Having originally looked at the possibility of fabricating my own sidemount intercoolers with the help of a few contacts, things just weren't happening and I was considering how to go about fabricating some ducts to match up to the bumper to ensure the cores get the maximum level of air to through them. So I gave up on that and looked elsewhere. My options as I saw it were a Front Mounted Intercooler, which although appears cheap at first glance does require a large amount of work as on the B5 RS4 the oil cooler and PAS cooler need to be moved which means new ones and more expense.
The other option open to me was going down the tried and tested route of the Wagner Sidemount Intercoolers which are a pretty much straight fit into the OEM position and come with very tasty carbon composite ducts. A quick call to Mark @ Wagner Tuning UK and the next day a kit was on its way to me from Germany.
Only 2 days later they arrived and so I took the opportunity to fully photograph the kit which just looks superb, from the moment you open the box and see how carefully it's been packed in there you just know it's going to be a quality item.
As you can see it's a very neat, well thought out kit with everything covered. The grills to replace the OEM fog lights is a lovely touch, especially with the WE logo (Wagner Engineering).
The current (June 2012) detail price of the kit is £1690 inc. VAT + Delivery from Wagner Tuning UK which is a considerable chunk of money, however this kit really is superb, the fitting is only a stoneís throw from "plug & play" and the results really do speak for themselves (details of which are posted further below).
Regardless of the price, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this kit for a moment. as I said above, I had given serious thought to going the Front Mounted Intercooler route but the added hassle of other components to sort and the major changes to the car setup put me off this. With the Wagners there is visually very little difference to the OEM look and its super easy to put the car back to standard if you wish, something I always keep in mind with mods as much as possible.
Dyno Run @ PowerStation | 01/05/12
Before fitting the Wagners I ran the car on the PowerStation dyno to log the intake temps. The inlet temp showed a peak of 75įC> which is similar to figures seen on earlier dyno runs over the last year, so a pretty consistent figure. Power was much as list time, 395 bhp & 326 lb/ft
Fitting | 02/05/12
Time to get the kit fitted, as usual I popped over the guys at e-parts to take advantage of their ramps and one of their rather friendly technicians. This allowed me to take rather a lot of pictures but hopefully it will help anyone else who buys this great kit when it comes to fitting. As a note, this is just how I fitted the kit and you may wish to take a different route or not remove some parts, but it gives you some extensive picture reference as a guide and also highlights a few areas which are essential to deal with.
Whilst fitting the intercooler kit I also finished off the †water injection fitting so a few additional parts were removed so you may not need to remove everything pictured below but again, it may serve as a reasonable guide.
First job them was to get the car in the air and remove the 2 front wheels. The arch liners follows, and you may not need to remove these (or the wheels for that matter) to fit just the intercoolers but I can see a little benefit in easy access to the rear of the coolers and it's only a handful of screws to remove the liners.
Next it's off with the fog light grills which are held in place by two screws and pull out easily enough, it's also a good time to remove the fog light plugs otherwise you may forget later. With the grills removed there is now access to the 2 main bolts that hold the bumper assembly to the car. Then looking inside each arch towards the front of the car there are two bolts each side, these are usually seized due to their location so either use penetrating fluid or shear them off and re-drill new holes for bolts when coming to re-fit (which is what we did).
The under tray is next to come off, should be help up by a few half turn panel screws and a couple of bolts though they are often damaged so don't be surprised if you find a few cable ties here and there! Mine had a massive chunk missing which is why Iíd sourced another one to refit later. You can now see the bottom of the OEM intercoolers and pipework so begin to get an idea of what's to come.
With everything removed the last job here is undo the two large bolts holding the bumper in place, accessible through the fog light grill holes which were freed up earlier. With them removed the bumper should just slide forward... it's at this point that you remember the headlight washer jets are still connected, so this bit is a little fiddly but with the bumper half balanced on one knee (or something) undo the feed for the washer jets, it's a good idea to clamp the water pipe off first as it's fed from the very bottom of the washer tank so will happily drain unless held up or closed off.
Now the bumper is free to be fully removed.
