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      08-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
drfrink24
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Best DD FMIC w/Meth

In my multitude of hours researching the brazillions of threads on FMICs, I have seen that a majority of them focus on IAT suppression first, then at a distant 2nd, on pressure loss, and finally, almost non-existent, is data to show how spool has been influenced.

So, YES, this is another FMIC thread, but with a twist:

For users who will not be tracking, nor doing airstrip runs, who already have meth, does anyone know an intercooler that offers the least pressure drop, with the least amount of lag, while doing a good job at IAT suppression (good enough where meth will do the rest anyway).

Here is what I have so far:
1. AMS has perhaps the least pressure drop, good IAT suppression, but not sure on spool characteristics.
2. Helix is claimed to have very good pressure drop, excellent IAT suppression, but again, with that big of a core, I would think it affects spool.
3. Wagner seems to be able the same as Helix, however... someone on another thread commented that they could tell they were spooling slower.
4. ETS, conflicting information on pressure drop, good IAT suppression in 5" and 7", not sure on spool.
5. VSRF, looks very similar to AMS.

I honestly haven't found a single log with any that compare spool characteristics between stock and aftermarket. Back in my STI days, spool was a very big concern when moving from the TMIC to FMIC, some of the bigger cores on stock snails were thought to be "laggy".
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      08-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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There are no spools concerns with these tiny turbos.
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      08-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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I have a question for you / the gang: Would it be necessary for a DD to have an upgraded IC? Especially with meth?
Or especially without other mods (DPs, intake)?

The ETS probably has more pressure drop due to its stepped fin design, but does have good IAT reduction. The 5" would probably not affect spool appreciably over stock. Not a fan of the welded end-tanks without some sort of smoothing to allow flow back out of the IC.

I have a feeling that the available smaller IC choices have very little difference in performance - acceleration, spool, IAT drop - just like downpipes. Not enough to really make a hill of beans difference.
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      08-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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Ic is the first mod to do after the tune. Oem one is a joke.
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      08-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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both u guys are over thinking this.
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      08-06-2012, 11:59 AM   #6
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You will notice the majority of popular intercoolers will have little effect on a DD cars while running methanol. You will also notice the majority won't differ in performance for a DD. Where one might shine over the other are extended long gear pulls in excess of 120+ MPH, or track days and hot laps where core size and efficiency play a larger role.

None will cause problems with lag or spool.

Just pick one based on core, size, price, fitment, and connections that fit your needs.

I ran meth without an FMIC without problems, so an intercooler won't really benefit too much. Downpipes are more important with methanol if you dont have those already. I'd recommend a 5inch core style since you appear to be concerned with spool and pressure drop even though they arent an actual problem on the platform and are negligible.
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      08-06-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfrink24 View Post
VSRF, looks very similar to AMS.
the VRSF intercooler looks more similar to hpf than ams.
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      08-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
You will notice the majority of popular intercoolers will have little effect on a DD cars while running methanol. Where one might shine over the other are extended long gear pulls in excess of 120+ MPH, or track days and hot laps where core size and efficiency play a larger role.

None will cause problems with lag or spool.

Just pick one based on core, size, price, fitment, and connections that fit your needs.

I ran meth without an FMIC without problems, so an intercooler won't really benefit too much. Downpipes are more important with methanol if you dont have those already.
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      08-06-2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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I think with so many intercooler options out for this car people get confused on which to go with. The reality is for any DD you are safe with any of the popular choices out today.

The differences are negligible for any DD. What matters after that? Price? Install/fitment/trimming.

If you need the most out of the intercooler, then go with a high efficiency larger core. But don't expect magical gains, the only gains are the ability to combat heat soak over long extended runs.
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      08-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
I'd recommend a 5inch core style since you appear to be concerned with spool and pressure drop even though they arent an actual problem on the platform and are negligible.
I'm concerned with having the opportunity to put together the best overall package of parts for my driving style, and failing to do so because I didn't properly understand or research my options.

If pressure drop and spool aren't a factor, then I suppose I will focus on an FMIC that allows the most IAT suppression w/o meth, which will give me an option should I choose to quit using it in the future. In addition, should I choose an upgraded turbo path, I also will have a solution with available headroom.

Which then I believe leaves me 4 options, in no specific order:
1. Helix
2. Wager v2
3. Big Tom/KL racing
4. VSRF
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      08-06-2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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On the street pressure drop / flow can be noticeable and directly relates to boost potential. With meth I would recommend AMS... it flows considerable better then Helix in my testing, but is less efficient.
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      08-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfrink24 View Post
I'm concerned with having the opportunity to put together the best overall package of parts for my driving style, and failing to do so because I didn't properly understand or research my options.

If pressure drop and spool aren't a factor, then I suppose I will focus on an FMIC that allows the most IAT suppression w/o meth, which will give me an option should I choose to quit using it in the future. In addition, should I choose an upgraded turbo path, I also will have a solution with available headroom.

Which then I believe leaves me 4 options, in no specific order:
1. Helix
2. Wager v2
3. Big Tom/KL racing
4. VSRF
Have you considered the ETS 7inch or Evolution Racewerks? They are using very nice high efficiency cores and ER actually races their vehicle on the track with proven results.

