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Hey guys, this has been done, and done reliably many times. There is a wide selection of quality builds on NASOIC ranging from daily drivers (like mine) to high power applications.

The advantages are huge. The ability for water to cool off the air more efficiently with less restriction with a good core says it all. Unlike front mount or especially top mount intercoolers, WAIC systems are not susceptible to heat soak because the water provides cooling power for when the car is sitting (at a light for example). There's also less intake piping (my system has a HUGE core which is as big as can fit in the TMIC location)... so you get the performance characteristics of the favorable TMIC with the cooling capacity (better?) of FMIC.

Also, because water is more efficient at transferring heat... the front mount heat exchanger can be relatively small (key word is relatively).

Bottom line is, for me, no matter what I do, the water in the system does not heat up more than ambient temperature. In the upcoming weeks I'll be inserting a thermocouple on the throttle body side to measure charge air temperature. I'll be able to measure cooling ability but at this point tuning the car in and the power figures it makes say it all.

Here's the build article: Turbo Upgrade and Fabrication on the WRX ? Dmitri's Gallery

Here's a photo of my build (I have done more work with the intake since that photo, I built a box to pull cold air and built a new ram intake)



 

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BTW the whole build (although it took a lot of custom fabrication and labor hours, tuning and so on) cost less than either a new TMIC or FMIC and this includes a used VF-39 with a rebuild kit I put in the car.
 

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Hey guys I just finished repowering my 87 leone coupe with an ej207 version 5 just ran a td04 and stock sti injectors I ran a legacy water to air intercooler so I didn’t cut my bonnet or grill and to have that snap power just wanted to say the heat soak is real with these iat of 87 degrees on the dyno takes a couple of minutes to cool it back down so if you are a thrash thrash cruise driver it’s fine but if you want to go hammer up hill for a period of time it’s not I’m looking at expanding my front radiator size to see if it helps I have to say I’m not dissatisfied with the set up though just surprised how quickly it heatsoaks I have plans to run a heat exchanger with an air con gas cooling the water I’ll let you know when that eventuates
 

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FMIC is king..

A2W absolutely will heat soak..
Heavy.
Complex pumps and lines.
Still need a BIG front cooler.. (tiny things won’t cut it)

They are good for under superchargers because of space design..
Good for drag racers so you can pack it with dry ice and only need it to work for 10 seconds..

I don’t see the lag being that much of a problem, but I am used to bigger laggy turbos anyway and not tiny turbos.
I really doubt they increase lag that much, and is unnoticeable with an otherwise laggy turbo anyway..

Dyno is not real world..
A FMIC cools better at road speed than it ever would on a dyno with just a fan in front of it..

A2W looks better in a dyno because it doesn’t really need any cooling for a couple runs, as it’s still cool because it has a lot of heat storage capacity, but then has the same amount of heat storage capacity to cool back down..

IMO
 
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