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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Here is an almost free way to get better performance from your 05/06
Frontier,Pathfinder,Xterra. While they have a big airbox,the tube to the
airbox from front fender it breathes through is quite small and i am certain
restrict the performance and fuel economy of the truck. i KNOW this is not as effective
as a true CAI but with a better breathing filter(K&N, airhog, aFe etc) it does make a difference

Tools required
10 mm socket,
6 inch extension
Ratchet
10mm combo wrench
Blade screwdriver
Dremel tool with cutting bit
Small file

1) Open hood.

2) Disconnect the negative battery terminal.

3) Use the blade screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp closest
to the airbox.

4) Open airbox, remove filter, and move airbox cover(lid) out of
the work area.

5) Using the 10 mm socket completely remove the bolt at the top back
of the airbox, loosen the one inside the box near the middle only.

6) With the 10mm combo wrench,loosen only the hex bolt at the bottom
front of the airbox.

7) Once the bolt at the back has been removed and the other two
loosened pull the airbox up and out of the vehicle.

8] Clean your airbox if dirty before you begin the modification.

9) Using the Dremel tool, cut the bottom front of the box out as
pictured. It is easy to do, use the "ribs" inside the
box to help guide the tool as it cuts. Remember to not remove
the larger "ribs" as they support the integrity of the airbox.



10) Different areas may be cut, I feel however the best place to
remove the plastic is at the front behind the headlight.
More cool air will be available for the engine to breathe in front
than at the back or side of the box.

11) Once the holes are cut as desired, clean up the edges of the areas
where the plastic was removed with the file. Make sure you get all
the plastic bits and filings out of the airbox before you reassemble it.

12) Reassemble the airbox in reverse order. Install your air filter
(or drop in that K & N you wanted).Put the airbox cover back on.
Retighten the hoseclamp on the intake tube hook up the battery
and the project is complete.

The entire job took about 1/2 hour, provides a small power
boost at low RPMs and a throaty sound at W.O.T. I have performed
this modification to my last 4 vehilces with success each time.This
mod can be done on almost any vehicle easily and inexpensively.
 

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Ok so were is the COOL air coming from now? With the holes in the stock airbox won't it be sucking in HOT air from the motor compartment?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wirenut said:
Ok so were is the COOL air coming from now?
from the air flowing into the engine compartment thru the grill and around the headlight.
and from the intake tube from the fender that is still functional

my aFe CAI will likely suck as much or more hot air than this mod will .
as it is more open and has no tube from the fender.
 

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just like the tootsie roll comercial says

"I guess the world will never know"

Unless you have a dyno and some friends with an aftermarket CAI installed on their trucks.
 

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I noticed a pretty large increase in the sound at higher RPMs and it feels like it has a little more power, but who knows. I actually cut out a bit more plastic on the front of the box. Plus I cut the inside half of the tube off just after it comes through the side of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Johnny_Random said:
Any changes in gas mileage?
i did this to an 05 ford ranger 4x4 with a 4 litre engine. with this mod, a K&N
filter and a magnaflow muffler i got a 1-2 mpg increase. i never had it on my frontier
long enough to say for sure about the milage but it definately felt like it had better
throttle response and a bit more power.
 

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Has anyone else done this mod? i have seen one other Airbox mods in the Titan forums. it was cutting the intake tube. i am all about Cheap mods with performance increases. :lol:
 

