work and cost next to nicks to try. Would be interested to hear the outcome if you do get around to doing it.


MarkNissan 2003 GU 3.0TD
Windsor Rapid Offroad
FollowupID: 309300

Reply By: Roachie - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:29

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:29
I'm curious too. I have not heard of a water/air intercooler. Would it use a separate water reservoir or the vehicle's original cooling system?
I had some over-warming issues with my 4.2GU T/D too, but after changing my viscous hub for a new genuine Nissan jobbie, putting a bonnet scoop (off a 3 ltr Patrol) on the passenger's side over the turbo, and also re-fitting the plastic air ram to the bottom of the chassis just behind the radiator, I seem to have cured my problem.
During my investigations, I came across a mob in Qld that make alloy radiators, oil coolers and intercoolers. I can't think of their name at the moment, but I know one of the forumites with a 4.2 Patrol did lash out the $1100- for one of their radiators. It was all covered about a month ago...do a search and you'll find their name. Another possible solution would be to stick with the air/air intercooler; but use a top-mounted one.....and place an electric thermo fan over the top of it, which you can turn on at any time (eg: when you're going too slow to get any air-ram effect through a bonnet scoop. I've seen photos of that done successfully.
Let us know how you get on, please.
AnswerID: 47310

Follow Up By: goldfinder - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 22:11

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 22:11
That person would be me Roachie. My PWR Radiator seems to be working great but my trip out to Milparinka in May while towing the van will tell. I also have a front mounted Safari Intercooler fitted.
FollowupID: 309353

Reply By: Wazza (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:36

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 12:36
Like these ones ?? A good write up here.

AnswerID: 47313

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 13:27

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 13:27
Talking to a few blokes on outerlimits with it on various vehicles. It works well... You need another form of radiator, waterpump of some form, and other things.

All depends on what you want the truck for.. if its short course comps then its a good idea..

They create heat issues, as your radiator for the intercooler sits infront of the radiator, and heat is transfered into the normal radiator... They do give more power... But is the expense worth it is the question...

Another option is a water sprayer onto the intercooler, such as windscreen washer bottle, pump, and extra jets like for the screen to spray water onto the cooler. This works VERY well for the cost of it!

As someone else said the www.are.com.au site is good for turbo info.

AnswerID: 47317

Reply By: simon - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 13:31

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 13:31
thanks guys

i might give the water sprayer idea a try wont cost much too give it a go
AnswerID: 47318

Follow Up By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 16:28

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 16:28
The heat has to end up going to the atmoshpere no matter what method you use.
In that respect I doubt that the heat going to water to cooling fins to air via a radiator (heat-exchanger) would be any more efficient that directly from cooling to fins to air (ie. intercooler).
Besides that you would need some sort of water pump to complicate the issue I should imagine.
But.... you never know.
OskarThe real oskar
FollowupID: 309309

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 15:07

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 15:07
Personally i would stay away from the water to air on a diesel, because the two dont want to mix or it is an expensive job to put the leg back in bed .........having said that, alot of heavy duty diesels use the water to air coolers when they are stationary or constant rev alternators etc.
Use of a garden spray nozzle coupled to a washer bottle and pump, coupled to a switch on the throttle gives some good benefit for little outlay.
Andrewwheredayathinkwer mike?
AnswerID: 47327

Reply By: Eric Experience. - Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 21:56

Thursday, Feb 19, 2004 at 21:56
What you propose is good in theory but a bit messy to construct, the main problem is excess heat under the bonnet. THe simplest way to solve the problem is to replace the oil cooler with a bigger unit, but dont place it in front of the radiator, place it where the hot air will not end up under the bonnet that way the heat load on the radiator will be reduced by 30%. This is well proven on trucks and bathurst race cars. Eric.
AnswerID: 47376

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 01:36

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 01:36
As far as I understand
The hole idea of liquid to air aftercooling/intercooling is that your engine output power will be constant through out the power range, engine coolant is used as it is at a constant temp. keeping the air temp constant, but this is old tech. as it cost power to keep coolant at this constant (larger radiator, fan, coolant pump etc.) so thay changed to air to air intercoolers to gain the use of the free air as the vehicle is moving.


AnswerID: 47411

Reply By: Mick - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 09:29

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 09:29
Water/ air is excellent if you use it on a boat!
I worked for cat, on lots of big boats.
The sea water stays at a constant 20 degrees, and theres plenty of it, so you could imagine the cooling capacity of an aftercooler used in a boat, this is why you can always get more hp's out of the same engine in a boat compared to a truck.
The radiator water in your truck will sit at 80-85 deg, which helps enormously, as the compressed air is much higher, but is it worth the cost? An air/air is still the best for long highway runs.
AnswerID: 47418

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 11:56

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 11:56
pwr do a kit with their new 'barrel' air to water intercoolers, has a small radiator with a thermo fan and a circulating pump etc. have a size that can easily support 400Kw petrols so should have one to fit your diesel . Won't be cheap though, if you can you could try to fit a slim thermo from davies craig under your existing unit and switch it manually or on a temp sensor.Just killin time till easter...............go and play in the dirt, instead of workin in it......
AnswerID: 47430

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