Manufacturing Methods
Generally, two manufacturing methods are used to create intercoolers-vacuum furnace brazing and controlled atmospheric brazing (CAB). Vacuum furnace brazing starts with a "Lego set" of parts that are stacked and strapped together, then placed in the furnace. The headers, fins, bars and plates are aligned with a thin layer of aluminum cladding positioned in between. This clad material is designed to have a melting point slightly below that of the intercooler components. With the straps providing the proper amount of pressure, the furnace "bake-welds" the parts together in a totally inert environment (less oxidation).

CAB is very similar to vacuum furnace brazing but the component parts are dipped into a cladding solution and then assembled in the furnace. Instead of a vacuum, CAB furnaces are purged with nitrogen. Coolers made with this technique have a chalky look to them, while vacuum furnace brazing leaves more luster.

Popular cars have intercooler kits designed especially for them, but custom applications and special circumstances may mean starting from scratch. Spearco has proprietary modeling software that will crunch the pertinent numbers to meet the cooling needs of custom applications.

Intercoolers do a lot more than look good behind a custom bumper cover. Their atmospheric trickery is the result of technical factors such as area, thickness, fin design and fin density. Controlling the flow compromises and cooling advantages of these factors will determine the ultimate driveability of your turbo system. The payoff is power.

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