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Discussion Starter #1
I live in Florida where we only have two seasons...hot and less hot. In the summer the temperature never goes below 80 even in the middle of the night. During the day we can easily hit 99 degrees and 99 percent humidity. I know hot air lowers the effectiveness of a turbo. I am looking for recommendations for an upgrade that would achieve two goals...

First, and most important to me, increase the reliability and life of the turbo (and the engine overall).
Second, maintain the performance of the engine in such a hot climate.

I figure an intercooler upgrade is the best bet here, but have no idea where to start. Ideally a replacement/upgraded intercooler would fit as is without the need for any other modifications. Any suggestions?
 

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This is a concern if mine as well living in Houston area. 100 degrees w/100% humidity pretty much 100% of summer. Lol. From everything I've read, ford has over engineered the cooling system in these cars. Now i assume heat soak will still be an issue in traffic, and im sure it will pull timing to keep everything safe, so my first mod will be to upgrade intercooler when one becomes available for more consistent performance. Never had a DI turbo before either, and i know that technology keeps cylinders cooler as well. Along with the oil squirters on the piston, motor should be able to handle extreme temps. Just gotta keep the intake temps down....
 

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I think you're over-thinking it. Why do you need to keep intake temps down if you're sitting in traffic? You won't be putting a load on the engine or requiring enough power to worry about ignition timing being pulled.

If you're moving, the intercooler is working. Hot and cold are relative, so unless the ambient temperature gets over 150*, the intercooler is lowering your intake temps...maybe not by much, but enough.

Ever been to the middle east? You haven't felt hot until you go there, and cars are just fine in those conditions (ambient temps are 120+).

The ECU pulls timing and dumps fuel in to keep your engine alive in high temps. Aside from chemical cooling, there isn't much you can do,and that's a waste of money, IMO.

Think about it this way: if you're at the track and it's hot for your car, then it's hot for everyone else's car too. Nothing I hate worse than a "ricer" complaining about heat and humidity at the strip when they lose a race...it's just as hot and humid in my lane, and I'm pumping 10 psi into my engine through a twin-screw blower.

You're not going to have to worry about 100 degrees. Google what Ford does during their engine development and testing. You will NEVER be able to put that much stress on your car. Ever.
 

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I agree with you, but i think there's always room for improvement. For example, GT500 guys upgrading their heat exchangers for their cars. In sure Ford tested and tested, but the final production product is often limited to cost factors and not overall performance. Gt500 still get heat soaked, and they are running liquid to air intercoolers. Im just saying i want to upgrade for more "consistent" performance in a wide variety of conditions. Not trying to improve performance per se, but keep performance no matter the conditions. And i agree with you about people making excuses about temps when you're running in the same scenarios. Air to air intercoolers work great when moving, but can get heat soaked when idling (such as in pit at track or staging). Larger surface area of a thicker/larger intercooler would allow more heat to dissipate limiting the heat soak. My Raptor never saw temps climb even with 80+ mph runs off road in west Texas when it was 105°. Thing had a killer cooling system and good ventilation for engine bay, but n/a 6.2 with no forced induction. Im hoping ford over engineered its system for the the ST so i don't have to spend a penny to upgrade anything! ;)
 

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Having had some experience with this matter. I understand what you are saying.
You are sitting in traffic, and you see a clear spot that you wither take or lose quickly. You hit the gas but you dont have enough for ward motion to get airflow over your intercooler. The hotter, less dense air that is going into your engine is not giving you the zap of power that you need.
Here is what I would recommend: A series of small fans blowing over the intercooler, a water atomizer spray bar onto the face of it, even CO2 would work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My main concern is increasing the reliability and life of the turbo. Wouldn't an improved IC help in this regard? I'm not as concerned about HP gains, but I suspect an upgraded IC would give a few extra HP, even without touching the ECU.
 

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An intercooler has very very little with turbo life; an intercooler is staged downstream of the compressor part of the turbo and upstream of your intake manifold. Higher temp intake air will cause slightly higher exhuast gas temps which will then add slightly more heat to your turbine side of the turbo, but this increase is negligible. Friction is a much bigger enemy than slightly elevated exhaust gas temps. An improved intercooler will get you basically one thing: improved performance in conditions where the stock air to air intercooler is inadequate, which for most cars is basically never. You would have to go to a liquid to air cooler to see a big performance increase but that would probably require a re-tune to take advantage of.
 

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Intercooler doesn't do crap to improve turbo longevity. Also, just because you get a bigger intercooler doesn't mean it will be more efficient. Look up "boost drop across an intercooler". Too much volume can cause more problems than running a smaller, more efficient one. Spray bars and CO2 are the chemical methods of cooling I was referring to. Doesn't do you much good if the bottle's empty. Going back to the GT500 guys...yeah, they get heat soaked...they still get heat soaked with a bigger intercooler. They don't reach the limits of the stock intercooler until they're over 700 hp. How many of them saw an improvement with an intercooler-only swap? I bet they did a pulley, tune and headers at the same time...but "the intercooler made all the difference". No. Mine heat soaks too...it's an inevitability with forced induction. Intercoolers don't cool the blower housings or the screws, so no matter what, you're going to get heat transfer to your air charge. Kenne Bell makes water-cooled blower housings now, but that's the first application of such a thing that I've come across. Figure out how to put an air-to-water intercooler on a turbo setup, and you might get the 5-second burst of sub-150* intake temps you're looking for...then figure out if it's worth the cost. Racing for a gap in traffic? Juvenile...but it goes back to the statement I made before: if it's hot for you, then it's hot for them. Everybody is down on power when it's hot and humid. If you have more than the other guy, then you'll still have more than the other guy, even if you think your car "feels slower".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info. Looks like the IC will not have the effect I expected, and it makes sense since the air being cooled is after the turbo compression. Live and learn...thanks guys.
 

