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-   -   bigger intercoolers for tdis (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/4wd-overland-tech/bigger-intercoolers-for-tdis-19874)

Chris Scott 1 Dec 2003 15:46

bigger intercoolers for tdis
Apart from the cost and the extra component to break, would these be recommended for overlanding without reservation?
It seems like they lower combustion temps which can't be bad.
Overall, do they improve the mpg or do they make it worse?
Would not that extra torque shag the transmission sooner?
AFAIKT, they sound like as neat a solution as turbos were, only simpler.

thanks for your input.


Col Campbell 2 Dec 2003 14:15

Chris, I would`nt look at it as an extra component, just a bigger version of an origional companent, yes they might provide more power, but it really is like an increase in torque not just a huge wapping power increase, handy for the long hills when heavily loaded, as for tweaking the fuel and boost pressure I dont know the answer on this for the long term, the larger I/C cools the charge(A good thing), but when you start increasing fuel and boost you will pick up extra power but also increase EGT, so for a long term overland trip I would`nt be sure on this on.

Without doubt, I would contact Richard Turner, at Turner Engineering, he provides the occasional feed back on the LRE and on offroaders rant forum, as well as being renowner in the bussiness as an authority on LR engines, he is very pro standard on his engines and rebuilt so many that over the years that he KNOWS what goes on inside STD and modified LR engines. He also seems very please to genuinely help people, not just sell things to make a profit.


Col Campbell

[This message has been edited by Col Campbell (edited 02 December 2003).]

diesel jim 2 Dec 2003 21:09

i run with a larger intercooler on my 300Tdi 90. i also run with slightly increased boost and fuelling. although the larger intercooler doesn't seem to give "seat of the pants" extra power (you can achieve the same increase of power just by winding the boost and fuel up with a stock intercooler) its nice to know that i'm being "kind" to my engine by keeping the EGT's (Exhaust Gas Temparatures) down and avoiding melting the piston crowns.

Roman 3 Dec 2003 00:14

Hi Chris,

Although on paper an intercooler looks like a splendid idea and almost something for nothing, in reality it isn't quite so. To make a noticeable difference, the intercoler has to be big and efficient enough. This is normally achieved by water cooling. An extra cooling circuit is one more thing to break (or leak as most liquid containers fitted to Landrovers). Besides, such an intercooler sitting in front of the engine radiator restricts air flow. Cooler air, hotter engine, what's better - go figure ... A small intercooler can be fitted in other locations, but its effect on performance is always relative to the heat exchanging efficiency.

As they rely mainly on the passage of air through the radiator, intercoolers are more efficient at higher speeds. The extra torque Col mentiones would be handy at the bottom end of the engine performance curve, so again, not a real gain to make a big difference.

A more efficient engine = lower fuel consumption. Again, on paper it sounds right, but if you have all this power on tap, you must be a scrumpy old git not to use it, so don't expect miracles at the pump.

Finally, if the intercooler lowers EGT it is on condition that you use the same amount of fuel which - due to more air being squeezed into the combustion chamber - is now burnt more efficiently. See the previous argument whether the amount of fuel will really remain the same. Or perhaps you give it more boot, hence burn more fuel to make the engine work harder, which brings us round to where we started.

Having said that, I wish to point out that any vehicle is only as good as the sum of parts of which it is built. Making improvements in one department doesn't make other parts preform better. In fact, it often makes it worse (after two turbos blown out due to playing with injection pump and boost settings, I can claim some expertise.)

This is why, having gone down this route myself, I settled the score by swapping a 300Tdi engined LR for a 4.2L 1HDT Landcruiser. I can't even notice it has no intercooler, just as I could not notice the Landrover had one.

Roman (UK)

Toby2 3 Dec 2003 00:34

I have an Allisport intercooler fitted on my 300TDI. Spent a fair amount of time checking round whether it would be a good idea or not because much as I wanted improved performance, I didn't want to achieve it at the expense of reliability. However from everything I could gather, if one sticks to a basic replacement intercooler, then it functions exactly the same way as the origonal, it doesn't have more parts to go wrong and it simply works more efficiently. It provides a noticable improvement in performance but you have to look for it, its definitely not a radical change. The main useful change is between about 40 - 70 where the increased torque is particularly useful when overtaking , etc. Makes it a bit easier to use. Have steered clear of the other modifications such as increasing boost on the turbo because of concerns about reliability.

Col Campbell 3 Dec 2003 01:32

Roman, can you elaborate on you turbo problems, was it to much boost that led to their demise and if so do you set them up by trail and error or with a pressure gauge.

And with your fuel, did you play with fuel settings with an EGT gauge fitted.


Chris Scott 3 Dec 2003 03:32

What's up, is there nothing good on telly tonight? ;-))

"if one sticks to a basic replacement intercooler, then it functions exactly the same way as the origonal, it doesn't have more parts to go wrong"

This is true (I did not realise LRs already had an ic - or as Romans says - could not tell). But the fact that it needs airflow and blocks the water rad is also a good point

As for meddling with turbo boost pressures - this is a risk with any desert car, even a TLC. The guy I'm thinking of didnt even get from Milan to Marseille before it blew up - and that was a IHDT. (he was a bit flash. so serves him right)

To me big engines are the obvious choice for the desert but I'm just trying to investigate ways of getting more poke from an LR and it seems bigger ics work well. I drove Toby S's 200 in the desert and it was not like any 200 I'd driven before. And for the desert extra torque is most desirable.

The question remains tho, will it shag out the parts downstream quicker? I suppose the answer is yes.


Col Campbell 3 Dec 2003 05:28

Chris, I`d say no, as the rest of the drive train is essentially the same as a TD5s and they have a good deal more grunt than a TDI anyway, and they seem to take the power OK.

