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Old 10-05-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
Keif
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Default The official build your own front mount intercooler thread!

One thing i want to say first is that you dont have to know how to weld to do this, aslong as you can cut tubing your good to go. My friend is welding the piping but it would only cost about $50 to have a shop make a bead around your tubing, its the fab work that costs the most which you will be doing!! With that said,

Ive decided to take the task of building my own front mount set up. I ordered the core from ebay and the piping aswell. The best part about this is, its pretty easy, just takes time and patients and you can have an intercooler that is perfect for your setup, all of the aftermarket front mounts are HUGE for what most people run, besides the greddy and i believe the Injen? Which are pricey. I'm hoping other people will try this out and improve on what i have. Here is what i have so far...

Everything is from ebay
Core included brackets bolts-$100 shipped
Piping Kit which Includes piping, couplers, t-bolt clamps-$100 shipped
Various Couplers for my set up(2x 2.5" to 2" reducers and a 135 degree coupler)-$60 shipped
BOV Adapter plate-$20 shipped
K&N cone filter or some sort of cone filter-$50 shipped
4x 90 degree aluminum bends(ebay)-$60 shipped
Breather hose t-fitting-50 cents
Driver side breather hose-$7
Coolant overflow-$???
Dinner/Lunch/Beer for friend welding-$40 (You paying welder to weld-$50-$70)

So far about $440

Tools ive been using so far...
-Obviously all the tools to get your tmic off, front bumper, and intake.
-Ive been using a rotational saw to cut the 2" aluminum which works decent, it doesnt cut all the way so i have to rotate the tubing.
-A file to get all the shavings out of the inside after cutting
-A drill
-Something to cut your bumper with, a compressor with air tools and various cutting blades come in handie, if actually been using a jig saw and its worked decent but i dont recommend it at all, as its easy to mess up.

My car is an 06, the front bumper is shaped differently and has a skinnier opening for the core but wider, from what it looks like atleast, and the winshield washerfluid is down in the passenger fender, this makes it harder. For 06 previous cars this should be a bit easier for you.


Piping...

I decided to go with 2" piping because im running a vf30 which is a really small turbo and there is no need for 2.5" tubing, its just more lag. I was considering running 2.5" or 2.25" on the cold side of the tubing but ill see how the 2" works. Im using aluminum because its lighter and seems to be alot cheaper than stainless from searching. If anyone knows of good vendors to buy bends from please post them and ill add them to this, i know of a two that are very good i just cant think of them right now.

Routing the Piping...

In these kits are all the same types of bends i had, right now i have about a 2 feet in straight left over.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-5-A...em120168214580

I also purchased 4 of these elbows

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-ALU...em320166036777

Most people will agree with me that the most "efficient" way of routing the IC piping would be to go from the turbo, make a loop, run down into the passenger fender well to the core, make a u-turn in the driver side fender well, come up and go inbetween the battery and oil cap, over the fuel lines etc and to the throttle body. This eliminates the cold side from hovering over the turbo and getting heated, both ways are the same amount of tubing, so this way is more "efficient" (I'm running out of words).

To go about routing the piping i started at the turbo and worked my way to the core for the hot side. Then for the cold side i started at the throttle body and worked my way to the core. After the loop off the turbo i was able to make a straight shot right for the hole in the fender well. Im using just tape and couplers to hold everything together until its welded. There are only 4 parts where i had to cut and fit tubing together. On the hot side i believe there are about 6 total from the throttle body to the core, im waiting on some more bends though to finish the cold side. I ran the cold side over the fuel lines which i had to bend the bracket that holds them down. Also i moved some of the a/c lines out of the way which bend very easily. Also i shortened the brake booster line and make it run under one of the secondary air pump hoses. This makes plenty of room on 06s. On my 04 i had the ssautochrome front mount, i didnt have any problems with fuel lines or anything so you may not have to do anything besides bend some a/c lines out of the way.

I took the pipes off to have them welded this week, but this is what they look like



This piece connects to the above at the top, and then goes down into the driver fender and loops around to the core, im missing one bend to connect it to the core but im waiting on it.


This is the hot side, it looks odd but when its installed right it just shoots straight down into the passenger fender, and then a 45 degree bend is connect to it and then another 45 to go right to the core. When i get the pipes welded and on ill take more pictures so its easier to see whats happening.



TeH Loop!

I saw the easiest way to do the loop was to buy a 135 degree silicone elbow (again ebay) and attach that to the turbo and run the tubing off of that, i bought a 2" ID coupler and its a bit loose but it seals when tightened down, if anyone can find a hair smaller ID couplers in this 135 degree loop please post. Like so...



Core...

I decided to buy my core from ebay because im teh cheap, i believe it has been discussed and proven that the quality or a core does make a difference so its up to you whether you buy a garrett core, ebay core, whatever. The dimensions on my core are 27x6x2.5, its small compared to most and i think a perfect size for a vfXX turbo or even a 16g.

Mounting the Core...

I thought i could get away with just mounting it in front and underneath my bumper beam but it was too far out and too low. So i just decided to pull the Bumper beam off and mount it in the height of the bumper beam, i might hack up the bumper beam to get it to fit around the core but that will be a bit down the road. The core came with 2 brackets, that are just strips of aluminum with a slit down the middle, then there are little bungs on the bottom and top of the intercooler that are threaded, i used the 12mm holes and attached the brackets to those and then attached the brackets to the Intercooler, right no the top section is just zip-tied and im still not sure what im going to do with that.

