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Thread: Custom air box pic request and K&N warning.

  1. #1
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    Custom air box pic request and K&N warning.

    So bouncing around ideas since I need a new airbox. Would*love to see pictures of what you are running. Cannot for the life of me figure out what to setup or build but did learn something that might be valuable in who not to use for air intake parts and filters!

    K&N does not sell replacement parts for their kits!

    K&N has terrible customer service that I experienced just yesterday.

    A little background, I have sold auto parts in chain stores, dealerships and even worked on performance vehicles for my customers in various ways since 2004 including custom swaps and*builds in my own shop space. In that time I have used, recomeended and sold hundreds of K&N and Spectre filters, parts and complete intake kits.

    I am working on my 1997 Express van that is in good shape and have the 383 under the hood. The factory GM airbox basically crumbled and not looking to stick a generic cone filter on it and have it bouncing around under the hood while drawing*hot Texas summer air off the radiator.

    I looked on GM Parts and its discontinued. Tried the local treasure yard and found several in the same shape or worse than mine. Looked at an 01+ and picked one up. Would not clear the fan shroud. Tried to find an aftermarket CAI kit. I have found NONE on the market.

    Now enter the negative K&N customer service part of the story. In my searching I discovered K&N makes a kit for a Kodiak 4500 with the 6.6 diesel that shares the same firewall as the van. Called K&N to try to buy just the heatshield and the filter from them. The woman on the phone was absolutely not*helpful at all and rude to boot. Seems the only way you could get the part even if you already had the kit and needed a replacement part would be to buy the whole kit again. She suggested I look at Spectre for something "universal" despite making the product I need and wanted to buy with debit card in hand. Never will buy or suggest K&N or Spectre parts again after having run their filters in all my vehicles over the past 18 years and suggesting and selling hundreds of K&N and Spectre products to customers. Their current customer service was that bad and I have zero faith I could get a replacement part for my customer short of buying the whole $350+ kit again. Its ashame because they already make the perfect shaped heatshield and perfect sized filters for the 96+ Express vans. The filter is even a 3.5" like my OEM MAF. Could literally fabricate some mounts in about 30 minutes and bolt it in. Still scratching my head as to why one of the most common vans ever built does not have a K&N CAI kit made for it anyway yet a limited production run of Kodiaks built for only a year or two does! Absolutely zero chance of me paying $350 for a stamped metal heatshield, a few bolts and nuts and a cone filter even though it would fit and look great. Even more puzzling is that K&N builds an intake kit for an Econoline van with the modular V8s. I see 3-4 Express/Savanna vans for every Econoline on the road and GM has had a much longer run than Ford.

    So be warned if you ever buy a kit from K&N for your vehicle regardless the make and need to replace only a portion of it that becomes damaged or lost you will have to buy the whole kit again!!! I have stripped a MAF screw hole on a Volant and Volant sent me a replacement intake tube the stripped grommet was built into free of charge. I have lost a T-clamp on a HPS post MAF intake tube set on my Infiniti and HPS sent me the clamp free of charge. K&N will not even sell you the item!!!!

    The Kodiak stamped metal heatshield and air filter must be made of unobtanium and plated in gold at K&N to only sell it as part of a $350+ kit! Keep in mind the intake tube and other hardware is worthless to me since they failed to create the application specific kit in the first place and would rather pawn you off on generic Spectre junk.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator dave w's Avatar
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    Possibly DIY parts from Intake Hoses is an option: https://www.intakehoses.com/

    dave w

  3. #3
    Fuel Injected! trlrider's Avatar
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    I will be building a custom cold air box for my '93 K1500 sometime late summer.
    And while I use to love K&N products, I soured with them a few years ago. I think the corporate ego cost them their roots. To many viable options out today to deal with ego's!
    Although way different then your van, mine will be pulling cold (cool) air in from a hood mounted Trans Am style shaker scoop. Although the replica scoop will be hard mounted to the hood and the air box mounted to the engine.
    Jack of all trades, absolutely master of none! Too many projects, not enough time and limited funds.
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    www.ramairbox.com might have some parts.

    Also don't ignore commercial vehicle or agricultural setups, such as Donaldson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselsj View Post
    www.ramairbox.com might have some parts.

    Also don't ignore commercial vehicle or agricultural setups, such as Donaldson.
    I actually stumbled across a 4" Donaldson box I may end up using. It is a round box that has a universal style mounting system.

