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Advice On Making Water To Air Intercooler


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Hi, I'm looking at making my own water to air inter cooler.

Basically I have a smallish cooler I want to cut down and then encase the core and run water through it. the welding and fabrication side is easy I'm just unsure on a few things.

Would I need to have some kind of blanking/diversion plates to make the water/coolant snake its way down through the core?

Would It need to put a plate to change direction each gallery/section or a change in direction say two or three times enough?

Also could I use an old air con condenser/cooler as the radiator/water cooler?

This is going on a RB20 and the most I plan on getting out of the motor is 180-200 kw's

I apologise if this is confusing, I'm trying my best to describe it with out pictures.

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I understood that a good internal design of a water to air is very different to air to air....also W2A is way smaller for the same cooling capacity.

Our "1000hp" one is only about 30cmx30cmx10cm

Hi, i also noticed there is a difference in design between a water to air and air to air. But Ive read of it being done before with reasonable success, Its not going to cost me any thing to make/modify the cooler, if it doesnt work ill just buy a Small PWR unit.



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thought about this myself, just cbf putting a turbo on my car yet. my plan of attack:

old side mount skyline cooler cut down as the 'core'. from what i've seen on some other w2a coolers, they work in a reverse fashion to a a2a. where normally charge air flows through the 'runners', and you have ambient air flowing across the tube/fins, w2a will have the charge air running through the fins/across tubes, and have the water running through the 'runners'. and therein, i believe, lies the secret to w2a coolers, slowing the water down enough, that it has time to suck the heat out of the charge air, much like a thermostat does to your engine coolant. this is where your blanking/diversion plates would come into effect. think of trying to make the intercooler work like a 3 pass radiator (although i couldnt tell you the optimal number of 'passes')

you will also notice that w2a coolers generally have very low pressure drop, (because the charge air isnt being squashed down to run through the small runners) and are a relatively small size for the cooling capacity, (coz water is cold n shit)

i was going to use an old air con condensor, just coz i have one sitting around. it is quite large compared to most of the 'radiators' that come with w2a coolers, so should work fine.

if you do it habib spec and go cheap on the pump, just make sure its mounted at a lower height to the water tank, as the cheaper pumps tend not to generate much vaccum before itself, only pressure after. another thing is to decide when you want to run the pump. some genuine street cars only run them when they are on boost, some cars dont run a pump at all (drag cars using ice mostly). personally if it was me, i'd just have a crankin flat out, mostly coz im lazy though....

i know its hard to find info, but most of this ^ came straight off google, so keep looking around. have a look around on theturboforums

another option is a cheap w2a core off ebay, which for a couple of hundred bucks, have been proven to go 800hp+

edit - be careful, and if you make one yourself, make sure you take your time and do it good. there is a thing with w2a coolers, they sometimes explode, and when they do, they go bang in a big way. theres a vid flaoting around somehwere of a drag racer in the U.S. that had one mounted in the cabin (very common thing) and it went bang, granted it was at like 40psi. long story short, he started his run in a nice camaro/corvette/mustang/cantf*ckingremember, and before he crossed the line it was a convertable. it didnt put a hole in the roof or anything, it just blew the whole thing off

Edited by VB-
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