I have a Chargecooler here for sale.
Good for about 600hp.
Inlet/outlet are 3" each. Water fittings included. Core is 5"x10".
Going cheap at £25+p&p, can bring to an event.


Marty for those of us not in the know (myself included) what the hell is a charge cooler!! :slight_smile:

I’m going to take a guess and say that because of the 3" in and out lets. The fact it’s a cooler. I’m going to say it cools the air using water pipes before it goes into the engine.

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I figured that much Steve. But why’s it’s called a charge cooler. What’s the difference between this an an intercooler? ( liquid filled cooler as apposed to air cooler?)

Liquid cooling is much more efficient than simple air cooling.

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Really interesting. As I understood it a charge cooler was air-to-air and an intercooler water-to-air, simply because the cars I work on have all called them charge coolers and all been air-cooled. So I did a bit of checking out and in fact:

  • the reason its called a charge cooler is because it cools and therefore makes more dense, the air charge for the cylinder mix

  • the real term is Charge Air Cooler, and that in fact covers all types, water-to-air and air-to-air

  • all the terminology originally comes from aerospace engineering. Intercooler comes from there, with stepped turbos, an inter-cooler is in-between turbos. Automotive industry has bastardised this term to mean in-between turbo and engine.

  • however, technically if its after the last turbo in the chain, its an after-cooler!

So yes, a charge-cooler cools the air charge before it enters the piston bore. Whether it does so by water or air cooling is immaterial. It seems to be 50/50 how you refer to them, I always understood an intercooler to be a water-air cooler and a charge cooler to be an air-air cooler but different heritages have different nomenclatures; the way I had it is possibly backwards, though still confused on that one - I am still fixated that an intercooler is a water-air cooler.

And finally although technically water-cooling is more efficient than air cooling it does entail a whole bundle more pipes, wires and radiators, so it depends how efficient the system is as a whole. It adds weight too. As a rule of thumb I’d suggest that in a fast, light, little 4-banger roadster, an air-to-air chargecooler is pretty efficient when driven fast. In a big GTO-style beast, which gets hotter faster with bigger blocks which cool slower, less airflow around a cramped engine bay, etc, you might well cram a water-cooled “intercooler” in and be more efficient, especially when the water is already doing several jobs.

To further confuse things I am looking at a “charge cooler” right now that cools the air, air-to-air before it gets to the turbo, not after. So although its not in-between anything, its more like an intercooler really! Be great to hear some clarification on this from somebody who knows these things……


wheres James when you need him.

Awesome just the answer I was looking for! Thank you @Jeemy

So after reading all this above. And the photo @Marty_K provided for his sake. I saw this today in FB. Charge cooler in use

never seen one before.

Wow thats a hefty setup. Is the the (or similar to) Sumiyaka single turbo GTO - or have they managed to cram another one underneath??

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Honestly I don’t know as I found this on an American FB page

@Jeemy just read this old post and wondered if you had got any further with this idea. How are you planning on cooling the air? As pre-turbo air wont have much heat (“heat” being used in the proper way to refer to stored energy) compared to atmospheric air, which whether it is air cooled or liquid cooled, is your source of heat removal. Are you planning on using compressed gas of some sort to “super-cool” the air before entering the turbo? Similar to air conditioning. Could have some interesting results with regards to cooling the turbo. However, I would guess that you wouldn’t be able to remove as much heat as the turbo will put in. Cooling air gets harder and harder the lower the temperature. So it is therefore much easier to remove heat from the hot post turbo air than the cool pre turbo air. Would be interesting to see what you can come up with though.

Sorry, you’ve misunderstood, and I didn’t make it clear. The item I was looking at was not for a GTO, it was for a Lotus. The reason I mentioned it is because it was called a charge cooler, not an intercooler, but its air-to-air not air-to-water. Seems like the nomenclature or shortened nomenclature was reversed there.

So its not something I’m working on particularly and not for the GTO. Its just a little (maybe a quarter of the size of the mitsu side-mounts) cooler for the air to go through before its spun into the turbo and then the main intercooler and onwards to plenum, intake manifold.

It sits on the front side vent similar to the Mitsubishi side-mounts and is cooled by road air. Not my idea at all. And yes the cars have air conditioning so its possible it links to the air conditioning radiator in some way.

I didn’t buy it in the end, I just bought a larger alloy charge cooler to replace the existing.

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Ah I see. So it doesn’t work instead of a main cooler but more to assist it. Feed denser air to the turbo and then it is further cooled post turbo. Makes a bit more sense now.