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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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