Courtney Day’s Intake Install
By: Chris Neprasch
One of the descriptions in a typical model stereotype is that whether they be male or female, they are usually high maintenance. You would figure beautiful or not a person who has just spent hours battling with rusted catalytic converters and frozen oxygen sensors would want to call it a day after that. That’s why once again Courtney Day shocked us during a recent trip to the Overboost garage when she insisted on working into the late hours of a Friday night to finish some scheduled performance mods on her Eclipse.
If you’ve been following Courtney’s buildup you would now that this far she has installed a DC Sports header to compliment her Magnaflow cat-back exhaust. With so much attention paid to getting the waste out of the combustion chamber, now she turns her attention to the intake side of the motor as Courtney installs an AEM cold-air intake.
The 50-state legal CARB-approved system will give her motor plenty of free-breathing power on the intake side of the naturally aspirated four-cylinder coupled with a shiny polished exterior that is going to help Miss Day when the judges come by to score her Eclipse.
Courtney Day Links
Day and Night
Cast Away, Tubes to Stay
Using simple hand tools she was able to knock out the intake install in less than a couple of hours. The process went smoothly and was free from any unintended setbacks. If it wasn’t for us constantly pestering her to stop for a photo opportunity, it would have taken even less time. As with any performance upgrade the first step on the instructions was to remove the factory hardware.
After loosening the hose clamp holding the stock intake assembly to the throttle body Courtney was able to slide off the factory air tubing. The vacuum line near the throttle body also needed to be taken off by squeezing the retainer holding it to the hard tube and pulling to separate the two.
When Courtney opened up the OEM air box by unlatching the top two retainers it revealed three bolts that would need to be removed next. The picture only shows the upper two bolts, but on the bottom right sat the third. With all of the bolts loosened, Courtney removed the intake box by squeezing the tube in the middle and pulling the box out of the car.
Next, the silicon connector hose included in the AEM kit was placed on the throttle body and two hose clamps were slid over it. Now it was time for Courtney to drop the polished tube into the engine compartment and push it into the silicon hose already mounted on the throttle body. She snuggly tightened the clamps, not tightening them down completely until later so she could freely move the pipe around for fitment reasons.
It was now time for Courtney to lift the car back up and install the high-flow cone air filter onto the bottom section of the intake. On most normal installs this step would require loosening the inner fender well to gain enough clearance to squeeze the air filter between the plastic and the front bumper, but it had already been trimmed on Courtney’s Eclipse when she had the air struts installed.
Also in the AEM kit was a mounting bracket that holds the bottom section of the intake pipe securely to prevent it from moving excessively during vibrations caused under normal operating conditions. The bracket mated to a tab on the pipe and once the fitment was decided Courtney tightened the washer and nut to secure the lower pipe in place. The top two hose clamps could now be torqued down.
The final step of the install involved Courtney reinstalling the vacuum hose that runs between the intake and engine. We had some extra silicon tubing lying around the garage so Courtney cut it to size and used hose clamps to prevent it from sliding off.
It almost seemed too easy, but after rechecking the box and instructions for parts or steps she might have missed the install was declared a wrap-up. We were actually sad the install went so smoothly because that meant it was time for Courtney to go home and we were left with only each other in our shop. Luckily there are a few more aftermarket performance parts available for the non-turbo Eclipse so we just might be able to convince her to join us again one of these days.