One of the easiest and most rewarding modifications you can do to your Jeep is installing a cold-air intake in place of the factory air filter box and inlet tubing. The factory paper panel filter elements do a good job of keeping particulate out of your engine and the intake tubing quiets all but the faintest whisper from the air intake charge, but at a cost of airflow, power, and mileage. Good for the average consumer who doesn’t care about stuff like better power or economy, but not so great for enthusiast like you and us who want more.
The Banks Ram-Air Intake System is available for all ’91-newer Jeep vehicles with 2.5L, 4.0L, 3.8L, and 3.6L engines. We got our hands on the company’s relatively new 3.8L system (PN 41832) for our ’07 Rubicon Unlimited. We also had a chance to install the latest Ram-Air intake on a ’12 Unlimited Sport with the 3.6L (PN 41837), but that vehicle was a loaner and we didn’t have time to garner any long-term numbers. But on our ’07 Wrangler, our efforts were rewarded with an immediate and noticeable power increase. Even with 35-inch tires and an automatic transmission, the 3.8L in our Rubicon could chirp the rear tires when punched from a dead stop and pulls to redline much nicer after the Ram-Air was installed. And we are seeing a very definite 1 mpg increase in our overall fuel economy. Not bad for 10 minutes’ worth of work!
- Flat-head screwdriver
Banks claims 73 percent more airflow over stock on its 3.8L system and 64 percent for the 3.6L system. The 3.6L unit also has a resonance chamber added to eliminate droning. On our ’07 Wrangler Unlimited we noted a noticeable gain in power off the line all the way to the top of the redline. We also noted an overall increase in fuel economy of 1.25 mpg over our old factory air intake system. The downside is the noise. There’s a cavernous howl from the intake when the throttle blade opens that’s very noticeable. It’s a bit louder than other 3.8L Wrangler intake systems we’ve used, which we attribute to the comparatively larger intake tube and filter mouth size of the Banks system. It quiets down once you’re cruising, but if you’re accelerating you can definitely hear the engine sucking air.