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Cold Air Induction Home made Kit

Article by:GTRaptor Profile | E-Mail


This do it yourself article shows you how to install a home made cold air induction system.


Mustangs like cool air, and the reason is that cold air is denser and has more O2 in it, which in increases combustion efficiency.

When you install a K&N conical filter inside the engine bay 2 things happen; the engine heats the inside air and the fan creates turbulence, both of which hurt performance.

There are several ways to eliminate those problems, one could be to install a RAM AIR hood which has openings at the front to draw cold air into the engine, or at the back to expel the heated air. But hoods are expensive and we think there's a better solution for the budget enthusiast.

Our 1995 5.0 project car was fitted with a 9 inch conical K&N without the air filter housing, but the filter sat inside the engine compartment and inhaled mostly hot air and that hurt performance.

We decided to make a SN95 5.0 COLD AIR INDUCTION kit(CAI) setup that would relocate the filter to the fenderwell to draw cooler exterior air.
There are many CAI kits available from MAC, BBK and others, but we think the price you pay for them is a bit on the high side.

Some changes need to be done to create a CAI for other Mustang models, but the same principles apply.

Our first attempts at making a home CAI consisted on using PVC pipes and elbows, but the PVC wont last long inside the engine bay, the heat will just deteriorate the PVC until it collapses due to the heat and the suction created by the intake, so this new CAI version uses not only different materials, but also a different configuration.

We decided to use 3" STEEL pipe instead of PVC, but the elbow is still a high quality PVC piece.
Maf adapter not neededAnother change from our previous setup is the the removal of the MAF adapter (only needed for SN95s) which hooked the square side of the maf to the K&N. (see picture on the left).

You will also need a K&N Conical filter for this setup, you can use the STOCK K&N replacement air filter, or any conical filter that doesnt have an elbow (flat).

We went to a muffler shop and bought a 3 inch Steel pipe (Can also use aluminum), 1 45 angled PVC elbow, two 3 inch rubber hoses and 4 high quality stainless hose clamps.

If you have a stock Air box in there, the first step is to remove it. Loosen all clamps and hoses, remove the IAT (temp sensor) and PCV hose from the passenger side valvecover, remove the MAF wiring harness, pull the air box, open it and remove the MAF. When everything was removed we decided to clean all the space beneath since it was VERY dirty.

After all the cleaning was done, we started measuring the TB to fender well opening distance to cut our PVC pipe.

The Steel pipe should measure around 20 inches, plus the 45 elbow. Test try the pipe before you join the parts.

Drill 2 holes on the pipe, one for the crankcase ventilation and the other for the Air Charge Temperature sensor (ACT/IAT).
To connect the Crankcase ventilation we used a copper hose connector and a 1" clamp we found at the plumbing section @ Home Depot. The ACT sensor is installed in the second hole, make the hole big enough for the sensor to screw into the pipe, enlarge it a bit at a time so the sensor is held tightly in place. You can also use a rubber grommet into which the intake sensor will screw.

Next you need to screw the square side of the MAF to the K&N filter, use some silicone sealant and dont forget to place the wire mesh between the MAF and filter, the mesh straightend the air flow inside the MAF. Use quality nikel plated or stainless screws.


The next diagram shows the complete assembly: FILTER + MAF + HOSE + ELBOW + PIPE + HOSE + TB:

The PVC elbow and Pipe can be glued with Epoxy, for extra safety you can put some reinforcing screws. Do this before you paint it.

Next is PAINT PREP TIME, we used 600 grit sandpaper to sand all pieces and then cleaned the outside and inside of the pipe with a lint free cloth. You dont want any contaminants to get into the intake and engine, so you better clean it right !!!.

click to view larger imageWe used KRYLON high temperature paint to give the whole setup a nice factory look. Wait at least 2 hours before installing, high temperature paints dont dry as quick as regular paints.

When the CAI is dry it's time to install it, assemble the K&N + MAF + HOSE and get it inside the fenderwell, theres enough room under the car to put it in place. Now connect the MAF wiring harness to it, the wiring is long enough so you dont need to do any modifications to it.

Place the other rubber hose at the throttle body, attach the CAI pipe first to the MAF, its a bit tight inside the fenderwell but be patient, a short screwdriver or small wrench can be used to tighten the hose clamps. Then attach the pipe to the TB. By now the job is almost finished, just a few things left to do like attaching the ACT sensor and CV hose.

We will suggest you erase the EEC stored memory tables, do this by disconnecting the battery for 20 minutes.

Now start the engine, and check for any possible problems, like air leaks or the hated "Check Engine" light.

Our overall impression of this setup is that it surely provides some more HP, but it is felt mostly at mid-to-upper RPM's.
Most aftermarket CAI's are said to give you 10 to 15 hp increase, but if you look at their design it has several flaws, they still have some 90° bends that will disrupt airflow. Our design is superior as it only has 1 45° bend and it is right after the MAF so the airflow is more even and wont harm MAF readings.

click to view larger image



Cool air = more HP, a CAI kit will draw cool air into the engine.

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