theAWIC System

The Intercooler:

    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.

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The Rest of the System:
    In addition to the intercooler body, the system includes a specially made adapter for the turbo inlet. This piece is machined from a 4" aluminum bar and is hard anodized for a finished look.  This adapter is required due to the fact that the turbocharger needs to be rotated to accommodate the intercooler (soundshairy, but actually a very easy job.)
   Other components include a cooler (stacked plate design that is more rugged than the common finned tube design,) a 12V D.C. circulation pump, and the reservoir.  The reservoir is actually one of my biggest costs. The tank that I chose is the coolant bottle from a 1989 Merkur XR4Ti (notshown in the photo.)  This bottle sits on the driver's fender and helps provides a stock appearance, additional capacity, and a good location for adding ice for a little extra cooling at the drag strip.  These bottles are difficult to get, and expensive!
    In addition, the hose connections that are visible on the top of the engine will be crimped ferrules rather than hose clamps, and the most visible hoses are covered with stainless steel braiding.  I am sure that you will find this intercooler to be very well designed, with no corners cut.
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Thank you,
Richard Thompson
(281) 545-1199