Cool Air for the EcoBoost. F-150 Intercooler R&D, Part 5: Intercooler 3D Models
Now that our first prototype design has been finalized in Solidworks, we can begin constructing our first functional prototype to test both performance and fitment.
Let's check out some of the final features of our awesome intercooler design, including the appearance, the updated bracketry, the piping, and our innovative solution to the condensation issue!
F-150 Intercooler 3D Models
We intend to offer this cooler in both a silver and black powdercoat finish, so we will show you a few render images of each. First, a look at the rear of the cooler.
Here we see the two inlets and single quick-disconnect outlet. We also incorporated the blow-off valve port, and a cap/plug will be included for 2013-2014 models that feature the pipe-mounted unit.
The two wings on the end tanks are the mounting points that secure the cooler to the chassis.
As we move around the side of the intercooler, our ducting comes into view. These are the same pieces we designed in the last segment of this R&D coverage.
The end tanks will be constructed from cast aluminum, which will ensure that the integrity of the cooler is retained during high-boost conditions. In addition, it allows our team to strategically design smooth internal surfaces so that airflow is properly directed through the entire height of the core. We confirm this through the use of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software.
As you can see, we are experimenting with some subtle branding on the ducting as well as a small cast "M" logo on the end tank.
One more shot of the front!
We put together a neat interactive model that you can check out below, and next, we will go over our solution for the condensation problem.
Addressing Condensation Issues
The buildup of condensation within the CAC (charge-air cooler) system of this vehicle has become a bit of an issue. Fluid can accumulate within the intercooler and intake system. When rapid acceleration occurs, the fluid is sucked into the engine, resulting in shuddering and misfires. Depending on the amount of fluid, some drivers have encountered limp mode during these instances. Ford has issued a few different solutions to alleviate the concern. Several folks have found that drilling a small drain hole in the base of the heat exchanger has corrected the issue without any ill effect. As a brand designing an intercooler, we obviously need to address this portion of the product. Let's take a look at our remedy.
Look closely and you will notice some interesting features we are building into the lower mounting peg. This component will double as a drain port for condensation buildup. We've designed this end tank so that this area of the cooler is the lowest point, meaning all condensation will drain into the peg. Check out another image showing the surface features that will aid in directing fluid to the peg.
The internal diameter of the peg will be threaded, and a plug will be inserted in place. Users will have the option of removing the plug occasionally to drain fluid, or a small hole can be drilled into the plug itself to drain as fluid reaches the cooler. By drilling the plug, the risk of drilling directly into the end tank is eliminated. Check out a closer look at the plug location.
This, along with a tighter core fin design, should alleviate concerns regarding the condensation issues.
Coming Up - Intercooler Pipe Fabrication
Just when you thought this project couldn't get any cooler! While we work up a functional intercooler prototype, our team will be putting together a set of aluminum F-150 intercooler pipes. Check back soon for a neat look at the fabrication process.
Thanks for reading!