Pictures of what the core looks like




It looks alot better when the tubing is there, i wish i took pictures earlier to show the piping in the fogs, it looks cool.


Diverter valve...

I bought a adapter plate from ebay and it simply is going to be welded on to the IC piping right where it sits

Breather hoses...

I was able to find a nice T-fitting at Lowes that fits perfect into the breather hoses on the passenger side, i just have to get some hose to run from the driver side, which im planning on doing tomorrow.

Coolant over flow...

Havent figured that out yet, right now mine is just dumping onto the ground if it has to overflow . If anyone knows of a cheap way of going about making a overflow bottle, please post it.

Intake...

I cut a short ram out of the stock airbox which is very easy and IMO a much better idea than buying any aftermarket Short Ram, because it retains the same exact Inner Diameter and so the MAF Scaling does not have to be recalculated, ive run logs and the maf is reading the same as before. Here is the thread i had made along time ago about it.



Then you just need to buy a filter and your good to go.

Fog Lights...

I decided to get rid of mine because i ran the piping so you get a glimpse of it through the fog holes, looks really cool and i have yellow driving lights so they work good in fog, rain, etc. If you want to keep your fogs it will require a bit more fab work. For example, the piping going from the passenger side intercooler up the the turbo is just a straight shot out of the core and then up through the fender, where as if i wanted to keep my fogs i would have to go down a bit right after the core then curve over again to the rest of the tubing, although depending on where you mount your core you could make it so its a straight shot right under the fog housing.


well i guess this is my progress so far, im sorry i dont have pictures right now , its very dark out and they would be horrible, ill get some tomorrow for everyone to see, i hope people try this and improve on my set up

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Last edited by Keif; 10-06-2007 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:36 AM   #2
Keif
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For people who want to skip the fun fabricating part, you can buy the piping on ebay for a wrx

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=320164680996

Although im not sure of the routing on that
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:27 PM   #3
Keif
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i cant find my usb cable ill keep looking
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:43 PM   #4
Keif
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few pictures added
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Old 10-07-2007, 04:18 PM   #5
chlnOrSlpn?
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Hey, I commend you on your efforts to go a different route then everyone else, This a great thread for those looking to build their own FMIC. but....

I hope you don't take offense to this...you could have spent $295(when i got mine) or i believe now $340 for the SSAC FMIC. Then spend ~$50 on misc hardware to make it complete. The FMIC has been proven to support up to FP Reds and GT30R turbos.

Again, not trying to be negative, just trying to let you know that there is a cheaper and more complete route for under $400
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
Keif
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i know the ssautochrome is cheaper, but the reason why im doing this over buying the ssautochrome one is because the ssautochrome fmic is too big for vf series turbos and td04s. With the tubing being smaller and the core smaller it will help with spool alot

plus im bored and needed something to build

But i understand, like you said, if you were to go with a 20g or green, the ssautochrome would be a cheaper route
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:06 PM   #7
chlnOrSlpn?
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Oh, I see what your saying.... didn't hurt spool at all on my stock turbo...

Last edited by chlnOrSlpn?; 10-07-2007 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 10-11-2007, 06:30 PM   #8
Keif
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Well i got it on and its working awesome, top end is so much better. I did some logging and in 4th im making full boost by 3400 rpms, 2nd and 3rd, full boost around 3800. Not bad for a vf30. I have a boost plot just trying to figure out how to post an excel graph on here

^your kidding right?
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:03 PM   #9
Keif
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Finally have pictures of it







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Old 10-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #10
Keif
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:39 PM   #11
05SS/SC
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i need a better IC on my cobalt...
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:46 PM   #12
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you need a better car...jk!
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:12 PM   #13
El Gato
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it looks like a clean install.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:02 AM   #14
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i'm impressed... came out very clean and should be quite effective. nice work!
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:48 PM   #15
Keif
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thanks guys, it was well worth it
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:26 PM   #16
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that doesn't look half bad! is the cost not similar to the SSAC FMIC? why didn't you just buy that?
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:22 PM   #17
Keif
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you can get the ssac fmic for about $350 shipped but its overkill for a vf series turbo, an intercooler can only be so efficient and then your just waisting spool. Thats why i decided to do it myself, this way i can have a smaller core and smaller diameter tubing.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:19 PM   #18
lugee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithwrx8 View Post
For people who want to skip the fun fabricating part, you can buy the piping on ebay for a wrx

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=320164680996

Although im not sure of the routing on that
I am trying to compare piping, this looks like a reverse flow similar to what you did - I cant really tell though
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:32 PM   #19
Keif
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yea it looks like it is reverse flow
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithwrx8 View Post
yea it looks like it is reverse flow
i am probably going to pick up the kit and see how it fits. I am looking at the comparison again between the WBR kit versus the APS kit and the top left pipe looks like a clock wise flow.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:22 AM   #21
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Cool, I'm interested to see how well it works
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:51 AM   #22
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That's pretty cool! Thumbs up for DIY!
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:32 PM   #23
lugee
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keith, do you have more shots of your car from the front?
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:33 PM   #24
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ill get some better ones so you can actually see the core and piping
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:59 AM   #25
chlnOrSlpn?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithwrx8 View Post
^your kidding right?

Hey, It came out looking pretty good. nice job!

In regards to my stock VF39 and the SSAC FMIC...I achieve 20psi @ 3200rpm. On my stock TMIC I was getting 19psi @ 3100 rpm.
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