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  1. #1
    16 PSI Boost
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    front mount cooler over stock cooler

    hi guy
    s got a 86svo . got some upgrades. is better to change the stock inner cooler. and put a front mount cooler on . any advise?

  2. #2
    Pimpin Pumpkin Carver Laredo's Avatar
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    SVO's: 86 2R
    Is it "better?" Well...it depends.
    Pro:
    Gets the exchanger in cooler airflow, removes more heat = more power
    Cons:
    Most every "bolt-in" system is NOT actually "bolt in" usually requiring some kind of modification to radiator mounts, AC condenser location, etc.
    Gotta ask yourself, how much are you willing to modify to make it "fit?"
    Some units require removal of AC system, is that better? - not for me.
    To have it both perform well AND look nice, you'll need to spend some serious $$ - is it worth it? Depends on your goal.

    If you have plenty of budget (better plan on $500 minimum) and/or don't care about how it looks, and your goal is power only - go for it!
    If you've got a sweet show-winning condition survivor - I would leave it alone.
    "If there's no plan, what can go wrong...?"

  3. #3
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    Doug hit the nail on the head above, it all really depends on what your end goal is for your particular car. Front mount intercoolers do have a kind of 'wow' factor to them, but they also do have drawbacks. As mentioned, the 'good' systems are not cheap in any sense of the word. They also create a little boost lag, since you are now compressing a much larger volume of air between the turbo and intake. They certainly have advantages as well.

    In my own case, I have looked at front mount setups multiple times over the years and have yet to pull the trigger on one. I have chosen to invest in other areas of my SVO, some to increase HP and others to improve handling performance. So far, I have yet to find enough of a reason to replace my stock intercooler...although I have ported and polished the intercooler casting to help smooth out the inlet/outlet flow. YMMV.
    Ted
    86 SVO Mustang
    17 Cooper S Clubman ALL4

  4. #4
    14 PSI Boost
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    I have the Gnari kit in mine. It fits in between the radiator and the AC condenser. And I still retain the AC. I had to install a slimmer fan because it pushed the radiator back towards the motor and I chose one out of an '86 Taurus. To get the most out of it, I also got rid of the stock PCM and upgraded to the latest PimpX control unit with bigger fuel injectors. I ported the head, installed a ported intake, and it came with a 3 inch exhaust when I bought it. These pictures are when I first put it in and still had the original fuel injection running it. Currently the air filter housing has been changed out to a K&N and the bypass valve has been converted to a blow off. And since the Pimp is speed density, the fuel tables don't change when the blow off valve is installed.

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    Last edited by jimtash9; 01-17-2018 at 07:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator SVOeric's Avatar
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    SVO's: 86-1C & 86-1E
    One of my SVO's has the spearco intercooler setup.
    it's nice, I never get any ping running 93 octane, which I did occasionally get with the stock IC

    it does add a bit of lag, and the requirement for a bypass/blowoff valve (depending on your computer)
    Eric C
    SVOCA Webmaster

  6. #6
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    The stock IC will support about 300 HP. I think the Turbo Coupe IC will support just a bit more, and is pretty much a bolt-in affair. Much more than that, you're probably getting past 'some upgrades'. IIRC, there's also an aftermarket IC body (some Volvo unit?) that's a bit more efficient and less of a bottleneck that can be installed int the stock housing. Not sure if that unit is still available, but I do remember reading somewhere on this forum of someone who did such a mod.

    As Eric mentioned, the additional piping, and it's size and how it's run on a FMIC, will introduce some lag. The less-well-engineered kits will make that lag even worse.

    You don't mention the upgrades you already have, but that FMIC money could probably be better put to an updated turbo. There's been a lot of tech go into turbos since 1986, so an upgrade will probably be noticed.
    Last edited by gbeaird; 01-19-2018 at 08:54 AM.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  7. #7
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    Gene, good point on the turbo! I hadn't even thought about that, but you are correct that newer turbo compressor designs are much more efficient and you could reduce the amount of charge air cooling needed with a more efficient compressor. This would lend the fact that the stock intercooler would have less heat to transfer/reject, although it still sits above the turbo/exhaust manifold and can heat soak when in stop/go traffic. Has anyone looked at a modern Mustang Ecoboost compressor...they are literally 'tiny' compared to ours and they easily support 300+ hp. Back to our regularly scheduled thread, sorry for the diversion.
    Ted
    86 SVO Mustang
    17 Cooper S Clubman ALL4

