After finishing my custom KA24DE turbo setup and running with no intercooler for 3 months, I decided it was time to cool the intake air charge. And I learned that there aren’t many bolt on KA24DE intercooler kit for a KA turbo setup.
I was inclined to use a core from E-bay, make my own piping, etc, but that was still pretty costly and very time consuming. So I looked for another option and found that an SR20DET intercooler kit would fit with very little modification and a custom hot pipe.
Ebay KA24DE intercooler kit would have cost $400-600 with a new core capable of 300-400rwhp. The SR20DET kit were $750-1000, but required MUCH less time to install and looked much nicer in the end.
The N-Sport, F-Max/Turbonetics, and XS Engineering turbo kits all had their own intercooler and piping designed for the KA24DE engine. Because I had a top mounted turbo on a RevHard manifold, none of the hot pipes would have matched my turbo outlet, so that had to be custom no matter.
So instead of paying $1000 for the F-Max KA24DE intercooler kit, I started to research how hard it would be to use an SR20DET kit on the KA.
What I found was that the S14 SR20DET kits would fit the chassis great, but the cold pipe (to the TB) was WAY off. The SR intake manifold uses a ‘high-port’ design that would have placed the pipe by the top of the KA intake manifold.
So it looked like the easiest solution was to get an S14 kit with an S13 cold pipe. But GReddy doesn’t offer the KA24DE intercooler kit seperately, so that was out of the question. Until I called Enjuku Racing and found out that they had an extra S13 cold pipe from a swap laying aroung and they agreed to sell it to me cheap.
I was in business, only thing I had to fabricate was the hot pipe. And this thing is BIG! Don’t get me wrong, there are bigger intercoolers, but I didn’t expect it to be so large. It’s impressive. Roughly 24″ x 10″ x 3″ it spans the headlights and then some.
For the cold side, I needed a longer coupler to connect the tube to the TB, but that’s all. It fit right over the radiator hose and lined up well with the bend coming off the intercooler. The hole I cut in the battery trasy was not pretty, but that can be fixed.
The KA24DE intercooler setup and install is realatively straight-forward, but it is time consuming. Took me close to 6 hours total, from start to test drive.
My impression? It’s good! These KA24DE intercooler kit is obviously high quality, and fit well considering it was for the wrong motor.
And with the extra S14 cold pipe I did the unthinkable. Hacked it up for a KA24DE turbo intake pipe. It had the BOV nipple on it, which I used the the re-circ tube, and the bend was perfect for what I needed.