How to Make a Homemade Cold Air Intake for Your Car

For the internal power engine to work, the air is required, which is taken from the atmosphere using a special device – an air intake.

What is an air intake?

Air intake is a detail of the power supply system of vehicles with internal combustion engines; pipes of various shapes, sections, and designs for air intake and its directed supply to the air filter and further to the carburetor or throttle assembly. For more information about 1500 5.7 cold air intakes navigate here

The air intake has several functions:

  • Atmospheric (cold) air bleeding for supply to the engine;
  • Warm air bleeding to power the engine at the time of cold start and during heating (mainly in the cold season);
  • Directional air supply to the filter, regardless of its location (this allows you to conveniently place the filter and other parts of the power system);
  • Some types of air intakes protect the engine power system from the ingress of water and dirt;
  • A decorative element in some cars.

Air intakes are important parts of the engine’s power system since the volume and stability of the air supply to the engine depending on their design, installation location, and general technical condition. Therefore, if this part breaks, it must be repaired or replaced. To make the right choice of air intake for a car, you need to understand their types, design, and features.

Types, design, and applicability of air intakes

Structurally, all air intakes are the same – it is a pipe of circular, rectangular or more complex cross-section, which is installed on one side of the air filter housing and the other goes to the most convenient place inside the body or outside the car. Air is sucked in through the outer part of the intake, enters the filter and then into the system.

The air intakes can be divided into two groups at the installation site on the vehicle:

  • External;
  • Internal.
External ones are installed outside the car body – over the hood, over the roof, behind the rear surface of the cab, etc. For installation, a place is chosen where normal or elevated air pressure is observed while the vehicle is moving, avoiding zones of turbulence with reduced pressure.

Internal intakes are located in the engine compartment in the immediate vicinity of the engine. To supply air to the engine compartment, openings in the hood, wings or in other parts of the body are used. These air intakes are divided into two types according to their purpose:

  • For intake of cold air;
  • For intake of warm air.

Intakes of the first type are located at some distance from the engine, providing air to the filter with ambient temperature. Intakes of the second type are located at the most heated parts of the engine (usually mounted directly on the exhaust manifold), providing flows to the warm air filter. The system of two air intakes facilitates the winter operation of the engine, accelerating its heating.

External and cold air intakes are divided into two groups according to the method of air supply:

  • Passive;
  • Active.

Passive air intakes are simple devices in the form of plastic or metal pipes of various configurations that provide an only air supply to the filter. This design has the majority of air intakes for cars and trucks. Various auxiliary devices can be located on the outside of these devices, like caps for protection from dust and dirt, resonators for forming an airflow of a certain structure, mesh, blinds, etc.

Active air intakes are more complex devices that not only deliver air to the filter but also solve one or more auxiliary tasks. The most common are two types of active air intakes:

  • Monocyclones are intakes with swirls (fixed blades located across the axis of the airflow), which give the airflow rotation for additional dust removal (due to centrifugal forces) and better filling of the power system;
  • Rotating intakes are devices on the outside of which a rotating dust cage with an impellor and a swirl is installed. The cage comes into rotation under the influence of an oncoming air stream, and due to this, large debris is sifted out and a swirling air stream is formed in the power system. Also, rotation provides self-cleaning of the outer surface of the dust cage from stuck particles of contaminants, therefore, these devices are used on cars and various equipment (tractors, combines) operated in dusty environments.

Both of these air intakes, as well as all intakes with screens/filters at the inlet, are considered to be coarse air filters that prevent the penetration of large particles (stones, grass, etc.) into the power system and significantly extend the life of the air filter.

Snorkels (snorkels) stand out as a separate group of air intakes. These devices are used on off-road vehicles and other equipment, which during operation has to overcome deepwater barriers and move on impassable roads (military equipment, rally cars). The snorkel is a sealed pipe, placed at the level of the car roof – the location at the highest point of the car provides protection from water and dirt. Usually, snorkels are equipped with a rotary intake, which can be deployed along or against the direction of movement of the car, it has a screen/filter and can be equipped with auxiliary parts (for water drainage, air swirling, etc.).

Finally, there is a large group of hood air intakes for cars that perform two functions – the formation of directed airflow and decoration. These devices have diverse designs and, at the same time, provide an intensive air supply to the engine compartment or directly to the internal air intake. But today, purely decorative air intakes have also spread, which help to give the car a more aggressive, sporty look, but practically have no effect on the operation of the air path of its power system.

Choosing and replacing air intakes

During operation of the vehicle, the air intake is not subjected to heavy loads, however, it can be damaged due to shock (which is especially exposed to the external intakes of trucks, tractors and other equipment) or vibration, or lose its characteristics from aging (especially plastic parts). In case of a malfunction, the part should be replaced, otherwise, the engine operating mode may be violated, the clogging intensity of filters may increase, etc.
For replacement, only those air intakes that are suitable for a given car or tractor should be selected. This can easily be done by knowing the type and catalog number of the part.

Replacing the intake usually comes down to dismantling the old part and installing a new one. For this, it is necessary to unscrew a few screws, dismantle a couple of clamps and remove one or two seals. During installation, it is necessary to observe the correct installation of the gaskets and to ensure the tightness to avoid air leakage through the cracks. All work should be performed in accordance with the instructions for the repair and maintenance of the vehicle.

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