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Discussion Starter #1
The tmic is horridly vulnerable to bent fins due to rocks, bugs, debris entering the hood scoop. Solution is to block the debris with a screen. I've seen this done 2 ways.

1. lay a screen over the intercooler. Not very effective imo because if the screen gets bent, the intercooler fins, in turn, will get bent. also the rubber apron on the splitter makes an air seal with the intercooler. by laying this screen on top of the intercooler, this seal is not tight and resulting air leakage reduces the efficiency of the tmic.

2. put a screen in front of the hood scoop. Not very attractive imo. also because this disrupts the air flow before hitting the splitter, it affects the amount of air being directed to the intercooler.

because of the shortcoming of the 2 methods, I decided to make one that performs without any drawbacks. I made a walkthrough for it here:
IC Screen

teaser


I checked the screen a week after i installed it. I was pleased to find results that it works!

 

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Discussion Starter #9
i dont like the screen that goes in front of the scoop. looks ugly imo.

The screen i chose was ideal because the spacing of the mesh would keep out anything bigger than a grain of rice. it hardly put any restrictions on air flow. I tested this out by blowing through it and felt the same force as without the mesh. also aluminum is the way to go because it won't rust and will bend and form to shape while providing excellent strength.

it is more functional without being so $$baller$$
 

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Anything you put in the way of airflow WILL impede it...I did a test a few years ago about this topic and came to the conclusion that straightening the fins out every once in a while is the best if you want as efficient IC as you can have. :) here is the test. wrxdrvr/Info - Page 1 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Your set up is in between, so you can extrapolate that your numbers would be in between the numbers I got. As for the meaning of those few degrees warmer numbers it's a lot more significant than it seems...Cooldown that take 2X longer and 6*F warmer IC = a 54% efficient stock IC as compared to a 59% efficient stock IC. I think everyone here is trying to improve their car so you need to realize that anything that impedes airflow WILL reduce IC efficiency. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Anything you put in the way of airflow WILL impede it...I did a test a few years ago about this topic and came to the conclusion that straightening the fins out every once in a while is the best if you want as efficient IC as you can have. :) here is the test. wrxdrvr/Info - Page 1 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Your set up is in between, so you can extrapolate that your numbers would be in between the numbers I got. As for the meaning of those few degrees warmer numbers it's a lot more significant than it seems...Cooldown that take 2X longer and 6*F warmer IC = a 54% efficient stock IC as compared to a 59% efficient stock IC. I think everyone here is trying to improve their car so you need to realize that anything that impedes airflow WILL reduce IC efficiency. :)
That's a great test you did. it confirms my theory that putting the mesh in front of the scoop is the wrong way to do it. This makes sense because it affects the amount of air hitting the splitter.

the vent screen mesh uses finer wires than what you used and is actually meant to be used in vents and air ducts. it is designed to minimize restrictions on air flow. I would say that my screen is on par with a screen actually on the intercooler if not better ... 1*F to 2*F warmer than without wire mesh. No noticeable difference in time to cool down.

Placement of the mesh is the biggest reason why it's the right way IMHO. I placed it between the splitter and the rubber apron. that way if the screen gets bent, it wont transfer the damage to the intercooler. it doesnt affect the rubber apron and is still allowed to make a tight seal. Its placed fairly deep in the scoop and is not noticeable unless you stick your head right in front of the hood scoop.
 

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Yes, putting it in closer to the IC as you have, possibly reduces the negative effects of the air turbulence the mash will cause... Touching the IC is better. Perhaps if you made the mesh so that it bends down from your attachment point and goes down into the space below to touch the IC you will reduce the turbulence to nil so the negative effects will be reduced/eliminated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
perhaps... but that would be a lot more work... how bout a screen at the intercooler with spacers so that anything that bends the screen won't have room to transfer the damage to the intercooler? I just would have to figure out a way to get it securely attached
 

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Yea, but you see there's the rub, as soon as there is a gap, the airflow is disrupted and turbulence is created, thus reducing the airflow through the IC... When the wire it touching the IC airflow is smoother and it flows better.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
aww hell! just get a bigger intercooler with a bar and plate design! jk

you've straightend out bent fins before, so you know how much of a pain the arse it is. do you think that bent fins reduce the effiency of the intercooler by more than 1*-2*F? in other words, would bent fins reduce the efficiency of the intercooler more than a screen? if so, i think the screen is worth it.
 

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Yes, a screen is better than a bunch of bent fins. I'm just saying no screen IS the best, but you need to stay on top of straitening out the fins. :) Go to the Tutorials & Engine Performance sticky and do the BLARG MOD intercooler tilt, that should more than even things out with the airflow through the IC and you can keep the screen without loosing any IC efficiency... And no more bent fins & no loss in efficiency. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was gonna do the intercooler tilt mod, but started thinking about things that may go wrong so i never did it. I have aftermarket y-pipe, will it still work? do i have to mod the rubber apron on the splitter, possibly cut to fit the new height?
 

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Yes it will work, you just need to cut off some of the back rubber apron if you tilt it. The max I managed to tilt mine is 3/4" and had to cut about 1/2" off.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i'm one of those guys that doesnt want to do irreversible mods... id rather not cut anything
 

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Nice job of the mod and the write up.

Although, I'm not a big fan of adding screens to protect the IC on a WRX or STi. They clearly impede airflow albeit to varying degrees. IMHO the time and effort to do this, versus the fact that it's debatable whether or not there is any meaningful benefit, lead me to believe it is largely a waste of time. If it's that big of a worry then they do make fin combs.
Just my two cents.
 
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