Aluminium Radiators & Engineering Pty Ltd
Unit 11/ 60 Kremzow Rd
BRENDALE  QLD  AUSTRALIA   fax. no.(07) 3205 4691
Ph +61 (07) 3205 4620


AIR / WATER Intercoolers

I don't know how I can stress  enough how unique & accurate our in house computer programme is for sizing air-water intercoolers, but please take the time to look @ Heath Lawson's PDF file & Craig Munro's PDF file, & then the results acheived.

I believe this is the biggest, most efficient automotive air/water system fabricated to this date. It is definitely the only one that was computer modelled before starting, & so far, has performed within the parameters as given to the tuning shop -- our 'in house' programme truly is that good !!

It has it's own page so click on any of the 3 pics to open.                      




These are our first cores with our brand new tube. There is a bunch of heat dissipation here !

There are 52 pictures & 18 graphs on this page.


These are the 4 different cores we have tried in air/water intercooling to arrive at our own new design. From the left - Spearco bar/plate, K&J intercooler, K&J oil cooler, modified dimple radiator, & our new core. This is a close up of the modified dimple wall radiator cores we used in our 3rd generation a/w intercoolers on top of our new tube. Very good but really had to have heaps of water forced through them - not enough water to the charge air ratio& to thin wall thickness. This is a close up of a spearco bar/plate on top of our new tube/fin a/w core. Note the BIG difference in material thickness & surface area for heat soak - in yellow. The b/p core was similar (but better) than our mod. radiator cores. The coarse fin pitch on our core was made for a reason.

We started testing our first generation air/water intercoolers in early 2000 - project rodeo - after 12 months of research. Up until then, AVO was the only company commercially manufacturing air/water units in Australia. Our units were made with modified tube/fin intercooler cores, & even though they did a good job, we realized that they had too large a water tube to charge air window ratio.

Our second generation 'cooler came on line in '01, made with a modified radiator core - project Hi Lux - & while it was an improvement in most circumstances, testing in a number of vehicles proved that we had gone too far the other way, with not enough water for the charge air ratio. We had to oversize the pump to get good cooling. 


 Complexity & Cost. You need a second radiator, water pump & preferably some form of pump speed control, 2 speeds will do the trick. They are much harder to size, this is why we have pumped hundreds of hours into data logging & creating a sizing spreadsheet programme. Under the same circumstances, drive in/out will be approx. 20 to 60% dearer.

It also became apparent after a couple of years testing that I had to down grade my initial cooling estimates of air/water intercooling, which is a disappointment, but necessary. I thought that I could design a system that at speed, would cool the charge air within 4ºc of a front mount - both systems being equally engineered. It appears 8 to 12 ºc is a real world figure. Please put this into perspective. A 'front mount' car - Skyline GTR, 180 - 200 Sx, Supra etc. will give results on a 25ºc day of 31 - 36ºc into the plennum. An air/water setup will give 42 - 48ºc under the same circumstances, but a 'non front mount' car - Skyline GTS-t, VL Commodore, Subaru - any car that doesn't have a front facing throttle body towards the radiator support -  will give similar  temps. due to heat soak in the long return pipe from under bonnet heat - approx 70 + ºc, even though the charge air in both air/air setups, exits the 'cooler at 31 - 36ºc.

FOR -- 

Now, the above paragraph is the only time a front mount will out perform an air/water if both are set up properly - at speed .  Stop/start, drag racing, towing, 4 x 4 offroad etc. all gain from air/water. The charge air temps. into the engine are also much more stable with  logging showing a spread of  35 to 40ºc around town & 35 to 50ºc laden in soft sand, 2nd gear low range, whereas, front mounts have logged 30 to 65ºc around town & 30 to 95ºc in sand. This is with turbo outlet temps of 140ºc  as for a top mount, 38ºc c to 116ºc have been recorded ! When you have your foot right into it at slower speeds is when detonation is most likely to happen, air/air intercooling is performing at it's worst efficiency. A very big fan under a top mount will make a fair difference & to a lesser extent, behind a front mount, but none can get near the fact that water 'holds' heat 37 times better than air & a thin radiator at the front of a vehicle cools better than a thick intercooler (air flow), & also has much less effect on the volume of air flow too the engine radiator - very important with some vehicles - eg. 70 series Landcruisers. Take a Toyota MR2 & they have no opposition really. Also, this small heat spread allows safer 'set it on kill' tuneups, if that's your need. It also in a small way, helps engine component longetivity with head gasket, top piston rings & valve seats benefiting most.

Another big plus is is with the length of the inlet track. Some cars have a bunch of pipes to get from the turbo to the front & then back to the throttle body - Subaru WRX springs to mind. It's not so much turbo lag as, filling the volume lag.         Sometimes big holes have to be cut in the inner panels for these pipes, so when you go to sell the car, you have to leave the intercooler on as the holes give it away. Two 25mm hoses can be routed to the front so when they are removed, no evidence exits of a performance enhancement being fitted - higher trade in ?, & your air/water setup could be sold for maybe a 50 % return.

Add an engineered ( or even a simple ice bucket) ice water chiller & the results of air/water intercooling over air/air are undeniable. 1 to 1.25 % power increase for every 10 deg. Farenheight decrease, is the possible horsepower gains - note the imperial measurements.  If you have an all out engine combination, this can give you the winning edge - safely !  If you are making 600 hp with 150 deg f charge air temps & an air/water setup reduces this to 70 deg. f. - then a power gain of 60 hp is possible.   I buy most the turbo magazines from around the world every month & have done for 6 years. Over the past 2 years I notice that 85% of featured new drag cars are fitted with air/water intercooling now. It is the only legal way of getting the charge air temperature down near or below ambient air temperature, running petrol. Methanol as a fuel can get reasonably close, & as an injected additive does a good job, but watch the corrosion. Water sprays can be banned at Dragstrips & some Dyno competitions, although fine for the street.  

