Review & Install Video
Hey guys, Adam here with americanmuscle.com. Today, we're taking a closer look at and installing the K&N Series 63 AirCharger cold-air intake available for the 2018 and newer GT. You should be checking this out if you're looking to ditch your factory intake to pick a cold-air intake up that's not only gonna increase your airflow, give you a better breathing engine, increase throttle response and acceleration but also give you a bump in horsepower and torque with a washable and reusable oiled filter.
Now, this one, in particular, is not CARB-certified so, the guys out there in California, this isn't gonna be for you, at least not street-legally. There will be other options in the category for you even from K&N that are 50-state legal, so keep that in mind moving forward. This one also does not require a tune, which is why we're not strapping it down to the dyno today guys. Do know that K&N claims pretty good horsepower and torque gains with this installed. Now, the tubing itself is made from a molded ABS plastic, which is great for heat dissipation, it looks really good under the hood, it's got that textured finish. And the cold-air intake filter here is that oiled, so this one you can pop off, wash, reoil, throw it right back in, and you're good to go. It's really gonna filter out all the particles you don't want and pull in all that cold air that you do want while the one-piece heat shield with the air duct, going to the front grille, is gonna do a good job keeping that cold air trapped in, especially with the weatherstripping for underneath the hood.
So, altogether, really good system, lot of high-quality materials. It's not too far off from a lot of the other premium options in the category. It's got the velocity stack, some really good couplers, and a really good fitment. So, all in all, coming in at around 350 bucks, this one does fall at the top end of the spectrum as far as quality.
Now, the install is gonna get an easy one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter, of course, anybody can tackle it in the driveway at home in under an hour, I'd say, or an hour tops, depending on your experience. At the end of the day, cold-air intakes are some of the easiest things you can possibly do to your Mustang, especially under the hood. So anybody can tackle it with the right tools. I'll take you through every step of the process. What do you say we get to it?
Tools used in this install include an impact gun, extension, a 1/4-inch ratchet, 7 and 8-millimeter deep sockets, 10-millimeter short and deep socket, 15-millimeter deep socket, T20 Torx bit, some wire snips, pliers, variety of Allen keys, thread tape is recommended, 19-millimeter and 10-millimeter wrenches or ratcheting wrenches.
Now, guys, in order to uninstall our factory intake, we are gonna have to get our strut tower brace out of the way, as well as our engine cover, to get to our clamps at the throttle body. Now, if you don't have the strut tower brace, you can skip that step, go straight to the engine cover. We have ours though, so we're gonna grab a 15 deep socket, remove the two nuts holding on the studs here and on the other side. Now, for this one, we are gonna have to pop our battery cover off, we're just gonna slide that out of the way. You also may have to take this plastic retainer clip off of your positive harness on the battery off of that stud. From here, you're gonna lift up. Get that over the stud, on both sides, feed it underneath that harness and set this aside.
Now, for your engine cover, you do have two nuts, a 10-millimeter in here and a 10 in here. We've got this one out of the way, so let me show you how to get that one. Grab an extension and a 10-millimeter socket, go in the engine bay here. And you're gonna loosen that up. Now, it's hard to get the nut out itself so, once that's loose, you can really just pull up on the cover and the nut will stay in that hole. Perfect, set it aside.
All right. So, at this point, we're gonna do our MAF sensor and our hoses. The MAF sensor you're gonna pull back on the red locking tab, pinch, and disconnect. For the hoses, you're just gonna push down on the tab on the side here and release. And then for your black hose, push in, pull up on your gray tab, and disconnect. It's a little tough to get to, depending on its orientation, once you get that off. This is your gray tab there. To remove that, you're really just pushing in here and pulling back.
Now for your sound tube, we're gonna disconnect it with pliers pinching this retaining clamp. Grab pliers, pinch that all the way closed, and you're going to pull back on your tubing. And then, release.
Now, on the right side by your filter, you're gonna see a 10-millimeter bolt that's holding on your factory airbox. Let's get that out of the way. Next, grab a 7-millimeter socket, you're gonna loosen up the clamp holding your tubing to the throttle body. If you don't have a 7, you can also use a flat-head screwdriver. Now what I'd like to do is, once it's loose, there's a little retaining tab there. Just twist that and this should disconnect. Now you should be able to pick your entire filter, intake tubing, and the air duct on the bottom all up in one piece.
