Building a stealth full flow air cleaner


Looks normal but breathes a whole bunch better!

The purpose for this article is to pass on a couple of techniques I have used for years in restoring cars that are upgraded but don’t look upgraded or "Stealth Cars". These techniques are not new but they may have been overlooked. My techniques may not suit your needs but I would like to throw them out there as a alternatives to adding a chrome round 14 inch air cleaner. Most vehicles can benefit from this both in the stock form and in upgraded versions that need more air.

Version 1Poke some more holes in it!

Actually it is a pretty simple modification. But it may be a bit time consuming and require some planning and attention to detail, but the result is worth the time and effort. What it does, simply put, is adds a bunch of air holes or slots to the underside of the air cleaner. Basically you are slotting the base so you have more air intake, just not where you can see it!

The comment about the planning and attention to detail is because some air cleaner assemblies don’t give you a whole lot of room to do this mod. Where the air filter sits in the housing and the outer shell may be less than an inch in some cases, so you have to scale down your slots to fit the unit you are working on.

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Version 2Give it another nose!

Another simple but effective mod is to simply add another snorkel, or snout, to the housing. Many factory performance cars have had dual feed air cleaners instead of the single feed on the standard version. The reason for this upgrade is that these factory air filter assemblies are highly prized pieces and quite pricey and rare. A bit of creativity and hunting will make a unit that will rival these and look correct.

The only real leg work here is to find another air cleaner assembly that matches, or closely resembles, yours. Once that is done you can remove the snorkel from the donor unit, usually held in place by a couple of rivets, and transplanting it on to your own assembly. By making a pattern of the window in the donor air cleaner you can then easily duplicate that opening and attach the donor snorkel over this new opening with a couple of pop rivets.

The only thing worthy of attention about this mod is the placement of the second snorkel. While most units can be placed symmetrically on the housing there are some engines that logistics and things on the engine may get in the way. No Biggie! Simply mock it up in the desired position and make sure it clears everything. If not adjust the location to get a good fit. A noteworthy comment here is that some of the factory HiPo air cleaners were not symmetrical and in some cases they simply left the snorkel off because of these issues.

The end results will be a better breathing air system that will look factory. And it will pass inspection to all but the most nit-picky observers.


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