Spectre intakes give a breath of fresh air to the MiniVan Hater

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Spectre intakes give a breath of fresh air to the MiniVan Hater (Tom Gomez)

Story and pictures by Tom Gomez

Some of you have seen the Minivan Hater in various automotive magazines and all the different tech articles that poor truck has been through. But in some cases, it was a necessity and you know the truck is 19 years old. So, yeah, it’s got some aches and pains, kind of like the owner. HA!
 One of the key items on any engine that seems to get overlooked is the air induction system. That mentality is more prominent toward engines that don’t have any modifications and is just an everyday kind of truck.

But if you’re looking to improve gas mileage, horsepower and just looking badass, then an air intake is definitely a item you want on your truck to enhance its performance. There are a lot of air intake systems on the market today and some are awesome and give you noticeable performance and some are, well, they look awesome.

Which brings us to Spectre Intake Systems, or as they like to be called SPEED BY SPECTRE. We like both names because it has Spectre in the title. We also wanted to mention that Spectre is part of the K&N Engineering family so you know that you’re getting quality performance here folks.

This kit P/N 9903K comes with a black filter. We chose Black for a couple of reasons. One it looks cool, and until a darker color comes around we have to settle for black. This kit can be used on any 96-99 GM vehicle with a 5.0 or a 5.7 engine. The MiniVan Hater happens to have the 5.7 350 cu in. motor.

The beauty of this kit is that it can be installed by almost anyone if you have some mechanical skills and some hand tools. Probably the hardest part of installing this kit is removing your old stock induction system because it’s been on the vehicle for a number of years and in some cases has been neglected with caked on dirt and can make it hard to remove. In some cases we have taken a vehicle to the local car wash and degrease the engine and made it all nice and shiny so that when we install the new intake, it all looks fresh and new. But that’s just us.

We’re lucky because the MiniVan Hater pretty much always has a clean engine bay and so we didn’t really need to prep for the install other than just open the hood.
As talented as we think we are we couldn’t hold the camera and a screwdriver at the same time so we enlisted the help of automotive wizard and “Keeper of the tools” as he likes to be called, Mr. Tito Rabago of JMR Mobile Auto Repair, located in Murrieta California.

Tito can fix anything. We call him the Latino McGyver of the Inland Empire! As we mentioned Tito has a mobile automotive repair service which means he comes to you if you need any kind of auto repair, but in this case we went to Tito, cause he has a garage with all kinds of cool stuff to look at!
So follow along as The King, sorry ..Tito installs the Spectre 9903K intake on the MiniVan Hater.

Here Tito is has already taken the hose clamp off and has removed the old intake and is removing the MAF sensor and IAT sensor. Be careful when removing these sensors as over time they become brittle and could break off when pulling on them. (Tom Gomez)

Here is a good look at the old intake. It served it’s purpose well and after years of dust dirt and grime, it was time to Spectre this thing out. (Tom Gomez)

Once you’ve got the MAF sensor and hose off, you should inspect the protective screen. Because ours hadn’t been off for years, it needed a good cleaning. Make sure you use only MAF sensor spray cleaner or you run the risk of ruining the sensor. (Tom Gomez)

After you thoroughly clean the MAF sensor and it looks clean and like new again, you can now install your Spectre intake.
 (Tom Gomez)

Be careful when you remove this little rascal because it’s plastic and you know how over time plastic anything under the hood is subjected to extreme heat and over a period of time it can crack and become brittle. (Tom Gomez)

In this case we were good. After careful inspection there no cracks or broken areas so we reinstalled it into the new intake. (Tom Gomez) 

Here is the fun part! Install the rubber connector and make sure that there is equal amount to connect the intake tube. Once it’s in place use the supplied hose clamp and start tightening it down with a standard flat screwdriver. Attach the MAF sensor and proceed to tighten that down as well. Once everything’s in its place check for loose fittings and move on to the fender bracket install. (Tom Gomez)

Align the two mounting holes in the shield with the two holes on the inner fender. Then install the supplied M8 bolt, washers and lock nuts in the remaining hole. Tighten the bolt and lower lock nut on the vibration mount from the fenderwell to secure the heat shield.

The MAF sensor wires will need to be extended. Carefully cut the tape that is holding the wire coveron the MAF sensor wires and remove the cover. There will be three wires exposed, pink yellow and black. Cut these wires about half way between the plug and the harness. Strip the wire back approximately 1⁄4-inch on both ends.

Using the supplied heat shrink tube place a small section on the wires, this will be used to protect them. Next, use the supplied male ends and crimp them onto the wires, give them a gentle pull to make sure you have a good connection. Use a small torch or lighter to shrink the tube.

Using the included 5mm Allen bolts, lock nuts and washers, assemble the heat shield as shown. Install the Allen bolts from the top and the put the flat washer and the lock nuts on the back. Once all the hardware is installed use the included hex key wrench and an 8mm (5/16-inch will also work)wrench to fully tighten all of the lock nuts.

Whew! Now you’re done and you can stand back and just stare at this thing of beauty! Now if you’re anything like we are, and we’re not saying to do this but we like to polish the chrome tube once a month or so and a little “TRIM SHINE” by Stoner, available at your local parts store to keep the rubber fittings looking new and clean. But that’s just us. 
More importantly, clean your filter maybe at every oil change to keep it running at it’s best. K&N offers a cleaning kit that’s also available at your local parts store or check online for you millenials that like to surf the web!

Just when you thought we were done. To check that our new intake is running properly and especially with new vehicles that have a computer you want everything running at peak performance. Tito, was vibrating so bad to get to use his new toy from MATCO TOOLS.
This code scanner can read everything, air fuel mixture, barometric pressure and the ECT sensor. I may be wrong but I think you can order a pizza with it too. OK, maybe you can’t order a pizza, but how cool would it be if it did.

No trouble code / system normal. Yea! That’s what we wanted to see.

So, there you have it folks, we just installed a SPECTRE COLD AIR INTAKE 9903K with the black filter and it looks awesome. The MiniVanHater once again get’s a breath of fresh air and we can hit the open road again. As for Tito, he keeps following us around so he can tell everyone he did the install. Please share this with your friends, folks, because we are running out of places to hide from The keeper of the tools.

Thanks Tito for all your help!

Tito Rabago
JMR Mobile Auto Repair
Murrieta Ca.

For more information about Speed by Spectre products, go to spectreperformance.com,
or call 909-673-8597.

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