HowTune

Remove The Top Mount Intercooler on a Subaru WRX

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It seems like just about every job on the WRX requires you to remove the top mounted intercooler.

It turns out, it's pretty easy to do, so here's a quick, laser focused guide on how to remove it.

  • 8mm socket (or a flat head screw driver)
  • 12mm socket or wrench
1

Loosen the intercooler to throttle body hose. There are 2 8mm hose clamps holding it on. We had success only loosening the rear-most clamp.

Image 8382 from Remove the Top Mount Intercooler on a Subaru WRX
2

Loosen the turbo to intercooler hose. There is a single 8mm hose clamp holding just visible under the left side of the intercooler

Image 8381 from Remove the Top Mount Intercooler on a Subaru WRX
3

Slide the rubber PCV hoses off of the ends of the metal lines running along the front of the intercooler. There are 2 on the left side and 1 on the right.

4

Remove the recirculation valve (blow off valve) by removing the 2 x 12mm bolts that hold it to the intercooler.

The intercooler blow off valve gasket part number is 21896AA072 for (2002-2005 Impreza WRX, (EJ205), 2004-2014 Impreza STI, 2015-2018 WRX STI)

Image 8389 from Remove the Top Mount Intercooler on a Subaru WRX
5

Remove the 2 x 12mm intercooler mount bolts at each end of the intercooler.

6

Remove the right side intercooler bracket.

This is optional, but it will make removal and installation a little easier. It's just 2 x 12mm bolts.

7

Now the intercooler will wiggle out.

Wiggle the intercooler away from the throttle body and turbo simultaneously. I found mine slide right out by wiggling it back toward the firewall and a little to the right at the same time.

It's totally normal for there to be some oil in the intake tract. If you see an excessive amount, you may want to look for a cause.

OEM Part Numbers

  • Blow off valve gasket 21896AA072 for (2002-2005 Impreza WRX, (EJ205), 2004-2014 Impreza STI, 2015-2018 WRX STI)
  • Intercooler Y pipe gaskets (2x) 21896AA010 for (2002-2005 Impreza WRX, (EJ205), 2004-2014 Impreza STI, 2015-2018 WRX STI)
  • Intercooler to throttle body hose 21869AA121
  • Turbo to intercooler hose 14462AA354
  • STI intercooler core 21820AA252
  • PCV Hoses: 99071AB420 (left side), 11815AB143 (left side), 11815AB143 (right side)

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