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Not sure if it applies as much to these engines, but a few years back I was involved in the design of our diesel engine package charge air cooler. The engineers at our engine supplier had a real concern about possible condensation on the cooled CAC side in very humid environments with a cooler that "cooled too much". Similar to the water build-up in an air compressor tank, cooled pressurized air after it passes the intercooler has a lower water holding capacity than non pressurized ambient air, which can cause water buildup and corrosion of the cooler, and at worst -- engine damage.

They had a spec that stated the CAC could not cool the charge air past a certain number of degrees above ambient at no engine load and at full cooling fan speed. Then there was another spec for full engine load maximum charge air temp above ambient. As can be imagined, it was not the easiest spec for us to meet.

At the boost levels we're talking about in the ST it may be a non-issue, but just plopping in any old aftermarket intercooler could be problematic in some environments.
 

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I live in Florida where we only have two seasons...hot and less hot. In the summer the temperature never goes below 80 even in the middle of the night. During the day we can easily hit 99 degrees and 99 percent humidity. I know hot air lowers the effectiveness of a turbo. I am looking for recommendations for an upgrade that would achieve two goals...

First, and most important to me, increase the reliability and life of the turbo (and the engine overall).
Second, maintain the performance of the engine in such a hot climate.

I figure an intercooler upgrade is the best bet here, but have no idea where to start. Ideally a replacement/upgraded intercooler would fit as is without the need for any other modifications. Any suggestions?
It's Florida... not Death Valley. I think the engineers probably thought of that. The only thing I'd say is make sure you run a decent synthetic oil, but I would recommend that anyway.
 

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My main concern is increasing the reliability and life of the turbo.
I'm in Florida as well and I understand and share your concern. Those that haven't lived with a turbo car in these types of climates don't realize how much it does effect the longevity of the cars. It's not just the ambient temp and humidity, but the amount of sun too. Sure, air temp might be only 90 degrees, but the sun beating on the streets for hours and hours makes it radiate at much higher temps than ambient air temp. Add that to having to sit idle in the kind of long slow city traffic so common in many Florida cities, and that radiant heat takes a toll. So what to do?

The answer of couse is to keep the turbo cool. Assuming the turbo isn't water cooled and the primary souce for cooling the turbo is engine oil, probably the best strategy is to augment/upgrade the engine oil cooler. On top of that, don't just shut the car down quickly after hard driving or long highway drives... the oil needs to circulate to have time to cool down. Also avoid driving in boost for long periods of time. I say keep an eye on the FRPP catalog to see what they offer... I'm betting there will be an auxilary oil cooler available.

The thing I'm equally concerned about is ambient underhood temps, which will kill every soft part under the hood... hoses, belts, wiring, loom, plastics, etc. That stuff will go much faster than the turbo. If it turns out to be an issue, the obvious solution to me is hood vents, which will also help with turbo temps.
 

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The answer of couse is to keep the turbo cool. Assuming the turbo isn't water cooled
It is. Not an oil cooled turbo.

"Designed for a life cycle of 150,000 miles or 10 years, EcoBoost’s turbochargers feature
water-cooled bearing jackets. This architecture is designed to prevent oil “coking” that could occur
in previous-generation turbochargers. The new design means that EcoBoost drivers don’t need to
observe special operating precautions, such as idling the engine before switching it off.
EcoBoost also endured Ford’s standard engine durability test signoff by running at maximum revs
and turbo boost for the equivalent of 15 straight days or 360 hours.
As the first Ford EcoBoost engine makes its production debut, it has earned its stripes in Ford’s
engine boot camp. It uses that same grade of engine oil specified by Ford for gasoline engines, and
oil changes are scheduled at the same 7,500-mile intervals.
"
 

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I'm in Florida as well and I understand and share your concern. Those that haven't lived with a turbo car in these types of climates don't realize how much it does effect the longevity of the cars. It's not just the ambient temp and humidity, but the amount of sun too. Sure, air temp might be only 90 degrees, but the sun beating on the streets for hours and hours makes it radiate at much higher temps than ambient air temp. Add that to having to sit idle in the kind of long slow city traffic so common in many Florida cities, and that radiant heat takes a toll. So what to do?

The answer of couse is to keep the turbo cool. Assuming the turbo isn't water cooled and the primary souce for cooling the turbo is engine oil, probably the best strategy is to augment/upgrade the engine oil cooler. On top of that, don't just shut the car down quickly after hard driving or long highway drives... the oil needs to circulate to have time to cool down. Also avoid driving in boost for long periods of time. I say keep an eye on the FRPP catalog to see what they offer... I'm betting there will be an auxilary oil cooler available.

The thing I'm equally concerned about is ambient underhood temps, which will kill every soft part under the hood... hoses, belts, wiring, loom, plastics, etc. That stuff will go much faster than the turbo. If it turns out to be an issue, the obvious solution to me is hood vents, which will also help with turbo temps.
I hate to break it to you but Florida is not the only state in America where traffic exists.

The exhaust going through your turbo is going to be probably at least 1300 degrees F and more than that when you are on it. You think your additional 30 degrees of ambient temperature is going to be significant at that point?
 
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