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Car Modification > Projects > 1994 Subaru Legacy > Top Mount WRX Intercooler

Top Mount WRX Intercooler Installation:

Tools Used:
  • Flat head (-) screw driver
  • Ratchet set (metric)
  • Key set (metric)
  • Hand grinder
  • Welding equipment (for steel)
Products Used:
Theses are the subjects. Make sure the rear intercooler piping is included. Making these yourself is time consuming, but making them using mandrel piping will increase performance.

Note the general area where the intercooler must fit. Test fit and plan the project carefully.
Remove the dozen clips retaining the heat shield underneath the hood. The heat shield should be discarded, as it won't fit with the intercooler. BONUS: Weight reduction!
Unscrew the 4 bolts holding the hood shroud plate. The lip is too deep and we want the air to circulate evenly over the intercooler. BONUS: (see last picture or this DIY)
Disconnect the coolant hose from the coolant tank.
Remove the bolt holding the coolant tank in place.
Using a fancy baby blue hat, disconnect the air intake and the turbo piping to make room to work. Note that safety glasses should be used at all times. ;)

From the firewall, remove the bracket holding the sensor.
Remove the bracket holding the wiring harness in place. Discard it especially if it's as rusted as this one!

Unbolt the motor mount at the engine end as well as at the firewall. Remove the bolt holding the ground at the firewall.

Cut the tie wrap clips holding the wiring harness to the firewall.
Notice the intercooler outlet doesn't align with the intake manifold. We need to trim the motor mount bracket as well as the firewall.
CAREFULLY grind away the plate covering the motor mount. We suggest you use a metal plate to cover and protect the fuel lines as well as the wiring harness.
Be extremely careful not to cut the fuel lines. A fire extinguisher is a must.
If you accidentally cut the wiring harness (as was the case...), reconnect the wires. A small hand grinder is recommended.

A portion of the firewall was modified for additional clearance. The silicone coupler reducer connecting the intercooler to the throttle body had to be slimmed down.

Assess the situation. The piping is the longest part of the project.

A lot of custom fabrication is required to get the tight piping bends to interlock.
You must build a custom bracket for the coolant tank. The tank must be higher than your radiator. We used a standard 90-degree angle-bracket.
Admire your work and take that well deserved break.
Fits great and looks almost stock. The blow-off valve from the WRX was painted gloss black for that aftermarket look.

The bonus? You can show off your intercooler thru the stock hood scoop! If you're seeking a more "sleeper" look, put a black grill on the inside of the hood.

Feel the power diffrence!

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