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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started this project yesterday, and took a ton of pictures for the tutorial. Didn't get the whole thing done, but got all of the stock bits off.

The first thing I want to point out is the number of potential leak points on the stock system. It's pretty nuts. On the stock system, there are 13 potential leak points. On the EC intercooler system, there are 5 potential leak points. Please excuse the poor photo quality, it was getting late when I took these.


First, the stock intercooler system assembled:



Next, the comparison between stock and EC:






...continued in next post...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Lastly, some measurements:

The inlet pipe connecting to the intercooler measures 1.55 inches in ID (inner diameter). Ouch.


All of the plastic parts measure 1.75" in outer diameter.


However, the plastic is about 0.11" thick, so you're back down to abouto 1.55 inches in ID on those areas as well.


Wait...what's this? There's a plastic section that has a little indentation in it...


This measures 1.65" in outer diameter, at the indentation.


If my math is correct, that means that the inner diameter at that spot is 1.43". What a choke point...

The EC tube's smallest section has an inner diameter of 2", and the rest measures between 2" and 2.5".


A few noteworthy measurements:
OE intercooler has a surface area measuring 7.375 H x 19.75 W. Frontal surface areas is 146 square inches.
EC intercooler has a surface area measuring 7.875 H x 21.5 W. Frontal surface area is 169 square inches, an increase of 16%.

However, the OE intercooler measures 2.5" deep, and the EC intercooler measures 3.5" deep, so it is in fact a significantly bigger intercooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As you can see, the stock system leaves much to be desired. There are several attachment points that can potentially create boost leaks as the rubber seals deteriorate over time. The system has several sections reduced down to 1.5", and the inlet and outlet of the intercooler are also 1.5". The constant transition from hose to plastic creates additional resistance. I was pretty surprised that the driver side intercooler plumbing (including the elbow coming off the intercooler), was made of of SEVEN individual pieces, which is all consolidated into one with the EC hose. As you could probably guess, this doesn't make removing the intake side of the intercooler hose a simple matter...

The plastic pieces of course will heat soak and reduce the overall efficiency of the system, and the OEM hose itself is pretty thin as well. The EC hose will significantly reduce heat soak and improve the efficiency of the intercooler system.

I should have the new intercooler installed by the end of today. Keep an eye out for the tutorial.
 

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NICE!!!! Mahalo @XtremeRevolution

I wonder what hiccup you'll encounter and warn us about in the tutorial...there by making our installs that much easier and quicker?!?!?!

Aloha!
 

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Thanks for your efforts. Looking forward to the tutorial, and a realistic estimate of installation time and expected frustration level.
I am looking forward to this as well. It's a time consuming job, but the only thing I personally find frustrating is the clamp on the throttle.

Greg
 

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Thanks for doing this for the group. I'll save my questions until after I have digested your tutorial. I'm sure it will be well detailed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The most consuming thing was figuring out how to get the stock plumbing out of the car. Once you have the steps outlined, it takes half the time. I fought with the plastic piece on the driver's side for a while before deciding I needed to separate all the pieces in the car first, then unbolt the sway bar from the chassis to get enough clearance.

The throttle body hose wasn't too bad. If you have a mini driver ratchet like this one and use a 1/4 bit on 9/32" or 5/16" heads (forgot which one it was, I'll double check for the tutorial), you have plenty of clearance. Again, on the passenger side, it was a pain till I realized you need to disassemble the plumbing to get it all out.

It's more time consuming than difficult, but with a tutorial, I expect someone can get this done in 3-4 hours depending on what help they have and whether or not they have access to a lift. I recommend you find a pillow you don't mind getting dirty because you'll be on your back a lot.

Everything fits, and it's installed and buttoned back up. I'm about to go fire it up and take my first test drive.
 

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The most consuming thing was figuring out how to get the stock plumbing out of the car. Once you have the steps outlined, it takes half the time. I fought with the plastic piece on the driver's side for a while before deciding I needed to separate all the pieces in the car first, then unbolt the sway bar from the chassis to get enough clearance.

The throttle body hose wasn't too bad. If you have a mini driver ratchet like this one and use a 1/4 bit on 9/32" or 5/16" heads (forgot which one it was, I'll double check for the tutorial), you have plenty of clearance. Again, on the passenger side, it was a pain till I realized you need to disassemble the plumbing to get it all out.