On the cooling front, I`d prefer to uprate the rad from a 3 to 5 core, so that will help the engine a little more, and anyway I look at it, a cooler charge equates to more efficiency, I`m an aircraft engineer by trade and everything I`ve ever learnt about engines is about altitude, temperature and density, and increasing the charge density does inprove efficiency, agreed if you use the extra power you will burn more fuel, but cruising along from point to point your MPG must improve, and yes at lower speeds you wont get the full added power, but on those long hills not having to change down gears quite so readily when heavily loaded has to be a bonus, the only possible downside I could see is that the turbo might be working a bit harder with the extra air it is now able to push into the engine, but I think that is looking into it a bit to deeply.

Chris any external info you get regaurding this I`d be interested to hear, before the new book comes out.

And yes it certainly is a big tick in the Tojo box have a nice big lazy engine, where you don`t have to worry about all this bollox, pity they can`t quite match the LR fuel consumption.


Chris Scott 3 Dec 2003 14:10

>"....I`d say no, as the rest of the drive train is essentially the same as a TD5s"

OK, good point. I had a feeling the the broadness of the increase made it less severe anyway.

> "pity they can`t quite match the LR fuel consumption."

You know that's what I used to think (or believe what I read) but I'm rewriting the book on that subject based on my LR travels since edn 1. Sorry to go on but it is just not true in my experience in the desert.


SandyM 4 Dec 2003 04:45

We fitted an Allisport intercooler to our 300Tdi, after lots of soul-searching. There´s no such thing as a free lunch, and of course a bigger charge of air increases power and torque with all the attendant increases in stress on the engine and transmission.

However, there is quite a lot of room for power increases, the 300Tdi is hardly the most stressed engine ever, and the power increase isn´t phenomenal. It is noticeable, though, on our vehicle. Post-turbo temperatures can soar to 130degC, and a good intercooler brings this back down close to ambient (shedding 80% of the turbo heat is achievable).

We left the boost alone, just adjusted the fuel dosage to allow for the increased air. As a result, at low revs when the turbo isn´t "on", if I floor it, it belches quite a bit of black smoke.

Fuel consumption is marginally better *at the same performance levels*. But it uses a lot more fuel when I do choose to use the extra power.

On the whole, I am happy with the decision, so far. In the desert, it is handy to have the extra power when you need it. And most often, we trundle along with just that little bit less throttle than we would have needed without the intercooler.

Incidentally, the intercooler isn´t water cooled, it´s air-on-air (more efficient for our type of vehicles), as are the standard Land Rover ones. So the worst consequence of a *bad* leak would be a bit of a drop in turbo pressure.

There is no downside to the principle of an intercooler as far as I can see, the only real question is whether it´s worth uprating the existing one. For a few hundred quid, mine was worth it. I made sure that the replacement was a drop-in - no modifications necessary, and an original can be put back if something goes wrong (or if I want to).

The air flow through the intercooler and over the engine rad is more than sufficient to keep the thermostat partially closed, even in the summer saharan sand, so I don´t think the engine temperature itself is affected.

Hope this helps,


[This message has been edited by SandyM (edited 04 December 2003).]

[This message has been edited by SandyM (edited 04 December 2003).]

ctc 11 Dec 2003 23:02

Am just having an intercooler fitted in my 300Tdi so have appreciated the various points made.

Picking up on Roman's point re turbos. Is there any merit in fitting a "Turbo Guard" on a 300Tdi (basically a small oil sump which drains into the turbos once you switch the engine off).

Finally leaving the intercooler question to on side. Has anyone tried swapping their 200 or 300 Tdi with the new TGV H.S 2.8 diesel built by International in Brazil. It sounds like the ideal (though expensive) solution to really giving your Land Rover the power it deserves. A shame its not a straight swap though.

Steve Pickford 12 Dec 2003 13:15

Re: engine swaps. Has anyone considered fitting one of the Mercedes CDI engines as found in Sprinter vans?

I drove a medium wheel base Sprinter (311 CDI) from Oxford to Milan to Hamburg & back again, with at least 1,000kg on board, in addition to myself & two passengers. At 80mph on the motorway, you could put your foot down & still accelerate. Sticking at 80-85mph gave a consistent 26-28mpg.

I believe the CDI designation means it was a common rail diesel (without a turbo). I mightily impressed with its all round performance, having been used to old Transits & Bedford CF's. I've no idea how this on-road performance would work out in off-road conditions or what the spares availability is like once off the beaten track - just an idea?


Roman 12 Dec 2003 15:11

Hi guys,

Is there any merit in fitting a "Turbo Guard" on a 300Tdi ...


If you mean the one sold by Agriemach, it's manufactured by a small company in Trinidad or suchlike. Looks like a good idea but has one potential pitfall - as it sits in the middle of the oil circulation path , if it fails due to a crack in the oil lines or otherwise, you will have more to worry about than just the turbo.

Re engine swaps: I had such ideas some time in the past. Search the forum for a tread about Isuzu engines.

Roman (UK)

Col Campbell 12 Dec 2003 15:49

I have heard though the grapevine that you can pick up one of the 2.8 Engines for around 1000 USD, by going direct to the source in Brazil, plus the added shipping costs, VAT etc, if you had a few people interested you could probably get the shipping cost down a little to.


ctc 12 Dec 2003 20:55

Point taken re the Agrimach turbo guard something to watch! One question though, on some turbo engines you can hear the turbo's whizzing round after you switch the engine off (if of course you dont let the engine idle for a while). However on the Land Rover engines (300Tdi)I cant ever hear the turbos. Why is this?

Col, interesting re prices for the International engine in Brazil, much as it would be fun to order a container of them I have not got the shreddies or need at present. If / when the 300Tdi finally dies a death I'll certainly look into it.

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