Cooling systems, as they relate to the automotive performance world, have a rich history and valuable place in the industry. According to Steve Ribelin, Account/Technical Representative at Fluidyne High Performance, cooling systems “have been around for 100 years” and that “quality, as always, and maximum efficiency” tend to be the most sought-after features. But it’s easy for a customer to simply demand the best and most efficient product; there are obviously other factors to consider such as price, style, size and more. So the important question a customer should ask before making a purchase is: “What’s in a cooling system?”
We polled a few industry experts to gather the most pertinent information about cooling systems and filled the following pages with some helpful and detailed information. For this article, the panel of veterans includes:
Fred Militello, Marketing and Sr. Tech Support, Be Cool, www.becool.com
Scott Reed, Director of Product Management, Proliance International, www.pliii.com
Steve Ribelin, Account/Technical Representative, Fluidyne High Performance, www.fluidyne.com
Tyler Tanaka, Marketing Manager, Turbonetics Inc., www.turboneticsinc.com
What’s on the Market?
Cooling systems manufacturers must address several issues when deciding what to extend to customers. For that reason, there are many different options available.
Militello: We build performance cooling systems for today’s high horsepower applications. They’re aluminum radiators – two-row, one-inch tubes – hand fabricated tanks out of .080″ wall thick aluminum. The systems feature billet filler necks and an epoxy free core, and are built in packages for 400, 700, and 1,000 horsepower applications.
Ribelin: Virtually every product that we make is the maximum efficiency for the application it’s designed for. In other words we don’t come out with a radiator and say “well, are two rows going to be good enough for this car?” We make it as good as we possibly can. The primary focus for our oil coolers is the racing market. Generally speaking, the difference in oil coolers comes down to the mounting configuration and how much space a racecar builder has in order to mount a particular cooler for the application. So basically it just boils down to the wider selection of products you have, the better chance you have that something will work for a guy on a particular application.
Reed: In the performance tuner market it is more about having the right products. This consumer is looking for the products that will give them a clear advantage over their competition. Whether it is performance or styling, the market is always seeking the products that provide clear differentiation. The manufacturer that can provide a harmony of these market desires will be the leader. Our products fill a niche of providing both styling and exceptional performance developed by our engineering staff and development laboratories. We use technology as a competitive advantage to provide patented designs delivering unsurpassed performance.
Tanaka: Turbonetics offers Spearco intercooler systems and upgrades for various vehicle applications.We offer complete bolt-on solutions to universal units for custom setup. Spearco intercoolers feature W.A.V.E. (Wide Area Vane Effectiveness) technology for maximum cooling and minimum pressure drop. Also, Spearco intercooler cores utilize the latest bar-and-plate design for extreme durability. One year, no-hassle/no-fault warranty is offered to all Turbonetics/Spearco products.
What Does the Customer Want?
Just like any other product on the market, customers want to be able to trust the quality of a cooling system. Along with that, they want reassurance that the product will fit their vehicle and last a long time.
Reed: Our products are a good fit for customers as they provide the consumer a clear advantage over the competition with regards to both performance and styling. The HBX intercooler line uses patented designs that go beyond bar and plate designs offering new levels of intercooler performance.
Tanaka: The intended usage of the vehicle, boost pressure, and power output should be considered for the best overall performance.
Getting a good read of what the customer’s wants and needs are is also imperative. Knowing how the product will be used will ultimately sway the purchase decision.
Militello: It’s simple to order packages for different applications, a customer just needs to let us know what kind of car he has – the make, model, and year – and what engine, automatic or stick shift. At that point, Be Cool can get him or her into a package that will fit the car. Be Cool’s cooling system packages consist of the radiator direct-fit for the application, high-torque European electric fans, fan brackets and hardware to mount the fans properly on the radiator, wiring harnesses with relays and sender (which will automatically turn the fans on at 195 off at 175), coolant recovery tank, and a Be Cool signature radiator cap. You can get those packages in natural finish, polish finish or Show & Go. The Show & Go are upgraded polish finish applications that come with chrome plated stands with billet aluminum fan motor covers and our signature embossed Be Cool Sure-Grip radiator cap.