Product Spotlight: Mishimoto’s 6.7L Power Stroke Air-to-Water Intercooler
Most diesel owners are familiar with how easy it is to add horsepower to their truck. Trouble is, most power-adders increase the amount of heat and stress the engine and its surrounding components see. Any time you come across a bolt-on upgrade that adds power and improves drivability while simultaneously reducing stress on the engine, it’s a win-win for both the truck and its owner—and that’s exactly what Mishimoto’s performance air-to-water intercooler does for the 6.7L Power Stroke. The company’s direct fit intercooler surpasses the factory unit in every way. It outflows, outperforms and (thanks to being ruggedly designed and rigorously tested) will outlast the factory intercooler.
Available for ’11-present 6.7L Power Stroke engines, the intercooler boasts precision TIG-welded cast-aluminum end tanks, a bar and plate core, flows 22-percent more air than OEM and can add 40 lb-ft of torque to your Super Duty’s bottom line. Mishimoto’s intercooler is offered in conjunction with cold-side intercooler piping and hardware or as a comprehensive kit with both cold-side and hot-side piping upgrades. For a look at the latter option, keep scrolling. Below, we’ll not only divulge what comes in this kit but why it’s included.
Intercooler, Piping, Boots…The Works
Within Mishimoto’s air-to-water performance intercooler kit (which ships in two separate boxes), you’ll find everything you need to upgrade your ’11-present 6.7L Power Stroke’s intercooler, hot and cold-side charge pipes, silicone boots and clamps. The all-inclusive system even comes with two new 13mm bolts and washers for mounting the intercooler. Everything in this extensive system is designed to be a direct replacement for the OEM components and the install only calls for two hours of labor.
CARB-Compliant and Rigorously Tested
Dimensionally, Mishimoto’s air-to-water intercooler is identical to the stock unit and utilizes the factory mounting points and hose connection locations. Structurally, it’s a hoss. It features rigid, cast-aluminum end tanks that’ve been precision TIG-welded and that have seen testing on 1,000rwhp trucks making more than 60-psi of boost with no failures to date. Mishimoto offers three different powder coat finishes, which include the Micro-Wrinkle Black shown, Micro-Wrinkle Silver and Micro-Wrinkle Blue. Last but not least, Mishimoto’s intercooler is 100-percent CARB-compliant and carries EO number D-759-4.
Bar and Plate Core
For added efficiency and utmost durability, Mishimoto went with a bar and plate core rather than the factory tube and fin design. The bar and plate core added noticeable heft to the Mishimoto intercooler, but the benefits literally outweigh the use of a lesser tube-and-fin style construction. As a result of the bar and plate design, Mishimoto’s intercooler flows 22-percent more air volume than the stock unit.
OEM Weak Points
The compact size of the air-to-water intercooler definitely serves its purpose in saving under hood space, and it’s a very efficient form of cooling intake temperature and managing EGT, but a lot is left to be desired with the factory intercooler. Most paramount is the fact that the OEM unit is of a layered, stacked plate design. The 12 stacks are brazed together on their edges. The problem with this is that each layer is a potential failure point. In environments with high boost and high coolant temp, internal leaks can develop in the coolant passages, allowing coolant into the air passages (i.e. burning coolant).
Opening up airflow through the intercooler yielded fairly impressive results when Mishimoto engineers strapped a bone-stock Super Duty test mule to the chassis dyno. With no other modifications performed, the Mishimoto intercooler provided a 40 lb-ft of torque gain at 1,800 rpm, along with a 13hp increase at the same approximate engine speed. Looking at the dyno graph with the Mishimoto intercooler in the mix, it’s apparent that the additional torque was on tap from the time the test began at roughly 1,700 rpm until 2,500 rpm. This is directly linked to the freer flow the Mishimoto unit provides. Better airflow means more available torque at low rpm, which leads to improved drivability.
Reduced Boost Pressure Drop
To illustrate the Mishimoto intercooler’s increased efficiency over stock, a pressure drop test was performed. The process of forcing compressed air through a heat exchanger can lead to boost loss occurring between the turbocharger’s compressor outlet and where the boosted air enters the cylinder heads. By minimizing boost pressure drop, engine performance, responsiveness and overall efficiency is maximized.
Designed with Big Boost in Mind
Knowing that it wouldn’t be uncommon for its intercooler to be installed on modified engines making excessive boost, Mishimoto did everything it could to minimize the risk of blown intercooler boots. Not only did the company design the intercooler’s inlet and outlet with a bead on the end, but the boot contact area on both the inlet and outlet are ribbed for additional points of grip for the high-quality intercooler boots it supplies.
As for the intercooler boots themselves, Mishimoto includes its DuraCore couplers in the performance intercooler kit. These boots are made from five layers of silicone with heat-resistant embedded fibers. Their DuraCore synthetic innermost layer offers superior resistance to heat, pressure, oil and even fuel. During extensive in-house testing, Mishimoto’s DuraCore boots proved capable of withstanding boost pressure in excess of 120 psi.
A mandrel-bent hot-side intercooler pipe is included in the kit, which provides both aesthetic appeal and performance-level functionality. Its bead-rolled ends keep intercooler boots from slipping off under elevated boost and its polished aluminum offers an easy-on-the-eyes, mirror-like finish. During installation, the hot-side pipe works in conjunction with the supplied, CNC-machined hot-side quick-connect coupler, which attaches to the turbo’s compressor outlet and utilizes the factory spring clip.
Also made from mandrel-bent aluminum, a cold-side pipe replaces the factory composite piece. As you can see in the image above, it accommodates the factory air temperature sensor and features a bead at each end (once again, included to keep the intercooler boots from moving). A CNC-machined cold-side quick-connect coupler (also included) attaches to the factory throttle body assembly.
Superb Clamping Force
On modern turbocharged diesel engines, conventional worm gear style clamps are a thing of the past. Due to the amount of boost a late-model diesel truck produces (even in stock form), constant tension, spring-loaded T-bolt clamps are a must-have item—and Mishimoto supplies eight of them in its intercooler kit. When cinching them down, an 11 ft-lb spec is recommended, although the clamps have an operating range of 11 to 14 ft-lbs.
Curious as to how much power you can squeeze out of your 6.7L Power Stroke on a budget? Check out our budget mods piece on the ’11-present Fords right here.