Data Logged Air-Water  Graphs

The following graphs are from our new Motor Sports Electronics ( 02-4648 0030,  or ) Data Logger. These  are  CAMS  mandatory Logger  for Nations Cup - GTP race cars, so it is good. With more & more of our customers running high end ECU's with accurate logging & relaying this data back to us, & the results from our dual digital thermometer testing differing from allot of earlier data supplied by our customers & some of our logging, made me realize we were not accurate enough with our data collection. That's changed. We can now log eight analogue & four digital channnels,100 times per second for  four minutes ( or 25 times per second for16 mins), & some of the results really do differ.

Our problem is that with this new accuracy, publishing our test results here   will   make our product look inferior too   some   other resellers & internet users, who do limited or no testing, instead, advertising claims/results that are impressive but unsubstantiated, &, if tested, are way wrong.  Yeh ,  ' I've got a bee under my bonnet ', but that's life. I'd much rather miss a sale or sales, and be accurate & honest with those who are thinkers & choose to deal with us because they know exactly what they're getting !

Please do the following as a favour to me for having the guts to lay it out -- since '03 I've had to revise most of our claims, - up !

  • Reference all temps off the Ambient air temp. This is the only way to compare different tests - ours or others, as it slides all of the temps up or down the graph . Winter testing makes cooling look so much better, but summer temps are what hurt performance & can actually destroy engines much easier.

  • If comparisons are with any data that does not state an ambient temperature, don't waste your time.

  • Please give some thought to the reasons our data may differ to other data, obviously & especially, if we're looking bad. Most commercial sensors suffer from heat soak from there housing body, we probe just the wire into the air flow to get these results.

  • Temperatures are not indicative of power outputs. A large capacity engine with a big efficient turbo & lazy tune, can have an outlet temperature of up to100°c less of that of a small engine/turbo combo. tuned to 'the edge'.

  • We do not log speed or engine revs. Boost is logged where possible.

  • Check the rate of rise (& fall) of the turbo outlet charge air, some street combos can record a rise of 100ºc in 0.08 seconds ! & we wonder why we see fretting of surfaces & exhaust manifold cracking etc. Expansion & to a lesser point, contraction of some materials is really active, especially in circuit track work etc.

  • Unless noted otherwise, these tests are carried out accelerating from a standing start up both sides of a large hill. The graph rapidly rises on acceleration & then slowly increases due to boost &/or heat soak, until the top of the hill is reached. It drops & tapers off coasting & braking down the other side. Sometimes a spike shows the u-turn & then the process is repeated back the other side. Backing off for a car in front & gear changes in a manual are obvious 

  • The vertical grey line is the reference line of the loggers figures shown in the bottom data bar.

  • ' Efficiency' is calculated with the following formula   =    Turbo Outlet - Manifold Inlet                                                                                      Turbo Outlet  - Ambient Temp.           


HiLux 3L td. I'd love to say this is our kit test, but it's not. We ran the water through an ice chiller to get the bigger drop. It  shows how hard it is to get the efficiency % up. The blue squares are to show you the rest of the lines.  HiLux 3L td. Our 3rd generation a-w. Down 700ml of water which really upsets the cooling & causes steam pockets - means a header tank is needed to keep the 'cooler full of coolant. We now include a header tank with our kit.  HiLux 3L td kit. Shows how all figures are cooler with a low ambient temp. We could advertise our 'cooler as getting inlet temps. down to 40ºc max. - but wait until a winter night ! Spike in second hill is a back off for a car in front. HiLux 3L td. kit.  This is our worst test result, so anybody buying our kit knows exactly what to expect - 76% - 81% efficiency for charge air cooling. Note- for a gain of     6ºc the charge temp drops 68ºc!  Water against air.
IC efficiency   = 87.0%   IC efficiency   =   30.4%  IC efficiency    = 80.7%

Rad. efficiency  =  62.5%

IC efficiency     = 76.1% 

Rad. efficiency   = 60.1%


Customers cars Logs for comparison.

 #  Tony's TD5 Defender. Just been chipped by MR Autos., otherwise as oe. Fifth gear was reached up the 1st hill & 4th on the return-shown as spikes. Please note this is oe. front mount air-air intercooling,  shown for comparison. More efficient at speed only.  # please read note below Tony         Patrol 3.0L let us log his car with a leaking oe top mount intercooler. It allows us too show what a pressure drop will do.  Click here to see full details. 137ºc out of turbo, 85ºc into the engine on a 32ºc day, worst scenario. This is same car after we fitted our new upgrade 73mm core. No leaks. 119ºc out of turbo, 68ºc into engine on a 30ºc day, worse case again - a bit more efficient, but much more consistent cooling. Note also how turbo temp dropped. Factory top mounts are inefficient - some are shockers ! This is      Toy. L. Cruiser 100 series which has been fitted with a non intercooled DTS kit. We are fitting our air/water ic kit very soon. This vehicle carries allot of weight. The turbo seems very efficient with only 112ºc under a period of full load, on a 32ºc
oe IC. efficiency  =  71.8%  oe IC. efficiency  =  49.5% are IC. efficiency  =  57.3% pipe. efficiency  =  1.2%
 This is the factory front mount intercooler, vehicle been chipped & tuned for Australian conditions which helps a little with cooler temps., & the 71.8% efficiency is why we do not do any upgrades for this vehicle - a smallish gain will be expensive.