With the bumper off you can get a good look at the OEM intercoolers and ducts, very well thought out and positioned. Ignore the whole in the passenger side duct, for some reason the air temp sensor was rammed in there rather than in its clip in front of the rad.
From here you can see there is little more that needs to be removed, pretty much just the top and bottom intercooler hoses (watch out for any oil residue in the bottom hose, it's quite normal). However, what you can see and will understand when you get there the entire front panel has to be released and moved forward to allow the intercoolers to be removed, and indeed to fit the much larger Wagners.
Releasing the front panel is pretty simple, start by removing the top bolts holding the panel to the wings (2 each side) then move onto the 7 bolts (4 on driverís side and 3 on the passenger side) on the bumper support mounts.
These supports not only hold the front panel in place but also help align the bumper and bonnet latch so a good tip is to take a screw or something sharp and draw around each of the bolt heads to help re-align the mounts when re-fitting. Once done simply remove the bolts and the front panel will be loose enough to edge forward. Don't worry, it won't fall off as it pivots on the front snub mount at the bottom of the panel, and also by a water pipe at the top which you can remove if you want, though isn't necessary.
Each intercooler is held in place by a single bolt in the bottom mount and "hangs" on two lugs at the top into rubber mounts. Remove the lower bolt then with a bit of lifting, twisting and pulling the intercooler will find its way out of it's tight spot. You can then clearly see how the intercoolers are mounted, the Wagners use the same mounts, so simple hu!
So now we have all the OEM components removed from the car and in a big pile. This is when you can really start to compare the OEM intercoolers to the Wagner intercoolers and appreciate the massive size difference. I also took the time to weigh them, with the OEM intercooler weighing 2.8kg and the Wagner intercooler weighing 5.2kg so as expected there is a pretty significant weight difference but just look at how BIG the wagers are!
After a quick trial fit of one of the Wagners (just couldn't resist!) it was time to set about fixing the carbon ducts to the intercoolers. They don't come pre-marked or drilled (though the intercooler lips come pre-drilled) so it just needs a bit of common sense to work it out. We held the ducts in place in the middle of the intercoolers and used a sharp scribe to mark the 4 holes each duct requires drilling.
All the screws and fittings are supplied with the kit and we decided the best way of using the parts supplied was to put the screw clip fully inside the duct and screw through the intercooler lip and into the clip, this allowed the duct to sit flush with the intercooler which I reckon is the way it should be. Repeat this for both ducts/intercoolers.
Now we can finally start fitting the intercoolers to the car. We found it easier to put the new silicone pipe onto the charge pipe first, then feed the intercooler into the gap onto the pipe and finally into position.
As mentioned earlier, the intercoolers use the OEM mounting points though in a slightly different way. For the bottom point it's simply a case of refitting the original bolt though the mount, however with the top there is a small amount of adjustment provided by the use of oval slots and nuts/bolts supplied in the kit. This can be a little fiddly getting to the underside of the bolts and it does help having someone at the top align the intercooler and stop the bolt from spinning when doing the nut up. Then just repeat the process on the other side.
With both intercoolers now mounted you can see that a small modification is required to the front panel to allow it to fit back correctly. For some reason only the driverís side needs a section of the panel cut out to allow it to fit over the top of the intercooler. We did trim a bit from the passenger side but it wasn't actually necessary so you can ignore that cut! With the mod done this allows the front panel to slot back into place on the wings, we just loosely fitted the top bolts to the front panel just in case it needed to come off, and moved onto the pipework.
As you can see from the pictures the intercooler inlets don't line up all the great with the turbo pipes. Thankfully silicone hoses are quite forgiving so I don't see that as a major issue. The silicone hoses supplied are the same both sides but again as you can see there different sized gaps either side, obviously it's easier for Wagner to just make 2 hose moulds (top and bottom) so your choice is to cut one of the hoses down for the driverís side, or do as we did which is remove the small pins fitted to the turbo outlet pipe which prevent the hose from going too far on the pipe. We didn't see it as been all that necessary to have those and I'd rather keep the hoses uncut.
The passenger side pipe felt like it was only just long enough, and the angle between the intercooler and turbo pipe only left a tiny amount of hose on the other side of the jubilee clip, not ideal I felt but since fitting it all seems to be OK so no need to worry, just take your time to ensure you get a good seal either end of the hose.
