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DIY radiator/intercooler sprayer, ON DA CHEEP

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:44 am
by jalopi
So while moping about my broken ass car yesterday I noticed something interesting that Dave had setup on his car - a radiator sprayer to help it cool down after runs. Using some sort of washer sprayers off of a Sienna or something to spray washer fluid onto the rad. I thought it was a pretty slick idea and considering how I have issues with running cool at events it really stuck in my mind.

Then, on the drive home, I remembered one of the older episodes of Top Gear where they were reviewing the mid 2000's STI (the one with the big ass wang). One of the things that really stuck with me during that review was when Clarkson pointed out the intercooler sprayer that came from the factory for when the intercooler got too hot. That got some gears turning, so I started doing some research when I got home and came up with stuff like this:


However, almost everything was for CO2 or NOX use, didn't really see anything specific for liquid use. Then I stumbled upon this


It's for a "home misting kit" found at home depot. They didn't have the 5-pack nozzle kit in the store when I went there, but they had this full kit ... 5yc1vZbx59

which came with 11 nozzles for $25 (5-pack was $12). Ended up buying in-store, figured I might find a use for the extra nozzles and I'd be able to return it easily if something happened. For reference, here's how big the nozzles actually are


The threaded portion, including o-ring, is about 3/16" long, so I figure 1/4" A/C copper tubing will work just fine for the application. Now, down to the science-y bits...

I decided to spring for the "mister" kits because they do a much better job of atomizing liquids than washer nozzles do. This, in theory, will work very well for wicking heat off the rad or intercooler. Tested the full kit out on my garden hose - the nozzles produce a very fine mist, pretty much the same as those vegetable sprayers you see in grocery stores.

They're also much less thirsty than washer nozzles. I tested my truck's system out - measured the washer bottle to be about 3/4 of a gallon. The washer nozzles ran the bottle dry in about 2 minutes, figured that to be roughly 3/16 gallons per minute per nozzle. Rigged up a tee off of the washer pump for two of the mister nozzles and fired the pump up - evidently the washer pump doesn't put out as much pressure as house water, because the mist wasn't as fine this time around... or at least that's how it seemed anyway. It was dark out and the lighting in my garage isn't the best, so that probably wasn't helping. Anyway, I got tired of holding the jumper wire after 4 minutes and decided to quit when I realized hardly any water was gone out of the bottle (definitely had spray going the whole time). Measured it out to be 12 fluid ounces gone - that only turned out to be 1/85th of a gallon per minute per nozzle! I guess a better comparison would be 11gph for the washer nozzles, .7gph for the mister nozzles. Figure you can cover the entire radiator with mist from these little guys and still run for almost twice as long!

The one thing that is kind of an issue is the washer pump - apparently even the best ones have a duty cycle of only 15%. IMO 10 seconds really isn't long enough to be effective to me. I then found this read:

and they mention how there's this espresso machine water pump that can have a 100% duty cycle as long as you rig a computer fan on top of it. Solves the duty cycle AND pressure issue (as I'm sure if there is a pressure issue it'd only get worse with 11 nozzles), it's called an "Ulka water pump", found for about $50 shipped from Canada. ... 258fde9059

Add an inverter and some sort of bigger tank and I think this is a very real way of reducing temps by 10-15 degrees, provided the humidity isn't too high and the right fluid mix of water/meth is used. Best of all it can be fairly cheap, depending on how far you wanna go with the setup

$25 for the nozzles
$10 for the copper tubing
$50 for the better pump (optional)
$25 for an inverter for the pump (optional)
$XX for a bigger tank, guess it can be whatever (optional)

So yeah, under $50 for the basic/intermittent way, under $150 for the "I wanna have this on during my whole run" way. Will post updates/pics as I make progress.

Re: DIY radiator/intercooler sprayer, ON DA CHEEP

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:05 am
by Yoshi
I need video of this in action. How expensive would the STI one be to get? I'll keep this on my watch list. Not sure if I'll need it on my car yet.

Re: DIY radiator/intercooler sprayer, ON DA CHEEP

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:40 am
by jalopi
No idea, a quick google search only came up with aftermarket stuff and a used washer bottle for the system (which was $100)

Regardless, I think the STI one is really meant for intermittent use too, for an intermittent setup I'd probably go with just the "misting kit" and some tubing.

I'm gonna work on making the tubing this week, might go on the back burner if my laser pulley aligner shows up (I sure did learn not to eyeball pulley alignments :( ) but I'll definitely shoot a vid of the system in action.