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526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its here!

Build your own complete, kickass intake for $103.40

The Frankentake Project started out simple: Stick a big 9" long S&B filter on my K&N Typhoon like Meister did to his, when he showed everybody it kicked ass at GIFO's 3 and 4.

Frankentake I was my own version of his intake, with the heat shield removed after extensive intake air temp tests (Round 1, Rounds 2-5, Round 6) showed no heat shield was necessary and ambient air was plentiful in the engine cavity with a couple of minor modifications.

Frankentake II was an attempt to utilize the unique properties of Weapon-R's tube-in-a-tube design. Having participated in their 5.7 prototype program I had a couple of them sitting around, so I cut one off a bit and stuffed it under the hood with the S&B filter. The dyno runs at Modifications Face-Off 4.1 were inconclusive but even before this event I had decided to take a different turn with the project...

Frankentake III is a fully home-brewed intake solution. Its design mandate is to be made up of readily available parts that anyone can get hold of. These parts should be cheap, but also cheap-smart. We want to build a good kit and not a piece of crap. And it should be easily assembled using tools you already have in your garage, or won't mind buying.

But when it comes to the all-important filter, spare no expense. F-III's Frankenfilter has a 4" inlet, with a 10" or 12" media length, 6.5" diameter at the base, 5.25" diameter at the top. where a chromed end cap holds more filtration material for max inflow... like we need more with a filter thats a foot long. Originally S&B had agreed to make a custom filter just for this project. That was a 10" long filter with an enlarged diameter power stack on top. However that hasn't materialized so far and this filter is off-the-rack.

The filter inlet and tube is oversized at 4" in diameter. The tube is made of very thin but strong alloy. It will shuck heat faster than the thicker alloy tubes found in the K&N Typhoon or the Weapon-R, and its still very strong (refer to the temperature tests to learn why you should not worry about heat soak inside the tube). However if you want a thicker tube I have a source for that as well as will be described further on.

Is F-III the end of development of this concept? I seriously doubt it. For starters you will have the option of custom-spec'ing your own filter, and in fact there are some very smart people on this forum doing exactly that right now. Further, after assembly of the first unit tonight I can see a couple of things I could have done differently, and some things I might change. I'll cover that in the assembly post.

Finally, F-III wasn't just my project. It was a community effort and I hope it will grow from wider exposure now that its 'gone live'. I would like to sincerely thank Meister, Rev. Hammer, CoolVanilla and Cam for their invaluable assistance in helping me scrounge parts and figure this thing out.

So here we go. First I will describe the parts, the tools needed for assembly, the assembly itself and driving impressions.

Note: This forum censors links to other fora for whatever reason. Sorry... its not my fault the background info links above do not work.

526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Rubber elbow: 3.5" to 4"
Cost: $17.08 (

One of the things I wanted to do early on was use 4" tubing which necks down at the last moment to 3.5"; giving a potential for max flow down the oversized 4" tube and a velocity increase at the point of the neck-down, where that velocity increase should also provide a temperature reduction to the incoming air. Double Party Bonus if the theory holds up. We'll have to see if the increase in volume thanks to the oversized tubing, backed up by the oversized filter, is the good thing its hoped to be.

I would have preferred to use silicone over rubber. However the silicone reducing elbows available on the market have hard 90-degree bends in them rather than the smooth transition of this unit. Well-shaped silicone elbows are available in 3.5", but a 4" tube was a firm requirement. Rubber versus silicone is not the end of the world. Its what the stock intake uses. This piece is made very well of heavy rubber. Absolutely smooth inside. Very well-formed.

Alloy tube: 4" x 1'
Cost: $6.90 (

A straightforward one-foot-long tube of strong, thin alloy. For mine, I sanded it down with my Porter Cable polisher (oh yeah... it was designed as a sander first and a car polisher second) using 220 grit to give it a poor-man's satin finish. Then I spray-painted it flat black. I am sure most people can do better than that. To fit the air filter on the tube -- which is sold in minimum lengths of 1-foot -- had to be cut down. More on that in the Assembly section.

NOTE: The above two items can be purchased together. Combined cost is $33.89 if shipped by Ground.

* Alternate Source:
Cost $11.73+ shipping
After most parts were already purchased I began talking with Verocious Motorsports ( and found that they had everything but the elbow above in their store. including a more expensive but thicker alloy tube. This alloy tube is twice as thick (0.10/ inch vs. about 0.05) and is closer to what you find on the K&N Typhoon tubing. The thicker tube is harder to cut through and heavier, and it remains to be seen if it is better or worse to have thicker tubing. If you buy all of your parts from Verocious you will spend more on the parts but you will make it up in combined shipping and have an easier buying experience.

