The intercooler used onthe '87 and '88 Thunderbird turbocoupes has a lot of advantages. It provides a substantial area for heat transfer and has a very short flowpath. It was designed for the Thunderbird Turbocoupe which sharesthe same basic engine (with some advancements over the Merkur's engine.) Two major differences; however, are that the Thunderbird TC has a different turbo (smaller turbo with a hose connection at it's outlet rather than the Merkur's bolted flange.) and is also equipped with hood scoops.
The hood scoops are the source of cooling air for the Turbocoupes intercooler. I didnot like the idea of adding hood scoops to the Merkur for many reasons. Hood scoops radically change the look of the car, if not done right will be an entry point for rainwater, and they allow hot air to rise up fromthe exhaust manifold when the car is stationary or slowly moving, driving hot air through the intercooler.
The basis of my systemis the Turbocoupe Intercooler with an aluminum water jacket specially formed and then welded around the intercooler. Aluminum bosses are also welded (full penetration welds here) to the intercooler jacket to allow for the entry and exit of the cooling water. I have baffles welded to the inside of the jacket to prevent the coolant from short circuiting the core. Another major component is a specially cast adapter flange fitting that is welded to the intercooler inlet, allowing for a simple bolt up. This is important since the intercooler has to be removed to do some maintainence, like spark plug changes. By having this connection welded, I eliminate another hose connection which was an annoyance on my prototype. After welding, the intercooler is tested then painted in high temperature black paint after all of the fabrication is completed. The intercooler in the photos has not been painted.