The Samco Silicone Intercooler hoses make claims about reducing heat soak, but I think any HP increase would come from removing the stock intercooler "hoses" which are plastic and have ribs in them. They look to me to be a big flow restriction, so I figured new hoses would be $150 well spent.
I think it can't hurt that's for sure but it's only going to improve response, not really overall power. I will be making an alluminum turbo intake pipe soon. As for the intercooler hoses I haven't bothered to mess with them since I am going front mount and they are going to be replaced with piping anyway.
Shiv had a a very interesting post on i-club, which subsequently disappeared very mysteriously. But I do remember some details.
He took several top mount intercoolers including the stock one and APS (I assume since he called it an intercooler "from Australia) with stock and Samco hoses and placed them on top of a metered vacuum/suction machine. He found that the Samco hoses fitted on the stock intercooler provided 14% more air flow than the stock hoses. And IIRC, the APS one provided something like 60% better flow than the totally stock intercooler. [Edit: It's a 30% increase, NOT 60%. See new post below]
One thing I did notice though, ever since I got my up pipe (Graham Goode - DON'T GET IT!) and Samco intercooler hoses installed, my TurboXS Unichip'd turbo only boosts up to 14.5 psi (.1 Mpa). But with clearly more power!
14% flow increase. There you go, Dan. Don't doubt the MechE (me), he knows a flow restriction when he sees one. I was screaming about a pre-turbo catalytic converter as the words crossed my mind while reading about the 2002 WRX for the first time. I said to Tan, "I will have that car, and the pre-turbo cat has to go."
Dan, you backed me up time and again on this and you got to work right away with the Godspeed uppipe. I'll be doing mine as soon as I make certain that a leaky radiator isn't going to be a chronic problem with my beast. I have to yank my boost controller and take her to the dealer. I'm hoping for a new radiator. Then I'm going to try to blow that one up too. If it goes, I'll be instructing them to put an all aluminum aftermarket radiator in there. Is there any wait on the uppipe?
Unfortunately, no more mods until then. Well, maybe I'll get those SSR comps I'm dreaming of.
bedabi, it's interesting and expected that the APS flows better, but 60% is really good. Its compacity is almost double that of the stock intercooler as well. That "metered vacuum/suction machine" is called a "flow bench."
Hey Dan, aren't you concerned about an accident rendering the front mount intercooler nice and broken? I gave it some thought and that's an issue with me. Even a minor run in with a tree like I've seen pics of on this sight would smash an aluminum intercooler and the bumper is not designed to protect it.
That'll only happen if your good friends with your body shop. Aftermarket parts usually are not covered under insurance unless a separate rider is taken out for them. I don't know what that costs in your area, but in NJ, it's not even close to being worth it.
I stand corrected. Here's the original post by Shiv on i-club. Sorry if this is inappropriate, but it is very good info:
Stock vs. STi Intercooler
The big STi intercooler had nearly identical flow characteristics as the much-smaller stock IC. This is interesting considering they both share the same exact tube and fin core design (fin density, tube thickness, etc,.) Just a lot more volume. I have a few ideas as to why it didn't perform better but I think I need to think it out more. It appears all the gains the STi *should* provide would be from cooling, not a reduction in pressure drop.
Stock Y-Pipe vs. Samco silicon Y-Pipe
Also, as expected, the Samco piece increased flow of the stock IC measureably. At 35" of vacuum (we also tested at 7, 14, 21, 28 and 47"), airflow increased by 14.2%. You could actuall hear the difference in airflow sound. The stock pipe was noisy and turbulent while the Samco pipe was deep and smooth.
Australian-made Upgraded WRX IC vs. Stock or STi IC
The very thick bar and plate IC flowed better than the Stock and STi ICs (both equipped with Samco pipe) by approximately 30% across the board. A very significant amount and easily felt by the seat of the pants when driving.
Just got my Samco hoses couple days ago. Took about 20 mins to install. It was really easy. I already have K&N filter and Dawes Device MBC set at around 16 psi... and I can't really say that I feel a noticeable difference in performance. I guess I need an uppipe next huh?