Every 1g we get our hands on, we move the bottom radiator mounts forward ~3″ so it’s straight up and down. This creates an enormous space savings for puller fans and lower intercooler piping. For a bottom mount, you can often use stock fans, and a top mount can run a larger downpipe under the pan (for full exhaust) without needing to relocate the alternator or oil filter.
A section of the lower front core support is cut out completely and a piece of angle stock is welded in its place. 1-1/2″x 1-1/2″ or 2″x 2″ works well, and about 1/8″ thick. Small block-off plates will need to be made and welded in to re-box the core support and give something for the angle stock to be welded to. The angle stock will also need to have provisions for the bottom mounting posts and drain. Be careful as the mounting holes are not symmetric!
Use the original upper mounts/brackets and be sure to have the radiator installed when you weld the angle stock in so the height is just right. Something to note is that the upper radiator hose will still work, but the lower will need to be extended (we’ve used a beaded 1-3/8″ tube coupled to it in the past).
You can see that it could have actually been moved forward ~1/2″ more, but we still have a 6″ thick intercooler to fit behind the bumper.
To keep the factory hood latch rigid and working properly, you will want to make a low profile brace to support it.
This is an attempt to place the radiator where it sits from the factory without fans to give an idea:
(We are guessing, as we don’t have any 1gs left here that haven’t been modified)
Here is it modified, without fans:
And finally, modified with fans:
This Flex-a-lite dual fan/shroud setup is a bit thicker than your normal slim fan setup, but we plan on driving this car a lot and cooling issues are annoying.
Here is where there could otherwise be trouble when running a top mount, full exhaust, and all factory location accessories. Lower intercooler piping. First is 2.5″, next is 3″, showing the space available with the modified radiator location and all accessories:
Relocating the alternator and oil filter (forward facing oil filter housing for example) would also have avoided any issue and created a nice space for the downpipe to route through.
Without the accessories relocated, however, it pushes the downpipe forward (especially the bulkier Saturn alternator shown here) and leaves little room for the charge piping to be routed between the downpipe/dumptubes and radiator/fans without the radiator being moved forward along with it.
First 2.5″, second 3″.
And with fans:
Not a ton of room, but enough. The turbo outlet is 2.5″ so that is what we are going with until the intercooler. There will be some heat shielding around the intercooler piping to keep the (later wrapped) downpipe heat from affecting it.
Sike! There ended up being plenty of room 😉
The charge piping was routed a little lower to where the downpipe starts to bend under the oil filter. There is just under 1″ clearance around it and everything else (downpipe, dumptube, fans) which will avoid any issues even if things move around a little under power (we don’t have solid mounts).
So there it is! A way to get more room from a stock style 1g radiator. This could have of course been remedied by a shorter Scirocco style radiator tucked inside the core support or by relocating the alternator/oil filter but this has always treated us well. Even with stock frame turbo setups- it makes things a lot nicer to work on.
A nice side effect is that the puller fans on the radiator tend to also pull air straight through the intercooler, and the space between them can be easily sealed off to enhance this.
-Matt and Samantha
Note: We don’t offer this but wanted to share as a ‘how-to’ 🙂