By on February 23, 2013

10 horses more, promise

It began as most projects do: with the triumph of Hope over Experience. I have a 2002 Camaro SS. One of the easier modifications is the installation of an aftermarket airbox lid from SLP. It has a smooth interior that reduces turbulence and shoves more air into the engine, resulting in more power and noise, or so it says. The SLP also comes with a cool K&N sticker, hence it must be good for at least 10 extra horses.

SLP’s website promised a “15 minute” installation time. I knew that was nonsense. I figured it would take an hour. What follows is a blow- by- blow account of how Hope snuck up behind Experience and slugged him with a sock full of nickels.

Typical 15 minute job

12:50 PM: I take the Camaro for a shakedown run so that I can make an accurate “seat o’ the pants” comparison later and get to work. SLP’s 15 minute installation time goes out the window when I spend 10 minutes looking for my ratcheting box end wrench to loosen the battery’s negative terminal before giving up and breaking out my socket wrench set. Still, the rest of the teardown goes easily enough. Soon I’m left with the air intake duct resonator which has the Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) attached to the rear and the intake air temperature (IAT) sensor mounted slightly above it. Both of these parts have to be reused on the SLP lid. I grab the MAF with one hand, the resonator with the other, and pull. Nothing happens.

1:35 PM: Ten minutes of brute strength accomplishes nothing. Time to work smarter, not harder. Give me a lever and a place to stand and I shall remove my MAF from my restrictive factory resonator… provided I can work a screw driver between them. I can’t. I grab a hammer, but hesitate. One of the original grease pencil slashes from the final assembly line inspection stares back at me. I can probably hit the plastic resonator gently enough to free the MAF without damaging it, but should I? Contemplation is required, as is hydration. Have I really been out here for almost an hour?

2:10 PM: My break is over, as are another 15 minutes of the futile application of brute strength and profanity. Enough sentimentality. I grab the MAF with my left hand and swing the hammer. Two blows and the resonator falls to the floor.

2:15 PM: The IAT sensor is held by a rubber grommet. I pull on it. Nothing happens. I retrieve the screwdriver and start to work the grommet through from the inside. One slip and- sonofaBITCH!- I stab myself in the palm of my left hand. Back in the house for antiseptic. How long has it been since I got a tetanus shot?

2:30 PM: I go back to working the grommet carefully with the screwdriver. It finally pops free. I pick up the MAF sensor assembly and try to push it into the SLP lid. Nothing happens.

2:45 PM: SLP can’t be serious. The diameter of the airlid’s neck is three millimeters smaller than the circumference of the MAF. Brute force and profanity are even more useless than they were when I was trying to get the damn thing off. The instructions suggest using a hairdryer to heat the plastic up in order to make the assembly process easier. I go inside to get hers. My wife looks at me askance and asks how much longer I’m going to be in the garage.

3:30 PM: I sit on the floor of the garage, seething at the two lumps of evil that have mocked my attempts to mate them for the last hour. I have heated up the infernal plastic airlid multiple times to no discernible effect. Each time nothing. I hate MAF sensors, my Camaro, and the jack wagon who decided to advertise this tour of Hell as a 15 minute install.

3:35 PM: The neck is simply too small. I retrieve my rotary tool, warranty be damned. This project must be completed or let no man come back alive. Plastic dust fills the air. Maybe I can apply for black lung benefits.

3:55 PM: Several turns of polishing with the rotary tool, followed by obsessive- compulsive wiping of the inside of the lid to eliminate any stray bits of plastic, and the edge of the MAF barely fits. I heat up the plastic for 10 minutes before I start to shove it home. It starts in, but I put too much pressure on one side and it suddenly slips in too deep. Somehow I have managed to cross- thread the MAF into the airlid.

4:05 PM: Once again the right tool for the job turns out to be a hammer. The problem is that this time I will have to strike the MAF assembly itself instead of the plastic airlid. I find my rubber mallet. One swing knocks the pieces loose. I line up the MAF with the airlid and drive it into the neck as carefully as I can. When I finish the MAF is rotated about 90 degrees from being centered correctly at the top of the airlid so that I can plug it back in and it won’t turn by hand. I persuade it with the mallet while accusing it of the vilest forms of incest. It turns about three degrees with every blow. Eventually I have it straight enough for government work.

