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Kramerica Industries
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looking at these boards, I decided a new, higher flow intake would be a good, easy first mod for my 1991 Blazer 4.3.

But I know there was no way I would pay $230+ for a throttle body hat and a length of pipe.
So, I decided I would go about building my own.
Over the past week I have been assembling the parts I needed to build my own air intake.

Last night I constructed and installed the intake, reling heavily on 92S10LB's guide:
http://www.s10forum.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=27017

and ASTROdog's supplement:
http://astrodog.s10forum.com/cai_howto.html

Both were excellent resources, and I recommend anyone attempting this project take a good look.
This is my story:

The hardest part of the whole project was locating a junker in my area who had
A) any cars for mthe 80's
B)4.5L or 4.9L cadillacs
c)cadillacs who still had the throttle body hat on them

After about a dozen calls, I found one off a 4.5L. The guy had no clue why I wanted it, yet he still charged me $20 for the part...which seems steep for a piece of plastic, but still a tenth of of a FIPK.
NOTE: A little advise for those of you who have little junkyard experience (like myself) Bring some basic tools so you can rip off the part you need...these places pretty much set you free in the yard w/o much help.

Once I got the part home, ripped my filter box off to see if the Cadillac stud (the screw whick goes into the throttle body and provides a spot to screw the throttle body hat down with)would fit my throttle body. Of course, with my luck, it did not.

Wary of bending the crap out of my stock stud as ASTROdog suggested, I took a trip down to my local CarQuest and found a nut that fit my stock piece. Using this nut, I sized a threaded rod that would (hopefully) fit my throttle body. I also purchased a couple of washers for the install, and left with my wallet $1.18 lighter.

Back home, I used a handy-dandy propane torch (SIC) to heat the rod and bend it into the shape of the caddie stud. I screwed it into my throttle body and was good to go!

My next problem were the excess holes in the 4.5L Caddie TBH, I needed only one hole for the emissions pipe that runs from the TBH into the valve cover, but the caddie TBH had three holes. I found some wine bottle corks we had laying around and cut them until they were a bit bigger than the holes. Then I compressed them for a few seconds with some pliers and shoved them in the holes, forming a surprisingly good seal. I put a small finishing nail through the end of each cork perpendicular to the hole to be be sure the cork could not be sucked into my engine (I imagine this would be bad).
I plan to find some type of rubber pipe stopper which fits these holes as a more permanent solution.

The final issue I had to resolve was with the filter. I purchased a 'high flow' cone-type filter form Autozone for $25, with a three inch fitting on the end. I figured this would work, since the PVC I had chosen to use was also 3".
However, 3" PVC is 3' INSIDE diameter, not OUTSIDE diameter, which is the measurement on the filter. So it would not fit. I ended up going to a hardware store and purchasing a 3" rubber fitting and fastening the filter to the pipe with that.

That finished the building of the intake..so I installed it, and noticed obvious gains right away.

(I have not bothered with a heat shield, tho I may)

Throttle response is much better (no more lag!!) and torque has increased noticeably (hill climbing in high gear is easier than ever!)

I have not had it long enough to check for fuel economy increases, but the engine is obviously breathing better, so I expect some mild gain.


So basically, my advice comes down to this:
If you want the best, buy a K&N FIPK. 20 min or less install, with a heat shield, and probably at least slightly better results than I'll ever see with my cob-job...

But if you are a more economical person, like myself (read: CHEAP) and have a few hours plus slight mechanical skill....A home made intake cannot be beat form a cost/benefit analysis, point of view.

Costs:
Cadillac Throttle Body Hat--$20
Threaded rod and nut/washers--$1.18
Filter--$25
rubber connector--$5
PVC Pipe--Free b/c my friend had some scrap...You will probably have to buy a 10 Ft length of 3"...Not sure about cost, probably $5-8

Total cost: $51.18

Saving over $100 doing it myself.....Priceless :)

-BlazerFRS

Wow this is long....sorry. I tend toward the verbose...
 

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Chrome is Gay
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3,693 Posts
I read all that and I dont even get a pic of it?? Good craftsmanship man, nothin better than doin it yourself :thumbup:
 

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Kramerica Industries
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Sorry, I would like to put up pics, but I don't have a digital camera.....
{EDIT}
I also ment to mention...my truck doesn't sound very different than it did before the install...In the high-middle RPM band there is a mild resonation/sucking sound, but it is not very loud and otherwiese my truck sounds the same as it did.{EDIT}
 

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Kramerica Industries
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Since I didn't make a heat shield I don't think I'll bother taking mine off for winter....

I think I would miss it too much ne way!
 

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Ahhhhhhhhh Satisfying!!!
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5,174 Posts
why does the cai need to be taken off for winter?

Caleb
 

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Kramerica Industries
Joined
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That's about 1000x better looking than mine SY.....


I'm going to leave mine on and see what happens....We've had several >30* days already, and it seems to warm up fine as yet.

It's not extended quite to the front of the engine compartment....so it still might be getting warm air ne way.

Maybe i'll make a removable heat shield for the summer...
 

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Kramerica Industries
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE:

This morning was 22* at my house. After about 30 seconds to warm up (Just while I cleared a dusting of snow off it) I drove it normally for my usual 5-6 mile morning commute. My truck warmed up in a competely normal fashion, just as it does on 60* days.

My gas milage had remained about the same as before I put my CAI on, but then again, I've been driving much less fuel efficiently than before I got it (The truck GOES now!)

My assessment:
Cob-job CAI's do not need to be removed for winter, as long as you have a working thermostat.

'True' CAI's with heatshields and the like could be another story, but I have no way of testing this.

My advise: Leave 'em on.
 

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Kramerica Industries
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
UPDATE 2:

I have had several below 20* days now, I still experiance no warmup delay or decrease in gas mileage.

I also replaced the corks that previously capped the extra holes on the throttle body hat with an 18" length of radiator hose that just goes from one hole to the other. This setup is much less precarious than the corks (which were rapidly drying out and becoming cruddy).


For anyone who still cares, I now have acess to a digital camera; so here's a pic of my setup:
 

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Truck is toast :-/
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2,949 Posts
dunno how you got lucky, but mine runs like ass below 30-40 with it on. Had a couple of cold snap days this fall before i took it off and it took forever to run right. simple solution, put the stocker back on for winter, fixed it.
 

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Ahhhhhhhhh Satisfying!!!
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5,174 Posts
I had mine on forever and had no problems....although mine was a 98 2.2
.

Caleb
 

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Kramerica Industries
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342 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
What year is yours ASTRO? maybe there's something different in how the computers compensate for airflow?


You don't have an IAT sensor do you? I know I don't.
 
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