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Thread: Warm Air Intake - Intercooler as an intake heater

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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Warm Air Intake - Intercooler as an intake heater

    Forum member live4redline made an interesting point that only now sank in:

    Quote Originally Posted by live4redline View Post
    For a more permanent fixture you could always use a water to air "intercooler" with the water routed from the throttle body and back as its one of your better sources of early heat.
    Why not? What could possibly go wrong?

    Tim & Darin (well, anyone really ) do you know if anyone tried using the engine coolant circuit (specifically the heater circuit) for an air intake heater on any other vehicle?






    Click on the photos to see their respective product pages for further details. These seem to be around $100. It would be interesting to find the smallest one and experiment.




    Last edited by Eggman; 10-23-2017 at 04:37 PM.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.8 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.7 mpg (Imp)


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    Daox (10-23-2017),MightyMirageMpg (10-24-2017)

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    Senior Member MightyMirageMpg's Avatar
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    Just about every Chevy v8

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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMirageMpg View Post
    Just about every Chevy v8
    For warm air intake? I didn't know this. When did Chevy start doing this? Do you have any links for further reading?

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.8 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.7 mpg (Imp)


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    Lot's of vehicles run coolant through the throttle body. Most Gm's (ls style) v8's, early 90's Mazda b2200's, the Mirage does too.
    Last edited by Fummins; 10-23-2017 at 08:14 PM.

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    Senior Member MightyMirageMpg's Avatar
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    The coolant circulates thru most of the actual cast intake manifold.

    Edit its clearly not as effective as what your proposing though


    Fummins interesting about the mirage i will have to check this out thanks
    Last edited by MightyMirageMpg; 10-23-2017 at 05:10 PM.

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    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    All vehicles run coolant through the throttle body. Its a safety measure to prevent the throttle from freezing up in cold/moist environments. The venturi effect that happens in the throttle body causes cooling of the air, and its possible for condensation to form. At the right temperatures, it can turn to freezing. If the throttle body wasn't warmed, it could literally freeze up on you in the right circumstances. Those circumstances are pretty unlikely, but its possible.

    That all being said, Eggman is looking for a way to warm up and/or control the intake air temperature with the intercooler (interwarmer? ). This reduces the density of the intake charge (opposite of a cold air intake), essentially letting less oxygen into the cylinders. This also essentially reduces the displacement of the engine by reducing its peak power output. This in turn causes you to run your engine at a higher load, and for us efficiency nerds, we know that this generally leads to better efficiency and better fuel economy.

    So, have I heard of this? Of course! Actually, I only really know one person who tested something like this. He slapped a heater core or small trans cooler in his airbox, ran the coolant lines to tees on his actual heater core, and I think he even threw in a ball valve so he could throttle the coolant flow. I'm honestly not really sure how well it worked out for him. I shall attempt to dig up the thread on ecomodder... Ah yes, here we are: recovering lost heat energy in engine coolant.

    I would do a proof of concept first using some metal dryer hose and your exhaust to see if a warm air intake is even worth it. Some cars programming responds well to warmer air, others do not. I think we had one other user here who was using one and he did say it helped from my vague recalling.

    edit: here is a pic of his setup.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 49.0 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Daox View Post
    So, have I heard of this? Of course! Actually, I only really know one person who tested something like this. He slapped a heater core or small trans cooler in his airbox, ran the coolant lines to tees on his actual heater core, and I think he even threw in a ball valve so he could throttle the coolant flow. I'm honestly not really sure how well it worked out for him. I shall attempt to dig up the thread on ecomodder... Ah yes, here we are: recovering lost heat energy in engine coolant.

    I would do a proof of concept first using some metal dryer hose and your exhaust to see if a warm air intake is even worth it. Some cars programming responds well to warmer air, others do not. I think we had one other user here who was using one and he did say it helped from my vague recalling.

    edit: here is a pic of his setup.

    Is this heat exchanger upstream or downstream of the intake air temperature sensor?

    Forum members report increased fuel usage in winter. With all the possible reasons why, I suspect the greatest impact is due to how the ECM is programmed to deliver fuel (fuel mapping?) at colder temperatures. I'm thinking the interwarmer concept will have it's greatest effect on the intake air temperature sensor and thus influence the amount of fuel delivered, along with all the other influences such as reduced pumping losses.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.8 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.7 mpg (Imp)


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    Cold weather effects fuel economy in many ways. I'm sure you probably know most of these, but for others sake:

    1) Colder air is more dense. This means you must push your vehicle through a more dense fluid (gas / air is actually considered a fluid), this takes more power and thus more fuel. This also means you have the opposite effect as your warm air intake.

    2) Warm up penalties. Your engine likes to operate at ~180F. If you have to start at 20F vs 80F and warm up to 180F, its going to take longer. That longer time is going to use more fuel as your engine runs rich to start at cold temps, and stay running at cold temps. This effect is pretty huge if you have a short commute. Block heaters help negate the warm up penalty to some degree.

    3) Thicker fluid viscosities. Your engine oil is more viscous at lower temps (so it takes more power to spin/churn it). Your transmission fluid is more viscous at lower temps. Even your bearing grease is more viscous at lower temps. This all means your engine must output more power to maintain the same performance level as at warmer temperatures.

    4) Idle warm up. If you idle your car to warm it up, you're obviously using more fuel than if you just jump in and drive. The old saying that warming it up before hand is 'good' for it is total bogus. With modern engines, you can jump in, let it idle for a few seconds (to allow for the oil system to pressurize), and drive way and the engine will warm up much faster than sitting there idling.

    There are probably more, but that was what was off the top of my head.


    As for your interwarmer, you'll definitely want it upstream of the temperature sensor. This specific example its certainly upstream of the temp sensor. The airbox and filter come before any sensors. Don't need them getting dirty ya'know.

    Cool idea BTW about using an intercooler.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 49.0 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Not trying to pick a fight but not all vehicles run coolant through the throttle body.

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    I'm beginning to wonder if this explains the intake routing around the Mirage 3A92 motor, that it provides some warming effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fummins View Post
    the Mirage does too.
    It's true!


    So, would using the throttle body heating circuit be a good choice for this intake heater idea?


    Last edited by Eggman; 10-24-2017 at 12:44 AM. Reason: Added throttle body drawing.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.8 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.7 mpg (Imp)


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