T-bolt clamps (two 4" and one 3.5")
Cost: $12.79 shipped (
Put simply, T-bolts are better than hose clamps. This web site had them the cheapest and the vendor behaved like a stand-up guy during an EBay transaction I did with him. Now that the clamps have arrived they appear to be of fine quality and, at present, are the cheapest to be found on the Web.

* Alternate Source:
Verocious Motorsports. two 4.12" and one 3.62" clamp. $11.50 + shipping Hose Clamps/

Air Filter
S&B Model R1182 (blue)
S&B Model R0866 (red)
(10" filter) about $39

( Part description is found at
Not on the Verocious web site. You will have to call it in. Temp tests have shown the 12" filter below is prone to ingesting warm air around its base (about a 12-14-degree differential). A 10" filter is more in keeping with the original Frankentake I, which is known to pull only cool air.

* Alternate Source: S&B model R1187 (blue)
S&B Model R0872 (red)
(12" filter) about $42.00
( Part description is found at
This part is not on the Verocious web site. You'll have to call it in with your order at the present time. Sorry my packing list didn't have itemized pricing on it and I forget *exactly* what I paid for it. This filter is actually drop-shipped from S&B directly and, while the parts description clearly says "blue" you can see its red in the photo below. Make sure Verocious knows to rag on S&B to get it right in advance.
NOTE: The 12" filter was the originally published F-III filter, but F-III was not designed to use it. Circumstances conspired to make the 12" filter the rollout unit and subsequent testing showed it to bag some warm air at its closest point to the engine. If you think the 12" filter is bitchen, go for it. Otherwise wait until Mods Face-Off #5 when we dyno the thing to see whether its flow characteristics outweight the heat drawback.

left to right: Weapon-R open top filter, K&N Typhoon filter, S&B 9" filter, S&B 10" and 12" Frankentake filters

Crank Case vent (various)

One of the requirements of the Frankentake project is no welding. Everything should be do-able with a wrench and a drill. So we needed a bolt-on solution. This part really pissed me off, and I spent more time on it than even the filter. You can spend either a very little or a LOT. Here are the very basic parts:

HOSE BARB, (BRASS) 1/2" BARB X 3/8" MPT ($0.92)


Cost, SHIPPED, for the above two parts is $5.53

I discovered the above via experimentation. The hose barb is the perfect fitting for the hose. However its threading is too deep to fit into the drilled 5/8" hole. About that hole: It was drilled with the needs of the K&N part in mind (see below). I found out by accident that the 5/8" hole was, with a little effort, the perfect size to jam in the hose barb and thread it in as if the hole was threaded itself -- the tube metal is thin enough at 1/16" that it works perfectly. "Jam" in is the word. You can only thread it bby hand for a 1/2 turn or so. Then I had to get out a 19mm crescent wrench to do the rest of the work and I needed the leverage that the long wrench gave me. This sucker is not coming out unless I want it to.

And speaking of which, my first time threading the barb in, I could see that the threads were too deep. I also did not like the idea of putting the nut on the inside of the tube for obvious reasons. Putting the nut on the OUTSIDE of the tube solved all problems. There is still plenty of thread to get the barb into the tube, but not so much that it intrudes into airflow. In fact, its got a lower profile than even the K&N part below. It still sticks hard into the tube, although I am sure some red Loctite is a good idea. Best of all, if Something Awful happens and it works loose nothing falls out inside the tube. Your engine stays safe. Perfect solution for less than two bucks in parts. The fitting looks a little huge on the pipe in the pics, but if you put the hose on the thing it no longer appears oversized.

It doesn't look very sturdy, but it is in there tight.

The massive appearance of the thing -- made more so by the short tube -- is deceptive. Put the hose on and its nowhere near as hyooge looking

Backing the thing out and putting it back in a couple of times did nothing to loosen the connection. Its in there *tight*.

Originally we used these parts. I would not recommend the Verocious part but the K&N part works perfectly, although it is VERY expensive for what you get:

* K&N part number 85-1050
Cost: $22.35 delivered (
It was very frustrating to blow $22 on this one stupid part. However it is ideal for the job. BUT I didn't use it. Instead I used
* Verocious Motorsports 16mm Vacuum hose line fitting. $6.91+shipping.
This part is the one originally installed and initially seemed like the perfect cheaper solution. However as you'll see in the installation post I'm not certain that this is the best solution long-term (EDIT: Replaced it with the K&N part a few days after install).

Crank case vent hose 1/2" ID x 2'. About $2.00-$4.00:
Source: http://verociousmotorsports,com (blue), various local retail (red)
If all you have is a stock intake, you will need to extend your crank case vent hose or replace it with a longer one. what you need is a 1/2" ID hose. About 2 feet is plenty (you'll need to size it down a bit). Neither of the two hose types below is a *perfect* component match to use since a SMALL amount of oil will get on one side of the hose. You'll have to replace it in a few years for another two bucks. Maybe.

