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 FAQ: Homemade Air Intake 
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Joined: May 09 2004, 2:01 AM
Posts: 502
Location: Blacklick, Ohio
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Post FAQ: Homemade Air Intake
:arrow: Added to FAQ by, April 16th, 2005
:arrow: Invalid Links Removed by, March 18th, 2005

I got tired of trying to read the huge singular block of text, so I am going to retype it here... Along with some small revising. :D

Courtesy of Sean Matthew's site:
Home Depot Cold Air Intake System
Ok, so you know I'm cheap. How cheap? Really cheap.

But I'm also now quite poor, since there was no way for me to make my own drag radials. I had to buy a set, which left my monthly car-go-faster funds quite tapped. But my poor car was just crying for cold air. After a day at the drag strip with one headlight removed, I knew there had to be a better way.

So, I surfed to several home made intakes, and found them to often be as good as or better than those overpriced $300 purple polished Honda tubes that people seem so willing to fork over their hard earned cash for. No offense if you happen to be one of those people, all the more power to you. But for us poor (or stubborn) guys there is an altenative.

Props go out to:
Brian's PGT custom intake : [INVALID LINK REMOVED]
Ross's PGT Intake Page :
Brian Berryhill's Intake: [INVALID LINK REMOVED]
and several others that I surfed to in the past few months to gather ideas from.

I decided that the system I liked best was the Hotshot/Prm style tube that takes a 90 degree bend straight down after the VAF. This system put the filter as close to the ground as possible in the path of speeding cold air traveling under the vehicle. This gets cold air in without having to cut a hole in the front bumper.

Before I started this project, I was working with a basic K&N cone attached to the end of the VAF, with the factory 1.8L 'horn' hanging from the plastic elbow from the throttle body to the VAF.

So, off to Home Depot. For those viewers following along at home, here's the shopping list. I got everything from home depot except the cone filter which I already had.

2 x 3" to 3" Silicone Adapters (Plumbing section) - $9 each
(If you can find a 2.5" to 3" get one of each instead)
1 short aluminum wrapped thin 3" to 3" silicon adapter - $6
4 Foot section of black PVC Tubing 3" Diameter - $6 (white is available too)
90 degree bend PVC Tube - $5
The K&N or brand of your choice cone filter - About $50 at any speed shop

Total Cost : $85CDN ($55USD) with filter, only $35 ($25USD) without it. I told you I was cheap!

Back at home, I disconnected the stock intake at the throttle body, and attached one of the silicone adapters to the throttle body and the back of the VAF. If you can get the 2.5" adapter it will be a much better fit on the throttle body side. Otherwise, be sure to really tighten that side to ensure no leaks.

On the other side of the VAF, you attach the other silicon adapter to the thinner end of the 90 degree bend. Measure out about 18" of the 3" tubing and cut it off. I used silicon caulking to seal the 18" section to the 90 degree bend, and also to fill in a 'smooth' over the small gap between the two pipes. Then I attached the K&N to the other end of the 18" piece with the 3rd adapter with the aluminum wrapping.

To check for leaks I used a trick Vaughn posted to the MX-3 List once, that is using a mist of WD-40 to check for intake leaks. With the engine running spray a mist of WD-40 near all possible leak points (i.e. the connection points). If the mist can get through, you'll hear the rpm rise slightly as the oil gets into the combustion chambers.

This setup is heavy, maybe 6-7 pounds, and I plan to take the PVC tube section to the local metal shop early next week to get a custom 3" aluminum replacement bend that should weigh next to nothing. With the heat generated by these V6 engines I don't know how long the PVC tubing will stay hard.

When I took this monstrosity out on the road for the first time, I swear I thought it would never work and I'd feel like a complete moron for even attempting to manufacture my own setup. Well guess what? It didn't fall apart or get crushed, or bang around under the hood. And believe it or not, it made a big difference in my 0-60 times!

My best G-tech measured 0-60 times with the simple K&N filter sucking hot air from the engine bay through the old 1.8L rubber intake. It was in around the 5.8-5.9 range. Guess what?

My first run was a 5.6 something! I couldn't believe it so I made a few more passes.

5.52 was the best. That's a minimum of a full 3/10ths off the old times. I went for several runs in both directions, and even if the G-tech is completely off on the times 'real world', remember as a comparison to before, it's the same timer on the same road in similar weather conditions (cool evening, no real wind) as I always use so I can keep a benchmark of what's working and what isn't. So even if you think the times are BS (I'm iffy myself, but I did 6-7 runs to confirm), I can guarantee you that it moves quicker than before. Take it for what it's worth.

Now I have a feeling that these results have more to do with the 2.5L having been 'starving' for air before than actually making new horsepower or whatever. I can't guarantee the same results would work on the 1.8L, but I'd love to hear somebody try it. Let me know what you're own experiences are, especially if you have access to a track or G-tech timer to provide hard numbers to support any changes for better or worse.

If you're already got a cone filter, this is the best $35 you could spend to get some of that lost heat soak power back.

No more MX-3.

April 16 2005, 2:34 AM
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