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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Non-stock Intercoolers

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    At what level does one need aftermarket intercoolers?

    Does throwing on K04's and upgraded fueling mean you'll be pushing past what the plastic tanked stock intercoolers are able to handle or is there still some headroom there? I understand it may not be ideal but do they not flow enough or not offer enough charge cooling?

    What would be the next logical step? Are RS4 intercoolers worth the upgrade or should one just jump up to expensive aftermarket intercoolers?

    SRM, AWE..?

    Looks like the cheapest options may be either of those, but you're looking at an easy $850 price tag.

    What would be the dollar value of RS4 intercoolers, $400? $500? Or would an extra $350 at that point be worth the premium?

    Just curious what others think about this...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    You poor bastard. You've been trying to find a set of decent used intercoolers for so long that now you're questioning if you even need them.

    Here, check this out if you haven't already: http://www.myaudis4.com/intercooler-faceoff/ It's not the end all be all but it's a decent comparison of what's out there. With the exception of the SRM RS4 and IPP coolers I believe you can still buy anything that was used in that test.

    $400 is a good number for oem RS4 coolers.

    FWIW I picked up another set of ER's this past black friday.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Yes, I am now wondering if I would completely bottleneck myself or just blow the tanks off them. I've known all along I need something more.

    I have used the list at myaudis4 to compare and try to justify which route I need to go.

    Looks to me the RS4 intercoolers flow about double the air while cooling the charge air just slightly less than stock intercoolers would. Most importantly they won't burst from added boost like the stock units may.

    I am currently trying to pick a set up and I will likely do so if I can get them for around $400 shipped.

    Just have a hard time justifying with myself paying almost as much for a set of intercoolers as I paid for a set of K04's. I guess it is what it is tho...

  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMysticWizard View Post
    Yes, I am now wondering if I would completely bottleneck myself or just blow the tanks off them. I've known all along I need something more.

    I have used the list at myaudis4 to compare and try to justify which route I need to go.

    Looks to me the RS4 intercoolers flow about double the air while cooling the charge air just slightly less than stock intercoolers would. Most importantly they won't burst from added boost like the stock units may.

    I am currently trying to pick a set up and I will likely do so if I can get them for around $400 shipped.

    Just have a hard time justifying with myself paying almost as much for a set of intercoolers as I paid for a set of K04's. I guess it is what it is tho...

    What ko4s did you buy for 400? Unless you bought some blown ones and rebuilt them. That is a extremely low price. I’d be skeptical


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  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandon91891 View Post
    What ko4s did you buy for 400? Unless you bought some blown ones and rebuilt them. That is a extremely low price. I’d be skeptical


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    No no, I was saying it's hard to justify paying 1,200 for Intercoolers when the k04's I got cost me 1,450.

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  6. #6
    Registered Member Four Rings
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    For K04's the bare minimum is RS4 units. ER's, SRM's, etc will make a material difference in how your car performs. The stock S4 IC's are a bottleneck in a Stage 2 K03 car; you can imagine what they'll be like with K04's. The IC's are not a place to cheap out. The Chinese IC's you see for 300 bucks actually flow worse and cool less than the stock S4 units. You're not going to get the performance potential without spending 4-500 bucks for a set of used ones or a grand for new ones.

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Welp, the RS4 Intercoolers I had my eye (and bid) on went for well over $550 USD (plus he was asking $35 to ship them to the US)

    Seeing the thread above this one about leaky SRM Intercoolers makes me a little nervous to throw my money at them, tho they seem like a good option otherwise.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Four Rings LINDW4LL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMysticWizard View Post
    Welp, the RS4 Intercoolers I had my eye (and bid) on went for well over $550 USD (plus he was asking $35 to ship them to the US)

    Seeing the thread above this one about leaky SRM Intercoolers makes me a little nervous to throw my money at them, tho they seem like a good option otherwise.
    That's definitely high. Seems like the OEM RS4 tend to go for around $400 here. You can grab AWE's for just a bit more (if the timing is right- they don't get posted all that often).

