To help our little MX-5 breathe a little easier, we’ve installed an AEM Cold Air Intake.
There is some debate about how to legally install an intake, which according to the rules cannot modify the structure of the car to route the intake pipe. Most off-the shelf CAI’s require modifying or removing a splash shield behind the bumper cover to get the “coldest” air to the intake. This isn’t an issue for a street-driven car, but within the SCCA rules for the autocross class we compete in, making the minor modification isn’t allowed. So with a little investigation we took what turned out to be a very simple route to get our intake installed—and keep us legal.
We used an AEM Cold Air Intake for the 2006-07 Mazda MX-5, and simply deleted one small part and removed one mounting bracket from one of the aluminum pipes supplied with the kit. The CAI’s air filter now sits just behind and above the front bumper structure, and still gets a steady stream of cold air from an opening in the front fascia of the MX-5. The supplied polished aluminum tubing provides a smooth and straight path back to the engine, eliminating the bulky airbox and serpentine path of the OE intake.
The engine is a pump after all, and now we can get more air in to help pump more power out.