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Large intercooler without hacking the bumper?

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    Large intercooler without hacking the bumper?

    I'm looking to see what others have done in terms of intercoolers for their projects.

    I'd prefer to

    • use the stock radiator location against the back of the core support panel
    • Keep the front of the car intact (I dont mind trimming stuff, but I dont want the cooler hanging out the front of the car)
    • Fit as large an intercooler as possible.

    Everything else is free, I'll likely get solid bends welded on to save space etc.

    What have you guys done and what works?

    This looks promising, but no pictures with the front end fitted

    This is what I'd like to avoid:

    I’m running a Mishimoto m line intercooler, behind an MTech 2 bumper

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


      Yeah, I'd avoid something like that white car too, it looks pretty hacked up and blue silicone couplers are never a good look.

      I'm running a 24"x12"x3" core intercooler, some cutting of the valance was required (none visible with the bumper on) and no aux fan will fit. See my build thread for more details.

      If you have no AC, an intercooler like mine could be fitted with the piping running under the headlights, but this does not work with AC hoses installed. If you're like me and you like having AC, it's worth noting that air flow through the condenser and radiator when stopped is very poor with this kind of setup.
      Last edited by varg; 10-28-2017, 05:52 AM.

      IG @turbovarg
      '91 318is, M20 turbo
      [CoTM: 4-18]
      '94 525iT slicktop, M50B30 + S362SX-E, 600WHP DD or bust
      - updated 3-17


        Originally posted by SGT StudMuffiin View Post
        I’m running a Mishimoto m line intercooler, behind an MTech 2 bumper

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

        This picture shows the front end of my car, and as you can see it is not even visible. Also, IIRC the Mishimoto M-Line is the same size as Varg’s.

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


          Thanks guys. Noted on the AC, I'd like to keep AC but appreciate space is very tight!

          SGT StudMuffiin - Is this your cooler:

          If so it's 23.5 x 11.75 x 3 which is very similar indeed.

          varg - Yours is fitted as shown with the stock E30 condensor in place and standard AC pipework?

          For info, build thread for the red car in post 1:

          And a pic with the valance fitted:

          Last edited by alistairolsen; 10-28-2017, 04:04 PM.


            I can't remember measurements off the top of my head, but I took the widest intercooler that I can fit between my frame rails and the height is from the bottom of my valance to the bottom of my grille.
            I was able to keep my A/C by routing the chargepiping around the compressor which isn't that hard tbh all said and done. Your oil drain is probably going to be the most awkward fitting unit - I also went external oil filter for those that are still M20.

            A slimmer AUX fan was used for the AC's rad, and the shroud was removed.

            I had my ends cut and welded to a 45* so that I can fit my fogs and ducts to keep an OEM front end look. The fab on the intercooler ends is shown below when the valance was off.

            The only thing I remember trimming was some negligible pieces behind the valance, besides the obvious hole in the middle. Nothing off the bumper or car itself.
            The two bottom mounting points of the valance had to be cut off as well.

            Last edited by ak-; 10-28-2017, 05:32 PM.

            1991 325iS turbo


              Thanks very much!


                Are any of you guys able to run a pusher fan behind the intercooler? I had a turbo m52 coupe and never tried to run a pusher because I had room for a puller but on my new car I'm going with a m30 so I won't have an room in the engine bay for a fan.

                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                  If you have no AC You'll have enough room to do that with a setup like mine. If there's a condenser there you're going to have to get a short intercooler so that it doesn't interfere with the fan, which will have to be pretty powerful and thus pretty thick.

                  IG @turbovarg
                  '91 318is, M20 turbo
                  [CoTM: 4-18]
                  '94 525iT slicktop, M50B30 + S362SX-E, 600WHP DD or bust
                  - updated 3-17


                    Z3M Rad
                    No AC
                    Spal slim 16" Pusher in front of rad, barely clears FMIC
                    Underside of headlight brackets are trimmed for clearance, but I really don't think it was necessary for 2.5" piping.
                    FMIC is 2.5" in/out, approx 20x12x3" core size (advertised as 21x9x2.75...)

                    Last edited by Northern; 10-30-2017, 05:14 PM.
                    Originally posted by priapism
                    My girl don't know shit, but she bakes a mean cupcake.
                    Originally posted by shameson
                    Usually it's best not to know how much money you have into your e30


                      Das Beast

                      "And then we broke the car. Again." Mark Donohue, "The Unfair Advantage"

                      1987 E30 3L Turbo Stroker Das Beast
                      2002 E39 M5


                        mine is an early model but I managed to squeeze it behind the valance without cutting anything, just had to remove the oil cooler and power steering cooler loop. I found a two piece front valence and used the top half with a bbs valence below.

                        318iS Track Rat :nice:
                        '86 325iX 3.1 Stroker Turbo '86 S38B36 325

                        No one makes this car anymore. The government won't allow them, normal people won't buy them. So it's up to us: the freaks, the weirdos, the informed. To buy them, to appreciate them, and most importantly, to drive them.


                          3" thick, core size 600mm x 280mm
                          3" welded 90° end pipes under headlights

                          Can't even tell it's there with the front on :)

                          T U R B O - M 2 0 - B U I L D

                          M U S C C O O


                            For anyone interested, the intercooler for the red car in post #1 appears to be a CX Racing IC0037: 2.5" Inlet/Outlet, 20.5"x9"x3" Core Size, 28"x9"x3" Overall Size.
                            1987 - 325i Convertible Delphin Auto [SOLD], 325i Convertible Delphin Manual [SOLD]
                            1989 - 325i Convertible Bronzit m30b35 swapped [SCRAPPED], 325i Sedan Alpine Auto[DD]
                            1991 - 325i Coupe Laguna Manual [Project], 535i Sedan Alpine [SCRAPPED]