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Pelican Technical Article:

Intercooler Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$750 and up

Talent:

**

Tools:

Flathead, Philips screwdriver, 10mm, 8mm, 7mm socket and extensions

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Intercooler

Hot Tip:

Don't damage the paint

Performance Gain:

More horsepower

Complementary Modification:

Clean the throttle body

One of the most common performance upgrades to the Porsche 951 is changing the turbo system. An intercooler upgrade is one of the first places people start. The factory intercooler is a well-designed piece of engineering and is integrated to work with the complete turbo system. If you are planning on upgrading your intercooler make sure to do your homework and research the sometimes-wild claims that manufacturers can make. Also, the intercooler must be designed to flow with the rest of the intake plumbing; just bolting a giant intercooler onto your car is no guaranty of increased performance or drivability.

Over the years the Porsche 951 Turbos are known to start to fail. This can result in oil blow by. The oil has a tendency to end up in the intercooler. If you have blown a turbo, it is a good idea to remove the intercooler and get the oil out of it.

Note: our project car will be shown missing some other components from the front of the vehicle. You only need to remove what is described in the article.

Begin by raising the headlights by removing the cover on the headlight motor on the front right side of the vehicle and hand cranking the lights to the up position (red arrow).
Figure 1

Begin by raising the headlights by removing the cover on the headlight motor on the front right side of the vehicle and hand cranking the lights to the up position (red arrow).

You are going to be removing the top body panel between the headlights (red arrow).
Figure 2

You are going to be removing the top body panel between the headlights (red arrow). If you are worried about damaging the paint, tape around the area you will be working (yellow arrows) before beginning.

Use a flathead screwdriver and loosen the clamps from the air tubes attached to the intercooler (red arrows).
Figure 3

Use a flathead screwdriver and loosen the clamps from the air tubes attached to the intercooler (red arrows).

There are four Philips head screws along the top of the panel.
Figure 4

There are four Philips head screws along the top of the panel. Remove these (red arrows, two shown).

With the headlights up reach into the lower section between the headlight and the panel and gently pull back towards the headlight and up the rubber trim piece (red arrows).
Figure 5

With the headlights up reach into the lower section between the headlight and the panel and gently pull back towards the headlight and up the rubber trim piece (red arrows). Use an 8mm socket and remove the bolt connecting the panel to the fender from inside the headlight area (yellow arrow).

Place some painters tape around the panel and use an 8mm socket to remove the two nuts and washers in each headlight area (red arrows).
Figure 6

Place some painters tape around the panel and use an 8mm socket to remove the two nuts and washers in each headlight area (red arrows).

There is a 7mm self-taping screw located inside the headlight area.
Figure 7

There is a 7mm self-taping screw located inside the headlight area. Use a long extension and 7mm socket (red arrow) that will reach approximately four inches into the area to remove the screw (yellow arrow shows approximate area of screw under the panel).

With everything free you can slide the panel off the front of the vehicle (red arrows).
Figure 8

With everything free you can slide the panel off the front of the vehicle (red arrows).

If you have not disconnected the input and exit tubes from the intercooler, make sure you loosen the hose clamp closest to the intercooler.
Figure 9

If you have not disconnected the input and exit tubes from the intercooler, make sure you loosen the hose clamp closest to the intercooler. You are not trying to get the rubber sleeve through the opening when you are removing the intercooler (red arrow, both sides).

With the panel off use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws holding the plastic air dam to the top of the intercooler (red arrows).
Figure 10

With the panel off use a Philips head screwdriver and remove the two screws holding the plastic air dam to the top of the intercooler (red arrows).

Use a 10mm socket and extension and remove the two mounting bolts on each side of the intercooler (red arrows).
Figure 11

Use a 10mm socket and extension and remove the two mounting bolts on each side of the intercooler (red arrows).

There is a large plastic dam that helps direct and force air through the intercooler (red arrows).
Figure 12

There is a large plastic dam that helps direct and force air through the intercooler (red arrows). This piece of plastic is much more manageable than it looks. You are going to tilt the intercooler up and pull it away from the cross member. It looks like it will not come out because of the air dam. Take your time and the dam will fold out of the way and allow you to remove the intercooler.

You can see in this image that the dam will move enough to get the intercooler out (red arrow).
Figure 13

You can see in this image that the dam will move enough to get the intercooler out (red arrow).

With the intercooler out you can drain all the oil out.
Figure 14

With the intercooler out you can drain all the oil out. If it has been a catastrophic turbo failure and the intercooler is full of oil, you can take it to a shop and have it dipped.

Before reinstalling the intercooler make sure to check the condition of the air dams and give the area a good cleaning.
Figure 15

Before reinstalling the intercooler make sure to check the condition of the air dams and give the area a good cleaning. Installation is the reverse of removal.



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