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2G Which intercooler is best for me?

cornboy

Proven Member
43
4
Feb 28, 2020
Manhattan, Kansas
To keep it simple, I bought a VRSF 2G front mount intercooler kit from a user on here a while ago, but due to not having a compatible turbo, neglected putting it on. Now that I've tried, it looks to be significantly more work than I first thought.

As this is going to be a street car, I don't know if I feel comfortable cutting into the bumper. The intercooler that came on the car is a Mishimoto with some custom (and awful) piping. The reason I didn't use it is because I have no knowledge of welding, and I'm not sure of any quality fabricators in the NW arkansas area.

The million dollar question is, I want a nice little street car, and make up to, but not necessarily 300whp. I have an Evo 3 16G that I'll use to make the boost necessary, but which intercooler would be best for my application and situation?
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Pics included for visual aid
 

John Miller

Proven Member
168
62
Jan 27, 2020
Watertown, Wisconsin
I bought a 95 gsx with the exact same mishimoto fmic and crappy piping. I personally plan on either buying an ets fmic kit for around 600 shipped or buying a mishimoto (or similar) same side intercooler and make a custom kit out of generic pipes and welding. I can't believe the guy kept the factory intercooler piping in the mess....they are so awful.
 

randman2011

Proven Member
365
146
Feb 26, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
I used the Punishment Racing pipes from their intercooler kit (gave the core away) and bought the 2g ETS street intercooler core in whatever the smallest size is. You keep the front crash bar and the trimming for the bumper is limited to the depth of the opening and not enlarging the opening. If the Mishimoto intercooler came mounted then I would expect that the trimming for the ETS core has already been done.

Unfortunately I haven't found ANY new FMIC kits on the market since the discontinuation of VSRF and Punishment kits, and I would definitely not want to reuse the pipe that you have.
 

idkiliketurbos

Proven Member
741
73
Mar 2, 2009
Appleton, Wisconsin
You can still get the Punishment kit as it was a CX Racing kit that they sold. CX Racing will also sell just the piping kit on their site as well if you only want the piping.
 

streetraceboi

Proven Member
581
142
Sep 4, 2002
San Antonio, Texas
Do you have the piping that comes with the VRSF kit? I wouldn't think youd have to cut much off of the bumper since it most likely was already done with the other setup. It isn't much work to do to make it fit. You just have to trim some of the metal on the passenger side to make room for the core pipe. Im not sure what happened to your bumper bash bar mounting brackets or whatever theyre called, but they don't look normal to me. Maybe that's what throwing it off for me
 

randman2011

Proven Member
365
146
Feb 26, 2012
Indianapolis, Indiana
You can still get the Punishment kit as it was a CX Racing kit that they sold. CX Racing will also sell just the piping kit on their site as well if you only want the piping.

I can't speak to whether they were actually different historically, but buying through Punishment was significantly cheaper than CXR at the time. The pictures on their website of the repackaged CXR kit look identical to mine so maybe they were always the same. Not that it matters now, because you can indeed spend $359 on CXR's website and buy yourself new FMIC pipe kit for a MHI J-pipe turbo that includes said J pipe and a knockoff BOV. Or for a stock frame turbo upon request. For reference, their pipe-only kit is $80 more expensive than what I paid Punishment for the full kit including intercooler in August of 2018. Also their "stainless" T bolt clamps use zinc coated hardware and I had to start cutting them off due to corrosion after just under 1500 miles, two months.

Thanks for making me look. I didn't know they offered this. One option is way better than none. And $350 really isn't bad for a direct fit piping kit and BOV. I'm mostly just shocked at how cheap the kit used to be. Us DSM owners had it so good.
 
Last edited:

cornboy

Proven Member
43
4
Feb 28, 2020
Manhattan, Kansas
Do you have the piping that comes with the VRSF kit? I wouldn't think youd have to cut much off of the bumper since it most likely was already done with the other setup. It isn't much work to do to make it fit. You just have to trim some of the metal on the passenger side to make room for the core pipe. Im not sure what happened to your bumper bash bar mounting brackets or whatever theyre called, but they don't look normal to me. Maybe that's what throwing it off for me

I can try cleaning up the inside of the engine bay since its been very dirty since I bought it a year ago. The Mishimoto intercooler attaches with 2 bolts coming from the top, you can kinda see it in the pictures. But as for what is normal, I don't know as I am the 13th owner of this Eclipse and its been very abused.
 

