AIRAID 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler
Cold Air Intake System Installation Write-Up

I love my new 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler and all the awesome “get up and go” it has right of the box but, if there’s a chance I could get a bit more out of the 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine and help it to sound a bit sweeter at the same time, you know it’s something I’m gonna do. Needless to say, recently I picked up the all new AIRAID Cold Air Intake system to help me to do just that and I have to say, I’m really happy with what I got.

Specifically made for the 2012-Up JK with it’s new Pentastar engine, the AIRAID Cold Air Intake System is computer designed to provide maximum air flow, which in turn means more horsepower, torque and improved performance. The AIRAID Premium Filter that comes with the kit is made to offer a filtration performance that is second to none, is 100% washable, reusable and features a Lifetime “No-Hassle? Warranty.

Below is an installation write-up to show you just how easy it is to install one of these cold air intake systems in your 2012-Up JK.

What You Will Need
• 10mm Wrench
• 11/32, 7/16″ Wrench & Socket
• 3/32, 5/32, 7/32″ Allen Wrench
• Ratchet
• Ratchet Extension
• Flathead Screwdriver
• Small Flathead Screwdriver
• Hacksaw
• Scratch Awl
• Ruler
• Bench Vice
• Hand Drill
• 3/32″ or 1/8″ Drill Bit

You May Also Want
Because of the harsh, dusty and sometimes wet enviroments we wheel in, I opted to get an AIRAID Pre-Filter which slips over the their Premium Filter.

Part #799-445

Also, you might want to plan ahead and order a Filter Tune-Up Kit:

Aerosol Spray Part #790-551
Squeeze Spray Part #790-550

Installation Instructions
What all you will get with your new AIRAID JK 3.6L Pentastar Cold Air Intake System.

1. Open your hood and then, using a 10mm wrench, disconnect the negative lead on your battery.

2. Grab your engine cover and lift up on it until it comes free of the snaps. Set it aside for not.

3. Disconnect the Air Temperature Sensor which is located on the side of the factory intake near the throttle body. There is a tab on the plug that you will need to depress while pulling.

4. Using a 10mm wrench, remove the 2 bolts securing the intake tube to the fan shroud.

5. Separate the coolant hose from the clips on the intake.

6. Using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the clamp securing the intake to the airbox and throttle body as shown.

7. Separate the intake from the airbox and throttle body and remove it from the engine compartment.

8. Firmly grab the crankcase breather hose and pull it off the airbox.

9. Firmly grab the airbox and pull up while wiggling it a bit until it comes free of its mounting gromets. Remove the airbox completely from the engine compartment.

10. Locate the Filter Adapter, new Cold Air Box and 1/4-20×1/2″ button head bolts and 1/4″ flat washers provided.

11. From the inside, insert the Filter Adapter through the large circle hole on the Cold Air Box as shown.

12. Using the 1/4-20×1/2″ button head bolts and 1/4″ flat washers provided, secure the Filter Adapter to the Cold Air Box. You will need a 5/32″ allen wrench for this job.

13. Using the 1/4-20×5/8 bolts, 1/4″ washers and nylock nuts provided, install the Air Scoop Bracket onto the outside of the Cold Air Box as shown. You will need a 7/16″ socket and wrench for this job.

14. Using a hand drill with a 3/32″ bit, drill out the rivet heads securing the air scoop to the factory airbox.

15. Remove the air scoop simply by pulling it out of the airbox.

16. Place the factory air scoop on a workbench, measure 3″ up from the base and then make a mark with a scratch awl on all 4 corners.

17. Use a ruler to help scribe a straight line connecting the 4 marks that you just made.

18. Secure the air scoop in a bench vice and then use a hacksaw or Dremel to cut along the scribed line you just created.

19. Insert the factory air scoop into your new Cold Air Box and secure it in place as shown using the 8-32×3/8″ button head bolts, flat washers and kep nuts provided with the kit. You will need an 11/32″ wrench and 3/32″ allen wrench for this job.

20. Back under the hood, firmly grab and pull out the 3 factory gromets that were used to secure the factory airbox to the inner fender.

21. Install the 3 large well nuts provided with the kit in place of the factory gromets as shown.

22. Insert the new AIRAID Cold Air box assembly into your engine compartment.

23. Secure the new Cold Air Box assembly onto the inner fender well nuts using the 3/8×1-1/2″ button head bolts provided. A 7/32″ allen wrench will be needed for this job.

24. Install the 5/8″ barbed fitting into the threaded hole on your new AIRAID Intake Tube as shown.

25. The Air Temperature Sensor from your factory intake tube is locked in place. To remove it, you will need to rotate it in a counter cockwise direction until it is in the open position and can be removed safely. You may find it necessary to use a small flathead screwdriver to gently lift up on the locking tab while rotating it to clear the locking cleat. Remember, this is a plastic sensor and very easy to break so make sure you do all this very carefully and without using too much force.

26. Once in the open position, pull up on the Air Temperature Sensor while gently rocking it back and forth and it will eventually come out of the tube. Again, this is a delicate sensor made of plastic and easy to break so make sure to be very careful while working on it.

