Lexus LS400 Intercooler

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More updated intercooler pictures Twin Turbo Lexus LS400 Stage II

In forced induction cooler air is greatly desired and our Lexus cars are no exception.  Cooler air makes denser air and more air molecules per given volume.  Without going into great details on intercooling, I would like to take you to a intercooling journey in my Twin Turbo Lexus LS400.

I have been trying to install an intercooler into my Lexus LS400 for a while now.  I have tried to put in few other oem intercoolers like the Ford Powerstroker, Saab and some JDM cars.  They all failed.  One the biggest problems with intercooler in a Lexus LS400 is that room is so limited.  Therefore, this article will focus on the first generation LS400.  In front of the A/C cooler are two fans (later model have one fan).  Removing those fans for intercooler would not be a good idea for the cooling of the A/C.  This is out of the question for about 99% of LS400 owners.  Removing one A/C fan does work, but the size of the intercooler would not worth the trouble.  The only option would be right under the bumper frame.  The intercooler will be house under the bumper and behind the bumper cover.  The maximum intercooler size would 3.5″ x 8″ x  36″.  This is small for my setup, but it fits nicely.  I also take out my front license plate to increase air flow.  Hopefully, cops would not give me any troubles driving without front license plate.

From non-intercooled to intercooled, I noticed the restriction.  Best would be 3.5″ x 8″ x 36″.  That is the maximum dimension of intercooler that will fit under the metal plate bumper.  The intercooler’s workmanship pretty good for it price.  Of course this is not HKS or Greddy, but its functional and the price is very affordable.  For the production supercharger kit on the Lexus LS400.  I plan to do some modifications on the intercooler to utilized all the available spaces.  From my personal experience and many trials and errors.  This is the cleanest, easiest and nicest setup that the first generation Lexus LS400 can get.

I took this newly received intercooler to a local muffler shop and asked them to make some custom pippings for me.  The old setup was trashed and new pippings begin due to the intercooler configuration.  Due to my setup,  I drilled two 3″ holes into my wheel wells ( a plastic cover above the tire) and connected with T-Bolt clamps to ensure those connections not going to be apart with high boost.  I also used three ply silicon turbo hoses along with flaring of pipes.  The intercooler comes with two mounting plates.  Those plates are in perfect position for mounting.  I used two L metal brackets and welded them into the car frame.  After mounting brackets are screw in, the intercooler is firmly anchor down.

The three option for intercooling that I explored during the process is the wheel wells.  You can mount two custom made intercooler around 8″ x 6″ x 3″.  They need to be mounted horizontally.  This setup is very similar to the Procharger supercharger system for the Chevy Z28 or the Trans Am.  Custom making those intercoolers would be a huge price to pay.  Secondly, the two small intercoolers would not be much advantage over the one I have.  The high cost would not justify this intercooling method in my opinion.  Pictures below were take by Esteban Wu.

This is the two turbo inlet pipes jointing into a 2.5″ Y-Pipe and the wheel well was drill with a 2.5″ drill bit.
This is the general lay out of the turbos, oil sump and pipes. Noticed the strong turbo hoses.
More view of the turbos and cats too….
The driver side Y-pipe and wheel wells with intercooler..
Closer view of intercooling…. T-bolt clamps were used.
Passenger side intercooler. View from under the car toward the front.
Front driver side view. The pipe is not as low as it seems.
The better view of the Y-pipe. Two 2″ into one 2.5″
The turbo inlet pipes… and plumbings.
Side view of the driver side turbo…. they are from Skyline VG30DET
Driver side view of the intercooler inlet.
More Y-pipe
Under view of intercooler. Its below the bumper and above the bumper cover.
From intercooler to the intake. This area will be protect with Thermo Flex tube.
Slightly different angle of the inlet pipe from the intercooler.
Right side of the intercooler and connections.
Inlet pipe from the intercooler. Its 3″
Directly below the car view…
More down under view….
This is the front view of the intercooler. I took the license plate out for better airflow and better view for the camera.
Slight different angle for better view.
Engine bay….took some of the plastic covers out for now….
This pipe will be cover with thermal protection material in few days.
Front of the engine and A/C Fans.

After installing this system.  I found out this intercooler is too restrictive for my Lexus Twin Turbo V8 4.0 DOHC setup.  How do I know?  Well, my actuator vacuum line get its signal from the turbo and my boost gauge is from my intake manifold.  Before intercooling, I was reading 8 psi.  After the intercooling, I only see 4 psi and its at much high rpm.  However, the 4 psi felt lots of power then before.  Therefore, I lost 4 psi and that is about 80 rwhp.  I would like to get a larger intercooler and remove my bumper beam.

Since I experienced the problems with the previous intercooler, I requested a high flow custom intercooler for my LS400.  If you are interested in getting this Lexus LS400 Intercooler.  The new specs are as following:

Height: 8″

Wide: 36″

Depth: 3.5″

In/Outlet: 3″

Endplate: Center

The above intercooler is custom made for your 1st generation Lexus LS400.  If you have any questions about installing an intercooler in your Lexus LS400, please feel free to contact me.

Check out this Soarer FMIC Install video.

Do you have any questions? If so, please head over to the forums to get a quick answer or share your experience!

This is a freelance site with no support by huge companies.  I have been doing most of the R&D and technical write-ups by myself with my personal money and literally thousands of hours of my time.  I have taken extra steps to demonstrate in details how things are done.  Currently I am one of the few people doing Lexus V8 research and performance enhancement.  This effort comes from my personal love for this wonderful engine.  Most of the modifications are from trial and error. There's no cookbook for 1UZFE mods and its unknown territory for much of supercharger performance.  The parts, labor, web development and site hosting are 100% paid from my personal hobby money.  If you feel my efforts help you in any form, please do not hesitate to donate any amount of money to support this site. You have no idea how much I and the entire Lexus and Toyota community appreciate it!

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