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Intake Installation

Written by Kieran Lavin
Edited by George Roffe

For information on intakes, click here. This is specifically what I did with my '95 200SX SE-R. Sizes of bolts and screws are what I did and what worked on my car. You may find differently. Other things may vary with other models.

Tools needed:

  • 10 mm socket wrench (deep socket will make your life easier)
  • philips and flathead screwdrivers
  • 4 new bolts (See Warnings below for explanation) 10 mm head / 6 mm thread width / 5/8" (1/2" to 3/4" should work but you might want to be careful with 3/4")
  • optional longer screws and nuts to hold in the temperature sensor better. #8-32 X 1 1/2" long is what I used.

It would probably be a good idea to check with your dealer before installing your intake. Ask what their policy is about aftermarket parts. Some dealers will give you a hard time. They really shouldn't. Check out They clearly state "With regard to aftermarket parts, the gist of the law is that warranty coverage cannot be denied simply because such parts are present on the vehicle, or have been used. The warranty coverage can be denied only if the aftermarket part caused the malfunction or damage for which warranty coverage is sought."


  1. Start by undoing all of your sensors. Disconnect the electrical connector and unscrew the temperature sensor from the stock filter. Get these out of the way for the time being.
  2. With the clips still attaching the top and bottom of the stock filter, disconnect the four 10 mm bolts at the MAF (the alluminum collar).
    • Hold on to those four bolts - you may need them later
  3. Pop the clips holding together the top and bottom of the stock airbox.
  4. Pull out the filter (the pink "screen")
  5. Unscrew the bottom half of the stock airbox. These screws attach the unit to the chasis.
  6. Pull out the bottom half of the unit (there will be a three-way y-shaped tube - this is to take air into the stock airbox)
  7. Pull the y-shaped piping out of the hole in the chasis going down in front of the wheel well and next to the battery.
  8. Install the metal bracket to hold the intake in place. I've never done this (I purchased my intake second-hand) but from what I've heard, the bracket has a hole at each end. One attaches to the MAF and the other attaches to one of the holes from where the stock airbox attaches to the body of the car.
    • If you're going to use the longer screws to hold in your temparature sensor, reattach that now so you can get your hand inside the intake to hold the nuts.
  9. Match up the holes in the MAF with the openings in the intake. One side is longer than the other (the silver strip should be facing up).
  10. Tighten the bolts slowly
  11. Reconnect your electrical connector, check all the bolts, screws, sensors. That y-shaped piping can go back in also. It's not necessary but will probably help to feed in some extra fresh and hopefully cooler air.
  12. Test out your new intake on the road.

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I once put the stock filter back in for a few days. I had the Stillen filter out to clean it. The car needed to go in for scheduled maintenance. The Stillen filter was still wet (I had started about an hour earlier) when I needed to drop off the car. I figured that I would drop the stock filter back in. That turned out to be a mistake. After getting the car back from the dealer, I was in a rush to get the Stillen back in. I popped the clips and then started to loosen the bolts. The first bolt sheared right off! I think there were a few things which contributed to this problem. First, I was in a rush. Never do these things when you have a time constraint. Better to not have your new mod till tomorrow rather than not have your car for a few days (mine was down for 1 1/2 days). Second, I had just driven the car. The engine was hot. I know heat makes metals more maleable so I think this played a part in making the bolt easier to shear off. Third, I was not attacking the head at a perpindicular angle. I was at a slight angle. I think this added some stress to the bolt. Added to that, I had already popped the clips when I was trying to loosen the bolts. The filter was loose and this contributed to the horrible angle I was attacking the bolt at. Basically, just be careful. It took me forever to find the right kind of bolt. I got all of the bolts into the Stillen filter. I tightened all of the bolts and sheared off another head! The reason for this is a little more clear. This is why I'm telling you that shorter bolts are necessary. The stock filter does not have a back end. It goes straight through and is open. It can continue as far as is necessary. The Stillen filter, on the other hand, is a closed-end. Take a look inside and you will see that the hole doesn't continue through like the stock filter does. If you use the stock bolts and try to tighten them, they will go in as far as possible (which will not bring the head of the bolt flush). Continuing to tighten causes the bolt head to shear off. Not only did the head shear off but the bolt made another revolution or two after being as tight as it would go. This really screwed up the thread. I had to tap the bolt and even that didn't work. I wound up redrilling the hole through the broken bolt.

Another tip, I used longer screws along with nuts on the inside of the filter to hold in the temperature sensor because it kept falling out on me.


I picked up a K&N Filter Recharger Filter Care Service Kit (# 99-5000) for $10.99 at PepBoys. You can pick it up at most auto parts stores. Don't be embarassed to ask! It wound up being behind the counter where I went.

I went by the K&N directions on the box. There are only a few things I wanted to mention.

  • Make sure that when you're spraying water and cleaner that you get each fold.
  • Make sure you rinse and spray water and cleaner from the inside-out. This way no dirt gets further into your filter.
  • Make sure the filter is dry of any water before installing.

The whole process takes a little while so leave some time. Do it some time when you're not planning on going back out for a while. Also, make sure that when you reinstall the filter that you're careful! It took me 3 full days to clean my filter because I wasn't careful and I was in a rush. Next time, I plan on bettering that!