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Old 02-26-2012, 01:13 PM
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Hillbilly Ram Air: Is it worth it, will it work?

I was getting gas yesterday, when a guy pulled in with a '67 Le Mans. It was a light aquamarine type color, and it sounded fantastic.

So he went in and I walked over to talk with hi once he came back out. While looking at the car, I noticed that he had removed both bottom headlights, and installed flexible duct work inside in place of the headlights, like what you might see in someone's attic.

So, it was obviously a home made attempt at ram air. He comes out and I asked about it, so he automatically opened the hood, and the ducts ran up to what appeared to be a stock type air cleaner housing from some car, with 2 stock looking inlet pipes jutting out from the air cleaner housing about 8" or so, and he had linked the duct work to those inlets.

The engine (thank god) was a Pontiac 455 stroked slightly to 460 and change. He said it pushed about 550 ft/lbs and just over 500hp. Turbo 400, posi. He said it was a 12 flat car that would run 11.9 on a cold day. It weighed 3750lbs.

But he called his intake "Hillbilly Ram air." I would worry about maybe getting extra debris in and around the air cleaner/housing, unless he had some other screen installed somewhere in the ducts or intake. I didnt see any obvious screen in the headlight housing.

But I wonder how much power improvement a setup like that would accomplish? The ducts were about the same diameter as the headlamp holes. Maybe slightly less. Plus they ran directly to the air cleaner housing, and was narrowed down to the size of the inlet pipes/tubes on the air cleaner housing.

But that Le Mans was a great looking car, and sounded wonderful, with the added benefit of NOT being adapted to fit a SB Chevy engine. I mentioned that, but he said he is a Pontiac guy through and through, so a SB Chevy motor was out of the question!

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Old 02-26-2012, 01:26 PM
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Ram air is "free" once you have it installed. One advantage other than the increased air pressure is the air is close to outside temp, vice the under air temp. The colder the air, the more dense, which is good. Ram Air Box is a Canadian company that builds good ones. I am using one with 4" dia tubes (2) which will deliver up to 1000 CFM. We are talking up to 8 HP on a EFI set up. May be close on a carb set up.

Trees
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:33 PM
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You younger guys crack me up.

That's not hillbilly ram air... it used to be done all the time back in the day. This Ford Thunderbolt is a prime example.



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Old 02-26-2012, 01:34 PM
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Some Oldsmobiles had it as a factory option, except the inlets were under the front bumper. Trans-Am racers also used it.



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Old 02-26-2012, 02:48 PM
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it is pretty popular now a days
there are lots of store bought kits you can get now
all the cool kids are doin it
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matts37chev
it is pretty popular now a days
there are lots of store bought kits you can get now
all the cool kids are doin it
I made my own cowl induction system
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:31 PM
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they did it on musclecar tv one day to one of their cars. i think they may have mentioned it as a hillbilly intake, may be wrong but i remember the episode. they custom bent some funnels to fit in the headlight housings, used a hole saw on the core support and welded a second inlet on a old air cleaner. he custom painted it i think and if i remember right, they used hardware cloth in the openings to keep out large debris, original filter fits in the air cleaner for dust etc.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:50 PM
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Normal NASCAR trick from back in the day
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Some Oldsmobiles had it as a factory option, except the inlets were under the front bumper. Trans-Am racers also used it.




I made up the exact thing for my Gran Sport years ago. I went to the wrecking yard and searched for the right air duct from a factory car, as I remember it was a 70's Olds. The vent was mounted in the fender next to the battery. It used a 4" hose to the air cleaner. So I got two of these ducts and two air cleaners. I drilled out the spot welds holding the horn on one of the air cleaners and welded it to the other one so it had two. I then mounted the ducts under the front bumper just like that 442. The ducts had an offset intake so they weren't left and right. It worked perfect to clear stuff on both sides! It looked meaner than hell from the front, they were a little bigger than the 442. It really looked good.

HOWEVER, at the track, NOTHING, ZIP. I was running it a lot at that time and was pretty consistant, give or take a tenth or so and the ram air did nothing. Hot weather, cold weather, it didn't seem to do a damn thing. I got to thinking about it and on a hot day think about how hot that air is a few inches of the blacktop, you know where you see the "mirage" on a hot day? So those scoops down in that hot air probably did more harm than good.

Brian
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:09 PM
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By the way, I now have holes in the front of my inner fenders from the hoses.

Brian
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CometCyclone
I was getting gas yesterday, when a guy pulled in with a '67 Le Mans. It was a light aquamarine type color, and it sounded fantastic.

So he went in and I walked over to talk with hi once he came back out. While looking at the car, I noticed that he had removed both bottom headlights, and installed flexible duct work inside in place of the headlights, like what you might see in someone's attic.

So, it was obviously a home made attempt at ram air. He comes out and I asked about it, so he automatically opened the hood, and the ducts ran up to what appeared to be a stock type air cleaner housing from some car, with 2 stock looking inlet pipes jutting out from the air cleaner housing about 8" or so, and he had linked the duct work to those inlets.

The engine (thank god) was a Pontiac 455 stroked slightly to 460 and change. He said it pushed about 550 ft/lbs and just over 500hp. Turbo 400, posi. He said it was a 12 flat car that would run 11.9 on a cold day. It weighed 3750lbs.

But he called his intake "Hillbilly Ram air." I would worry about maybe getting extra debris in and around the air cleaner/housing, unless he had some other screen installed somewhere in the ducts or intake. I didnt see any obvious screen in the headlight housing.

But I wonder how much power improvement a setup like that would accomplish? The ducts were about the same diameter as the headlamp holes. Maybe slightly less. Plus they ran directly to the air cleaner housing, and was narrowed down to the size of the inlet pipes/tubes on the air cleaner housing.

But that Le Mans was a great looking car, and sounded wonderful, with the added benefit of NOT being adapted to fit a SB Chevy engine. I mentioned that, but he said he is a Pontiac guy through and through, so a SB Chevy motor was out of the question!
IMO the REAL benefit is cold air, not "boost".
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:31 PM
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My 83 Chevy Blazer had a fresh air intake from the rad support to the air cleaner....Damn carb kept freezing up in the winter...had to unhook the hose.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
Ram air is "free" once you have it installed. One advantage other than the increased air pressure is the air is close to outside temp, vice the under air temp. The colder the air, the more dense, which is good. Ram Air Box is a Canadian company that builds good ones. I am using one with 4" dia tubes (2) which will deliver up to 1000 CFM. We are talking up to 8 HP on a EFI set up. May be close on a carb set up.

Trees
This is the reason, cooler, denser, air.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:52 PM
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if you want cold air, nitrous is really cold and ads horse power too.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigblockragtop
if you want cold air, nitrous is really cold and ads horse power too.
I'll try and be gentle, nitrous oxide by itself doesn't add hp, but would lean out to the point of engine damage, but when combined with a corresponding shot of fuel, the additional fuel burn produces more hp.
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