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Very pretty looking!
Too bad that what little airflow, mostly generated by the fan, around the intercooler is going to be about 180*F.
I would also suspect that the intercooler is a bit restrictive from an air flow standpoint (may be wrong).
Lotus went to the air-to-water jobbie for a good reason.
Sorry to be so negative, but all I see there is a waste of money and time.
It is very pretty 'tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry to be so negative, but all I see there is a waste of money and time.

Not at all, but we can only guess.
He said, he'll prove you wrong, try his car with intercooler gauge (in/out) to prove.
His design is simple - no maintenance - like a brick compare to
complex water system that lots of things to go wrong. He's a lotus garage.

He offered & I will try to drive his car and I will let you know.
 

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I have an 89 non-SE, and I've been giving the air-to-air route some thought also. I really like the simplicity of my car and don't see myself willing to go to air-to-water (it'd be easier to buy an SE), but if I could bolt on an Air-to-Air, I'd definitely give it a go. It's not quite the layout I'm considering, but I admire that someone is starting the learning curve. A decent air-to-air intercooler can be had for ~$150 (plus fab work of course) so even if it turns out to be a failed experiment, I know I've blown far more money are far dumber ideas. I'm eager to hear what you think.
 

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It will definitely make a difference, but like others mentioned, being a top mount like the WRX's have, it will heatsoak pretty quickly under any real boost. It's certainly worth doing, and judging by the size of the core and piping, is probably pretty close to the stock air-to-water setup, which is pretty small.
 

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Sorry to be so negative, but all I see there is a waste of money and time.

Not at all, but we can only guess.
He said, he'll prove you wrong, try his car with intercooler gauge (in/out) to prove.
His design is simple - no maintenance - like a brick compare to
complex water system that lots of things to go wrong. He's a lotus garage.

He offered & I will try to drive his car and I will let you know.
He can claim anything he wants. This is the internet.
When you design something you try to stack all the variables in your favor and give mother nature a chance to help you.
This design gives up a lot of performance for the sake of simplicity.
It is as if he had no particular performance goals from the outset.
My crystal ball tells me the positive results will be minimal. However, if he's happy with it, good for him.
 

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Are you mounting a scoop off the roof to force air over the intercooler?

Might have been a better idea to use the side air scoops and place an air to air elsewhere so that you can use take better advantage if the intercooler.
 

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Just my opinions/impressions, but having a non-SE turbo myself and having worked on (and driven) a number of SE's and S4's I appreciate the added power of the air/water intercooler. But it is a lot of hardware and moving parts to get the power benefit.

I appreciate the simplicity of air-to-air cooling, but I doubt it can match air/water at least on an Esprit. I have always thought the issue with air-to-air for the Esprit was the difficulty in getting appreciable amounts of cold air to the cooler, given the engine placement. I think the large fan is a good idea, but it also detracts from the simplicity, adds weight, etc.

I have always thought that water injection was the poor man's way to effectively adding some more power relatively cheaply. I wouldn't add it myself, as I like pretty much keeping the car as designed (exceptions - BOV and improved header) but it seems like a quick path to some added power. Of course, it adds some stress to your drive train whenever you pep things up appreciably....

:cool:
 

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Ok we all agree that getting the air cooled after the turbo compresses it is a way to increase power. That is because the turbo compresses the air which causes it to heat up substantially over ambient temp, and hot air is less dense than cold air. The engine wants cold dense air, because it has a larger mass of Oxygen.

The liquid system in the SE is very simple, the only moving part is the pump.
The SE also has the two,extra injectors to add fuel at max throttle.

The problem with a retrofit is the lack of secondary injectors, and the need to have a radiator installed preferably up front.

The ability of the right liquid to carry away and absorb BTUs(heat) is much higher than air. Thus, a liquid inter cooler can be way smaller than an air to air.
You can also insulate the chargecooler better from ambient engine heat( and I recommend that chargecooler owners do this as it is cheap, easy, and effective)

Not sure if the air to air, which I agree is very pretty, is designed to have the fan pull air through, or push air through. If it is pulling air through, it is pulling the engine heat with it, which will greatly reduce the efficiency.

I honestly don't know what the normal passive airflow direction is around the engine, i.e. is the air at speed moving in the upper hatch vents and down under the car or the other direction. Obviously the fan direction should be the same to create max airflow.

I would guess the air to air as shown, has some positive effect, but is not cheap
Nor near as effective as the Chargecooler system.