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tweaking_it said:
Has anyone else done this mod? i have seen one other Airbox mods in the Titan forums. it was cutting the intake tube. i am all about Cheap mods with performance increases. :lol:
This kind of hack job is all over the Ranger forums; many owners even list it in their sigs! There are a lot of butt-dyno reviews, but no real hard evidence that the mod actually does anything except make a neat howling sound. A couple of years ago I did a some dyno tests of a home-modded stock air box and both tests showed that the mods made zero, zilch, nada increase in horsepower or torque. I posted the results on the forums and the pookey hit the fan; I got flamed as a blasphemer. I'll admit that it was only two dyno tests, but that was exactly two tests more than anyone else bothered to run.
Okay, that was a Ranger and we're talking about Frontiers here. Same principle. Will you gain any real-world performance from hacking up your stock air box? I seriously doubt it, but my mind is open if someone can offer something more substantial that "it feels a little quicker." Just my educated $0.02 worth...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Reverendbiker said:
This kind of hack job is all over the Ranger forums; many owners even list it in their sigs! There are a lot of butt-dyno reviews, but no real hard evidence that the mod actually does anything except make a neat howling sound. A couple of years ago I did a some dyno tests of a home-modded stock air box and both tests showed that the mods made zero, zilch, nada increase in horsepower or torque. I posted the results on the forums and the pookey hit the fan; I got flamed as a blasphemer. I'll admit that it was only two dyno tests, but that was exactly two tests more than anyone else bothered to run.
Okay, that was a Ranger and we're talking about Frontiers here. Same principle. Will you gain any real-world performance from hacking up your stock air box? I seriously doubt it, but my mind is open if someone can offer something more substantial that "it feels a little quicker." Just my educated $0.02 worth...
My truck is going on a dyno in about 2 weeks. I will do a baseline with the stock box
and then one with the box modded and finally one with the aFe. .I already have an
exhaust and an electric fan so it won't be stock, but any gain from the air box mod
over the stock airbox will show up on the dyno chart.

As soon as I have the dyno results I will post them up, and then we will know for sure .

I modded the airbox on my 2005 ranger XLT 4x4. It DID increase my milage
and it towed and hauled loads better, especially through the mountains. It would
not downshift when climbing the hill on highway 11 with the airbox mod. Without
the mod it would downshift. Common sense says no downshift = more power and torque.

I should also mention that the Rangers airbox and filter are alot smaller than the
Frontiers and in my opinion MUCH more restrictive, so the mod on the Ford may be more
effective than on the Nissan that has a much larger filter and airbox. The Frontier uses
the same airfilter as the Titan. If it can flow enough air for a 5.6 liter V8.........

Nissan filter on left smaller Ford filter on right

The Nissan filter is MUCH larger than the Fords. They were both measured

Ford 7 X 8.5 = 59.5 sq inches
Nissan 9 X 10.50 = 94.5 sq inches

The Nissans filter is almost 40 % larger than the Fords so i could easily see this having
a larger difference on the Ford than the Nissan. One of the many reasons our Frontiers
enjoy the 58 more HP our 4.0 Liter make over the 4.0 in the Ranger.

I am going out on a limb and saying I see a 3.5 hp gain from the airbox mod.


my .02

happy easter everyone. <><
 

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xtrememtbkr said:
My truck is going on a dyno in about 2 weeks. I will do a baseline with the stock box
and then one with the box modded and finally one with the aFe. .I already have an
exhaust and an electric fan so it won't be stock, but any gain from the air box mod
over the stock airbox will show up on the dyno chart.

As soon as I have the dyno results I will post them up, and then we will know for sure .

I modded the airbox on my 2005 ranger XLT 4x4. It DID increase my milage
and it towed and hauled loads better, especially through the mountains. It would
not downshift when climbing the hill on highway 11 with the airbox mod. Without
the mod it would downshift. Common sense says no downshift = more power and torque.



I should also mention that the Rangers airbox and filter are alot smaller than the
Frontiers and in my opinion MUCH more restrictive, so the mod on the Ford may be more
effective than on the Nissan that has a much larger filter and airbox. The Frontier uses
the same airfilter as the Titan. If it can flow enough air for a 5.6 liter V8.........

Nissan filter on left smaller Ford filter on right

The Nissan filter is MUCH larger than the Fords.The size difference dictates the
stock Nissan system will flow a considerably larger air charge than the stock Ford
system.

my .02

happy easter everyone. <><
Thanks! That's exectly the kind of information we need around here. Have a blessed Easter yer own self!
 

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The idea is commonly done by a lot of other enthusiast communities. Several ideas, that do work, include:

- Covering that airbox with "Reflectix" to prevent the black plastic from soaking in the heat, then replacing that flat filter with a K&N cone.

- Using anywhere from a 3" to 4" ABS or drainage pipe with roof flashing to seal it off from the engine bay, and putting a K&N open cone in the fenderwell. ($50 Home Depot solution)

- Cruising over to www.intakehoses.com and buying a simple 3.5 to 4" aluminum tube, silicone couplers, and clamps to do the same thing. If you go this route, cut the tube to spec, then send it to GTPowderworks and have them powdercoat or ceramic coat it to keep the heat out.