    The SRMs are definitely the best new value. I would've grabbed a set but found a deal on a set of AWEs- admittedly not as good of performers as the SRMs or the ER units, but a huge improvement over stock.
    Last edited by LINDW4LL; 01-11-2018 at 07:05 PM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Two Rings wpfahl's Avatar
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    I bought some RS4’s for $200 last year. They are around if you look.


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  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Rs4s are utterly worthless. Plus you have to hack the fender. Srm or a set of awe or ER if you can find em.


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Saw these, though for the price I'm pretty hesitant considering I haven't been able to find much info on them.

    eBay TA Technix

    They look pretty good in the photos, but I'd be scared of the actual quality.

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Dont do it. Stick with the big three that are known to work well. All too often those ebay units turn out to be worse than stock.

  13. #13
    Veteran Member Four Rings FlyboyS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMysticWizard View Post
    Seeing the thread above this one about leaky SRM Intercoolers makes me a little nervous to throw my money at them, tho they seem like a good option otherwise.
    From this poll result about 1 in 5 respondents is using SRM. If a leaking IC were a widespread problem I think you'd hear about it from a number of people.

    In that thread the OP also indicated there was damage to the packaging, so the leak could have been caused during transit and not during manufacturing.

    On the other hand, how quickly you receive them could be an area for concern depending on when you need them.
    Stock -> APR Stg1/2 -> GIAC Stg2 -> K04 -> 605 -> F4H -> K03 -> K04 -> F21MF -> TTE550 -> K04 -> TC Stg1 -> BW RS6 & TiAL 605 & FT F21v3 (On deck)
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  14. #14
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nollywood's Avatar
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    I would be looking at a pair of Wagner’s.

    Or get used C5 RS6 units, and make them fit.
    His:
    B7 420-R Avant - RS6 4.2 BiTurbo, (BCY). B7/8.5 Hybrid "RS4" OEM Widebody Coming Soon.

    Waiting To Purchase 2012 B7 Seat Exeo ST Sport Tech.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Four Rings CJ_'s Avatar
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    For $650 for the eBay set, I’d just wait til a set of AWEs go on sale. I was in the same boat looking for a set of rs4s to keep down cost, but I gave up when almost all sets I found had leaks at some point or were repaired with jb weld.

    Went with the AWEs with shrouds for $650 on sale from USP Motorsport and couldn’t be happier.

    2001.5 Silver S4 Avant - 6spd swap + BW K04s (Current)
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Two Rings wpfahl's Avatar
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    I never installed the RS4 units. I resold them and have SRM V2’s.


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  17. #17
    Established Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nollywood View Post
    I would be looking at a pair of Wagner’s.

    Or get used C5 RS6 units, and make them fit.
    I picked up some Wagners recently .. curious to see how they perform on my K04 car.
    2001.5 S4 6MT - F21s w/ some things - Build thread HERE
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    There are a couple guys on here that part out RS4's. Nurlan(Mr.agayeff), and I think Jens(lowestA4) does as well. I'm pretty sure there's at least one more but I can't remember. You could check with them to see if either has or can get a set of RS4 coolers for the price point you're after. If $400 is where your budget is then OEM RS4 is pretty much your only option for something decent. XS Power and the other no name ebay junk is exactly that, junk, worse than stock.

    From what I've seen used SRM coolers usually go for around $600-$650 so if you up the budget you could get those, but the issue there as you already know is time. Who knows when a set will come up for sale and when they do pop up they're gone immediately usually.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Sorry to double post, but you could also check with 11o7 if you want to go the oem rs6 cooler route. He's always selling rs6 stuff so he may have or have access to a set.

  20. #20
    Established Member Two Rings gahigalaba's Avatar
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    FWIW, my car made 435awhp on oem RS4 intercoolers on K04s. 92 octane and 50/50 methanol. Water meth is key for cooling though.
    Last edited by gahigalaba; 01-12-2018 at 10:29 PM.
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  21. #21
    Veteran Member Four Rings Zba's Avatar
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    On our cars the intercoolers are almost as important to the turbos. Don't be a sheister and pony up for ER, AWE, Apikol, SRM or RS4. Forget anything listed in eBay; they are all garbage.