If I were adding inter cooling, I would go with a liquid system, and to make it simple place the cooling radiator with intregal fan under the engine on the passenger side where there is room and pull the air from under the car. Then use an electric pump and have the pump and fan on the same switch in the cockpit or use a thermal switch to run both. The cooling radiators with fans are readily available and cheap, and you could use a stock or aftermarket inter cooler as designed for the SE. Just remember that the power gain will be less. Also don't remember whether the Turbo has an after turbo sensor like the SE

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I have an 89 non-SE, and I've been giving the air-to-air route some thought also. I really like the simplicity of my car and don't see myself willing to go to air-to-water

Water intercooler is more efficient than the air to air. There is a trade off though.
In air to air - No water the leak, no pump to die, no water maintenance, not a mile of water hoses & placement of heat exhanger. For simplicity sake, I will do the same provided there is enough fresh air to cool it. There is always a way. Your mind and innovation will find a solution. I will never limit myself just to be an spectator and a brain sucker.
What he did is to try something different.
 

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Water intercooler is more efficient than the air to air. -----What he did is to try something different.
Air to air is generally more efficient than air to water if it's employed reasonably.
What that fellow did was pretty common in the Fiero / Lotus Esprit world of low budget intercooling.
And that was to hobble the intercoolers ability to get the charge air temps down as low as possible to ambient air temp, by locating the intercooler over a blazing hot source of heat--the engine, including the exhaust and turbo. Then the further insult of making SURE the the intercooler would get hot by drawing the heated air up thru it with a fan. (I'm assuming that he's drawing the the air UP with the fan, like everybody else seems to do)
A trip to the book store to buy Corky Bells Maximum Boost, or Supercharged! would be helpful.
I might add that when I installed pretty much an entire SE chargecooler system without the supplemental injectors operational on in my '89 non SE car, the engine would go FLAT under power at 10 lbs boost.
I took that as going lean or detonation, and a sign of impending doom.
When I installed an aftermarket injector driver, the engine picked right up and ran VERY WELL indeed.
Later on, I converted to a SE computer (a pain) and to S4 bodywork to revise the oil cooling (to the SE / S4 locations) to keep hot air from contaminating the air going to the front chargecooler radiator.

Just my 2 bits worth.
 

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IMHO, you would be better off to sell the car and buy a later model if that is what you want, rather than the kind of change above. Personally I always thought the 89 non-SE car, known as a P4 car, was always one of the nicer ones to drive. Smooth fuel delivery, and power was about the same as the Bosch cars. All of the turbo Esprit, including the carbureted turbo cars, have enough power to play with and have fun.

If the goal is the most power possible, starting with any make car from that era is the wrong choice.
 

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This is the air to air setup I engineered for my 83 about 10 years ago (it still works OK BTW).


It uses mostly aluminium OEM SAAB 900/9000 parts and hoses, and a 1987 SAAB 900 Blackstone intercooler, total cost of the parts was about $50.

The intercooler has a custom made fibreglass duct underneath it covered in heat reflecting and insulating material that is linked to the drivers side "ear" scoop via a marine bilge blower that is used at lower road speeds and when the car is at a standstill.

The "ear" has to be opened up a bit to match the passenger side one (LHD car) to allow plenty of airflow to the duct.

I had to alter the intake diffuser slightly, shortening it and welding on a 90 degree elbow (also off the SAAB)

I also had to modify the inner engine cover to clear it, a dremell and some fibreglass did the trick.

It works OK, in fact well enough to make the standard clutch slip in the higher gears due to the additional torque generated, a uprated one from AP fixed that.

I went this route primarily for cost reasons (the OEM Lotus chargecooler setup parts were expensive) and the air to air setup is lighter and less complicated, but I think the air to water setup will lower the inlet charge further (the Carb Esprit Turbos do have a slight additional intercooling effect caused by the petrol spray in the upper intake manifold though.)

Ferrari went air to air on the 288 GTO and the F40 (Behr intercoolers) mounting them in a similar position.

I was told by a Lotus engineer that they experimented with air to air intercooling on the X180 Esprit, the problems were packaging and positioning of the required scoop so they decided to go air to water which works OK as well.

I did notice that Lotus went back to air to air on the Exige, positioning the intercooler high up in the engine compartment behind a roof duct, similar to the Ford RS 200.

In the 80s you could buy an Esprit intercooling kit from Shelby Spearco , the custom aluminium intercooler was mounted where I put mine.

People tend to forget the Giugiaro Turbos are a fair bit lighter than the later X180 SE/S4/S4S, so a Giugiaro with 245 bhp can go pretty well IMO.

