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#4626252 - 01/06/18 06:47 PM Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler?
tc1446 Offline


Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 951
Loc: Lexington, NC
I want to spray paint the shiny aluminum turbo intercooler (if that is what it's called?) on the Vanderhall with high temp black as it really stands out as seen through the egg crate type grill. Its mounted below and in front of, the radiator. The radiator sits back just a bit and is not quite so noticeable.

Is there any functional reason not to paint this cooler?
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#4626268 - 01/06/18 06:55 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
bullwinkle Offline


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 7671
Loc: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted By: tc1446
I want to spray paint the shiny aluminum turbo intercooler (if that is what it's called?) on the Vanderhall with high temp black as it really stands out as seen through the egg crate type grill. Its mounted below and in front of, the radiator. The radiator sits back just a bit and is not quite so noticeable.

Is there any functional reason not to paint this cooler?
Wouldn't the paint hinder heat transfer and air flow through the fins? I've seen factory black intercoolers, but the vast majority seem to be bare aluminum.
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#4626300 - 01/06/18 07:18 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
Nick1994 Online   content


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10117
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yeah sounds to me like paint would fill up the fins and then no air flow would go through.
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#4626306 - 01/06/18 07:22 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
ctrcbob Offline


Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 614
Loc: Mount Dora FL, Penfield NY, R...
Black will transfer the heat faster. Do it.
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#4626318 - 01/06/18 07:31 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
joegreen Offline


Registered: 03/10/13
Posts: 760
Loc: NY
link to engineering explained video on intercoolers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_mmmXTbLP0


Edited by joegreen (01/06/18 07:32 PM)
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#4626422 - 01/06/18 09:20 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
Very interesting machine...

Is that the port-injected 1.4T found in the Sonic, Trax, and first gen Cruze? If so, does it also use the intercooler used in those cars? Cruze drivers have pretty much determined the stock intercooler is more than adequate for all the power an engine with stock internals can stand, so if it is indeed the car's parts in this machine I doubt a little paint is going to hurt anything.
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#4626482 - 01/06/18 10:49 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1541
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
Have it anodized.
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#4626495 - 01/06/18 11:03 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: ctrcbob]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39875
Loc: 'Stralia
Originally Posted By: ctrcbob
Black will transfer the heat faster. Do it.


Only by radiation...Intercoolers are convective heat transfer devices, and any additional coating over them will reduce that effectiveness.

Interestingly correction fluid is nearly black body in radiating thermal wavelengths, while being a near perfect reflector of visible light.

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#4626528 - 01/06/18 11:52 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
There are coatings that will improve the thermal efficiency and turn it black, but they are not cheap.
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#4626562 - 01/07/18 02:23 AM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
Char Baby Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 10024
Loc: ROCHESTER, NY
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#4626608 - 01/07/18 06:16 AM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: Alex_V]
tc1446 Offline


Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 951
Loc: Lexington, NC
Originally Posted By: Alex_V
Very interesting machine...

Is that the port-injected 1.4T found in the Sonic, Trax, and first gen Cruze? If so, does it also use the intercooler used in those cars? Cruze drivers have pretty much determined the stock intercooler is more than adequate for all the power an engine with stock internals can stand, so if it is indeed the car's parts in this machine I doubt a little paint is going to hurt anything.


Yes...exactly as you describe, other than I don't know what size intercooler GM used. This one is approx. 28-30 in long, 4 rows of tubes/fins. Would make a small wager tho, that Vanderhall used whatever came with the motor.

After reading all the pros and cons, I'm going to think on it awhile. Perhaps paint only the front flat surfaces with a brush so as not to paint the fins.
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#4626609 - 01/07/18 06:19 AM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: jhellwig]
tc1446 Offline


Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 951
Loc: Lexington, NC
Originally Posted By: jhellwig
Have it anodized.


A good number of the replys based on the video said the same. I will do a little research to see what anodizing facilities are available in my general area.
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'13 Accord EX-L 2.4L (100K) M1 & FU
'00 Ford Ranger 4.0L {65K} M1 & FU
'18 Polaris Slingshot 2.4L GM
'07 Kioti CK-30

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#4626677 - 01/07/18 08:31 AM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1541
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
After looking at pictures of that thing I can see why you want that inter cooler another color than raw aluminum. It looks like a fish with wheels and an open mouth.
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#4626735 - 01/07/18 09:48 AM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32640
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: tc1446
Perhaps paint only the front flat surfaces with a brush so as not to paint the fins.


That'll flake off in 6 months and look awful.

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#4627155 - 01/07/18 04:24 PM Re: Painting GM 1.4T Intercooler? [Re: tc1446]
A_Harman Offline


Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 6921
Loc: Michigan
Painting the intercooler is altogether a bad idea.
Anodizing may not impede heat transfer, but it won't help it either. Taking the car apart, and going to the trouble of getting the intercooler anodized just for the sake of appearance is a complete waste of time.

Leave it alone.
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