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Plazmaman 1000HP Intercooler Install on a Mk1

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This has been a long time coming! I said I'd do a writeup of my intercooler install a while ago and never got around to it, till now! 💪

Take this thread post thing as a GUIDE! Every car although the same model can be slightly different, as found out after to a bunch of people who have installed this cooler – some even do it for a living! In saying that they will all be pretty close! Although this guide is done for a Mk1, a Mk2 install should be pretty similar, as far as I know the only real difference is that the Mk2 has AC lines that interfere and need to be bend out the way. 

I still recommend anyone that reads this guide to have a good read through the plazzy instructions too, they aren't the best but have some good pointers.

Special thanks goes out to @JETURBO for all the wisdom and chats to help me through this!

All the photos for this thread can be found here, some will be in the thread itself.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO ASK BELOW! I WILL DO MY BEST TO HELP YOU AS BEST I CAN 

(And I'm sure the others here will do the same) 

 

Requirements

The intercooler kit itself

You NEED aftermarket piping, I went with the intune motorsports piping kit, pretty good for the price! You can go with the plazzy piping too.

Silicone reducers, I needed a 2.5" to 3" (63mm to 76mm) reducer for the intune piping. 

Angle grinder for all the mad cutting you're about to do. 

Reciprocating saw makes removing the factory IC mount easier - I did it with an angle grinder but was a pain. 

Other usual tools: socket set, screwdriver, etc.

PATIENCE! Start early cause this job will take a lot longer than you think!!

 

Jack up the car, or use ramps, and take the front bumper off

I used ramps because you don't need to take the wheels off to do this install. That being said, to take the bumper off without taking the wheels off is a bit of a pain. Not impossible though!

Lots of resources online on how to do this hence why I skipped explaining it. Here's a good thread that covered it pretty well.

rW77vDZ.jpg

 

Remove the bumper support, horn bracket, headlights, and wiper bottle

Remove all the bits that will be getting in the way. 

The black support thing needs to be removed, so do the headlights.

I took the horn off cause it got in the way, just one bolt and a plug for the horns themselves

 

Remove the water bottle for the wipers. You'll need a deep socket for this!

I did this later on during the install but just save the time and do it now instead of avoiding it like me. 

The horn and wiper bottle pics are shown below

Bk2GFpD.jpg 22sDYVA.jpg

 

Unbolt Intercooler

Remove the piping from the intercooler. My car already had the intune piping kit so I just had hose clamps. The stock piping is easy to remove though. Just follow the pipes and remove the bolts that hold the stock piping in place.

There's 4 bolts in total that hold the IC in. Two on the sides and two on the top, shown below.

Say goodbye to the POS plastic intercooler.

GH0JzLj.jpg ZyjUEV4.jpg HLARWxC.jpg

 

Cut the IC Support off

You don't need to cut this flush but I did cause it looked better. Refer to the Plazzy manual on where you need to cut it to get by.
I recommend cutting it flush though. If you use a reciprocating saw I'd put some wood or something on the other side so you don't cut through anything important.

I marked in black on the sides where I cut. I cleaned it up more after I took these shots too but you get the point I think.

 

uTcRTo3.jpg

r9EmyxN.jpg

 

Remove lower rad support

I followed the plazzy instructions for this, the bolt has a weird flat-head screwdriver type head on one side which I think is dumb but whatever. I held that with pliers. 

There's also a bolt on the bottom of the rad support too.

I also zip tied the top of the rad before removing the supports just to help support it a little. Not necessary but gave me piece of mind so up to you if you want to do it.

Once the bottom supports are off go ahead and remove the top ones too.

F0xiQ4e.jpg uDzHUBx.jpg

 

Drill the holes for the new rad support

Now this is the part where @JETURBO saved my bacon. These measurements are from him. The measurements from the plazzy instructions are a little confusing.

Refer to the picture below to see where the reference is taken from for these measurements. The first mark is at 100mm and the second at 165mm. Its from the end of the lower part of the crash support bar thingy. Yes, thingy, just look at the damn image. Centre the holes across the horizontal plane. 

oIHfkZH.jpg

 

Start with a 4mm pilot hole followed by a 8.5mm hole.

 

Install the new rad support

Put the mushroom looking rubber pieces back onto the radiator but put them on upside down! Its weird I know, but just do it. Makes life easier!

I found this part so tricky and a lot of cussing occurred over a sad amount of time getting this thing in. This is the way I did it but if you know an easier way then reply below! It may be easier if you remove the zip ties mentioned above before doing this.

