Tech Thursday: C5 Intake
Modifying your intake, or cold air intake, is a relatively inexpensive, easy way to gain some horsepower. Make no mistake, this will not result in 50% more horsepower, at best around 5%. But it doesn’t cost too much (most complete intake systems cost less than $500) and can be a fun, quick (around one-two hours for most installs) DIY project.
What are the negatives? Well, it can make your car louder (that’s a positive for some) and obviously it will require you to spend some money. But there aren’t too many ways to add some power so cheaply; modifying your intake is often the gateway to further mods. Additionally, it may lead to increased fuel consumption as it can allow more air into the manifold so that injectors must squirt more fuel in order to get the air/fuel ratio right.
There are three basic approaches to modifying your intake: first, the simplest, replacing the stock air filter with a K&N or other filter. This only requires you to open the airbox and switch the filter. Second, the cheapest option, you could modify the airbox yourself to remove any obstructions which slow airflow. The third option would be to buy a new intake system and install.
This is the most expensive and complicated option, but doesn’t require special tools or damaging/modifying (depending on perspective) your stock parts. The only question is which kit? Well, that’s up to you and the install process may vary slightly depending on the kit, but following is a DIY modification that will result in a 10-15hp gain, costs only about $.50, takes less than fifteen minutes and requires only a flat-head screwdriver.
DIY Intake mod
Unplug electrical connector to MAF. You have to first pull out the gray clip, then squeeze the black part to release.
Loosen clamp at inlet of throttle body.
Disconnect air tube on drivers side of airbox.
Pop off airbox cover at the grommets in the very front.
Remove entire Airbox, Filter, MAF, neck assembly as a unit.
Set assembly on table.
Undo 2 bands/clips that release air filter. Rotate these 90 deg and they will pop off.
Lift off top cover and set aside.
Daisy chain 3-4 Zip Ties to make one long one that will reach around entire lower airbox, filter, and filter cage. Make two.
Tighten zips as tight as you can get them.
Reinstall, don’t forget to tighten hose clamp at throttle body.
Here are before and after dyno charts for HP and Torque