Our Air-Water Tube Development story

This new tube extrusion is the result of  five years of research & development carried out on our Air / Water intercoolers. The first cores used modified intercooler tubes, but flowed too much water for the charge air flow. For the second series we used modified water cores, but these were the exact opposite, with very high volume & pressure, pumps needed to achieve efficiency. The most efficient a/w intercoolers we had made were with the K&J oil cooler tubes, but water flow was still sensitive & the tube area too large in relation to the fin area. Over these four years, I was extremely lucky to have the input of an Engineer who was contracted to the Australian engineering arm of Caterpillar, in both Load  Stress & Hydraulic Design. Soooo (?), what's much more important is that Danny is a 'petrol head enthusiast' who already knew the advantages of air/water intercooling & so helped me with great enthusiasm with his deep insight ! The ARE Sizing Spreadsheets were originally created (& are still being fine tuned) by Danny with some input from me, to short cut development time & create a superior product. Now, I find that they keep me focused on the strength & weaknesses of this system & really do make sure we can supply the very best product            possible. Our design criteria was maximum heat transfer with minimum pressure drop. Juggling the smallest tube volume (for fluid speed) to the largest internal surface area ( for wall contact) ratio parameters, is the secret.

 Last year  when I first discussed with the Engineers @ Adrad where we were at with our new extruded tube design & needing a factory too manufacture the cores, it very quickly became apparent that the costs were out of ARE's reach - or maybe I wasn't prepared to go that far into debt! It now became a joint effort, with Adrad both bankrolling & manufacturing the cores with our tube design. They went to their supplier, Capral, to make the die & supply extrusions. Not good. We were seriously messed with in the die manufacture. Three separate times we had to make changes to the design to enable the die to be made, being agonizingly slow getting back to Adrad. Each time the Adrad drawing dept. had to draw up one or several alternatives which ARE then ran through our own computer spreadsheet programme, coming up with the most efficient alternative. When we thought we had it right, Capral said that they still couldn't make the die & wanted more changes. Up until now we had been able to computer model the changes for minimal losses, but now we were looking down the barrel of some real compromises. During discussions, Capral tried to outsource the die manufacture overseas, with a company in Germany that they use, saying they can make the it. However, one very small change had to be made, or the cost was many thousands of dollars extra . Computer modelling showed that it was a small sacrifice, nowhere near justifying the cost.   My point? This is a very complicated & the best possible tube & fin design that is realistically available in the market place today, & hopefully for a fair while time to come.

One of our real advantages is complete versatility.  We can have cores manufactured for us with any intake window width of 100mm to 1200mm with a height of 50mm to 1200mm in tube multiples of 11 or 12mm. Core depth starting at 37mm & going through to a length of  -  well 10 or more metres if the application demanded & the customer could afford it. Fin pitch can be anything from 5 fpi to 20 fpi. or in a fluid to fluid cooling situation, no fins at all. Get the picture, we can cool an engine - maybe I should say machine - from a 6kw, 50cc  - to a 10,000 kw. plus, 30 litre plus whatever, under the right circumstances. Please don't Email me & waste both our times with ridicules scenerios, I'm trying too show how versatile our product can be - we are into performance automotive applications - & obviously applications are limited by charge temperature - 400 deg. c., charge speed, sheer size &/or weight, cooling fluid volumes & reserves, & at least 100 other parameters.

Heath Lawson - GU 4.2L td Patrol













07/03   Heath does some heavy duty 4x4 competition & came to us to see if we could drop his inlet temps down as he was looking for more power & was concerned about his inlet temps at full throttle/low range, even with an aftermarket top mount air-air fitted.  

This is the top of the air water we built for him


This is the bottom of the unit. Note that we fitted 8 npt bosses for temperature sensors - we like to see our products being comprehensively tested. We used 2 of our Hot Chilli tanks for the charge air. This unit was made before we received our new tube, so we could now build an even more efficient unit ! 




These are the recovery (foreground) & distribution tanks we made. These add nothing to the actual cooling rate, but are to make sure that the system is always completely full (check this) compared to (this) & there is enough water capacity in the system. If there is not enough water capacity, a steam pocket will develop in the 'cooler & it's useless ! Remember the charge air is always over 100ºc under high load, so it will boil the coolant.



Under bonnet pics. of the system fitted. No, the hose sizes aren't overkill. We have developed a computer programme over the last three years that gives us just about complete data for this system before we start fabricating - & we're backing up the theory with practical data logging - most of the time - occasionally there's a hic up.




This is the 6 page PDF file from ARE's own computer programme for sizing inter -coolers. Note on the first page that our intercooler removes 25.2kw of heat out of the charge air. A small household air conditioner is approx. 1.6kw & a unit to do a lounge, dining & kitchen is 8kw - so our little intercooler really does do a big job, & this is why we put so much effort into them. There is allot of hidden information still!

This is a log from our first Datalogger. The red vertical line (@ 10 secs.) is the reference point for the temp figures below. The Ambient temp. was not logged, but was 26ºc. The charge air temp. out of the turbo is 138ºc with the temp out of the intercooler being 52ºc. The 39ºc is a spot under the bonnet that we wanted to log for future reference.  Intercooler efficiency is 76.8% & resulted in the power gain on the chart below.


This is his dyno sheet from Northside 4x4 (07- 5495 5549) of before & after. It's also a perfect example of why I don't take much notice of these dyno graphs - unless they are accompanied by what I call the 'boiler room' - the two sheets shown below. Notice how at 2450 rpm the two lines meet with a big spike in the before graph. Wonder why? without the boiler room sheet, we'd never know, but we only have a look at the two sheets too see why.  81.0kw is 108.6hp. These figures are at the rear wheels with 36" mud tyres, so the flywheel output rating is allot higher - know I'm not conversant with the conversion formula.



In this 'before' graph, the boost starts jumping from 9.4lb @ 1800rpm up to16lb @ 2340 rpm & then back to 9.5lb @ 2550rpm slowly rising to 11.3lb @ 3600rpm.   I don't know what caused this spike, but the afr. (air fuel ratio) & ex. temps didn't mind much so it wouldn't do any damage to the engine.



