We all like clean air. Whether it’s to view scenery through or breathe into our lungs or to keep our engines running happy for a long time, clean air is something that’s very important. For off-roaders, clean air is especially important. The engine under the hood of your Jeep runs on gasoline and air. If the fuel is filled with dirt, that’s not good. The same goes for the air going into the carburetor or fuel injection system. If you are relying on that flimsy factory paper filter system to keep the clouds of dust, dirt, and sand that you have no doubt encountered on the trail at times out of your engine, then you’re not really doing your engine any favors.
That’s where an upgrade to an aftermarket cold-air intake system can really make a big difference, but first let’s talk about these systems for a moment. Why are they referred to as “cold” air intake systems? Well, that’s because usually the “air box” that houses the air filter in an aftermarket cold air intake system is either moved farther away from the engine (a source of heat), is better insulated, or its air scoop is relocated to take in air that’s cooler. Cooler air means denser air and more oxygen molecules per cubic centimeter of air, and that can help develop more power per fuel-air charge.
However, you’re probably not going to notice a dozen extra ponies and pound-feet when you’re already getting nearly 258 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque (factory figures) from the 3.6L V-6 in the ’12-current Jeep JK Wrangler. So why upgrade to a cold-air intake system? Do it for the upgraded filtration that comes with it.
More than anything else, the cleaner air going into your engine is the most important reason to upgrade to one of these cold-air intake systems. In the case of the Airaid unit we installed on this ’13 Jeep Wrangler JK Moab, you get a system that flows a smoother, cooler, and especially cleaner stream of air into the engine. With the Airaid SynthaMax or the SynthaFlow (oiled for even better filtration in dusty situations) filters’ composite material made up of multiple layers of cotton gauze and a proprietary blend of synthetic materials, you’re getting much a higher filtration level than with the factory filter. Airaid can even take its filtration system up a peg with its fine mesh-like Pre-Filter. Its Pre-Filter fits over the cone-style Airaid filter like a sock and more than doubles the filter cleaning intervals, is water repellent, free flowing, and filters down to .005 microns.
The Airaid cold-air intake system was easy to install, and we were able to perform the upgrade in a couple of hours in our home garage. Follow along to see how it was done.
Once we disconnected the vehicle’s battery, we moved on to the main intake tube. The air temp sensor, coolant line, and ring clamps on both ends of the intake tube were disconnected or removed before we took out the two 6mm bolts holding the intake tube in place.
The factory air box was the next thing to leave the engine compartment of our Jeep. We unhooked the crankcase breather and then lifted the air box from the mounting grommets in the inner fender.
We used the three sets of 1/4-20x1/2-inch button head bolts and 1/4-inch flat washers to connect the filter adapter to the Airaid cold-air box. The air scoop bracket was also installed on the Airaid cold air box using the four sets of 1/4-20x5/8-inch hex bolts and 1/4-inch flat washers with nylock nuts.
After removing the factory air scoop from the factory air box (requires drilling out the rivets that hold it in), then measuring, marking, and cutting off the unneeded 3 inches of the air scoop for this application, it was installed in the Airaid cold air box using the two sets of 8-32x3/8-inch button head bolts and #8 flat washers and Keps nuts.
The factory air box mounting grommets in the inner fender well were replaced with the three kit-supplied 3/8-inch well nuts, and then the Airaid cold air box was installed in the inner fender well using the three 3/8x1 1/2-inch button head bolts.
The 5/8-inch barbed fitting was threaded into the 3/8-inch hole on the side of the Airaid intake tube, and the air temp sensor was installed into the intake tube using the 8-32x1/2-inch button head bolt and #8 fender washer. Keeping them loose, four kit-supplied clamps were used to attach the double hump hose and the silicone reducer hose to the ends of the intake tube.
We then installed the Airaid intake tube onto the throttle body and the Airaid cold box. The factory breather hose was removed from the hard line, flipped, and then reconnected between the hard line and intake tube. The intake tube was properly aligned, all four clamps were tightened, and the two Adel clamps and their hardware were used to re-attach the intake tube to the fan shroud.
The premium Airaid cone-style filter was installed on the filter adapter inside the air box, and the Airaid Pre-Filter was slipped over and tightened around the cone-style filter
The final step in the Airaid Cold Air Intake System installation on our Jeep 3.6L V-6 engine was to place the gasket on the underside of the air box lid, peel off the protective film, and then mount the lid on the air box using the four kit-supplied 1/4-20x1/2-inch button head bolts and 1/4-inch flat washers.