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Discussion Starter #741
Comparing beer chillers to intercoolers is a great way to go, Ed! Definitely can put it in to perspective that way:)

While I didn't look at this as something that would provide some massive improvement (as you mentioned, the dyno chart manifestations may be quite small), I'm very interested in it's performance as an OE-like replacement due to the continuing dwindling supply of them. The extra cooling row and additional space for the air to make the turn did intrigue me as well. I have contemplated calling Griffin to see if they'd share any info on R&D, so I'll report back if I find anything, and will certainly do so once the weather gets nice here and I can drive again.

I do know that some guys griped about these back in the day, but considering they have been around for almost 10 years now, I'm confident its robustness will still make it a worthwhile replacement. Since it sounds like Griffin did get some early kinks out, I'm not sweating giving it a go. Now if the box from Whipple would just get here...
 

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After a potentially record-setting 7 week wait, the new toy finally arrived the other day. Almost done getting everything back together and will add some more updates when I get the time over the next couple of weeks. For now, a couple pictures with the new style Ford Racing emblems (purchased separately and attached after). These Whipple blowers are just fantastic looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #743
Since the photo uploader seems to be giving me fits lately, wanted to at least add one more picture of some weekend progress. Hopefully will wrap it up shortly, but its all looking nice, and I'll add some more details soon enough!
 

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Very nice, Joe.

That had to be a beast to put in. Did you do it alone or did an extra set of hands help out?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #745 (Edited)
All solo, Ed - just like when the engine went in! I broke a little bit of a sweat, but it wasn't too bad to wrestle with it myself. Hopefully from here on out, I can take a break and just have some fun:)



 

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Discussion Starter #746 (Edited)
With the engine up and running - again - I've had some time over the last couple weeks to do some reading on the intercoolers and figured it would be worth sharing some more info. Even though the factory Garrett intercooler has worked fine all these years, with their dwindling supply, the "upgraded" Griffin version did fascinate me enough to keep researching them (and I've taken some flak over that by people who say there is no way the OE version can be beat). The new one is in, and the coolant is flowing nicely by the way, but I can't really comment on the IAT's yet since the car won't leave the garage for a couple more months. In any case, the downstream temps while at idle have been sitting about 30° warmer than the upstream (i.e., 70° inlet and 100° outlet), which may or may not be significant.

Moving on, I happened to get my hands on a leaky OE intercooler and decided to have some fun with it by "taking it apart". I'd imagine the insides of them have never been seen (not that they are overly complicated), but wanted to share some of the findings before I update this thread again with some tips and tricks that went along with the Whipple installation - not that those are too difficult either. I also added this stuff to the Cooling page on my site.

So, here is the donor. In this picture, much of the sealant along the top had rotted away, so I pulled the rest off which somewhat shows the gaps around the flange:

20180217_135255.jpg

The mounting plate is just a stamping that is set on top, with some welds on the sides to secure it before the sealant is added. There are probably plenty that leak once the original sealant comes apart, but that can be fixed easily enough (which can still be an inconvenience). The top plate removed once I cut all the welds:

20180217_135316-1.jpg

The intercooler body as it sits "naked":

20180217_135211-1.jpg

Once that was done, I sawed the rear end cap off to show a cross-section of the core (along with the crud that I didn't bother to clean out). The coolant flows in through the lower half of the body, then pools in the end cap and is then pumped up and towards the front where it exits to the tank. Here you can see the upper and lower half with some details I added (again, looking at it from the rear):

Intercooler flow body.jpg

That same view next to the end cap, also showing the coolant flow direction (If your pump croaks, the coolant is definitely just going to sit there and get toasty). I probably mentioned already that these have 9 rows, but this one happens to be mucked up on the outsides with the welds, so it may have limited some of the flow back to the tank, making it kind of a 7-1/2 row version...

Intercooler flow rear.jpg

The front and rear end caps side-by-side. The inlet is a bit restricted as you can see, thanks to the divider plate and probably partially due to the way the inlet tubes fit on the intake manifold (showing again, the coolant flow, minus the actual intercooler body obviously):

Initercooler end caps.jpg

With all that in mind, I wasn't about to buy another Griffin intercooler to cut up and see what has improved, but I have my thoughts. It may have to do with the size of the halves, at the very least, since it appears the lower (cooler side) is larger than the upper (hot side). There's also the additional row of fins, plus the better design. With no sealant on the top, it isn't going to leak there, so that is nice as well. Maybe I can get some info right from Griffin or LFP, but those are my insights so far. Here's a side-by-side again from the front of both (the frontal dimensions are about 4 x 3" for the Garrett and 3-1/2 x 3-1/2" for the Griffin):

