Twice As Cool - Quattro Rally Build Update

Posted on 6 Jan 10:34
We know we said we weren’t going to “use” a rear mounted oil cooler but we never said we weren’t going to “install” one did we? The rear oil cooler on rally Quattros is so iconic that we couldn’t not have one. There are plenty of tribute cars out there that don’t bother with this touch but we just couldn’t give up on this detail. Soon, we started to wonder if we’d made the right decision however.

We knew we didn’t have the skills to create this wondrous icon so we dragged our trunk lid complete with spoiler over to nearby Four Seasons Radiator who made our custom radiator a while back. We told them what we wanted and they came back with two quotes. They would make a fully function oil cooler for us for around $650 or a non-functional one for around $450. After mulling over the idea of spending thousands of Dollars to build a dry sump system one day we decided that the extra $650 we’d need for a functional oil cooler would seem like a pittance so we opted for the more frugal path. Yes, we ordered a purely ornamental oil cooler; a fake, a pretender. Please don’t hate us.

When we picked it up though we noticed it had AN fittings at each end. Turned out the fab guy couldn’t bring himself to make a fake oil cooler so made a functional one for the same price. We are forever in his debt. We’re still not installing a dry sump system though.

Now to slap it on. Oh, if only it were so simple. It had to be centered on the trunk. It had to be centered in the void under the spoiler. It had to have holes under the spoiler wing for the locating pins and it had to be bolted to the trunk. How hard could that be? Surprisingly actually. Getting it centered on the trunk was pretty easy and transferring that to the spoiler also not too challenging.

Although we had the locating pins marked side to side getting them located front to back was a bit more tricky. So we pulled out our 40 year old Steadtler dividers and transferred their distance from a known point on the trunk and drilled two small holes, with bated breath. They fit perfectly and we could then, for the first time, bring the spoiler down onto the trunk with the oil cooler in place.

Once the elation waned, we noticed that the gaps either side of the oil cooler header tanks and the spoiler sides were not equal. How could this be? We’d measured everything so carefully. We checked again. The oil cooler was definitely in the center of the trunk. After quite a bit of head scratching and remeasuring we came to the conclusion that the spoiler itself was not centered on the trunk. It was not out that much that we ever noticed but now, with the old cooler in place you could clearly see it was a few millimeters out. We decided that we needed to fix this but we were not willing to move the spoiler. Rather, we thought, we’d move the oil cooler, a little. Just enough so that you wouldn’t notice. It’s a fake one after all. Or not.

This left us with another problem. The mounting holes for the cooler were always going to be tight and getting a nut or screw in there would be a challenge that we’d just made easier at one end but harder at the other. We did manage but had to make a custom wrench to do it.

This just left one more task remained. Adding some isolators to the upper locating pins. We though a bit of hose would do the job so cut some to length and enlarged the holes in the spoiler till they just fit snugly. We were happy we hadn’t installed these before we found out is wasn’t actually centered.

Finally, we slapped a couple of VIBRANT stickers on the protective cardboard covers we’d made and called it a (long) day.

Hopefully our next job will be a bit simpler.