Intercooler FAQ

Q: How do I install a front mount intercooler??

A: Here we have step by step pictures on the process:

Front Mount IC Installation ST205

Front Mount IC Installation ST185

Front Mount IC Installation ST185 (2)

Q: How exactly do I route the piping of a front mount intercooler?

A: There are several different ways. We will try to provide you with as many different styles as we can find so that you can try and make up your own mind.

This is a reverse of the typical front mount setup. The turbo output goes to the left rather than the right. It curves down toward the side of the radiator and through to one side of the intercooler. This intercooler has a port on each side. Since the battery has been removed in this installation, there is room to put the filter straight out. Once this is done there is room for the after intercooler pipe to go through the engine bay and up to the throttle body rather than all the way through the fender.

This is a similar setup to the above installation. This version offers a higher possible performance by having smooth bends as well as a lower number of bends over all. Notice the smooth bend over the manifold. The final pipe comes from in front of the AFM and shoots straight to the throttle body. These pipe diameters are smaller also for better throttle response.

This represents the more typical front mount setup. The turbo remains unchanged in this installation. The outlet pipe from the turbo down to the front of the car. Once again the battery is removed to make room for the pipe to go to the front without going through the fender. This also leaves room to mount the air filter in a better location. This is a side to side intercooler as well and the intercooler outlet pipe comes around the side of the radiator and up near the alternator. It finally ends with a straight shot to the throttle body.

Here is a wild intercooler pipe job. Since the intercooler (supra) has both intercooler pipes on one side, the piping had to be routed to accommodate. Its a pretty job and very clean. The installation leaves questions like what the heat of the exhaust manifold would do to the temperatures of the pipes. The benefit of this installation is that the stock battery was retained. The pipes may have been better suited to run on the other side of the engine bay, but the battery would have to have been removed.

This setup is similar to picture number 2. There are some key points here however that could make a difference on how you choose to do your setup. The first and most important thing here is that the pipes have been heat wrapped to keep the hot engine bay air away from the pipes. This will cause the intercooled air to stay... cool. The second difference is that the turbo outlet pipe has been routed straight into the fender, thus preserving the stock battery location. There is already a hole in the fender for the stock air filter. This would require you of course to go with an aftermarket filter and mount it in an alternative location. The after intercooler pipe comes through on the other side in the typical routing to the throttle body.

Pic 2 Pic 3 Pic 4

Here is a better solution. Point the the turbo down so that your piping doesn't have to be so long. Ideally you would come up on the battery side to keep the pipe away from heat. In this case though, the pipe comes up over the manifold which makes a more straight shot and allows you to keep the stock batter and airbox setup. It's difficult to do this with the stock turbo, because the wastegate wil no longer mount correctly. We are still looking for the proper way to do this on the stock turbo.

Q: Where can I get Piping?

A: There are several places to buy piping. Any steel or stainless steel mandrel bends in 50mm or 60mm will work. You then need to find the appropriate hoses and clamps. If you want something simple in one package, see this Greddy Kit:

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