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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-18-2004, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default My Custom Intake

Hey guys. I don't know how many people have come up with instructions for a custom intakefor the 87 Bonnies (and the like) although its pretty much the same for all I figured this could be a nice little guide.

Materials:
K&N Filter (sorry I don't have the part number the box and filter are at home and i'm back at VaTech for now. The filter cost me 59.99 but it was a huge *** K&N filter! I bought it from a local store).

3 inch inlet/outlet black PVC Elbow (90 degree smooth bent rubber tube)

~2 ft of 3/32" steel cable

RTV sealant

Note that my '87 Bonne comes stock with (from the throttle body) a ribbed plastic tube going to the MAF sensor, then a SHORT RUBBER TUBE from the MAF to the Air Box. The important part here is the SHORT RUBBER TUBE. it'* probably about an inch or so long and it just serves to connect the MAF sensor to the air box, this will come into play later.

Before starting: PREPARE THE PVC ELBOW:
Prepare it to accept the IAT sensor by drilling a hole somewhat smaller than the sensor requires into the rubber. You can pick where on the elbow to do it, just make sure the sensor'* power cable can reach it when it'* all in place. Now stick the sensor in the hole. It sould be a mild push to get it in the whole.
I would NOT be worried about air escaping through the hole'* edges with the sensor intact but if you are apply some RTV sealant aroudn the edges of the sensor after it'* in it'* newly made hole so that you can be sure no RTV gets on the actual sensor tip.


Remove air box by removing 2 nuts on the inner fender wall and two screws on engine bay. Also remove the IAC sensor using an adjustable wrench.
Save these 2 nuts.

remove the ShORT rubber tube which was mentioned above and also remove the two hose clamps on it.
Reverse this short tube inside out so that the inside (flat) is out and place back onto the MAF'* end WITHOUT clamps. -- This rubber serves ONLY as an adapter so that the MAF end will snuggly fit the 3" PVC elbo which is the next step.
****If you can use a nicer piece of PVC to make the MAF fit snuggly into the 3" elbow that would seem nicer. The MAF'* end is about 2.75" in diameter (thickness of plastic is negligible with it) however the PVC elbow'* end was slightly bigger than 3"******

Clamp one end of the PVC elbow onto the MAF (now with that inside out piece in place).

Use the 2 ft of steel cable around the end ot the PVC elbow that will soon clamp on the filter. This cable will be used to keep the filter fixture stable and floating so it won't be sitting on the EVAP cannister. Using the 2 nuts you saved earlier; Hook the ends of the wire to the same studs the 2 nuts came from. Hold the cable in place with the nuts (tighten the nut with the cable under it until the cable is on TIGHT).

Now put the filter inside the end of the PVC elbow. Connect power cable to the IAT sensor and you're set to roll!

My filter was so huge and long that I didn't need any more space between the elbow and the filter. If your filter is short then you can get a 3" pvc pipe (long white tube), cut to the size you need, then hook that to the elbow and then to the filter. If you do this, you will need another short piece of PVC tube so that it can hook to the white tube and to filter.

I'm sorry this is sort of confusing but It took me about an hour to do everything from removal of old air box, to preparing the elbow for the sensor, to complete.

To make this into a COLD air intake system (which i may do when i get time) use some sort of sheet metal or plexiglass and make a wall (basically an L but with the bottom base of it being very short). The base will screw into the many MANY useless holes already in place on the engine bay area surrounding the EVAP cannister.




Feel free to throw ANY questions or comments at me. I know this isn't the fanciest but it gets it done.

Honestly I didn't feel that great a boost from it, and the engine is so loud on my '87 on its own that the vaccum sound isn't too overwhelming but it'* all there and i think it was a good mod.

Also, I couldn't get the MAF screen off on mine. Anyone got any tips?

Mike Diaz

i'd post pics but i have no digital camera.. i know i'm behind on the times.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:32 PM   #2
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I did a custom intake on my 89 as well. I really couldn't tell a whole lot of difference in performance either. Except it sounds really cool when I press on the go pedal. Also on the MAF screen it should just come out if you have a bent paper clip to get the clip out. I had my screen out for about 6 months and decided to reinstall it. Couldn't tell any difference with it in or out.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:01 PM   #3
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thanks for the note, looks like i won't be removing my MAF screen! Maybe our cars are just very free breathing on the intake side from the get go!

Mike Diaz
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Egladman, I think you may have the same trans as I do... RPO .. F17... This would be the 2.84 gear ratio... A wee bit heavy for any real performance, but the 3800 is more than happy to twist those gears... I wonder what kind of diffrence I would have if any...
Probably would make a little bit of difference. Seems like I have lots of power after I rev it up a bit. It really screams from about 45 all the way to the shift into third at 80mph, and from there it really seems to hit it good.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:14 AM   #5
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JR - Is it just me or do I seem to like that old 3.8...
I'll never forget the first time I opened the hood and saw the engine set up and the aluminum manifold and valve covers just topped it all off. And it was American - Finally.

Do you think maybe its because of what that first motor represented. Look where it wound up. What a legacy
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Old 01-20-2004, 03:45 PM   #6
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[/quote]
Yup... You must have the same tranny as me... My car does exactly the same... Our oldschool 3800 makes its HP at 4400 rpms.... But mine feels like it pulls to the redline, does yours feel the same.. [/quote]

Ive got the 2.84 gears and mine pulls real hard from 3000 to about 4100 then it has ZERO power and the motor sounds weird :( Thats usually when i take the foot off the gas cuz i feel like im gonna break her. Are we look at valve float?
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:43 PM   #7
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Mine definately pulls hard to the redline, but on the 2-3 shift to reach redline I have to manually shift gears. My car shifts into D at 80mph under full throttle.
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:08 PM   #8
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That'* interesting. I don't have a tach but I know that if I manual shift mine it will do 95 in second before the rev limiter kicks in.
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Um I hate to tell you but there is no rev limiter in your 89 or my 91... If you are at 95 MPH than you ar past 6000 rpms... I'd say 6200 or so.... Thats way bad on that engine... Do not go any further than 83 or 84 Mph... At that point you are in the redline.... and the redline on the old school 3800 is 5200...LOL
Really? I could have swore there was one. The car acts as if it wants to keep going and then shuts itself down. Does the same thing in park and neutral also. Man if I treat my car like that how have I managed 220K out of her.
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:39 PM   #10
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I just did a RPM calculator and according to what it says at 95 mph I would be turning 5400 RPM. Which is still a tad high for this engine. lol
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