Insulated Intercooler

Water Tank

(click on images to enlarge them - any image on the page)

So, here's the deal - a cold air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber makes power and provides a safety margin for detonation.  The problem is the process of compressing the air in the supercharger ends up heating the air charge.  The answer - an intercooler.  Of course there are two primary types of intercoolers - air/air and air/water.  If you have seen my intercooler page then you know I have chosen the air/water type of system.

One of the biggest advantages of an air/water system is you can add ice to the water and end up with an air charge temperature that is lower than ambient temperature.  I have seen on my system intake air temps while running 18lbs of boost in the 80 degree range on a 90 degree day!  How is that for cooling!


Well, the one issue I had was how long the ice would last in the tank.  To solve the problem I removed the tank lid and insulated around the tank with two types of insulation.  I first wrapped the bottom and sides in a thermal barrier with two metal sides and a fiberglass middle.  I then re-installed the water tank and wrapped the remaining wheel well opening with plastic and used foaming insulation to build molded foam inserts that are light and fit perfectly in the open space.


On the inside of the tank lid I used contact cement to glue a highly inoslative rubber sheet in the shape of the water tank to the underside.  This rubber is designed to act as an insulator and it doesn't take up a lot of space so my water tank can still hold a substantial amount of water (7.5 gallons).


This is what the tank looks like installed.  The braided hose in the back is just a tip/valve and vent for the water tank.  It allows air to escape from the tank as the water expands with heat.  Notice the chromed button head bolts I used to secure the lid to the tank and the new diamond plate aluminum I used for the lid.


One of the problems I had with my old tank lid was I just had a fuel cell cap as the inlet.  It is fairly large but made adding water and ice difficult.  What I have now is a water neck designed by Reichard Racing that is specifically designed to make it easy to add ice.  It also looks very nice!  I put the beer bottle in the opening to give you an idea of the size (I figure everyone knows how big a beer bottle is!)


My first chance to try the new setup will be at the Hot Rod Magazine Pump-Gas Drags!  One of the rules I asked David Freiburger (editor of Hot Rod Magazine) to clarify was when/if I would be able to add ice to the water tank.  In the opinion of Hot Rod adding water is no different than getting out to open a nitrous bottle so I will be allowed to do it just before the first passes are made at the track.  To do this I have to carry the ice with me on the 50 mile trip but a small cooler in the trunk will hold the ice.  Here is what I plan on doing at the Hot Rod Pump-Gas Drags.

  • Before the 50 mile road trip

    • Fit a cooler with 6-8 bags of ice in the trunk.  I need to find one that will fit and hold that much ice, maybe two coolers.

    • Carry my small drill powered pump with me so I can pump water out before I add the ice

  • After we get back - before the passes

    • Open the trunk and remove the coolers, drill, and pump

    • Pump out the water into one of the coolers

    • Add as much ice as possible

    • Poor any water that will fit back in the tank

    • Put my drill in one of the coolers and leave them out of the trunk in the pits at the track.

You may ask why I am posting all of this - I don't want anyone to be surprised when I show up and start doing this.  I don't want any accusations of cheating.  The way I read the rules this is legal and if anyone feels it shouldn't be they should bring it up now - before the event.

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