The RAM AIR BOX is a twin snorkel, high capacity air cleaner housing used to supply fresh air to an engine. It is based on the popular 14" open element air cleaner. The RAM AIR BOX is a one-piece, hand-laminated fiberglass unit, offered in many sizes. The benefits of cooler air, teamed with forced induction, have long been understood.
We have applied this technology and manufactured an air box to help plumb the air to the engine. The RAM AIR BOX is the key to the whole system. Let us consider the original equipment manufacturers and how they deal with fresh air systems for their vehicles. These are their priorities: low speed drivability, fuel economy, low emissions and low engine noise. Some of the new inlet systems are in fact mufflers.
Air Inlet Systems is dedicated to maximum performance, be it power or economy. When you increase efficiency, both may improve. The 60's were full of air-grabbing ideas. Everybody had something. Then the fuel crunch of the early 70's ushered in the emissions era. Only the odd insurgence had been noted until GM re-introduced the RAM AIR on the Trans-Am and Z-28 in 1996. Today, all manufacturers use some sort of fresh air inlet systems. Over the years, few choice performance-optioned vehicles have been graced with twin snorkel or high capacity air cleaner housings. Most of these are still more restrictive than our smallest models.
A typical scenario would have an individual looking to improve his engine's breathing capability by installing an open element air filter and removing his single-snorkel original equipment air filter. What he has gained in air quantity, he lost in air quality. This, in effect, may void the potential gains. With the RAM AIR BOX, he can truly decrease air restriction in the inlet track and retain the fresh air benefits. With the RAM AIR BOX, he truly feels the performance improvements due to the modification.
Although the cooler air is mandatory, there is another great benefit to be had with the RAM AIR BOX. The fact is that when we drive down the road, we are pushing air with the front of our vehicle. That is a source of high pressure air. The potential pressure head at the grill is approximately 2" of hg. This is available for the taking. With smooth ducting, most of that can be channelled into the air box. Our 1/4 mile acceleration tests have yielded .2 to .4 of a second elapsed-time improvement.
Test vehicles have reported up to 3 miles per gallons improvements, over long periods. We generally expect to see as much as a 10 % increase in power when installing an air box over an open element air filter. Gains over factory single-snorkel / non fresh systems may even be greater. How to select a RAM AIR BOX: The simplest way to determine which air box you need is by installing a 14" diameter open-element air filter onto the vehicle. Generally, by fitting the tallest air filter possible, it will tell us the maximum size RAM AIR BOX the chassis can accept. Please keep in mind that cowl induction rear open-hood scoops are not wide enough to allow the twin snorkel style RAM AIR BOX to tuck under them. If that is the case, start thinking cowl box.
After the height is determined, the included angle of separation between the snorkels must be chosen. For narrow confines, the 80 degree models work best, where some high-mounted front accessories may be in the way, the 110 degree models must be used. The 110 degree models can also be used to route tube to the inner fenders in some cases. In the cases where a drop-base air filter assembly is used, interference with peripheral components may occur. On a small block chev with an HEI, there is no room at all between the filter an the distributor, in those cases a relief must be cut in the back of the air box. Ford small blocks may have concerns in front. A relief kit can be purchased to fill the hole.
Determining air filter size requirements
The graph at is a good guideline of engine requirements. It is graduated for the 14" filter only. For example, a 350 engine would need a 14" filter 3" tall at 6000 rpm. Please keep in mind that this is a guideline; requirements do vary. These are also minimum requirements, installing a larger than minimum air box will only improve performance.
Featured in magazines such as:
"Hot Rod", "Car Craft", "Super Chevy", "Truckin", "Mopar Action", "Ford Muscle", "Chevy High Performance", "Rod Action", "Sport Truck", "Mopar Classic Guide", "Rod & Custom", "Canadian Classics", "Classic Trucks", "Popular Hot Rodding", "Specialty Manufacturer", "Gear Magazine", "Mustangs".
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