View Full Version : Intercooler's: Water to Air vs. Air to Air

05-06-2012, 11:57 AM
I have been trying to convince a good friend of mine to leave the sad n/a game to finally go boost. Well yesterday he finally committed and bought a precision 6076 turbo. now the eternal game of what comes next has started.

rather than the normal text messages and such, I told him the only way I will discuss it with him is here on your forum, so not only did I recruit a new member (rbsjnh +1), I am hoping to increase the technical knowledge as well.

I am a huge fan of w2a intercoolers and the major reasons why are:

1. Less heat soak
2. Less lag
3. Overall can control iat's more consistently over an extended period.

so to get started I thought I would show whats required, whats available, how to do it.

Parts needed for W2A intercooler:

1. Intercooler core- no matter what kind of ic you use, make sure it is a non-epoxy cores. Epoxy will break down under extreme heat, causing leaks and or debris to enter your engine. if they make it so shitty it needs to be glued together, is that what ya really want?

Barrell Style


Barrell style's are great for very small systems, they can typically reduce lag time on a turbo by 500-700 rpm, they see less than a 1% pressure drop and are usually cable of supporting between 300-450 whp

Box Type


These units typically require a larger core, they maintain a less than 1% pressure drop, generally capable of supporting 600+ Whp. Issue becomes more piping is typically required as these units are big and bulky, and the more piping, the more lag incured.

Heat Exchangers:
Really based on sizes, the larger the unit the longer it will take for heat soak to occur.

examples of heat exchangers:

ideally you want the largest exchanger you can use, as it will reduce heat soak, but small cores do work excessively well, and if you need to save money somewhere, this is ideally where you'd want to do it.

the units are cheap as well, so upgrading can be done without breaking the bank,

Filler Systems/Resevoirs

from the meak and minor

to something a little more serious

this is actually a ps fluid resevoir but works perfect for a w2a ic resevoir

to the extreme trunk mounted

these units are perfect as they typically hold approx 10lb's of ice, reducing iat's far below an a2a intercoolers ability


Bosch intercooler pump, these units are made for 12v pumping high temp water constantly, imho you should not use anything less than a bosch pump.

if a bosch pump is too pussy for ya there is only one option

the king of racing fluid pumps.

05-06-2012, 12:52 PM
You recruited a new member, but your not getting $5 off your shipping and you already have a rrc, keep posting sir, I think a water to air intercooler would be best, any disadvantages?

05-06-2012, 01:00 PM
only disadvantage is additional weight, but in reality, the compensation is less lag and more torque earlier. I prefer anti-lag over weight any day

05-06-2012, 01:16 PM
So it keeps the same water in it all the time or what?

05-06-2012, 01:19 PM
yes sir. it is nothing but a cooling system for the ic core, similar to a radiator system for your engine.

colder water is more ideal, but these systems can be maintanance free if set up correctly. this is why alot of high end manufacturers use w2a in vehicle production as it can seriously work alot better than a2a in the same instance

05-06-2012, 05:33 PM
I had an Air to Water intercooler on my old Honda Accord turbo setup. It was a great sleeper option :)

I've thought about it for the RSX.

05-06-2012, 05:34 PM
bodyman wants to go a2a, Im like :tap:

Si Speed 317
05-07-2012, 11:22 AM
bodyman wants to go a2a, Im like :tap:

:rotfl: This is great info, repped!

05-07-2012, 11:39 AM
Ryan did it cool glad to hear it !!:hail: :turbohug:

05-07-2012, 12:34 PM
I know finally, right?

05-14-2012, 11:28 PM
bodyman wants to go a2a, Im like :tap:

I never said I was!!! I actually like this idea. Buying one after I mount the manfiold and my baby turbo up to see what size I'm looking at.

Si Speed 317
06-28-2012, 12:05 AM
I think this really is a great idea. The more I research about it, the more I like it. SSA had a w2a intercooler STANDARD on their kits. They also had an amazing top mount manifold like I've never seen before. Nothing like the other manifold where the wastegate was the priority in the design, but still an awesome mani. I wonder why more people don't run these. I don't have enough room to be honest.

08-20-2012, 02:43 AM
Had to bring this back. I have done my research on this and the pros and cons are not to bad. It does cost a little more then a standard a2s with all the tubes needed and then you need a place to mount it. I was going to run this but the thing that changed my mind it that at time I drive from AZ to Tx or Ks so it said it will get heat soaked and I did not see the appeal of having to add water when I stopped for gas. But it seems like a good deal, if you can get your hands on the kit that has the box in the truck and dump some cubes of dry ice in it. It would bring the temps down extremely low.

Si Speed 317
08-24-2012, 10:48 AM
^ I never thought of that.. the heat soak issue

08-25-2012, 08:26 PM
Yes I know the SRT turbo kits or was it the SSA kit comes with one factory.

08-26-2012, 10:37 AM
SSA came with a2w cooler. It was located right around where the stock airbox would be.

08-26-2012, 12:15 PM
I would like to see the IAT between the two.

08-26-2012, 03:30 PM
Iirc it stayed right at ambient or just slightly above.

08-26-2012, 08:33 PM
Oh that be nice mixed with some meth injection you could run some nice ass boost pressure!!!

Si Speed 317
09-01-2012, 07:22 PM
It's funny, because meth the drug and meth the alcohol for our cars are both addicting.

09-01-2012, 07:30 PM
LMFAO but meth for our car is not going to have you peaking threw your window is it?

Si Speed 317
09-01-2012, 11:32 PM
LMFAO but meth for our car is not going to have you peaking threw your window is it?

It will if you drink it :)

09-02-2012, 01:52 PM
Only problem I have with Meth is its not continuous meaning you can run out. And if you don't notice you ran out or if a nozzle clogs or doesn't fire BOOM. But there again you could have issues with everything and anything. So my point isn't very valid lol

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09-02-2012, 02:09 PM
^ This is definitely valid. Just means you have to take the extra precautionary steps to make sure all is well. "With great power comes great responsibility." No pun intended. :giggle:

09-02-2012, 05:22 PM
You can also use meth just to cool things down, and make your current pump gas tune safer, and not tune more aggressively because of the meth. In that case if you were to run out, you would not blow your motor you'd just be back to the high IATs most people see on a daily basis.

09-02-2012, 06:48 PM
AEM makes a system that has a built in gauge you can hook up to monitor how much you used.

fre$h si
09-25-2012, 03:17 AM
how much do u spend on these over normal a2a set ups? itd be nice having consistant IATs

fre$h si
09-25-2012, 03:18 AM
and can anyone make a diagram on how these are ran??

09-25-2012, 08:59 AM
Don't you have the full race intercooler? Thought that cooler worked the best?

fre$h si
09-25-2012, 10:16 PM
Haha to be honest I wouldn't know I don't have experience with any other IC. Linda thinking bout going stock and getting a real car to race & have fun with. I'm not gonna beat anything decent with fwd

09-25-2012, 10:58 PM
Hmm well its up to you. But this car boosted is awfully fun to me and I'm at lower power level than you. Perhaps you spin too much to really get to use the power?

fre$h si
09-25-2012, 11:03 PM
Not just that but also the weight is pretty high. Not to be a bringer downer but rwd & awd are gonna get us every time even if they make anything near our power. I've been trying to keep it concealed but I really wanna go drifting lol

09-25-2012, 11:29 PM
Haha drifting would be awesome!

fre$h si
09-28-2012, 01:02 AM
anyone got any more info on these things?

09-28-2012, 08:24 PM
I know AEM makes one its a small one that can fit under the hood and its a complete kit. I may just run Meth kit with the sensor that triggers a light when its low.