Weight reduction goes a long way towards improving lap times, but let’s face it: you can never have too much power. To stay on top you have to maintain that power through the entire season.
This is something that do88 has come to fully understand, and demonstrates well in their products. That’s why we were ecstatic when do88 was interested in partnering with us (and NordicSpeed) for engine turbo and cooling system parts on our Saab 9-3 racecar. Full silicone hoses for the radiator and heater go a long way to improve reliability of this Saab 9-3’s engine parts, but in order to reach our goal of 300+hp, we needed the do88 Big Pack Intercooler & Charge Pipe kit for the drtuned Saab 9-5.
The intercooler itself is an amazing piece for our Saab’s cooling system, providing the quality fitment of OEM parts with a significant increase in flow and cooling capabilities. For those upgrading their street cars, do88 offers the ability to retain the AC system. For us it was an excellent opportunity to delete the HVAC parts entirely, including the evaporator inside the heater box. By installing a ‘short-long’ serpentine belt (no AC with center idler pulley), we removed the compressor part with ease with the intercooler and radiator parts out of the way.
Installing the parts in our Saab 9-3 was relatively simple, and the included instructions explain the process very well. Once all the factory rubber hoses and the charge pipe are removed, the lower bracket for the coolers is removed, the AC condenser and radiator are held in place, and then the factory intercooler is lowered and tilted out of position. As described best by Mr. Haynes, installation is the reverse of removal.
Once all the hoses and hose clamps are in place (pay careful attention to how the clamps are oriented so you can tighten them), the aluminum charge pipe can be brought into play. This intake charge pipe is everything the Saab cooling system should have been from the factory, a full 2.5” the entire length, without the flattened section in the middle. Being an entire inch larger in diameter will significantly increase the flow levels into the throttle body.
The T-bolt clamps included in the do88 Big Pack cooling system are a big step up from the typical worm-gear style hose clamps. With a wider band and stronger threads, you can ensure the pressure hoses stay put without risk of stripping the clamps, even with increased boost levels.
Over time rubber coolant hoses begin to break down, and when you apply the heat cycling and long periods of stress created on the race track it’s only a matter of time before they fail. The do88 Big Pack silicone radiator and heater hoses are thicker and more durable than standard rubber, with more reinforcement than other brands. You can see the added thickness due to the increased number of fiber layers, as well as tightness of the weave. Silicone is also extremely chemical resistant, so grease and oils in the engine parts won’t cause the hoses to weaken prematurely.
Many tracks and sanctioning bodies don’t allow the use of glycol-based anti-freeze, but pure distilled water isn’t capable of high temps often seen on the track or in the paddocks idling. Red Line Water Wetter, and similar coolant additives, helps increase the boiling temp of water, and act as a corrosion inhibitor for your cooling system. For the time being I’ve chosen to stick with a 30% coolant mixture, but we’ll likely make the switch to using Water Wetter in the summer months. Some sanctioning bodies will allow coolant additives, and some will not. If you’re planning on racing, make sure you know the rules before making the decision on your cooling system!