Custom Cold Air Intake Sytems from AIRAID

If you are looking to improve how your engine breathes with a premium cold air intake system, several companies offer off-the-shelf kits with everything you need in a box. But when performing an LS engine swap in an older GM A body, truck or a new hemi engine swap for that 65 Cuda, that is when you need a custom solution from scratch. 

You can take the easy way out and buy a premium performance cone filter and strap it on the throttle body. But if you want to relocate the air filter off the throttle body to seek cooler air away from the engine heat, you will need an intake tube and probably an elbow or two. Enter AIRAID® Filter Company. AIRAID® offers a complete line of premium performance filters, cold air intake systems, and modular intake tubes for both early and late model gas automobiles.

AIRAID® claims to have the most complete and versatile custom intake system on the market. If you can imagine a custom intake system, now you can build it! Their kits and intake tubes are available in 3", 3.5", 4", 5", and 6" diameters. The roto-molded intake tubes feature multiple angles and straights that allow you to route the intake to any desired location in the engine compartment. The also have master kits that include an intake tube, coupler, hump hose, reducer, brackets, hose clamps, hardware, and a premium AIRAID® filter.

I checked out the master kit for GM A body for my LS engine swap in a 1973 El Camino. It was close but not quite everything I needed. So I turned to their master parts list for a custom, build from scratch solution. This PDF document U-Build-It is a comprehensive list of every diameter and length of tube they make along with elbow bends, couplers, clamps, adapters hump hoses, etc. To aid in the design, I took a picture of the engine bay with my iPad and imported the image into the Notability App so I could use a stylus pen to sketch the necessary components needed to mount the Mass Air Sensor and locate the filter into the front corner of the engine bay.

 1973 EL Camino LS1 - Sketch for AIRAID Custom Cold Air Intake

Just to feel secure in my design process, I called AIRAID® to speak with someone to make sure I was selecting the correct parts.  I was immediately connected to tech support department and spoke with Ben. He was extremely helpful and suggested that I email him my sketch so he could review what I had worked up. He offered a couple of suggestions I had not thought of and in just a few minutes we had a plan and a bill of materials. Their Master Parts List does not have retail pricing so now I am wondering what this investment is going to set me back and where I was going to purchase from. Ben provided the pricing over the phone and said he had everything in stock in their Phoenix, Arizona headquarters. What luck, I live in the Phoenix area.  He gave me a list of dealers I could order from but since I was here in Phoenix, he would make an exception and I could purchase directly from them.  Dude, pack it up, I will be there in the morning! I picked up the next day and I actually fitted everything together in their lobby to see how it all went together and checked it against my sketch and dimensions. Looks perfect. I returned to the shop and got lucky as I didn’t have to cut or reduce the lengths on any tubes. The quality of all of the materials is excellent. The couplers and reducers are made of silicone for easy fit and flexibility. The clamps while expensive are not your typical looking gator hose clamps. They are high-grade stainless steel and only have the gator gearing at the adjustment knuckle for a nice, clean look.  And last but not least, the filter itself compares to or if not better than the other big brands in the business. It took me about 30 minutes in all to mount the MAS and install it. So if you need to build a custom cold air intake system from scratch, check out the U-Build-It System from AIRAID®

Finished Design

Bill of Materials


Part Number






#56 hose clamp, 3-1/2 – 4-3/8” for throttle body





Silicone Reducer 4” to 3.5” x2.5”





3.5” OD w/90 degree bend





Silicone Coupler 3.5” ID x 3” length 





3.5” OD x12” straight tube





3.5” OD w/45 degree bend





Filter cone 3.5” x 6”





Hose clamps 3” – 3/78”










Founded in 1997, AIRAID® advanced the automotive aftermarket industry with the introduction of its AIRAID® Intakes brand of air intake systems.

2688 E Rose Garden Ln.
Phoenix, AZ 85050

Toll Free: 800-498-6951
Phone: 602-443-3333
Fax: 602-652-9801
By Robert McIntosh