Are all intercoolers the same?

It's widely known that intake temps are the enemy of Ford's Ecoboost vehicles, or any turbo/forced induction vehicle really. The hotter the air gets the more susceptible the vehicle is to pre-ignition. There are built in protections to retard spark advance which helps prevent engine damage when running too hot, but ultimately comes with the sacrifice of power.

What does this mean for you and your truck?
Your intercooler could be robbing you of power. Before you get ready to eliminate this issue with an upgraded intercooler, here are some cold hard facts you should know.


We put two intercoolers to the test using the results from data logs to see how they ranked.

First up is the AFE intercooler, a nice piece for sure. Larger than stock, tig-welded end tanks, condensation drain.

Take a look at this log and let’s go over the results. It’s a pretty hot day, the ambient temp is 91 degrees. At the beginning of the wot pull we are seeing temps as high as 131. It’s not a huge deal to see hot temps before you hit it because the hot air isn’t moving. After the hit is the important part. What we want to see is a drop in intake temps as close to ambient as possible. You can see here the intake temp drops by 11 degrees and hits 120 then begins to rise quite rapidly hitting as high as 136.

Next up we have the Wagner Intercooler. It’s no secret this is our preferred brand. We run it on our 12 second 2012 Ecoboost F150 and for good reason. 3d scanned for optimal fit, pressure drop tested, CNC machined end tanks. The list goes on but what do the result show?

Another very hot day, ambient temps sitting at 100! Not the best day for performance but a great day for testing intercoolers. Just before the hit we are at 123 degrees, then during the pull the temps are steadily dropping. Hitting a low of 111 then slowly rising to 114 at the end of the run. To be that close to ambient on such a hot day is quite the accomplishment.

More Info

Wagner Intercooler
AFE Intercooler