Whipple Mega Cooler Install - lessons learned


Staff member
Founding Member
Feb 24, 2022
Current Ride
2022 Bronco Raptor
Installed the Whipple Mega Cooler Intercooler over the winter. Since it was in winter storage I took my time and tried to maximize the directed airflow thru the intercooler to increase it's efficiency. I did this installation by myself and here are a few things I learned along the way.
  • You do Not need to lift your Raptor, lifting higher than stock would have increased the difficulty performing the install by myself.
  • It’s possible to do the installation by yourself and in one day if you follow the installation steps and install as Whipple designed.
  • The rear passive shutters should be retained. They will definitely assist in cooling during idle time and slow speeds by allowing the engine radiator fans to pull air through the intercooler.
  • Test fit the OEM Bash plate prior to installing the bumper to check clearance with the Mega Cooler.
  • The steel bash plate needs to be lowered in front by approximately 3/8” to fully expose the lower frontal area of the intercooler, I used large stainless washes on front 2 mounting posts.
  • Whipple did a great job of designing the largest intercooler to fit within the available space.
  • The intercooler, OEM or Whipple may be easily removed for cleaning if needed. Remove bash plate, unhook the 3 air inlet tubes, support bottom of intercooler while removing the lower support brackets and drop out the bottom, all without raising the Raptor. Guessing this would also apply to other aftermarket intercoolers.

1st step is to remove the steel bash plate and the silver plastic bumper trim. I'm not going to repeat the Whipple installation instructions in this thread but what I found and learned along the way as a supplement.

Removing the OEM bumper:

Unhook the bumper electrical connector that is located in the driver’s side lower front fender, you can’t see it, but you can get your right hand in from the bottom to disconnect it. This connector is for the parking sensors and bumper fog lights. There is a second electrical connector that is near the frame, this is for the shutter motor, you can go ahead and disconnect that one also, but it’s not required to remove bumper.

I laid a large section of corrugated cardboard on the floor covered by a moving blanket to lay the bumper on once removed. Padding just in case I dropped the bumper and to reduce risk of marring the finish should it get bumped on while on the floor.

I sat on my adjustable shop roller chair and positioned myself in the center of the front bumper and adjusted the chair so just above my knee’s where under the bumper to support it. Using my electric impact wrench I removed the 6 bolts on each side holding the bumper assembly in place. I used my free hand to hold a tow hook keeping the bumper in place and legs to support the bumper weight. Once last bolt is removed set the impact wrench on the floor and used each hand on a tow hook and slowly rolled back away, once cleared you can allow the bumper to roll on you lap toward you, then reposition you hands to lift from the backside of the bumper and lower onto the soft moving blanket, bumper face down. Reverse this process to reinstall, I did this a dozen times as you’ll read later during test fitments.

Bumper removed, now able to see the shutters and surround flexible seal to bumper.

Same as above, just different perspective that is easier to see the upper portion extends into the bumper and the lower rests along the bottom inside of the bumper to assist in channeling the air through the shutters.

Following the Whipple installation instructions you can now remove the shutter assembly and the stock intercooler.

I used clean wadded paper towels to prevent impeding debris.
As shown below the Whipple intercooler is considerably larger, wider, taller, and 2 inches thicker which takes up the room previously occupied by the shutters and shutter to intercooler air duct. OEM rear passive shutters and rubber mount isolators already moved to Whipple intercooler. Note I did not do any trimming on the shutters as seen in other video's and the upper drivers side retainer doesn't line up so just simply zip tie around the nearby upper mount. Note that this same corner was Not retained on mine from the factory and it was never clipped into place. Zip tie retainer seems like a big improvement.


With Whipple intercooler installed, next check for clearance with OEM bash plate. It's tight, if I was to fully tighten the bash plate (bringing upward) it would possibly contact the intercooler.

Picture with Whipple supplied Adaptive cruise control bracket set in place.

Front mounting bolts on bash plate adjusted to bring to bottom of intercooler, then determined I need approximately 3/8" spacer behind bash plate.

As shown below with the Whipple supplied adaptive cruise control bracket there isn’t much room between the bumper and Whipple intercooler. But the is plenty of void area for the air to redirect thru area's of the bumper.

In a attempt to make the installation as OEM appearing as possible I wanted to have a similar air box to direct the maximum amount of airflow through the intercooler. Using the OEM bumper to shutter bracket as an example I decided to expand on the Whipple bracket. Note this is with the OEM bumper, you should be able to devise something similar for an aftermarket bumper configuration. I used ABS sheet to cut, heat, and form the ABS. I then used 3M body moding tape to adhear to the metal and join/seal the ABS surfaces.

I mounted the shutter motor further forward on the supplier bracket to allow clearance to the OEM black plastic piece that is behind the bumper that's shown in a frontal photo further below. Mounted using more 3M tape to elevate the motor just enough to allow clearance for motor mechanism to accutuate, then zip tied for safe measure. Note that I also used ABS and 3M tape to fill in holes in Whipple supplied bracket.


Now assembled on Raptor. Note that installing the bumper just became a little more difficult with the rigid ABS, would be easier to have used a flexible material similiar to OEM.

I reinforced the 1/16" ABS on the sides with additional layer of ABS and a verticle aluminum extrusion I had left over from another project. Once again, bonded with 3M tape.

In order to prevent the upper ABS portion from flexing, I used a pipe insulator to slide over the leading edge which now rests and seals against the inside of the bumper. You can also see the black Stainless Steel large washers I used as spacer for the bash plate, stuck to the underside of the passenger side bash plate mount in this photo.

Views after being fully assembled. There is a very small gap between all the ABS edges and the bumper and intercooler, although appears they touch in the photo's. The bottom inside of the bumper now acts as the lower air box.

Passenger side above, drivers side below. Not a perfect but should function fine and it's really not very visible. I consider this like a "prototype" that I hope never needs replacing.

A small gap along the bottom between the bumper and the intercooler, good for water and small debris drainage, however for off road I think there needs to be filled to prevent debris from enter the intercooler upon a jump and stuffing the front end. I'm planning to add another section that will be samwiched between the bumper and silver plastic trim and bridge the gap to bend under the intercooler. Water from above could still drain into the inside of the bash plate.

Installation complete, only driven once but at 70mph against a 20+ mph head wind and nothing seemed to move yet. Hoping the auto car wash chemicals with nicely etch the Whipple intercooler aluminum to present a more appealing finish. Note that the bumper does sit about a 1/8" lower than mine was from the factory, bothered me for awhile, then realized I'm the only one noticing until you have read this post.

For Whipple Tune Initial impressions see this thread.

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