2008-2014 Subaru WRX Top-Mount Intercooler, Part 2: Initial Prototype Design
Interested in purchasing our 2008-2014 Subaru WRX Top-Mount Intercooler? Check out more details on our product page linked below!
Last time, we left you with a teaser of the rendering for our prototype of the top-mount intercooler (TMIC). Since then Dan has been hard at work refining his design. Our team worked up some CFD analyses of both the stock intercooler and the Mishimoto prototype. And, we also worked up a few functioning prototypes so we could begin real-world product testing. This project is moving quickly and our team is rather excited to see the outcome. Take a look at the finalized rendering of our cooler below!
The core we designed is rather dense and features an offset fin style for greater heat transfer contact points. Despite the density, we saw very similar if not better flow results compared to the stock cooler. Take a good look at the comparisons below.
So what do all these colors mean? The dot is a graphical representation of airflow. The dot color denotes the velocity of air at that point in the cooler:red (highest velocity), yellow, green, and blue (slowest). This analysis was conducted with 22 psi at the inlet. Our goal here is to improve velocity through the core while still allowing for appropriate heat transfer. The results are very positive!
Now that we had successful flow data with our desired core, it was time to work up a functional prototype for real-world testing. All our products undergo testing to ensure proper functioning. Our facility is well equipped with a Dynojet dynamometer and fabrication equipment so we can modify our design as needed during testing.
We made two prototype coolers, one black and one silver. We designed two very similar cores with slight differences in density. Check out the much anticipated prototype below!
Initial impressions: This cooler is very well designed and constructed. The cast-aluminum end tanks are extremely smooth on both the interior and exterior surfaces. The core looks great and our branding is visible, yet subtle. The primary concern with fitment and design was the two flanges that this cooler features: the BPV flange and the hot-side turbocharger compressor outlet flange. Take a closer look at these flanges below.
Both flanges are CNC-machined and provide completely flat surfaces. The hot-side turbocharger connection flange has provisions for the stock-style O-ring seal. To save you the trouble of locating one of these gaskets or reusing the old one, our new TMIC will include a new gasket.
Next, it was time for a few quick comparison shots of the stock cooler and our prototypes.
The main points of visual comparison will be in the physical size. See the images below where the stock cooler is dwarfed by the Mishimoto prototype. First up is the height comparison.
The next important measurement is the thickness. Remember, the stock core is 2.5" thick.
The Mishimoto prototype intercooler is a full inch thicker than the stock cooler. The total core dimensions are 11" x 11" x 3.5" for a total volume of 423.5 cubic inches. The Mishimoto intercooler provides 162.25 additional cubic inches of volume for a total increase of over 60%!
Now that we have our prototype coolers, it is time for some testing and performance data collection. Check back next time for our testing preparation and initial round of results.
Thanks for reading!