I’m a bit slow to report but the intercooler went on without any fuss. The offending pipe was cut down, deburred and cleaned out. It’s vital to remove any metal dust and fragments very carefully before putting everything back together.
Everything now sits nicely under the bonnet. The trickiest parts were getting the little rubber hoses onto the cold pipe near the throttle body and replacing some hose clamps because I snapped them over tightening with a rattle gun. Oops.
How does the car drive? Exactly the same. But at least the intercooler and intake piping is eliminated as a possible restriction (for only $305). I also now know the front bar and headlights are properly secured.
World Time Attack Challenge was very motivating for modifying the car. Most importantly, it was very motivating for my better half too. Consequently, I have ordered a larger turbo with the aim of making somewhere just above 200 rwkw.
The turbo is a Kinugawa TD05-18G 8cm; the billet compressor wheel version. It comes with everything pictured, brand new for under $1000. Trawling through forums reveals people are pretty happy with them and that with cams, 230 or so rwkw is possible. I’m not keen to lose VTC, so at this stage I won’t be changing the cams, unless they are mild enough to not sacrifice mid range torque. Therefore, something more like 210 rwkw should be possible for me.
The plan is to try and retain the external wastegate setup. I don’t want to weld up the new turbo wastegate like the current setup on a brand new turbo. Instead, I intend to replace the actuator with a threaded rod and nut so I can tension the internal wastegate flap closed. I’d also like to have the dump modified slightly to feed the wastegate exhaust back in at a better angle, with an extra flange below so the whole section can be removed to make accessing the back of the turbo easier.