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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    My ECS Tuning Intercooler Upgrade

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    I just had my IC and tubing installed on Friday. The car is now definitely louder during hard acceleration. For some reason I feel the throttle response is slower than before the IC upgrade and less low RPM torque now. Or is it just me?

    I am currently have GIAC and wondering if there is a tone for aftermarket IC out there?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Four Rings adamazing's Avatar
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    There's no intercooler-specific tune out there. Adding an IC just supplements the performance of whatever existing tune you already have, or will get.

    A larger intercooler does hold more capacity in volume, so it's entirely possible that the torque 'push' might now be delayed by a couple hundred RPM's. The trade off is the higher efficiency in cooling properties and a more efficient heat sink which will benefit you in more places, especially during the summer months.



    2013 A4 Quattro Brushed Steel / APR E85 Stage 2 / AG F421 Copper + Smoke + Neo Chrome / Eurocode FMIC + HFC / AWE Quad + CF Valance
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamazing View Post
    There's no intercooler-specific tune out there. Adding an IC just supplements the performance of whatever existing tune you already have, or will get.

    A larger intercooler does hold more capacity in volume, so it's entirely possible that the torque 'push' might now be delayed by a couple hundred RPM's. The trade off is the higher efficiency in cooling properties and a more efficient heat sink which will benefit you in more places, especially during the summer months.
    Thanks for clarifying. ECS Tuning claims HPs and Torques gains from this IC upgrade. Not sure where they can that info from...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Four Rings adamazing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoRacer100 View Post
    Thanks for clarifying. ECS Tuning claims HPs and Torques gains from this IC upgrade. Not sure where they can that info from...
    There are gains there, but it's in a different part of the power band. You're sacrificing a couple hundred RPM's down low, to regain some lost power and efficiency in the middle/upper RPM's.

    Say you run the drag strip, your second, third, and fourth runs are going to be more consistent with a more efficient intercooler. Compared to the heat saturated runs you would have with the OEM setup.

    Same thing for spirited driving in the summer months. Whether it be on the freeway or the back country roads, the IC is going to help keep performance consistent when the ambient temps and IAT's start to climb.



    2013 A4 Quattro Brushed Steel / APR E85 Stage 2 / AG F421 Copper + Smoke + Neo Chrome / Eurocode FMIC + HFC / AWE Quad + CF Valance
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamazing View Post
    There are gains there, but it's in a different part of the power band. You're sacrificing a couple hundred RPM's down low, to regain some lost power and efficiency in the middle/upper RPM's.

    Say you run the drag strip, your second, third, and fourth runs are going to be more consistent with a more efficient intercooler. Compared to the heat saturated runs you would have with the OEM setup.

    Same thing for spirited driving in the summer months. Whether it be on the freeway or the back country roads, the IC is going to help keep performance consistent when the ambient temps and IAT's start to climb.
    Ok, thanks. I guess K04 upgrade is the only solution here then.

  6. #6
    Established Member Three Rings petraman's Avatar
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    If you like low end torque, you might be happier staying with the K03... The K04 pushes the torque curve up even more and if you stay in the lower rpms you probably won't notice that much of a difference.

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  7. #7
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by petraman View Post
    If you like low end torque, you might be happier staying with the K03... The K04 pushes the torque curve up even more and if you stay in the lower rpms you probably won't notice that much of a difference.

    Sent from my LG-H918 using Audizine mobile app
    So there is no quick fix to this problem but getting a different car?

  8. #8
    Established Member Three Rings petraman's Avatar
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    You can try a different tune.... GIAC is pretty conservative.

    Not trying to lecture, but you should really do your research before plunking down that kind of money on mods, and decide what you really want out of your car. I've learned that lesson myself a few times.

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    2013 A4 P+ ------------------ Glacier White Metallic, 6MT, Sport Pkg, JHM Stage 1 Clutch/LWFW, JHM Short Shifter, JHM HFC, USP SS Clutch Line, EC Trans Insert, VCDS tweaks.
    On deck: Unitronic Stage 2 tune, CR-15, Rear Sway Bar, FMIC, K04 (eventually)

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by petraman View Post
    You can try a different tune.... GIAC is pretty conservative.

    Not trying to lecture, but you should really do your research before plunking down that kind of money on mods, and decide what you really want out of your car. I've learned that lesson myself a few times.

    Sent from my LG-H918 using Audizine mobile app
    I have done my research on the IC upgrade... Everyone was saying it keep the power consistent, but no one said anything about lost low end torque with an aftermarket IC. I guess I haven't done enough research. It would be nice to have a IC upgrade pro and cons thread. I thought it was all pros with this IC upgrade.