Now in this 'after' graph, boost is 10.6lb @ 1800rpm & stays around 12.4lb, thru to 2500rpm & then slowly tapers down to 11.2lb @ 3500. It is so much more stable & on average, apart from the spike, abit over 1 lb higher due to less pressure drop in our core. The exhaust temps. are also much lower but it was a little cooler day.     A cooler intake charge will  give a little cooler exhaust gas temps.         At 1700rpm our a-w intercoolers output went from 43 up to 51rwkw., or a gain of 8kw more. This 18.6% increase over top mount, & looks after the engine better too boot !         At 2850 rpm our rwkw output went from 71kw up to 82rwkw, or an increase of 12. This is a 15.5% increase over top mount. Not bad for replacing a competitors air - air intercooler with one of ARE's air-water units.  The increase out in the bush or sand, will actually be more, because the dyno fan blows heaps more air over the bonnet than at 10 kph vehicle speed, BUT at this speed our front radiator will be getting added air flow from the engine fan, and water can hold heat 36 times better than air.

This is Heaths signed vindication of the gain from fitting our intercooler over the aftermarket one he already had.  Gains from 25% up, are seen with intercooling a non intercooled turbo diesel.  Be very wary of the boost you run if you turbo a naturally aspirated diesel & don't intercool it !


Update on Heaths diesel Patrol. -- 258rwhp.- (198kw)

  This is 193kw @ rear 36" tyres!   Wow !











This dyno graph is from the May Labour Day competition @ the 3 day Landcruiser Park bash.

If this hasn't caught your attention, then you must be a petrol head with no knowledge of diesel engines. To put it into perspective, with the same big chunky 36" tyres & the same diff., he has gone from 75.3kw. with the top mount air-air, to 81.0kw ( 7.6%increase) with our air-water, to 193kw (138%increase) with our prototype air-water intercooler-plennum unit !!! Obviously, there is allot more than our intercooler involved here. He went to a tubular exhaust, ball bearing Garrett turbo, tidied inlet ports & a very special big $$$ fuel pump. All the work was performed by Heath & Ian with product from businesses in south east Qld.


These three pics are what I used to convince the guys to go with an untried idea I've had for years, & spend much more than they wanted too. I had shown them the six pages of our computer modelling programme with a few different scenarios, & they knew that was very accurate from past experience, BUT, there was two stumbling blocks. The plennum was untried & I'm not that big into diesels so didn't give any guarantees, & Ian said that he could do a Chev V8 conversion for similar money - valid. Heath pointed out that while a V8 could have more power, it would never have the low end Grunt & engine breaking of these diesels. I'd given them a bloody good price as they were the 'guinea pigs',& it would be two at the same time, so it was crunch time. I clearly remember the guys talking it over out at their car for over an hour, before coming in & laying a deposit down.
The carbon build up is a give away to the poor factory design when the boost is raised. The blacker the area, the slower the air speed &/or turbulence, meaning those cylinders are not getting the same amount of air. Three & four are clearly the lean cylinders & will burn the pistons up early (or at least dramatically shorten head gasket - valve - ring life at best) at the tune levels these guys wanted to go to. We also considered welding the single entrie & making two entries into the oe log, which would've been heaps cheaper, but I bet they're bloody glad we didn't take that shortcut.



It's not the sort of job you get a mate to do for a couple cartons. There's my thirty years of air flow bench & 20 years of TIG welding experience in this. I had to pad weld this part of the inlet to get a very smooth transition with the best transition angles. In fact, I picked up a little flow on the second plennum, so cut the first one off & did the same mod to it, at no charge. Not many shops are that conciencious - or maybe I'm a dickhead?

This is tricky welding, 3mm plate butted onto 4mm plate of cladded alloy, 4 mm from 0.03mm fins & it has to be a full penetration weld as it has the full weight of the cooling matrix hanging off it.


Trial fit up during fabrication to make sure everything lined up. The engine is swallowing over 900 cfm now, & with the chunky tyres throwing rocks, dirt & dust everywhere, filtering is paramount. I just can't stress this enough. That's why we fitted such a big K&N pod filter & our own easily replaceable foam pre filter that slides in the mesh near the entry.In a sense the inlet track is 20mm long as that's the total of length between the turbo outlet & tank inlet. How much lag? Compared to a front mount it's almost unmeasurable.
Even though our plennum is 478% larger than oe., lag is heaps less than a front mount instal
                                                 850rpm,        2500rpm,        4500rpm
- front mount & pipeing -            0.691 sec        0.235sec        0.131sec
- our air water/plennum assy.-    0.499 sec       0.169 sec        0.094sec
the above figures are from are computer modelling Lag programme. They are how long it takes a molecule of charge air to travel from the compressor housing outlet to the valve head, at the rev. stated & if the pipes are straight. There are far too many variables to be able to calculate accelerating lag as you can see it is exponentially quicker as revs rise.


This is the end result on Heaths truck. He kept the same radiator( which will struggle on a long straight on a hot day), & of course, the Davies Craig EWP will handle the flow easily.
Apart from cost, the only other problem could be longetivity, with so much weight swinging off the top of a vibrating engine & then being pounded be such rough use these guys throw their trucks at! We have done everything possible with both materials used & fabrication skill & tricks for the longest life possible. The air speed in the short 63mm pipe connecting the compressor housing to the the ic. inlet tank is 254kph! We're now pulling 63kw (3583 BTU/m)of heat out of the intake charge, allowing their other engine mods. to achieve the impressive power output. They're good turbo petrol engine specifications, but then I'd love to see this engine in a 1400 kg VL Commodore beside allot of imports at the lights! It would have similar power to a HSV 300 kw Monaro, less weight, & don't even think of how much more torque !! What a burn out weapon - mega grunt at any revs.




The air speed in the 4" snorkel is 92kph! so you can see why I talked them into such an elaborate air box - it's necessary at this level believe me.


