by Andrew Boyes
Text by Robert Pina
One of the more popular items on the wish list of every All Trac and Gt-Four owner is a front mount intercooler. While most are in the pursuit of horsepower, the lure of an aggressive front lures even the most modest drivers to want this rare item. For most cars the process is simple. You can go down to your favorite tuner, write a check and be done with it. If you were to take a car like this to a shop, they might scratch there head, look at you funny, and ask why it has a turbo. Basically the car is not only rare but hard to deal with due to it's compact engine design.
Meet Andrew Boyes, and his red ST185. He wanted a high flow front mount intercooler and wasn't about to let anyone stop him. Since he realizes that the front of ST185 Gt-Four is somewhat limited in the air flow department, he decided to go with an ST185RC bumper which is the same one that was used on the original ST185 WRC rally car. Andrew's weapon of choice is the Lancer EVO intercooler which is quite large to begin with. This is a side to side flow intercooler, which is typical of most high horsepower or upgrade intercoolers. We have some detailed pictures of the installation and will review each one.
Here is the main idea for the routing. The turbo is left in it's stock position. The outlet of the turbo curves to the left and over the exhaust manifold. The piping goes down from there.
Here is the point where it goes down to the intercooler. This is the only area really where there is room to take the piping down. There is an access once you go down far enough to turn towards the front of the car.
Once down to the front of the car, the piping enters the intercooler and passes through.
Since this intercooler is a side to side passing intercooler, the piping ends up on the batter side.
The piping has to go down and under the fram once more and make it's way up to the top. Since the batter has been removed, the intake piping has been moved. That means that this intercooler pipe can come straight from the bottom to the engine in one shot.
Finally the pipe must go over the engine and into the throttle body. (Insert favorite blow off valve here). Some type of adapter must be fashioned if you want to retain the stock throttle body rubber connector as it will be considerably smaller than the intake piping. Check for loose connections and take for a spin.
Silicon connectors where used throughout, they will keep the heat away from the intake tract. Any type of piping can be used. If you use steel or aluminum piping make sure that you "bead" the end of the pipes to prevent them from slipping off. Mention this to your welder he will know what you mean.