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C5 Blackwing Install

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Tools Needed:

- Flathead screwdriver

Things you will need:

- Blackwing air filter housing and included coupler


As most people know, one of the easiest ways to make more horsepower is by replacing the air induction system. More air or cooler air will result in more horsepower. One look at the stock airbox and you'll realize that maybe it's not the best design for getting the most amount of air into the engine. In this article I'll detail the very simple removal of the stock air induction system and the installation of the Donaldson Blackwing air filter. The example car is a Z06, however installation is the same regardless of year or model of C5.

Lets begin:

First lets start by opening the hood and seeing whats in there. The stock airbox sits up in the front nose of the car with a MAF immediatly after it. Then there's an oddly shaped duct called the "air bridge" which gets the air over the radiator shroud (clearance between the shroud and hood was minimal, so GM made this squished down bridge). The air bridge will have a sensor in it on non-LS6 cars called the IAT (Intake Air Temperature) sensor. On LS6 cars this sensor is built into the maf. The air bridge is then coupled to the throttle body with a black accordian looking tube, however, in the picture shown you can see the owner has replaced that piece with a silicon coupler.
So, lets get started. Unplug maf wires and IAT sensor wires on LS1 cars, or just the MAF/IAT plug on LS6 cars.

Unlatch top of air box to provide access to 1" black rubber AIR hose (it connects on the drivers side) and use a flathead screwdriver to get the black plastic clamp off the hose so it can be pulled off the stock airbox assembly.
Now unscrew the band clamp around the coupler at the throttle body using a flathead screwdriver.
At the front of the stock airbox, you can see the airbox is secured to the car by being pressed onto two pegs. Pull the airbox off of these two pegs by pushing the whole assembly towards the back of the car. I found it was easiest to do this through the opening between the hood and the front fascia (when the hood is up).
Once the airbox grommets are off the pegs, pull the air bridge up off the 2 rubber pegs on the black radiator shround and then the whole assembly can be removed.
Next we need to disassemble the stock air induction system. Using a flathead screwdriver, disconnect the air bridge from the stock airbox by loosening the large band clamp.
Now remove the 90 degree elbow fitting off the stock airbox assembly by pulling and wiggling it out of the stock box. It is the fitting that the 1" diameter black rubber hose went to. It should come out with a rubber grommet. Install the elbow/grommet into your blackwing.
You will also need to transfer the two rubber grommets for the front pegs from the stock airbox to the blackwing. These will keep the blackwing firmly supported in the front of the car.
If you have an LS1 maf, you'll need to use the rubber maf adapter shown to reduce the opening of the blackwing to the size of the maf. This is provided with your blackwing. For LS6 cars there should be some sort of coupler provided with the blackwing for your larger maf.
Now attach the maf/airbridge assembly to the blackwing. Tighten the band clamp using a flat head screwdriver. You should have something that looks like whats in the picture on the left.
Its time to install the whole assembly into the engine bay. The front of the assembly needs to press onto the two pegs in the front of the engine bay, then couple the assembly to the throttle body and tighten down the band clamp. Finally, the air bridge needs to press down onto the two pegs on the radiator shroud.

Once its in place, reconnect your wire(s) and rubber AIR hose. That's it! The car's computer will learn in any changes in air flow it needs over time so now its time to just go drive the car and enjoy the new mod.
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