Intercooler Removal/Cleaning

Front Intercooler

First, take off the plastic engine cover.  Remove the two black acorn nuts (12mm) and then lift the cover up.  Itís held on by three stems that fit down in holes on the top of the engine.  It should pop right up.  Be careful not to damage it.

 

To the right of the cover is the rear intercooler intake. Take off the intake by removing the three screws (10mm) highlighted below.

 

To extract the front intercooler, use pliers to release the clamps holding on the rubber hose connectors. The one with the black plastic on it will lock if you pull up the end tab as you squeeze it full (inset).

 

Next, remove the two (2) nuts and one (1) bolt.  Each is 12mm.

 

To extract the intercooler, pull straight out and then pivot it upward in a counterclockwise direction to clear the radiator.

 

Take off the thin metal gasket and keep it.  You can replace this gasket if you want.  I didnít replace mine because it looked fine.  Yours may or may not look good enough to reuse.

 

Rear Intercooler

First, disconnect the battery terminals and remove the battery from the car.  Next, remove the battery tray by unscrewing the five (5) tray bolts (10mm).  Remove the black plastic wiring harness (in yellow) that is clipped to the tray and then take the tray out.

 

Use a pair of vise grips and squeeze the large hose clamp.  Using vise grips allows for the clamp to remain held in an open position.  Be careful not to let the vise grips slip and hit you in the thumb...it hurts like a bitch!  You want to do this because thereís not a lot of room up there and if the clamp is not squeezed, it can cause one helluva headache.  The other clamp is exactly like the one in front.

 

Remove the two lower nuts (14mm) holding the IC on.  You wonít be able to see them, so just feel for them.  If you need help envisioning where they are, look ahead and youíll see pics of it removed.

 

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Unclip the two wiring harnesses from the rear intercooler.  The picture only shows one, but the other one is directly next to this one and connects the same way.

 

Remove the 12mm bolt by the hose connector.

 

Remove the intercooler by pulling it straight out from the top piping and then twisting it.  Be careful not to damage the cooling fins.  There is also a metal gasket on the bottom part of this IC.  Be careful not to damage this either unless you plan on replacing it.

Both Intercoolers are off and ready to be cleaned!

 

Cleaning

I used a product called CALCLEAN.  I bought it at a local Heating/Cooling supply shop.  A/C techs use it to clean the cooling fins on A/C units.  I also bought a fin straightening comb.  You can get one if you want, but I wouldnít worry about it unless they are really bent badly.  The straightening process is a pain in the arse.  If you go to buy one, the pitch is 16.

 

If you want, you may elect to remove the black plastic ring that it attached to each intercooler.  Be careful when doing that so you donít break any of the plastic grommets.  This photo shows the rear, but both rings come off in the same way.

 

 
 
To clean, just spray a liberal amount of CALCLEAN onto both sides and let sit for about 30 minutes.

 

Flush clean with a firm stream of water.

 

 

 

[Intercooler removal/cleaning guide by GSREX - forums.mazdaworld.org -- edited/formatted to HTML from original .doc format]