Something to think about. With any intercooler there is a give and take, the more flow, the less iat reduction. Les flow, more pressure drop but higher IAT reduction. Like I said I feel the majority are negligible in difference on the street. On dynos or in a controlled test you might find slight differences but performance on the street will be negligible.
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      08-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshboody View Post
On the street pressure drop / flow can be noticeable and directly relates to boost potential. With meth I would recommend AMS... it flows considerable better then Helix in my testing, but is less efficient.
AMS was/is my top choice, until Jeff is saying that I wouldn't notice anything different between Helix and AMS, despite the Helix having considerably more volume.

This is why I keep going back and forth between choices.
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      08-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #14
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Any TRUE 5" core will be your best option with a DD/street car. Unless you have aftermarket turbos (or track the car), a 7" core would be overkill.

Consider:
  1. Helix
  2. ETS
  3. ER 5" Core
  4. AA Sport

AMS (6") + the HPF (5.75") cores are a bit larger, so there will be a slightly higher pressure drop, but if you live somewhere hot year round (FL, AZ, etc) it would make sense to avoid heatsoak/better IAT reduction
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      08-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
Have you considered the ETS 7inch or Evolution Racewerks?
I have not on the ETS 7", (though I realize the VSRF is 7" as well), as my research has indicated that thickness has diminishing returns.

ER, I have researched, however it looked similar to the AMS option (not as good of endtanks) and nearly identical to the ETS 5" (but $300+ more).
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      08-06-2012, 12:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzy89 View Post
if you live somewhere hot year round (FL, AZ, etc) it would make sense to avoid heatsoak/better IAT reduction
I live in MN.. I'll see -20F IATs in 4 months...
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      08-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesM3M5 View Post
I have a question for you / the gang: Would it be necessary for a DD to have an upgraded IC? Especially with meth?
Or especially without other mods (DPs, intake)?

The ETS probably has more pressure drop due to its stepped fin design, but does have good IAT reduction. The 5" would probably not affect spool appreciably over stock. Not a fan of the welded end-tanks without some sort of smoothing to allow flow back out of the IC.

I have a feeling that the available smaller IC choices have very little difference in performance - acceleration, spool, IAT drop - just like downpipes. Not enough to really make a hill of beans difference.
Here is ETS' step by step upgrades with dyno comparisons:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=483840

There were no methanol runs but you can see the bump in power changing the FMIC only. I think it's not just about IAT supression, but also that the stock FMIC is restrictive at higher boost levels. With meth, you will still see gains with a better flowing intercooler. It just becomes less relevant between the smaller and larger FMICs (ie. 5" vs 7") with meth since it takes care of reducing IATs...
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      08-06-2012, 12:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfrink24 View Post
I live in MN.. I'll see -20F IATs in 4 months...
In that case, any of the 5" cores are ideal. It'll give you plenty of IAT reduction for a street car, minimal pressure drops, a significant upgrade over the OEM core & there will be minimal trimming for the best fit
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      08-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfrink24 View Post
I have not on the ETS 7", (though I realize the VSRF is 7" as well), as my research has indicated that thickness has diminishing returns.

ER, I have researched, however it looked similar to the AMS option (not as good of endtanks) and nearly identical to the ETS 5" (but $300+ more).
It sounds like you know enough to conclude what you are looking for, and that is the most important factor in purchasing a product. I personally dont think you will be unhappy with any intercooler you listed and honestly, I dont think you would notice that much of a difference if any with any intercooler I listed.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before but intercoolers really dont do much with methanol and without methanol you really dont notice the power until the upper gears 3rd and 4th +.

Roll the dice

I would stick with a 5inch core too as Benzy mentioned.
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      08-06-2012, 12:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff@topgearsolutions View Post
With any intercooler there is a give and take, the more flow, the less iat reduction. Les flow, more pressure drop but higher IAT reduction. Like I said I feel the majority are negligible in difference on the street. On dynos or in a controlled test you might find slight differences but performance on the street will be negligible.
+100. You have to consider what your needs are. There is always a tradeoff
It makes sense to get a larger FMIC if you are NOT going to run meth or will want upgraded turbos. Otherwise, the smaller FMIC will be more than adequate.

Oh and btw OP, spool is directly related to pressure drop. The larger intercoolers have higher pressure drop as Jeff said. You can verify this by monitoring your WGDCs
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      08-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
+100. You have to consider what your needs are. There is always a tradeoff
It makes sense to get a larger FMIC if you are NOT going to run meth or will want upgraded turbos. Otherwise, the smaller FMIC will be more than adequate.

Oh and btw OP, spool is directly related to pressure drop. The larger intercoolers have higher pressure drop as Jeff said. You can verify this by monitoring your WGDCs
I guess I had assumed that they were related, but then when I saw people claiming that the very large Helix stepped core also offered the same, if not slightly better than stock pressure drop, it made me wonder if they were truly related. It would seem to imply then, if true, the helix offers too many "bests", can't have the least pressure drop and also the best IAT suppression.
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      08-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #22
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It would seem to imply then, if true, the helix offers too many "bests", can't have the least pressure drop and also the best IAT suppression.
Helix provides lower IATs but with a higher pressure drop than the smaller 5" FMICs. I have compared my WGDCs and Helix users run up to %10 higher.
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