On April 23rd I bought a 91 Daytona C/S. 2.5 Turbo I non-intercooled. So I discovered some vacuum line issues with the car, so I thought while I have it in the garage I'll just intercool it. These are the parts I had on hand.
1) 1990 Daytona VNT radiator, intercooler, fan
2) 1989 T2 air box, bracket, and hoses, and coolant overflow bottle.
I thought this would be a totally bolt in deal. I figured a few hours of labor tops and I'd be done. Well, I ended up doing some other stuff like shifter bushings (which was a disaster and a story for another time) but I'm just now wrapping up the intercooling project.
So here is what I discovered.
1) The 89 T2 air box is NOT a bolt in deal. I got the mounting bracket on no problem. I got the one side of the airbox on, the side with the hole going through it for the upper IC hose that mounts to the bracket. Then I tried to put the other side on and ..... DANG IT HITS THE TRANS MOUNT BRACKET! It hits right where the PCV vent tube goes into the airbox. So I took the airbox and removed the tube and notched out that area. I patched it using RTV and a piece of thin plastic, I got the plastic by using a cut piece of gutter guard I got from Home Depot. I relocated the PCV tube higher up than where it was before. Made a small retainer piece (again out of the gutter guard) to hold the foam breather element in the airbox in its new location (since before it resided in the little box at the bottom of the airbox, and now it had no box to stay in). Used a hose coupler and a piece of 5/8 heater hose to make the connection from the air box to the PCV elbow off the valve cover. All done and completely functional! Woohoo.
2) I next discovered the fan connection IS DIFFERENT! Ugh. So go to junkyard, cut off fan connector end of wiring harness off an earlier Daytona, use weatherproof connectors to connect old style connector to factory harness. Also, set it up this way so I can reconnect the original connector to the factory harness if I go to an RT rad/ic at some point. This was pretty easy and straightforward.
3) I take the battery tray out and quickly figure out the 89 T2 coolant bottle is NOT going to work. I go over to a friend's house and look at her 1990 VNT Daytona Shelby. Ahhhhh, the coolant bottle is different and kind of goes around the air bag sensor. Hurriedly find a VNT bottle on TD.com and have it shipped to me. Hold it up and it looks like it will fit, put it aside for the time being, as it is time to put the rad/ic in first.
4) So next I drop the rad/ic into the engine bay and WHAT THE HECK IT DOESN'T FIT! The mounting points are DIFFERENT! Apparently 1990 is a one year only rad support. PHOOEY! The distance between the mounting points on the VNT rad/ic is 29.5 inches, and it 29 inches between those points on the firewall. And the mounting points on the Rad/ic sit about 1.5 - 2 inches off the firewall. So not having a 91-93 R/T rad/ic laying around, I make brackets out of aluminum stock, again from Home Depot. This turns out pretty well, they are essentially U brackets that I can slide the rad/ic into. So problem solved there.
5) Now I had the battery tray out while putting in the rad/ic and shifter bushings, so I lay the battery tray back in and ..... the VNT overflow bottle DOESN'T fit where it is supposed to!!!!!!! UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I fiddle with it for 30 minutes. There is just no way it is going to fit. I mull possible solutions. Should I go to a smaller battery and battery tray since the car is an AC delete car and I don't really need a big battery in it? Should I mount the overflow bottle in the nose? Should I buy a gun, insert in mouth, and pull trigger??? I measure the area on the PASSENGER side of the radiator and discover I have room for a bottle that is 4-5 inches wide, 4 inches deep, and up to 12 inches tall. So I go back to the junkyard and see what I can find. First I tried all the TDs, an Omni bottle was close but it was too tall. Nothing else that was a 2.2/2.5 four cylinder was remotely close. So I wanted something from a 2.0-2.5 four cylinder engine so that the fill level on the bottle would be reasonably accurate. After looking at various cars, I come across a few NA Eclipses and Lasers. Ahhhh, this bottle is PERFECT. I test fit it on a 91 Daytona in the yard, perfect fit!!!!!! Now I just have to figure out how to mount it and it will all be done.
What a headache this project turned out to be, it was a lot more involved than I thought it would be, but truth be told I did enjoy the fabrication aspect of it and having to be creative, even if my fabrication skills are no where near Jesse James level. If I had to do it over again I would get an R/T rad/ic/overflow bottle, and get the intercooler hoses and air box from a 90 VNT J or G body and just do it totally bolt in style. But ..... doing that would have cost me probably $200-$250 for the rad/ic and probably another $50 or for the VNT hoses. I was able to use what I had laying around and spent $15 on the overflow bottle, and $10 at home depot and made it work. If anyone wants to see pics of the finished product let me know.
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