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Research is good, but data is better. Everything you're saying here is unsubstantiated. If you were to base your decision on "which engines have more failures, FMIC or TMIC". You would definitely not want a FMIC! W-A-Y more engines out there blown up with FMIC than TMIC. Although, that mostly has to do with power levels, tuning, end so on. Not intercooler choice.

The data is just numbers. It's doesn't lie. If you want what's best for you, you need the most efficient intercooler, with the least pressure drop. This is going to be different for everyone, which is why we gave debates like this based on products and people making generalized statements based on their own experiences. "I ran 40psi on my Ebay FMIC without problems for 2 years" is not a quantitative data point.

At Killer B we've run both OEM, aftermarket, and our own designed FMICs and TMICs, many different turbos and setups, from stock to +700whp. Results are not always what you expect, but the data never lies.

"Extreme Hot Climate" means different things for different people: Stuck in traffic all the time. Super high humidity. Extreme ambient heat. High thermal load (turbo, oil cooler, A/C, etc.) it varies by application. If you have a trifecta of conditions then using a FMIC is not always the best choice as it then compromises radiator and oil cooling performance. It's always a balance, and always a application specific answer.
Again, you have no idea how much I appreciate your honesty. You sir, are an unicorn in the automotive aftermarket industry. You are the only vendor/fabricator/manufacture that I know of that does not try to up sale someone. One mistake I see from almost all the shops or tuners, is that they all fail to listen to the customers about what the customer's goal for the car is. Instead, they will tell the customers on what they should buy from them even if the part is not better than OEM. False expectations leads to false promises which leads to unhappy customers and the end result is usually Subaru gets the blame because they build cars that are not "strong enough".

To the OP, remember that "what you want" is subjective and actual data, which shows you of "what you need", is objective. If FMIC is what you really want, which sounds like the case here, then absolutely go for it. Just understand that it is not what you need. FMIC has their own shares of flaws as well. 1) Due the the extra distances air has to travel, turbo lag will be more significant. 2) As I mentioned earlier, it also blocks airflow to the radiator which will have an impact on the whole cooling system, which is vital to an engine's longevity and reliability. This is not often mentioned for one simple reason, it does not help them to sell the "false imagine" of insane amount of horsepower.

Anyway, I will like to thank you again for being so forthright about the quality of the stock TMIC. You are a true asset for all of us here on this forum and the great Subaru WRX community.
 

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I appreciate the time you took to reply.
Of course. I enjoy these debates. As long as we all keep in mind we all have the same common goal, they are great conversations to have.


However, the real life examples I mentioned were all STOCK, stock power, stock turbos, stock intercoolers and stock TUNE. My tuner repeatedly says TMIC (alone) is a good enough reason to compromise reliability/longevity (again in extreme hot climate) such as GCC countries where I live (Saudi Arabia to be specific) where all the said circumstances are there; stuck in traffic, super high humidity, extreme ambient heat, high thermal load.
FMIC may not prevent ringland failure from happening but wouldn't you agree it helps mitigate the possibility of it happening? along with other modifications e.g. AOS, 4th cylinder coolant kit, etc?
It may, but without data backing up the claim, it's speculative. Stock power level engines blow ALL-THE-TIME here in the US. IMO, 80% of it has more to with user error.

Can a FMIC improve the probability? That's a great question. From a thermal standpoint, no. From a functional standpoint, possibly? Anytime you push the power curve to the right, adding lag for example, it reduced rod bearing load... which is one of the most common failure points for a stock engine. So potentially, going to a FMIC could do that.

We sell more radiators to Middle East customers than anywhere else. It's a hot place, but most of these cars are hill climb, time-attack, 1/2 miles, etc... They are BIG power, where you have to run a FMIC. In those cases and that environment it becomes a domino effect of components. For you, at your power level... datalog, datalog, datalog. Before spending money on parts, lets know what components are the weak links for your specific conditions, and address them. No point in getting a FMIC, if your oil temps are 260*f.
 

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Anyway, I will like to thank you again for being so forthright about the quality of the stock TMIC. You are a true asset for all of us here on this forum and the great Subaru WRX community.
Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm just as much of a car enthusiast as anyone else here, I love this stuff too!

