Shopping for an intercooler can get overwhelming quickly. The market is flooded with tons of options, ranging from dirt cheap to what appears to be well overpriced. With such huge price disparities spotting what makes one intercooler superior over another should be easy, right? Unfortunately, that could not be farther from the truth.
You see what often times really determines an intercoolers quality is going on inside the cooler and out of sight. The "core" of the cooler is where the true magic of heat transfer takes place. As warm charged air is brought from the turbo and through the intercooler it is spread across multiple heat transfer plates filled with their own cooling fins inside of the core. These heat transfer plates and internal fins are kept cool by the cool ambient air running through your bumper and onto the charge rows. This cooling process is transferred from the fins to those heat transfer plates passing through the inside of the core.
This process allows for the air entering the intake manifold to be much cooler, colder air is denser air, denser air means more oxygen molecules, more oxygen in the combustion chamber correlates to adding more fuel, which in turn means more sweet sweet power.
Now that we understand the basics of an air to air intercooling system, let's discuss where the core quality comes into play. The market has hundreds of core options for parts manufactures to select from. And often times, the manufacturer takes the cheaper option to increase the profit margin. These cores work, but they do not work well. Here at ETS we have a custom created core. This core has a few key features.
First off, it has the most charge rows and heat transfer plates of any core on the market. Meaning when the ambient air hits the front of the cooler, it has the maximum amount of cooling area, meaning colder temps.
The second is even more important, and really where our core stands out. As ambient air passes through the core it has limited amounts of surface area to cool before passing all the way through the intercooler. With many lower end cores, it is a straight shot through the core. That is not the case with ours, we use three staggered cooling fin set ups. This means as the air enters the front of the intercooler, it is split into two cooling channels, doubling the surface area, and then split again which doubles it once more.
The last major difference is a matter of flow and craftsmanship, what we are talking about here are end tanks. This is the section, where the intercooling piping connects to the intercooler. Many manufacturers opt for pre-casted and pre-made end tanks, and simply weld them up to an "off the shelf" core. Here is the issue, these are mass produced end tanks with limited to no thought into the actual flow of the charge air as it travels into the core. Not to mention they look out of place when attached to an shiny aluminum intercooler core. Our end tanks are hand made, and hand ported for every single intercooler. They're also flow and pressure tested to ensure they hold boost, and that the air flows with as much ease as possible.
In an aftermarket automotive world where you can spend anywhere from $150 to upwards of $850 for the same "style" of intercooler, you absolutely get what you pay for. We hope this can help some of our customers to understand the value behind quality parts. Time, money, and hundreds of hours of research go into developing a race reliable and proven product. We have put in that work, and that is exactly why the numbers produced by our intercoolers surpass a large majority of the market.
Craig Atkins III
Go Fast Parts Seller