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  1. #1
    RGUN's Avatar
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    What's the easiest way to leak test an intercooler?

    There is lots of talk of leaking intercoolers and last year I pulled the hose from the intercooler to the throttle body to check mine. Off idle it would spray a stream of water and quickly turn to a fog, I attributed it to condensation but now I'm suspect. Is there any convenient way to test in hull?

    For testing on my car I simply clamped the hose onto a PVC pipe cap with a compressor fitting affixed. Is this possible with the RXP? Any better way to do it in hull or does it have to come out?

    thanks!


  2. #2

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    When i pressure tested my intercooler i put compressed air to the water inlet side and stood the intercooler upright and filled the air part of the intercooler with water, that way you would see any air bubbles come to the top if it was leaking, it worked very well for me

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  4. #3
    RGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rxtxruss View Post
    When i pressure tested my intercooler i put compressed air to the water inlet side and stood the intercooler upright and filled the air part of the intercooler with water, that way you would see any air bubbles come to the top if it was leaking, it worked very well for me
    Yeah if it has to come out there are lots of ways to do it. I was hoping for a quick check that I can do in less than an hour. I've never pulled the intercooler so I'm not sure how difficult that is.

  5. #4
    Tool Bag water worx's Avatar
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    Removing & testing the intercooler is easy compared to the alternative....removing & replacing the motor.

  6. #5
    Sure, it is real easy to test in-hull. Unhook both inlet and outlet water hoses, plug one hose. Buy a small gauge and ball valve and attach to the inlet hose, the one not plugged. Apply compressed air until the gauge reads 60 psi, shut ball valve. The intercooler should hold 60 PSI indefinitely, if the pressure starts dropping, first spray water/soap on all your connections you made to ensure you don't have a leak there. If no leaks in your connections and your pressure on gauge drops, you have a leaky intercooler.

  7. #6
    RGUN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CANDooPro View Post
    Sure, it is real easy to test in-hull. Unhook both inlet and outlet water hoses, plug one hose. Buy a small gauge and ball valve and attach to the inlet hose, the one not plugged. Apply compressed air until the gauge reads 60 psi, shut ball valve. The intercooler should hold 60 PSI indefinitely, if the pressure starts dropping, first spray water/soap on all your connections you made to ensure you don't have a leak there. If no leaks in your connections and your pressure on gauge drops, you have a leaky intercooler.
    disconnect at intercooler or other end? Do you know what size hose is required to secure onto the hose barbs? Is access as horrible as it looks? (Going by memory here, mine is in storage until mid May)

  8. #7
    Water4fire's Avatar
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    This is how I do mine. I only had 30p.s.i off of the city water. NOW at my new house I am on well water and my pump is at 40.
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  9. #8
    JFizzleJR's Avatar
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    The easiest test with the intercooler installed is to run with the air hose undone at the throttle body, pointed somewhere you can see it, and run full throttle with the seat off. If it's leaking you will know.

  10. #9
    RGUN's Avatar
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    I did that, from idle there was a stream of water, not significant, but a small stream. It turned to a fog as the rom increased (on hose). Based purely on that I'd say it wasn't leaking, but every time off idle it would dump a decent amount of water. I definitely noticed a throttle response difference last year and I'm thinking either this is normal, or the early evidence of failure.

  11. #10

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    Testing the water side is only one way. Another easy way is to pull the IC or leave inside the hull and block off one side of intercooler and pressurize the other side. You can use a 2.5" pvc cap on both sides - one as a plug and the other with a tire shrader valve or get creative. I used this type of pressurizing all my car in the past so it works the same in this application. See my video of the leaking Riva IC and towards the end of the video you can see how I did it with the fittings. Note that I applied about 10lbs of air and could easily hear it was leaking but I dunked it in water to make it more visible.
    Video:
    http://www.greenhulk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=230554

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