4:15 PM: Finally, the installation proceeds without much further delay, although just buttoning everything up takes longer than the advertised 15 minutes. How many times can you hit a MAF sensor assembly before it starts throwing codes? At least one more time than I did, because everything works with no idiot lights flashing on the dash.

Sounds more powerful

Time for a test drive. SLP claims a gain of 10 RWHP with the lid. It passes the seat o’ the pants test, for whatever that’s worth. What is definitely noticeable is the noise. I nail the throttle and the LS1 roars. I wasn’t expecting such a change in tone without an exhaust swap, but there’s no denying it. It just sounds meaner.

I feel a wide grin creeping across my face. That’s why I bought this car: It can make me smile. I’m already forgetting the frustrations of the last three hours, the way a mother forgets her labor pains when she holds her firstborn child. I pull into my driveway with a single thought coursing through my brain:

“I better bring that hairdryer back… ”

David Hester is a detective with the Lexington, KY Police Department by day and night. He drove a Crown Vic for work, but “does not suffer from an overabundance of Panther love.” David is a Editor’s Choice Future TTAC Writer, just in case we ever driver through Lexington, KY.

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75 Comments on “The Airbox Of Lies. A Future Writer Story...”


  • avatar
    7402

    Nice. Rings true all the way through.

    Please write a real-world review of living with a Crown Vic every day.

  • avatar
    Ltd783

    I love it. This is so, so true. Why is it that any simple thing you attempt to do on a car, the first time, takes at least 500% as long, and usually devolves into a sweaty, bloody, screaming nightmare? And that’s just hard to reach headlight bulbs…

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Replaced 2 sets of bulbs in less than 6 months. Both times devolved into me fruatratingly cursing at Toyota and Asians for having small hands. Clearly what should have been 5 minutes devolved into a trip to the local auto shop to have a guy with smaller hands give it a go. Ironically 5 minutes after I get there I try one last time and did it. :S

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        It isn’t just the Asian brands. With BMWs I find it faster and less stressful to pull the entire headlight assembly out to get to the turn signal/parking bulbs.

  • avatar
    Adam

    I’ve done a similar procedure to install a Mopar cold-air intake on my 2006 Dodge Magnum R/T, and the experience is much the same, especially attempting to extract the MAF sensor without destroying it.

    I also concur with the seat o’ the pants test, but my thought is that the freer-flowing intake does more for throttle response than horsepower. In my case, the CAI has also improved the engine note quite a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Several of us with G8 GTs got a chance to do a cheap dyno day. Interestingly there were three cars there with identical modifications.

      Solo Performance J-Tube axle backs, SuperChips 91 Octane tune, tuned to the specific CAI installed in the car, and CAI. One had a Volant, another had a Roto-Fab and the last had a Vararam OTR intake. Of the three the Volant is closest to stock, with a snorkel pulling cold air from the lower front right grille. The OTR unit provides the shortest run, pulling air from in front of the radiator. The Roto-Fab also has a snorkel but not as long as the Volant, and has an open airbox that “seals” when the hood is closed.

      1) All cars showed significant HP/torque improvement over stock. About 30/30.

      2) The Vararam, Volant and Roto-Fab didn’t matter. They all pulled within 2 HP of each other, and the Volant, with upper cover removed, “won,” if you consider 2 extra HP winning. We were all a bit surprised, I would have bet the Vararam would have won.

      3) Test was done on the same dyno, hot runs, on a 40 degree rainy day, back-to-back-to-back – so ambient environment would have been darn close to identical on each pull.

      So the “butt dyno” in this case was accurate on more pull. 30 HP is about 3/10 of a second in the quarter mile. Price per HP isn’t bad either, about $10 per. To put that in perspective a supercharger will cost about $7000 and give about 150 HP at a cost of $47 per pony. That cost assumes a DIY install running on the stock ECM and no further modifications (not smart)

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        7Gs for a super? Wow, this is why I love small displacement anymore. A new turbo for my Scion is between 800-2K depending on who I go with and installation. It’s good for a minimum of 70HP and would be close to a 45% boost overall though I would opt for a milder configuration and smaller injectors. I like fuel economy, what can I say….

