Air Silencer Removal
by Jim Granitzki
Photos by Jim O'Neill
Ford, and GM, produced all of there cars with an air silencer. The manufactures decided that the average consumer wanted a quieter engine, with performance as an expense. By removing the silencer you will gain a slightly deeper exhaust note. Also, at higher engine RPM, you will hear the vacuum created by the intake system. You will gain 1-2 hp. No, not a lot, but the modification is free.

  1. Start by removing the front passenger side wheel and jacking the car up1. Be sure that car is supported by jack stands. If the car falls off the jack, it could ruin your hot rodding for a day or two.

  2. Now, remove the splash guard2. This is held in by some plastic pushpins. There should be 5 of these, 3 in the splash guard and 2 underneath the door. To remove them, just pull out with pliers. Next remove the 5 screws. There are 3 on the front fender lip, one on the back lip, and one underneath the front bumper. After this, carefully remove the inner fender wall. Be careful not to crack the plastic, or get caught on the brake lines.

    [These pictures below are the locations of the pushpins and screws.]
    Picture 1
    Picture 2
    Picture 3

  3. If you look inside the fender, you will see a large plastic box. This is the air silencer.

  4. Now up to the engine compartment. Remove the top of the air box, and take out the filter. Two clamps close to the fender hold the air box, pop them off. It may be easier to move it completely out of the way. Loosen the clamp that holds the intake tube to the throttle body, it is standard screwdriver, and slide it off. Move the assembly off to the side. Keep the Mass Air Flow Sensor (if equipped) attached. There is no need to risk damaging the electrical connection.

  5. Underneath the air filter there are three bolts. Loosen the nuts until the bolts come loose. After removing the air box, there will be three retaining clips still attached to the bolts. Twist these retaining clips until the bolts come off of them. The clips are attached to the body, so don't be surprised when they don't come out.

    [These pictures below are the locations of the nuts and of the retaining clips.]
    Picture 4
    Picture 5

  6. Now, go back into the wheel well. Pull the silencer down and away. Be aware that the threads are a few inches long, so don't damage them. You are almost done!

    [These pictures are of the air silencer unit.]
    Picture 6
    Picture 7

  7. The unit you've now removed has two different parts to it. Remove the three screws holding the two parts together. Keep the smaller one that looks like a really short PVC tube. The large box is your air silencer. Reattach the smaller part by lining it up with the holes in the fender and screwing the retaining clips back on.

    [In this picture, you want to keep the black pipe. The silver box is the air silencer.]
    Picture 8

  8. Put the splash guard back on the car the same way you took it off, put the wheel on, and lower the car to the ground. Put the air filter back in the box, reattach the top of the air box, and tighten the clamp on the throttle body, if you removed it.

  9. Go for a spin and see how your free modification worked out.
And there you have it. Enjoy your new sound. And yes, we realize the pictures are very dark. During the BBQ at Don's house we started talking about the air silencer and how it's a quick modification to get done. So, at 7:45PM, here we were ripping out Adam's air silencer.

Note 1: Jacking the car up and removing the front passenger tire is not necessary. It does, however, make things much easier by giving you better access to the fender.

Note 2: Removing the entire splash guard is not necessary. Only the right side must be removed. The screws necessary to remove the right side of the splash guard are depicted in the photographs. If you'd like to remove the entire splash guard, we're pretty sure you can find the rest of the screws.

Note 3: This mod was conducted on a 94 SuperCoupe and a 96 V6 and the above directions are exactly how to remove the air silencer on 94-97 model Thunderbirds and Cougars. Earlier models (89-93) may have screws in different places and the air silencer may be depicted differently from these pictures. The car used for these pictures is Adam's 1994 SuperCoupe.
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