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Installed VIVA FMIC over the weekend. Decided to go with VIVA over Phuz because VIVA does not require you to drain the AC and it does not interfere with the R-Kelly CAI.

George from Viva ships the kit in two packages - one comes from the west coast and one comes from somewhere else. The couplings and custom piping comes in one package, and even though the couplings are very generic and need to be custom cut to fit, George highlights roughly what needs to be cut - pretty neat if you ask me.

Overall the install took me 8 hours of solid work, partly because I've never done this type of work, and partly because Viva instructions simply suck! I've read them three or four times and was still confused. The worst part is that the way they are designed is you have six pages of an essay, and another five pages of grainy photos. ((GEORGE - update it! :) ) I memorized some of the key comments from the write-up and decided to hack away on my own. George's instructions call for a coolant drain, but you DO NOT need to do that - I did not.

First and foremost I disconnected the battery. Then I removed the airbox and the cold feed pipe. Next I took the bumper off, unscrewed about twenty bolts from the metal "top piece" (not sure what it's called lol), pulled it to one side and pulled the power steering cooler to the other side. First I remove the secondary IC which was super easy and was held by two bolts. Then I went ahead and unscrewed the four bolts holding the radiator/IC/AC coolers. Up until now it was about an hour worth of work. Then I got stuck at disconnecting the stock IC hoses since they are very hard to get to. After about 20 minutes of work I finally succeeded but I got stuck again since removing the stock IC was such a PITA! No matter how I loosened things up I couldn't get it out, so I ended up cutting the the hot and cold points out - it then slid out like a champ.

Now, VIVA also says to drill holes in the bottom frame to move the radiator farther back. What they didn't know is that the bolts holding the radiator are adjustable, and the radiator can be simply pushed back and tightened using stock holes and bolts. So in a nutshell, you loosen the radiator from the bottom, push it back, and tighten it. Then I moved the AC cooler towards the radiator (bent the AC unit out of the way towards the front) and screwed them together using supplied bolts and washers. They are now spaced out about two millimeters from each other.

Next I dropped the FMIC to the front, measured the center, drilled the holes in the metal bumper, and tightened everything. Word of caution - even though i centered the FMIC, I was stupid enough to drill only one hole for each bracket, so after the install it shifted SLIGHTLY to the right...barely noticeable but I'll have to fix it one of these days.

Now, fitting the piping was another PITA. Viva requires you to remove every pipe except the OEM pipe which attaches to the OTA pipe. The couplers and pipes that attache to the throttle body are a poor design and are touching the starter cables, which could cause a short. I had to insulate that piece of the pipe with a rubber piece. Design Improvement idea: It would be much much easier to keep the stock plastic pipe which goes to the throttle body, cut it somewhere in the mid section and connect with a coupler the the IC.

After everything was set it place, I cut the couplings, fit everything in nicely, made sure there were no clearance issues and tightened everything up. Finally I put everything back together (including cutting the bumper to make it clear the new IC and cutting the top to clear the AC charging point) and went for a drive.

Of course during my test drive I found out the hard way that I either cut the throttle body coupler too short or didn't tighten it enough, but needless to say it decided to pop off. The car stalled and we pushed it back home. It was easy enough to fix, which required to remove the OTA and put the coupler back on the throttle body.

Overall, the FMIC made for a quicker throttle response, a faster 20PSI boost peak and a hotter exterior look! Of course I'll find out once it gets hot to see if it really made a big difference. It's a great buy for anyone looking for a ready kit, and allowed me for a worry free install without the need for sourcing any brackets and clamps. But, now that I'm richer by experience and know how everything works under there and how much space I have to play with, I'd most likely purchase a generic FMIC kit and fabricate it on my own. But kudos to Viva for a ready-kit for the community - it's a great buy for anyone looking for an all-in package.

So, key elements to remember when installing the VIVA FMIC:
- DO NOT follow the instructions, but rather look what everything looks like and start unbolting stuff
- DO NOT drain the coolant - not needed
- DO cut the stock IC tubes to make it slide out easily
- DO drill two holes in each IC bracket so it doesn't shift on you.
- Consider reusing the stock plastic Throttle Body pipe to prevent the new pipe from touching the starter cables

Now enjoy some photos. Thanks to my dad and DarekPL for their help.


Front Fascia off




Everything out of the way


Stock IC hose (photo taken from the engine bay, facing the front ) - PITA to take off


IC out


This is how close the radiator and AC are now


Test Fit


Silly design - the pipe is touching the starter cables - if anyone is doing this, i say reuse the stock TB pipe, cut it to length and attach it to your custom piping


Stock hose reused (attaching to the OTE pipe)


Custom piping - see - this is where the OEM plastic pipe could have been reused. It would save you at least an hour of work, by not having to custom fit that area of piping


Tight Fit


Test Fit


Bracket - silly me I only drilled one hole, which made the IC shift a bit - not a big deal but I'll handle it later. These brackets are a great quality and a perfect fit - no need to shave the metal bumper at all (George - update your write-up)


Cutting the top piece to clear the AC Charging Point


All hoked-up


Darek and pops fixing the coupler which popped-off. We had to push the car back home


Stock ICs - pretty poor design. The supplementary IC is a piece of crap. Notice how I cut everything out


the New Look


Money shot!


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Nice work! I'm glad I don't have to do this. That looks like a lot of work


Sent from my iPhone4S using Tapatalk while on the toilet.
 

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great job.. I hope you cleaned your throttlebody while you had all that disconnected..
 

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A most excellent write up :thumbup:

;) told ya it would take at least 8 hours.
 

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A most excellent write up :thumbup:

;) told ya it would take at least 8 hours.
I think I took about 12... haha.. it was so hot last summer I kept going back inside to chill in the A/C.. then things kept coming up that gave me a reason not to go back out there... But I think if I were to do it again I could do it in 4-6 hours max.
 

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:thumbup: For doing this yourself. Looks great! I don't know how our stock FMIC design even made it into the R, Volvo had to know they sucked.
 

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Looking good man!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks fellas - it was a blast. I love taking things apart, seeing how they work and putting them together.

The secondary stock IC is a joke. As my friend Darek pointed out, the air is looking for the path of less resistance, thus it doesn't flow through the little sucker well. And the place of the stock IC prevents it from cooling the air in.

regarding the VIVA FMIC, it's a fantastic kit with two major flaws: instructions and the throttle body pipe. george - if you're reading this - please feel free to use this post to improve your instructions. Also, I suggest you re-design the kit so the stock TB pipe is reused. I might do this in the near future, so i can perhaps send you the measurements if you'd like. This would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the install time.
 

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Nice, looks great. Good write up. I would never work on my car if it weren't for this forum.
 

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Thanks fellas - it was a blast. I love taking things apart, seeing how they work and putting them together.

The secondary stock IC is a joke. As my friend Darek pointed out, the air is looking for the path of less resistance, thus it doesn't flow through the little sucker well. And the place of the stock IC prevents it from cooling the air in.

regarding the VIVA FMIC, it's a fantastic kit with two major flaws: instructions and the throttle body pipe. Frank - if you're reading this - please feel free to use this post to improve your instructions. Also, I suggest you re-design the kit so the stock TB pipe is reused. I might do this in the near future, so i can perhaps send you the measurements if you'd like. This would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the install time.

Reusing the stock TB pipe is how the Phuz kit does it. However, the pipe is plastic, you will need to put a metal pipe inside of it to strengthen it.
 

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looks great man!
 
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