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DIY Step by Step how to add a Vararam CAI

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Old 05-13-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
JKbride
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Default DIY Step by Step how to install a Vararam CAI

Couple of weeks ago I added a Vararam CAI on to my LS2 Vette. I suspect the instructions are close if not the same for the LS3.


Make sure you protect your fenders because you will be all over them during the removal and installation process. You may want to disconnect your battery because you will be working near a couple of airbag sensors.


Step 1: Remove the OEM Intake/Air box Assy

a) Remove clamp from intake to MAF


b) Lift Intake away from the MAF. The MAF is on a flexible hose so it can move to. I found moving them both upwards helped them disconnect. (Note be careful note to damage the MAF Screen)



c) Lift the air lid towards the front of the car until it pops off two studs mounted on the top radiator support.




d) This is what you should now see.


Step 2: Remove top radiator support

a)Remove four bolts (2X per side). You will need an extension to reach them.


b) Lift hoses off the support cradles located on the radiator support


c) Lift the top radiator support off the car (Note: The bolt eyelets that are molded to each side of the top radiator support are very brittle. You can see both of mine broke off with little effort or pressure being applied to them.


d) This is what you should now see.



Step 3 Remove Front Radiator Shroud

a) Go to the underside of the car and remove (7) various screws/bolts that fasten the bottom of your bumper cover to the car. You may want to remove the air dam, but it is not necessary. (Note: I jacked up the car to give me some additional working space here and used a drop light).

b) Remove 2X Push pins per side (total of 4) that mount to the inside of the Radiator Shroud. (Note: I used a panel removal tool that you can get at any auto parts store for about $5 to get the pins out…they can be tough to remove)



c) Remove two pins that mount the bottom of the Radiator Shroud to the car. A small flat tip is useful her to pull the center pins out for removal.


d) Disconnect and remove air sensor from passenger side of the shroud.


e) You may also desire to disconnect your hood lamp to give you more working space.


f) Each bottom end of the shroud is secured underneath a metal tab. You will need to push the bottom end towards the center of the engine bay to get the shroud loose


g) Remove Radiator Shroud from engine bay by lifting one end up first then if will allow the shroud to move from under the metal tab on the other side much easier.


h) This is what you should see



i) Since there was some debris in the upper part of the radiator, I “Carefully” vacuumed the radiator.


Step 4 Cutting the Radiator Shroud for the Vararam

a) I cleaned the radiator Shroud and carefully aligned and taped the supplied template to it.


b) I used a sharpie marker to outline the template.


c) I used a pair of metal sheers to cut the plastic along the lines I had drawn from the template. This was a very easy way to cut it. Others have used small hand saws, razor knifes, jig saws and the like.



d) Apply the supplied rubber weather stripping around the Vararam hole


e) I used my metal sheers to cut a small slit under some of the molded supports on the Radiator Shroud so the weather stripping would fit better.


Step 5 Reinstall Radiator Shroud

a) Reinstall the Radiator Shroud in the opposite order your removed it. It is A LOT easier to reinstall it because it is not as ridged and it is more flexible. It takes a little doing but you can get it back under the metal tabs with a little coaching and twisting.

b) Reinstall the top radiator support in the opposite order you removed it.


Step 6 Install the Vararam CAI

a) Follow the supplied instructions from Vararam for assembly of the air box and filter. When you’re done this is what it will look like.


From start to finish It took about 4 hours……Good Luck!

John

Last edited by JKbride; 01-29-2015 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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Awesome Thank you
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:03 AM   #3
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Perfect job John!
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys....I hope this is able to help others decide if they want to tackle the job themselves or even install a Vararam at all.

It's clear to me based on a lifetime of working on cars that this is a good CAI system that truly pulls in cold air vs a system that may breath easier than stock, yet breaths in air at engine bay temps.
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:06 PM   #5
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Great Job!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:49 AM   #6
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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I just PM you for you to mail me the shroud template and I just read through this and it is a gigantic help. I have not done much work on cars over the years other an a rim swap or oil change here or there so to someone like myself this is incredibly helpful and thank you for offering to mail me the template you are a great member to a semi-newbie like myself. Thank you very much!!!
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:51 PM   #8
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Great write up.

