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Intercoolers painted black, benefits?

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  • Intercoolers painted black, benefits?

    I was just reading on some other 300zx forum about guys painting their intercoolers black with similar black paints as used on radiators and the benefits of doing so. They're really bored and dont have much to do in the way of modifications so painting shit black is the best they could come up with.

    I'm just wondering what everyones take on this is here? Would there be any REAL benefits to be had by doing this?

  • #2
    Benefit: Sleeper look.

    Disadvantages: Less cooling if it's not the right paint.
    1987 300ZX Turbo - ... php?t=3114
    2001 Tiburon Turbo 60-1 270whp/268tq

    No cupholders? Where am I gonna put my beer????


    • #3
      There are no real benefits of painting a intercooler black.
      Actually using regular paint on a intercooler will insulate it, preventing the aluminum of from doing its job as a heat exchanger.

      Coating an intercooler with a thermal dispersant is something to look into.
      2005 whore magnet


      • #4
        SteveZ31 wrote: Coating an intercooler with a thermal dispersant is something to look into.
        good idea Steve. I'm in HVAC and we use things like this on condenser coils in some applications. I'll research it a bit and get back.
        2008 BMW E92 335i 6MT


        • #5
          300zxt wrote: I was just reading on some other 300zx forum about guys painting their intercoolers black with similar black paints as used on radiators and the benefits of doing so.
          I dont mean just regular paint...


          • #6


            • #7

              I am in HVAC also and far as that goes painting has it's good and bad points. As with everything. How much are you going to spend on thermal paint to gain a couple degress of cooling??? But, there is always someone out there willing to give it a try!!! One might just as well reroute there a/c venting to blow on there I/

              And also.... my pathy manifold does not have that discolouring!!!
              88na2T-s13,q45 swap 12.6@110mph
              87T 2+2 auto,stock


              • #8
                yeah, stovepipe paint/thermal dispersant is what you want to go

                just using regular paint on a FMIC will only raise intake temps about 10 degrees or so unless you paint it so thick you block the fins, this was proven somewhere out on the internet a long while ago and I don't feel like trying to find the info right now

                but yes, regular paint insulates shit, so if you really want to do it for any reason, get something thermally conductive


                • #9
                  Regular paint insulates shit. But shit can insulate you when you are cold. go ahead, shmear some on yourself and go outside. You'll know.
                  Try not to be a Yahoo


                  • #10
                    Try Swain Coatings or Swain Tech? (can't remember) website. They have this black stuff called Black Body Emitter (BBE). It has been proven to help dissapate heat faster than an untreated intercooler.

           has a write up about on it in his SR20VET in a NX 2000.

                    1986 300ZX Turbo...sold
                    1990 Skyline money pit
                    2014 Juke Nismo RS 6-speed...daily


                    • #11
                      The group consensus here at my work is that nothing when added to the coils will produce more efficiency (at least in the rhelm we're talking about). About the black paint, our engineer estimated a 20% reduction in efficiency when applied to an HVAC coil, so on an intercooler you'll likely see similar results. Basically, when we add any kind of substance to a coil, it's to achieve higher efficiency over a long period of time...aka keeping the coil from rusting or rotting.

                      All and all, keep your intercooler the way it is. For those that have an old i/c then clean it or replace it.
                      2008 BMW E92 335i 6MT


                      • #12
                        the black anodizing on heatsinks has been proven to aid cooling relative to bare aluminum, and if I remember correctly the various coloured ones didn't help much

                        anodizing does increase surface area from texturing it, and it is a complete metallurgical bond so heat transfer isn't reduced

                        other technology that would work fairly effectively is the sodium sulphate(?) used in "heat-pipes", the sublimation sucks up a lot of heat and can move it to another location with more cooling fins like the fenders or some hood vent (doesn't transfer heat down though so nothing lower than the chargecooler itself)


                        • #13
                          Hows bout try some ceramic paint...Maybe thats what it is,not just normal black spray paint.Ceramic paint looks like black spray paint but has other properties.I dunno what,i sprayed some headers at work with it.
                          Straya, +61


                          • #14
                   ... adjust.jpg

                            My thoughts are that that most 'paint' or coatings will NOT have a very great effect.

                            What is needed is very similar to the link above. This is especially important on the intercooler intake side.

                            Its my opinion that the IC intake entry aluminum (inlet pipe and 'housing')should be as thin as possible. It should have a copper part on the outside and finned aluminum on top of that.

                            The copper acts as a true heat sink in that the conductivity is greater than aluminum IC skin and heat will be conducted into it.

                            The outer aluminum fins radiate the heat off the copper.

                            The benefits of this is much greater recovery from an overheated IC. There may also be a peak advantage as well.
                            Try not to be a Yahoo