Front Mount Intercooler Installation ST185 Pictures

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by Kim Lim

Text by Robert Pina

Here we see Kim Lim's approach to Front Mount Intercooler installation. The few, the proud, the brave that dare attempt this feat always bring in a lot of attention. We decided to focus our eyes on setup which makes the conversion seem easy. Kim also went with the RC style front bumper which goes hand in hand with front intercooler installation.

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The first thing people want to know is how the routing was performed. This particular routing is similar to some of the other installations we have seen in Southern California. This is probably the preferred method, yet does require battery relocation. The turbo is left in the stock position. Piping is then routed over the exhaust manifold and down to one side of the intercooler. Once chilled, the air is routed back up the other side where the battery used to be. It runs over the AFM and shoots straight to the throttle body. This is the routing that has the least number of bends for the best performance.

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Here is a closeup on the turbo to intercooler piping. Changing the oil is always a concern when routing piping over this area. As you can see there is *just* enough room to get your hands in to change the filter. Notice again, the lack of wild pipe bends on the way to the intercooler.

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This is the intercooler. A spearco side to side unit capable of high CFM flow. Side to side intercoolers are always preferred in the pursuit of maximum horsepower. Notice that there is just enough room for the front a/c fan. It looks here that the stock tranny oil cooler has been re-located.

In review, this is one of the better installations we have seen. The benefits are obvious. The first problem with intercooler piping has been resolved by having all engine bay pipes wrapped in heat protective material. Some installations have the intercooler exit pipe going over the exhaust manifold. On this setup, the pre intercooler piping goes over the exhaust manifold. This way, if the manifold did heat up the pipes, it still has a chance to be cooled through the intercooler. We like the lack of bends in the final pipe to the throttle body. This will ensure maximum performance. We are still in pursuit of a bolt on solution, however. -


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