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          The problem is that your 800-2k is simply the cost of admission. Once you add 70hp you are going to realize you now have traction issues and go hunting for an LSD. Then you’ll either want more boost or have some sort of off idle stumble or something that requires fuel management. Then there is the premium fuel. It never ends.

          Having said that, the sound the Supercharger made on my Miata was so worth the broken rear end and the countless hours getting the fueling right and tuning out the idle droop.

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      I put one of these on a Saab once- did a bit for the bottom end, but the real benefit was the sound. Cane it, and it sounded like Darth Vader on a sleep apnea machine.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Then you go on the F-body forums and write:

    “took a little over 15 mins, but I took my time.”

    • 0 avatar
      4LiterLexus

      Reminds me of the door lock actuator removal DIY on Clublexus.

      One forum user claimed he could remove the passenger side door card from his GS in 5 minutes. I was suspicious. Remember, this is a job that involves countless hidden fasteners/screws and some seriously brittle interior parts.

      “So how long did the driver’s side take you?”

      He responded that it took him 2 hours.

  • avatar
    ToxicSludge

    I did a whole CAI on my 11 Silverado in less time,and much less pain.I’m sure for me it was a ‘fluke of the universe’ and will catch up to me next time.

  • avatar
    chainyanker

    Drive it with earplugs and then see if “feels” faster.

    • 0 avatar
      west-coaster

      Good point.

      At least this intake system still grabs its air from the front of the car, and is truly “cold air” in nature.

      I remember all the self-proclaimed “tuners” in the ’80s and ’90s who couldn’t wait to remove the factory airbox system and stick a K&N round filter right where the stock hose formerly attached. You know, right there between the radiator and the engine, where it’s three times as hot as it is in the front of the car.

  • avatar
    dabossinne

    Too funny… love it! And, of course, regardless of what “power adders” we might slap on our cars, the ol’ Butt Dyno ALWAYS registers more power.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Haha, make it easy to re-use the stock MAF? When SLP has this to sell you?

    http://www.jegs.com/p/SLP/SLP-High-Flow-Mass-Air-Flow-Sensors/757050/10002/-1

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I remember when I put a Dinan chip in my BMW back in the day when reflashes weren’t available. Getting the ECU out of the dashboard by dropping the glove box wasn’t a problem, but things got a bit less painless when it came to installing the chip in the ECU. IIRC, there were two circuit boards connected by a ribbon cable along one side and stuck into a large plug along their opposite sides. The engine management chip faced the inside of the assembly, so I had to pry the two boards free of the plug and then unfold them along the less than flexible ribbon cable.

    Too much force was required to release the boards from the plug, which made me unhappy. My car had a very rare engine spec and a replacement ECU would not be found by a cheap trip to the junk yard. I began to have visions of totaling my immaculate car as it sat in the driveway. Once I’d separated the boards from the plug, I unfolded them along the precariously stiff ribbon connected side. Then I got to experience the joy of prying the stock chip free of the 28 tight little sockets clinging to its 28 tiny and fragile looking pins. With that task completed, I think reassembly actually went pretty smoothly other than the struggle of getting the boards back into their plug. I was so relieved by the car starting upon completion that I didn’t really care that the performance improvement was practically imperceptible.

    Of the various modifications I made to the car, I think the switch to synthetic oil made the biggest difference. That isn’t to say that synthetic oil is amazing, just that one shouldn’t believe the hype about programming changes or K&N filters on naturally aspirated engines. Mind you the chip may have made a difference once I moved to California. Any gains were supposed to come from setting the engine’s timing to take advantage of 93 octane gas instead of the stock settings for 89 octane. There is no 93 octane gas in California, so the knock sensors were left to save my engine from my silliness. Dinan is in California, making this situation somewhat of a mystery. I also got to hold my breath while waiting to see if my car would pass SMOG. It did, but I noticed that the form the shop filled out said my car had a GVWR about 1,000 lbs more than the door sticker and the car was barely in spec anyway. The car hated CA gasohol and immediately lost 25% of its fuel economy and much of its pep. Both returned on the way back across the country when real gas was available. I was saved the prospect of repeating the steps to reinstall the stock chip by being unable to find the stock chip until I’d returned the car to Virginia. It was in the glove box.