  8. #8
    Max BOOST! High Roller's Avatar
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    SVO's: 84 9W, 85 1B
    I personally like the looks of the top mount intercooler as it aligns with the hood scoop. That being said, I plan to try and design and fabricate a heat shield that will cover almost all of the turbo and exhaust manifold to reduce as much of the heat saturation as much as possible.
    Perry Mitchell
    SVOCA#187

  9. #9
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
    I personally like the looks of the top mount intercooler as it aligns with the hood scoop. That being said, I plan to try and design and fabricate a heat shield that will cover almost all of the turbo and exhaust manifold to reduce as much of the heat saturation as much as possible.
    I usually just try and keep moving to address the heat soak issue...
    Ted
    86 SVO Mustang
    17 Cooper S Clubman ALL4

  10. #10
    Pimpin Pumpkin Carver Laredo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbeaird View Post
    I think the Turbo Coupe IC will support just a bit more, and is pretty much a bolt-in affair…
    “Just a bit” is the key phrase here. Back 10+ years ago there was a tech article in MMFF magazine doing SVO performance upgrades. IIRC they were using some Forced 4 stuff which tells you how old the article is. One of the tests was the Turbo Coupe IC swap – net gain was a whopping 3hp on the dyno. As for fit, I tried this myself. The TC intercooler is wider and thinner which means the inlet does not line up with the turbo outlet and you have to tweak and stretch the hose to attach (not ideal), and you cannot use the stock bracket mounts. Also read somewhere CFM on the SVO IC is 350, the TC is just slightly more at 375. The poor fitment issues I think are not worth the negligible gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbeaird View Post
    … IIRC, there's also an aftermarket IC body (some Volvo unit?) that's a bit more efficient and less of a bottleneck that can be installed int the stock housing. Not sure if that unit is still available, but I do remember reading somewhere on this forum of someone who did such a mod…
    I like this concept, sounds much better! Tried to find this in older posts – came up empty. Do you recall how long ago this was?
    "If there's no plan, what can go wrong...?"

  11. #11
    Pimpin Pumpkin Carver Laredo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimtash9 View Post
    I have the Gnari kit in mine. It fits in between the radiator and the AC condenser. And I still retain the AC. I had to install a slimmer fan because it pushed the radiator back towards the motor and I chose one out of an '86 Taurus.
    That's a really clean look, nice! How much would you estimate you have in IC the conversion (including the fan)?
    "If there's no plan, what can go wrong...?"

  12. #12
    14 PSI Boost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laredo View Post
    That's a really clean look, nice! How much would you estimate you have in IC the conversion (including the fan)?
    Thanks. I bought the fan from Rockauto brand new for 40 bucks. It's a stock 1986 Ford Taurus fan and the stock connector directly plugs into it. I had to drill 2 holes in the upper flange of the radiator and install 2 u-nuts to bolt it on. The intercooler cost 600 from Gnari. I got a great deal on Facebook for the latest PimpX which included the injectors and the wideband O2 sensor for 700 bucks. How I lucked out and came across that deal still amazes me. And it's what ties in the intercooler to the rest of system. Unless you're willing to change out the ECU with an aftermarket one that can take advantage of the cooler charge with more fuel, I really don't see a reason to change from stock.

    I chose the Gnari kit because of how it installs between the condenser and the radiator. Willing to sacrifice a little cool air to the engine for cool air in the cabin during the summer.

    It's cleaner now that the VAM is gone. It still needs a dyno tune but the little I've messed with it has produced descent results. Idle quality is especially better.
    Last edited by jimtash9; 01-20-2018 at 12:19 PM.

  13. #13
    OVER-BOOST!! svono50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laredo View Post
    <snip> I like this concept, sounds much better! Tried to find this in older posts – came up empty. Do you recall how long ago this was?
    I don't think that core was every discussed on here. I remember there was an intercooler core, but I thought it was an aftermarket unit that slid in place of the factory unit. I can't remember or find the numbers on it, but it wasn't a very large increase for the $$ that it cost. If I run across the info, I will drop it up here.

    What is interesting is if you go over to Bell Intercoolers and check out the Bar & Plate cores. Looks like they may have a unit that could be specified for our housing and would likely have a higher CFM rating. I am sure it would not be cheap, but a potential option for keeping the stock housing.
    Ted
    86 SVO Mustang
    17 Cooper S Clubman ALL4

  14. #14
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

  15. #15
    OVER-BOOST!! gbeaird's Avatar
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    Looks like it was about $210 shipped, a few years ago. I'd probably add the price of a second factory IC, just in case. Some noted a seat of the pants difference, but I didn't see any dyno tests or track results.
    Gene Beaird,
    86 2R SVO, G Stock,
    Pearland, Texas

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