Intercooler questions
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This is a discussion on Intercooler questions within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Wat r the benefits to doing a front mount Intercooler vs. top side intercooler. How hard is it to change ...

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    Intercooler questions

    Wat r the benefits to doing a front mount Intercooler vs. top side intercooler. How hard is it to change over from a top mount to a front mount system. Prices and advice would be helpful. I am really new to the STI world so any help i could get would be greatly appreciated. I own a 2004 STI.

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    Registered User gregroot198521's Avatar
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    Intercooler questions

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    Front mount is suited better for large turbos and drag racing, top mount is suited better for small/medium turbos and daily driving.


    Pros of FMIC, larger core, increased cooling capacity, less prone to heat soak due to location. Cons of FMIC, increased piping reduces engine response, requires cutting your bumper to install, compromises front end rigidity, slightest front end collision results in several thousand dollars worth of damage.

    Pros of TMIC, snappier throttle response, factory mounting location so little to no fabrication required for install, does not require removal of front bumper beam. Cons of TMIC, cooling capacity not suited to large turbos (30r, 35r, etc), prone to heatsoak while sitting still.



    I would use a FMIC if you are running a turbo larger than a 20g and need to squeeze the last little bit of power out of it. FMIC is beneficial for drag racing because it doesn't heatsoak while staging causing the ECU to pull timing. If you're going to run a 20g or smaller then TMIC all the way. Even if you're running a 30r and not using the car exclusively for drag racing I would still say stick with a TMIC.

    For a good FMIC you're looking at ~$1300.. TMIC would be around $900.
    Last edited by MainFrame; 10-08-2012 at 02:31 PM.

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    I tried to hit the main points, with a little added personal opinion.



    In case anyone is wondering, I run a FMIC.. it can be a PITA sometimes. Every time I mess with something I have to hunt down boost leaks like crazy.

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    Registered User Acrdys's Avatar
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    Did you notice extra lag when you switched to a front mount? I went from a td04 to a blouch 16gxt 8cm^2 for autocross and boy was that lag noticeable.

    I have been craving for a front mount though; the heat soak in between runs just bugs the hell out of me. Plus it was a pita creating a perfect seal and splitter rig for the txs tmic.
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acrdys View Post
    Did you notice extra lag when you switched to a front mount? I went from a td04 to a blouch 16gxt 8cm^2 for autocross and boy was that lag noticeable.

    I have been craving for a front mount though; the heat soak in between runs just bugs the hell out of me. Plus it was a pita creating a perfect seal and splitter rig for the txs tmic.
    There is more than one FMIC out there .

    It's important to size your front mount according to the turbo's output. Some cores are meant for a lot of air... some not so much. Look at it this way - many stock cars with smaller turbos come with FMICs... they are just tiny. You'll still have slightly more air volume in the piping, but the main issue would be the core.

    Just my $0.02 on the matter
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