    Anyway I am not regret for this mod. Just hope I didn't loss that much low end torque with this mod. I'm happy that the turbo will stay cool and works more effectively at higher power band during the hot summer months.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings poweredbyaudi7's Avatar
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    Check for possibly boost leaks. That may be your issue as well.
    '14 A4 Q6MT / APR KO4 / AWE / HRE / H&R / STāSIS / 034 Motorsports / P3cars / JHM


  11. #11
    Senior Member Four Rings adamazing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoRacer100 View Post
    So there is no quick fix to this problem but getting a different car?
    It's not really a problem - only if you insist on making it one.

    Adding more volumetric capacity to the charge piping of a turbo car (or any car for that matter) is going to increase a 'lag' effect. You have to fill that volume before it generates the pressure to feed the engine, aka boost. It's not the car's fault, it's physics. However, it surely cant be that bad as you're making it out to be, can it? You're noticing the small sacrifice on the low end because that's what you'll notice the most in day-to-day commuting. But have you felt the benefits provided in the middle/top of the powerband instead?

    Those of us with larger IC's have all made the same sacrifice down low, but it's only a couple hundred RPM's, and the overwhelming benefits outweigh that small sacrifice 9 times out of 10.



    2013 A4 Quattro Brushed Steel / APR E85 Stage 2 / AG F421 Copper + Smoke + Neo Chrome / Eurocode FMIC + HFC / AWE Quad + CF Valance
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  12. #12
    Established Member Three Rings Spawne32's Avatar
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    Your not experiencing a loss in low end torque, your experiencing turbo lag. Not by much either, so if you are feeling that there is a drastic drop in performance in the low end, I would suspect something is wrong, possibly a boost leak. The turbo lag increase with the IC should only be about 2-300rpm, hardly noticeable, and its offset by the power increase and throttle response improvement by cutting out the restriction of the OEM intercooler. This is just how turbo cars work, changing the car is not going to change this because if you want more power, you need a bigger turbo, and the bigger the turbo, the more lag there is in the lower RPM until it is able to spool. Smaller turbos spool faster and subsequently produce alot of low rpm power and die off very quickly in the higher RPMs. If you got the charge pipes as well, remember there is a larger volume now to fill with air, which is what causes that increase in lag. It is designed to provide a less restrictive path for air to flow, especially beneficial when you increase boost pressure or go to a larger turbo where the small factory IC pipes can be more of a restriction that impedes airflow.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Four Rings adamazing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poweredbyaudi7 View Post
    Check for possibly boost leaks. That may be your issue as well.
    That's a good point too. I must have had about 10 boost leaks pop up after the first two weeks of install because things I thought were plenty tight, weren't.



    2013 A4 Quattro Brushed Steel / APR E85 Stage 2 / AG F421 Copper + Smoke + Neo Chrome / Eurocode FMIC + HFC / AWE Quad + CF Valance
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  14. #14
    Veteran Member Three Rings
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    I may need to look for a more aggressive tune to make me happier.

  15. #15
    Stage 3 Forum Advertiser Four Rings ECS Tuning-Audi's Avatar
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    You really should only experience the slight increase in lag in first gear. Once you have the turbo spooled up it should be able to keep boost drop off to a minimum.

    A lightweight flywheel or a cat delete pipe can help with allowing the vehicle to spin up faster. If you are still not satisfied you can go the custom tune route and have anti-lag or no lift to shift programmed in which will keep your turbo spooled up through shifting and from a hard launch.

    Feel free to PM me to discuss these options in more detail.

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  16. #16
    Established Member Three Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamazing View Post
    That's a good point too. I must have had about 10 boost leaks pop up after the first two weeks of install because things I thought were plenty tight, weren't.
    Where did you identify these leaks? At the pipe couplings/clamps?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Four Rings adamazing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4x View Post
    Where did you identify these leaks? At the pipe couplings/clamps?
    Yeah, pretty much every fitting from the turbo adapter to the MAF pipe popped loose at some point.


    EDIT: To be clear, I'm talking about my Eurocode FMIC and piping. Not the ECS kit.



    2013 A4 Quattro Brushed Steel / APR E85 Stage 2 / AG F421 Copper + Smoke + Neo Chrome / Eurocode FMIC + HFC / AWE Quad + CF Valance
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  18. #18
    Established Member Three Rings Spawne32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamazing View Post
    Yeah, pretty much every fitting from the turbo adapter to the MAF pipe popped loose at some point.


    EDIT: To be clear, I'm talking about my Eurocode FMIC and piping. Not the ECS kit.
    What kind of clamps were you using?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Four Rings adamazing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spawne32 View Post
    What kind of clamps were you using?
    The supplied T-Bolt type clamps.

    It came down to a combination of my fear of over-tightening the clamps (and crushing the hard piping), and oil blow-by from the turbo lubricating the couplers. Hit boost hard enough, enough times, and POP - boost leak.