20180127_153517.jpg

Anyway, after doing some reading comparing the fin design, I have seen arguments that the OE bar-and-plate is more efficient, but most say the extruded tubes are better since they allow more coolant flow and heat transfer, which I would tend to agree with. Here's a generic comparison of the two, with the OE-style on the right:

Charge air fin designs.jpg

From the charge side, the air is potentially going to flow smoother with the extruded-tube fins since they are all rounded, whereas the bar-and-plate multi-piece design is flat. I found this picture on the internet illustrating that:

Charge air flow.jpg

Something else I found that is interesting is that Whipple is making their kits for the S550 Mustang with their own intercooler that is also shorter, which is exactly the way this version sits. Theoretically, the incoming air can make a smoother turn at the bottom, which was probably a consideration with the new Griffin version being shorter as well. Not sure how much of an advantage that really offers, but they must have felt it was also worthwhile. An image of one of their kits illustrating some finer points:

Whipple properties.jpg

Otherwise, I'm looking forward to hitting the road again one of these days once the weather gets nicer, and will keep this thread updated, especially since I'll get to the dyno again soon as well. Will also add some more pictures with the Whipple install in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #748 (Edited)
This thread just keeps delivering....very nice work on the install and the detailed pics of the 2 intercoolers.
One of these days I need to call it complete, but the only thing really left stock on the car is the transmission. Now if I blow that apart and need to pick up a Magnum, well...hopefully I can just contribute obscure tech and just enjoy the drives from here on out!

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Since the Whipple install went just fine, figured I would add a few more tidbits here, more or less just for FYI purposes since the installation is pretty straightforward. If I didn't add the link before (although it's on my site), the nice people at Whipple sent me the PDF of the Ford Racing installation guide which is nice to have for reference even though they include a hard copy with the kits:

http://www.terminator-cobra.com/Whipple FR installation manual.pdf

Also, if you are swapping out a supercharger, the applicable section from the Ford service manual comes in handy since the torque specs of the small bolts are definitely important. That is on my site as well:

http://www.terminator-cobra.com/Cobra Eaton Install.pdf

In any case, just some additional tips that made this go smoothly...

With reference to the intercooler, I fell in to the "trend" with the previous one to use the bead of silicone all the way around the flange which is a pain to clean off if you ever have to pull it. As an FYI, the factory only uses a short bead of sealant adjacent to the TMAP (IAT2) sensor:



A great tip passed on to me by my buddy Tony, who received it from KB was to use anaerobic sealer instead, such as Loctite 518 or Motorcraft TA-16: it goes on and comes off much easier. Since the flange on the new intercooler was basically perfect, I had no issue using a small bead, which set up nicely:



The intercooler mounted up, using the supplied allen-head bolts from Whipple (they put a nice set of Grade 12.9 bolts in with the kits):



After that, bolting the blower down to the intake was a cinch. I also acquired a new intake manifold gasket (mentioned in Post#710) since the original was pretty flat after the re-install of the ported Eaton. One tip for the intake to make it easier to drop the whole assembly in is to grind off the small flange on the back that is used to hold the engine harness with those push-pin fasteners. It's pretty tight back there, but for reference, here's the flange with the tab (from P.19):



With the harness attached the first time (from P.21):



I cut off the small tab and removed the push-pin from the harness (also made sure to re-wrap that section of it), but should have just ground down most of this flange. Not a big deal since it worked out fine anyway:

20180211_152212-1.jpg

Another view of the back of the Whipple with stuff getting attached before dropping it in (I hope I never have to remove that plenum with the blower still in the car!):

20180211_115330.jpg

Being "somewhat" finicky, I also decided to pick up new lower intake bolts that were stainless so they would match the rest of the hardware. The ones I acquired are also a slight step up as a Grade 10.9, with a flanged head. The size is M6-1x35, which were from Bel-Metric for about $0.50 each: BF6X35FCLZ. If you need the original ones from Ford, they are a whopping $7 each now, so the new ones fit the bill perfectly. Here's a comparison shot of old and new:

20180211_152108-1.jpg

Otherwise, everything went together fine, and the new LFP throttle body looks great and delivers a factory-like idle just as the previous one did:



Also, after about an hour of idle time (a couple 30 minutes runs to check for anything weird), the belt loosened up a hair which meant it was easier to get the Whipple tensioner nice and snug. This is also thanks again to the Roush tensioner arm, and I'll also mention that the Continental Elite belts are nice and quiet:



From here, I just need to wait a couple more months for winter to blow by, and then I'll probably get on the dyno again just to see the improvement (and in case any tweaking of the tune is in order). With any luck, I can also take a break from writing!
 

