Well, I finally spent some time with Ronda and made some good progress. And then, much like the IMSA WeatherTech drivers, I ran into some issues… But I got the old intercooler and most of the piping out!
Let’s start with the good that I managed to do. Most of the hard, crusty intercooler piping is out. I didn’t get to the pipe immediately coming off the compressor housing, but that’s ok because of reasons I’ll soon be explaining. And as I said, I got the old intercooler out. Now this is where I hit a snag. It wasn’t as easy as undoing a few nuts & bolts, wiggling off some rubber pipes and gracefully sliding it out the bottom of the car. No, that would’ve been too easy. It was undoing a few nuts & bolts, using many four letter words, listening to the Sebring rain delay, and learning new things about the car. Things like it already has an oil cooler, and that it and the coolant overflow bottle need to move for that intercooler to fit. Neat.
Speaking of neat things, let’s take a closer look at the new intercooler. It’s a bit deeper and taller, and much wider due to the end tanks. Those are all good things, and also problematic. Like I mentioned, I have to relocate the oil cooler and overflow bottle. The oil cooler is going to move to where a fog light was, but I have no idea where the overflow bottle is going to go. That’ll be an issue for slightly further down the road, because I need to get some brackets fabbed up so I can mount the intercooler. Having reached that impasse, I elected to move on to another aspect of this upgrade project.
I’m going to be installing a new turbo elbow, downpipe and exhaust along with the intercooler. I wasn’t going to try to pull the exhaust or the downpipe by myself, because being entirely under my car with no one around seemed a bit too sketchy. So I decided to get the turbo elbow off. I got the heat shield off, and the O2 sensor out, and then I made an unfortunate discovery.
I couldn’t get the elbow off of the downpipe. The studs connecting the downpipe to the elbow have their nuts on the downpipe side. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, I put the O2 sensor back in, closed and locked the door of the storage unit, and went home. Some people would look at this day as a failure: the new intercooler didn’t go in, and the elbow didn’t come off. I see it as a success. The old intercooler is out, I don’t have to buy a new oil cooler because I already have one, and the big gal didn’t crush me. Anytime your project car doesn’t kill you is a successful outing.
And that’s how she sits. The next step is to grab some friends and some more jack stands and try to get the old exhaust parts off, and the new ones on. Don’t know when that is going to happen, but it’s going to happen!
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.