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Cold Air Fab and Install Part I - II  "Trash Air" CJ/YJ/TJ/XJ

Major cold air flow from grille

Remove trim ring better air flow

Plastic trash can

Place filter on bottom

Draw circle

Using Dremel, cut to fit

OEM intake tubes to be joined

Wrap with duct tape, test fit angles

Home Depot, plumbing dept connector

Wrap around duct taped tube

Install, wrap with Sunshade

Part II w/OEM air box

Place Trash can over the front

"Trash Air" a Low-Buck Mod


Getting cold air into your engine is not just important, it is critical and becomes more so if you are a rock crawler and or live in the warmer climes.

The other day I friend of mine bought an old CJ5, one owner and ALL original. Now it is in fairly rough shape, been sitting up for way too many years, does not run, but does have a straight body and he bought it right.

I went over to look at and noticed a very interesting item. The original air intake was hooked up to the backside of the headlight bucket. This became the genesis of this project.

Part I:

Couple of ways to do this:

1)   Keep your stock setup and use the trashcan to close the gap between the stock air box and the back of the headlight bucket. Also you want the bottom open to pickup the cooler air that comes under the Jeep as you drive.

2)   Toss the OEM air box and use a piece of intake tube and a cone filter into the back of the trash can

NOTE:  This is Part I and in Part II I will use the OEM air box and fit "Trash Air" to it.  I chose the later since I already had a cone filter on my rig. You are going to want to put the cone filter at least partially into the trash can and get the trash can as close as you can to the headlight bucket.

TIP: Remove the headlight trim ring to increase air flow and paint the inside around the headlight semi-gloss black to give it a dark appearance.

Take your Dremel or a carpet knife and trim the bottom and about halfway up one side (closest to the outside) to get a good fit against your inner fender.

Wrap the trashcan in reflective sun shade to keep radiant heat from the engine and engine bay from the filter intake.  Cut your intake tube to length and join them by using a 2-inch “inside corrugated hose connector”, use the 3 2 inch hose clamps to hold the connector around the tube connection. I wrapped my tube connection with Aluminum duct tape, but any duct tape will do.

TIP: Use scissors to cut the hose connector length-ways on one side. This will allow it to over-ride itself and give a better clamp on the tubes.

It is all about just fitting the pieces together and doing some trimming and you have Low-Buck cold air.

Part II:

I converted my cone filter over to the OEM air box and I use the “Trash can” to focus the air that come from around the headlight bucket into the air box without the “OEM” horn that is on there.


Works just as good and all the other time, materials and costs still apply.


The real test of this will come next summer when the local temps cross the 110 F mark. This year we had 32 days of 110 and above temps.



Is to bring cooler air into the intake and as a result run a bit better and it does.



  • Cheap plastic trash can from Wal Mart
  • Auto sun shade, reflective both sides, Wal Mart
  • Extra length of intake plastic tubing from junk yard
  • 2 inch “inside corrugated hose connector” from Home Depot
  • 3 worm drive 2 inch hose clamps



  • Dremel with “sheetrock hole” cutout drill to carve trash can or a carpet knife
  • Duct tape
  • Assorted common hand tools, screwdriver etc



1 ½ hours.



About $10 bucks total.


Worth It Factor: 



If I Had It To Do All Over Again:

Should have done it long time ago.

Update:  I drove it for the first time after doing the fab/install and the Jeep seems to have a bit more power and response.  I have a boost/vacuum gauge which I drive by and it certainly appeared to have a bit more power based upon the gauge on a normal trip for me.

I have checked many time as this has provided a 1 - 1.5 mpg increase in fuel mileage depending upon how much mid range > driving I do.  GREAT MOD!

For further reading:

Jeep cooling a discussion>

Hood Vents install>

OEM 7 blade fan/clutch install>

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