So we got our factory intake off of our 2018 GT behind me and I have it on the table taken apart with our K&N AirCharge 63. Now, this option here, I wanna take you guys through some of the similarities and mainly the differences between the two kits, but we wanna start with the filter. Now I took apart that factory one to show you guys the flat dry paper element filter that's pretty common coming off the factory line. Right? Ford, Chevy, Dodge, they all do this using this flat paper element. Now, this does a pretty fine job from the factory but, anytime you're looking to increase air flow and really maximize your engine's breathability giving you better throttle response and all that, you wanna upgrade this filter to something like this. Now, K&N has been doing this for years. Right? These are some of the most professional filters out there. Now, this one in particular is a large conical dry filter made of a cotton gauze material, multi layers of cotton gauze, making sure it's filtering out way more particles than your factory paper element could while also pulling in more air than it could. Now, this one has a chrome topper, which is a little bit unique in the category, most of them don't have this type of styling which gives it a little bit more of a reflective look under the hood just to make it stand out amongst the other packs. Now, as far as this filter, it is washable and reusable, and it's an oiled filter which basically means, when it comes time for routine maintenance, pop it off, wash it, you can reoil with oil you pick up at your local auto parts store, throw it right back in and it's good to go. No need to pick a new one up every few thousand miles when routine maintenance comes around.
Now, as far as the rest of the kit, similar to the factory one with a couple of differences here. Now, this one does use the factory CAD data so it's a perfect fit, it still has a molded on air duct to go right up to your front grille to pull in more cold air. This is at least one thing I look for in a cold-air intake, some of them in the category don't offer that which makes this one a good step up. Now, although this is not a completely closed-box intake, it is going to close off a lot more than some of the other options out there. It's completely wrapped around the conical filter with an open top. Now, the open top uses a weatherstripping that we'll install in just a little bit here to trap in the cold air, trapping out the heat, keeping the heat out of the engine bay by sealing up under the hood when it's closed. It's also gonna keep the cold air directed straight into the filter without leaking out. The rest of the tubing, same thing, a molded plastic, which is good for heat dissipation, it's got the K&N logo sort of molded into the plastic, which I think is really subtle but also looks really good, and it's also gonna come with new silicone couplers to trap in and it's also gonna have a new velocity stack to really streamline that air. So overall, big upgrade over the factory components here which have a lot of kinks and a lot of air restrictions.
Now the first thing we are gonna have to do is remove our factory MAF sensor from the side of the tubing on our factory tubing, which is just two Torx screws, and we'll transfer that over. So you wanna grab a T20 Torx bit and you're gonna remove the two screws holding on that factory MAF sensor. All right, gently take that out, you don't wanna damage your MAF sensor. Set it down, and now we can put our factory components aside.
All right. Now we have to assemble our MAF sensor. It comes with a couple of things you need to keep in mind here, including two sets of screws, two different Allen key sizes. You're also gonna have a foam gasket with a 3M backing. And you're also gonna have this bracket here that the MAF sensor will actually install into. So that's what you wanna do first, to grab your MAF sensor, slide that into place. Now, the holes will only line up one way. If you have it upside down, they don't line up. So you wanna make sure you're sliding that in properly, taking the small Allen key screws, and just thread them in by hand a couple of threads to get it to stick. That way we don't have to worry about it falling out. All right, so we got that in a couple of threads.
Now what we wanna do is peel off the backing on that foam gasket. And the cutouts on the sides are gonna line up to the cutouts for the holes for your screws. So you wanna slide that in and line that up. You do not want to cover the holes in the corners, you wanna make sure they are exposed. All right, so you wanna press that in. Now what you can do is take your Allen key and tighten these screws down. We'll get them really tight once it's installed on the tubing. So get them snug. Now we can insert this into the hole on your tubing, lining up the pre-cut holes in the bracket to the threaded holes in the tubing. Grab the larger Allen key screws with washers and thread those in to the ends. Now that gasket's really important to make sure not only that this installs properly but also to make sure there's no air leaks which can throw check engine lights and make your car run pretty rough. So you wanna make sure this is installed correctly. Now you can grab your larger Allen key and tighten that guy down. All right. And finally, tighten up the MAF screws.
Now on your throttle body end of your tubing, you're going to install the coupler. Now, you'll notice, in the coupler, there's a lump in the middle. Now your tubing here and your throttle body will essentially meet in there. So, when you're inserting this over the end, you wanna make sure you're not going any farther than that middle indent. Once you have that on, you can loosen up your clamp with an 8-millimeter socket or a flat-head and insert that over the coupler. I like to have the bolt head on the clamp facing upward, that way, when it's installed, it's easily accessible in the engine bay. Now, on the other end, I take the clamp and just set it over just so it's in place when we're ready to install on the car.
All right. Next up, guys, we wanna install our hose fittings. There's two of them. One is a right angle and one is straight. The right angle one is gonna go on the outside, the straight one is gonna go on the inside. So we're gonna focus on one at a time. What I would recommend doing is, before you thread it in, I would recommend taking thread tape and just line the threading. That way it gets an airtight seal and there's no leaks. Now, it's not really susceptible to air leaks but I think any time you have threaded fittings that you have to do yourself, that aren't molded in, I like to add some thread tape. Just peace of mind for myself. I recommend picking this up, thread tape is not expensive, you can get it at your local auto parts store, and I think it just makes a little bit of a difference. You know, it's good to be safe rather than sorry.
