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How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

cold air intake on Chevy and GMC trucks
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How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby jreese001 [OP] » Dec 30 2012, 2:58am

This is a quick how-to article on the installation of the Spectre 9918 Cold Air Intake system on 2007.5-2013 Silverados and Sierras, 4.8l-6.0l.
Tools Needed = Phillips and Flat Blade Screwdrivers, 5/16 Nut Driver, 10 and 13mm Sockets, Racket with 6" extention, preferrably 3/8" drive, Torx T15 driver.
Time Needed = 30-60 minutes
Skill Level Needed = Basic hand tool skills only
Cost = $150.00 from Summit Racing, included shipping and $15.00 coupon for future purchase.

To start, the stock engine bay looks like this:
Airbox Before.jpg

Intake Before.jpg

The very first thing to do is to open the box and inspect the contents for damaged or missing parts. No one wants to rip into a project to find the pieces to finish the project aren't there. Then, disconnect the negative battery terminal, by loosening the 10mm nut before starting the disassembly.
Once, the battery terminal is removed, you can follow the enclosed directions in the kit. Basically it starts w/ the engine cover removal. This part just pops into place, only hands required for removal.
Engine Cover Removed.jpg

Now, you can loosen and remove the factory hose clamp on the throttle body. Then you must unclip the radiator hose from the factory intake assembly. This last bit isn't in the factory directions.
Hoses.jpg

Unplug the factory breather hose from the intake. At this point you can loosen and remove the clamp at the airbox, and take the factory intake out. You are now ready to unscrew the airbox lid, remove the factory filter and the stock airbox. Remove the 13mm bolt attaching the airbox to the radiator support. The airbox just pops in place similar to the engine cover, so a good tug up and away from the fender is all that is needed. Now you must unbolt the airbox mounting tray, by removing the (4) 10mm bolts. The directions give you great photos of this. The the final part to remove is the breather hose.
Breather Hose.jpg

You must completely remove this not only from the stock intake, but also the engine. Engine side is a bit tricky as it requires turning and pressing a small tab, but take your time, it will come off properly. Short of taking the MAF sensor out from the stock intake, disassembly is complete. You remove the MAF sensor by unplugging the harness and removing the t15 Torx screws.
MAF Sensor Stock.jpg


You can now begin reassembly. The kit comes w/ a rubber ring that the directions state is to go over the throttle body, but I found for my 2013 4.8l it wasn't necessary, the rubber coupler clamps down and seals perfectly w/out it. From this point on, follow the instructions, doing it step by step really is the best way. You will find that you install the throttle body rubber coupler first, as stated above, mount the new airbox and pre-oiled filter, assemble and install the air tube between the airbox and throttle body and the new breather hose. The directions stated that the new breather hose was braided, mine was not, just a black rubber hose. It also said it came w/ clamps for both ends, mine did not. The directions do not include a parts list, so I assume that this is a generic set of directions, and that explains the difference in parts. My kit was unopened so I have to assume that. I simply pushed it on as far as it would go and it has held. I will probably spend the couple of bucks and by hose clamps for it anyhow, just haven't yet. The only deviation I suggest from the directions is to wait until the major parts are assembled and installed to install the factory MAF sensor in the new tube and plug back into the harness. This will keep it safe from damage during assembly. Once final assembly is done, tighten all the clamps, reinstall the engine cover, reattach the negative battery cable, clean up the engine bay, warm up the engine and re-tighten the clamps as needed. Directions suggest to check clamp tightness periodically.
Spectre Filter and Airbox.jpg

Finished Spectre Intake.jpg


In total, this project was an easy upgrade. I did it outside, w/ the tools listed above in 35 degree temps in under 60 minutes. The kit claims hp and mileage increases. I have yet to have it on long enough to tell about the mileage, but it does seem to be slightly more responsive, and perhaps powerful. The sound is nice and "throaty" as you would expect w/ a cai kit. I am pleased w/ the outcome, even if I don't see the mileage gains.
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Re: Spectre Cold Air Intake Install

Postby com_29 » Dec 30 2012, 2:50pm

I kept my factory box with a K&N drop in.....my question is, why do you have to disconnect the battery?
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby EKinMN » Dec 30 2012, 3:12pm

It resets the ECM, which may aid in the MAF learning the new settings. Plus, I think it's a generally good idea anytime you are disconnecting electrical connections.
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby jreese001 [OP] » Dec 30 2012, 3:33pm

Yeah, there are a couple different styles of cai kits. Some are full kits such as my Spectre, I've seen the drop in kits from airaid and k&n amongst others. The battery disconnection I think is more for precaution than anything. However, I had had cai kits on there vehicles from other manufacturers that say it helps the ecm lose the old mad settings so it can learn the new cai air flow. Idk for sure, the directions didn't specify why.
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby com_29 » Dec 30 2012, 4:28pm

Perhaps I should still disconnect the neg. for a bit and see if I get a difference.
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby jreese001 [OP] » Dec 30 2012, 5:37pm

Couldn't hurt
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby Chazkline44 » Dec 31 2012, 11:35pm

Do i need to do a "how to" article on how to properly clean your engine bay?? lol that thing is dirtier than two hobos in a trashcan
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby jreese001 [OP] » Jan 01 2013, 2:10am

Dude I live in NY. Its winter and we use road salt, how clean do u expect my truck to be?
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby Chazkline44 » Jan 01 2013, 2:27am

jreese001 wrote:Dude I live in NY. Its winter and we use road salt, how clean do u expect my truck to be?

I'm just giving you a hard time bud nice write up
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Re: How To Install a Spectre Cold Air Intake

Postby #32 » Jan 01 2013, 2:28am

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