m1nd64m3

Proven Member
684
5
Sep 17, 2003
chitown area, Illinois
Do you have the piping that comes with the VRSF kit? I wouldn't think youd have to cut much off of the bumper since it most likely was already done with the other setup. It isn't much work to do to make it fit. You just have to trim some of the metal on the passenger side to make room for the core pipe. Im not sure what happened to your bumper bash bar mounting brackets or whatever theyre called, but they don't look normal to me. Maybe that's what throwing it off for me

it actually looks like the bumper has been trimmed too far for the vrsf intercooler, it wouldn’t sit flush with the core. I’d put the vrsf intercooler on and get a new front bumper so it looks good.
 

Dreams Realized

Proven Member
353
155
Jul 23, 2018
Seattle, Washington
it actually looks like the bumper has been trimmed too far for the vrsf intercooler, it wouldn’t sit flush with the core. I’d put the vrsf intercooler on and get a new front bumper so it looks good.

It looks that way to me too. I took a paint pen and set my dremel speed to as low as it would go and trimmed off some of the inside mouth(?) Until it sat flush with my intercooler. Surprisingly it only took 2 tries.

I also absolutely did not trust hanging the intercooler on stock fog light bolt holes so I tapped out to 9/16" I believe

I'm confused that your piping doesn't fit the 16g? Because the silicone 90 they give to hook up to your turbo exit is uber long and also reduces to stock OD.

That Mishimoto pipe job looks like a hack job straight out of the Cuban automotive scene
 

cornboy

Proven Member
43
4
Feb 28, 2020
Manhattan, Kansas
I'm confused that your piping doesn't fit the 16g? Because the silicone 90 they give to hook up to your turbo exit is uber long and also reduces to stock OD.

That Mishimoto pipe job looks like a hack job straight out of the Cuban automotive scene
I mean it should, but the piping didn't come with any of the bolts or couplers, so it's hard trying to figure out where it should go
 

Dreams Realized

Proven Member
353
155
Jul 23, 2018
Seattle, Washington
I mean it should, but the piping didn't come with any of the bolts or couplers, so it's hard trying to figure out where it should go

That's unfortunate. Whenever I sell bits and bobs off my car I always try to include the bolts and couplers when feasible. So you just have hard piping and nothing else? The hard pipe is 2.5" if I recall correctly. There are 2 straight couplers on intake side. and 1 short 90 on exit side. Then another 90 reducer coupler to hook up hard pipe to the exit of the turbo. Then of course you will need 2 hose clamps for each of those connections.

When you have the full kit installations is dummy proof but now I see why you are struggling. Hopefully you got it for cheap since the seller didn't bother giving you the whole kit. Also I used 2 9/16" x 1.25" grade 8 bolts to bolt the intercooler to the frame with 2 washers for each bolt.
 

cornboy

Proven Member
43
4
Feb 28, 2020
Manhattan, Kansas
That's unfortunate. Whenever I sell bits and bobs off my car I always try to include the bolts and couplers when feasible. So you just have hard piping and nothing else? The hard pipe is 2.5" if I recall correctly. There are 2 straight couplers on intake side. and 1 short 90 on exit side. Then another 90 reducer coupler to hook up hard pipe to the exit of the turbo. Then of course you will need 2 hose clamps for each of those connections.

When you have the full kit installations is dummy proof but now I see why you are struggling. Hopefully you got it for cheap since the seller didn't bother giving you the whole kit. Also I used 2 9/16" x 1.25" grade 8 bolts to bolt the intercooler to the frame with 2 washers for each bolt.
Thanks man, I'll try and mount the turbo up this weekend, and then see what the move is from there. I got the VRSF for $400, so I can probably resell it for around that if necessary and fab a new pipe Mishimoto if I go that route, or get a couple bolts, a drill and use an angle grinder to trim that lil bit up. Thank you for the help and the knowledge of what bolts to use.
 

m1nd64m3

Proven Member
684
5
Sep 17, 2003
chitown area, Illinois
Thanks man, I'll try and mount the turbo up this weekend, and then see what the move is from there. I got the VRSF for $400, so I can probably resell it for around that if necessary and fab a new pipe Mishimoto if I go that route, or get a couple bolts, a drill and use an angle grinder to trim that lil bit up. Thank you for the help and the knowledge of what bolts to use.
$400 used? Those kits were cheaper brand new.
 
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