                    Rod Brennen - BMW M5 Supercharged

This is a variation of our usual air/water intercoolers 


So sad to see this happen. Rod saw an air/water unit like this on a USA. internet site, recognized straight away the advantages for his new blower set up & sussed out having it fabricated in Sydney. Weeeeeeeeeell, the results of what he was charged for are shown in the top two pictures, beside the unit we fabricated for him. The guy sounded totally confident & competent, so Rod just went ahead & ordered it. The sad thing is that the shop took money for this botch up, gave it to him knowing it leaked. When it's a tricky job, if you haven't seen someone's work, make sure you do before committing your money!

It almost looks like they ladelled the alloy filler on, like a person who can't solder! One of the worst "professional" jobs I've ever seen, & it's not as though it's for a low dollar car either.

The air/water unit we made was 66mm longer & 8 rows of tubes high instead of 6 rows, giving 48% more cooling area straight off. Plus we shaped the inlet to trap 90% of the charge air instead of approx. 50% of the other. There is a surprising amount of cooling on offer here because of the surface area provided by the two core matrix. Because of the tube length, a fair water speed through the core is needed. If this was a tougher engine combo, then we would've routed the water differently through the cores, approx. 20% more cooling is available, but because the engine is a sensible street combo, this unit will remove most of the heat out of the charge air anyway, so a waste of our time & his money.

ARE's in house computer programme gives us the volume & speed of the charge air, the heat kw. that needs to be pulled out of this air, how long it's in the core for (only milliseconds in this case), speed of the water through the core, how long it's in the core & how many Kw's heat the water can transport out. Then it's a matter of adjusting the water flow, sizing & configuring the front radiator, sizing the hoses ( that's another programme we have developed) & it will work pretty bloody good!Actually we're not that smart - as of the end of '03 our programme has an accuracy of +/- 6% for most calculations, up to +/-15% for some & total accuracy for some. By the end of '04 I want these figures @ 3% & 10%.


The finished unit in it's place in the air box.


We built a number of intercoolers like this with modified radiator cores & while they worked good, found that the water tubes were too small in relation to the charge air passages.



I really like owning /doing something that's different to normal, definitely not because I'm extrovert (I'm actually shy in a crowd) but because of the challenge & satisfaction usually associated with the end result. Buying this truck to replace my Rodeo was the result of a chance remark during a conversation on another topic. From when I first heard about it to ownership was only 3 days, helped of course by the payout chque on my burnt truck, so it looks like good can come out of bad.

Richard Larson of Loadsafe Australia (who incidentally are a company qualified to engineer vehicle modifications -(07) 3851 1066), bought a body damaged '95 Toyota Surf 3.0 litre automatic through Eureka Trading (07) 3865 1205, & then a 95 HiLux single cabin together with a '95 HiLux extra cab style side back. By welding the appropriate mounts onto the chassis for the tray, the vehicle pictured above is the result. Looks different? The Surf, apart from having a coil sprung rear end, is shorter in the wheelbase by the same length the extra cab cabin takes up, what a lucky coincidence. It should ride really nice when I get rid of the stiff coils & shocks some Japanese guy had fitted, must've been trying to get it to handle like a sports car!

Vehicle Specifications

1995 Toyota surf chassis with 1995 single cab body & extra cab tray. AU Falcon blue & Pearl Silver.

Engine is a 1KZ-TE 3.0 litre 4 cyl. turbo diesel -non intercooled - electronic controlled injection.

Transmittion is 4 speed Automatic with rear LSD & electronic locking front hubs.

Wheels & Tyres are 16' x 7'' alloy with 265/75 x 16 Dunlop tyres. 

So Far

I've added a vacuum/boost gauge to read off the intake manifold & a probe in the inlet pipe out of the turbo to give me the inlet charge temp. The boost max's. just under 11 lb (10.8 lb) & is a little slow to come on, especially from a standing start. A high stall converter would help that initial jump off the line, can you imagine ringing up the Converter Shop & ordering a high stall, like all of 1200 RPM., Jeff would probably hang up! Once a couple of meters have been traveled, acceleration is surprisingly brisk - for a diesel, remember the ute is lighter than a surf waggon. The temp. gauge mirrors the boost gauge in that more boost used, the higher the temp. Normal cruising throttle is approx. 3lb. boost @ 66ºc. Full throttle up hill is 11.4 lb @ 102ºc. 106.8ºc is the hottest I have seen, that was yesterday morning with most of our trade display in the back. This turbo is nowhere near as efficient as the ball bearing Garrett fitted to the Rodeo, as @ 10lb boost, 78ºc was the hottest I ever saw. The other temp of concern is average 50ºc. min. sitting idling at traffic lights, - heat soak?

Plan of Attack

First on the agenda is to see what can be done with the computer. Not too many mods. will be if the mixtures cannot be altered as needed. Next of course, will be adapting the 4 intercoolers already made, to suit this engine, then onto the Dyno. for power readings & temperature drops. After this, it's unchartered waters as I know my way around Hotrodding  petrol engines but buggerall of diesels. Present thoughts are tubular exhaust manifold & hopefully a ball bearing turbo with a big exhaust to the rear, 20psi boost, flow the head & tidy up what's needed, a very small cam grind, an adjustable cam gear, new intake with plennum chamber & still retain the throttle body. These will be done as time & resources allow, but my aim is 150 - 160 kw at the flywheel ! I would love to hear from anyone who can give me solid information/leads on reworking high speed diesels for more power.

20 / 05 / 01

Up the beach today revealed how much the load on an engine can vary, I found a natural dyno for 4WD vehicles. Travelling up in the soft sand in high range loaded the engine to the tune of 11.7lb boost @ an immediate temp. of 136ºc & after a second so, 138 .4 degrees C. was the temperature of the intake charge. Ambient temperature was 25.3 degrees. I imagine this will be a similar temp. to what I will see on the dyno., so there will be some kw. to pick up here with our air/water intercoolers. 

