ATR Liquid Intercooler


I have the opportunity to run one in a street driven car.The system has a large reservoir & pump to be mounted in the trunk with water lines running through the car.Also has anyone that has one of these noticed the need for an even larger radiator since the intercooler radiator & trans cooler together eat up most of the engine coolant radiators frontal area?Need some direction based on actual experience. Pros/cons
dont think its a good idea for street driving ever run one? People should research stuff more..

ATR liquid intercoolers come with a big heat exchanger. The heat exchanger itself cost $280 from ATR. This removes the heat from the water. I think alot of people are stuck on the idea that the water gets heated up and that there is nothing there to cool it back down.
This is how it works. Water can absorb ALOT of heat energy. So when your into the boost and building heat the water in the IC is absorbing it. This warmed up water is then pumped from the IC to a heat exchanger. This transferes the heat energy from the water to the out side air.
One proven thing people over look is that you can hot lap with minimal performance loss with one of these IC's. Want to know why?...because the heat exchanger can get rid of the heat in the amount of time it takes to get back to the staging lanes. So yes cruising around on the street is no problem.

HTH: Jason
Is the heat exchanger in front of the radiator? that could significantly affect the air moving through the radiator. The other thing I've seen done (my car was this way) is to mount a fan on the heat exchanger and relocate it.

I agree with postal...people immediately condem these things as a knee-jerk reaction.
I live in the desert were summer temps go to 110 on a regular basis and I have been running a ATR Liquid Intercooler in my car for 15 years with no heating problems.
blah,blah,blah they suck if they were anygood for the street more people would be running them as far as living in the desert were talking about street driving blah,blah,blah
Reginald is talking about driving with one on the street. More poeple would run them if they where less $$'s (they are more than twice as expensive as a front mount). More people would probably run one if the people who never have ran one would sit tight and let the people who have answere the questions about them.

I think the main reason more people aren't running one is price. I'd love to have one to play around with. Most of the claims of how bad they are come from people who know nothing about them. Why do you think they're illegal in TSM/TSE? Because you can tune one to make intake temps frigid. May not be consistent as far as water temps are concerned, but if you stay on top of it you can possibly keep pretty good control over it. Just imagine if you have a street race lined up for a particular time. You can prep. by adding a ton of ice to the cooler box and be ready to blow some 40 degree boost into your cylinders. No front mount can do that..all you have there is ambient temp. to cool with. Send it to me!! I'd love to have one
Charlloots Obviously you have more knowledge than me on this subject just how long have you been testing these things?I think after 15 years of driving around with one under the hood I am at least entitled to my opinion about where or not it works.

Postal is right I was talking about driving on the street and the cost is the prohibitive factor they were $2000 in 1989.
as far as the money goes you wanna play you have to pay why the hell would you waste your money on that when you can get a prescion fm for 895.00 there are plenty of street cars running CONSISTANT 10's 9's even 8's so 2000 dollars aint gonna make a difference when a car runs these numbers like i said there would be more people running them if they made that much of a difference the money would mean nothing
Originally posted by charlloots
as far as the money goes you wanna play you have to pay why the hell would you waste your money on that when you can get a prescion fm for 895.00 there are plenty of street cars running CONSISTANT 10's 9's even 8's so 2000 dollars aint gonna make a difference when a car runs these numbers like i said there would be more people running them if they made that much of a difference the money would mean nothing

Let me introduce you to the period. Its used in the english language to end sentences, so people can comprehend your useless dribblings. Judging by the brilliant posts this character has made, like the one letting us buick fans know TA performance has a new block in the works that he posted like what, a month ago? So don't bother with this guy, he doesn't have any experience or intellectual advice here.

I'm sure the main reason people don't run them is cost, and the rules against them in the classes.
Let me put in a way you can understand charloots:

Youve got a cold air kit ,like everyone that doesnt have a stock GN does, on your car,right???

Because it is cooler/denser air and denser air=more hp:)

If that statement were untrue then you would see every car with a stock air box;)

IMO Liquid ICs are the bomb. But like has been said $$$$ are better spent elsewhere if your gonna buy new(used is a different story).Cant beleive I actually said that!!!I have never tried one but id love too.Anyone want to give me there liquid IC??:)

I assume theirs some kind of petcock for a water drain??I bet even at ambiet water temps itd be as good as a FM.JMHO.
I'd bet money that you can make more HP with an iced down liquid I/C than you can with a front mount that has nothing more than ambient air to work with. I'm running Cotton's big front mount and I love it but, I'd love to have a liquid to play around with. Can you imagine 40 - 50 degree inlet temps on a 70 - 80 degree day??? At best, the front mount will cool the intake charge to 30 - 40 degrees above ambient. Charlloots...don't you know that a cooler intake charge carries MORE oxygen??? More oxygen means MORE horse power. I'm not saying it wouldn't be a biotch to keep the liquid cool...but it CAN be done.
On a sbc-vette I sometimes help with, car leaves at 28deg:eek: and goes to 70deg by end of run:D .At the track with ice water.

