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Thread: New Intercooler from Bell + Summary of available intercoolers

  1. #1

    Default New Intercooler from Bell + Summary of available intercoolers

    Just received a new intercooler from Bell Intercoolers (founded by Corky Bell and Gerhard Schruf). I consulted with Gerhard on the parameters of this intercooler.

    Core Size: 18" long, 10.5" tall, 3.5" thick.
    Core Type: Bar & Plate
    Weight: 16.4 lbs (stock: 9.2 lbs)

    I was originally looking into a 3" thick, but with this general core size (~18" x 10.5") and type, manufacturers (Bell, Spearco) and shops all recommended greater than 3" thickness for my engine size, turbo size/pressure, and hp targets.

    In general, Bar & Plate tend to be more efficient (most estimate 30-35% more, thanks to increased area, though some say the difference is much smaller), lower pressure drop, and have higher thermal capacity than Tube & Fin, while Tube & Fin have better external air flow through it, are lighter, are more robust (don't have the seams that B&P do), and TEND TO BE less expensive. The better external air flow and lack of seams make T&F type a better choice for most front mount applications, since the radiator behind it will get more air, and it's less likely to develop a leak from rock and debris hitting it.

    I had them make the endtanks to my specifications.

    Stock on top, Bell's on bottom:



    We went with a dual-tank on the passenger side, to minimize end tank volume & turbulence. End tank, passenger side comparison:



    Comparison of passenger side end tank, top view. Stock on left, only tapers in 1 direction. Bell end tank also tapers width wise. Also, because of the bar & plate design, the end tanks can be fit to the width of the intercooler almost exactly:



    Here's a picture of the stock end-tank. You can see how much wider it is than the actual core:



    Comparison of the fins (Bell is sitting atop the stock intercooler). Bell has greater fin density, and louvered fins.



    A closer look at the louvered fins on the Bell, along with close up of welds:



    Another look at the detail on the welds:



    Internal fins, huge difference from extruded stock. Also, notice the air passages go from one edge clear to the other:



    Another picture where you can also see the air pipes run the entire width, thanks to the bar & plate design. As you can see, tube & fin type intercoolers, like the stock one, have narrower pipes, and slightly less volume, even with the same intercooler width. However, you can see the rounded edge of the tube on the stock one, allowing it to penetrate the outside air better.



    Tapering of driver's side (single exit) end tank, again, tapers in both directions for less turbulence:



    Detail on welds at the end pipe, plus detail on the beaded end to help hold rubber pipe in place:

    RacePrecision GotApex

    "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." ~ Horace Mann

  2. #2
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    Wow, you kept that close to your chest. I have to say to my totally untrained eye, your new intercooler looks the best of all.

    And how much, may we ask, does this one cost?
    Last edited by No Lotus; 04-21-2005 at 11:09 PM.
    Ferrari 308GTSi.
    Lotus Elise, SY, SCCA T2 legal.
    Noble M400, 515bhp.

  3. #3

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    I waited, out of respect for those involved in the group purchase. I did not want to step on any toes.

    $762 plus about $25 for UPS ground shipping. The 3" thickness version would have been $748 plus shipping. This does not include the mounting brackets to bolt it on to the intercooler box, which need to be welded on (should cost about $30). I have no idea if they offer quantity discounts.

    The end tanks that I specified for this intercooler would not work on other Nobles (which is part of the reason I got a custom intercooler instead of one of the readily available ones). The location is slightly different on mine (I have the UK exhaust manifolds). Small changes to the design/specification would have to be made for a straight plug and play on most US nobles.
    RacePrecision GotApex

    "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." ~ Horace Mann

  4. #4

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    Dear All,
    Now that's interesting, I had a long e-mail exchange with Gerhard and his conclusion was that the only thing to do was to increase air flow over the IC. The more the merrier.
    Can you post temp readings.
    The twinned tanks look interesting, a good way of forcing the air to the edges of the IC?
    Regards
    Paul C

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cundy
    Dear All,
    Now that's interesting, I had a long e-mail exchange with Gerhard and his conclusion was that the only thing to do was to increase air flow over the IC. The more the merrier.
    All,

    Taking my FP head off for a moment and speaking purely from a technical basis (based on the R&D we performed) the only way to ensure a consistant charge air temperature with an IC mounted in the standard posistion is to have a core which is extremely capable at transfering heat to the little ambient airflow present and to ensure airflow through the core is as great as possible - in our case (as many OEM manufactures are doing e.g. MCC Smart) this is achieved via a temperature controled fan.

    The issue we found when testing thicker cores was that charge air temperature would remain within acceptable limits for longer than with the standard IC but the IC core would still heat soak and so charge air temperatures would rise beyond the acceptable limit. This is mainly due to the poor ambient airflow situation, there simply isn't sufficent flow to cool a core with considerably more thermal mass and/or depth - add to this the rear turbo and exhaust is directly under the IC/airbox and even when your sitting in traffic IC core temperature will rise surprisingly quickly due to heak soak from the exhaust and turbo - once your moving again you have to shift this heat as well as that absorbed from the charge air. With a temp controlled fan once IC core temp gets to the pre-set limit the fan will activate and begin to cool the IC core, whether the car is moving or not.

    Just to re-iterate I'm not trying to promote a product with the above, just share the data we recorded and solution we think is best for the M12. If anyone would like me to write up the data, possbly as an Intercooler FAQ for the M12, I'd be more than happy to.

    Best Regards
    Matt Faulks

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    I would be very surprised if Onyx does't start a "intercooler fans installation" thread very shortly.

