Now is a good time to mention why a cooler intake charge is important and why some setups require extremely cold, ice-box-chilled liquid-to-air intercoolers and why some don't necessarily need an intercooler at all. Horsepower is dependent upon airflow. Airflow determines the extent that combustion will occur. Combustion requires a mixture of oxygen and fuel. The more oxygen you can stuff into a cylinder, the more fuel you can burn, which results in more power. That's because oxygen content determines the air's density-increased oxygen equals increased density. But it's not just about volume in terms of airflow. At sea level, the air around us contains roughly 21 percent oxygen-the stuff we care about. Sure, introducing more air into the engine can potentially increase power output, but altering the quality of the air, or its density, can do the same thing. One such example is nitrous oxide, a chemical that, when added to the combustion process, introduces additional oxygen to the mix. But this is only good during wide-open throttle conditions. Intercoolers, on the other hand, cool the intake charge as long as the engine's operating. We won't get into the different types of intercoolers or even the effectiveness of these different types but rather assume they're all there to do the same job-cool things down. As the intake charge is cooled, the oxygen molecules are packed closer together within the same space, meaning there's more there for combustion. The need for intercooling is proportional to factors such as engine compression, boost levels and compressor outlet temperatures. There are few cases, if any, where intercooling won't help, but that doesn't mean some cars can't get by without one.
DEI's developed a way to improve intercooler efficiency by as much as 50 percent by harnessing the power of carbon dioxide, thus dropping intake charge temperatures as much as 35 percent, but without having to bother fitting a larger core and plumbing in place or even having to cope with pressure losses. The Cry02 kit makes for a fairly brainless installation and, depending on whether or not you do a hack-job install, it could take you longer to go get the bottle filled than hooking everything up. The kit includes all of the important things like the 10-pound bottle, a solenoid, switches, hardware, steel-braided lines and the sprayer itself. If you've ever hooked up any sort of single-fogger nitrous kit, then it's likely you'll make quick work of the Cry02 kit. The solenoid, switches and wiring processes are eerily similar. DEI offers sprayers in three sizes, depending on what type of intercooler you're using. The sprayer mounts directly to the core and releases carbon dioxide via a wide-open throttle microswitch or momentary button.
The lesson: side-mount intercoolers aren't necessarily for sissies. Sure, they won't make you look as cool as you would with a front-mount crammed inside your chopped-up bumper, but with a little help and some creative chemistry they can be just as effective.