24 / 05 / 00

Bought a pair of new tyres (one burnt, one singed) & then fitted the 18' x 9.5" Enkie rims with 285/50 x 18 Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres off the Rodeo, onto the HiLux. A very noticeable difference in the handling sharpness, wet traction & ride, with all being much better. These tyres are brilliant in all aspects except cost & beach driving, as they don't bag as much as a high profile tyre, guessing at having 10% less drive in soft sand - most noticeable when accelerating from a standstill (60% less - it feels like water skiing, a hell of a drag until it pops up onto the top of the sand). One important thing is that they are load weight & speed legal, whereas high performance car tyres are not load weight legal, this also applies to mini trucks, which can now run legal big diameter low profile rubber for the first time!

During 2001


We have been so busy I haven't had the time to update this, but let me tell you, it is one nice 4x4 to drive now!

                                                        How good is it,  well

That's 16.82 secs @ 135.2 kph  on our GTek meter recorded 02/01.  It was run on the same quarter mile piece of road I always use & back up the fact that it embarrasses allot of cars off the lights. Very satisfying too shut down a 'rice' car, usually when the young guys just look in disbelief & shake their head. It is just so quick in the first 100 meters, as long as it doesn't turn the tyres too much. Of course, I'd never street race (for more than 200 m anyway), so the real pleasure is fully laden with camping gear going up the beach in the soft sand, or up a steep hill - yes !

January 2004

I've been very happy with the truck & it's performance to the point of being so busy, not worrying about any more modifications. Now, with our new air/water tube extrusion, I will data log the current unit again, & then build a new 'cooler & data log it's results. 

February  2004  Our NEW HI LUX KIT - final testing         

This is the 2 row radiator & DC. EWP. we supply in our kit.   ' pic up soon. ' This is our header tank -recovery tank assy. needed for water capacity. This is the intercooler assembly with the plennum adapter in the foreground. This is the kit of our product Water pump, radiator and hoses are not shown.


These are the pictures of our new air/water intercooler that is now available as a kit for the late '90 1KZ-TE 3.0L. The new data log graphs are shown further back this page. Note the number of test leads for our data logger. We really do get a complete picture of exactly how every thing works so we can improve any weaknesses.  

We have not been back on the dyno yet & it is not a priority as the purpose of our new intercooler tube was a little better performance over our last version - which really gave a big power increase, BUT mostly - STRENGTH.  It was very concerning to have a 0.3mm (0.012") tube with water on one wall & charge air on the other. If they ever met, trouble, as into the engine it goes! Our new tube is 1.1mm  (0.044") wall giving 3.7 times more strength. 



Started in 2000

We built a number of intercoolers like this with modified intercooler cores & while they worked good, found that the water tubes were too large in relation to the charge air passages.


Project Rodeo is no longer...

Due to a serious house fire in mid March, I have lost my wheels & test bench in 20 mins. of hell. Good has come out of the bad & even though I'm down heaps of insurance, I've been lucky enough to pick up a truck that may prove to be an even better set of wheels. Project HI LUX/SURF !


What happens when you work on customer's hot streeters everyday?  You build your own...


  • a 4wd to go 'up the beach' in

  • a shop Ute

  • a custom streeter

  • a promotional vehicle

  • a R&D exercise


  • A 1992 Holden Rodeo, 2.6 liter standard engine, with a 330hp rated Garrett GT25 ball bearing turbo (supplied by John Patrick @ Turbo Supplies, Townsville (07) 4721 5133), and a custom air to water intercooler.


The engine bay 

On the beach.......
Doesn't it throw the sand easy!! Although not like magazine cover shots,       -- they don't own the cars or pay the repair bills!


The Background

When my wife and daughter dragged me camping 'up the beach' with them in their '89 Suzuki Vitara earlier this year, I found it to be the only way in the last 3 years that I stopped thinking/working ARE.  So, I wanted to come up with a 4wd that had enough room, to use for camping, and for work........

The Idea
My wife drives her XG falcon Ute for pickup/deliveries, which she didn't want sign written, so I'll give her my Mazda MX6 &  buy an early '90's 4wd like a Courier, Triton, or Rodeo, stick a turbo and intercooler on it, add mags,  tires and sign writing, & then watch the sand fly!!!

The Result
Mathew at Chiptourque told me that a Rodeo up to mid 92 (I found out 10/92) has room in the computer to burn a program for boost, hence the cost of an aftermarket computer is avoided. I might add that he runs this computer in his 10 sec. / 124 mph. Rodeo engined street Gemini. I spotted a '92 Rodeo Spacecab advertised in the Trading Post.  After checking it out we purchased it for just under 12 grand.  

The Intercooler

In my opinion, too many people dismiss an air/water intercooler without serious thought to if it would suit their application better than an air/air unit. I think two of the best uses are for four wheel drives & especially drag cars or dyno shootout cars. Below is my "maximum attack" setup which has involved allot of R&D time, especially in water flow through the 'cooler & design of the "ice box". I have installed 14 pressure & temperature sensors to monitor exactly what happens & help develop this into an ultimate setup. I already have 2 ideas which  should improve  the results on big kw. engines, but some baseline results are needed first. Below ambient temperatures is the goal, & that sure as hell is what I'd rather have into my combustion chamber, than the guy in the lane beside me, or next up on the rollers. Please note that the last sentence does not apply to a four wheel drive, but the compactness, lack of piping to the front of the truck & lack of turbo lag (especially diesel), sure as hell does.

The Components - what it takes to make an air to water 'cooler? NB. radiator, ice box & pump not shown The engine bay - intercooler and all. No turbo lag here !! The ARE custom air to water intercooler. Sure going to need HPC on the exhaust here!


