ST – Improving the CP-E Front Mount Intercooler

One of the things I put on my Focus ST was a new intercooler. This was required for the big turbo I added. I went with the CP-E front mount intercooler because it was designed specifically for the ST and fit perfectly. It even utilizes the default mounting points for the intercooler which is nice for installation.

Now I didn’t run into any issues with installing it but I was worried about the weight. The intercooler is massive and weights 70 pounds (at least that’s what their site says). The stock mounting point is part of the radiator housing which is a large piece of plastic. Here is an inside view to get an idea of the size of the housing.

IMG_0848

CP-E says the stock mounting points can take the weight and I haven’t heard of anyone having any issues. That said it seemed a bit much for that piece of plastic so it got redesigned by Chuck Moody who’s shop did a lot of the manual work for my build.

The idea we came up with was to attach the intercooler to the crash bar but in a way it can be easily removed if necessary. Basically a bracket was added to the top on each side of the intercooler. This allowed us to run a supporting bolt though the crash bar to add additional support for the intercooler. This way we can unscrew two bolts and the intercooler can be lifted right off. Trouble free and hidden from view. Even though it’s behind the bumper just looking at it you won’t know it’s attached to the crash bar and have a nice clean look.

As the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words.

IMG_0857

IMG_0858

IMG_0859

IMG_0869

IMG_0870

IMG_0871

The brackets were screwed into the top of the intercooler after a few holes were tapped so they can be bolted on. You’ll notice there are five holes but four bolts. This is also a threaded hole and where the bolt that holds the intercooler is. You can see it in the next picture.

IMG_0872

That’s the basic idea with the bolt going though the crash car. The pieces on top of the bolt are rubber bushings. These keep the whole thing from bouncing and provides flexibility so nothing is so stiff it will break off.

Here are a few close up pictures of it connected to the crash bar.

IMG_0880

IMG_0881

IMG_0882

Finally, this is how it looks fully mounted. Don’t forget that while it has extra support from the crash bar mountings, it still sits on the stock mounting points. This takes a lot of the weight and stress off of the mounting point and It distributes the weight between four points instead of two. Also, the four points hold the intercooler in place nicely so it doesn’t bounce around and make an obnoxious banging sound when going over bumps.

IMG_0883

You can’t really see it in the above picture but a small plastic tube was cut and put between the intercooler and the crash bar itself. On the right side / front side where the top of the intercooler touches the crash bar. This was added so the intercooler bouncing wouldn’t further the possibility of it making a loud banging sound when going over bumps. It was a very easy and cheap solution to keep it quite since the intercooler sticks out a bit more than the stock one did. It also keeps an unncessary metal on metal situation from developing.