Anyone disassemble a KB intercooler?

Discussion in '2005+ Mustang GT 4.6L Tech' started by Silver'nStripes, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Silver'nStripes

    Silver'nStripes Junior Member

    I'm running a 2.8 L Kenne Bell and, surprise surprise, the IATs are pretty high. Last trip to the drag strip they peaked near 170 F with ambient temperatures in the low 70s. I've already ordered an VMP triple pass heat exchanger.

    I've read a few threads about upgrading the heat exchanger, and it's clear that the line size and water pump used are critical. I'm planning on using the Meziere 55 gpm pump and hoping I can upgrade to 1" lines for the whole system.

    It looks like there should be room between the rear of the intercooler/intake manifold and the firewall for, worst case, a 90 degree 1" NPT to 1" hose barb fitting. Ideally I can find a true radius fitting, similar to the Fragola Series 8000 fittings.

    My biggest question moving forward: Is there room in the internal passages in the heat exchanger for a 1" NPT thread? The current fittings are biased to the top of the heat exchanger, and I don't know how much room is inside.

    If anyone has had one of these apart, any tips or advice would be great.
  2. eighty6gt

    eighty6gt forum member

    I would not go down this road. Killer chiller is probably the only way.
  3. stkjock

    stkjock ---- Madmin ---- Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator S197 Team Member

  4. eighty6gt

    eighty6gt forum member

    found time to read those posts

    better solution than KC
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  5. Silver'nStripes

    Silver'nStripes Junior Member

    Thanks for posting those. I'd stumbled across a few of those from 94tbird, but I never actually read about his final fix. With a pump rated at 2000 GPH I'm not surprised he kept his IATs down! I really like using the ball valves to bypass the heat exchanger while running ice, pretty neat.

    I've avoided ice/the Killer Chiller up to this point because I have a 2.8LC supercharger. Kenne Bell cautions against running cold fluid as it will cause damage to the drive gears etc. in the front of the case. Though I wonder if I could route the LC lines to the engine coolant to allow me to run ice.

    In any event, I'm still thinking that removing as many restrictions as possible from the hoses and fittings is key.
  6. Racer47

    Racer47 Doesn't have much to say S197 Team Member

    I don't have a 2.8. I have a 2.6 so its not exactly the same. But I made big improvements with a relatively simple setup. I could not get 1" hose into the manifold so I went with 3/4" hose and radius fittings (not hard 90 deg). The water leaves the manifold and goes into a Moroso 1 gal tank where the battery was. It leaves the tank and goes down the pass side to a Pierburg CWA50 pump (same as 2013 gt500). Leaving the pump it goes into a 2013 gt500 heat exchanger, than out the HE, up the drivers side and back into the manifold.

    I also made radiator fences to force all the air through the radiators. Plus I added an air divider on top of the bumper. It seals the top of the bumper up to the radiator. This forces all of the air from the lower grill though the heat exchanger. Behind it all is a 2013 gt500 fan. Because of the air divider and fences more than half of the fan suction goes through the heat exchanger.

    Its simple, relatively cheap, has minimal hosing and no extra fittings or restrictions except for the two 90's in and out of the manifold which is unavoidable.
  7. Pentalab

    Pentalab forum member

    Stick with the 13/14 GT-500 pump. The "Meziere 55 gpm pump" won't flow any where near that. Typ 35-37 gpm with 14.5 vdc.... with zero restrictions. Water in one end of pump, then flow meter on output of pump...onto the ground. IE: no load on it. Once in the loop, and trying to force coolant through the IC + HE, flow rate will drop like a rock. It's a bit more than the 4.5 gpm Bosch, that's it. Meziere pumps are glorified 12 vdc bilge pumps. The Meziere '20 gpm' pump, once in the loop, flows a little less than the Bosch.

    Shrouding / fencing the rads is an excellent idea, + the air divider. Hood vents would be another possible option.
  8. Silver'nStripes

    Silver'nStripes Junior Member


    The fencing sounds like an excellent setup. I'll have to take a look at that once I get everything installed.
  9. Silver'nStripes

    Silver'nStripes Junior Member

    My biggest concern with the 13/14 GT500 pump is the 3/4" inlet and outlet. If I can in fact use 1" fittings everywhere (to include a 1" AN bung on the intercooler) I'm thinking the flow with the Meziere 55 gpm will improve. DiMora's Operation Iceman results a few months ago seem to reinforce that overall line size is a decent contributor to flow.

    I've also been kicking around the idea of doing a 3 or 4 gallon trunk tank for the past few days. I talked with Mike at Kenne Bell, and he recommended adding a shutoff on the LC lines going to the supercharger to allow me to run ice while at the track. I'd add a bypass to the heat exchanger too. Going to stay away from submersible bilge pumps, doesn't sound like they hold up to continuous street duty very well.
  10. 1950StangJump$

    1950StangJump$ forum member

    OP, what were the ambient temps when you saw 170 IATs? That sounds crazy high to me.

    I have the Stage 1 (not sure if that makes it a 2.6), but I have the VMP triple pass with dual fans and the GT500 pump. Used a GT500 degas bottle with bypass. The car is street duty only, but it generally sits between 115 and 125 IATs, even during summer. Worst I've seen is 135 sitting in traffic on a hot day.
  11. Silver'nStripes

    Silver'nStripes Junior Member

    Ambient temperatures were in the 70s that day. I was going through the traps 86 to 88 degrees above ambient, which puts me in the low to mid 160s. This was my first time data logging while at the track, and I agree, that does seem high.

    I've done a more qualitative test previously, just by checking the temperature of the supercharger with my hand. On good days it's warm and you can leave your hand on there indefinitely, on bad days it's too hot to touch for more than a second. This day was somewhere in the middle.

    IATs at the starting line were in mid 130s after sitting in the staging lanes. I drove to the track too, so everything was heat soaked. Temps recovered most of the way by the time I got down the return lane and stopped recording.

    On the subject of IC water pumps - If I'm willing to shell out the bucks for a questionable Meziere pump, why not go all out and use the Stewart EMP? No question that thing will move some water...
  12. Silver'nStripes

    Silver'nStripes Junior Member

    Well, I opened up the intercooler this week to see what the situation was inside. Long story short, there's absolutely no way your getting bigger fittings on the rear of the intake manifold.


    It pretty easy to see why the KB is so restrictive to fluid flow. The fluid enters through these tiny 3/8 NPT ports on the rear (after going through a hard 90 degree fitting I might add).


    And then make a hard 90 to go up to the ports that interface with the intercooler core. There's only about .1" of material between the 3/8" passage and the mating surface of the core, which makes increasing the fitting size impossible.

    Housing side.jpg

    The fluid goes up into the core, where it makes another hard 90 to pass through the core, makes a 180 to pass back through the core, and then repeats a similar passage on exit.

    All ports.jpg

    By my count that's three 90 degree turns, a 180, and then 3 more 90s. Seems to me that if the ports came out of the rear of the intercooler core, instead of the top side, almost all of those could be avoided.

    Oh well. At least my intercooler got the most unnecessary rebuild possible!