Also, keep in mind, we know this stuff from our own research. If all goes as planned, there will be a product at the end of the tunnel. Until then, the VA OEM TMIC is very good; much better than most aftermarket units and you cannot beat it for the money. The only two intercoolers that best it are the old School Spearco, and a prototype KBM. If we can get a KBM unit to best the Speaco, a product will follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
[/QUOTE]
To the OP, remember that "what you want" is subjective and actual data, which shows you of "what you need", is objective. If FMIC is what you really want, which sounds like the case here, then absolutely go for it. Just understand that it is not what you need. FMIC has their own shares of flaws as well. 1) Due the the extra distances air has to travel, turbo lag will be more significant. 2) As I mentioned earlier, it also blocks airflow to the radiator which will have an impact on the whole cooling system, which is vital to an engine's longevity and reliability. This is not often mentioned for one simple reason, it does not help them to sell the "false imagine" of insane amount of horsepower.
Thanks for the good info. I'm aware of each point you've mentioned. Of course I care for what I need rather than what I want.
I'm not looking for an insane power as I stated before (although I'd love the extra little gain from a FMIC) because insane power usually means abysmal MPG which I do not want.

I heard that lag can be reduced with a good tune. As for blocking airflow, I have to consider the smallest FMIC core there is, might add an oil cooler as well, either front mounted or placed alternatively where the OEM IC is.

An aftermarket radiator is also a potential mod in my list of purchases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
Of course. I enjoy these debates. As long as we all keep in mind we all have the same common goal, they are great conversations to have.

It may, but without data backing up the claim, it's speculative. Stock power level engines blow ALL-THE-TIME here in the US. IMO, 80% of it has more to with user error.

Can a FMIC improve the probability? That's a great question. From a thermal standpoint, no. From a functional standpoint, possibly? Anytime you push the power curve to the right, adding lag for example, it reduced rod bearing load... which is one of the most common failure points for a stock engine. So potentially, going to a FMIC could do that.

1- Can you please elaborate, how can cooler air charges from a FMIC not help from a thermal standpoint?

2- Pardon, but did you want to say (increased) instead of (reduced)? Because reduce in rod bearing load is something good, right?

And therefore it means less stress and a longlasting engine?


We sell more radiators to Middle East customers than anywhere else. It's a hot place, but most of these cars are hill climb, time-attack, 1/2 miles, etc... They are BIG power, where you have to run a FMIC. In those cases and that environment it becomes a domino effect of components. For you, at your power level... datalog, datalog, datalog. Before spending money on parts, lets know what components are the weak links for your specific conditions, and address them. No point in getting a FMIC, if your oil temps are 260*f.
Please, click to expand your quoted reply to be able to read the highlighted comments inside. Thank you KillerBee
 

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Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm just as much of a car enthusiast as anyone else here, I love this stuff too!

Also, keep in mind, we know this stuff from our own research. If all goes as planned, there will be a product at the end of the tunnel. Until then, the VA OEM TMIC is very good; much better than most aftermarket units and you cannot beat it for the money. The only two intercoolers that best it are the old School Spearco, and a prototype KBM. If we can get a KBM unit to best the Speaco, a product will follow.
ayyy makes me feel good about my spearco tmic haha.



Thanks for the good info. I'm aware of each point you've mentioned. Of course I care for what I need rather than what I want.
I'm not looking for an insane power as I stated before (although I'd love the extra little gain from a FMIC) because insane power usually means abysmal MPG which I do not want.

I heard that lag can be reduced with a good tune. As for blocking airflow, I have to consider the smallest FMIC core there is, might add an oil cooler as well, either front mounted or placed alternatively where the OEM IC is.

