We've extolled the virtues of various cold-air induction systems many, many times throughout the 27 years that EFI Mustangs have been hot. Evaluating cold-air systems is a routine practice for us. Currently, the aftermarket has been working overtime, producing new CAIs for Coyote 5.0-powered 'Stangs. And as these induction kits are introduced, we've been matching them with various other supporting hardware packages.
As you can imagine, with Ford's newest Ponies understandably garnering most of the aftermarket's attention these days, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that JLT Performance is still thinking about 'Stangs of the recent past and developed a fresh cold-air setup for heavy-breathing '03-'04 Cobras. Well, technically, JLT's Next Generation 12-inch High-Boost Cold Air Intake Kit (PN CAI2-12-FMC-0304; $249) is a bolt-on setup designed for Snakes that already possess above-board levels of rear-wheel horsepower (550-600) and torque, such as those upgraded with larger-displacement superchargers.
Eddie Zapata of GTR High Performance makes one of the final connections (tube-to-throttle
The system features a one-piece, super-sized, 4-1/4-inch (inside diameter) ABS-plastic induction tube, highlighted by a cool mounting pad for the mass air sensor and a gargantuan, 4-1/2x12-inch S&B Powerstack air filter that sits in a Cobra's passenger-side front fender. Together, these components make up a CAI that does away with the traditional mass air tube/multi-sectioned intake, and creates a single smooth channel for a much cooler intake-air charge (the type of cold air needed for producing 800-to-900 horses at the feet).
While installing JLT's high-boost system is far from difficult using basic tools (the most strenuous task is removing the passenger-side front tire to install the 12-inch Powerstack filter), GTR High Performance technicians Eddie Zapata and Ricardo Topete handled the bolt-on and dyno-test operations for us on a Sonic Blue '03 Cobra.
It's critical to note that this new system's huge air volume, tube size, 90mm mass air housing, and new mass air sensor (SCT BA-2600 or BA-3000) make it completely ineffective without tuning. So, for calibrating this new application, Ricardo turned to Chris Jones at Blow-By Racing, his cross-country ally in Margate, Florida. Chris uses SCT's Advantage III tuning software to fine-tune Mustangs that make big steam. It has become an integral part of GTR's operation creating calibrations for all types of performance-improved Ponies that Ricardo and his team work on.
These photos and captions cover the details. While our test Snake's baseline power is way below the preferred 550hp range for this intake, dyno results confirm that JLT's big-boost kit definitely is a winner, and it's a more-than-viable option for bolt-on Terminators.
JLT's latest Cobra CAI consists of five easy pieces, plus all of the fastening hardware fo
Here is a close-up look at the aforementioned mounting pad for SCT's BA-2600 (supports 400
To make our evaluation interesting, we retrofitted the stock airbox and intake tube back o
There is absolutely no way the high-boost CAI system will work without custom tuning. Rica
Because of the new intake's air-filter location (in the front fender area), we opted for p
This JLT Short-Ram CAI was our test Snake's only mod (along with an after-cat exhaust) pri