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Saturday, January 27, 2007


Lower intercooler mount for the Dart

I finished putting the lower intercooler mount on the Dart today. It's made of bits of aluminum. There's two good lessons from this installation. One, if you don't know how to weld and are doing custom work, make friends with someone who can. The guys at AutoFab welded up this bracket, and it elevates this intercooler installation from a garage hack job to a hack job that looks like it's done by professionals. As they did a good job with welding the tabs on, I'll see if I can also have them weld mounting tabs to the radiator so it bolts up to the stock mounting holes. Much better than the weird cobbled brackets I was planning to use.

Two, "Measure twice and cut once" applies to both the front and back of the pannel. Several of the holes I drilled came out too close - or inside - the front subframe rails. I couldn't use those holes at all. So I ended up drilling ten holes for six bolts. Not good.

Now I just need to do something about the top brackets. I had thought about bending the brackets that CX Racing supplied with the intercooler. However, turns out their brackets are pretty much useless - the holes aren't even the right diameter to match their intercooler. So I'll have to say that so far I haven't found any of the cheapo eBay special speed parts which are 100% free of bad shortcuts. For the guys at CX Racing (aka "Just Intercoolers"), if you hadn't included the brackets, I'd have had a better opinion of your intercooler.

Speaking of my cheap speed parts, I recently got to see a genuine HKS Super Sequential Blow Off Valve. It was sitting around at AutoFab, attached to about two feet of aluminum intercooler piping. Even with the intercooler piping attached, it weighed less than my knock-off valve does on its own.


Saturday, January 20, 2007


Alternators with fine print clauses

I ordered a brand-new Bosch alternator for the Dart from RockAuto, and it arrived today. It's not a stock replacement, but a late model truck alternator for more amps.

Well, when I got it out of the box, I found that there was a serpentine belt pulley on it. And a note saying that some applications require re-using the original pulley. Now they tell me I needed a pulley. There's not a good way to put the original alternator's pulley on there, as it's press fitted on.

At least the pulley on the Bosch alternator easily removes with a cheap impact wrench. Just be sure not to have the alternator supported only by the pulley when you do this - ask me how I know.

Looks like I may need to go junkyard hunting to find a V-belt pulley.


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