- 22mm socket and ratchet or impact gun (for wheel removal)
- Jack and safety stand or lift
- ¼ or 3/8 ratchet
- Extensions for you ratchet
- 10mm socket
- 8mm socket
- 10mm wrench
- 8mm wrench
- Flat head screw driver
- Phillips head screw driver
- Clean container (to catch drained coolant)
- Plastic trimming tool (any suitable tool to cut through plastic, i.e. isolating cutter, clippers, razor, hack saw, ect)
You will need to drain the coolant from the auxiliary cooling system. You can choose to reuse the coolant that is drained out of the cooling system as long as it is skimmed clean. I personally prefer to use new genuine coolant instead to avoid any possible contamination.
For this write up I will only show the right side, but the relocation should be done to both coolers at the same time. The process is fairly the same for both sides. PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE COMPLETE GUIDE BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE JOB.
Jack up the front of the vehicle and set up for safety stands. I won’t go over the procedure as this should be very basic and it is assumed the installer has sufficient knowledge to remove and retorque wheels. Remove front and rear liner from the front wheel wells. There is a combination of push pin clips, philips screws, and an 8mm bolt. Use the appropriate tools for the job.
Here’s an illustration of the right side cooler and its housing. You will need to drain and remove it completely. Circled in red are the bolts holding the housing to the frame.
Start by draining the cooler. Place an appropriate container to catch the coolant under the cooler. Pictured is a close up of the lower cooler hose. By pressing tightly on the blue tabs you will release the clip that hold the hose. While holding the tabs in with one hand, push up on the hose and then pull down with the other. Pushing up usually helps with releasing the clip and allows for the hose to be easily pulled off. If the hose isn’t pulling off easily, make sure you are pressing down enough on the blue tabs. If you’re still having trouble, you can use a flat head screw driver to lightly pry on the head of the hose while still firmly squeezing the tabs in. Once removed the coolant will drain out. Be sure to catch it in your container.
Here’s a close up of the upper hose. Remove the same way as the bottom hose. The upper hose has purple tabs instead of blue.
With the hoses removed and the coolant drained, you can now remove the cooler housing. Pictured is a direct look at the third nut holding the housing to the frame.
With the cooler assembly removed, you will now need to separate the cooler and retainer from the housing. Remove the two bolts that hold the retainer to the housing (8mm head with a 10mm nut on the opposite side). Once the bolts are removed you can pull the cooler with retainer up and out of the housing.
Here is the picture of the cooler and retainer. We will be reusing the retainer after a couple of modifications.
Here are the left and right coolers side by side with their corresponding retainers removed. We will be swapping and flipping the retainers over onto the opposite side cooler (the retainer for the right cooler will go on the left cooler and so forth). This will hold the coolers from the top. Before we swap them we need to trim a few things to make them fit without issues.
Both retainers will need to have the area in the red box cut off. This will allow the upper coolant pipe to be inserted without issues.
This is what it should look like after cutting off that section. Please look closely at the orientation
You will now need to trim the tabs on the front side of the retainer (front meaning it will face the front of the vehicle). PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE ORIETATION OF THE RETAINER. ONLY ONE SIDE NEEDS TO BE TRIMMED. IF THE INCORRECT SIDE IS TRIMMED, IT WILL NOT HOLD THE COOLER TIGHTLY AS IT SHOULD. COMPARE CLOSELY WITH THE PICTURE TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT SIDE NEEDS TRIMMING.
This is what it should look like after trimming. Trimming here will be essential to avoid chaffing on the cooler fins once the cooler is installed and tilted forward. Not trimming here can result in a coolant leak in the future.
We will now have to remove the cooler air guides. The coolers will still work efficiently enough to cool the charge air cooler, so no need to worry about removing the guides.
The guide is held by one single bolt (circled in red) but can only be accessed by partially removing the bumper cover.
Pull up and off on the front side of the fender flare in order to clear the tab circled in red.
You can now forcefully pull on the bumper and unclip it from the fender. You should be able to see the bolt holding the air guide (circled in red). Remove the bolt and air guide. Re install bumper and fender flare.
Now you will need to unclip the harness from the frame (circled in red)
You will need to leave the harness unclipped and push it up and out of the way to make room for the cooler retainer.
Now you will install the left side retainer on the right side of the vehicle using the original long bolt from the retainer with the 8mm head. It will bolt right up to the upper threaded hole meant for the cooler housing. The left side retainer will hold the right side cooler after the modifications and as such, the right side retainer will now hold the left side cooler. Look closely at the picture as it shows the retainer on the right side properly attached and its orientation. It also illustrates how the cut out and trimming should be.
Remove the rubber mounts from the bottom of the cooler housings. Install the mounts onto the relocation brackets.
Here is our relocation bracket with the mount installed.
Slide the cooler mount stud into the rubber mount now in the bracket. You will need to use both hands to install the cooler with the bracket. While pressing it up into the retainer, install the lower bracket using the original hardware onto the original lower threaded hole meant for the cooler housing. Careful not to cross thread the bolt. Once in place, reconnect the upper and lower hoses. The cooler should be firmly holding in place. Go ahead and give it a quick light tug to confirm. The design of the bracket uses leverage to hold the cooler into the retainer while only using 2 mounting bolts.
Once both sides have been installed, you now have to refill the cooling system and bleed it. Newer vehicles utilize a scan tool in order to help them bleed the cooling system. Luckily we can still bleed it the old school way by burping the system. Keep in mind the auxiliary pump does not turn on until the engine has reached operating temperature. You will need to watch the coolant level and temperature while you idle the vehicle with the hot cabin air on. It can take a while but feel the coolers and you will feel them heat up when the coolant starts flowing through them. That means the auxiliary pump has finally kicked on. After a test drive, confirm the coolant is at the appropriate level.
Note: trimming the bumper plastics for bigger tires varies depending on the height and width of the tire being used as well as the offset of the wheels and if wheel spacers are being used. This is a topic on its own and will have it’s own write up.
Congratulations on completing the installation! Now time to unveil the Defender’s true capabilities!