And that's the intercoolers fitted, don't forget to go back over all the clips and ensure they are nice and tight.
Time to refit the front panel properly, we found it easiest to use a jack under the panel to lift and hold it into the correct position so when the bolts are done up they are in the same position as when they were removed. I'd removed the front panel before and fitted it a bit low (meaning the bonnet closed a little lower than the wings and I had to wind the bonnet stops all the way in for the latch to take) so on this occasion we set it a little higher so I could adjust the bonnet level with the wings. Access to one of the bolts is a little tricky due to the carbon ducts but with a bit of fiddling it's straight forward to get it them all done up tight. At this point it's worth just checking the bonnet closes nicely, if not then you may need to either adjust the bonnet stoppers or adjust the front panel a little until it's aligned correctly.
Now it's time to focus on the front bumper. The Wagner kit comes with new grills that replace the OEM fog light grills and these fit with just the removal of the fog light from their brackets. However, this does leave a sizeable upright in the airway which although doesn't get in the way of the new grills it looks a bit odd and is an obstruction to the air flow, though only a small (negligible?) one. You could just hack the mounts off with a hacksaw if you wanted, but I always try to mod things in a way that can be reversed at a later date if required. So with the aid of an air grinder I ground off the rivets holding the brackets in place and pulled them off complete, allowing refitting at a later date if necessary.
With those out of the way it's time to work on the new grills. They come completely flat, including the fitting tabs, so they require a little bit of bending to fit correctly. First job is to bend the top tabs out so they fit against the underside of the duct hole and can be held in with screws. With those bent it's a case of fitting and moulding the grills to the shape of the bumper, they require a small amount of bending in both directions to fit nicely, it's pretty easy to bend though so do it a little at a time.
Once the shape is right then screw them in with the supplied screws and your done with the bumper mods. †
Finally time to refit the bumper. For this we actually found it easier to remove the grills again as the ducts needed a little bit of guiding into the bumper, be careful with them as they are strong but brittle. You may find the washer jets and pipework are in the way a little, just move them as best you can and if necessary you can trim a little off the top edge of the ducts for added clearance, it's tight in there but when you consider just how big the intercoolers and ducts are you expect things to need a little jiggle about!
Once in position refit the 2 main bolts (another reason the grills need to be removed again) and then refit the 2 bolts each side in the wings. As mentioned earlier, mine had all seized/sheared so we re-drilled some new holes and use new nuts/bolts to fit, no issues but just a bit more time and fiddling required.
Donít forget to pop the rubber cover into the whole on the driverís side carbon duct before refitting the grills, it gives access to the front towing eye thread. With the grills refitted then just refit the arch liners and engine tray and your essentially done!
So there we go, all back together and you can stand back to admire the new subtle look of the grills with no fog lights and a glimmer of the carbon ducts. It's a very subtle mod and those who don't know B5 RS4's well wouldn't suspect anything was modified at all!
Dyno Run @ PowerStation | 04/05/12
So the moment of truth, back to the PowerStation dyno to see what a difference the Wagner Sidemount Intercoolers have made to the inlet temp. We recorded a peak of 39įC> which is a huge drop over the 75įC recorded 2 days earlier. Power jumped up quite a bit considering it's still running the OEM map: 422 bhp & 337 lb/ft
This is a fantastic result and I can see why everyone who's gone for the Wagners raves about them so much - the car practically looks stock but the inlet temps are hugely reduced and the car is one step closer to being ready for mapping!
I'm really pleased with the Wagners, they fit well, keep the car looking pretty much stock and do a FANTASTIC job of lowering inlet temps - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them
MRC are fitting mine - can not wait to collect it next month !
Couple of updates that are worth adding here... first is a graph from the Dyno runs as above showing the Inlet Air Temp (IAT) for each run. As a reminder the Stock run was done 2 days before the Wagner runs so as back-to-back as I could get!
Next up is a IAT graph from a session at Castle Combe on the 8th September 2012 - it was HOT that day and you can see the temp start high from being sat stationary in the pits but as soon as it gets moving the temp drops and overall keeps a very constant range of hi/lo points. Impressive IMO