Tech: Afco Raptor Heat Exchanger

Afco Raptor Heat Exchanger Featured

Cold Blooded

Upgrading the VMP Tuning SuperRaptor with an Afco dual-fan heat exchanger

By Steve Turner

For many a 6.2-liter V-8 engine might be sufficient, but for anyone reading this, it’s probably just a good starting point. As we shared with you in our feature, VMP Tuning bolstered SVT’s off-road wonder, the F-150 Raptor with one of its TVS supercharger systems. Yet, as we know, one good mod usually begets another.

You’ll want to get down to business by removing the intercooler hoses and draining the coolant from the heat exchanger included in your supercharger kit. Be sure to drain it into a container so you can replenish the system when the install is complete.
You’ll want to get down to business by removing the intercooler hoses and draining the coolant from the heat exchanger included in your supercharger kit. Be sure to drain it into a container so you can replenish the system when the install is complete.

When it comes to supercharged engines, heat soak is the enemy. In a Raptor’s preferred environs, the truck will spend a lot of time running full-tilt at wide-open throttle. This is when the boost temps will start to rise and power will level off. That’s not what you want when it’s time to climb that next big hill.

Yes all the positive-displacement Raptor supercharger systems include air-to-water intercooler systems. These systems pump coolant from the lower intake-mounted intercooler core to a heat exchanger mounted in front of the stock radiator. This system transfers the much of the heat generated by the boosted air to the coolant, which is cooled by the air flowing over the heat exchanger.

With the coolant out of the hoses, VMP Tuning’s Justin Starkey unbolts the base heat exchanger from the VMP SuperRaptor.
With the coolant out of the hoses, VMP Tuning’s Justin Starkey unbolts the base heat exchanger from the VMP SuperRaptor.

That said the intercooler setups on the base supercharger systems are designed to work with the prescribed boost levels and typical short WOT bursts on the street. Start pushing harder in racing environments or off-road, in the case of the Raptor, and heat soak can set in. The system can’t remove the heat from the coolant fast enough; the PCM pulls timing, and things get less fun.

Looking the part of a full-size radiator for a passenger car, the Afco Racing Raptor Heat Exchanger is clearly much thicker than the base supercharger HE. Better yet, it features two 10-inch fans to ensure 1,600 cfm of airflow over the core. Afco says the system should drop intercooler coolant temps by up to 30 degrees.
Looking the part of a full-size radiator for a passenger car, the Afco Racing Raptor Heat Exchanger is clearly much thicker than the base supercharger HE. Better yet, it features two 10-inch fans to ensure 1,600 cfm of airflow over the core. Afco says the system should drop intercooler coolant temps by up to 30 degrees.

Thankfully there are aftermarket upgrades for aftermarket products that help us push our rides to even higher levels of performance. We recently featured VMP’s SuperRaptor project, which features one of VMP Tuning’s popular TVS supercharger upgrades. Recently picked up by a new owner, the blown Raptor was slated to have some prolonged off-road fun in Texas. The new owner wanted to make sure the boost temps stayed in check.

To that end, we met up with VMP Tuning’s Justin Starkey to follow the installation of Afco Racing’s new dual-fan heat exchanger for supercharged Raptors (PN 80284PRO; $799.99). Designed to drop intercooler coolant temps by as much as 30 degrees and stabilize them, this massive heat exchanger features two 10-inch fans that move a constant flow of 1,600 cfm across its core. Since the truck already features a VMP supercharger with an intercooler system, the upgrade is straight-forward and only takes about an hour to complete.

To make room for the larger Afco unit, you have to first remove the factory horns and bracket.
To make room for the larger Afco unit, you have to first remove the factory horns and bracket.
After removing the intercooler brackets, Justin swaps them onto the Afco unit. The Afco unit is compatible with Roush, VMP, and Whipple systems. However, if you are running the latter system you’ll need some additional bracketry.
After removing the intercooler brackets, Justin swaps them onto the Afco unit. The Afco unit is compatible with Roush, VMP, and Whipple systems. However, if you are running the latter system you’ll need some additional bracketry.
With the brackets bolted on, Justin slides the Afco unit into place and bolts it up. You should tighten the bolts until the blue grommets compress by 1/16 of an inch.
With the brackets bolted on, Justin slides the Afco unit into place and bolts it up. You should tighten the bolts until the blue grommets compress by 1/16 of an inch.
The Afco kit includes this streamlined bracket for relocating the horns. It moves them enough to clear the heat exchanger but they are still close enough to the stock location to use the factory wiring.
The Afco kit includes this streamlined bracket for relocating the horns. It moves them enough to clear the heat exchanger but they are still close enough to the stock location to use the factory wiring.
Next Justin bolts on the horns on the new bracket and plugs in the harness.
Next Justin bolts on the horns on the new bracket and plugs in the harness.
Because of the Afco unit’s dual-pass design you’ll need to extend the hose from the intercooler pump to the heat exchanger. The kit includes a 36-inch hose, which Justin trimmed to the exact location needed.
Because of the Afco unit’s dual-pass design you’ll need to extend the hose from the intercooler pump to the heat exchanger. The kit includes a 36-inch hose, which Justin trimmed to the exact location needed.
The home stretch of the installation is installing the fan harness. It picks up power at the fuse box and ground where the power steering lines are anchored to the chassis. It is switched on and off by tapping into the intercooler pump wiring.
The home stretch of the installation is installing the fan harness. It picks up power at the fuse box and ground where the power steering lines are anchored to the chassis. It is switched on and off by tapping into the intercooler pump wiring.
With the system completed, Justin refilled the coolant reservoir and topped it off with a bit of water to replace any that was lost.
With the system completed, Justin refilled the coolant reservoir and topped it off with a bit of water to replace any that was lost.
Here’s the completed Afco heat exchanger for supercharger Raptors (PN 80284PRO; $799.99). It looks full capable of lowering the intercooler coolant temps, thereby sapping more heat out of the boost entering the engine. Of course, we all know cooler, denser air makes more power.
Here’s the completed Afco heat exchanger for supercharged Raptors (PN 80284PRO; $799.99). It looks fully capable of lowering the intercooler coolant temps, thereby sapping more heat out of the boost entering the engine. Of course, we all know cooler, denser air makes more power.
With the install complete, the VMP SuperRaptor was ready to take on the trails of Texas with more power. You can see the Afco unit through the Raptor grille, but if you want a more stealthy option, Afco offers this unit with a black finish as well.
With the install complete, the VMP SuperRaptor was ready to take on the trails of Texas with more power. You can see the Afco unit through the Raptor grille, but if you want a more stealthy option, Afco offers this unit with a black finish as well.

Comments

comments

One thought on “Tech: Afco Raptor Heat Exchanger”

Leave a Reply

1,983 views