Improve Horsepower: How to Install Intercooler

A great way to improve horsepower on a car is to install a performance intercooler. An intercooler is a small radiator that is used to lower the air temperature of a turbo-charged engine. Larger amounts of denser air can enter the cylinders, which will improve horsepower. Follow this article for the tools and steps required to install a front-mounted intercooler.

Tools and Materials

  • Performance front-mounted intercooler
  • Safety glasses
  • Measurement device
  • Pencil
  • Angle grinder
  • Electric drill
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Concrete blocks or other means of holding the car
  • Wrench and screwdriver set

Step 1: Put the Front of the Car on Blocks

Raise the front part of your car’s body using the hydraulic jack. Place concrete blocks on each side for the car to rest on. It is very important to place these blocks in a place that can actually support the car. The easiest is to place them on each side on the body of the car next to the wheels. With the blocks in place, lower the car from your jack onto them.

Step 2: Remove the Stock Intercooler

Open the car’s hood. Follow the coolant pipes of the engine to find the stock intercooler. Slide yourself underneath the car and using an appropriate wrench, unfasten and remove the shielding. You will now have the bottom part exposed and be able to see the intercooler at the front. Remove the front bumper of your car in order to gain access to it. Unfasten the brace holding the stock intercooler in place. The intercooler will be secured by an extra brace. Remove that, along with the stock intercooler.

Step 3: Install the Intercooler on the Brace

With the brace off, set it on your workbench and use the angle grinder to remove any existing rust. Always use safety goggles when working with the angle grinder. Using your measurement device and pencil, measure and mark the locations that the new intercooler will sit on the brace. Use the electric drill to make the appropriate holes. Use your wrench to bolt the intercooler down to the brace in the holes you’ve just made. Before installing the cooler back into your car to improve horsepower you will need to install the piping to the cooling system. The general way to do this is by running it underneath your car. This will keep it away from hot components such as a running engine.

Step 4: Install the Brace and New Intercooler on the Car

Once you’ve figured how to connect the cooling pipeline, install the brace and intercooler on your car. Secure the first brace by tightening its bolts. Install the cooler brace/fastening system and tighten that in place as well. Connect the intercooler to improve horsepower to your engine via the cooling pipeline.

Step 5: Finishing Up

Once you have everything installed to improve horsepower, secure the car’s front bumper back into place. Slide underneath the car again and reattach the shielding. Raise the car on the hydraulic jack and clear the supporting blocks. Lower the car back on its wheels. Power on the engine and rev it slowly. Check for any strange behavior of the engine. Engine stalling or a rough idle are signs of a bad installation.