Stage 3 Intercooler Core

Posted by Alex Darmos on

The intercooler system in a Grand Prix has been around for a long time. Thrasher was the first, ZZP followed and now there are systems available from nearly every manufacture. All the systems on the market have the same goal: Cool the intake charge to increase performance. Unfortunately they all have the same downfall by nature of their designs.

 Every intercooler core on the market is made of aluminum. An aluminum housing sandwiched between the lower intake and the blower, which incases an aluminum heat exchanger. The inherent problem with this design lies in the thermal transfer properties of aluminum. Aluminum is one of the best heat conductors out there. Unfortunately this allows all of the engine heat to transfer into the intercooler core and into the blower. Now, instead of trying to remove heat from the outlet air, the intercooler system is also trying to remove heat from the engine! This greatly reduces the efficiency of the core and puts a higher stress load on the front mount radiator.

We didn’t realize how significant this was until we took temperature readings on the intercooler water during normal street conditions. We found temperatures as high as 50 degrees over ambient, without even being under boost! Running the fans helped greatly but we realized that our intercooler systems are doing more than cooling charged air.

Once the core gets hit with the heat from the engine, it continues its climb into the blower. Have you ever felt how hot the blower on an intercooled car runs? It’s very hot. Our stage 3 core eliminates blower heat soak by shielding the intercooler core and the blower from the engine heat. By using phenolic instead of aluminum to house the IC core, we shield the core from all engine heat.

The end result is amazing performance on the street and at the track. No more “great performance when the car is cold but average once it warms up”. The performance of the stage 3 core is so good, you can expect zero KR* with pulley sizes down to a 2.6. Our 97 GTP ran 93 octane, 9.6:1 compression, and no KR with a 2.55 pulley used daily. Simply put, no other intercooler comes close!

Click here to see our plates in action!

*machined snout required for pulleys under 2.8, 42# injectors required for 2.9 and smaller pulleys, fuel pump rewire required for 3.1 and smaller pulleys. Please mod responsibly, scan for KR and run appropriate AF ratios for your mods.