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Great build man. Lots of useful info I use for mine. Question on your intercooler as its a very nice piece and the unit interests me. I'm trying to figure out how to reduce my systems restrictions. Do you have any insight on the differences in performance of the aftermarket unit vs a j2fabrication modified factory unit? Does the aftermarket unit have bigger inlets and outlet for the water? Judging by your picture they look like the exact same size. I do like that is shorter to smooth out the air path in the lower intake.
 

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Discussion Starter #750 (Edited)
Thanks, and glad you have enjoyed the thread. Hard to believe it's been cranking away for almost 2-1/2 years now! If only Ed hadn't lured me in with those work-of-art pistons;)

As far as the Griffin intercooler versus the J2F modified version, I'll admit that I have very little knowledge of it other than understanding he opens up the flow tubes on the stock unit. I'm not sure if there is any more modification further in (and not being a fluid dynamics expert), I don't know if that really does increase the flow with the "ramp" in the inlet. With the Griffin version, there is a slight droop in the lower tube as the coolant flows in, but it's not as drastic as the factory part. You can see the restriction on the Ford part here from this picture a few posts back:



Inlet shot of the Griffin inlet that may help (a little dip, but not drastic):

20180127_153542-1.jpg

OE close-up as well (noticeable difference):

20180127_153554-1.jpg

I did get a comment from Justin through another venue based on statements from my site that the Griffin unit is the only aftermarket intercooler on the market: he mentioned that I was incorrect since he produces one as well. That being said, his is custom and around $1,000 from what I understand, which I think places it outside the realm of being an "OE replacement" since most guys will just scrounge for a used one. Not that I want to bash it, but I just don't have any knowledge of the stuff. Had I known about it (and maybe if I could have acquired one at a reasonable price), I may have even tried it out.

In any case, from some idle time in my garage, I'm seeing some favorable results so far compared to the Garrett version. Not that those numbers will be conclusive at all right now, but with the engine heat swirling around (leading to IAT1 temps that nudge their way up towards 80°) the downstream figure has been decent so far. I'll definitely look forward to getting on the road soon, and with the tweaks to this intercooler, I think I will be quite happy with it. From what I see of it, the "updates" seem perfectly justified. As soon as I can play more, I will definitely keep adding to this!
 

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Thanks, and glad you have enjoyed the thread. Hard to believe it's been cranking away for almost 2-1/2 years now! If only Ed hadn't lured me in with those work-of-art pistons;)

As far as the Griffin intercooler versus the J2F modified version, I'll admit that I have very little knowledge of it other than understanding he opens up the flow
tubes on the stock unit. I'm not sure if there is any more modification further in (and not being a fluid dynamics expert), I don't know if that really does increase the flow with the "ramp" in the inlet. With the Griffin version, there is a slight droop in the lower tube as the coolant flows in, but it's not as drastic as the factory part. You can see the restriction on the Ford part here from this picture a few posts back:



Inlet shot of the Griffin inlet that may help (a little dip, but not drastic):

[iurl="http://www.modularfords.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=166826&stc=1&d=1519529256"]
[/iurl]

OE close-up as well (noticeable difference):

[iurl="http://www.modularfords.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=166834&stc=1&d=1519529604"]
[/iurl]

I did get a comment from Justin through another venue based on statements from my site that the Griffin unit is the only aftermarket intercooler on the market: he mentioned that I was incorrect since he produces one as well. That being said, his is custom and around $1,000 from what I understand, which I think places it outside the realm of being an "OE replacement" since most guys will just scrounge for a used one. Not that I want to bash it, but I just don't have any knowledge of the stuff. Had I known about it (and maybe if I could have acquired one at a reasonable price), I may have even tried it out.

In any case, from some idle time in my garage, I'm seeing some favorable results so far compared to the Garrett version. Not that those numbers will be conclusive at all right now, but with the engine heat swirling around (leading to IAT1 temps that nudge their way up towards 80°) the downstream figure has been decent so far. I'll definitely look forward to getting on the road soon, and with the tweaks to this intercooler, I think I will be quite happy with it. From what I see of it, the "updates" seem perfectly justified. As soon as I can play more, I will definitely keep adding to this!
Thanks for the info. Im looking forward to your real world data from your new blower and intercooler.
I know what you mean about the pistons being a work of art. Seeing all the picture from you and other people having a set lured me in as well!
 

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Very nice looking Gibtec there, Stuntstere! My uncalibrated eyeball puts the c/r in the 12:1 neighborhood. I presume your intended fuel is going to be ethanol at the E85 level or higher.