  • avatar
    west-coaster

    There was a rather hysterical article in “Car and Driver” back in the early ’80s where the entire staff of the magazine gathered in the garage and driveway of one of the editors to build a kit car which had some ridiculous time quote for one person to assemble it. (“Just two weekends and you’re done!” or something like that.)

    It was insanely more time consuming and complicated than the advertising had let on, and the instructions were missing a lot of key stuff as well. And from what I remember, at least two of the editors had engineering degrees.

    And one other funny thing. There was some kind of rather toxic epoxy that had to be used for part of the body assembly, and the fumes started making the crew a bit high, which slowed down the process even more.

    I’m guessing the manufactuer of the kit car regretting participating, asssuming they even did. It could have been that the magazine just bought the kit outright as a consumer would.

  • avatar
    mbaruth

    If you ever see a School Bus Yellow Boss 302 driving around Lexington, say hello. Better yet, bring that Camaro out to a Central Kentucky Region SCCA event and ask for me.

  • avatar
    James2

    Stacey David always makes this stuff look ridiculously easy. Must be in the editing.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    +1 to the story and article. Last DIY was brake bleeding with pneumatic bleeder. Air compressor regulator ceased to function after trying to adjust it, rendering it useless half way through the job( No warranty, parts available only online). Thank goodness for the MityVac. After much pumping and cursing, still bubbles. Since I don’t do much manual labor, left hand has large blister from MityVac, can’t pump anymore, no one else home.

    Put wheels and tires on, slowly back out of garage. Brakes feel OK. Drive around neighborhood, brakes OK, but pedal not right. Nothing a very carefully driven $80 trip to Pep Boys couldn’t solve. Zero satisfaction, out $80 (plus the extra brake fluid) and an hour in Pep Boys but the job is done.

    Yeah, house or car, any DIY project I do has a 50/50 shot of working, with much cursing. But I still gotta try…

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      Are you sure the bubbles were coming from the brake lines and not air infiltrating past the MityVac’s rubber boot on the bleeder?

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        It may have been, but it seemed like it was a good seal on the bleeder valve. If I had more time to deal with it, I could have fixed it eventually with the old fashioned “come push the pedal”style. But this was the wife’s car with the two car seats and I have a job in which I can be called for at a moments notice, so it needed to be done and done correctly.

        I’ve learned to save projects like this for when I have vacation. Or have a project car which isn’t one of our main modes of transportation.

        • 0 avatar
          highrpm

          As for that MityVac, I never got mine to work right . I tried it several times when I used to race in SCCA and that thing never got the job done as well as the old fashioned one guy pumping the pedal and one guy working the bleeder

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            The MityVac made me a firm believer in pressure bleeding…until I lost the cap and had to use the universal one on the master cylinder. The ensuing Mount Vesuvius of brake fluid under my hood made me a firm believer in gravity bleeding.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          The threads on the bleeder screw are not airtight and will let air in (ask me how many quarts of brake fluid I wasted before figuring this out). If you remove the bleeder screw and lightly coat the threads with anti-sieze paste, this will solve that issue.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I have found through the years take any published time estimate and multiple times three. Then, if you ever have to repeat the job, divide that time by half.

    Personally I think the this project should take you XYZ time should be replaced by cans of beer. One can every 45 minutes, unless the difficult level is high, then one ever 30 minutes. Over 6 cans requires assistance from a friend. Over 12 cans two friends…

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    The APaGttH difficulty rating system makes sense to me … like metric system level good.

  • avatar
    levi

    Anyone who hammers on a MAF sensor and still gets good results is truly gifted. Kudos.

