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Ford Racing CAI & SF3 Tuner ('05-'09 V6) - Installation Instructions

Installation Time

60 minutes

Tools Required
  • T-20 Torx Driver
  • 15mm Deep Well Socket
  • 10mm Socket
  • Socket extension (if required)
  • Flat-head Screwdriver
  • 5/16 Nut Driver (optional for hose clamps)
American Muscle
Shop Parts in this Guide


Before You Start:

Begin by working on a cool engine (cool-to-the-touch, but cool-looking is OK too!). It is also a good idea to disconnect the battery when you are working on the engine, but don’t forget to re-connect before you tune it!

Before you start, make sure you know where everything is! If you don’t, consult the shop manual, take pictures for reference, or hire someone! This is my 2008, “UNWOUND”, with stock air handling system. But, honestly, this is so easy a cave man could do it!

1. Remove stock unit:Detailed instructions for disconnecting each line follow this photo. Begin by disconnecting:

  1. The vacuum line
  2. The Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAFS) electrical connector
  3. The throttle body hose clamp (use flat-blade screwdriver or optional nut-driver)
  4. The air box hose clamp (use flat-blade screwdriver or optional nut-driver)

2. To remove the vacuum line:Using thumb or finger, gently rotate green release towards firewall. Then gently pull vacuum line towards driver-side fender

3. To remove the MAFS electrical connector:Gently push out the red safety catch until it stops – about ¼ inch. Then, gently pull the connector towards the firewall and remove.

4. Remove rubber ducting:Unscrew both clamps until they are loose and remove the rubber ducting. The clamps will stay on the stock tube, do not remove them. Cover the throttle body air intake for safety. You don’t want any dirt or critters climbing in! That can do nasty things to the engine. I just used the bag that the CAI was shipped in.

5. Remove the stock air box:Remove the bolt holding the air box to the car. This is typically a 10mm bolt, but I had replaced mine with a stainless steel hex bolt. That’s all that holds it in. Remove the stock air box by lifting up and out.

6. Good time to check hoses, etc:With the stock air box removed, you have clear access to your hoses and serpentine belt. This is a good opportunity to check them for wear.

7. Install forward retainer bolt:Install the double-sided bolt and retainer-clip that came with the CAI hardware package. The retainer-clip is slipped over the factory hole just above the headlight by the plastic hood height adjuster. The bolt is placed in the retainer and tightened. Do not over-tighten.

8. Remove the stock MAFS:Return to working on the stock air filter unit. Place the new CAI assembly nearby – within arm’s reach. Locate the MAFS on the side of the air duct. Using a T-20 Torx, gently remove the two screws. Note the “Flow” and arrow on the side – it indicates direction of airflow (from filter to car). Very gently pull out the MAFS being careful not to touch any part of it except the connector. They are very delicate and susceptible to shock and dirt.

9. Install stock MAFS in new CAI Assembly:Gently place the MAFS in the new CAI noting the direction of “Flow” the arrow must point to the right – air flows from filter to car. Use new Torx screws supplied in CAI hardware kit and install. Do not over-tighten screws. They have locking compound on them and will only need to be gently tightened down. At this time, you may want to put the old Torx screws back in the stock unit so they are not lost.

10. Seat CAI Assembly on Car:The CAI assembly has two legs protruding from the bottom with rubber snubbers. These must be seated in the two matching holes on the fender.

11. These are the matching holes on the fender. Two feet above must rest in the holes in the fender. Note stock retainer-clip remains in place (upper right of photo). The black box is a HID Ballast, and will not be found in most vehicles.

12. Secure CAI Assembly to car:When the CAI Assembly is properly seated and aligned, replace the mounting screw inside the CAI tub that once held the stock unit in place. I had to use a longer bolt, 1-1/2” in order for it to engage the retainer-clip.

13. Secure front of CAI Assembly:Make sure the slot in the front of the CAI assembly fits over the bolt that you mounted just above the headlight. Use the 10mm nut supplied in the CAI hardware kit and secure the front of the CAI assembly. Note that this bolt should not be over-tightened. It has a self-locking feature and should allow the CAI assembly to move or “float” slightly. This absorbs the vibration and engine torque. If it is too snug and doesn’t allow the CAI assembly to move, the plastic may fracture.

14. Plug Access hole:Using the rubber plug supplied in the CAI Hardware kit, place it in the access hole at the front of the CAI assembly.

15. Install rubber air ducting:Remove the plastic that you placed over the throttle body. Check inside the throttle body and ducting and make sure there is no debris that could get sucked into your valuable engine. Place the throttle body end of the ducting over the throttle body and seat. This may take a little twisting motion. Ensure that it is well seated and none of the ductwork has become crumpled underneath. Place the CAI assembly end of the duct on the CAI assembly. Double-check to make sure everything is seated and the duct has a good seal all the way around each joint.

16. Tighten hose clamps:Using a flat-blade screwdriver or optional nut driver, gently tighten both hose clamps. They just need to be snug. Don’t over-tighten as this may damage the rubber duct.

17. Reconnect the vacuum line:Gently grasp the vacuum line and push the green release towards the firewall with your thumb. Slide the hose on the bib located on the rubber duct. Once seated, release the green catch. Give it a gentle tug to make sure that it is seated and the catch has engaged.

18. Reconnect the MAFS electrical connector:Make sure you grasp the connector with the red safety lock on top. The safety lock must be pulled out until it stops – about ¼”. Gently push the connector on to the MAFS connector on the CAI assembly. Push the red safety lock in until it stops. Give the connector a gentle tug to make sure it is seated and locked.

19. Place the 91 Octane sticker inside your gas door.

20. Affix your Bama Tunes plate:Clean the area with the provided alcohol wipe. Affix plate with double-sided tape supplied.

21. The finished product! It looks faster already!

22. Just as a suggestion, gently close the hood to make sure everything is seated and fits correctly. Remember to re-connect the battery if you disconnected it. The hood should gently compress the rubber seals around the CAI Assembly to form a seal. This will keep the hot air from the engine compartment out of your intake.

23. Now, it’s time for the tune! Refer to the instructions that came with your SCT tuner for those details.

Installation instructions provided by AmericanMuscle customer Scott Robinson 9.20.10

This guide applies to Vehicle years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and Submodels: V6

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