22RTE Intercooler and Radiator Installation

Intercooler and Radiator Without Shroud

Finding a radiator and intercooler package which will work together in this truck can take some time.  This package works well and leaves plenty of room for the fan and the stock A/C condenser and lines.  Someone with more time, patience, and tooling can do a better job with mounts but this setup is fully functional and should be reliable as well.  The Volvo 750 intercooler is extremely close to the dimensions of the stock Yota radiator so there's little problem with clearance.  The Saab 9-2 radiator has several desirable properties including lightweight aluminum design, thick core for greater surface area, and the outlet tank has a provision to connect a coolant line from the turbo.


Here's the intercooler in all it's glory.  It's "upside down" in this photo compared to final installation.  This orientation would put the I/C outlet near the throttle body but it the inlet was too close to the balancer and front pulley for an easy transition.  Can't tell here but the two hose connections are not the same diameter.  Also notice there are no mounting points so both upper and lower mounts will need to be fabricated.

Installation Mock Up

Sizing up the install.  No mounts built yet.  The radiator was obtained from a body shop's scrap pile.  Since it was already broken I had no worries about cutting it up.  The stock fan shroud could have been made to work with a fair amount of sculpting but the need for a shroud comes from the distance between the radiator and the fan.  The final mounting put the radiator close enough to the fan that a shroud probably wouldn't improve effectiveness.  The two telltales for me are (1) you can feel air being drawn through the a/c condenser when the truck's idling, and (2) with the truck idling you only feel airflow at the back of the fan, not around the outside edge.  So far with a 180 thermostat the truck's coolant temp has barely crossed the 190 deg mark.  But if changes are needed they will be posted here.

Mount, picture 1

2nd New Mount image

This is the new lower support.  It was built out of angled steel in two stages.  First the I/C portion, then the rad portion.  The upper photo shows the mounting holes (row in rear of photo) which allow the new support to be bolted to the Toyota core support just below the grille. Also shown are the cutout for the intercooler inlet and the holes for the radiator mounts (three holes on outer edges in foreground).  The lower photo shows bracing added when the support was cut out for the intercooler inlet.  These will be used with rubber "saddle" mounts placed above and below the radiator and I/C.

LH Radiator MountRH Rad Mount

Here are the radiator mounts, installed.  To maximize fan clearance the radiator core must be as close to the intercooler as possible.  The saddle mounts fit around the core end plate and are wider than the core.  They extend forward far enough to hit the intercooler core endplate as the intercooler is lifted out.  Therefore the mounts must be removable so the intercooler can be removed.

LH Frame Rail at I/C

Here's a shot of the LH radiator saddle mount from engine side.  The rubber saddle is retained in a tin "cup" fabricated by hand.  The cup is welded to a piece of flat stock to form a Tee shaped part which is bolted to the support.  Although it's not shown, the Volvo I/C is also retained with rubber saddles.  Notice the notch cut in the radiator to clear the steering box.  I ground some casting flash off the box as well to ensure there was no contact.

Filler Neck

The Saab 9-2 radiator has no filler neck.  This part was made from a piece of copper pipe and the filler neck removed from an old Toyota radiator.  Both the radiator and the pipe were obtained at the scrap metal place.  It's amazing how much help you can get by bringing in a couple of cups of coffee.  The solder job looks poor in this photo but I ended up reflowing everything after taking this shot.  At the ends of the pipe are small flares which I made with a crude die set.  By using my cutoff wheel to grind a Vee in a block of pine I created a support for the pipe, and by bolting a thick washer to a 5/8 inch bolt I created the forming die.  Set the pipe over the Vee,  position the bolt so the washer is inside the pipe and directly over the vee, then strike the shank of the bolt.  Repeat as needed until the pipe is flared.  Although the flare looks small I can promise that radiator hoses attached to this pipe will not slip out from under the hose clamps.

Radiator outlet

The radiator outlet was a bit tricky.  The lower hose had to make two tight bends quickly but the bends had to be positioned so nothing wanted to rest on the frame.  I spent time walking the coolant hose aisle of my local Advance Auto until I found a few hoses that looked right.  The lower hose is actually made of two different hoses plus a copper pipe splice while the upper hose is two ends of the same hose plus the fill pipe pictured above.

Upper radiator hoseLower hose

Both hoses installed.  The upper hose fits nicely and clears the PS pulley with no troubles.  The lower hose is close to the A/C tensioner pulley but doesn't make any contact.  Also notice in the RH photo the fan has been clearanced for the crank sensor.  The sensor was placed above crank centerline to help keep it out of mud, rain, and salt.  If I do another DIS install I'm likely to move the sensor out of the fan's path.

Trimming RadiatorTrimming Radiator

These pictures aren't the best.  My good camera was out for repair so I had to use a cheapie for these shots.  The modified radiator is on the left, stock on the right.  LH photo shows thin plastic trimmed from end of tank and plastic "stud" removed.  RH photo shows small extensions "A" trimmed down, plastic on end of tanks "B" which is removed, and OEM lower mount "C" which is removed.  Both sides of radiator get similar treatment.  I found a hacksaw was the fastest way to remove excess plastic without doing damage.

Turbo OutletIntercooler Inlet

Lower pipe from turbo to intercooler.  Obviously made of several sections of piping.  The bend from the turbo around the engine mount (LH photo) is made of old turbo Sunbird piping while the remaining straight sections are exhaust pipe.  The pipe fits well and doesn't hit the steering gear.  Removal / installation is relatively simple when steering gear is turned to LH stop.

Intercooler Installed

Upper intercooler pipe to throttle body is 2 pieces of old Sunbird turbo piping.  Silicone connectors are from HoseTechniques.com.  Washer fluid bottle and overflow reservoir are in stock locations.  Battery is oversized Interstate stuffed into battery box, but it also fits. BOV on upper pipe is from junkyard Saab and dumps vertically.  With a MAP sesnor system there's no worry about recirculating air that's being bypassed. 

Intercooler and radiator

Here you can see the final installation for the intercooler and radiator.  The upper I/C and radiator mount is bolted to the Toyota radiator support.  This is a simple piece of flat stock with a saddle mount in it.  The radiator mount is similar and is bolted to the I/C mount.  The blue hose is the coolant line from turbo to radiator.  The two pieces of 3/8" steel tubing to the right of the blue hose are for the power steering cooler.  The radiator was from an auto trans car and I realized the unused trans cooler would be more effective than the loop of steel tubing the Toyota used originally.


Not directly related, but part of the intercooler install.  The plastic 1991 22RE airbox outlet is directed toward the radiator.  The RTE airbox is angled toward the power steering pump, but it's hard to find in this area.  Some older trucks and 4runners used a tin airbox which could be modified, but I could only find the cover to one.  The solution was to use a 3.0 airbox which bolts in and is aimed toward the turbo.  To get a flange which matches the airflow meter I cut the tin 22RE airbox cover and removed the air meter flange from it.  I then attached the flange to a piece of round pipe and voila... a tube which bolts to the 3VZ airbox.

A/C Condenser

This was the final goal.  To be able to use the stock A/C condenser while keeping the stock hood latch.  All Toyota parts still attach in stock locations and can be removed without major surgery.  One goal of the I/C and radiator install was that everything be bolt in with no welding or cutting of the vehicle required.  This has been achieved.  This complete setup could be removed from this truck and installed in another in a 3 day weekend.