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Intercoolers - Which is better / black or silver / Tube & Fin or Bar & Plate

28056 Views 39 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  razorlab
Interesting video trying to debunk the myth about which is better black or silver and general explanation of intercoolers and their construction types.

But there seems to a fair bit of debate online regarding this issue on color and construction type:

My two questions:
1. Which is better black or silver
2. Which is better tube and fin (Mountune FMIC construction) or bar and plate (Cobb FMIC construction) to name a couple of vendors and the construction types they use.
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The video link I posted the guy tried to de bunk their results.

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Here's a link from Garrett a big player in the turbo world who also manufacture tube and fin style intercoolers.
I'm no expert in this subject matter but I would think that if bar & plate was so superior over tube and fin then why does Garrett manufacture tube and fin style.

Like Ken from Mountune stated one of the issues with bar and plate is the amount of air flow through the intercooler to the items behind the intercooler that require air flow (radiator etc). So you may get slight improved cooling of air charge temperatures with bar and plate but your temperatures in your radiator could be subject to increased temperatures and thus pull of timing and power due extra engine heating.
That's funny because most people use the bar and plate Garrett cores. Like ATP, etc.

In fact, I don't think I have ever seen a tube and fin Garrett core in the last 20+ years of tuning turbocharged cars.

A search for Garrett tube and fin yields nothing but bar and plate.

Honestly the only advantage I have seen of tube and fin is weight but their price usually out weighs (see what I did there) the advantage.

Garrett cores:

Just from reading their website in the link I attached, in the third paragraph they refer to tube and fin construction.
"Garrett intercoolers have a long history with some of the premier names in the performance car industry - Roush, Saleen, Mercedes-Benz AMG, Ford SVT, GM, and McLaren have all turned to Garrett to intercool their hottest models.

Garrett now offers this expertise and quality in a full range of intercool cores. From air-to-air cores sized for tightly-packed sport compact cars to air-to-water cores capable of supporting 1000+ hp, we can provide optimum performance for nearly any application.

Garrett intercoolers also offer superior fatigue protection for the high boost pressures and temperatures of today's extreme engines. They are constructed of high strength brazen aluminum alloys with advanced tube and fin designs to ensure greater heat transfer effectiveness and durability."
To expand on my previous post, I assumed the question that started the thread was referring to the specific application , the Fiesta ST since this is a Fiesta ST forum and not a debate about the merits of tube and fin vs bar and plate.

For the particular application and overall performance, we have found that a tube and fin performs optimally better when you consider air flow requirements for the other heat exchangers in the cooling pack. Additionally continued heat transfer is good compared to typical bar and plate designs that can quickly become heat soaked. As I mentioned, bar and plate type do perform well on short term applications such as a dyno pull. Modern cars have far greater cooling needs than cars of 5 and 10 years ago. Engines run at higher operating temperatures and frontal air inlet areas have become smaller. This makes the requirement for air flow even greater and was just one of the factors that lead us to use the type of core we did. So to be clear, yes bar and plate do cool charge air temps very well but there is much more to consider in this particular application. Cheers-Ken
Yes you are correct my original intent was to talk about the two types of intercooler designs and in particular which one was better suited for the FiST.

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