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Intercooler and Radiator PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter   
Sunday, 10 February 2008
RS500 Intercooler and a SAAB 900 Radiator, then moving to a C&R Racing Radiator!

**Note - I soon found that the SAAM Radiator was  not up to track duty, so it got replaced by a C&R Radiator modified by Dave Godfrey.** See the bottom for pictures.  

 

I wanted an intercooler, so in my normal process, I did some research, figured out how they work, and went out to try to build my own system. I got a Forge RS500 Intercooler from Forge Motorsports. I also got 34mm (1 3/8") Bypass valve with interchangeable springs.

The Forge IC is great, and it mounts to the car so nicely! The only problem is that the stock radiator doesn't come close to fitting! So, I went though three radiators before I found one that would fit. I got a Saab 88-90 900 (turbo or non turbo) radiator from Radiator.com. Great price, and it was here in 2 days. Not bad! For fans, I got a set of Permacool 10" Fans from Summit Racing.

 

The theory behind this project was simple, and the installation wasn't that bad either. A little time consuming, and made much easier by the help of my friend Chad. It would have been very difficult to hold the pieces, line everything up, drill, attach, etc, if it had only been me.

We began by removing the headlight mounts so that we could get the IC as far forward as possible. I knew I was going to upgrade to the Serria's headlights, but unfortunately they hadn't arrived yet, and so I had to guess as to how far forward I could go with the IC. Since their arrival, I think we put it a little too far forward, by about an inch. Unfortunate, because we did a darn nice job with the install. O well, the brainwork is done, so we just have to re-drill some holes.

Anyhow, on to the install:

Intercooler:

We used two stainless steel Carriage bolts to mount the intercooler to the frame of the car. With the help of a Dremal tool, we squared off the top hole so that the bolt was held tight. Originally, we wanted to essentially suspend the Intercooler using a rubber sandwich, but when we did this the intercooler was too loose. Removing the rubber and bolting it straight to the frame proved to make a VERY solid mount. We just have to make sure the hoses we use are flexible enough so the engine movement doesn't bend/brake the IC.

Radiator:

The Saab 900 radiator is a dual pass design. This means that the fluid travels through the device twice before it exits the system. In theory, this should give a more efficient result!
One will notice that it is much shorter then the stock XR radiator. It fits beautifully under the RS500 intercooler! We made a bracket to suspend the radiator from some aluminum from Lowe's. It's a piece of angle, about 3/4" -1" on a side. The bracket hung from both sides of the car's frame, went down the side of the radiator, under the bottom, and up the other side, to support the radiator from the bottom. We drilled some holes so that the little mounting posts were actually used. For the top, we made another al. bracket that strapped the radiator to the intercooler.

Fans:

The fans fit great! We used some sheet metal screws to hold them to the radiator. The Rad had lips on the top and bottom, so we just screwed through those. I used some RTV sealant to seal the fan to the radiator. We decided this was a little unorthodox, but I wanted the fans to pull air THROUGH the system, not from the sides, and so it made since to me. I then got some auto-quality adhesive backed foam strips from Lowes and made a seal between the radiator and the IC (see bottom picture) to further force the fans to pull air through the system. The fans have to work pretty hard because of all of this, so if I start having any trouble, I might put a pusher fan on the front.

Here's the install! Let me know if you have any questions:

 

 As mentioned above, the SAAB radiator couldn't hold up to track duty.  On the street it was great and I highly reccomend it to anyone needing to replace their stock rad.  However, I saw temps above 220 on the track and that just won't do.  

So, I installed a C&R Racing radiator.  Thanks to the genorosity of Dave Lockhart, I was able to obtain this beautiful piece.  I was able to use the same fans from the previous project.  Here are the pics:

 

 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 February 2008 )
 
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