Front-mount intercooler dyno testing

Cool Your Charge! The 2015 WRX Front-Mount Intercooler Build, Part 4: Dyno Testing

Interested in picking up our 2015 WRX FMIC kit? Check out more details on our product page linked below!

Mishimoto Subaru WRX Front-Mount Intercooler Kit

Time for the fun part of development, product testing! Since this is an intercooler, we would certainly need to put the WRX on the dyno for some pulls and data collection. It would be interesting to see how the installation of a front-mount system has an impact on turbo spool, intake temperatures, and perhaps even power output.

Testing Preparation

The first step toward data collection is to prepare our sensor bungs and install our pressure and temperature sensors. We installed our bungs within the inlet and outlet intercooler couplers.

Sensor bungs installed for dyno testing
Sensor bungs installed for dyno testing
Sensor bungs installed for dyno testing
Sensor bungs installed for dyno testing
Sensor bungs installed for dyno testing
Sensor bungs installed for dyno testing

Dyno Testing

Once complete we strapped the WRX to the dyno and started making our pulls! Check out the images and video from our tests!

Front-mount intercooler dyno testing
Front-mount intercooler dyno testing
Front-mount intercooler dyno testing
Front-mount intercooler dyno testing
Front-mount intercooler dyno testing
Front-mount intercooler dyno testing

Testing Results

After making several pulls we compiled our results into a series of charts that should help you make an informed decision regarding your intercooler needs. Do you need a front-mount? Is the stock top-mount going to be sufficient for your needs? These great quandaries of the mind are answered below.

First, a look at outlet temperatures of the stock intercooler setup compared with our front-mount system.

Outlet temperatures per RPM comparison
Outlet temperatures per RPM comparison

At the start of the pull, the front-mount already shows improvements, displaying a 20°F temperature drop compared to the stock intercooler. As the pull progresses, the top-mount outlet temperatures begin to rise at around 4,300 rpm and eventually peak at around 120°F . The front-mount setup starts at around 70°F  and peaks at right around 82°F toward the end of the pull. This reflects a nearly 40°F difference in intake temperatures! Also, keep in mind that our ambient temperature in the shop is right around 65°F, so our front-mount system is keeping temperatures to within 17°F of ambient – pretty impressive! In a nearly identical test with our new 2015 WRX top-mount, we saw peak temperatures around 90°F.

Our next chart shows outlet temperature relative to boost pressure.

Outlet temperature per PSI comparison
Outlet temperature per PSI comparison

This chart shows outlet temperatures during spool. The entire length of this plot data was collected in the short amount of time it takes to increase from 4 psi to peak pressure. As you can see, both plots stay relatively level during this time. Only during sustained high boost does the temperatures begin to rise, and we see a bigger difference between the two intercoolers. That said, we are still seeing about a 20°F drop between the two cooler setups during initial turbo spool.

The next chart is the one folks have been waiting for. Front-mount intercooler setups typically produce greater lag, which is why one might stray from this particular setup on a lower-powered build. To demonstrate this we produced the chart below, which shows PSI/RPM for the stock intercooler system and the Mishimoto front-mount.

Boost pressure per RPM comparison
Boost pressure per RPM comparison

We started our pulls at around 3,000 rpm, which showed around 6 psi of pressure for both setups. Through 18 psi we were able to achieve nearly identical pressure per rpm. You will also notice the front-mount peaks at a slightly higher pressure, which is likely due to the lower intake temperatures. Either way, lag with the front-mount was extremely minimal.

Piping Modification

After fitting the bumper once again, we decided clearances were a bit tighter than we wanted on the cold side. Instead of having this pipe potentially rub the back of the bumper, we decided to modify the route a bit to provide improved fitment. Both the upper and lower portions of this pipe were modified.

Pipe route modification
Pipe route modification
Pipe route modification
Pipe route modification

In addition to the new route, we intend to manufacture a portion of this piping out of wire-reinforced silicone. This portion will be passing between the headlamp and the washer reservoir. By using silicone we can ensure that the component will not be damaged from rubbing and will not vibrate or cause noise concerns within the cabin.

Catch Can Use

We do our best to make each of our components compatible with each other, and we were able to do so with a majority of our products, excluding our direct-fit catch can kit. Unfortunately the cold-side piping interfered with our driver’s side catch can mounting bracket. With a bit more space in the rear of the engine compartment, we were able to relocate this unit with a new bracket and revised lines. Check it out!

In addition to the new route, we intend to manufacture a portion of this piping out of wire-reinforced silicone. This portion will be passing between the headlamp and the washer reservoir. By using silicone we can ensure that the component will not be damaged from rubbing and will not vibrate or cause noise concerns within the cabin. Catch Can Use Catch can modification
Catch can modification
Catch can modification
Catch can modification

Thanks for taking a look at our progress! Now that this kit is complete, we will begin manufacturing units and should have these kits on shelves in the near future. Keep an eye out for a few small additional updates in the following weeks regarding our final product.

Any interest in a discounted presale for NASIOC folks?

Thanks

-John

Interested in picking up our 2015 WRX FMIC kit? Check out more details on our product page linked below!

Mishimoto Subaru WRX Front-Mount Intercooler Kit

 

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