A close up of the front mount of the intercooler,  check out the HPC coating colour and the speedflow fittings.

Whether it be a customer's car or our own shop vehicle, we take pride in our work, especially our welding & R&D.

Prototype "ice box" nearing completion. This should give seriously cool water to the intercooler

The Exhaust

We custom fabricate intercooling piping, why not create a custom exhaust?  This is the first & last time, back to Gonzo or Custom Exhaust in the future. Don't even think of asking, this is not my field. 

The extractors we made ,keep the turbo up out of moisture


The extractors we made ,keep the turbo up out of moisture


Dump pipe with separate wastegate pipe. Wastegate pipe is aimed into the low pressure area of the bend. Shield at bottom right is to keep heat off intercooler. Close up of welding on pipes 


The Results

Drove the truck for the first time this week, without water in the 'cooler, only a short run. Heat soak temperature in the intercooler & piping after switch off was even more dramatic than power gains. 3.5 - 4.0 lb boost was all the oe. computer could handle, but it's booked in on Chiptorques rollers 15/12 to fix this problem. Third gear has 4lb boost @ 2000 rpm & fifth gear has 3.5 lb. boost at 1600 rpm. It's going to be a bloody "stump puller", all I hope is that there is still sufficient boost at 5500 - 6000 rpm redline. Thankfully I made the wastegate linkage adjustable, as first real stab on the throttle resulted in big rev, blurred needle to10lb. boost, & a near head butt  into steering wheel with "computer shutdown". Back to workshop & it's now down to 6lb. max. Even at 3lb. boost the truck feels at least one gear better! Only annoying problem is the engine will die quite often at lights & the idle mixture is impossible to get consistent.

26 / 12 / 00

It will be best to head the updates with the date posted, this will make it easier to follow. Below are two JPegs of scanned Dyno results of my 15 / 12 / 00 date with Chiptorque. The man himself, Lauchlan, conducted all the tuning runs & I have to say I was most impressed with his thoughorness & professionalism. Five problems that he predicted before, reared there head during the session, although I also knew three of them would happen, -run out of injectors, -run out of  air (air flow meter), -run out of fuel (pump). I may be able to get away with the oe. pump, but I'm upgrading it with the others to be safe, & also save a possible third trip down the coast. The other two things I overlooked were blow off valve venting to atmosphere & tappet cover breather not connected to air intake after air flow sensor. I vent the blow off valve to atmosphere in my MX6 (rather my wife's now!) without causing any problems & I hoped the Rodeo would be the same, & I haven't received my air/oil separator, intercooler recovery tank & Charcoal canister back from HPC yet, so I didn't worry about connecting the hose. Wrong on both counts, came home & plumbed both hoses into intake & no more snuffing. It also muffled the blow off noise, so I've gone from being a 17 year old hoon back to a 50 year old petrolhead, god damn it !


The above graph on the left is the standard graph printed in most magazine articles, with one exception, - the bottom scale is revs & not kph. I want to know what it's got at a certain rev., as it applies then in every gear, saving having to work out rpm/rev later on. This is good & easy to look at & compare with others, but I call it the "cosmetic" graph. To me, the real "mechanics" graph is the chart shown on the right side above. This gives the real GUTS of the engine performance! It shows a much, much more complete look at the engines capabilities & potential, & off course, it's limitations & weaknesses. Unfortunately, neither graph tells you the gear used for the power runs, which is important to know. All tests on my truck were conducted in fourth gear  with 285/50 x 18" tyres.

Before I started, the Rodeo had  62kw. @ 5850rpm at the wheels in third gear on Brisbane Tuning & Turbo dyno (it will go back on theirs when it's finished, for an accurate before/after comparison), fitted with extractors & sports exhaust. Chiptorque did a Rodeo with extractors, sports exhaust & camshaft, with a resulting 67 kw., so I'm ecstatic with my 105 kw.@ 4133 rpm, because we  were starting to run out of fuel, meaning there's more left in the old girl yet, hopefully 140kw, which will be a 233% increase in power. Even that is not the most impressive feature of the engine, & unfortunately, I can't show you without taking you for a ride! The boost is instantaneous - as I squeeze the throttle, the boost needle rises straight away, I kid you not. This is due to the expert (or lucky) matching of the turbo (remember it's a new age hybrid Garret) by John at Turbo Supplies, the extractor exhaust & the extremely short inlet track of the air/water intercooler (check it out compared to yours)! I reckon the engine is hyperactive down low & Lauchlan said it was like an angry ant on the rollers. To give you some idea the above is true & I'm not exaggerating, look at the boost figures & then compare to your known figures, like 2.63 lb of boost at 1487rpm & 5.83lb of boost at 2117 rpm, it's like driving a V8 automatic, no bugger it, it's better than driving a V8 automatic!

I didn't even bother to put ice in the "box" & am know wondering if I will be able to test it's capabilities at all. The hottest turbo outlet temp. was 72 deg. C,  the hottest inlet temp was  40.8 deg., the hottest water outlet temp (of the 'cooler) was 38.4 deg. with a 'cooler inlet temp. of 36.7 deg., meaning the biggest "working" temperature difference in the intercooler was 2.4 deg. when it was removing 31.2 deg out of the inlet temp.,  however, remember that this is only at 9.53lb boost. This was also with the water pump on half speed. In the soft sand, the water temp. started to climb above these figures, but switching the pump to full 13V dropped the temps. straight away. Of interest, I often see the 'cooler inlet temps. up to 3 deg. (but mostly 1.5 to 2 deg.) higher than the outlet temps, when I stop, due to under bonnet heat soak. I have a couple of ideas to cut down on this & will try to implement them before I go back on the dyno.

