Mishimoto joined the diesel world around 16 months ago, and since that time we have been providing unmatched cooling protection and performance for Powerstroke, Cummins, and Duramax engines. Using our knowledge and experience in the development of products for sport compact and European vehicles, our team is able to design, enhance, test, and manufacture a variety of beneficial components for your truck. We already carry a slew of products for Dodge Cummins trucks, including the following:
- Aluminum Radiators, 1989–2009
- Performance Intercoolers, 2003–2009
- Silicone Radiator Hose Kits, 1994–2010
- Factory-Fit Silicone Intercooler Boot Kits, 1994–2012
- Aluminum Intercooler Pipe and Boot Kits, 2003–2009
We currently carry a very full product line for the third-generation Cummins. Once we had that finalized, it was time to turn our attention toward the fourth generation, starting with the 2010–2012 model. Our initial target would be development of a radiator and intercooler. This series of posts will cover our development of the intercooler.
Before jumping into development, we first need to evaluate the features of the factory cooler to determine if this truck would benefit from an upgraded intercooler. To do so, we contacted a few local folks and located a test vehicle fairly quickly. A big thank you to the owner of this truck for all of his assistance in the development process. Check out a few shots!
As you can see, Jason is inspecting the tires for any damage prior to running this truck on our Dynojet.
Once we had the truck in the shop, we began removing front-end components so we could access the intercooler and collect a few data points regarding its size, fitment, and location. After removing a few components, we were finally down to the cooler.
At this point we had a general impression of what the factory cooler offered. One positive feature was the cast aluminum end tanks, which are welded to the core. This feature is rare on modern vehicles, as most utilize a plastic end tank that is crimped to the core and seals on a rubber gasket. The factory tanks are quite robust. However, the factory core is a tube-and-fin design, which will be less efficient than the heavy duty bar-and-plate core we intend to use with our intercooler. Additionally, we found a few spots where we can smooth out the tanks to increase airflow. As with most of our intercooler projects, we will be increasing the core thickness to provide improved cooling over the factory unit and to support trucks with greater power.
Now that we had some basic information regarding the factory intercooler project, we could create a simple objective list to ensure we are targeting the needs of our customers appropriately.
- Enlarge core as much as possible for improved flow and heat-transfer characteristics.
- Use bar-and-plate core for improved efficiency.
- Improve flow of end tanks.
- Must fit into place just like the OEM and require no vehicle modification.
- Collect real-world cooling efficiency data compared to the factory core.
Now, let’s go into more detail about the specifics of these goals!
Bigger is Better
The general perception of heat-exchanger efficiency is that a bigger core is better than a smaller unit. While this isn’t the final deciding factor for efficiency, a larger core is certainly a big benefit for transferring heat. The more volume we have and more space for fins, the more heat transfer we can promote, which will result in lower air temperatures. Our team will be developing the largest core possible while still retaining factory-like fitment.
An efficient core is invaluable for the proper functioning of a heat exchanger and is the primary factor for efficient heat transfer. As mentioned above, we would be replacing the factory tube-and-fin core with a more robust bar-and-plate unit. Not only will the bar-and-plate core be more resilient to damage from road debris, but it will also be more efficient at transferring heat. The only downside we have found with the use of a bar-and-plate core is weight. This core is heavier than the tube cooler, and there is no way around this. Our hope is that the improvements in cooling efficiency will offset the increased weight. These trucks are already quite heavy, so adding 10–15 lb should not be noticeable at all. By reducing air charge temperatures, your engine will have a more explosive fuel/air mixture and will also see a reduction in EGTs. For modified trucks, EGT reduction is extremely important for improving the reliability and safety of several vital engine components.
Airflow is also key for improving performance. If we can improve flow through the tanks and core, we can free up some restrictions. Less restrictions on the intake or exhaust of a diesel engine has also proven to reduce EGTs. If we are able to design a smooth end tank, turbulence will be reduced and the overall efficiency of the CAC system will be improved. We will be putting our design through CFD software analysis to ensure that what we design flows better than the factory unit.
Even though we plan on redesigning the end tanks and expanding the core size, we still intend for this product to be a bolt-on upgrade. These trucks are still reasonably new, so we are sure that most owners are not interested in taking a sawzall or cutoff wheel to their core support. We will be designing our intercooler using dimensions from the engine bay and the factory intercooler to ensure everything fits perfectly. Once we have a functioning prototype, we will be test fitting this unit to confirm fitment. The Mishimoto intercooler will function with all factory equipment as well.
What will it do for my truck?
This is the primary question for anyone investigating the addition of a new performance part for their truck. What impact is this going to have for my truck? Will I be able to feel a difference? We completely understand this logic. Spending your hard-earned money on truck parts should show you a definite improvement. To prove that our intercooler is a worthy and essential upgrade, we will be testing its impact on inlet temperatures and then compare the results to the factory cooler. Our real-world testing data will serve to educate our potential customers regarding about what our products can do for them.
Now that we had the project guidelines outlined, we could move forward with the development process. Check back with us next time as we continue evaluating the factory intercooler and begin developing our prototype design.