It was a fun project at the time, but you have to make sure your motor is in tip top shape (forged pistons) before turning up the wick.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Here is mine as well --- yep, over 20 years ago, almost the same as Charlie Seabrook design. It works pretty good too - I was constantly boosting 13psi...no detonations.
I have an intercooler gauge (hot & cold side). Mine was a Spearco matrix. Those were the days.....




Here is my intercooler temp gauge (IN/OUT) http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/7534/p8240036.jpg
If I remember I cooled it 38 to 40 %.
 

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Gizzer,

Good recommendation on reading "maximum boost." It's a little outdated, but there is a plethora of turbo knowledge to be gained by reading it. Really good at breaking down compressor efficiency "islands."
 

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Here is mine as well --- yep, over 20 years ago, almost the same as Charlie Seabrook design. It works pretty good too - I was constantly boosting 13psi...no detonations.
I have an intercooler gauge (hot & cold side). Mine was a Spearco matrix. Those were the days.....




Here is my intercooler temp gauge (IN/OUT) http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/7534/p8240036.jpg
If I remember I cooled it 38 to 40 %.
Small world, I remember seeing a photo of your setup quite a while ago and based the design of mine on it.

I think I looked at photos of about 50 OEM intercoolers before finding the SAAB one, your setup must have cost huge $$$ back in the day!

Wayne
 

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Gizzer,

Good recommendation on reading "maximum boost." It's a little outdated, but there is a plethora of turbo knowledge to be gained by reading it. Really good at breaking down compressor efficiency "islands."
In some ways it probably went out of date as soon as it was published. ;)
But most of the info is for system installation and testing. That doesn't go out of date as fast.
Bell made me aware of all the ways that an intercooler setup could go sour and what to aim for in a good installation. This is where I determined that the factory setup is pretty good, considering what they had to work with.
IMO it's also best to try to push people into reading up on the subject to try to get a grasp of the basics, then make their own decision on what's best for them.
Downloading a picture on the internet with a couple of words claiming "it worked OK for me" isn't very helpful. (however it is always food for thought) It is also dangerous to imply that a carbed setup worked, so a fuel injected setup will work well also.
The dangers of the internet sound bite.
Another wrinkle is that what worked good for them in the past may not be acceptable today to 90% of the rest of the world.
(sorry, but it has to be said)
I still think the air to air intercooler sited in the Lotus Esprit engine compartment is a dead-end effort from a performance standpoint.
It's a genuine "what were they thinking?" moment for me.
So anyway, I've said my piece.
Cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #19
your setup must have cost huge $$$ back in the day!


My friend took the same idea from my 20 years old design.

You bet, during those days only blackstones & Spearco sells a unit called "intercooler". They haven't seen a turbocharged car back then, let alone an intercooler. They don't know what it does.
Today, they are all "expert".
 

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In some ways it probably went out of date as soon as it was published. ;)
But most of the info is for system installation and testing. That doesn't go out of date as fast.
Bell made me aware of all the ways that an intercooler setup could go sour and what to aim for in a good installation. This is where I determined that the factory setup is pretty good, considering what they had to work with.
IMO it's also best to try to push people into reading up on the subject to try to get a grasp of the basics, then make their own decision on what's best for them.
Downloading a picture on the internet with a couple of words claiming "it worked OK for me" isn't very helpful. (however it is always food for thought) It is also dangerous to imply that a carbed setup worked, so a fuel injected setup will work well also.
The dangers of the internet sound bite.
Another wrinkle is that what worked good for them in the past may not be acceptable today to 90% of the rest of the world.
(sorry, but it has to be said)
I still think the air to air intercooler sited in the Lotus Esprit engine compartment is a dead-end effort from a performance standpoint.
It's a genuine "what were they thinking?" moment for me.
So anyway, I've said my piece.
Cheers,
Brian
Sorry my post had no graphs or indepth technical theorys, but I guess you feel better now you have pointed all of that out.

What makes you an expert in the field BTW?

I get the impression you were just looking to make a cheap shot against me or my car, good for you.

As I mentioned in my original post, Ferrari used high engine compartment mounted air to air intercoolers and thinking about it so do Subaru currently, what were they thinking?







As for the dangerous implication, guys have been turning up the boost and damaging engines on turbo esprits since practically the first one was delivered, how is it dangerous to install an intercooler to lower intake temperatures and then sensibly turn up the boost from 7.5 psi to 10 psi (in my case)?
 
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