  22. #22
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schtug View Post
    You poor bastard. You've been trying to find a set of decent used intercoolers for so long that now you're questioning if you even need them.

    Here, check this out if you haven't already: http://www.myaudis4.com/intercooler-faceoff/ It's not the end all be all but it's a decent comparison of what's out there. With the exception of the SRM RS4 and IPP coolers I believe you can still buy anything that was used in that test.

    $400 is a good number for oem RS4 coolers.

    FWIW I picked up another set of ER's this past black friday.
    I'm not sure I can get past the first response... it's too perfect.

  23. #23
    Registered Member Four Rings Peter1.8t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gahigalaba View Post
    FWIW, my car made 435awhp on oem RS4 intercoolers on K04s. 92 octane and 50/50 methanol. Water meth is key for cooling though.
    And 2.8 cams. It struggled that day and took a lot of work to get there.

    To the OP, there’s a trade off. You can great flowing or great at cooling. W/M helps out considerably if you go the great flowing route.

  24. #24
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Guys its well established that the rs4 intercoolers are almost as bad as stock


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine

  25. #25
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4James View Post
    Guys its well established that the rs4 intercoolers are almost as bad as stock


    Sent from my iPhone using Audizine
    What evidence is there of this?

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  26. #26
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    http://www.myaudis4.com/intercooler-faceoff/

    They flow "better" but have worse cooling than stock.

    Flow is not everything. I run close to 700hp through a set of ER intercoolers without issue.


    This forum has accumulated lots of logs and testing and comparisons over the years. They are simply an inferior choice. Take it from someone who ran RS4 intercoolers and who now runs ER's.. I know what I am talking about. The flow data from that link is debatable on how much it impacts power, but the IAT numbers are absolutely linked to performance. Meth can help but its not a full solution.

  27. #27
    Veteran Member Four Rings FlyboyS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMysticWizard View Post
    What evidence is there of this?
    I would choose RS4 over S4 IC's, the RS4 outperforms the S4 in every assessment I've made. This is a more detailed look at how they compare.
    Stock -> APR Stg1/2 -> GIAC Stg2 -> K04 -> 605 -> F4H -> K03 -> K04 -> F21MF -> TTE550 -> K04 -> TC Stg1 -> BW RS6 & TiAL 605 & FT F21v3 (On deck)
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  28. #28
    Established Member Two Rings TheMysticWizard's Avatar
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    Well looks like I am going to go the rs4 route. Grabbed a set on ebay for $410.
    Last edited by TheMysticWizard; 01-13-2018 at 12:04 PM.

  29. #29
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyboyS4 View Post
    I would choose RS4 over S4 IC's, the RS4 outperforms the S4 in every assessment I've made. This is a more detailed look at how they compare.
    Sure but they are both terrible. It makes no sense to go through the trouble, not to mention hacking out a section of fender...

  30. #30
    Veteran Member Four Rings V1nny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nollywood View Post
    I would be looking at a pair of Wagner’s.

    Or get used C5 RS6 units, and make them fit.
    Please do not go RS6 intecoolers route. Trust me, I had them on Allroad for a year. There are too many reasons to list for not doing it, but mostly because it takes enormous amount of work to fit them, including AC condenser relocation, and second, they WILL fail. If I had RS6, that's would probably the first part to upgrade, as both performance and reliability sucks on these, they very susceptible to damage and develop small leaks soon.
    I went from RS6 to Chinese intercoolers from ebay, and finally to SRM. I am an idiot for trying RS6, then chinese crap, then finally SRM. Do not do what I did, go straight to SRM. Only bad thing about SRM is their customer service and long wait, product itself is superior.

  31. #31
    Established Member Two Rings
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    A friend of mine installed these and they perform great, although, on a RS4 : http://www.ebay.de/itm/Ladeluftkuhle...4AAOSwn25aJjrw

  32. #32
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nollywood's Avatar
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    Point taken, V1nny.

    Looks like I’ll be getting a pair of Wagners then.
    His:
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    Waiting To Purchase 2012 B7 Seat Exeo ST Sport Tech.