If you choose to buy a red filter, you can buy red heater hose at OSH for 0.99/foot, and the same hose at Home Depot for $1.03 per foot. If you choose a blue filter, Verocious has 1-ply blue silicone hose for about $2 per foot. This diameter is in stock but not on their web site so you will have to call it in.

TOTAL COST: Now, I bought stuff in batches and I don't have the shipping broken out from Verocious, but here you have a pretty good ballpark:

12" version
33.89 (tube and elbow)
12.79 (clamps)
42.00 (filter)
05.53 (vent fitting)
02.19 (hose + tax)
10.00 (shipping estimate on filter and fitting)
(add about $2.00 for blue hose)

10" version
33.89 (tube and elbow)
12.79 (clamps)
39.00 (filter)
05.53 (vent fitting)
02.19 (hose + tax)
10.00 (shipping estimate on filter and fitting)
(add about $2.00 for blue hose)

526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
This tools list is what I used. You may change this if you decide to build things a little differently. I do not count the tools in the cost of the intake. I mean, c'mon. They're tools. You gotta love getting more tools, so buck up and look at this as an opportunity if you are missing some of the stuff below.
  • You need a drill with a chuck that can handle a 1/2" shank. Both of my Makitas have this ability and hopefully that means yours does as well, cuz you'll need it.
  • 1 5/8" drill bit. Thats just a little bigger than most home drills can handle. Lowe's sells a bit that is not necked down... you need a bigger drill than the typical schmoe has in the garage. Not happening. I went to Home Depot and they had a bit that is necked down so it will just barely fit into my drill. Done deal. This bit is used to drill the hole for the gas recirc bushing.
  • 1 3/4" hole saw with pilot bit. This is to drill the hole for your IAT sensor in the elbow. I got mine at Lowe's.
  • You need a 10mm box-end wrench to tighten down the t-bolt clamps.
  • A rotary tool with a grinding bit is extremely handy for chamfering the IAT sensor hole but if you are a masochist you could use a file. I got mine with a zillion bits and shanks at Costco for $29.99. Do yourself a big fat favor and get one of these if you don't have one already.
  • A hacksaw. Now, everyone has a hacksaw, right? Probably not like this one, which is extra deep. Much better than the old piece of crap hacksaw I've had for like 20 years. Treat yourself.

You need the hacksaw to cut down the 1-foot alloy tube... but if you want to use a smaller filter you might be able to skip cutting down the tube entirely. I wouldn't but its your call.

First drill out the IAT sensor hole in the elbow. Don't worry about the rubber fragmenting. Its tough stuff. I wound up drilling at high speed and the rubber, which is pretty thick, got so hot it smoked, but thats what it took. When you're done you'll have this.

The rubber is too thick for the grommet to be able to take hold. You need to chamfer the inside and outside edges. You can either use a hand file or a rotary tool with a conical grinder bit. The latter makes the job easy. The more you gradually angle the edge the better. I probably could have done a better job and made it more gradual. But remember that the first rule of gunsmithing applies here as well: It is a hell of a lot easier to file metal off than it is putting it back on. Make sure you are chamfering the edge so it is thinner... not opening up the hole wider. When you're done you have this:

Now stuff the intake sensor and grommet into the hole. Do it with the sensor installed in the grommet already. Don't be afraid to bend the rubber elbow and really stuff that sucker in there. Make sure the flaps of the grommet are flat against the inside of the elbo all the way around. Mine is *tight* and yours should be too. When done it looks like this:

With all of this drilling and filing, DO NOT forget to wipe down the interior of the elbow or all of the little shavings you just created will eventually wind up inside of your engine.

NOTE: If using the alternate 10" filter (R1182), you may opt not to cut the tube at all. Check fitment to be sure, but a 12" tube may fit by stuffing it down the rubber elbow. Make sure the end of the tube does not intrude into the bend of the elbow. If you do need to cut, you won't be cutting anywhere near as much as is being described here.

Now cut the tube down to size. The minimum size you can buy is 1-foot. You only need 8 of that. I cut to 7 and that was a bit small as I'll explain later. We cut the tube with the extra-deep hacksaw, but cutting the pipe straight can be a bit of a pain. You can use masking tape to use as a guide... assuming of course you put on the tape straight. However at OSH, while getting the hacksaw I found this simple plastic mitre box for $7.99:

Guess what? That channel in the middle is 4" wide. See the plan now? Stick the tube in the channel and use the center slot as a guide to do your cutting. You can't fit it across and have to cut at a high angle for awhile, keeping the blade in only one slot, but it makes the job quick and easy. Well worth the 8 bucks. when you're done, here's what you have:

Which reminds me, don't paint this thing until you get everything all done. Otherwise you get to sand it all down and paint it over. Also save the extra tube length! I've got plans for mine that involve a 22-degree elbow. But don't tell anyone. Its a secret.

