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2006 (and up) PT Cruiser GT – Air Box Mod Tutorial

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Joined: 05 Oct 2007
Posts: 2362
Location: Lake Norman, NC

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: 2006 (and up) PT Cruiser GT – Air Box Mod Tutorial Reply with quote

Why this procedure?

I had read in several forums a process that people had built for modifying their stock air box to allow for increased free flow of air. In looking at the procedures, and comparing them to my stock ’06 air box, I found enough differences to make them notable, then decided to go ahead and do a step-by-step process with photos so that others with ‘06> PT Cruisers could use my process to their benefit.

Tools and supplies needed:

The following items I found useful during this modification –
• Paper towels
• Two flat tipped (standard) screw drivers; one large, one small
• Work light / drop light
• Pen, marker or pencil for marking
• Hack saw / core saw / fine bladed saw for plastics


The following steps were used on MY PT Cruiser and worked for me. I can not guarantee your results, nor am I in any way liable for any outcome (unless of course it works great, you gain lots of torque and hp, then you can send me money via PayPal). If you mess up your car, don’t come crying to me. The steps I’ve documented worked fine, were completed slowly, in a thoughtful manner to reduce the chances for damage. However, I still had issues, as are documented below, and you should be aware of those. If you deviate from this procedure and find a better method, please let me know by PM’ing me on these forums. If you totally screw up, forget you ever heard of me!!! This entire process took about 1 hour, but I tried several additional steps that weren’t necessary, so your efforts should take less than an hour assuming you have all the tools at hand.

1. Loosen the clamp screw on the TTAB hose (also known at the “throttle body air inlet hose” – see circled area in figure 1). Unclip the two retaining clips that hold the air box cover in place – one on the front right, the other on the left side.

2. Gently lift the front of the air box and pull it towards the front of the car. There are three tabs at the back, towards the firewall, that you have to clear to have the cover free. The cover should also slip off the TTAB hose. See figure 1:

3. Now flip the air box cover over, and you will see the baffle that is connected to the pipe leading to the TTAB hose (see figure 2). This is simple to remove, HOWEVER, follow these instructions carefully and do not try prying this out! Note the tabs in Figure 2 – do not try to pry these out, you will end up breaking something! Simply use a small, flat tipped screwdriver inserted at the top between the baffle and the cover wall. You will see a retaining clip there once you’ve got it open just a bit (see Figure 3). Once you see that clip, very simply use a couple of fingers to slide the baffle out of the cover.

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

4. Now you can simply dispose of the baffle, or do with as you please. You’ll note it’s a two part system, I have them labeled here A and B. See Figure 4:

5. Now that the cover is complete, you need to remove the air box from the vehicle – this is also very easy, but took some fiddling around to figure it out. The service manual says to “Pull air cleaner housing straight up to remove.”. This is accurate, just do it slowly and carefully, and remember that you have a hose connected to the left side, the crankcase breather hose, which is not mentioned in the service manual at all. Gently remove that hose after you have the air box up high enough to expose it. Also, mind the right side, this is where you have the clean air intake, which just sits above an opening in the fender well, and is only connected to the air cleaner housing (we’ve called it the air box to make it easier). See figure 5:

6. Remove the air filter and crankcase filter (small sponge on left side of air box) from the air box and set aside (I’d suggest replacing them at this time if you have new ones). I highly suggest stuffing some clean paper towels into the TTAB hose and one in the crankcase hose to insure you don’t accidentally get any foreign matter into either one. Now that you have the air box out, you have an opportunity to clean up the area below it. You will also notice two cupped depressions and one flat, padded bar, circled in blue in Figure 6. Note these positions as you must line the air box up with them when you reinstall it.

7. This just gives you a better shot of that crankcase breather hose. If you noticed oil in the breather filter/sponge, or in the bottom of the air box, it will likely be coming from here. It is suggested that you clean out any oil at this time, and again stuff a rag or paper towel in the end of this hose, to also keep it from dripping on the engine.

8. Now that you have the air box free, you can see the snorkel that comes in from the right side, where the air box draws in fresh air. This entire snorkel unit is in three parts, and must be removed to cut the sections out that you want permanently removed (now here is where you may differ from me - you really might be able to cut this in-place without going through the hassle of removing it). See figure 8:

9. To remove the snorkel assembly, I suggest taking the air box to a table or stand. You will be applying some pressure on this and need a sturdy work surface. If you turn the air box with the snorkel assembly towards you, you will notice on both top and bottom a cutout and clip, this keeps the snorkel assembly retained inside the air box. You must apply either downward pressure to these tabs, or try to gently raise the clip up to allow the snorkel assembly to drop free. See figure 9:

10. Now comes the fun part (being facetious). You need two very slim flat tipped screwdrivers, one for the top and the other for the bottom, to gently raise the piece of plastic in front of the clips to allow the snorkel assembly to be pulled out. I WARN YOU, DO THIS VERY CAREFULLY OR YOU WILL DAMAGE THE AIR CLEANER HOUSING AS I DID! Notice the bottom clip is broken off. Well, just a tiny bit too much pressure and it popped off. Now it’s much easier to remove the snorkel assembly, but I’m glad I didn’t wreck both top and bottom pieces. See figure 10:

11. Once you are past that point, the snorkel assembly will come out in three pieces: one upper, one lower, and the center section. In my example here I’ve modified only that center section, but you can cut more off if you wish to. See figure 11:

12. Now take your cutting tool and cut off the section you wish to of the center section of the snorkel assembly. If you want to cut more off than I show here, then you’ll need to cut all three pieces to length. Now that the end of the snorkel is cut off, file down the edges to insure a smooth surface. See figure 12:

13. This is a good time to clean everything before reassembly. I’d at minimum knock the dust and dirt off all parts, especially those that were cut as you don’t want to suck that stuff up in your engine. Reassemble the three sections of the snorkel and insert it back into the air box until the retaining clips snap into place. Now you can gently press the air box back in place, insuring you are on the cups and bar assembly that were mentioned in step 6 above. Also reconnect the crankcase breather hose back to the left side of the air box. Last, check to insure the air intake area is clear and is over the correct location on the fender well. See figure 13:

14. Notice my note about the alternate cut line in figure 13 above – I cut off the snorkel at where I felt was a good location, but I still have over 2” of snorkel assembly intruding into the air box. For me that isn’t an issue, however you may wish to cut your’s shorter. If you do, make sure you mark your cut point before removing the snorkel assembly from the air box. Now that you’ve got this back in place, install your air filter and reconnect the cover to the TTAB hose – leave the clamp loose for now while you get the cover back in place. You will note that it’s a PITA, and will be a struggle to get all three rear tabs on the cover back into their respective slots (see Figure 1 above), but you must get them in or you will be sucking in raw, heated air from your engine compartment. Once you’ve got the cover back into the tabs, close the retaining clips (front and left side), and finally tighten the clamp on the TTAB hose.

...if I only had a brain...
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Joined: 05 Oct 2007
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Location: Lake Norman, NC

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ITEM OF NOTE - this was detailed on my 2006 PT GT convertible. According to the '06 maintenance manual there are four different configurations of air cleaner housings (air boxes). If yours matches the unit identified above, then fine, go on with the procedure. If not, I'd suggest doing some research before continuing.

Their is a very good process defined for '05 and older models already posted here in the forums. That process is at:
The K&N Filter and Airbox Mod install and Review

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