I used a jack and a piece of mdf to hold the bracket and lift it up I lined up the radiator holes with the rubber with the holes on the top of the rad support and slowly lifted the jack up. With some adjusting and wiggling, get the rad support to line up with the furhest back holes and bolt them in. Tilting the rad support towards you helps with this. Once the back screws are in you can then use the jack to lever and tilt the rad support to line up with the front holes. I wish I'd filmed this to show it better. But just be patient with this part. Take your time! This is one of the hardest parts of the install so have a beer to celebrate your achievement!

 

td89gU8.jpg Iw3AA8I.jpg

 

Now compare the old with the new to bask in all the glory of the new intercooler you just purchased

I mean look at the difference!!! This thing is hugee! Like Donald Trump huge!

I do kinda regret not getting the polished version but oh well! Still performs great!

Also, get another drink while you're at this stage because alcohol makes this way more interesting.

6v1NIsX.jpg u0zSdJt.jpg

 

Add the top IC brackets

I only took a photo after the install but you get the point from this. The right angle brackets are fitted using the factory hood latch bolts. I used the upper slots but your mileage may vary. Start with the top ones and fit the cooler to see if you need to use the others. Keep the bolts loose so you can adjust the intercooler.

yQwn2Kh.jpg

 

Cut the condenser bolts and trim some of the inner front crash bar. Bend the AC line, cut the crash bar.

This is step 13 and 14 in the plazzy instructions. You NEED to cut these bolts shorter to fit the cooler. On the other hand, the crash bar part is dependant on the install of the rad support. I needed to trim a little bit, and by a little I mean I did even use a cutting disk. I just grinded it down a bit. I recommend grinding some off just to be safe. You can always slowly fit the cooler and see where it interferes and go from there (this is what I did).

I also had to bend the AC line a bit but not much at all.

This step is where it'll likely differ for you. 

These are also photos I took after the install but they will give you a good idea of what needs to be cut and bent.

Step 20 of the instructions says to cut the crash bar. Its not shown in any of my photos but I had to do this for my install. I recommend just doing it and saving the hassle. Its easy to cut and gives you more room for the piping 

a2KPgsV.jpg  

rzqFr7O.jpg

 

 Test fit and repeat cutting process

Using a jack, slowly lift the cooler from under the car. Hold the top of the cooler and keep an eye for anywhere it is hitting. I highly recommend you tape up the IC before doing or else you risk scratching it if you're not careful. I didn't do this but I took my time when lifting the cooler and checked everywhere to make sure it wasn't interfering anywhere.

Once you can lift it far enough that you can bolt the top of the IC in, do so. You can then lower the jack and inspect anywhere where the cooler is fouling.

I had to cut some of the plastic where the old lower radiator mounts were. No one mentioned this anywhere so could just be me but figured I'd mention it.

PQP0LDV.jpg

 

cxtXg7r.jpg

 

Install lower IC bracket

Once you are happy with the fitment its time to install the lower brackets. Follow the image below for a reference because they don't give you any in the instructions.

Bolt it on loosely and adjust the cooler till you're satisfied with its fitment. Once you're happy, tighten all the bolts. Now is a good time to tighten the top rad support brackets and double check the lower rad support bolts. 

You can also reinstall the horn and washer bottle now too.

TrHnUSx.jpg

 

The piping!

This part is a b%$@ch to do. All you need is time and patience. You shouldn't need to do any more cutting by this point. If you have the intune piping or similar design, my best advice is to ram that piping into the intercooler ends as far as you can. You shouldn't damage the inside of the IC cause it won't go that far, just get them in there as far as you can! 

 

Cut all your Plastic parts

This part doesn't need any images, just follow the plazzy instructions on what to cut as they explain it pretty well. A lot of people remove the lower rock guard so they don't have to cut it. I did it the long way and cut mine so I could keep the guard. 

This is where my images end because I followed the plazzy instructions afterwards. They do an alright job at explaining the piping and cutting plastic job but if you have questions just ask below!

 

Reinstall bumper

Check all piping clamps are tight.

Reinstall the lights and the bumper and then stand back and admire your work. You did good!  

VSWTqOj.jpg

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Amazing write up mate ! 
 

Thank christ I didn’t have to do the write up, but the installation process is easier on the 50th time haha 

 

Happy to of helped out buddy ;) 

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Cheers @JETURBO! I’m sure there’s stuff I’ve missed in this cause there were a lot of “little things” that I did and that you recommended. 

Hopefully this can help a few fellas out there looking to do diy this. 

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