  • avatar
    AFX

    Most car repair issues can be solved by either a bigger hammer or more heat, especially with exhaust work. The shadetree mechanic rule of thumb for torque specs is “Tighten it up ’til it breaks, then back it off half a turn”. I’m looking forward to your future article on replacing the rear sparkplugs on that Camaro, and maybe learning a few new expletives.

  • avatar
    Redshift

    Good story, and too true. I can’t count the number of times a “quick job” has turned into an all day project.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      My worst “It’s only going to take an hour or so” that turned into an all day nightmare was when I replaced the cracked intake manifold on my ’77 Power Wagon’s 360 with an Edelbrock high performance one. The old manifold came off easily, not a single issue. Then the nightmare began. There was a vacuum T that needed to be transferred over, and it wouldn’t budge. I put liquid wrench on it, tapped it, and nothing. I put a pair of vise grips on it, and took a mallet and it came loose, at least the top did, the bottom stayed in the manifold. Oh well, no power brakes for me in the morning. The little pipe that the water pump bypass hose goes too isn’t coming out easily either, but the vise grips do work and out it comes. I put the new intake gaskets on the heads with a little sealer and put the manifold on. I cant get ANY of the bolts to start. None. WTF?? I take a really bright flashlight and look down into the bolt holes and it’s obvious what the problem is, the holes in the manifold aren’t big enough to clear the bolts so they will fit. So, out comes the drill with one of my grinding stone bits on it, and I go to town on it. About a half hour later, I try to put it on again. About half the bolts go in now, but half need more work. Another half hour and it’s on, and it’s leaking coolant, badly, out of the driver’s side near the front of the motor. I pull the manifold and the coolant is coming out of the bolt hole. I put some sealer on it and it’s done. I think. Next morning, I drive to the dealer to get the T, and it’s pinging badly. I get the T and a set of manifold gaskets, go to a friend’s house, and we yank the manifold and 2 cylinders are sucking oil. My friend gets his straightedge out and it’s obvious that the heads aren’t really straight. Great. When it was all said and done, I replaced the heads with better ones that had been ported, and the manifold itself again, since it was warped from being bolted to the messed up heads. About the time I got the engine all running great, the endless issues with everything else began, and I began dreaming of getting rid of it. Two years later, I was working on it again, and I reached the end of the line. Next morning, it was gone. Sad thing is, everytime I see one on Ebay, I want to buy it. Sick.

  • avatar
    dfp21

    I like the surprise ending where the car actually started. I was sure it wouldn’t.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Well written , thanx .

    Increasing the intake honk is the key in selling any aftermarket underhood junk , doesn’t matter what the dyno says .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    In my younger year I found a magazine advertisement in a quite nerdy benz mag, the advertised product was for an after market grille for the W124 (from 200 E to E 200 if you will). It read something like this: “Give your W124 an updated look in just 4 steps” the steps where illustrated with pictures as well.
    “1 Cut of the old grill”
    “2 Weld the new grille to the hood”¨
    “3 Lead the joint”
    “4 Paint and you’re done”

    Although the description was factually somewhat accurate it did seem to understate the actual skill required in a way that puts “15 min mounting” to shame.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Excellent writing. Soooo very true. A hammer to the MAF sensor eh? You got big brass ones man.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Man I laughed thru this whole read.. sounds like me changing a damn flat.. speaking of.. Was putting a newer set of wheels on my 65 Chrysler. The passenger side took ten minutes. The driver side, a bit longer. I could not get the lugs off. Luckily, while I was pissed, I did not pull a hammerhead and simply use a persuader (pipe) on the end of a 1/2 breaker bar. I gently went the other direction and presto, it started to spin. I thought I had stripped the lug off but was overjoyed when the lug spun off. Lesson learned I guess. Chrysler did that for a few years (reverse thread on driver’s side wheels), why I have no damn idea.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “Engineering” is why. Supposedly, improperly tightened lug nuts were less likely to loosen and fall off if the studs/nuts on the driver’s side were left-hand thread.

