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Old 04-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
The Professor
Join Date: Oct 2003
Fan#: 1083
Location: Ripley, WV
What I Drive: '13 Mazdaspeed 3; '87 'Stang

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Thumbs up I must be getting old... :-) DIY 2012 intake modification

I LOVE my Mustang being obnoxiously loud, but of course it isn't driven anywhere close to daily. I had a 2001 Zx3 and of course a lot of modifications because it was fun at the time. Now that is sort of old. Let's face it... a loud 4cyl kinda sucks (of course that is just my opinion).

There has been a lot of talk about a better air induction set-up on the new Focus and I have to say I am impressed with Steeda's gains with their kit, and I love the ingenuity of some of our members in doing everything from a 3 inch hose providing extra air from the bumper to taking the air cleaner lid off. But, and this may be me getting old, the noise from an open filter on this engine is obnoxious. The ONLY way it sounds good is at WOT and that is not where I spend most of my time in the Focus. This is a great breathing engine and it likes to ingest air, but unless there is a louder exhaust (and it would have to be decently loud) to offset the intake, then it is just nasty. Not even a good tone down low. Just a sick and loud boggy sound. Yuck. I want to eventually put something like the FS Stealth exhaust on my car because they have a nice deep tone, but it won't really be enough to overcome the intake. I would love to hear what the Steeda sounds like with its velocity stack design MAF housing, but I haven't had the chance.

So what this is all leading to is me thinking about how to make a "little" intake sound (you have to have a little---LOL) and get in more air without it sounding like a sick elephant stuck in the mud surrounded by crocs.

First I removed the silencer under the air box. Sounded gay. So I made a block off plate for the hole left behind because the silencer itself is gay. The tone increased, but not in a bad way. Linear and well integrated with the stock exhaust.

Then I tried the lid off the box (I have a K&N installed). Super gay. WOT was killer, but it sounded sad everywhere else. Not a good smooth tone.

So, I got to thinking about how this thing pulls air in factory form. It has two snorkels going to the box. Good. They run to the grill area at the front of the car. Good. Then there is a restrictive snorkle gathering air from the opposite side of the grille. Bad. And the opening of the grill is blocked by a piece of thin plastic that directs air away from the intake and instead to the very top of the radiator (actually mostly right over the top since the radiator gets 99.9% of its air from the bumper) with only about a 2x2" hole nowhere near the entrance of the snorkle. Very bad.

So... I got out my tools and first removed the snorkle behind the grille. This left a nice opening in the radiator support that the snorkles from the box plug into. I then removed the thin plastic shield that keeps most of the air being rammed into the grill from getting to the intake. This required some cutting, but you never notice it because it is all hidden.

So now my engine has an enclosed airbox, with two entrances for air (which are now short), and it pulls air from under the entire grill bar. All good (or at least much, much better than stock).

The sound is perfect. Smooth and linear and most people think it was meant to sound that way. The power seems improved seat of the pants (and I am very attuned to that I assure you). Nothing draumatic, but nicely noticable.

Now, before you talk about water, just remember that the stock airbox has previsions to eliminate that threat for anything other than driving through water up the the window seals. Plus, rain, etc. is minimal in that area unless you again are driving through said flood (in which case even a stock Focus could be screwed).

Before you mention heat, think about a short ram. The heat impact there is minimal (been proven) especially with a shield, and it is right by the engine and radiator. A CAI is down by the road with radiates all kinds of heat, and the filter is still open in the engine compartment (plus the extra tubing hurts power which is why a short ram usually beats a true CAI for power). I am getting air from in front of the car. Is there heat there? Yes. But where does a new Mustang draw air? Same place. You can't completely get away from heat. But, I beleive I have the best area possible to draw air from, and when moving it will only get better.

So, that is my littlle DIY mod for the month. Wish I had pics, but it is almost impossible to get good shots down in there. I tried.

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