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  33. #33
    Veteran Member Three Rings ruiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armageddon- View Post
    A friend of mine installed these and they perform great, although, on a RS4 : http://www.ebay.de/itm/Ladeluftkuhle...4AAOSwn25aJjrw
    Those look like some solid intercoolers. Too bad they don't ship to the US.

  34. #34
    Veteran Member Four Rings FlyboyS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4James View Post
    Sure but they are both terrible. It makes no sense to go through the trouble, not to mention hacking out a section of fender...
    The improvement a decent aftermarket IC gives over S4 or RS4 is much less than what both deliver over not using an IC. No IC would be terrible.
    Stock -> APR Stg1/2 -> GIAC Stg2 -> K04 -> 605 -> F4H -> K03 -> K04 -> F21MF -> TTE550 -> K04 -> TC Stg1 -> BW RS6 & TiAL 605 & FT F21v3 (On deck)
    MyAudiS4.com

  35. #35
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    the improvement an RS4 gave over my stock intercoolers was next to none... The improvment my ER ones gave was massive. I dont have my old logs, anymore but I saw a significant drop in temperature rise over the RS4 units.

    My point is that its my opinion, factoring in time installation, unreversable weakening of the fenders, that the RS4 intercoolers have a very poor value for the dollar

  36. #36
    Veteran Member Three Rings ruiz's Avatar
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    You could get the AWE for close to the same price as a set of used RS4 IC's if you sold the shrouds...which is what I might but prob won't do. CF

  37. #37
    Registered Member Three Rings spinall4's Avatar
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    What I don't get is a decent radiator is $200-300 and our intercoolers are over $1000.

  38. #38
    Veteran Member Four Rings jaychen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinall4 View Post
    What I don't get is a decent radiator is $200-300 and our intercoolers are over $1000.
    PWR radiator is around $1200...
    2000 Achat S4

  39. #39
    Veteran Member Four Rings FlyboyS4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4James View Post
    the improvement an RS4 gave over my stock intercoolers was next to none... The improvment my ER ones gave was massive. I dont have my old logs, anymore but I saw a significant drop in temperature rise over the RS4 units.

    My point is that its my opinion, factoring in time installation, unreversable weakening of the fenders, that the RS4 intercoolers have a very poor value for the dollar
    My point is when the turbocharger is delivering air that is in excess of 200F and the stock IC drops that to 90F, the additional 10-15F that an aftermarket IC cools does not warrant describing the stock part as terrible.

    Pressure drop comes into play as well. The AMD IC's that I used did not cool close to as well as ER's on a third gear pull but the car was faster with them, they outflow the ER substantially, as do the RS4 cores.

    As more considerations are introduced, recovery time, steady state temperature, pressure drop, the determination of which is better becomes harder to make because there are tradeoffs involved.
    Stock -> APR Stg1/2 -> GIAC Stg2 -> K04 -> 605 -> F4H -> K03 -> K04 -> F21MF -> TTE550 -> K04 -> TC Stg1 -> BW RS6 & TiAL 605 & FT F21v3 (On deck)
    MyAudiS4.com

  40. #40
    Veteran Member Four Rings
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    My FATS times were unaffected by "upgrading" to RS4 intercoolers. My quarter mile times and ET were not measurably affected either. My highway pulls VS a couple of consistent corvette friends were also pretty much the same.

    I gained around 50whp just upgrading to the ER's

    Those are the factors that matter to me. However the more esoteric factors of flow, pressure drop etc came into play, that was the end result.

    The multiple factors of flow etc are essentially academic at this point. Cars don't tend to make significantly more power on those intercoolers and that has played out the same way over and over right here in this forum over the last 15 years. Perhaps 15 years ago, when there was little to no alternatives, the welded endtanks and slight increase in flow that these intercoolers offered was enough to justify the upgrade.


    As fun as it is to do math, at the end of the night the only math im interested in doing is counting how many doors ive collected. ;)

    Im not saying my ER intercoolers are the BEST. Im just saying the RS4 ones are not enough of an upgrade over stock to justify them. And Im not even sure they are an upgrade at all in terms of power.
    Last edited by S4James; 01-14-2018 at 08:14 AM.

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