Spending over $200 on an aftermarket intake is simply not necessary.
 

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can you prove that last statement

like some before and after dyno results?
 

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kansasfrontier said:
can you prove that last statement

like some before and after dyno results?
Can you disprove it? Basically, it's all about air flow and if you feel more comfortable spending money on aftermarket, then it's your decision. You just can't tell me that anything with multiple bends, bends just prior to the MAF, bellows, or something that does not protect against heatsoak is the best solution. After that, you have to prove that you can make a $200+ dollar intake that is substantially (key word) better than a DIY job. Otherwise, I personally do not see it as a wise investment.

Try to get a controlled dyno where you do all pulls with the engine at the same amount of heatsoak, IATs at the point of the filter are exactly the same, ECTs are the same, ambient temps are the same, etc. I'm not going to dump thousands into proving what may about to a mere 5 hp difference in the setups. You are going to have to spend that to prove your product.

Your goal for an intake is to get the coolest air at the least amount of restriction. It's not rocket science. I can show you cars in the 9's and 10's that do not run $200 intakes. I removed my SLP intake and made my own for my 400fwhp dyno on my V6 car.

EDIT>>> I read this and I want to note that I'm not attacking you at all. When I read my post I thought that you may take it as though I was being a jerk. I apologize if it comes across that way. I'm not a vendor at all, just sharing experiences from another automotive community. I'm big on the DIY stuff to help save money for bigger mods.
 

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I think you're right it would be expensive to do the proper tests to see which would be more effective.
but in my line of work everything is supposed to be evidence based.
So I tend to carry that line of hinking with me.
Thats why I enjoy Reverendbiker's web site. He carries out, what seems to be very well designed tests.
He makes the aftermarket mods and such, prove their worth.
Plus time is money, and If I am going to spend time modifying my airbox then it better be worth it.

I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes I like to fab up stuff myself, It can be fun.
 

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kansasfrontier said:
I think you're right it would be expensive to do the proper tests to see which would be more effective.
but in my line of work everything is supposed to be evidence based.
So I tend to carry that line of hinking with me.
Thats why I enjoy Reverendbiker's web site. He carries out, what seems to be very well designed tests.
He makes the aftermarket mods and such, prove their worth.
Plus time is money, and If I am going to spend time modifying my airbox then it better be worth it.

I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes I like to fab up stuff myself, It can be fun.
Nothing wrong with asking questions. While these forums are a fantastic way to share information, they are also notorious carriers of bad information. One owner does a mod, claims that it "improves throttle response" (I just LOVE that one) and other owners follow like sheep without questioning whether the mod was really effective. While dyno tests are not infallible they do, under controlled conditions, offer better measures of performance than does the notoriously-innacurate butt-dyno.
Can home-brewed intake systems be effective? Sure, but in my 40+ years of hot-rodding performance cars and bikes I've seen more bad ones than good. Pector55 offers some good suggestions, particularly those that keep heat away from the intake air source, but the mnufacturers' placement of the MAF sensor in the intake tube has limited the effectiveness of many home-made systems that worked well in the past.
Probably the biggest waste of money I see on trucks? Aftermarket drop-in "performance" air filters like K&N or Air Hog. They do a great job of marketing, but the fact is that on our VQ40 engine they offer absoultely no increase in power or economy.
 

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I just did this to my Frontier. It feels a bit faster to me, and the sound
is awesome. even if it does nothing for the power it was worth it for the
sound


:goodjob:
 

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I did two versions of this mod. The first version (only one pic of it) still allowed hot engine air in. My second version (3 pics) has actually made 1-1.5 mpg difference. I'm not as interested in more HP as I am mpg but I do believe you must do a dyno to tell the difference. No matter how sensitive your butt dyno is you can't feel a few more HP.
My second version is a 2" floor drain (as seen in first version) with a short radius 90 and a 45 with one side partially cut out to catch more air coming through the space between the headlight and the radiator. All of the pieces are 2" PVC painted black. Yes it does sound kinda cool.
 

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