Nothing under the tappet cover has been touched yet, so the engine is completely stock. When I fit larger injectors, air flow meter (off a 200SX incidentally) & fuel pump, I will then get Lauchlan to tune it for 10lb boost first, & then add some avgas (I run Optimax now) & hopefully I can run 15 lb boost when I want to. It will be interesting to see how long the engine lasts at these levels, but remember three things, -1st -the engine is a commercial design - meaning they are usually beefier than passenger car,  -2nd- it has 8.3:1 compression std., & with my normal driving, it's usually 4' - 10'' vacuum, with occasional 4 -7 lb boost showing, which means most of the time the engine is under no more stress than std. However, as soon as I come across another engine, I will be buying it & fitting forged pistons & rods, gapless rings & a very mild turbo cam, as I know the current engine, isn't going to last forever!

More Testing        6 weeks up to  17 / 02 / 01

a)  Alex, Bryant's flow bench specialist, gives me a hand & does all the calculations b)  Testing the water distribution flow out of an outlet tank, to get maximum cold water flowing through the core c)  The four intercoolers which will be tested on Chiptorque's dyno  d)  From our tests so far , the smaller' cooler on the left will far outperform the larger unit. 


  a) This is the SuperFlow 600E flow bench of Bryant Engineering (07-3846 2674) -(who incidentally have done all my engine machining for 33 yrs)- is the biggest model available. When testing intercoolers we have to have all eight motors switched on & the fine adjustment set on either 5 of 6, or 6 of 6 & if I'm testing tanks only & even with 60mm pipes, I have to read  the manometer at less than the 25" normally used & then convert. That will give you some idea of the air flow available through intercoolers, necessitating the use of a powerful machine for accurate results if doing allot of experimentation. I am lucky & privileged to have the use of this bench, but it may also result from building a friendship & loyal customer over a long period.

 b) I try to perfect everything we sell. This is the best of 3 designs of the intercooler water inlet tank. A parallel tube with13 holes drilled to supply a uniform pattern of water equally to all the tubes running through the core. This eliminates "hot & cold spots" I find in other products, which is important to pull as much heat out of the intake charge as is possible. 

c) The 4 intercoolers to be tested on the dyno, the tanks have yet to be welded onto the 2 cores, right hand side. Note the 4 temperature probes used on the original 'cooler made for the Rodeo. I'm positive the  92.8 % smaller size 'cooler on the left of the original will prove to be noticeably more effective at cooling the intake charge! This is even though it has better air flow by 10.2%!!! This is because of the totally different core construction we use in this new line of intercoolers, suitable only in air/water applications though! The smallest core (on the right of the blue 'cooler) is 479% smaller than the blue 'cooler & flowed 2.3% better. The core on the far right is 322.5% smaller & flowed 1.1% worse than the blue 'cooler. Note that the larger core on the right had better flowing "radiused" tanks, so would've flowed less again  if fitted with the same tanks by a calculated3.1%. Also note that air flow through the core is only part of the heat dissipation equation, if core construction is the same, usually the better flowing core will actually cool the intake charge less.

d)  The core construction of these two intercoolers differs completely & will give the unusual result of the intercooler on the left with 10.2% better flow, cooling the intake charge better than the larger, less flowing blue 'cooler on the right &, originally fitted to the Rodeo. Note that the colour has nothing to do with cooling efficiency, as it is all internal in an air/water setup & blue is constantly mentioned only to distinguish the original intercooler fitted for the first dyno session. The less restriction will also result in more kilowatts, giving a double bonus!


Three Days Before "THE FIRE"

I got the Rodeo back on the road with a new fuel rail we fabricated for the high flow injectors from Ray Box of Petro-Ject (07) - 3857 8022. They are Bosch part no.              to suit Mitsubishi TR Magnas& flowed 28% more fuel than rodeo oe. units. Even though they had a different impedance rating, they worked well enough to drive around on until I could get onto Chiptorques dyno - rich in the mid range. The truck just kept pulling hard right up to 6K a couple of times that I tried it, wish I had've been able to let Lauchlan do the final dyno session.We also fitted a extra heavy duty clutch built up by Dennis at Direct Clutches (07) 3862 2680. He had a steel flywheel turned up to suit a Mazda RX7 upgraded pressure plate  & an organic Rodeo clutch plate. a good job but it took 3 weeks longer than I was told. really had allot of "bite", but was still progressive enough to be able to do a hill start without the handbrake.

Of course this now means that the day booked on the dyno was cancelled along with being able to size the four intercoolers I had made. These will now be tested on the HiLux, hopefully by June.

Atlas Engineering - 16L, 28 psi. Mulcher.


ATLAS  ENGINEERING'S prototype forest mulcher. Cummins 16 litre, 6 cyl., 450hp.,28 psi.

This is an11kb PDF file.    Worth a look 


There is a reason for the three pairs of tanks & also for the different profiles of the tanks. Yes !



This is one of a few intercoolers that totally overtaxed Bryant Engineerings flow bench. In fact it is only limited by the 102mm inlet/outlet pipes. This is part of the reason I don't list cfm figures, some that I read are a complete fabrication & would make ours look bad, they are so easy to manipulate & are unsubstantiated. Yeh, it pisses me off, buts that's business.



The explanations & text for this file are @ Research & Development  where you can see that under certain conditions we got better than 100% efficiency compared too both/either the inlet water temp. & the ambient temp. It shows that if I showed you a particular second snapshot we have these figures, but not under normal operation, although we are still around 98% to the water temp. & 73% to ambient - let down by the radiator. 






Check back for updates....




All information © 2004



Currently A.R.E. is spending considerable R&D time on developing
our own range of Air to Water intercoolers.

Check back for updates.


© Aluminium Radiators and Engineering Pty Ltd (ARE Cooling) - while every effort is made to ensure details and information is correct at time of publishing (August 28, 2009)
please contact ARE by phone, fax or email to confirm prices before order.