Free Air

Home Grown Ram-Air for the LS1

There are mysteries about Chevrolet that we may never know. To be more specific, we wonder why the Corvette has always been one step ahead of the Camaro? Why is it that the LS1 makes less power in the C5 than the F-body? Why did the LT1 follow the same pattern? We may never know Chevrolet's reasoning, but what we do know is that we can gain Corvette performance on a Camaro budget with very minor massaging. Speaking of budget, here's a trick that should get you that extra tenth you've been looking for, and it won't cost you a cent.

We recently took a trip over to Morgan Motorsports, in Reseda, California, where we learned a ram-air modification that requires zero parts and even better, zero green. The modification takes the stock '98-02 Camaro air box and converts it into an air funnel with air that is picked up by the stock front air dam. In one hour's time we produced 5 rear-wheel-horsepower without spending a penny. And yes, we thought exactly what you're thinking right now, how much easier can it get. Not very much!

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Loosen the two clips on the lid and the hose clamp connected to the throttle body.

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Remove the air box lid, air filter and air filter tray.

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Remove the four 10mm bolts that hold the air box in place.

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Remove the entire air box assembly.

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Under the air box is a small shroud with a thin slit. Using a sharp razor blade, make perpendicular incisions going toward the front of the car at both ends of the slit.

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Make one long incision to finish the cut and remove the rectangular piece of the shroud.

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Drill two holes on the radiator side of the shroud making the holes as far to the ends of the shroud as possible.

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Drill two more holes in the front of the shroud while also piercing the steel support in front of the radiator. Make the holes 6 inches from the ends of the shroud. USE CAUTION AND DO NOT PIERCE THE A/C CONDENSOR.

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Use zip ties to retain the edges of the air entrance to allow for a maximum opening.

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Your shroud should now look like this.

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Go back to the air box assembly and measure how much material must be removed to take advantage of the new larger incision in the shroud.

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Make the cuts with a hacksaw blade, die grinder or any cutting tool you feel comfortable with. Always wear eye protection when using any pneumatic cutting tool.

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The center, which has been removed, should look like this.

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After the entire section of plastic has been removed, reinstall the air box assembly with the 10mm bolts.

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Reinstall the filter, lid and reconnect the MAF sensor.

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