An aftermarket radiator is also a potential mod in my list of purchases.
[/QUOTE]

yes, lag can be reduced with proper tuning...kinda....pending the size of the turbo, there's only so much you can do in terms of that by tuning. but when comparing tmic to fmic, fmic will always have more "lag". may say lag but in reality it takes more time to fill the tubes/core with air, resulting in a bit more of a delayed throttle response, aka what people refer to as "lag". meaning the turbo isnt acutally spooling any slower, but it doesnt "come on" as quickly. pending the setup, most of the time this is pretty minimal and when actually going through the gears on the street, not something you'd typically notice, BUT it can be something you would notice, again, pending setup, or if you were to just start at 2k-2500rpm, which, regardless of intercooler you wouldnt (or at least shouldnt) normally be doing aside from tuning/dyno pulls. hopefully i made sense of this in my long explanation
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
For objective integrity, I must say that the fuel available here has lower octane than what it is recommended from factory, so this is a valid reason to those who had piston failures. Also, some used lower oil viscosity (5W30 fully synthetic) although it is the recommended viscosity but I do not believe it maintains proper lubrication in hot weathers.
 

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Great discussions here. I just want to ask Chris from KillerB- where is the TMIC data? You mention you've done a lot of testing comparing OEM and aftermarket TMICs, and you're basically saying OEM and your own KB prototype tmic are the best, but where is the data? I love reading about TMIC designs and they are quite complicated and very hard to engineer, I myself switched back to the OEM/tmic design due to the fact that I think tube/fin designs are superior over bar/plate, and also its ability to shed off heat due to its lower thermal mass compared to the heavy aftermarket options, which takes much longer to cool down when heat soaked. However, I've also been doing a lot of aerodynamics research and some experts say TMICs work mostly by acting as a heat sink, because a majority of the heat in the intercooler is being stored rather than being dissipated in realtime, thus making larger, thermal mass tmics (i.e., aftermarket tmics) more advantageous. This makes me think that the best aftermarket intercooler design would be something like a larger tube/fin tmic that can dissipate heat just as well as the OEM tmic, but also act as a larger heat sink. There is only one of these that exists, which is the C&R tube/fin intercooler, which you've said tested poorly in your runs. But where is the data??

I'm glad you share your thoughts about certain products with the Subaru community, however, your constant bashing of aftermarket products in favor of your own is just not a good way of doing business, in my honest opinion. You've done the same thing with your headers, and practically brainwashed the whole community into thinking your headers are the gold standard. There are, in fact, many header options out there that perform comparably to your holy header. But before I go off topic, it is a good thing to design good products, but it is bad when you start knocking on your competition without showing the data/clear evidence to us that your products outperform the competition.
 

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Great discussions here. I just want to ask Chris from KillerB- where is the TMIC data?
I'd never make statements without KNOWING they were true. Obviously if I did say 'we make the best performing header', and it wasn't true, it wouldn't be long before it would be disproven by independent sources. We VERY rarely post other manufacturer's data because we are all in the same boat of furthering the advancement of the platform. We all agree on that direction, even though we are competitors, we are frenemies.

As far as the data goes, it has been posted, months ago, just not in this particular thread, but here's a tidbit. We still have more testing ahead of us. I don't believe I ever said our TMIC was 'the best', one of the best performing ones on our test, yes. I do recall saying, 'we're not going to put this product into production until we know it is the best'.

Here's is the initial summary of pump 93. We ended up dropping the lowest performing unit. If it can't perform at these levels, it's not going to do better when power goes up.




This is some of the raw data from the E85 testing. This is just the summary of each test. Of course we have full datalog and plots for each run and many many others. Shown here, each has 3 test runs. The 2nd test of each is going through them in the reverse order to help flush out any irregularities with environmental and/or heat soak conditions. For example the OEM unit was tested first during #1 and last during #2, and last. Also, this list is not in the same order and has a different TMIC added that was not available during early testing, and there was no point in testing the worst performing units again. Sorry the pic is so small, my copy/paste skills are lacking before coffee time.



We still have V2 testing ahead of us on pump fuel, and possibly V3 after that.

These plots are summaries and do NOT tell a complete story. It's extremely overly simplistic. Does the OEM perform well, YES absolutely, but this testing summary without the plots and raw data is not the full story without seeing response, heat soak, thermal recovery time, repeated load, sustained load, and of course average hp/power changes. So take it with a grain of salt.
 
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