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    Also, just avoid K&N filters. They *DO* let a significant amount of fine dirt through.

  7. #7
    Fuel Injected! PlayingWithTBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trlrider View Post
    I will be building a custom cold air box for my '93 K1500 sometime late summer.
    Although way different then your van, mine will be pulling cold (cool) air in from a hood mounted Trans Am style shaker scoop. Although the replica scoop will be hard mounted to the hood and the air box mounted to the engine.
    I want to do that on my 88 - only with a 2" cowl hood maybe? When you get yours built, post what you did with part #s and I'll steal your design with pride

  8. #8
    Fuel Injected! trlrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlayingWithTBI View Post
    I want to do that on my 88 - only with a 2" cowl hood maybe? When you get yours built, post what you did with part #s and I'll steal your design with pride
    LOL! Will post it up once the cold air box gets going, but more then likely late summer after my son's shooting season ends in July.
    Will not be any part numbers. Will be hand fabricated. The air box will sit on the carb and be fit to seal on the hood. The T/A scoop will be molded into the hood. Figured it would be just to big a pain in the rump to make it a true shaker and considering I am still playing around with intake and spacer combinations it will be easier to adjust the air box then the scoop itself.
    As it sits currently with the factory air cleaner assembly there is about a 1/4 clearance from the top of the lid and the hood. Tall intake, TBI adapter and additional spacer. I plan to use a air filter assembly similiar to what you have in your profile pic with the filtered top and a drop base.

    The plan is to first build one from aluminum sheet much like we use on late model stock cars. One the design is baselined and shows to work we will take it down to my neighbors shop and build a mold to build a fiberglass or carbon fiber copy.He has plenty of scrap material from his business to do either. At least that is the plan.
    Last edited by trlrider; 1 Week Ago at 03:17 PM.
    Jack of all trades, absolutely master of none! Too many projects, not enough time and limited funds.
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    1993 K1500 Suburban - SBC Refit retraining the TBI and Computer Control.
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    Fuel Injected! steveo's Avatar
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    i love building airboxes and filter setups from garbage laying around my basement. homemade is the way to go but mine definitely don't look the best

    i'd try to think like the OEM does when making an airbox/snorkel/etc and follow as many of the standard rules of design as you can

    does rain or road splash up easily enter the airbox? and when it does, does it get trapped, does it drain, or does it just pour right into the filter? you can always throw more plastic at it

    is it easy to access the filter so it can be frequently cleaned/serviced/checked?

    if it's a panel filter in a box is there enough room for heavy debris like bugs and moths to settle in the bottom until they can be removed, or are they just going to pile up and cling to the filter?

    if the airbox is frame rather than engine mounted, is there enough flex in the tube between the intake and filter box so it doesn't break or yank the airbox out of place under maximum torque?

    is it restrictive in any way, or does the airflow have to turn way too many corners to get where it's going? you can measure for heavy restrictions at full throttle with a vacuum gauge but to truly make sure the airbox isn't impeding airflow you'd want a manometer, personally i just make sure the air passage is always the same or bigger than the throttle body

    does it SOUND GOOD? some engines have a symphony of beautiful intake noise and some require heavy muffling, and your airbox and its intake tube is pretty much your intake muffler, so your airbox choice could be the difference between a 'nice muffler' and a 'fart can' under your hood, crappy designs will whistle too

    is the air 'fresh' or is it breathing air that's hotter than necessary? would it be hard to make the intake air fresh?

    as far as k&n filters go, they don't let much dust through unless you don't service and oil them, i wouldn't worry too much about a tiny bit of dust, your engine makes carbon dust all on its own, a little pollen isn't going to make a big difference

  10. #10
    Fuel Injected! trlrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveo View Post
    i love building airboxes and filter setups from garbage laying around my basement. homemade is the way to go but mine definitely don't look the best

    i'd try to think like the OEM does when making an airbox/snorkel/etc and follow as many of the standard rules of design as you can

    does rain or road splash up easily enter the airbox? and when it does, does it get trapped, does it drain, or does it just pour right into the filter? you can always throw more plastic at it

    is it easy to access the filter so it can be frequently cleaned/serviced/checked?

    if it's a panel filter in a box is there enough room for heavy debris like bugs and moths to settle in the bottom until they can be removed, or are they just going to pile up and cling to the filter?

