AEM-style Cold Air Intake install
Posted 02-23-2002 at 12:00 AM by SurferX
So you finally broke down and decided to follow the crowd and get an intake huh? Well good for you, because in this case there is a good reason why intakes have always been so popular. The problem with most stock induction systems is that they are not designed to do their job, which would be inducting. Sounds dumb? Yeah well it is but that's the way it goes. The majority of the population, for reasons that we can't possibly understand, like their cars to be quiet. Any noise from the engine will bring in bags upon bags of complaint letters from people who will never experience the joy of driving like we do. So the engineers who go into designing our cars are forced to create the most restrictive induction system possible in order to keep the noise level down. This is why an aftermarket intake is probably the single best modification for the money that anyone can buy.
In this project I'll be going into how to install an AEM Cold Air Intake. Even if you don't have an AEM you can still use this as most CAI setups are pretty similar. This install was done on a 2001 Integra Type R and will be exactly the same for any 3rd gen RS, LS, GS, or SE. For those with GS-Rs, you can still follow these instructions as the only difference with your intake is an extra bend in the pipe near the throttle body. Same with 2nd generation Integras only your pipe is missing a bend. I'll tell you right now, this does not exactly follow the procedures outlined in AEM's official instruction sheet. You can follow those instructions if you want but I wanted to use the least amount of equipment possible so that everyone can do this install. So if you don't have access to a jack and/or don't like getting under the car while it's raised, you can do this no problem. I also made a few other slight changes which I will mention in the install. So bust out the tool belt and go for it!
#2 Philips screwdriver
Socket wrench with extension
Whoa look at that. All of a sudden our Integras aren't so pretty anymore are they? I removed the front bumper cover so you all can plainly see what is going on.
You can do this too, but your main option will be to jack up the front of your car, remove the passenger side wheel, and remove the black plastic fenderwell trim. The fenderwell is held on by plastic extensions which pop right out so be careful not to damage them. I've also heard that people have did not need to jack up the car and just removed the fenderliner, turned the wheel all the way to the left, and were able to take out the resonator. I have never tried this myself but good luck to you if you can, it's a tight fit.
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Ah there it is...the enemy. Next to the resonator this big plastic POS is robbing us of valuable horsepower and the beautiful symphonic sounds of the engine. Let's get rid of it shall we? First, unscrew the 3 top screws with your phillips screwdriver. Remove the top half of the airbox. Unbolt the 3 lower 10mm bolts with your socket wrench. Remove the lower portion of the airbox from the engine bay and store that evil thing away so it can never look at your car again. Well... until you decide to sell it at least.
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Loosen the clamp which affixes the intake hose to the throttle body by unscrewing the attached screw. Then remove the breather tube, use your pliers to squeeze the metal clamp on the intake hose. Then simply pull the plastic breather tube out of the intake hose.
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See that big bad resonator there? Well our main enemy here is only held on to the car by two 10mm bolts. The top bolt is right up against the fenderwell where the wheel is. If it makes it easier you can turn the wheel inwards or outwards to give you more room whichever is more comfortable for you. The second bolt is directly on the bottom and is pretty easy to get to. The hardest part is maneuvering the resonator out of it's comfortable sitting place. You have both the upper tube and the tube that curves around and up into the engine bay on bottom. Work at it for a few minutes and you'll be able to figure out the right angle to get it out. If you have a Type R this is even harder because you have that long tube on top to deal with. But I promise if you mess with it for a couple minutes it will come out.
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Alright now let's get that shiny new intake into your engine. Slide the rubber clamp all the way onto the throttle body and tighten the metal ring.
Take your intake pipe and maneuver it into the engine bay so that the bottom portion extends into the fenderwell. Like the resonator it might take a few minutes until you figure out the correct angle but it's there. If you have an Integra with a strut tower bar you will need to remove it. If you are still having trouble getting the pipe in, you can unbolt the coolant reserve tank and move it out of the way to give you more room. After the pipe is where it's supposed to be, go ahead and put the top end into the rubber clamp connected to the throttle body. Don't tighten the metal ring yet as you might need to move the pipe around slightly towards the end of the installation.
The last part of this step simply involves attaching your air filter to the pipe. Simply install the filter on the open end of the pipe and tighten down the clamps. By now everything should look like the 3rd picture.
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Okay I'm going to stray from the "official" instructions here and do some improvising. I can't really say which method is better but I did it this way because my breather hose was too short and it turned out pretty good actually. In the official instructions, they say to remove the plastic stock valve cover breather/coolant line piece and replace with the given rubber hoses. Well since the hose I got was too short, and I like using stock parts as much as possible, I just cut the breather hose to attach to the stock piece. It turns out to be pretty clean and works perfect, the stock piece completes the connection to the valve cover and I didn't even have to mess with the coolant lines at all. So you can do it this way, I think it might make things easier.
In the official way, completely remove the stock piece by disconnecting it from the valve cover breather and removing the coolant line going from the intake manifold to the throttle body. Connect the supplied breather hose from the nipple of the intake pipe to the valve cover breather. Then connect the supplied water hose to the open connections left on the intake manifold and throttle body.
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This is it, after completing this step your new cold air intake system will be officially installed. The picture on the left is directly from the AEM instruction sheet and is pretty self-explanatory. The rubber mount screws into one of the open holes left by the airbox bolts. You should have no trouble figuring out which hole to use as the bracket will be sitting directly over it. This is where you might need to do some adjusting of the intake pipe position if the bracket isn't sitting directly over the open hole. Install the rubber mount as pictured and let's finish up!
Make sure to tighten down all your clamps and test your intake to make sure you made a nice tight, clean install. Start up your car and listen for any leaks. The only air "whooshing" sound you should hear is down at the filter. Yes I know it does sound cool and you can tug on the throttle cable if you want to hear it rev up in it's full glory. Unfortunately due to time constraints you can't sit out here all day doing this no matter how cool it might sound so try to pry yourself away to finish this install.
All that's left is to re-install whatever you removed for the install and with that, I'm proud to say that you are finished! Go out for your test drive and enjoy the true sound of your engine. The ECU will take a day or two to adjust to the modification so your power gains won't be there instantly. I suggest driving hard after you install this so your ECU can adjust itself properly throughout the RPM range. If you want to take advantage of the modification right away and reset your ECU manually, or if you are having idle/stalling problems, check out the Reset ECU article to fix yourself right up.
If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to contact me, I'd be more than happy to help. Again, congratulations on a successful install and go have yourself some fun out there!
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