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#Alternative intercooler locations?

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 Post subject: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:41 pm 
First Gear
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:25 am
Posts: 82
Okay ya'll, let me just first say, I'm not trying to revolutionize intercooler locations but looking at the car today in prepping for turbo motor, I started thinking..

1) if I want to keep the a/c, theres like NO room for a front mount unless from what I see, I take off the front bumper beam all together.

2) Top mount can lead to heatsoak, which could be a big problem for my autoX desires.

So this is what I was thinking, how about installing a hood scoop the the front part of the passenger side hood? Like right where the stock n/a air box would sit? Theres no motor sitting under it to heatsaok too bad, and there is plenty of space. The scoop would be off center of course but I don't really care. I am really looking to do a small intercooler which will support no more than like 250whp. Spool is important too so thats also why I want a smaller one.

The other two ideas were mounting it near the bottom of the engine with a up scoop or since my drivers side fender is so busted anyway, just cutting a scoop there?

I'd appreciate your opinions.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:49 pm 
First Gear
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:25 am
Posts: 82
Oh and I don't have abs btw so the air box area is just one giant open space for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:09 pm 
Fourth Gear
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 1978
Location: Lake Elsinore, CA
If your concerned with length of piping (lag) and heatsoak I have two ideas for you.

1) Convert to the early Legacy air-water intercooler setup.

2) Mount a fan to the traditional Subaru top-mount intercooler.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:35 am 
Fourth Gear
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:35 am
Posts: 1730
Location: All over the place
Many people running FMICs wind up cutting space into their bumper beam. There are narrow ones that will fit entirely below the bumper beam too.

The AWIC isnt a bad idea, thats what I run. But I run a larger than stock heat exchanger up front that caused me to do away with my AC anyway. But again I could have kept it if I cut some notches in the bumoer beam. Id imagine the stock AWIC heat exchanger must be quite small to fit in any available stock locations.

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93 Touring Wagon (EJ20G 5spd Swap) -- In storage while I work (and never get to play) in JDM-land.
00 Forester S/tb (predecesor to the XT) -- My JDM fling, dont tell my Touring Wagon!


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 1:38 am 
First Gear
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:25 am
Posts: 82
OMGoodness… AWIC.. A whole new woooorld...


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 1:53 am 
Fourth Gear
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:35 am
Posts: 1730
Location: All over the place
Dude AWIC is actually an easy install. The hardest part is getting your hands on one of the old Legacy/Liberty main cores. The rest of the system can be made up of custom/generic pieces to fit however you want it to go on there. The water hose fits through body openings without cutting stuff up like you do with a FMIC. It does take a good while for planning/measuring/research before hand deciding how you wanna attack it.

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93 Touring Wagon (EJ20G 5spd Swap) -- In storage while I work (and never get to play) in JDM-land.
00 Forester S/tb (predecesor to the XT) -- My JDM fling, dont tell my Touring Wagon!


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:44 am 
Fifth Gear
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 am
Posts: 8344
Location: Tenino, WA
I like your thinking. I plan on either finding one that fits under beam or having one made custom like josh did with his awic. I may still go awic but I'm not decided yet. The most ridiculous thing I see all the time is monster intercoolers that are halfway covered by the bumper skin. What's the point in that? The part that's covered is simply a heat soaking device and its increasing your pressure drop. Seems to me that a stock wrx tmic would be a more practical/effective intercooler. I can't prove that but logic points in that direction. The other thing I see that nobody seems to be doing is making sure the air is going through the intercooler, not around it or back outside the bumper and around the car. If you read coky bells book maximum boost he goes over this in detail. You need to seal the bumper to the intercooler and the hole needs to get wider on the intercooler side than the front of the hole in the bumper so air cannot escape back out the hole. Instead I see people with holes that slant inwards so the air hits the intercooler face and is easily pushed back out the sides of the hole and around the bumper skin. Air is going to take the path of least resistance, just like electricity.

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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:47 am 
Fifth Gear
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 am
Posts: 8344
Location: Tenino, WA
Look on ebay for rx7 intercooler. They make one that almost fits and fills the hole in our bumpers. Could be a gooe candidate with little modification to the far. Its only like 5" tall I think and 3" like 1.5" deep and can't remember the width.

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91 SS EJ20G Engine/Tranny/Diff Swap Build Thread Here
"Your testes are close to your bottom but you still play with them all the time." Jeremy Clarkson


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 3:52 am 
Fifth Gear
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:41 am
Posts: 8344
Location: Tenino, WA
Here's one http://m.ebay.com/itm/201083622136?nav=SEARCH

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91 SS EJ20G Engine/Tranny/Diff Swap Build Thread Here
"Your testes are close to your bottom but you still play with them all the time." Jeremy Clarkson


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 7:19 am 
First Gear
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:25 am
Posts: 82
Thanks for the idea's. I'm going to keep researching water-cooled inner-cooler's some more but that one short front mount could work also.


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 Post subject: Re: Alternative intercooler locations?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 1:10 am 
Site Admin
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Location: Houston, Tx
In my opinion, the AWIC setups are the best of both worlds, reduced lag and minimizing heat soak. The downside is they can be a bit more complex to setup. Additionally, if you get an AWIC system heat soaked, it can take a bit longer to bring the temps back down.

As it was pointed out, I had a custom front mount exchanger made for my AWIC setup. I still had to notch the bumper beam, but it allowed me to keep my AC and provided much less pressure drop and more cooling area than my cobbled together ATF radiator setup.

Check out these threads for more info and some background.

Proposed AWIC Setup
New AWIC Work
AWIC Fluid Mixture
Installing the AWIC is a biatch!! (It's done)

Direct link to pictures from the new AWIC work
New TD05 & AWIC Install
Original Intercooler Radiators
Intercooler Pump Installation Location


The only thing I would do differently on my AWIC radiator is have a small vent bleeder valve/screw installed on the top left (passenger) side end tank of the radiator to help with bleeding the system. Something similar to what the non-turbo radiator has. This was an oversight on my part, and I'm sure the fabricator could have put something in. Also, I might have had it anodized black to blend in with the front, but that's not a big deal.

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
1997 Impreza OBS

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm


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