Next its time to drill the hole for the gas recirc fitting. If you have a vise use it. I jammed the tube between my workbench and a floor jack and that worked just fine. However my lawyer tells me that I must strongly recommend that nobody try that! Anyway once the hole is cut its time to fit the gas recirc piece. Which one to use? I liked the design of the Verocious part, where its basically impossible for anything to fall into the tube no matter what. However it is a little smaller in terms of ID. No idea if that matters, but anyway the grommet and alloy piece will fit in easily.

uh oh. Before we start we'd bettter figure out the exact spot to drill, right? We're now far enough along to fit the parts together and see how they fit in the car. Do it. No need to mess with the t-bolt clamps. Just stuff the tube into the elbow and the filter onto the tube. Space it out right and make a little mark on the tube. I use the pilot bit of the hole saw and tapped the tube. THIS is the moment where I realized for sure I should have gone for an 8-inch tube. Sure, 7 inches is plenty, and I have extra space left over... BUT I don't use my engine cover as it traps heat. I'll bet you use yours, right? I thought so, so I dusted mine off and put it on. The tube is now so short the gas recirc tube kind of looks yucky pulled over in front of the cover. I don't care but you will. It works but an extra inch would help.

Once you drill the hole, you'll want to screw in the gas recirc fitting by FIRST screwing on the big brass nut onto the hose barb (see pics in the parts post above for a view of what this part looks like). This leaves only a little thread left over, which is what we want. NEXT, screw on the hose barb into the hole in the tube. Its a tight fit. Some JB Weld applied in the right places will make sure it will NEVER come off.


THAT IS IT in terms of fabrication. The rest is just fitting the parts together. So do it. Now is a good time to point out that T-bolt clamps are REALLY strong compared to hose clamps. I never noticed any difficulty tightening them right on down, and I bet I could have crushed that alloy tube if I wasn't paying attention and stopped when it was way tight.

Here's what you wind up with (this is the 12" version only):


526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

Seems to me that the gas recirc unit I got from Verocious, while of very good quality, is not as sturdy as I would like it to be. Its in tightly enough but I'd like to see it tighter. The K&N part, while obscenely expensive, is a better design since its a bolt-in. It also uses a 5/8" pilot hole so switching it in will be easy, since I already have the part on hand.

What we really need is a larger pipe bushing to be found. This should be a $2 part, not $22. I plan on buying the shortie at to see what it winds up working out like.


It feels fine. Am I getting any more benefit than my Meister-inspired Frankentake-I? I have no freaking idea, but in a quick 20-mile jaunt with lots of chirping tires the car certainly felt like it was pulling great. Well OK I'll admit it did seem a little stonger. But God knows with all of the GIFO work I have seen and done myself I know that SOTP is crap. Frankentake III will be tested rigorously at Mods Face-Off #5 in October, and you are welcome to join us and watch it scream in fury ... or whine in supplication. Do it live or via webcam but do it :)

Based on what I have seen and done in the past, what do I think it will do? Well, first of all it sure isn't likely to get beat by a $250+ intake you buy in one piece at your local internet speed shop. We all know that intakes in general don't yield much in performance on these cars without programming modifications. And while it may equal their performance, it sure as hell isn't going to cost anywhere near as much as a store-bought kit.

And if I get my wish, if I built this thing right, it will do a little better than average :D

And is this the only configuration? Nooo. Now that you've seen what I have done, and where I went to do it, you can either accept this idea as the best or strike out on your own. You say you don't want a 4" tube? Fine. Buy 3.5 and use a silicone 3.5" elbow. Think the filter is too big? Get a smaller one. has a zillion filters and a configurator to let you pick what you want. Then go to Verocious and have them ship it to you. Don't like S&B filters? Go buy some other one. Got a 6.1? A 3.5? Now you know where to get the tubes, clamps, bends and filters to build your own intake for peanuts.

Its your turn now. You guys are on deck for the next round of improvements.

Oh... and what does this sucker do on the dyno?
The 'official' dyno testing will be done at MFO5, where F-III will be tested alongside the industry's latest and greatest commercial intake products. However, since I am helping build a few dozen of these for a fundraiser, I wanted to know this thing wasn't a turkey first, so on August 21 2006 and put the unit through its paces against a K&N Typhoon. Now, remember my car has been significantly modified to the degree that an intake WILL produce gains (whereas a stock car will not). Essentially, Frankentake III with the 12" filter matched the performance of the K&N product. Since we also know via dyno testing that the K&N AirCharger performs to the *same* level, we can say that this intake matches those two in performance.

Here is the link for the dyno results and detailed data.
NOTE: Since this forum censors links you will have to manually adjust this for yourself. I think its silly but I will respect the forum rules and not work around the censorship

Next month the F-III mk.1 (10" filter) goes up for testing alongside the industry's finest. We'll see what comes of it.
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