27. Install the factory Air Temperature Sensor that you just removed into your new AIRAID Intake Tube with the locking tab pointed toward the threaded hole as shown. The O-Ring will make it tough to get it all the way in and you may find it helpful to use a small flathead screwdriver to carefully work around the O-Ring and tuck it in. You DO NOT want to damage the O-Ring or the sensor so take your time and be very careful.

28. Secure the Air Temperature Sensor to the Intake Tube using the 8-32×1/2″ button head bolt and #8 fender washer included with the kit. A 3/32″ allen wrench will be needed for this job.

29. Slip one of the large hose clamps provided onto the Double Hump Hose and install it on the straight end of the Intake Tube as shown. Leave the hose clamp loose for now.

30. Install the Silicone Reducer onto the 90° bend of the Intake Tube and slip a large and small hose clamp onto it as shown. Leave the hose clamps loose for now.

31. Slip on the last large hose clamp onto the open end of the Double Hump hose and install it onto the Cold Air Box assembly as shown.

32. Install the Silicon Reducer end of the Intake Tube onto the throttle body.

33. Double check that everything is on and properly aligned and then tighten all the hose clamps to secure the Intake Tube in place. A flathead screwdriver will be needed for this job.

34. Remove the factory crankcase breather hose by grabbing it firmly and pulling it off the hard plastic tube as shown.

35. Slip one of the speed clamps over the new 5/8″ hose provided with the kit and install it onto the hard plastic tube as shown. Secure the hose in place by squeezing the speed clamp together.

36. Slip a speed clamp onto the opposite end of the new 5/8″ hose, install it onto the AIRAID barbed fitting and secure it in place by squeezing the speed clamp together.

37. Reach below the Intake Tube and reconnect the wiring harness to the Air Temperature Sensor.

38. Slip the 2 Adel Clamps provided with the kit onto the coolant line as shown.

39. Secure the Adel Clamps onto your fan shroud using the 6mm bolts and 1/4″ flat washers provided. You will need a 7/32″ allen wrench for this job.

40. Remove the 2 factory engine cover grommets by prying them off to the side as shown.

41. Install the new taller grommets provided with the kit onto your engine cover.

42. Reinstall your engine cover by snapping it in place.

43. If you opted to get an AIRAID Pre-Filter like I did, you will want to install it now simply by slipping it over the Premium Filter as shown.

44. Slip the large hose clamp over the neck of the AIRAID Premium Filter, drop it into the Cold Air Box, install it onto the Filter Adapter and then tighten the hose clamp with a flathead screwdriver to secure it in place.

45. Peel the backing off the gasket provided and affix it onto the bottom of the Air Box Lid.

46. Peel the protective film off the Air Box Lid, place it on top of the the Cold Air Box and secure it in place using the 1/4-20×1/2″ buttonhead bolts and 1/4″ flat washers. You will need a 5/32″ allen wrench for this job.

47. Use a 10mm wrench to reconnect your negative battery lead and double check your work.

And that’s it, you’re done! You now have an awesome AIRAID Cold Air Intake System installed on your 3.6L V6 Pentastar Engine.

Please let me know if you have any questions 😎


  1. Did you feel a difference after this install? Kind of dont like buying aftermarket performance parts if its only minimal gains. If anything it be once of the last modifications on my jeep. 🙂

  2. Great write up, but the images past step 12 don’t seem to show up on the page. Any chance you can get that corrected? Thanks!

  3. you should be able to run an aev snorkel with this kit. as far as power gains go, yeah, i do feel some. i’m running 37’s on factory 4.10 gears and maybe it’s all in my head but, this cai did help give me a nice boost.

    chris, i just fixed it – thanks.

  4. I’m in California and see it says “not cal legal” for this air intake. Will installing this on my jk prevent me from getting it to pass inspection/reregistration next year? I know these “not for california” things for offroad vehicles can be ignored but my jeep is not 100% offroad, I commute to work with it so keeping it legal is a worry. Should I ignore this and install it and not worry?

  5. In CA, you don’t have to get a smog for the first 5 years of owning your new vehicle. after that, it may be an issue and keeping your factory air box to swap back in may not be a bad idea.

  6. Great install artical Guys! Really need a before and after dyno test to give this “performance part” any credability.

    Keep up the great work!


  7. Dirtyrider- Don’t worry about it “not CA legal”. I say that because the intake manifold has little to no influence on your exhaust emissions. If it was headers, I would be cautious due to the O2 sensors messing with your ECU rich/lean mixture. He’s right about the first 5 years too. As long as you keep a good air filter in it, the cleaner your engine stays and the cleaner the output emissions. If you can’t pass smog, then you have some other bigger issues, and your local mechanic will be your best friend when that time comes. I would keep the factory intake though…. never know when we will upgrade to a newer model and the intake can be sold in the future 🙂 And a more important reason; If you have engine issues under warranty, you will want to put it back on to prevent from being flagged.

    Steve- Thank you for posting the link for the dyno.

    David- Thanks for posting that exemption too.

  8. After buying my first jeep and being told to wait a year for upgrades, this article was very informative! Thank you!

  9. Did you get the oiled or non-oiled filter? I would like to order this system but didn’t know if one filter was better/lasted longer than the other.

  10. I gotta say, this step by step was absolutely spot on. The directions with the kit were ok but just had my ipad on my workbench and it made this project a breeze.
    Thanks for taking the time for this and many other projects on here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.