Intercooler Installation Pics

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:44 PM
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Intercooler Installation Pics

I installed the Helix intercooler on my R60 last weekend and wanted to share some installation pics. I didn't take enough pictures for a full how-to, but these may be useful for anyone else installing one.

My order of operations:

1. Jack up car and remove front wheels. This isn't completely necessary, but it does make it easier to work.

2. Remove front grille. There are 4 10mm bolts on top, then pull bottom edge towards you to release. You can also remove the headlights to make it easier by removing 4 10mm bolts on each one.

3. Remove front bumper apron. This is pain in the *** the first time you do it, but it's not so bad once you get the hang of it. Open the cap inside the wheel well and disconnect fog lights, turn signal, and side reflector. Remove 2 torx screws underneath as well as 3 plastic rivets. Pop out the center pieces of the rivets on the underside of the arch trim, along with 1 8mm screw. Release the white rivet on the inside of the arch trim to pull it away from the car. You don't need to remove then entire arch, but you do need it to be free up to the halfway point so you can pull it away from the car. Underneath you'll find 1 torx screw on each side of the car. Once those are out, remove the 2 torx screws on the upper front of the apron and it should come free. This is the most time-intensive step, and it gets easier after this.



4. Remove the air ducts for the brakes. Do not remove the 4 8mm screws inside the wheel well--it won't do any good. They just pull forward off the car. Here is a pic--notice the two plugs that hold them in place.



5. There are 2 long plastic pieces on either side of the radiator that need to be removed. Make sure you unclip the temperature sensor from the passenger side one. They look like this:



When you're taking them off, you have to pull forward to clear these square cutouts. Feeling with your hand, it will feel like they are bolts, but they aren't. They just slide forward and then off.



6. Now remove the old intercooler. On the driver side, take a flathead screwdriver and insert vertically from below to loosen the hose clamp. It's easy once you find the right hole. On the passenger side, you have to angle in from behind, but this one is also fairly easy to access. After the hose clamps are loosened, just pull the intercooler forward until it comes free.

Here is the old vs the new:



7. While you have the intercooler and bumper off, it's generally recommended to do something about the muffler on the hot side (driver side) boost tube. The muffler is restrictive to airflow and you're generally better off without it. You have 2 options: replace the entire tube (NM sells one), or replace the muffler with a store-bought piece or make your own (there's a good thread here if you want to make your own).

Holding the muffler on is a T25 torx screw that's a major pain to get to because of the various hoses, but it can be done with enough perseverance. I used a torx screwdriver and it wasn't too bad. Whether you're replacing the entire tube or just the muffler, you need to remove this screw, loosen the hose clamp on the turbo and remove the entire tube by dropping out the bottoms side of the car.

In the thread above on removing the muffler, I read about this pre-intercooler cooling pipe which is basically a small intercooler for your intercooler. It's only $40, so I went with it. I doubt it can really cool all that much in the 9" or so of its length, but it can't hurt. Here's a couple pics of it in place of the muffler:





8. At this point, just reassemble in reverse. It's a lot quicker putting it back together than taking it apart. Here's the intercooler installed:



Underside view of the hot side boost tube:



Bumper apron back on and everything back together (except the wheels):



IMPORTANT NOTE: I highly recommend starting your car after installing the new intercooler and reconnecting all the tubes before putting the bumper back on. Should there be a loose connection somewhere, you don't want to have to disassemble everything all over again.

All in all, it took me about 4 hours, though that included a trip to the hardware store to buy a couple of hose clamps. If you buy the pre-intercooler pipe, make sure you pick up a couple of hose clamps that are 2.25" diameter.

Hopefully that is somewhat clear. I should have taken more pictures, but I didn't think about it until I had the bumper off. Let me know if you have any questions.
 
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:49 PM
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Great job on the write up. Let us know how it performs.
 
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:23 PM
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That muffler replacement pipe sounds like a good idea, way cheaper than most pipes you see being sold as well.

Theoretically, as long as the air around the outside of the pipe is cooler (less hot?) than the air inside, it will definitely dissipate heat. Any temperature drop there, even if it's small, is a help!
 
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:16 AM
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Looks good! Great writeup and good photos. Thanks for putting this together.
 
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:52 PM
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good info!
 
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:38 PM
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Thanks for the detailed write up. I was changing the boost tube and putting a M7 on but I was having problems getting the muffler tube out. The T25 Torx socket was indeed correct size....and a HUGE PITA to get out!
 

Last edited by miniwpbear; 03-08-2015 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:55 PM
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Did the hose clamps on the muffler not transfer over to the replacement cooler section? I'm thinking of taking the muffler out regardless of putting in a new intercooler. They look the same size...but it sounds like they arent?
 
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:33 AM
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The M7 was a full replacement not just the muffler section like I have seen NM and VIP make.
 
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:50 AM
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Great write up and pictures! Looks good.

-Luccia
 
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kohlersc View Post
Did the hose clamps on the muffler not transfer over to the replacement cooler section? I'm thinking of taking the muffler out regardless of putting in a new intercooler. They look the same size...but it sounds like they arent?
The hose clamps on the muffler weren't the reusable kind unfortunately. I had to make a quick trip to the hardware store.
 
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:08 PM
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Copied your setup today. Thanks for the step by step directions! It was still a huge PIA, but at least there were no surprises and last minute runs to the hardware store😀
 
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:15 PM
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I ordered my Helix IC and it shipped on Tuesday... Can't wait and I already have the M7 pipe installed. I'll post pics when I do the install - Thanks for the write up!
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:39 AM
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These are the kinds of posts i live for
 
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:09 PM
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Is a tune necessary after this mod?
 
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:10 AM
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No.

Originally Posted by Bayville Mini View Post
Is a tune necessary after this mod?
 
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:33 AM
weaverpsu
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Intercooler install

I watched the Helix video and they don't show the removal of brake ducts or those large plastic pieces. I'm guessing we have to on the Countryman? I also don't see the point of removing the wheels or headlights. Helix doesn't touch headlights but they do take off the wheels. Is this just for extra room? I ask because I bought car ramps for the downpipe install and planned on using them for this job as well because I don't have a jack or stands. Thanks!
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:49 PM
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Finished

Originally Posted by weaverpsu View Post
I watched the Helix video and they don't show the removal of brake ducts or those large plastic pieces. I'm guessing we have to on the Countryman? I also don't see the point of removing the wheels or headlights. Helix doesn't touch headlights but they do take off the wheels. Is this just for extra room? I ask because I bought car ramps for the downpipe install and planned on using them for this job as well because I don't have a jack or stands. Thanks!
It becomes obvious the brake ducts and other 2 plastic pieces need to be removed when working on car. I would have loved the extra room and now see why someone would remove wheels. Headlights didn't need to come off.
 
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