I'll offer some unsolicited commentary about the alcohols. While the alcohol fuels are unusually detonation resistant they are not detonation proof. Although it is hard to detonate them, as compression and boost are increased, the potential for detonation also increases. The ethanol family of fuels puts the engine owner at a particular risk because of the wide variability that DOE allows in the formulation of the fuel(s).

There is an excellent publication from DOE that speaks to this variability, here is a link to it,=> DOE Ethanol Gasoline Blend Fuels Handling, Storing, Dispensing. It turns out the commercially available fuels identified as E85 are seasonally adjusted for alcohol content and DOE allows them to be varied by the suppliers, between 51% and 81% never reaching 85% ethanol and still be sold as E85. BTW the reason for never reaching 85% is the addition of at least a 2% denaturant (a hydrocarbon or hydro-carbons in the gasoline boiling range) to make it unfit for human consumption.

The variability is called out in the ASTM 5798 document for both seasonal and geographic formulations. The DOE document referenced above contains the ASTM table for their Seasonal and Geographical Volatility Classes by month and also geographic location. When using the fuel it is important to remember that the allowable range of ethanol content is even wider than that specified by DOE and will range from 51% to 81% while still being sold as E85.

When testing for ethanol content all of the currently available "kits" offered to guys like us will give you a false reading because they use a volumetric rather than a gravimetric measurement methodology. The difference is easiest to explain like this. If I mix 9 quarts of liquid 1 with one quart of liquid 2 intuitively you would express the mixture as a 90% mix of liquid 1. The representation would not be incorrect, volumetrically speaking.

When the liquids we are mixing are fuels we can not use volume as the mixing metric, we must use fuel weight or more accurately fuel specific gravity. The fuel percentage becomes a gravimetric measurement not a volumetric measurement. The reason for this is our EFI systems measure fuel and air by weight not by volume and inject to meet a weight target we recognize as lambda or AFR. To get the mixture correct we end up having to shoot for a specific gravity target for the combined mixture. Watch the guys running Nitro mix their fuel before filling the tank. They continuously add small quantities of alcohol until the hydrometer hits the specific gravity for the Nitro percentage they are targeting. They do not mix by volume.

In boosted, high compression Ethanol fueled engines the procedure is identical. BTW the fuel sensors that Detroit uses to sense fuel in a n/a flex fuel vehicle are easily fooled. They are looking for gasoline. The assumption is that if there is no gasoline then the fuel must be 100% ethanol. If there are traces of gasoline then the fuel must be a mix of ethanol and gas. Sadly if you run water through the sensor it will read 100% ethanol because it 'sees' no gas and assumes the content to be 100% ethanol.

Why all the hyper attention to ethanol percentage? Because, even with 100% ethanol, in a supercharged high compression engine it is easier than most people believe to detonate the fuel. When you do it with boost, high compression and under power this is what happens;

Bottom.jpg

Gasoline will burn a piston, push out a head gasket and might even slightly torch a head or block deck. The alcohols will blow up your engine! Not trying to scare anybody, these fuels are wonderful power creators but if you overreach the destruction can be impressive. The boosted engine and the compression ratio you are using give you the ability to overreach - especially on ethanol mixes. I am encouraging a modicum of caution, good judgement and engine protection (read J&S Vampire). The sick feeling after an engine failure like this can not be explained it can only be experienced.

FWIW, the time lapse between the onset of detonation and engine failure was 800 milliseconds - less than a second. Even if it were possible to hear the initial sounds of the detonation (which it is not) it would still be impossible to get your foot out in time to save the engine. For a frame of reference, at 7200 rpm your engine will make 120 turns of the crankshaft in 1 second and produce 60 ignition events. It took less than that to destroy the block in the picture above - in less than one second! Naturally aspirated engines have a more forgiving operating window.

BTW, all the gloom and doom aside, it would be interesting if you would share some of your build details, with the guys here, in a build thread of your own.

Ed
 

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You are correct. They were spec'd at 12.0:1. After everything is said and done the engine will end up at 12.3ish area from some quick calculations. Had to have some material taken off the heads and the felpro gaskets are a touch thinner then the factory one. The fuel of choice is ethanol. The fuel will be from ignite fuels. I've decided I don't drive my car enough that running a barreled fuel won't be too big of an issue. Plus I'll know I'm getting quality and consistency.
 

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The quality and consistency from a barreled fuel supplier is definitely worth the effort. None the less, still use good judgement, the engine block in the picture also used a quality barreled fuel at the 99.99x% pure level.

