Honda Civic Type R Intercooler OE Breakdown – Design Pt. 1

Just a few weeks ago we discussed the OEM boost tubes found on the FK8 Civic Type R and shared how we can make improvements. Now the team at 27WON Performance is turning its attention to the intercooler itself.

We are excited to dig into this project and you should be too if you’ve been following our development of the Front Mount Intercooler System for the 1.5L equipped Civics. Our goal is to develop an intercooler unlike anything else available - our target with all of our 27WON Performance Products.

First, we must understand the OE design before we can REDEFINE.

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The OEM intercooler found on the CTR is decently sized and performs reasonably well in stock power applications. Measuring in at 26.77in wide x 5.63in tall x 2.52in thick, the OEM intercooler is large compared to most turbocharged 4-cylinders on the road today. However, it leaves room for improvement soon as the boost pressure and power is increased. We discovered that the OEM FMIC can easily heat soak and kill performance once being pushed. Luckily, Honda left tons of room behind the bumper for the 27WON Team to exploit.

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Here we show the OEM intercooler removed from the car for closer inspection. The design and manufacturing of the OEM intercooler is very typical of modern vehicles. Both end-tanks are injection molded plastic that are clamped to the aluminum bar-and-tube intercooler core. This construction style is extremely cost effective, but not particularly durable; eventually the plastic will degrade resulting in leaks or even rupture.

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Also, as you typically find on OEM intercoolers, you can see flange positioning to create a very compact end-tank design. Unfortunately, the trade-off for this compact design is poor flow characteristics. The design may be sufficient for OEM power levels but anything beyond that may show severely restricted performance. Simply copying the OE design and making the core larger is not the ideal solution and something we simply wont do.

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Connected to the OE flanges are inlet and outlet cast aluminum pipes. The use of the OE cast pipes really has the 27WON Team torn on what direction to take. The simplicity of using the OE cast pipes is great but we worry that with this restriction too much performance potential will be left on the table. Only flow simulations and testing can truly answer and clarify this matter; we’ll have more on that in the next blog.

Also shown in the above image are the OE rubber boost tubes. We already have a plan for those; check out the OEM Boost Tubes Here and follow along as we continue development.

Note the soft mounts highlighted by the orange arrows.

Note the soft mounts highlighted by the orange arrows.

Lastly, the OE intercooler uses a “soft mounting” setup on both sides top and bottom. This will be really important to retain with any performance heat exchanger (radiator, intercooler, oil cooler…etc) because of thermal expansion and vibration.

As the intercooler heats up and cools down its length will change slightly due to thermal expansion. If the intercooler is rigidly mounted it may lead to cracks in the intercooler or the mounting, whichever is weaker. Soft mounting allows this expansion to happen without issue and absorb engine movement, which is why 27WON will be retaining the soft mounting design.

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Stay tuned as we continue the development of the 2017+ Civic Type R Intercooler Upgrade. With that I leave you with a gorgeous image of the 27WON CTR.  This might be one of the first images out in the wild with the new 27WON Livery. Enjoy!

I DARE You to REDEFINE the Aftermarket

-Barett