2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Bolt-Ons – Big Air Upgrade

Massive gains are made with a JLT Performance Intake on project Apex Assassin

D.J. Randall Apr 11, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Straight out of the General Motors factory, stock fifth-gen ZL1 Camaros come ready to fight with all 580 horses pulling the behemoth down the road and track. With that being said, one of the first modifications for any horsepower junkie should be to pull out the factory air intake that’s suffocating overall airflow, and hurting performance. The Chevrolet ZL1 is no different, and with a factory blower that’s ready for some more air, let’s get started.

Since Project Apex Assassin has big plans for future track time, there was reason to wait. It was time to pull out the stock intake, and replace it with a massive Big Air Intake from the professionals at JLT Performance.

The product is available in a textured black finish for $299, or custom painted in your Camaro’s exact body color for $349. Should you wish to tune your Camaro, JLT also offers the Big Air Intake with the SCT X4 handheld tuner. If you want those extra SCT gains, grab a tuner and a textured intake as a package for $649, or in your Camaro’s exact body color for $699. Unlike most intakes, the JLT Big Air Intake is so big that a tune is needed to make the most of the new air, and to make the car run 100% safe. It’s just up to you, as to who and how it gets tuned. Proudly, the components are made in America!

On install day, we headed over to AntiVenom to find Greg Lovell and Kyle Miller, accompanied by JLT’s own Jay Tucker and Brent Hughes. Jay brought all kinds of goodies with him, including the Big Air Intake and the SCT X4 handheld tuner. Needless to say, the install went off without a hitch. We started with a quick dyno pull to get a baseline on AntiVenom’s in-house dyno, where Apex Assassin spun up 493 hp and 482 lb-ft of torque. Jay had the JLT intake installed in no time at all, and the fresh setup was tested again, with Brent doing the tuning for our project, and all of JLT’s Camaro tune packages. You’ll have to follow along and check below for the exact numbers, but The Big Air Intake from JLT produced absolutely massive gains!

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Zl1 Dyno 2/16

01. With the stock ZL1 setup strapped down to AntiVenom’s in-house dyno, it was time to spin up some numbers. After a 30-minute cool-down time, the beast rang up 493.16 hp and 482.97 lb-ft of torque. Time to rip out the restrictive stock box, to get ready for the Big Air Intake.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Oem Blackbox 3/16

02. Jay starts out by simply unbolting the stock air box bolts. The massive, OEM black box isn’t really held into the engine bay with any complex mechanism, just a couple of easy to remove bolts.

Unhinge Factory Fatty 4/16

03. With the bolts removed, Jay is able to unhinge the factory fatty, and take it out of the ZL1’s engine bay. He’s already unclipped the Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor’s harness.

2012 Chevrolet Camaro Stock Box 5/16

04. With the stock box on the shop floor, it’s time to transfer over the MAF and the OEM intake’s oil separator, all in preparation for the new intake.

Black Intake Tube 6/16

05. With the MAF unscrewed, Jay carefully transfers the hardware to the beautifully textured black intake tube, and detaches the stock oil separator.

Jlt New Big Air Filter 7/16

06. Now for the big guns! Take a look at the new filter. The Big Air Intake is delightfully gigantic! The pre-oiled filter comes ready to go. There’s no restrictive box here…

Internal Mesh Area Filter 8/16

07. The engine side of the intake filter comes with an internal mesh area, just to make sure that stray object doesn’t stand a chance of getting past.

Heat Shield Install 9/16

08. Before Jay can attach the tube, he’s got to install the supplied heat shield to the bottom-right portion of the photo, the same spot where the factory air box called home. There’s no need to relocate anything, as JLT’s components are a perfect fit.

New Heat Shield Tighten 10/16

09. Jay tightens up the new heat shield, and with that, it’s time to move on, to the star of the show.

Heat Shield Engine Bay 11/16

10. Before we bring in the new intake and tube, take a look at how perfectly the heat shield fits into the engine bay. Don’t worry about that washer fluid reservoir; the setup fits seamlessly, even with the reservoir there.

Intake Tube Heat Shield Opening 12/16

11. Before attaching the filter, Jay feeds the intake tube through the heat shield opening, clips the MAF harness together, and secures the oil separator.

Tighten Coupler 13/16

12. From there, the coupler is tightened down on both sides, and it’s time to move onto the massive filter.

Attach Air Filter 14/16

13. Last, but not least, the filter gets attached and tightened. That’s it! Pretty easy, right?

Sct X4 Power Flash Tuner 15/16

14. With the fresh intake installed, it was time to see what gains the JLT Big Air Intake would give us on the dyno. With Brent Hughes in the hot seat, the SCT X4 Power Flash handheld tuner is hooked up, and it’s ready to start uploading the tune.

Apex Assassin Horsepower Graph 16/16

15. Are you ready for this? With the new JLT intake attached, project Apex Assassin spun up an impressive 531.99 hp and 500.30 lb-ft of torque. Take a look at the graph! That curve shows a colossal gain of 44-rwhp and 38 rwtq at 5900rpm. With those numbers, JLT’s Big Air Intake is a must for anyone looking for an easy horsepower gain! Naturally, the intake soundtrack has been increased substantially, thanks largely to the factory blower in full concerto.

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