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Discussion Starter #1
Decided to do a calculation (below) to get to the truth of Ford’s claim about the blanking plate on
the intercooler being needed to prevent condensation in high humidity situations.

I based it on the city of Townsville Australia, which on this particular day had 100% relative humidity (air fully saturated with water).
Found out in this instance that the turbocharger needed to heat the inlet air by at least 7.5ºC (13.5 ºF)
to prevent condensation in the intercooler. Doesn’t seem like much.

If someone can provide a rough estimate of the air exit temperature from the turbocharger we can put this question to rest.

Mountune lists the OEM boost pipes as having a safe limit of 180ºC (356 ºF),
so obviously the compressed air coming out of the turbocharger will have a temperature less than that.

Any additional information/thoughts you have would be appreciated.

Thankyou

Inlet Air:
18ºC, 100% relative humidity, atmospheric pressure = 101.9kPa [1]
Saturation vapor pressure @ 18ºC (64.4ºF) = 2.065 kPa [2]
Boost air:
Inlet air is compressed by turbocharger to 23.1psi (159kPa) [3]
Following on from Dalton’s law, partial pressure of water vapor at boost pressure is:
(159/101.9) x 2.065 kPa = 3.22kPa
Dew point @ boost pressure = 25.5ºC (77.9 ºF) [2]
So in this situation, if your intercooler dropped the air compressed by the turbo below 25.5ºC, you’d get condensation.

[1] Weather in June 2018 in Townsville, Queensland, Australia
Townsville Queensland – 6:19am, 9th June 2018
[2] Water - Saturation Pressure
[3] Under the skin of the new Ford Focus RS
[4] Boost Hose Upgrade Kit - RS
 

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Interesting thread. The below is information from my aftermarket IC when compared to the Stock one.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Nice work but I fear a waste of your time. The issue Ford had with intercooler water vapour from my memory of the issue was more about the vapour created by the intercooler being trapped for a period of time then released in a quantity large enough to have and effect on the engine performance when the throttle was opened rapidly. As an example when driving in high humidity condition at the critical temperature you would open the throttle to make an overtaking manoeuvre and the engine would ingest a quantity of accumulated moisture trapped in the intercooler and cause a sudden loss of power for a short period of time. It wasn't to do with the intercooler making water so much as how the system dealt with it.
Thats why you dont have the issue with aftermarket coolers by and large, because they dont trap the moisture and allow it to accumulate.
Fords cover plate was just a band aid fix to overcome the issue for vehicles already out there and remove the immediate need to redesign and retool production intercoolers.
Of course the other fix that people have done is to drill a small weep hole in the intercooler outlet (say >1mm) to allow a constant bleed off of any trapped moisture. A hole that small wont really have any significant performance affect but it will need regular checking to make sure its clear.

Ciao
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Interesting thread. The below is information from my aftermarket IC when compared to the Stock one.

Can someone please help me understand something?
Would the graph above have been created by keeping the car at a constant speed (eg 60mph) for 30 seconds on a rolling road?
Or would the car initially be at a standstill, and then the car revved out to redline in each gear?
Or a different method used?

Thankyou for reading


(The above website also shows the graph in question)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For those who want to know, the dew point is the temperature at which an air mixture begins to form water droplets. In the intercooler, you want to be above the air’s dew point to prevent water droplets forming.

One of the things that increases dew point is an increase in pressure, like that provided by a turbocharger for example. So the higher the boost pressure, the higher the dew point of the air going to the intercooler.

What does all this mean?

For those living in high humidity locations or those who drive through fog and are a little concerned about condensate forming in the intercooler - Wait for the turbo to come up to temperature before you decide to get car the car to max boost.

Bonus Info: Did you know you don’t develop maximum boost in the RS in 1st and 2nd gears with the OEM tune?

The turbocharger is equipped with a boost control system. The Powertrain control module detects 1st or 2nd gear using the engine speed and vehicle speed signals. This information is then used to adjust the wastegate actuator allowing it to open at a lower boost pressure. This prevents the turbocharger developing maximum boost in 1st and 2nd gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Comment: Nice work but I fear a waste of your time.
Answer. Thankyou. Took me about 15 minutes to calculate - not that hard really.

Comment: The issue Ford had with intercooler water vapour from my memory of the issue was more about the vapour created by the intercooler being trapped for a period of time then released in a quantity large enough to have and effect on the engine performance when the throttle was opened rapidly.

Answer: No. The issue Tyrone Johnson (Chief RS engineer) specifically talks about is "high humidity with some other parameters". Those other parameters will be high boost pressure and a turbo that hasn't come up to temperature.

