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Changing to a 19mm (3/4") charge cooler system.

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Hey guys and gals.


I have followed the forum for a little while now. Quick background. I was looking for a project car that I could work on some on the weekends and after work. I came across a 93 SE, body and interior in good condition, 52k miles, unknown mechanical condition, and reported not running at an auction. I was able to get it for what I thought was a good price and set about taking a look at it. First inspection things looked good other then it had just been sitting a while. Longs story short I got it running but made the call to go through everything real well and do some preventive maintenance and full engine rebuild.  For the most part all of the systems have looked in pretty good condition other then the usual suspect.


For the most part I have searched and found what I was looking for in one of the forums/groups but this one has not turned up much.


Upon disassemble the charge cooler system had lots of issues. Pump frozen, broken, and plugged with solids (as I expected). When removing the hose the whole pipe broke off the pump housing. Anyways the ends where the hose connects to the tubes through the chassis tunnel were also corroded all the way through. I figure now is the time to change them.


So my question is two part. I will be going with an electric pump but no other upgrades to the system are planned until after I get everything back together and running. The car itself does have some other performance upgrades that I found on tare down though.


Question 1: Are there upgrades to be had by upping the system to 19mm? With stock chargecooler and radiator I am guessing not but if these are also upgraded in the future then I would think so.



If there are gains to be had then I need to look into the logistics. Here are the options that I come up with.


Option 1: 19mm hose. This is the only one that I was able to find any information on. I have seen some run along the bottom of the car outside the chassis tunnel, I also read a mention somewhere once of running them on the outside body channels. Either one of these has the advantage of getting the fluid away from the hotter engine coolant. This is not my first choice because I do not think I would be able to do it in as neat of an install.


Option 2: Replace with 19mm tube. Guessing I have not seen any of this done because it does not look like it would clean the crossmember in the tunnel. Also it requires the removal of the engine to gain access to the area.


Option 3: Replace with 19mm tube that has been slightly flattened to an oval. Measure distance needed to clear the cross member, then flatten some aluminum tube slightly to gain the clearance needed, hopefully I will not need much so it should not effect flow to any extent the negates the larger size. Of course the holes in the frame will also have to be enlarged slightly but I do not see this change having any adverse effects on the chassis stiffness or overall frame integrity. I could also attempt to put an insulation sleeve on the return pipe if I thought that heat from engine coolant could be an issue. Should be a fairly easy calculation to get an estimated heat input as long as I just assume some of the variables constant. It it probably a negligible amount and also opens up some other potential issues like increased corrosion under the insulation.


Well sorry for being long winded but those are the options I am looking at right now. Currently I am leaning to try option 3 unless some can provide me a good reason not too. I like the idea of the increased flow and efficiency while still largely looking stock. I will try to remember to document it some as I go so I can provide some kind of write up after if it all works.




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  • 2 weeks later...
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 Hi Stuart, I've upgraded my pipe size to 19mm throughout the charge cooler system to match up with the fittings for new electric pump and new Rad / Charge Cooler. I've ran the pipes alongside the chassis a keeping it above the antiroll bar.


I haven’t flattened the tube as the antiroll bar is still the lowest point.

At the rear I've crossed over, keeping the route similar to the original. I have since moved the electric pump lower down mounting it to the chassis, which seems to make it easier to bleed.


Going back to your questions, increasing the volume of fluid in the system by making the pipes bigger and circulating it quicker with a new pump should enhance the cooling effect. How noticeable with a standard charge cooler and radiator I'm not sure.

But like you say if you’re going to upgrade the rad and CC later then its good pre work.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi John,

               The alloy is 6063-T6 which has good resistance to corrosion and suitable for welding. I believe it's good for anodising as well, but the finish is good as it stands. It was good to work with using a standard bending machine and flaring tools. I made the main lengths out of single pieces.


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  • 9 months later...

I'm routing cold coolant trough the right pipe (R3.4 foam insulated) and warm coolant trough the left pipe. Both are heavily insulated in the engine compartment.


Edited by MrDangerUS


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With any standard pipe work that is pumped to get more flow you need higher pressure from the pump. 

Larger pipe work will allow the pressure to be lower to achieve the same flow rate. 

Therefor to get more flow through a standard charge cooler and rad you need much more pressure from the pump.

best scenario is large pipe work , rad and cooler and high pressure pump.




Suspension, brakes, chipped, chargecooler rad and pump,injectors,ignition coils and leads, BOV, highflow cat and zorst, Translator and tie rods, Head lights, LEDs to tail lights and interior,Polybushes to entire front end, Rad fans, rad grill, front end refurb with aluminium spreaderplates and galvanised bolts. Ram air, uprated fuel pump, silicone hoses through out, wheels refurbed and powder coated,much more, all maintenance.

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