      I learned this after snapping two off my buddy’s car in the dark. A flashlight finally showed up to reveal the “L” stamped on the studs and the left-hand thread. He drove with 3 for quite a while, which never came loose.

    • 0 avatar
      dfp21

      It would make sense if there were a only single nut holding the wheel to the hub, like the way bicycle pedals are threaded to crankarms, but there isn’t, so it doesn’t.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    We all get caught in situations like this. As for your challenge, sometimes WD-40 is helpful for separating rubber from plastic, but you probably tried this.

    When I bought an aftermarket trailer hitch for my minivan, the instructions said it would take 15 minutes for the hitch and 45 minutes for the wiring. Each part took me 6 times longer, but I ended up with a good installation. To make matters worse, some of the instructions were just plain wrong.

    Good job, and enjoy the fruit of your labor. Nice writeup, too.

  • avatar
    David Hester

    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. I took the Camaro out for a two hour joyride this afternoon and no hiccups from the MAF (or anything else). Looks like I got away with beating on it with a rubber mallet. Your mileage most definitely may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Excellent. Glad that it worked out the right way. I always suffer from this one:

      Murphy’s Law Automotive Maintenance

      Any part or tool dropped during the work, will roll to the point beneath the exact geometric center of the vehicle under-carriage.

      It has happened to me more than once.

  • avatar
    richardsheil

    “The diameter of the airlid’s neck is three millimeters smaller than the circumference of the MAF.”

    If you don’t know that diameter and circumference are not the same thing then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing this job. Seems careless to me.

    And anybody who takes a hammer to plastic parts must like living dangerously.

    • 0 avatar
      Tiddley_Wink

      Not a bad point, but seriously, give this guy a break. There is a fine line between pointing out an error and being a jerk. I read the quoted line and had exactly zero problem understanding what he meant. Every single one of these Future Writer pieces has had errors that would be easily rectified by a round or two of editing. Relative to others, this one is excellent in both content and quality of writing.

      I for one am glad the author is “doing this job.” I’d much rather read this than another dull test drive/borrowed car/rental review, or overbearing attempt at humor.

      To those of us who aren’t mechanics (i.e. most of us), but have struggled with wrenching efforts of similarly advertised difficulty, the hammer part is instantly relatable. I’m certain I’ve done dumber things, as have others.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      Taking a hammer to plastic parts is sometimes suitable after the fact, especially when it involves Dexcool and plastic intake manifolds.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    David, While I won’t be asking you for any help in the garage, I will be reading anything you write here. Thanks for the amusing read.

  • avatar
    saabaru

    Reminds me of when I used to flip the air cleaner lid on my parent’s ’84 Caprice wagon…Made it SOUND faster.

    I enjoyed reading this because I’ve been in that position so many times myself. It’s never as easy as the directions sound, especially with my ramshackle set of tools (not to mention skills)!

  • avatar
    ChevyIIfan

    Excellently done David. This was easily the best new writer story yet, IMHO.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Even though I’m not much of a tuner I found this to be a good read, thank you for sharing.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Though I sensed a little embellishment, I gave the article a “thumbs up” because it captured a bit of what we all have experienced wrenching on our rides.

    Especially the sense of relief and the gradual broadening of a crap-eating grin to know that we still had a functioning vehicle, and didn’t have to call for help. Any improvement was just gravy at that point. :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Imperial

      “Especially the sense of relief and the gradual broadening of a crap-eating grin to know that we still had a functioning vehicle, and didn’t have to call for help. Any improvement was just gravy at that point. :-) ”

      Big time dittos to that! You ever had thoughts of “Maybe I’m also CONVINCING myself that what I did is making a HUGE difference….”

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I had a similar nightmare with the MAF sensor in my 2008 Charger R/t when I was installing an AFE cold air intake. I couldn’t even get the plug off the damn thing! I tried and tried and it wouldn’t come off. I had helped a friend about a year before to do the same thing to his car, and it was no problem. I called him up and he told me what to do to get it loose. Funny thing was, I was doing the same thing, and it wasn’t budging. He came over and it didn’t come off for him either, so I didn’t feel as bad or stupid as I did originally. I kept trying and got fed up and let him have a shot at it, and there was a “Snap!”, and the latch broke off of the plug. We pulled and pulled and slowly the MAF was unplugged. We couldn’t get it out because the plug was insanely tight, that’s all. We took the whole air duct out of the car and finally got the MAF out of the tube without breaking it. The cold air intake and everything else went in fine without any problems.

