04-13-2013, 11:05 PM #1
Installed VRSF 7" FMIC lessons learned
Similar to the walnut blasting thread, there are a lot of walk throughs out there that are excellent. I won't waste your time and bandwidth with unnecessary pics. That said, there are a few things that would make life easier were I to repeat the process.
1: Hand saw and/or portable (small) circular saw. The dremel is for patient people and small cuts. To make the 7" FMIC fit you're removing a LOT of the shroud. Don't be shy. I wasted 2 hours making sure I understood things correctly before ripping and snorting stuff off.
2: 8 & 10 mm racheting and flexible wrenches are (obviously in addition to a regular socket set) important for making things go easy.
3: FMIC clamps are, as always, a PITA. Just take your time. You'll probaby end up removing the FMIC at least once after you put it in b/c a clamp/connector doesn't line up as well as you thought, and you're trying to hurry but not so much that you want a good 'ole P30FF.
4: Things always come up. This is part of life and pretty much any time you do anything to your car. In my case, the FMIC was damaged in shipping. Now, I could have emailed Tiago and I'm sure he would have cut me a deal or shipped me a new one, but seeing as I have some level of pride in myself as an engineer, a man, and it's a waste of time/money to ship something across the US for a minor issue, I opted to resolve the problem on my own.
Pictures 1 through 6 show what the issue was. The FMIC outlet shifted in shipping and was damaged, a flat spot on the side. Doubtless UPS had fun kicking it from MA to AZ. Regardless, while this isn't a big deal, I feel that boost leaks because of uneven clamping are right up there with burnt nachos and aids as far as things that suck.
I got a similar, but smaller, sized pipe that would fit in the FMIC piping. I purchased 2" diameter 5" long section at home depot for $6.50. I used a scrap piece of 2x6 and cut out a rough shape of the piping, with a VEE notch under where the dent was, inserted the steel pipe in the FMIC, put the assembly on top of the 2x6 (had a friend hold it steady), and tapped the steel pipe downward (toward the dent) with a hammer a few times until it looked good. Just passing it on to you guys in the unhappy event that the same thing happens to you and you want to learn a little trick to make stuff better.
Pictures 7-9 show the shroud. For the VRSF 7", don't do what I did and dick around. Cut it off. You can see the shroud pretty clearly in pic 7. In pic 8, where I'm pointing, basically saw down through all that stuff. Actual saw point, IIRC was maybe another inch or so wider. You'll be able to tell when you put the FMIC up for fitment. Pic 9 shows some mounting screws which you may be wondering what you'll do with. Nothing. They go away. Don't worry about it.
Pic 10 shows it installed, straight, no gap to speak of, no problems. Charge air temps appear to be substantially lower than the OEM FMIC. I've been monitoring my charge air temps and they've consistantly been 20* above ambient, at speed on the highway. Under boost or idle or stop and go traffic, 30-40*+ above ambient. A quick drive around after idling for a while showed 15* above ambient. I'll update this better when I can make a more positive statement.
Hope it's helpful to some of you.
04-13-2013, 11:08 PM #2
Thanks for your pictures and time writing this. I'm sure someone will benefit. Looks great on the front of your car!
04-14-2013, 09:52 PM #3
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04-15-2013, 02:22 PM #4
Glad you guys found it useful.
On to performance. I have some issues with traditional graphs of charge air temps and comparisons to OEM intercoolers, etc. My reasons are severalfold; chief among them is the inability to quickly do back to back comparisons, and my personal inability to be able to have the car be in a similar situation such that the comparisons are actually valid.
I'll get the obvious out of the way; the VRSF 7" intercooler is, by my data, superior to the OEM in every way possible. I *could* provide some data for you guys via charts, which you'd probably suck up, but really just read and you'll glean all the info you need. If you insist, ask and I'll graph what I have.
1: W/ OEM FMIC charge air temps were at best 20* above ambient. This is not accellerating, it's steady state on the highway cruise control on. Any increase in accelleration was accompanied by a similar increase in charge air temps, then a gradual settling back down to +20* from ambient. Ambient temp ranges used for this observation were from 60* to 110* over the last year or so.
2: VRSF intercooler out of the box wants to maintain about 15* above ambient. Even sitting idling until charge air temps reached 137*, temps immediately started diving and got under 100* before I was out of the parking lot. Ambient temps used for this observation ranged from 68 to 90*.
3: Once heat soaked, the OEM FMIC is slow to cool down. I'm not sure why but if I sat idling until charge air temps were ~130+*, it would take a mile or so to get them to drop down to ambient +25*. Not good. Ambient temps used for this range were 60*-86*
4: The lowest charge air temps I saw with the VRSF on the highway, steady state, cruise control on, was 11* above ambient.
5: If I heat soak the car, which is pretty easy on an N54, and drive around like an ass, charge air temps with the VRSF FMIC will be about +20* over ambient. Here is the interesting stuff. If I get into boost, the charge air temps drop to about 15* over ambient. This says to me that the intercooler is doing what it's supposed to do, but the engine bay is adding a significant amount of heat to the air post FMIC. Once the flow rate exceeds a certain level, there is insufficient time for it to heat up and the air temps are closer to what they are at the cold side of the FMIC. To me, this data means that insulating your charge pipe might be worth a couple of degrees charge air temp wise. Nothing like spraying meth, but an observation none the less. Ambient temps used for this observation range from 70 to 90*
Cliff Notes: The VRSF 7" intercooler works well.
04-15-2013, 03:04 PM #5407.7whp N/A
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