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Pelican Technical Article:

Intercooler Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$400

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25 Torx driver, 8mm socket, flathead screwdriver, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Engine intercooler

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and clear DME fault codes when done

Performance Gain:

Correct intake mixture

Complementary Modification:

Inspect radiator and coolant hoses

By compressing engine intake air, the turbocharger also heats the air. The heated air can expand quickly after leaving the turbo unit. MINI R56 models with a turbocharged engine utilize an intercooler, a heat exchanger that cools the air compressed by the turbocharger before it enters the engine. Lowering the air temperature compresses it further and raises the air density. Increased intake air density allows for better fuel atomization, higher availability of oxygen for full combustion and better engine efficiency.

The intercooler is mounted below the radiator and behind the front bumper. This subjects it to impact from road debris and curbs or parking blocks. I have seen many damaged intercoolers from collisions and a few leaking from the manufacturing welds. If you have a hiss from your engine under boost or a fuel trim fault code that states the system is running rich, a faulty intercooler may be your problem.

If your check engine light is illuminated in conjunction with loss of power or hesitation while accelerating, one or more of the following faults are stored. Inspect the intercooler ducts for leaks or for damage to the intercooler:

2746 multiplicative mixture adaptation - Mixture too lean

2B5B Air-mass sensor, plausibility - Air mass compared with model too high

2B5C mass sensor, plausibility

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. 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.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The intercooler (red arrow) is mounted below the radiator and behind the front bumper.
Figure 1

The intercooler (red arrow) is mounted below the radiator and behind the front bumper.

Lift the vehicle and remove the lower splash shields.
Figure 2

Lift the vehicle and remove the lower splash shields. Loosen the three Phillips head screws (red arrows) and remove the shield (green arrow). The right side is shown. The left is similar. Remove the front bumper. See our tech article on front bumper replacing.

Working at the lower right side of the radiator support, loosen the intercooler duct hose clamp (green arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the lower right side of the radiator support, loosen the intercooler duct hose clamp (green arrow).

Pull the hose (green arrow) off the intercooler.
Figure 4

Pull the hose (green arrow) off the intercooler.

Working at the lower left side of the radiator support, loosen the intercooler duct hose clamp (red arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the lower left side of the radiator support, loosen the intercooler duct hose clamp (red arrow).

Pull the hose (green arrow) off the intercooler (red arrow).
Figure 6

Pull the hose (green arrow) off the intercooler (red arrow).

Working at the sides of the intercooler, remove both T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 7

Working at the sides of the intercooler, remove both T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows). Support the intercooler so it does not accidentally fall when removing the final fastener.

Remove the intercooler from the radiator support (red arrow).
Figure 8

Remove the intercooler from the radiator support (red arrow). Reverse the steps to reinstall the intercooler.

If you are dealing with a faulty turbocharger or excessive engine oil in the intake system, you can clean the intercooler.
Figure 9

If you are dealing with a faulty turbocharger or excessive engine oil in the intake system, you can clean the intercooler. First remove the intercooler from the engine. Then rinse the inside (inset) of the intercooler with acetone. Once clean, run warm water through the intercooler to flush it out. Allow the intercooler to dry completely before reinstalling.

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