    On my 2010 Challenger R/T, I bought an SRT airbox to replace the stock ‘Tumor” one, and I hoped the sensor was in it and I wouldn’t have any drama due to removal/replacement problems. The sensor was in it, but the plug was different! So, I had to get the old one out. It took like 10 seconds. The latch unlatched, the plug came off fine, the MAF popped right out, and in about 10 minutes, I was done. I was almost in shock it went so easy.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I thought this piece was great. Countless times I have told my girlfriend I would fix something in 30 minutes only to return in 3 hours.

  • avatar
    majeskyb

    As a fellow fourth gen F-body owner (2000 Trans Am), I know the joy you felt of having to do anything under that hood. That’s why As of today, I still need to work up the courage to replace my passanger side spark plugs and wires. I kept telling myself it was going to happen when I installed headers and deleted the air pump/wiring, but who knows if that’s ever going to happen. Beautiful Camaro by the way, and enjoy her while you can. Looking forward to reading more of your tales with your car.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Is it still easier to change the plugs on an LS motor from under the car like the LT motors preceding it? I remeber when the LT motor came out (Optispark troubles aside) It was easier to get at the rear plugs from under the car.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The changing the plugs on a LS 4th gen isn’t bad at all once you’ve done a couple. I’ve got a complete plug change down to less than 30 minutes.

      The passenger side ones aren’t bad if you undo the coil pack braket from the valve cover and move it out of the way. Number 8 is a little tight, but there is enough room to get your hand and a ratchet in there. They angle toward you on this side which makes it a little easier.

      The LT1s are much much worse.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Hell, I had the same thing with just a maintenance item–changing the air filter on a 2006 Accord V6!! Took me 15 minutes end-to-end on my 2000 Accord, but on that 2006, the airbox took a little more “persuasion,” along with skinned knuckles on both hands, and much profanity!! Thankfully, when I started it up, let the fan cycle twice, and took it around the block, no MIL/CELs!

    Don’t get me started on the driver’s headlight replacement on that same vehicle, going through the front fenderwell…! Fortunately, my brand-new 2013 Accord Touring has LED low-beams, and the rest of the lights are accessible from above, under the hood!

  • 0 avatar
    Skink

    Memorial? Who died? I turn my thumb down for this writer, as he doesn’t write as if he knows the difference between its and it’s. That’s just a matter of basic literary hygiene.

  • 0 avatar

    I know, it’s a big problem and common mistake – but are we reading the same story? Maybe I am blind, but I went through the story via search. I could find “any stray bits of plastic, and the edge of the MAF barely fits” – but did not find a single instance of either its or it’s.

    Could you help me find the gremlin? It’s appreciated.

  • 0 avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    I would guess that “memorial” was probably a case of auto-correct going awry.

    As for needlessly tortured construction of your critique, he did not use either “its” or “it’s” in the article, so your statement is speculative at best. Maybe BS can ask David if he know the difference, but it hardly seems cromulent to this piece.

  • 0 avatar
    AFX

    “Memorial? Who died?”

    The old airbox did, by Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, though Lizzie Borden style would’ve worked too.

  • 0 avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I’m quick to jump on editorial standards on TTAC, though a good story can help to overlook errors.

    This story was hilarious enough to get a pass. I would hate to see the door closed on this writer over it’s vs its, so hopefully some peer review can help him out.

  • 0 avatar
    daiheadjai

    You need to embiggen your vocabulary.

  • 0 avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    *knows

    How embarrassing.

  • 0 avatar

    Aw shucks, someone already used cromulent. I’m always a day late and a dollar short for these kinds of things…

  • 0 avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Holy nested thread tree Batman! What’s going on…?


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