Toyota Supra mkiv

Intercooler sizing for a Mkiv Supra

Intercooler sizing and brand selection is a bit of a black art these days. None of the intercooler manufacturers publish information on flow rate (cfm), pressure drop or cooling efficiency of the intercoolers that they sell. Without this information, the best you can do is rely on what other people with similar setups and power levels have used for their intercoolers.

I've used many different intercoolers over the years as I've gradually increased the power of my Supra from stock hp of 177rwkw up to the current level of 567rwkw, a 320% increase. Here are my recommendations for intercooler sizes for the various power levels of the mkiv Supra.

Intercooler sizing
0 - 200rwkw OEM intercooler
200 - 350rwkw FMIC 600 x 300 x 75mm
350 - 450rwkw FMIC 600 x 300 x 100mm
450 - 550rwkw FMIC 600 x 300 x 120mm
550 - 650rwkw FMIC 600 x 300 x 140mm
+650rwkw The biggest intercooler you can fit

Intercooler brand selection is the hardest part as there are cheap poor performing intercoolers, but there are also expensive poor performing intercoolers. Based on price alone, you cannot gaurantee you are getting a good intercooler. One of the aspects I look for in a good intercooler is the end tank design. You can get short, steep end tanks like this one.

Or you can get longer, cast end tanks which result in a less sharp angle for the air to flow through the parts of the intercooler core that is not directly in the path of the intercooler pipe connection to the intercooler end tanks. Theoretically this should result in improved flow and improved cooling when at full boost. Here is an example of one with good flowing cast end tanks.

Another important aspect of the intercooler is the core design, both for the air flowing through from the turbo to the engine and from the air passing through the intercooler, to cool it. There are two main types of core design, extruded tube and bar & plate. Each have their pros and cons, but this is only one part of the overall design of the intercooler.

The number of rows that the air can flow through will also have an effect on cooling efficiency and on pressure loss. More rows equals better cooling but results in more pressure loss. The intercooler is a balancing act between getting enough cooling without creating too much pressure loss.

My intercooler looks like this one below and is 120mm thick, which is now the minimum thickness I should use for my power level. If I up the power above 567rwkw, I will go for a 140mm intercooler of the same design.

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Last modified on Sunday 3rd September, 2017