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2013 ST2, AGP BWS turbo, SP63 block
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I didn't realize there were so many DIY intercooler threads. But I already typed this up so I decided to post it. Mine is a tiny bit different in how it mounts. Take it or leave it.

Note: there are fantastic pre made kits offered by all of the vendors. They are hassle free and will perform well every time. The vendors are what makes the ST community a symbiotic place and they all sell excellent products. Consider that route if you are not willing to cut metal and drill holes. This DIY tutorial will save you money but may cost you install time.

Parts list total $321:

Intercooler core:
Amazon.com: ETL Performance Front Mount Intercooler Bar and Plate 30.00"W X 9.00" H X 3.23" T X 2.50" ID: Automotive&

(1) order of 2 support straps - 1/4" thick by 1-1/2" wide by 15" long (6061 aluminum shown, but you can make it out of whatever you have handy)
Amazon.com: 2 Pieces 1/4" X 1-1/2" ALUMINUM 6061 FLAT BAR 24" long T6511 New Mill Stock .250: Home Audio & Theater

ATP charge air sensor elbow:

(2) 90° elbows with T-bolt clamps
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VRWXFDP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

(2) 2.5" OD pipe couplers to clamp to
https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Connector-Stainless-Khaos-Motorsports/dp/B07N96VDP3/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=2.5"+ID+to+2.5"+ID+Universal+Exhaust+Pipe+to+Pipe+Coupling&qid=1610474377&s=automotive&sr=1-3

(1) set of mounting hardware hardware ( you can also use whatever hardware you have handy. the holes in the core are 3/8" and the bolts need to be at least 4")
https://www.amazon.com/16-18x4-Stainless-Screws-Washers-Diameter/dp/B08DTF6VF1/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&keywords=5/16-18+4"+bolt&qid=1610480604&sr=8-19

i've found quite a few build guides on here so I'm not going to write one.

Here's a great one:

Also here's a good youtube video:
I do my couplers exactly like his except make sure that you rough up the 2.5" pipe couplers. if they are smooth they will blow off.
I simply did this with a metal file to make the surface that gets clamped on have some grip.

A difference of my build is that it mounts the intercooler so that there is about 4 inches of space between the radiator and the intercooler. This helps the intercooler cool very effectively as it can cool from both sides instead of being sandwiched against the radiator.

You will need a high speed cut off wheel to grind the straps to length. I cut mine to about 15"
You will also need a couple of 3/8" drill bits to go through the bash bar.
Line up your holes twice before you drill them. They take forever to put through the bash bar. The aluminum straps are easy.

386862


I couldn't find a good picture of how I did the straps but here's a sketch. Straps are in red. they go on the back of the intercooler.
Again, measure twice, drill once.

386863


I like this design because it makes the intercooler very prominent in the grill. It will however prevent you from using Active Grill Shutters ever again. Which the AGS actually really help with drag and gas mileage if that's your thing.


386864


I did this mod several months ago and its been running fantastically. Cools very well.
 

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WOW! Great job! There are other "turnkey" solutions for a few dollars more, but this looks awesome, and you did it yourself! Bravo!
 

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Nicely done!
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah the bar stock and the hardware I got from work for free. My boss generously donated some raw steel to the cause.
I just wanted a quick click list that you can order all online.
 

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So at $321 USD in parts, plus free steel, plus planning, plus labour, plus chance of error.

Are you sure your not trying to convince me buying one is a good deal?

Good job by the way.
 
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I really do like the real estate this IC takes up in the grille area. Looks great!
 
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Discussion Starter #9
So at $321 USD in parts, plus free steel, plus planning, plus labour, plus chance of error.

Are you sure your not trying to convince me buying one is a good deal?

Good job by the way.
If you used your own hardware and were thrifty you could beat $300.
I really like the ETL universal large intercooler. It matches the pre facelift grille very well. its solidly well made and very affordable at $170.
ATP charge air sensor elbow is kind of a fixed expense. but everything else you could beat a price on with diligence/thriftiness.

I mean most vendor intercoolers are going to run you over $600.
Again, I love the ST vendors. its very nice to have all the options that we do. Give them business if you can.
But if you're going to have the tools out anyway to take the bumper off, why not just chop some steel/aluminum and cut your cost in half while you've got the car on jacks.
 

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2016 Focus ST1
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Nice! I did the CX Racing intercooler with eBay couplers for about $180.
F27760EB-71A2-4ADD-BF23-8677BD9C351E.jpeg
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Nice! I did the CX Racing intercooler with eBay couplers for about $180.
Nice! looks pretty similar. Maybe nicer with the more typical focus intercooler radiator support brackets. where did your charge air sensor go?
 

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Nice! looks pretty similar. Maybe nicer with the more typical focus intercooler radiator support brackets. where did your charge air sensor go?
I drilled a 1/2 inch hole into the side of the intercooler where the sensor should go and wrapped it with silicone gasket maker from autozone. Then I mounted it in place with a self tapping screw. I used this guide. The CXR Do-It-Yourself Intercooler Guide
8919C92C-CF65-4A3D-8F08-A2F32DB7359D.jpeg
 

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Overall, I think the stock intercooler had less turbo lag. But since I’m living in California, it got heat soaked fast especially in the summer where we get 100+ weather for weeks a time. If I were to move up north, I’d put the stock intercooler back as I think it’s sufficient with a more crisp feeling when you accelerate.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interesting. I had the same notion for mine but then I decided against drilling in to the core. Kind of wishing I had now as the ATP elbow is costly and a bit of a flow restriction. Maybe I'll take it off and Do it. Nice job looks clean on yours.
[edit] ETL is thicker comment deleted.
Hard to comment on turbo lag as I've got all different charge pipes, intake pipe and turbo at this point. 25 psi makes a lot of heat. unless its snowing out the charge temp will still climb up north.
 
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2018 Ford Focus ST1
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Regarding drilling into the core for mounts and/or sensors.. how are you guys guaranteeing you're getting all the aluminum/steel shavings out of the core so you don't send that into the motor?
 
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Discussion Starter #17
yeah that depo one is real nice and well priced. If I had seen that before I made mine I may have gone that route.

Regarding drilling into the core for mounts and/or sensors.. how are you guys guaranteeing you're getting all the aluminum/steel shavings out of the core so you don't send that into the motor?
shop vacuum over the outlet while you drill.
 

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Overall, I think the stock intercooler had less turbo lag. But since I’m living in California, it got heat soaked fast especially in the summer where we get 100+ weather for weeks a time. If I were to move up north, I’d put the stock intercooler back as I think it’s sufficient with a more crisp feeling when you accelerate.
I live in MA, and even in the winter the stock IC would heatsoak. It just wasn’t ever enough.

The thing just really struggled to release heat.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2016 ST1, FBO, GTX2867R Gen2 .64-AR, Spec stage 2 clutch, Quaife LSD, Fortune Auto 500 coil-overs.
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I need to upgrade. My mountune tube and fin Isn't cutting it anymore. Worked fine in the PNW but I'm TX bound. Time for a bar and plate. Ty for the write-up.. you did a great job.
 
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