|How to install a Ram-Air / Cold Air Intake on a Ford Mustang GT|
CORRAL UNIVERSAL RATING SYSTEM:
This article explains how to install an effective Cold Air and Ram-Air set-up on your Modular Mustang. It was originally written by my good friend, Nine-Ball, an engineer from Houston and installed it on his 96GT(now a Formula owner - shame on him?). I installed this on my Cobra and now have added pictures and part numbers which will assist the install and provide more detailed information for the Cobra owner. This article is a combination of Tony’s original notes and my own.
There are after-market units that you can purchase but NONE of the ram-air units will perform anywhere near as well as this modification. Plus none can be purchased for $20 (Ram-air) or $5 (Cold-air).
Tony produced an effective ram air system for his 96GT. This install is MUCH easier to do on the GT than on the Cobra because of an “Air-box” unit which is in the fender on the Cobra. Anyway, Tony searched every aisle of the local Builder's Store and finally found something of use! It came in the form of 1.2 foot long, 5" diameter four-joint aluminum sheet pipe. Basically it is dryer and furnace ducting. It has four connected pieces which can rotate a full circle at their joints. Each section has about a 22.5 degree shape. This means, if you turn the joints a certain way, you can end up with any angle between 0 and 90 degrees. This is NOT the corrugated flex tube, but the smooth material.
Here we go!
airbox/silencer/filter from your car (for room to work).
On the Cobra you also need to remove your Strut Tower Brace
(if you have one), and remove the MAF and inlet tube leading
to your throttle body.
Cut back the factory air silencer about 6 inches from the snorkel end (see picture 2) . this will make the diameter large enough to fit over the 4" end of the 5 X 4 reducer (it stretches - make it tight). Tony and I used a hacksaw. Cut the snorkel approximately where the picture has the white line.
4" end of the 5 X4 reducer should be bent slightly in an oval
shape to fit inside the oval air silencer hole. Make sure to
cut the hole so that it is parallel to the line of the fender.
You may have to install the silencer and mark it to be sure.
Once it is trimmed to the right size, attach it to the 4” end
of the reducer. Remember that the snorkel goes over-top
of the 4” end of the reducer, not the other way around.
Now that you have it fitting together perfectly, take the snorkel
back off from the reducer and set it aside for later.
Now from under the car, stick this entire piece up the fender (4” end first) and into the hole leading into the engine compartment (where the snorkel used to go), shaping the pipe as you go will help here. Also, get a friend to help from above. This step is not that difficult on the GT, but it is EXTREMELY difficult on the Cobra because there is a unit called an “Air-box” that is smack dab in the middle of where you want to go, mounted at the top of the fender. It has a couple of hoses coming out of it that feed the catalytic converters on start-up. It is very tough to get the ducting past this unit, but since I did it (all by myself) I’m sure anyone else can too. Patience helps big time! Gee, didn’t SVT know we wanted to put 5” ducting in there??? LOL. The next picture illustrates basically how the ducting will route itself through the fender. You won’t have the large reducer on the bottom end yet, and if you are only doing cold air, this piece will obviously be much shorter.
the silencer to the airbox (saliva helps) and go ahead and re-install
the filter/airbox/silencer. Because of the extra stiffness and
lack of flexibility, I couldn’t reconnect the airbox to the
fender wall using the supplied bolt, in fact I cut the
side attachment off with the hacksaw along with the foot on
the bottom of the airbox - I needed the room. You may
get lucky and not have to do this. On the GT you are done
under the hood, on the Cobra you now need to reconnect the MAF
and then lastly the inlet tube to the throttle body. Don’t
forget to reconnect the 2 sensor switches at the MAF, which
you had to disconnect to remove the inlet tube. If you
are doing the cold-air induction only, you are done (Just aim
the tube forward & down.) and you can now relax and go for
a drive (don’t forget to lower your car first, hehe).
Hold up the
last piece of 5” ducting and the 6 X 5 reducer and see how well
it fits. Once it seems to be fitting perfectly than take
it back off and screw the 2 pieces together. On the Cobra
you want it to fit over top of the lip of the fog-light hole.
You can adjust the length of this piece if it is too long by
prying out sections of the 5” ducting. You will have to
pull really hard (close to the rivets) but they WILL come apart.
Don’t install this piece yet.
Now go back under the car and attach the last piece. Now you need to secure it with screws (this is tricky since the rest is already installed - being a contortionist will help;-). On the cobra you now need to use the cylindrical clamp and tighten it up over the screen/duct/lip/ area. I pulled the other fog-light also and installed the screen so that they would match!
Hey guess what…..you’re done.
Total installation time (not including shopping) is about 2 hours on the GT and a couple more than that on the Cobra! There is no question it pulls much harder than before, and it even sounds better. Both Tony and I have seen improvements of approximately 3/10ths in the ¼ and about 1 mph (not bad for $20 Eh). If you have any questions, e-mail me at Scott.Winger@sympatico.ca and I'll be glad to help.
I took this setup one step further on my Cobra. Since I lost the fog light I moved them both to the spoiler. Each one is dead center on each side of the license plate and just below (see picture 6). It now has the “Stocker” look. Picture 7 is owned by Dennis who followed my “Fog-light re-location” notes as well as installing the ram air as outlined. It looks amazing without the front plate (no choice in Canada).
The original wiring also reached to the new location which was a bonus. What is even better is that now the fog lights actually work! I guess because they are away from the headlights they aren’t getting lost in the rays. The GT spoiler unfortunately isn’t big enough to do this, so Tony got some after-market bulbs and used them instead. If you want the written instructions for the “Fog-light re-location” for the Cobra, e-mail me and I’ll send you the text in Word format.
Scott Winger (§cott 96Çobra)
There are 6 comments
July 29, 2012 - 04:07 PM
Subject: Ram air
1998 Mustang Cobra convertible
May 19, 2012 - 11:20 PM
Subject: custom ram air
Did this little project yesterday, a great idea, i didnt use the galv piping, instead i used the rigid aluminum dryer vent with the 5in/4in adapter, i figured id have a little trouble getting the galv through the inner fenderwall and since i have a 98 gt bumper wasent a direct line up like the cobra so i bent the 5in/4in reducer to shape the oval opening and put an L-bracket in it to keep it in place using the fog light bolt/ hole. can def tell a diff in 2nd thru 5th gear! awsome write-ups btw, use them all the time!
January 23, 2012 - 11:04 AM
Subject: home made CAI/Ram air
I remember doing something like this sometime ago, i made it long enough to reach the fog light on my 01GT, now, when i drove around the only difference i noticed was that my gas was running out really quick. My car was previously tuned for 93oct. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. Odd
December 01, 2010 - 06:49 AM
Subject: Cold Air Intake
I tried using this method but it would not work for my car (I don't have the fog lights on my 1988 mustang). To get around this problem, I routed the 3" PVC pipes (not metal duct pipes) for my air cleaner location to an open spot between the bumper and the radiator. Then used nylon cable ties to secure everything to the cars body. I'm sure this location is better than the engine compartment location. I'm sure the air hitting the front end of the car below the bumper works almost as good as these guys ideas...
November 24, 2010 - 11:32 AM
Subject: hillbilly ram air
i love it...great write up and idea
May 27, 2009 - 12:12 PM
Seems pretty straightforward. Looks cool too.
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