So I wanted a full dual intake.
NeedsWings makes a nice-looking product, but it has two drawbacks:
1) It is *really* expensive for what it is. You're paying for convenience and looks, and heavily.
2) It requires the power steering cooler to be replaced with a smaller one. Not a big deal, but there's not a lot of PS cooling capacity on these cars to begin with (I'm going to install a real finned heat exchanger for it if I ever track the car). I'm also not wild about putting the filters that far up front, as I have a CLK-style grill and I'm worried about them getting soaked.
OK, so what can we do about this?
Well... we can build a full 3" intake for a fraction of the price.
First, get a 3.0" aluminum tee. I ended up having to special order mine, but if you have a shop nearby that can do TIG welding that's where I'd go... I paid 50 for this.
Next, you'll need two 3.0" inline filter chambers. I got two Spectre 9833 ones from Amazon
. They've since raised the price (I paid about 50 a piece), so eBay might be your best bet. eBay + a little negotiation should get you these for no more than 65 a piece.
Ok, so now we need the connectors and clamps and such. Personally I'd go with SiliconeIntakes.com (aka FrozenBoost.com). They've got what we need, and they're pretty reasonable price-wise. Plus, they ship quickly... which is a big plus if you're reading this at work around lunch-time and want parts for a mod session next weekend. ;)
Here's what you'll need:
- 2 x 3.0" 60 degree silicone bends (16.99 each)
- 2 x 3.0" 30 degree silicone bends (16.99 each)
- 2 x 3.0" 1 foot aluminum pipe (9.99 each)
- 1 x 3.0" 1 foot silicone straight hose (29.99 each)
- 1 x 2.75" 1 foot silicone straight hose (29.99 each)
- 1 x 2.75" <-> 3.0" silicone reducer (11.99 each)
- 1 x 3.0" aluminum 90 degree bend (14.99 each)
- 1 x 2.75" aluminum 90 degree bend (14.99 each)
- short segment of 2.75" aluminum pipe (scavenged, or a couple bucks on eBay)
- 10 x 3.0"-capable hose clamps (depends on quality. Figure 2-3 each for nice ones, or 1 each for whatever your local store sells in bulk.)
- small PCV breather filter (local auto parts store should have it for 10 bucks or so)
- (if the PCV filter isn't the right size for the stock MB hose) suitable hose to couple the filter to the stock hose (2 bucks? You hardly need any. You probably have some lying around...)
Then it's a simple matter of assembling it from the TB on back (I'm assuming you have the grill off, have the radiator core supports removed, stock intake removed, etc.)
1) Cut off about 2 inches from the 3.0" silicone hose. Use that to attach the T to the throttle body.
2) Put the 60 degree bends on the T.
3) Put the straight pipe on the 60s.
4) Put the 30 degree bends on the straight pipe.
5) Put the inline filter on the 30s.
6) On the passenger side, put the straight coupler on the inline filter, passing it through the space next to the radiator. Don't cut it 'til you've got everything lined up.
7) On the driver's side, put the reducer on the inline filter, and use the 2.75" aluminum segment to couple it to the straight coupler. Again, put the coupler through the space next to the radiator.
8) Now, start aligning things. You don't want anything resting on the coil packs. Precision of alignment will depend on how picky you are... Don't worry about the PCV breather hose for now.
9) Once you've got everything aligned, clamp it together.
10) At this point, you have a ton of straight coupler sticking out of the front of your car. Now remember those 90 degree bends? Well this is where you get to decide if you want to use them. If you don't, then you'll want to trim the coupler such that it fits behind the grill. At this point, you're done (except for the next step).
11) Attach the PCV filter to the PCV hose using the segment of heater hose or whatever that you scrounged up. You just want it to a) sit somewhere not against the engine block b) be reasonably close to airtight. Feel free to do some redneck engineering aided by Permatex. PCV breathers don't produce a lot of vacuum, so no worries.
Now, for the optional steps if you want intake scoops...
12) Cut the 90 degree bends such that you have no straight segment on one side (i.e. such that one side has straight pipe remaining while the other simply stops as soon as it starts to straighten out.)
13) Cut the bends from the long side towards the short side. The cut should start cutting the pipe in half, and gradually shift such that the very end of the pipe (the short side) is whole. Basically, you're trying to create a "scoop" on one side that channels air into the whole, erm... hole.
14) Hammer time. Take a hammer and widen the open end of the pipe so that it's nearly flat. This'll then taper into a more curved (and increasingly more cylindrical) side.
15) File and polish. You don't want to suck in metal shavings. (Although this is pre-filter, so no worries if you do.)
16) Now to position the scoops. You'll need to a) place them carefully to avoid blocking off the PS cooler lines and to avoid hitting them b) take a hammer to the end that fits into the silicone, as it's a tight fit and can only be made if the coupled portion of each is *not* round, but oval. This will require patience and trial-and-error.
Ok, so we're done. Button everything back up and enjoy your DIY, inline, bad-ass-looking intake system. Oh, and enjoy the money you saved (on parts... labor is assumed to be free since you do this for fun. Right? RIGHT?!?)
Speaking of which, what do the totals come to?
1 x 3.0" aluminum tee 50 x 1 = 50
2 x 3.0" inline filter housings + filters 65 x 2 = 130
2 x 3.0" 60 degree silicone bends 17 x 2 = 34
2 x 3.0" 30 degree silicone bends 17 x 2 = 34
2 x 3.0" 1 foot aluminum pipe (9.99 each) 10 x 1 = 10
1 x 3.0" 1 foot silicone straight hose 30 x 1 = 30
1 x 2.75" 1 foot silicone straight hose 30 x 1 = 30
1 x 2.75" <-> 3.0" silicone reducer 12 x 1 = 12
1 x 3.0" aluminum 90 degree bend 15 x 1 = 15
1 x 2.75" aluminum 90 degree bend 15 x 1 = 15
1 x PCV filter 10 x 1 = 10
50 + 130 + 34 + 34 + 10 + 30 + 30 + 12 + 15 + 15 + 10 = 370
370 bucks. That's less than half of what NeedsWings charges. And that drops to 340 if you don't want scoops in the front.
And what do you get in return (aside from a fun two-beer DIY project)?
Well you don't have to mess with your PS line. You don't have to move your horns. You don't have to worry about your filters getting soaked in a rainstorm. You can change your filters without removing the grill. You have a nice-looking setup without any logos. You can choose your color scheme without a 2-3 week lead time. And best of all, you can take it apart and re-use the parts for your next car. ;)
Oh, and I have a picture. It's not quite correct, as I had to scavenge a 30 degree bend from my intake setup for another project, so the driver's side is currently just rigged with a straight shot of silicone... but when I'm done with that other project I'll return the setup to the one I described above, and the driver and passenger side will look identical...
And this is what the scoop looks like *before* flattening the end out and filing it down: