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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Retired Admin/Techinfo Admin

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Posts: 25996
Location: Space Coast, or at least it used to be
Year and Trim: 03 SLE, 95 SE, 95 TS SE
Author : Willwren

Intake mods/MAF Screen removal/Etc.

Modifying your intake can sound rather simple, but there are really several ways to do it, with varying outcomes. There are also many variables that most people don't consider. The benefits of modifying a stock intake are undeniable. The methods used to accomplish this vary, and some are better than others. The purpose of this article is to clear the air on some issues (no pun intended), and to offer some tricks and advice that have worked in the past.

#1 K&N facts:
A K&N (or similar type) filter with 50,000 miles of use will breathe about twice as good as a new OEM paper filter. This mod is a no brainier, but can be improved upon in a couple different ways. The filter itself helps, but the stock orifice feeding the airbox is not of sufficient diameter to feed the greedy TB and the capabilities of the new filter. ***WARNING*** when running this type of filter, it is VERY important during cleaning and re-oiling not to over-oil it, or at least make sure you blot the surfaces with a soft cotton cloth to remove excess oil. Excess oil can travel to the TB and destroy your MAF sensor.

#2 Increasing air volume:
This can be done a couple different ways. Some people simply punch holes on the intake side of the airbox. This can be taken a step further buy ducting extra tubing back behind the headlight, or down by the lower air dam. Several small hoses may work better due to the tight confines. Even further improvements can be made by gutting the internals of the box, including the resonator, in order to reduce turbulence at the TB.

#3 Custom intake vs. CAI:
These are actually 2 different mods. The defining factor is that a true CAI has a heat shield, typically some type of box in the engine compartment that sheilds the filter/intake point from engine heat. This is important for keeping down intake temps and increasing air density (read air density article in Specifications). This can also be a simple heat shield. The proximity of the radiator and fans to the intake point is what drives the need for this mod. A custom intake would be some type of straight pipe coming directly into the TB from the filter/intake point. This is best coupled with a CAI or heat shield. The pipe can be made of PVC, ABS, Aluminum, or Steel. The idea is to have a smooth inner surface unlike the stock intake. A hole needs to be provided for the IAT sensor. This smooth inner surface reduces turbulence in the intake, which is of benefit when trying to get accurate MAF readings. In light of this, a mandrel-bent Aluminum or Steel intake is preferable to PVC or ABS, as the joints can cause turbulence, but would still be better than the stock intake setup.

#4 MAF screen removal:
There's a TON of controversy over this. The purpose of the MAF screen is to keep the air flowing in a laminar fashion (no turbulence, flowing straight) over the MAF sensor for accurate readings. Some people have removed the screen, which is somewhat restrictive and may 'slow down' the air velocity as it forces the turbulent air to change direction to pass through it. The general consensus is that the MAF screen can be removed for a slight performance gain (probably in the neighborhood of 5hp, just at the edge of the threshold for 'feeling it'). If you have a stock airbox, or even a heavily-modified airbox, your idle quality will suffer greatly. This MOD, if you choose to do it, is best done with an aftermarket, smooth pipe custom intake with some type of K&N style cone filter. ****WARNING**** The MAF screen is also a 'last line of defense' for particles entering the TB. This is especially important on SC models. To remove the MAF screen, remove the intake pipe from the TB Plenum. Using a small jeweler's screwdriver, gently remove the ring clip from the circumference of the screen. Now gently pry the screen from around the outer edge with a jeweler's screwdriver, or straighten a paper clip and put a slight bend in one end, using this to pull the screen loose. Do NOT damage the screen, as you may end up needing to re-install it. One suggestion that was made would be to trim the screen down to a smaller size, and re-install that portion directly in front of the MAF sensor. If you choose this route on a SC model, just remember that you don't want this coming loose and going through the vanes of the blower.

#5 Tornado/Vornado type devices:
Any device that is inserted into the intake in order to create a 'vortex' effect will negatively affect performance due to the demands of the MAF sensor. These devices may work fine in a TBI or Carburated intake, but have no benefit, and will probably degrade performance on any 87-03 Bonneville intake. Don't waste your money.

Long and Short of it all:
The best bet is a custom intake with a K&N style cone filter, and a heat shield or CAI.

The intake is probably the most common first mod most of our owners tackle. The performance gain vs money spent is usually what causes this. This is probably the single most popular mod for performance, and is a great starting point.


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There are no new unread posts for this topic. The CONS of modifying a Series 1 for better performance

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