Improving Engine Performance with a Short Ram Intake System

  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-1,500
What You'll Need
Aftermarket RAM intake system
Socket wrench
What You'll Need
Aftermarket RAM intake system
Socket wrench

A simple and economical way to improve engine performance is by the use of a short ram intake system in your engine. This is an aftermarket part that replaces your stock factory installed air intake system capable of increasing airflow to the intake manifold and producing more power in the process.

The short ram intake is popular amongst muscle cars and performance SUV's with huge displacement V8 engines, as the increased airflow made possible by the system produces more pulling power than a standard air filter would give. However, a proper short ram intake should incorporate some form of forward facing scoop for proper induction. In a short ram intake, an increase in vehicle speed will also yield an increase in air flow over the induction scoop which dictates the amount of airflow being forced inside the plenum chamber.

Step 1 - Purchasing a RAM intake

There are lots of aftermarket RAM intake kits in the market, and choosing the right kind will bring you the most performance for your money. The right kit will also make installation easier. Remember to check federal and environmental laws in your area before buying a RAM intake kit set. Make sure that the product conforms to such laws to avoid problems in the future.

Step 2 - Disconnect Car Battery

Now that you have selected and bought the RAM intake system that is right for your car, remember to disconnect the car battery to reset the vehicle ECU before removing your old intake system. This would allow the ECU (computer box) to conform to your new intake system, as the MAF sensor would register a different reading due to the increased airflow in your engine.

Pop open the hood. Remember to work in a well ventilated and well lit area.

Disconnect battery clamps. Some models have a quick release system, while others may require the use of pliers and/or a wrench.

Step 3 - Remove the Stock Intake System

Depending on the model of the car, this process would involve removing tubes, pipes, the air box and the old filter. Remember to set aside all parts that will be removed for future use.

Using a socket wrench or screwdriver, loosen the clamps on the tubes and pipes carefully. Loosen the clamp on the throttle body side and on the intake side (near the air box).

Turn the tube repeatedly on both directions while puling to loosen the grip. Remove the hose/tube.

Remove the stock air box using a socket wrench for ease of operation. Other models would require contortionist maneuvers to reach the bolts, and a good socket wrench would do the job well.

Remove the necessary sensors.

Step 4 - Install the RAM Intake

Different kits may require different procedures for installation, but it basically boils down to installing the main tube and the filter.

Connect the breather hose of your new RAM intake to the throttle body as well as the related air flow or MAF sensors.

Tighten the screws on the clamps as per your kit's installation manual.

Reconnect the vehicle battery.

Close the hood and check for proper clearance.

Step 5 - Start the Car

Let the engine warm up sufficiently before revving the engine. Check for any service or check engine indications that may light up in the dash. Your car will now have a more pronounced intake growl when you rev it. Test drive the car and enjoy the power.


An intelligent assessment should be made before deciding to make a purchase. No doubt a short ram intake system will give your car more power and torque while making your engine more efficient in the process, but proper installation is key to make the most out of your purchase. Enthusiasts will benefit most from a knowledgeable race mechanic to properly undertake the procedure.