DIY: Inexpensive Cold Air Intake for Your 3rd-gen Ram

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Stock 3g Ram Hemi Engine

Your Hemi Ram will breathe easier and sound better with this simple $62 modification.

Cold air intakes add some power and a whole lot of sound to the Hemi Ram, but the cost of some kits is nothing short of outrageous. Fortunately, forum member ryanbum put together a great DIY showing how to make a cold air intake for your Hemi that will flow just as well as any plastic intake, but for a fraction of the price.


When the OP introduced us to his third-gen Hemi Ram cold air intake DIY, he explained that he was unable to find a good how-to article pertaining to a homemade CAI for his truck, so he decided to make one to share with the forum. He opened by explaining the basic items needed for the project, along with including the prices for each item.

“Well guys, I have been researching this for a few weeks now and found pictures of completed home made cold air intakes, but never a how-to article or progress pictures. I now know that there are no write ups on how to make one because it’s really simple. BUT, for the guys that are still questioning whether to do it or not or want to see my setup, here it is.

Here is the list of parts I bought at the local hardware store:
-5′ section of 3″ PVC pipe- $8
-1 90* Street Bend elbow- $3.50
-1 90* Elbow- $2.50
-1 3″-3″ Rubber coupler- $6.50
-PVC Glue- $3
Parts at O’ Reilly
-Spectre cone air filter- $25
-Spectre mini filter- $10
Parts at Wal-Mart
-1 Can of Krylon Fusion satin black- $4
Made my own brackets out of scrap metal laying around the house.”

He also included an image of his stock engine bay (above) with the factory Hemi air intake system.

Hemi Ram DIY Intake Parts


While you could spend a couple hundred dollars (or more) on a plastic cold air intake kit for your Hemi Ram, the OP shows how easy it is to build your own intake and install it. In his thread, he offers a quick rundown of how to remove the stock air box system before explaining how he crafted his custom intake from PVC piping, an average auto show cone filter, some glue and some paint.

Hemi Ram CAI IAT

Aside from cutting the piping to the right lengths and gluing the pieces together at the proper angles, the most detailed aspect of the build is to install the IAT sensor hole in the bend closest to the throttle body. You have to make sure that you make the hole tight enough to hold the sensor safely and it needs to be located where the wiring harness can comfortably reach, but the rest of the project is very simple.

Hemi Ram CAI Installed

He also bought a small conical filter to go on the breather hose, as the standard Hemi air box has a port to accept the breathe hose, but it isn’t required. You just want to put something on that hose to keep it from spraying oil in the engine bay or to prevent any foreign objects getting into that hose.

Hemi Ram Engine Bay CAI

In total, everything that the OP bought for this project cost less than $63 and while it might not be as pretty as the $400 kits, it flows just as well and offer the same thermodynamic advantages of any plastic cold air intake kit. Most owners will tell you that the intake frees up a little power, but more importantly, the Hemi engine sounds far better without the factory air box.

Click here to check out the Hemi Ram cold air intake DIY yourself.

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A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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