It's more time consuming than difficult, but with a tutorial, I expect someone can get this done in 3-4 hours depending on what help they have and whether or not they have access to a lift. I recommend you find a pillow you don't mind getting dirty because you'll be on your back a lot.

Everything fits, and it's installed and buttoned back up. I'm about to go fire it up and take my first test drive.
Thanks for trying this out Xtreme. I'm sure many are looking forward to your tutorial, the information you provide is very valuable not only to us but the community as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There are 71 pictures for the tutorial, split up into 8 sections. I should have the tutorial up in the coming week. It's going to take me a bit of time to have everything up, but I think the wait will be worth it. I drove the car for 15 minutes today and had no issues, fitment or otherwise. The intercooler kit fit as it was intended to and performed as expected: impressively.
 

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Interesting read and information. Good on you on your new upgrade intercooler.
I upped my Abarth 124 Spider hp from 170 to some 200hp. I wondered and looked into the Eurocompulsion intercooler option. Yes it is a better capacity but think that potential leakage points are over played. Hoses on other areas on any new car when fitted well will not leak. In particular crucial radiator hoses. The Abarth is well build and there are good piping support points in keeping it securely fitted. I actually prefer the few hose connection points for reasons should one of the hoses become damage, one would only need to replace that short part of a hose and not having to replace the whole length on the upgraded product. Besides! I think it is a lot of money to fork out. For now my Car seems to be doing ok on the standard intercooler as it only has been a little while since power upgrade. Summer here will test it more. Should i decide then in a bigger intercooler then i will opt for an OEM intercooler from another vehicle of higher hp performance, say between 250hp and 300hp. I be taking some measurements and run some comparisons in establishing what other OEM intercooler will fit and suit best? Some minor alterations in making it fit are to be expected but expect if be not much more work than fitting a new upgrade intercooler. Then of course there is the big savings on a $200.00 Australian bigger capacity OEM versus $1,100.00 +
Food for thought?
 

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Interesting read and information. Good on you on your new upgrade intercooler.
I upped my Abarth 124 Spider hp from 170 to some 200hp. I wondered and looked into the Eurocompulsion intercooler option. Yes it is a better capacity but think that potential leakage points are over played. Hoses on other areas on any new car when fitted well will not leak. In particular crucial radiator hoses. The Abarth is well build and there are good piping support points in keeping it securely fitted. I actually prefer the few hose connection points for reasons should one of the hoses become damage, one would only need to replace that short part of a hose and not having to replace the whole length on the upgraded product. Besides! I think it is a lot of money to fork out. For now my Car seems to be doing ok on the standard intercooler as it only has been a little while since power upgrade. Summer here will test it more. Should i decide then in a bigger intercooler then i will opt for an OEM intercooler from another vehicle of higher hp performance, say between 250hp and 300hp. I be taking some measurements and run some comparisons in establishing what other OEM intercooler will fit and suit best? Some minor alterations in making it fit are to be expected but expect if be not much more work than fitting a new upgrade intercooler. Then of course there is the big savings on a $200.00 Australian bigger capacity OEM versus $1,100.00 +
Food for thought?
I disagree. The leaking isn't overplayed, I found my hoses to be leaking quite consideraby - especially in/out of the intercooler. Plus, if anything happens to the EC hoses, they will help you out.
 

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Trying to be objective here as much as I can, so here goes. Sure you can spend $200 on getting a bigger intercooler (how big do you need to go?), then spend HOURS figuring out how to install it, custom make a bunch of parts, since you seem to prefer multiple sections of hose instead of one continuous hose, brackets, trial and error, etc. Or, you could spend more money and get a kit that's custom made for the Spider, and is guaranteed to fit, with all the proper parts. So take what your time is worth on an hourly basis, multiply that by the time you'd spend developing a custom FMIC kit, add the cost of all the parts, and compare that to the cost of this particular FMIC kit, and you can figure out a break-even point. So in my particular case, let's say the FMIC is $200, hoses and couplers are $100, so that's $300 in parts. The kit is $1100, subtract $300 from that, leaves $800. Divide $800 by what my time is worth, and I get a break-even point of about 20 hours. So up to 20 hours, it's cheaper to make my own. Anything beyond 20 hours it's cheaper to get the kit. 20 hours might sound like a lot of time, but it will go by fast if I'm building my own kit from scratch, and have to spend hours under and in front of the car, doing all sorts of trial and error fittings, and not being able to drive the car (there's a cost factor to this as well). I think I've read somewhere that this particular intercooler is almost 60 percent larger in volume than the stock one, so you'd have to be driving the car under extreme conditions (weather or racing) in order to warrant something bigger. Have you put your Spider on the dyno and can confirm it's currently running with 200 hp, or is that based on stubby pencil calculations from modifications that have been done, i.e. intake, exhaust, ECM, etc?

