The Intercooler

The intercooler on the Talon was part of a larger project: The front end of the Talon. The cooling system, more specifically.

We pondered the cooling system. I wanted to do something on the DSM’s that nobody had done – ever. So, we came up with a plan. Instead of stacking everything like a cracker, and wedging it in the front of the car. I didn’t want to go as far as using a shifter cart radiator, and I also wanted to have a reasonbly decent sized IC core, filled with ice and water. So, how would be able to accomplish that? Well, we mounted the radiator and IC horizontally, instead of vertically. Alright, well, the radiator isn’t horizontal, it’s about 30 degrees from horizontal, but it makes more room for the air:water IC that we would up using.

The premise of the intercooler is reasonably simple. Instead of running lines, a high volume pump, and end up with the same effect at the end of the day, the concept is this: Use the mass of the aluminum intercooler along with the ice and water to take the heat of the charge from the turbo throughout the run. It’s complicated to explain, but quite simple when you see it. The core contains an integrated water tank.

Okay, so now that that’s explained – how did we make the IC? Well, Mark pulled up some specs, and through a thermal dissipation formula he used to come up with figures for his air:water intercooler, figured it’d take about 15 pounds of ice to cool the charge we wanted to chill, for one pass 😮 So, we got to work. We called up Bell Intercoolers and ordered up a core. Then Mark hand bent up a bunch of 1/8″ 6061 for some end tanks, and some .090″ 6061 for the IC ice tank.

Through a friend, Tom Shwalm, we were able to gain access to a welder that is a little bigger than my little TIG to weld up the core. It was cake; we spent a day out at VT Competition Engine Development in Lansing, Michigan working on the Intercooler, and getting the new block honed. The honing was the easy part; we didn’t have to do that 😉 I didn’t actually use VT to complete the IC, but I did use VT’s Lincoln to weld up the end-tanks, and to weld the tanks to the core. There is a lot of thermal mass in the 30 pound core, so I wanted to make sure that we’d have enough amperage to get the job done. Plus, it was really a lot of fun to hang out with those guys. It’s sad to say that VT doesn’t exist quite in the form that it did back in early 2004, but VT Engines, Inc is still in business.

Here’s the scoop for those who don’t know: VT Competition Engine Development was purchased by a guy named Chris (I don’t remember Chris’s name off the top of my head) – anyway, Chris purchased VT, and changed it’s name to VT Engines, Inc. The old owners moved out, and the new owner took up shop. I’d still recommend going to those guys for Ford mod motor work – Their engine builders kick ass 🙂 Unfortunately for us, they now focus primarily on Ford 4.6 and 5.4 mod engines.

Anyway, back to the IC, right? So, we got the IC finished enough, and then mounted it to the car. We used 1-1/4″ chromoly tubing to mount the IC right in front of the engine. Unlike any other DSM 🙂