Comment: As an example when driving in high humidity condition at the critical temperature you would open the throttle to make an overtaking manoeuvre and the engine would ingest a quantity of accumulated moisture trapped in the intercooler and cause a sudden loss of power for a short period of time.

Answer: The more likely scenario to get condensation in the intercooler is if you live in a high humidity location (including a foggy location) and you get the car up to max boost without allowing the turbo to heat up. Eg: You get up in the morning, it's cold and foggy, and immediately take the car up to max boost in 3rd gear without adequate warm up. That scenario will give you the highest air dew point and therefore the greatest chance of condensation.

Comment: It wasn't to do with the intercooler making water so much as how the system dealt with it.

Answer: No. It was to do with water condensing in the intercooler. That's why they put a blanking plate on it. They are trying to keep the temperature of the air going into the intercooler above it's dew point by reducing surface area.

Comment: Thats why you dont have the issue with aftermarket coolers by and large, because they dont trap the moisture and allow it to accumulate.
Answer: No. Aftermarket intercoolers have a higher surface area and therefore greater heat transfer. Technically speaking, you have a greater chance of condensation in an aftermarket intercooler because you can bring the air temperature down closer to its dew point than the OEM intercooler. But most places around the world aren't subject to 100% relative humidity the entire day, and most RS owners are smart enough to stay off max boost until their car warms up.

Hope this helps
Max
 

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Comment: Nice work but I fear a waste of your time.
Answer. Thankyou. Took me about 15 minutes to calculate - not that hard really.

Comment: The issue Ford had with intercooler water vapour from my memory of the issue was more about the vapour created by the intercooler being trapped for a period of time then released in a quantity large enough to have and effect on the engine performance when the throttle was opened rapidly.

Answer: No. The issue Tyrone Johnson (Chief RS engineer) specifically talks about is "high humidity with some other parameters". Those other parameters will be high boost pressure and a turbo that hasn't come up to temperature.

Comment: As an example when driving in high humidity condition at the critical temperature you would open the throttle to make an overtaking manoeuvre and the engine would ingest a quantity of accumulated moisture trapped in the intercooler and cause a sudden loss of power for a short period of time.

Answer: The more likely scenario to get condensation in the intercooler is if you live in a high humidity location (including a foggy location) and you get the car up to max boost without allowing the turbo to heat up. Eg: You get up in the morning, it's cold and foggy, and immediately take the car up to max boost in 3rd gear without adequate warm up. That scenario will give you the highest air dew point and therefore the greatest chance of condensation.

Comment: It wasn't to do with the intercooler making water so much as how the system dealt with it.

Answer: No. It was to do with water condensing in the intercooler. That's why they put a blanking plate on it. They are trying to keep the temperature of the air going into the intercooler above it's dew point by reducing surface area.

Comment: Thats why you dont have the issue with aftermarket coolers by and large, because they dont trap the moisture and allow it to accumulate.
Answer: No. Aftermarket intercoolers have a higher surface area and therefore greater heat transfer. Technically speaking, you have a greater chance of condensation in an aftermarket intercooler because you can bring the air temperature down closer to its dew point than the OEM intercooler. But most places around the world aren't subject to 100% relative humidity the entire day, and most RS owners are smart enough to stay off max boost until their car warms up.

Hope this helps
Max
Umm, didn't you just prove my point?Aftermarket intercoolers will have a greater propensity to produce condensation due to their greater ability to reduce the charge temp BUT nobody has any engine operating issues whatsoever with them in day to day operation? So the oem with its lesser ability to produce condensation in the same conditions has a problem with bulk water ingestion under certain conditions where the aftermarket cooler that produces more condensation doesn't. My point proven I think.
BTW my overtaking example was exactly the issue and scenario that affected other Ford models and started the whole blanking plate story not something I thought up from thin air excuse the pun.Power loss in a critical driving phase was a significant concern for Ford and they needed to address the situation.
By all means knock yourself out with calculations and scenarios, its entertaining for sure bit I'll just go by practical user experience.

Ciao
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Comment: Aftermarket intercoolers will have a greater propensity to produce condensation due to their greater ability to reduce the charge temp BUT nobody has any engine operating issues whatsoever with them in day to day operation?
Answer:
I understand what you are saying. You are saying that you personally haven't heard of anybody having had issues with condensation in an aftermarket intercooler. Just because you haven't heard of anyone having any issues, doesn't mean it can't or hasn't occurred. That's why Tyrone Johnson said they put the blanking plate on - because there was this one scenario with high humidity that could produce condensate in the intercooler they wanted to protect against.