    MC- And this years award for most gadgets in a Noble goes to (drumroll) OnyxM400!

    Onyx- I would like to thank Lee and the guys at 1Gracing and especially my credit card company for not thinking these were fraudulant purchases.

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    Matt,

    I think that data would be helpful to everyone.

    Correct me if I'm wrong Matt, but I think the message is: Even if you keep the stock IC, you should install a temperature controlled fan on the intake side of the IC. Beyond that, you can improve performance even further by installing a more efficient IC than the OEM unit as long as you also add a temperature controlled fan. Any IC on a Noble without a temperature controlled fan is going to be subject to heatsoak (some sooner than others). The basic design flaw of the Noble and the IC intake area is that normal air flow is not directed through the IC intake area. Therefore the IC needs more outside air forced through it in order to do its job. There are now a few aftermarket IC's available, each of different manufacturing technology. Pick the one that you think is most efficient in removing the heat from the charge air coming from the turbos and then make sure you install a good thermostatically controlled fan on the intake side of that IC.

    As a side note, I have elected to go with the Faulks unit because I figure that if the F1 race teams use the same IC source as Matt does, it must be the best available. They wouldn't put anything less on their multi-million dollar investments and they are always looking for ways to go faster with the latest technology that works. The cost is not always a primary determinate for those that are also looking for the best results. Agian, the point is: Any of the aftermarket IC's will improve the performance over the OEM, just make sure to remember to install the fan on the intake side of the IC.

    Thanks, Matt. Let's see that data.

    Craig

  8. #8

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    Craig,

    Thats pretty much it. The design of our IC is such that it requries only one fan whereas some (especialy thicker core IC's) will require two in order to supply sufficent air to cool them efficently. The temperature sensor we use in our IC package is also a little special, its actualy two sensors in one, one which detects air temperature via a probe on the end of the sensor body and another which detects end tank temperature via the threaded body of the sensor. If either of these values exceed the pre-set trigger temp then the fan is activated.

    Unfortunately turbo cars are no long allowed in F1 (since the 1000bhp a litre days), our IC cores are manufactured in the same ovens as F1 radiators - the technology of brazing every peak and using the foils to increase the strength of the core is exactly the same. The ovens that they are brazed in are extremely special computer controlled low inertia units which were designed by the company specificaly to braze ally radiator and intercooler cores - they cost an absolutely eye watering amount!!!

    I'll get the data collated and post it up shortly.
    Best Regards
    Matt

    Faulks Performance

  9. #9

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    Dear Craig and Matt
    Your two posts are just about the definitive discourse on the Noble M12 IC problem. Well said and well done, easy for everyone to understand now.
    Regards
    Paul C

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cundy
    Dear All,
    Now that's interesting, I had a long e-mail exchange with Gerhard and his conclusion was that the only thing to do was to increase air flow over the IC. The more the merrier.
    Can you post temp readings.
    The twinned tanks look interesting, a good way of forcing the air to the edges of the IC?
    Regards
    Paul C
    What specs did you give him for your application? That will dictate what size intercooler is necessary. Here is what I specified I wanted the intercooler to be able to handle:

    1. 3.0L V6
    2. Two Garrett GT28R ball bearing turbos, unclipped, 16-18 psi
    3. Target: 500hp to the wheels
    4. Intercooler duct size: 17.5" wide, 6.5" tall (any portion of the intercooler wider or taller will get nearly no airflow)

    Possible future change: Garrett GT28RS or GT2871R .64A/R for 600+hp

    The twin tanks help the flow, reducing air turbulence. They also reduce the tank size.

    What process did you use to measure temps? What were the specs on the vehicle?


    Quote Originally Posted by Faulks Performance
    All,

    The issue we found when testing thicker cores was that charge air temperature would remain within acceptable limits for longer than with the standard IC but the IC core would still heat soak and so charge air temperatures would rise beyond the acceptable limit. This is mainly due to the poor ambient airflow situation, there simply isn't sufficent flow to cool a core with considerably more thermal mass and/or depth - add to this the rear turbo and exhaust is directly under the IC/airbox and even when your sitting in traffic IC core temperature will rise surprisingly quickly due to heak soak from the exhaust and turbo - once your moving again you have to shift this heat as well as that absorbed from the charge air. With a temp controlled fan once IC core temp gets to the pre-set limit the fan will activate and begin to cool the IC core, whether the car is moving or not.

    Matt Faulks
    Matt:

    On the testing you did, did you guys do anything to shield the intercooler box?

    With the application of Lizard Skin ceramic heat insulation spray underneath the intercooler box, and using a turbo blanket, the top of the intercooler box remains cool enough for you to place your bare hand on, right on top of the rear turbo. I'm guessing a layer of aluminized shielding or mylar on top of the intercooler box would drop the temperatures even further.


    Quote Originally Posted by jmg944t
    I would be very surprised if Onyx does't start a "intercooler fans installation" thread very shortly.

    MC- And this years award for most gadgets in a Noble goes to (drumroll) OnyxM400!

    Onyx- I would like to thank Lee and the guys at 1Gracing and especially my credit card company for not thinking these were fraudulant purchases.
    The fan is coming. However, it'll have to wait a bit. I need to change the location of the inlet/outlet holes slightly in the intercooler box (rear turbo's rubber piping rubs on frame, so this change should solve that), plus see which fans fit. I'm guessing a pair of Zirgo 8" or 9".
    RacePrecision GotApex

    "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." ~ Horace Mann

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