AEM Cold Air Intake Installation

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.
Modifying the AEM intake pipe to follow the same path as the OEM pipe and airbox.Trim the AEM pipe to position the filter above the splash shield.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011 by Rob

Do you have details on how you did this install?
Please Share!! Which Small Part and One Mounting Bracket" was removed?
I like the idea of the AEM Cold Air Intake in the raised position versus hanging low collecting water and other crap through the grill opening.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 by Tire Rack Motorsports

The AEM front intake tube which attaches to the air filter on one end and has a near, 90 degree bend on the other was modified for the install. To accommodate the higher mounting position (above the splash shield), we trimmed two mounting tabs and shortened the pipe by 4-5”. It takes a little trial and error to position the filter properly, but it all comes together pretty easily with some careful measuring.

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