Comment:
BTW my overtaking example was exactly the issue and scenario that affected other Ford models and started the whole blanking plate story not something I thought up from thin air excuse the pun.Power loss in a critical driving phase was a significant concern for Ford and they needed to address the situation.

Answer:
Can you please provide a reference for your comment about condensation in intercoolers being a problem in other Ford models? Obviously though, other Ford models are not the Focus RS. I would be interested in anything regarding the ecoboost mustang if you have it available.

Also, I do actually need some help with that question I posted earlier in my thread regarding the graph that was provided by the member badteddy. If you are able to answer that, that would be very helpful.

Thankyou
 

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[horseshit theory]
I personally think Ford had extra rubber sheet material left over from the transit van days. Instead of throwing it away, a bean counter (accountant) and an engineer got together and fabricated a story for the media. By installing the blanking plates it resulted in additional profit for each RS sold. Say $10-20 for each unit. Every little bit adds up.
[/horseshit theory]
 

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Comment: Aftermarket intercoolers will have a greater propensity to produce condensation due to their greater ability to reduce the charge temp BUT nobody has any engine operating issues whatsoever with them in day to day operation?
Answer:
I understand what you are saying. You are saying that you personally haven't heard of anybody having had issues with condensation in an aftermarket intercooler. Just because you haven't heard of anyone having any issues, doesn't mean it can't or hasn't occurred. That's why Tyrone Johnson said they put the blanking plate on - because there was this one scenario with high humidity that could produce condensate in the intercooler they wanted to protect against.

Comment:
BTW my overtaking example was exactly the issue and scenario that affected other Ford models and started the whole blanking plate story not something I thought up from thin air excuse the pun.Power loss in a critical driving phase was a significant concern for Ford and they needed to address the situation.

Answer:
Can you please provide a reference for your comment about condensation in intercoolers being a problem in other Ford models? Obviously though, other Ford models are not the Focus RS. I would be interested in anything regarding the ecoboost mustang if you have it available.

Also, I do actually need some help with that question I posted earlier in my thread regarding the graph that was provided by the member badteddy. If you are able to answer that, that would be very helpful.

Thankyou
Before this thread gets too out of hand, the early (2011-2013?) Ecoboost F-150s with the smaller V6 had numerous instances with water ingestion in low temp / high humidity / low demand for long periods of time. Like at least 45 minutes, and probably not Australia in the summer. Some RS owners on here pulled off the blanking plate and had power loss issues when overtaking (you might have to do some digging for examples). Ford was likely being overly conservative in applying the fix for our cars. For the F-150 issue see:

There is a thread on here where someone did some back-to-back dyno runs with and without the blanking plate. IIRC there was a 1-2 degrees C difference between the two. Check the blockoff plate thread. Either way, the intake temps got over 100 degrees F so the car pulled power. I can't remember if they threw an aftermarket intercooler on the car then did some more runs, but this car really benefits from a new IC (even on my M380 tune, go figure) if putting out any more power than stock and not using meth.

Back to your original question about how to get temps, the best you can do without cutting for intercooler inlet temps are using PID 2203ca and using the standard intake temp PID for IC exit temps. That should get you pretty close. If you want to go nuts then install some bungs and run some thermocouples.

Do share what you come up with if you discover anything new. This has been debated at length on here more than once, with some good explanations/simplifications on the physics involved (using a beer can IIRC).
 

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Lucky phil is correct in what he said.

The blocking plate keeps the cooling air from reaching that section of the intercooler, keeping the walls warm enough to not condense and pool water when the charge temperatures are close to ambient and the dew point spread is small.

High humidity, low boost, highway speeds. Those are the parameters.
 

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Heres you reference to other vehicles having intercooler issues.
Thanks for sharing this,it's nice to revisit things sometimes with the hindsight of a few years of real world data. As usual there isn't much genuine useful information here which is what happens when you talk to a guy at his level. He's in PR mode. So the cooling capacity of this vehicle is "massive" well it probably is for a grocery getter but anyone that's done a track day even in moderate weather will tell you they are short of cooling capacity everywhere, coolant,engine oil,driveline. No performance benefit from removing the plate, well that's also not valid as people here have proved. There is a measureable gain, not massive but worthwhile. I mean I watch these interviews and from a technical perspective they are 95% pointless, its all just PR stuff which is understandable I guess but its just fodder for the uninformed and those without any technical understanding.

Ciao
 

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It's been confirmed that the blanking plate doesn't do anything to help / hurt performance, and is only there for very specific circumstances.

 
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