Michael Galimi
November 1, 2009
The intercooler is split into two separate cores, both with its own entry and exit port. The -16 feed comes down the driver's side of the vehicle and is split to feed the right-side fitting port of each core.

Burcham's solution for high-horsepower applications is a fabricated air-to-water intercooler that utilizes ice water to chill boosted air. The custom air-to-water intercooler is designed for '05-newer Mustangs and it replaces popular air-to-air coolers in the same location so the charge piping needs little-to-no modifications to fit. JPC can custom build an intercooler for other applications as well.

Burcham used a customer's '05 Mustang GT to show how easy the intercooler installs and its effectiveness when compared to the air-to-air 'cooler that was previously on the car. The black GT utilizes a popular combination at JPC-a Rich Groh Racing (RGR)-built 302 stroker engine with RGR-ported Three-Valve cylinder heads, a pair of JPC camshafts, JPC intake manifold, ProCharger D1SC blower (24 psi of boost), and everything else needed to make it all run smoothly, including a JPC return-style fuel system and custom tuning using DiabloSport software.

Here is the exit fitting for the driver-side core. The nipple next to it is the feed for the passenger-side core.

Baseline runs were made with the standard air-to-air intercooler; the GT produced 627 rwhp and 650 rwtq. Inlet air temperatures soared to 176 degrees during the short dyno pulls. Burcham said the test car's temps have gone as high as 250 degrees on track. The track always shows higher temps than chassis dyno pulls because of the longer running time. The ECU was yanking away 2 degrees of timing at the top of the chassis dyno pull and 4 degrees on the track. Total timing is set to 19 degrees for this application.

Installing the air-to-water intercooler is not a difficult task; the standard JPC cooler fits nicely in place of the air-to-air unit it is replacing. "Our standard intercooler is rated to 1,250 hp and it fits in the regular location. The intercooler used in this story is rated up to 1,500 hp and because of its size, we had to notch the frame to fit it in," says Burcham of the installation.

A large hose is used to deliver the ice water. We picked up this at a local hardware store. Some enthusiasts wrap it with some kind of insulation; we didn't wrap our hose.

The JPC crew also added a larger ProCharger Race bypass valve because of the 24 psi of boost. From there, it was only a matter of bolting in the water cell, running the feed and return water lines from it, and mounting and wiring the Meziere WP136S water pump. The feed line is -16, which is split into two -12 lines at a Y-block up front and continues to the intercooler. Twin -12 lines exit the 'cooler and are combined at a Y-block to a single -16 return. This is because the intercooler is comprised of two separate cores.

The water cell holds 5 gallons of water and Burcham recommends filling it to about a third with water, and then stuffing four bags of ice in the cell. The Meziere pump circulates the water at a rate of 20 gpm.