I would like to see some temps from a street car,If you can add ice before you run it would be good. If no Ice and water at air temb should be better than air to air.but if it only gets you .2-.3 $1200 may be better spent on heads & such.
But what do I Know I dont post much :)
If you can use ICE to cool down the liquid media, and aren't at a lose for the extra weight, an air to liquid heat exchanger is really hard to beat. Plus you can put the ice chest in the trunk for better weight distribution.

Front Mounts all require lots of air flow, to work. So they only start working the last 1/2 of the track.
At low speeds, it's the shear mass of the F/M that does the heat absorbtion.

The advantages are clear.
Intercooler efficiency is all about the driving force available to lower the temp of the inlet air. Air to Air charge coolers rely on ambient air as the driving force to lower the inlet air temp. Don't care what ya say, cold water is a better conductor of heat than ambient air.

Even on a cool day 65 degree water transfers more heat than 65 degree air. I wouldn't pick an ATR liquid intercooler as my first choice.....but an air to liquid intercooler will transfer more heat from the inlet air. I'd love to have one.....but I have alot of other things to get done first.

Lower inlet temps allow the calibrator to go deeper into the ignition map without detonation. Can you say more power on the same octane?

Idea: For a race only application, Why not use a 5 lbs tank of R-134A to flood an enclosed core to produce air temps even lower than ice water? You could pull a vacuum on the core, use a solenoid to isolated the charge from the vacuum and a orifice tube as the metering device. Of course you would need a recovery station in the pits to recover the charge and recharge the storage tank. Just thinking "outside the box".
If you take a motor thats in the 600 hp range and drop the compressed air temperature from 110* to 60* you can put about 10% more cfm into the same place.

Now you have 10% more air in the same space AND its cooler. So now a pump gas guy can make more power at the same boost level, and be farther away from detonation at the same time.... Its up to each individual to decide if thats worth $2000 to them.

Now I bought my set up used for $1200. I then added:
1. An extra shurflow pump it now runs dual pumps, supply, and return lines.
2. A pair of 5 gallon fuel cells that I insulated. My tanks dont sweat moisture into the car and it keeps me from waisting the ice.
3. A pair of switches to turn each pump on and off. If I'm at the track or on the street "ICED DOWN" I leave the pumps off. If its time to romp on it I can pump 5.6 gal/min of ice water into an aluminum IC. Drop a red hot bolt into room temp water. It will take like 2 seconds to cool it down. So I hit the switch and the IC gets real cold real fast. I make my run then turn off the pumps. This seams to work real good and makes the ice last a long time (multiple runs, and/or a few passes)
4. a pair of valves and a "T" are all thats needed to switch from "heat exchanger mode" to "Iced down mode"

All said I'm sitting at $1500 invested into a very effective intercooler. The best part is that every dime of the money spent went into a set up that I consider a "hotrod part". I didnt get into $$'s to fix a over heating problem or any of that stuff. Which reminds me of my GN and the $1000 I paid for the PTE front mount and then another $520 for the Dequick alum radiator. I'm also not cringing my teeth when I drive over a speed bump. That was the case when I ran a BGC stretch in my TTA.

I just wander how many people at the track think I'm taking a leak when I'm standing behind the car and draining the tanks.:D All the ladies are probably thinking: "DAMN! its donkey boy!"

Hope this was helpful to any one who is or may be interested in liquid IC's

Originally posted by charlloots
dont think its a good idea for street driving

Just wanted to throw in my opinion as I have limited experience with a few different air to water I/C's.

Basically I agree with what charlloots said, key word being "street".

For a race situation, an I/C in a box filled with ice and water seems to work best. Same I/C with no water or ice, figure to lose 2-3 seconds.

As far as front mounts "only start working the last 1/2 of the track", our recorded data shows the opposite to be true. The inlet air temp remains steady from the start to finish with a small increase only off the line.

As far as the ATR unit, the fin or cooling surface is VERY small inside the "box". Small and restrictive end tanks do not help either. The noisy pump must be always running or it is not very efficient. Maintainence is always an issue and with the cost at ~$2000 new, other air-to-air I/C's are a good cost effective part.