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Intercooler Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Intercooler Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$50 to $1,000

Talent:

**

Tools:

T30 Torx

Applicable Models:

R53 (2002-06)

Parts Required:

Intercooler, gaskets as needed

Hot Tip:

Use care handling the fins on the intercooler

Performance Gain:

Cooler compressed air

Complementary Modification:

New gaskets

The intercooler on the Mini R53, like any other component, can wear out or be damaged. There are also two rubber connectors connecting the intercooler to the rest of the intake plumbing; these can dry out, rip and become damaged over time. If these are damaged and letting air escape you will lose boost pressure. Make sure to carefully inspect these before replacing the intercooler and replace as need when replacing the intercooler. The stock intercooler itself is not very expensive to replace, but they can quickly get up in price with aftermarket brands.

Over the years your car may have been serviced by multiple people including previous owners and this can lead to parts replaced with different size fasteners and hardware. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. If something is different on your vehicle please let us know and share your info to help other users. If you have any questions or comments or even a different procedure you would like to share please leave it below and please leave your vehicle information.

The intercooler has a vanity shroud protecting it that you must first remove.
Figure 1

The intercooler has a vanity shroud protecting it that you must first remove. Use a T30 Torx and remove the four screws holding it in place (red arrows). The two screws on the rear are much longer than the front screws so don't mix them up.

With the screws removed you can simply lift the cover off the intercooler.
Figure 2

With the screws removed you can simply lift the cover off the intercooler.

There are two rubber bellows that connect the intercooler to the rest of the intake plumbing.
Figure 3

There are two rubber bellows that connect the intercooler to the rest of the intake plumbing. The supply side from the super-charger (red arrow) is larger than the output side (yellow arrow). If you are losing boost make sure to check these bellows for rips or leaks before replacing the intercooler.

There are two clamps on both the supply and exit side of the bellows (red arrows).
Figure 4

There are two clamps on both the supply and exit side of the bellows (red arrows). Use a T30 Torx and remove both of the clamps on both sides.

With the screws removed you can lift the upper clamps off.
Figure 5

With the screws removed you can lift the upper clamps off.

You can see in this photo how the supply side clamp is larger than the exit side.
Figure 6

You can see in this photo how the supply side clamp is larger than the exit side.

With all of the clamps disconnected you can simply lift the intercooler up and off the motor.
Figure 7

With all of the clamps disconnected you can simply lift the intercooler up and off the motor.

Before installing the new intercooler and bellows make sure to clean the plenums as best as possible; some oily reside is normal but they should not be dripping in oil.
Figure 8

Before installing the new intercooler and bellows make sure to clean the plenums as best as possible; some oily reside is normal but they should not be dripping in oil. This is also a good time to inspect the fuel rail and injectors as well as perform a cleanup check of the all the wiring and components that are usually hidden by the intercooler. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Matt Comments: Hello. If you wanted to check your fuel pressure when the intercooler is removed, is it safe to run the engine and if so, for how long?

Thanks.
November 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Do not run the engine with the intercooler off. Set up your tester, run the hose out of the way, then reinstall the intercooler. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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