So what you're gonna do is align the threading there, get it nice and even, go around one time with it just so it's like this, you're just gonna thread it in. Now, one thing to note is, when you're threading this in, it does not thread in all the way, you're gonna get it nice and snug, otherwise you're going to strip the threading. So we're gonna tighten this by hand, and then we'll get our wrench and give it one half turn just to get it nice and tight. Do the same for the other one. Now, for this guy, it is directional. As you can see, it's a right angle, you're gonna want this facing toward your throttle body. So, when we tighten this down, we wanna make sure that's facing in the appropriate direction. This one doesn't need a wrench, it gets pretty tight by hand. So there you go. And as you can see, doesn't seat all the way down but it is still airtight. Now to give it that turn, you're just gonna grab a 19 wrench, hook that on the end, and make sure, again, you're being careful, you don't wanna overtighten it. Strip it out. Perfect.
All right, next up we're gonna take our weatherstripping which is going to act as the seal underneath of our hood to trap in that air and keep out hot air. This has aluminum, on the outside, which helps just snap right into place over the edges of your heat shield. So you're just gonna wiggle it and push and it will hold itself in place. All right, so it looks like we're gonna have some excess, so we're gonna grab wire cutters and just snip it so that it lines up perfectly with each other at the ends. All right. Now we can drop it in our car.
All right, at this point, you can grab your heat shield and air duct and start sliding that into place. You're gonna slide the air duct toward the front grille just the same as your factory one was. You also wanna make sure your MAF harness is out of the way. Grab your factory 10-millimeter screw or bolt, slide your 10-millimeter factory bolt in place, start threading it in by hand, grab a 10 socket, and tighten it down.
All right. Next up you wanna grab your tubing and you're gonna insert it over the throttle body. You wanna make sure your clamp is in place as well, you're gonna seat that all the way down. Now, don't tighten this up just yet. What we wanna do is start working on the filter, and the tubing, and your velocity stack, and all that combined with the heat shield. So we're kinda doing a couple things at once. Now, now that this is attached to the throttle body, you wanna peel it back just a little bit to gain access to this gap here. What you're gonna do is insert this gasket between the tubing and the heat shield. All right. So that's gonna sit for a moment. You're gonna grab your velocity stack and insert this into the heat shield. This is gonna sit in just like that. It's gonna come through, it's gonna grab that gasket, you wanna make sure that's over the velocity stack tubing, and connect it to your tubing here. Those will all insert together.
Next what we're gonna do is take the screw included in the kit and we're gonna insert it through the hole on the outside. And when you do that, you're gonna rotate your velocity stack until the holes line up and you can tighten it down to the threading. Once they're lined up, you can start tightening them both down. You wanna make sure they're both inserted. All right, we're gonna use a 10-millimeter ratcheting wrench to tighten this down. Repeat for the other one.
All right. Now, you can grab your 8-millimeter socket and tighten down your throttle body clamp. All right, at this point, we can drop our filter on. You wanna make sure the chrome line on the filter itself is facing downward. Put the larger clamp over the end, drop it in place on your velocity stack. All right. Grab your 8-millimeter socket and tighten this one down. For your MAF harness, it's too short to extend either over or under to your MAF sensor. So what you're gonna do is, right here, just disconnect this Christmas tree clip, just pull straight out. Now, what I like to do, instead of going straight across, which can be pretty ugly, we're gonna feed it right underneath of this tubing and bring it under. From there, you can connect it to your MAF, click and drop the red locking tab. All right, next up we're gonna do our hoses. This one is gonna go to our small hose fitting, just push down and double snap it in place. Perfect. Next up, from our valve, this vacuum line is gonna go here. You may need to rotate the fitting to get it to be a good fit. Perfect, that'll snap in place. Now we can delete our sound tube.
Now, guys, deleting your sound tube, there's a couple options, it's all personal preference. There's a plug included in the kit, so if you follow this all the way back to your firewall behind that engine, you'll be able to disconnect it and plug it with the one included in the kit. Now, we're not gonna go as far as back to the engine so what we're gonna do is disconnect our hose fitting here and grab a plug ourselves. Now, you can do it this way, this is gonna be much easier for you but you will need to pick up a separate plug on your own. So what we're gonna do is do that with an 8-millimeter socket. Loosens right up and pulls straight out. An alternative would be to take the plug included in the kit and you can plug it either here or here. But these are one-time use, so you'd pop those off and need to pick up a new one if you wanted to put it back on your vehicle. So there are a couple of alternatives.
All right. So, at this point, you wanna install your engine cover, which is just gonna sit right on top, and snap into place. Use that 10-millimeter nut to tighten it down. Strut tower brace is gonna go on, slide it underneath of your positive cables on the battery, insert it over the studs, and then drop it on to your driver side. Grab your 15-millimeter nuts, gonna put them on by hand, and tighten them down with a 15 socket. Once your battery cover is back in place, then you're good to go.
That's gonna wrap up my review and install for the K&N Series 63 AirCharger cold-air intake for the 2018 and newer GT. And guys, at the end of the day, if you wanna pick this one out for your own S550, you can do so right here at americanmuscle.com.