    if the airbox is frame rather than engine mounted, is there enough flex in the tube between the intake and filter box so it doesn't break or yank the airbox out of place under maximum torque?

    is it restrictive in any way, or does the airflow have to turn way too many corners to get where it's going? you can measure for heavy restrictions at full throttle with a vacuum gauge but to truly make sure the airbox isn't impeding airflow you'd want a manometer, personally i just make sure the air passage is always the same or bigger than the throttle body

    does it SOUND GOOD? some engines have a symphony of beautiful intake noise and some require heavy muffling, and your airbox and its intake tube is pretty much your intake muffler, so your airbox choice could be the difference between a 'nice muffler' and a 'fart can' under your hood, crappy designs will whistle too

    is the air 'fresh' or is it breathing air that's hotter than necessary? would it be hard to make the intake air fresh?

    as far as k&n filters go, they don't let much dust through unless you don't service and oil them, i wouldn't worry too much about a tiny bit of dust, your engine makes carbon dust all on its own, a little pollen isn't going to make a big difference
    Agree, half the fun of it is engineering with common items and coming up with something all your own. Prototyping with scrap, cardboard, etc.! Once the design is settled and shows promise of the desired result, a final version can be built from better materials.\
    Jack of all trades, absolutely master of none! Too many projects, not enough time and limited funds.
    Geronimo, Guadalupe County, Texas
    1993 K1500 Suburban - SBC Refit retraining the TBI and Computer Control.
    2004 Z66 Avalanche 5;3 to 6.0 LQ9 upgrade - project pending

  11. #11
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    Is this what you're looking for?
    https://www.thoroughbreddiesel.com/77-3064ktk/


    It looks like a person could do a decent job building one using " 4" mandrel bend 90 " search results on Ebay and some silicone couplers. No?

  12. #12
    Fuel Injected! trlrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1project2many View Post
    Is this what you're looking for?
    https://www.thoroughbreddiesel.com/77-3064ktk/


    It looks like a person could do a decent job building one using " 4" mandrel bend 90 " search results on Ebay and some silicone couplers. No?
    I actually find it comical that K&N charges what they due for some of their so-called cold air systems. That flimsy box is already distorted out of the box.
    I have one of them in my workshop someone gave me that was supposedly made for a TBI C1500, I think it let's more hot air in then the factory setup as it does not seal to the hood or the fender opening.

    Yes, with a little bit of resourcefulness and imagination a match better functioning and looking component can be built.
    Jack of all trades, absolutely master of none! Too many projects, not enough time and limited funds.
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    1993 K1500 Suburban - SBC Refit retraining the TBI and Computer Control.
    2004 Z66 Avalanche 5;3 to 6.0 LQ9 upgrade - project pending

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trlrider View Post
    I actually find it comical that K&N charges what they due for some of their so-called cold air systems. That flimsy box is already distorted out of the box.
    I have one of them in my workshop someone gave me that was supposedly made for a TBI C1500, I think it let's more hot air in then the factory setup as it does not seal to the hood or the fender opening.

    Yes, with a little bit of resourcefulness and imagination a match better functioning and looking component can be built.
    That is the setup I want, except without the tube. That is a rigid metal heatshield.

  14. #14
    Fuel Injected! trlrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast355 View Post
    That is the setup I want, except without the tube. That is a rigid metal heatshield.
    I will take a picture of the one metal one that I have, if it works for you, you can have it.
    We will be rolling thru Ft. Worth on our way to Grand Island, NE this coming Saturday somewhere around noon!
    We usually stop at the Pilot truck stop by Cabela's up there on the way north.
    Jack of all trades, absolutely master of none! Too many projects, not enough time and limited funds.
    Geronimo, Guadalupe County, Texas
    1993 K1500 Suburban - SBC Refit retraining the TBI and Computer Control.
    2004 Z66 Avalanche 5;3 to 6.0 LQ9 upgrade - project pending

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by trlrider View Post
    I will take a picture of the one metal one that I have, if it works for you, you can have it.
    We will be rolling thru Ft. Worth on our way to Grand Island, NE this coming Saturday somewhere around noon!
    We usually stop at the Pilot truck stop by Cabela's up there on the way north.
    I would take you up on that one but I am going to be taking my mother to her home town about 30 minutes west of Vernon this weekend to visit with family.

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