FYI, you can also do this without removing the shroud.

If you do that you should slide some 1/4 plywood or masonite up in front of the ac condenser...or you may cut the condenser, many people have. I did not and I didn't use any masonite, I was just really careful at the top.

I used a utility knife to cut mine, they cut like butter. Only stick the blade out about 1/4" up top to keep from cutting the shroud.

I remembered I did a post 6 years ago...here we are. This is how it looks to cut the shroud in the car.


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Here's some pics.









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Old 06-22-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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Yes, I have heard from a good friend of mine and that is how he did his. He and another removed the hood and then cut the shroud without removing it.

I think your method is a good one and if I had to do it over again I would consider taking off the hood and leaving the shroud in place.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKbride View Post
Yes, I have heard from a good friend of mine and that is how he did his. He and another removed the hood and then cut the shroud without removing it.

I think your method is a good one and if I had to do it over again I would consider taking off the hood and leaving the shroud in place.
You don't need to take off the hood. It's not in the way at all.

I do recommend placing a piece of masonite between the shroud and the evaporator as it's close up top and some people have cut their evaporators. I didn't have any trouble and I didn't use masonite but I was careful.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_G View Post
You don't need to take off the hood. It's not in the way at all.

I do recommend placing a piece of masonite between the shroud and the evaporator as it's close up top and some people have cut their evaporators. I didn't have any trouble and I didn't use masonite but I was careful.
Excellent!
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:22 PM   #12
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I cant get the bottom duct to fit on my GS....in front of the radiator there is a oil cooler or something and the varam doesnt fit at all....pissing me off??
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:46 PM   #13
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Is there any way I could get you to email me the template? I will be installing mine in a few weeks and I do not have a template for mine.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Is there any way I could get you to email me the template? I will be installing mine in a few weeks and I do not have a template for mine.
The template is big and would be impossible to scan even if I still had mine which unfortunately I pitched when I moved.

If you contact contact Vararam I'm sure they will send you one. Their support is quite good.

Last edited by Joe_G; 09-09-2016 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weykool View Post
Is there any way I could get you to email me the template? I will be installing mine in a few weeks and I do not have a template for mine.
Got your email and mailing you a template today!
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:55 PM   #16
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Got your email and mailing you a template today!
Perfect! Thank you very much! I can't wait to see the improvement when I am done with the install. I made a few passes last weekend and have my times, now I want to see what they are after the intake install. Just curious. Not looking to build a race care here, just want to improve the performance somewhat.
Thanks again!
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Perfect! Thank you very much! I can't wait to see the improvement when I am done with the install. I made a few passes last weekend and have my times, now I want to see what they are after the intake install. Just curious. Not looking to build a race care here, just want to improve the performance somewhat.
Thanks again!
You are going to be thrilled.

The stock tune pulls up to 13 degrees of timing starting at 86 degrees inlet air temps. That's about of commanded timing, and I've measured 150+ degree inlet air temp in the staging lanes so the car will be pulling 12 degrees of timing for the first 660 feet or so until inlet air goes down due to the car moving.

Here is the table from stock z06, the C6 table is similar.




The Vararam will give you about 5-10 degrees over ambient inlet air and the computer will not pull all that timing and you will have a substantial HP increase and ET decrease, you'll see. It's been a long time but I seem to remember .2 and 2 mph on my car.

Last edited by Joe_G; 09-09-2016 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:34 PM   #18
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Got your email and mailing you a template today!
I know your probably busy, but I didn't see the template come in to my email yet. Were you able to send it to me yet? Thanks, G
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I know your probably busy, but I didn't see the template come in to my email yet. Were you able to send it to me yet? Thanks, G
as I mentioned it's too big to email unless you have a plotter printer at home
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:21 PM   #20
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Got your email and mailing you a template today!
Template arrived in the mail yesterday! Awesome! Thank you so much. Hope to get this all installed in the next week.
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