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Intake and Exhaust on a Ford Bronco - Helping The Juice Run Faster

Posted in How To on February 1, 2009
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Photographers: Jeff Dahlin

If you've been following the build of our project Bronco, "The Juice," then you know that we recently replaced the tired old powerplant with an ATK crate engine. The engine swap had provided us with an opportune moment to bolt on Edelbrock shorty headers in place of the stock exhaust manifolds. But that was just a first step to improve the Bronco's breathing abilities. In order to further unlock power and efficiency from our 5.8L V-8, we next ordered a Fuel Injection Performance intake kit from K&N and Bronco-specific cat-back exhaust from Flowmaster.

These modifications are some of the most common you'll see, and for good reason - they're relatively cheap and easy to install. In addition to performance gains, the intake and exhaust have provided the Bronco with some satisfying sounds - namely, the swish of lots of air being sucked in the K&N filter and the low rumble of the Flowmaster muffler.

Keeping with our mission to keep the Bronco smog legal in California, we chose 50-state legal intake and exhaust kits. Both came with everything we needed, although for the sake of ruggedness we did end up having pieces of the bolt-on exhaust kit tack welded together to reinforce the provided clamps.

We installed the K&N intake at home on a Friday night over a few (actually several) cans of cold juice and managed to get it on just fine. A few days later, we drove The Juice to Westcoast Muffler in Garden Grove, just a few miles from our Anaheim office. Owner Ron Williamson had the stock exhaust cut off and the Flowmaster kit hung in exactly 28 minutes (pretty impressive). We can remember a time when even vehicle-specific modifications of this sort still required a fair amount of problem-solving abilities and improvisation. No longer. Both Flowmaster and K&N are old pros at designing and producing quality replacements for stock parts, and it shows. Neither of the kits provided us with problems at the time of installation or afterwards.

With the fresh engine, headers, intake, and exhaust now pushing the Bronco, we look forward to more planned performance-oriented mods, such as a new ignition system, alterations to the onboard computer, and eventually a supercharger - stuff that's cool on any vehicle. We'll cover it all right here in OFF-ROAD. If you want your rig to run like The Juice, you'll be interested in seeing it all.

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Flowmaster Inc.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

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