    I finally fixed it by installing the ECS catch can, cleaning and reinstalling all the hard piping, and using adhesion promoter (hair spray) on the couplers.



    2013 A4 Quattro Brushed Steel / APR E85 Stage 2 / AG F421 Copper + Smoke + Neo Chrome / Eurocode FMIC + HFC / AWE Quad + CF Valance
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  20. #20
    Registered Member Two Rings BeerBrent's Avatar
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    Good info! Thanks!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Two Rings MrTylerRaines's Avatar
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    Gains are real. Not a huge gain but definately not inflated numbers. The biggest noticeable difference is with a turbo upgrade, GT series or K04.


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  22. #22
    Active Member Two Rings
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    I told my experience with a TR8 IC in this forum.

    More consistent the pulls but more lag, too.

    I came back to the 3.0Tdi IC and it feels more responsive for daily driving. I have Revo Stage 2 with a testpipe.

    IC XL are for tracks, hard drivind or a bigger turbo in my opinion.

    I'm considering the turbo upgrade. Maybe Loba400L but I'm waiting for TTE420 model. I was told that could be possible during this summer...

  23. #23
    Established Member Two Rings kayroccs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spawne32 View Post
    Your not experiencing a loss in low end torque, your experiencing turbo lag. Not by much either, so if you are feeling that there is a drastic drop in performance in the low end, I would suspect something is wrong, possibly a boost leak. The turbo lag increase with the IC should only be about 2-300rpm, hardly noticeable, and its offset by the power increase and throttle response improvement by cutting out the restriction of the OEM intercooler. This is just how turbo cars work, changing the car is not going to change this because if you want more power, you need a bigger turbo, and the bigger the turbo, the more lag there is in the lower RPM until it is able to spool. Smaller turbos spool faster and subsequently produce alot of low rpm power and die off very quickly in the higher RPMs. If you got the charge pipes as well, remember there is a larger volume now to fill with air, which is what causes that increase in lag. It is designed to provide a less restrictive path for air to flow, especially beneficial when you increase boost pressure or go to a larger turbo where the small factory IC pipes can be more of a restriction that impedes airflow.
    Is this the reason you bought the cooler from ECS and using the stock pipes because of the volume intake?

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Audizine mobile app

  24. #24
    Senior Member Four Rings lettuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoRacer100 View Post
    I have done my research on the IC upgrade... Everyone was saying it keep the power consistent, but no one said anything about lost low end torque with an aftermarket IC. I guess I haven't done enough research. It would be nice to have a IC upgrade pro and cons thread. I thought it was all pros with this IC upgrade.
    In the ECS intercooler product thread which I believe you posted in (as well as pretty much every other big intercooler thread I've found on here), I talk about added lag from larger intercoolers quite a bit. I even pointed out on the first page in the ECS thread how in the dyno graph they posted there is a noticeable drop-off in power before ~2750 RPM.

    http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...1#post12236643

    http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...1#post11327637

    http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...1#post12426846

    And my favorite cautionary words against getting an IC too large for your needs:

    http://www.audizine.com/forum/showth...1#post11327167

    Quote Originally Posted by lettuce View Post
    Seriously. Intercoolers are like condoms, and getting a TR11 for our cars is like getting a box of magnum XLs for a regular-sized dick.
    Not to say I told you so, but..
    B8 A4 - Eurodyne-tuned F23L - 12.6 @ 107 on 93

  25. #25
    Established Member Three Rings Spawne32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayroccs View Post
    Is this the reason you bought the cooler from ECS and using the stock pipes because of the volume intake?

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Audizine mobile app
    Had more to do with money. lol

  26. #26
    Established Member Two Rings kayroccs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spawne32 View Post
    Had more to do with money. lol
    Oh, I can live with that. I just thought you had the bigger pipe volume intake in mind for using the stock pipes.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Audizine mobile app

  27. #27
    Established Member Three Rings Spawne32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayroccs View Post
    Oh, I can live with that. I just thought you had the bigger pipe volume intake in mind for using the stock pipes.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Audizine mobile app
    Nah, frankly I don't consider the volume increase to be that significant that its something I would have to worry about with the stage 2 tune. The benefits of a nice charge piping system I feel far outweight the turbo lag increase. I just felt that given the budget I was working with for an intercooler that the charge pipes at the moment really served no purpose and its something I can do down the road if and when a turbo upgrade comes.

  28. #28
    Established Member Two Rings kayroccs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spawne32 View Post
    Nah, frankly I don't consider the volume increase to be that significant that its something I would have to worry about with the stage 2 tune. The benefits of a nice charge piping system I feel far outweight the turbo lag increase. I just felt that given the budget I was working with for an intercooler that the charge pipes at the moment really served no purpose and its something I can do down the road if and when a turbo upgrade comes.
    Got it

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