The offer/solicitation for your build thread is still still open. I know there are any number of guys on the site here that would appreciate the opportunity to see how you went about your particular engine build.


Ed
 

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The quality and consistency from a barreled fuel supplier is definitely worth the effort. None the less, still use good judgement, the engine block in the picture also used a quality barreled fuel at the 99.99x% pure level.

The offer/solicitation for your build thread is still still open. I know there are any number of guys on the site here that would appreciate the opportunity to see how you went about your particular engine build.

Ed
I will definately error on the side of caution when I begin to tune. Hopefully I can build some safety into my tune since I'll being using a Holley system. I'll definitely think about starting a build thread as I'm still collecting my parts to put this car back together along with researching and learning from others to influence my part choices and specifications for the build. The only downfall is I'm not very good at recording my work. I also go through spouts where I'm interested in the car for about a month, then uninterested the next month as I work on cars for a living. Most of the time it doesn't seem appealing to come home a work on cars some more. Haha
 

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Discussion Starter #756 (Edited)
Nothing extremely monumental to update with this thread, other than today being the first chance I had - after four months of waiting - to get in a drive behind the new Whipple. The twin-screw definitely did not disappoint and the rest of the engine purred away just fine. I didn't get too crazy since I'm planning to get back on the dyno sometime soon just to make sure all is good with the tune, but having the instant boost (running right up to 15psi in a snap) has definitely jacked up the fun factor. With the 60's, BAP, and MAFia, I see absolutely no need to make any "improvements" to the fuel system.

With outside temps near 80°, I was also pleased to see how the new intercooler functioned. During some "normal" driving, the IAT2 reading hovered around 110°, which I seem to recall is about 30° or so below where it would end up with the Eaton/OE intercooler combo. Granted, the twin-screw probably helps keep the temperature down, but even when I'd get on it, bringing the IAT2 up to just over 120°, it didn't take long for it to recover and come back down to 110ish. So far, so good.

Once back in the garage with a few minutes at idle, the IAT1 shot up to about 110° thanks to all the hot air being blown around by the fan, but that was expected. The IAT2 did then run up to 130°, but that didn't worry me thanks to the higher IAT1, especially with the Whipple housing now at 150°+ per my IR thermometer. The coolant temp was normally right in the high 170's (with my 170 thermostat), and would occasionally work up in to the high 180's with a load on the engine. Not out of the ordinary there either.

A couple other items for the heck of it...

First, the Vampire performed perfectly as usual. I noticed a couple flickers of the LED's early on before the engine was up to normal operating temperature (I normally wait until that point before I drive off, but time was a bit of an issue), but there was nothing abnormal going on that would give me any cause to worry. John even updated the software in the unit for me last month, so I'm confident it will be doing it's thing so I can put many more miles on the engine without any hitch. So, definitely another plug for it - thanks again John!

Also, since this was the first time I got to experience the new G-Force axles, they were flawless as well. Even better, in conjunction with the poly bushings and the correct 14mm front cradle bolts - there is absolutely none of the typical "Cobra clunk" that accompanies the stock half-shafts. I don't do clutch dumps, but when getting marginally frisky, the rear end still stayed planted nicely. Definitely looking forward to putting some more miles on the engine this year now that the car is even more of a blast to drive:)
 

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Nothing like a happy ending, Joe!

I am glad for you and your build experience. The outcome you have realized is partly due to your selection and use of good parts like the Whipple but largely due to your attention to detail during assembly and the consistently top shelf quality of your build practices. Great job, great thread and a happy ending. Hard to improve on that. :)


Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #758
It's been a great ride, Ed - literally and figuratively.

Now that I've turned this Cobra in to my own version of the perfect car, hopefully I can do nothing but just enjoy the heck out of it for a long while. I suppose that does mean that there may not be too many more updates to this thread unless guys chime in with more questions and comments, but I'm glad to keep it going. When the next dyno run is in the books, I'll also be sure to get those charts added here as well!
 

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Just as an OBTW sort of observation your build thread is the third most viewed thread on the site as of this posting. The #1 and #2 threads were started six and seven years before yours. Speaks volumes about how well the thread was conceived, organized and presented. Very impressive.


Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #760
I dig that, Ed!

Hopefully, though, after two+ years with this thread and the other websites that have been up for much longer (and constantly being tweaked as well), I can take somewhat of a break from writing and get more time behind the wheel. Then again, I need to possibly get that Brookpark Engine Plant "special" tour to work out (would get a kick out of seeing the EcoBoost engines get built, especially since I have one as well), so that could be a decent front page story, especially if they let me bring in a camera...:)
 
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