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Since an intercooler's job is to cool charge air from the turbo, and since the engine bay is typically a pretty hot environment, the intercooler must be insulated. I wrapped mine with dense, flexible insulation foam from McMaster after first coating it with high temp aerosol adhesive from 3M.
Intercooler radiant barrier
Intercooler insulation step 2 was adding a radiant barrier. This is the same self-adhesive product that I used for the fuel tank. The bung near the right side of the pic is for my intake air temperature sensor.
Ideal spot for water tanks
This dead space below the doors was the perfect spot for the water tanks. The small amount of added weight (about 1 gallon each) is located very low in the car, between the axles, and evenly spread between front and rear. I bought square aluminum tube from McMaster and had TIG Meister Craig Hill work his magic to cap the tubes, and add bungs and mounting tabs. As always, Craig's craftsmanship is flawless.
what about weight?
Many of you may be thinking that all that water (a bit more than 2 gallons total) added a ton of weight. But I removed 36 pounds of parts that had been located very high and behind the rear axle. Even if the car gained a couple of pounds, having cool combustion air will be worth the weight gain.
Increase airflow through factory intercooler?
I think this sums up why the factory air/air intercooler doesn't work. The wind tunnel pic on the first intercooler page proves that the air above the rear deck is nearly stagnant. Any air that is moving back there is not going to be interested in making the 35 degree turn into the intercooler. It's going to flow straight over the top of the inlet. A fastback clam will decrease this angle somewhat, but not to the ideal inlet angle for a NACA duct. read Simon Mcbeath's book if you don't want to take my word for it. I did.
Fastback needs wall of fans
Here is a fastback clam on a Noble. It's clear that the air/air intercooler still needs a wall of fans. Can you see how much fin area is blocked by those fans? Fans may be helpful when you're not moving, or idling through the paddock, but they become an obstacle to flow when going fast. This is not an example of good engineering.
But wait! There's More!
You're on page 2 of a two-page set. Click the buttons below to switch between the two pages of intercooler upgrade descriptions.