I've got the Madness intake kit, MaxPower piggyback ECM, and custom axle-back exhaust. If I were to do anything else to the car to get more power, I'd definitely invest in a bigger FMIC. The next logical step would be a larger turbo, which would certainly justify a bigger FMIC, and this kit seems like a pretty good solution.
 

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The EC inter cooler is built by Bell Inter coolers, top notch operation and about as good as it gets. The guys at EC have run all the technical calculations as to how much more airflow you will need to safely run the car at the increased HP. and designed their kit with top notch materials. I don't know how you came up with 200HP, and whether that is at the wheels. You say you increased it to "some" 200Hp, and it sounds like a guess to me. I am not anything close to an expert on this, but when the EC crew says you are cruising for trouble increasing HP by that much without a commensurate increase in airflow, it is good enough for me. They stand behind their kits with parts and support, and as an added bonus, it sure looks good!!
 
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I have a lot of spare parts from my Evo and a GReddy IC was one of them. You better believe I was going to try and stuff that in there to try and cut costs since hey, I already have it right? But at the end of the day I realized I either had to piece together a bunch of random rubber piping, or weld my own aluminum IC piping. This stuff adds up. Hours turn into days and even I who have a second/third vehicle, still don't like the down time of having my car sit on jack stands while I stare at it. It's not saying it coudn't be done, but I thought to myself why? Someone already makes something and they tested it way more then I will. They took the risk and made sure it worked. Now I can just purchase it and reap the rewards.


The price tag on that FMIC to me isn't just for the parts. I paid for the knowledge that comes with it from those who stand behind that product. To me between the quality of the product, it's performance, and the knowledge base of the staff who built it, it's worth every penny. I bought my EC FMIC immediately after my EC tuner and have never looked back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Interesting read and information. Good on you on your new upgrade intercooler.
I upped my Abarth 124 Spider hp from 170 to some 200hp. I wondered and looked into the Eurocompulsion intercooler option. Yes it is a better capacity but think that potential leakage points are over played. Hoses on other areas on any new car when fitted well will not leak. In particular crucial radiator hoses. The Abarth is well build and there are good piping support points in keeping it securely fitted. I actually prefer the few hose connection points for reasons should one of the hoses become damage, one would only need to replace that short part of a hose and not having to replace the whole length on the upgraded product. Besides! I think it is a lot of money to fork out. For now my Car seems to be doing ok on the standard intercooler as it only has been a little while since power upgrade. Summer here will test it more. Should i decide then in a bigger intercooler then i will opt for an OEM intercooler from another vehicle of higher hp performance, say between 250hp and 300hp. I be taking some measurements and run some comparisons in establishing what other OEM intercooler will fit and suit best? Some minor alterations in making it fit are to be expected but expect if be not much more work than fitting a new upgrade intercooler. Then of course there is the big savings on a $200.00 Australian bigger capacity OEM versus $1,100.00 +
Food for thought?
The potential leak points exist, even with low mileage. Many of our members have already validated that. Furthermore, as these cars age, the seals in the joints will start to leak more and more, and you'll spend time chasing those down if you keep your car that long; I won't.

I can think of no circumstances where you would want to replace only a small section of piping or where just a small section would get damaged. If you are involved in a collision bad enough to damage intercooler piping, your car is totaled.

The car does operate OK on the stock intercooler; it simply operates better and more consistently on this one, and makes more power.

If you upgrade only the intercooler itself, you still keep some of the choke points and transition points of the factory plumbing.

How much is your time worth?
 
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