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4.6L Ford Mustang - Cold Air Intake Densecharger
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by Rex Haut

If you have been involved in the hobby of modifying cars for any significant amount of time you've likely picked up on the fact that the fundamentals of aftermarket add-ons have not changed much overtime. Whether your first Mustang was in 1965 or in 2005, modifications in areas such as induction are the cornerstones for improving horsepower.

The factory air filter housings are designed to minimize the noise of the in-rushing air, and also designed for ease of manufacturability and assembly-line installation. As a result there are a few horsepower which can be freed up with a better air filter and less restrictive ducting to the motor. Such systems are often called CAI's, or cold air intakes. This is because most CAI designs reposition the air filter into the fender or below the from valence, where it can draw in ambient air that is not being heated by the engine bay. Colder air is denser in oxygen, and thus yields more horsepower. There is also potentially a slight "ram" effect that can occur as a result of the filter being located in the air stream around or under the car.

We recently installed a CAI system, aptly called the "Densecharger" on a 2001 Mustang GT. The CAI system consists of a conical reusable cotton-gauze air filter, a 100mm "S" section up to the mass-air meter, and then a throttle-body pipe between the mass-air and throttle body. A shorter system is also available which does not replace the factory throttle body duct. The entire system is polycarbonate black, which compared to the factory rubber ducting, the absorbs less heat and maintains a consistent shape from the filter to the throttle body. This results in less air restriction and turbulence. While we chose to install the system with our existing factory mass-air meter and throttle body, the Densecharger can just as easily work with aftermarket versions of those components.

Installation takes about one hour with basic hand tools. At the time of our review the throttle-body pipe would not clear aftermarket strut-tower braces however the manufacturer has since modified the design and the pipe should clear most braces.


Installation starts with removal of the stock air inlet tube. Loosen the hose clamps at the throttle body and at the mass air meter.
 
Remove the two PCV hoses which connect into the air inlet tube.
     

Disconnect the mass-air meter and inlet air temp connector plugs.
 
The stock air inlet tube is removed from the engine bay.
     

Note how the stock tube constricts at the throttle body. The Densecharger tube is a consistent diameter throughout.
 
Next we remove the stock air filter housing. Remove the two screws securing it to the fender.
     

The stock air box and mass-air meter can be removed as a unit. Note the rubber snorkel which connects to the airbox. This is designed to act as a silencer and presents another restriction to airflow.
 
Remove the four screws securing the factory mass air meter to the air filter box.
     

The factory places a screen between the air box and mass air meter to prevent debris from potentially damaging the sensor filaments. The Densecharger instructions are to remove the screen. The air filter itself provides adequate protection.
 
Place a thin layer of the supplied RTV silicone around the mating surface of the mass air meter.

Installation continued
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In This Article...
A 2001 Mustang GT gains a cool twelve horsepower with relatively easy modifications to the air intake tract.


The Densecharger cold air intake (now called the Demolet Induction system) replaces the factory 94-04 Mustang GT airbox and air ducting with larger tubing with less restrictions. A 9" conical cotton gauze filter is positioned in the fenderwell to suck in cold, dense air. You'll pay about $379 new, or find an old Densecharger version used like we did.


The cold air intake won't get you the full dozen horsepower. You'll need an aftermarket plenum such as the C&L and Trickflow units shown here. They are around $120 and worth the expense. We'll cover them in this article too.




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