Tech: JLT Cobra Jet Cold Air Intake

JLT CJ CAI

Jet Set

Installing JLT Performance’s new cold-air intake for Coyotes with Cobra Jet intakes

By Steve Turner

Thank your lucky stars that Ford is so involved in racing. Due to those efforts we have seen the development of factory engineered parts that have taken our rides to levels they might never have reached. From the Boss 302R to the Cobra Jet, Ford Racing engineers have pushed the envelope of the factory architecture.

It’s a match made in heaven, the popular JLT cold-air intake and the vaunted Ford Racing Cobra Jet intake for Coyote and Roadrunner 5.0s.
It’s a match made in heaven, the popular JLT cold-air intake and the vaunted Ford Racing Cobra Jet intake for Coyote and RoadRunner 5.0s.

One such product that rolled out on the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter-engined Cobra Jets is the vaunted Cobra Jet 5.0-liter 4V Intake Manifold (PN M-9424-M50CJ; $995), popularly known as the Cobra Jet intake. It is a direct fit on ’11-and-newer Mustang GTs and Boss 302s, and it is designed to push engine performance and push peak power as high as 7,750 rpm.

The JLT CJ CAI is available in black composite for $299 (PN #CAI-FMG11CJ). It looks really factory like this, but if you want to customize your engine, a color-matched version will be available for $349 by late June.
The JLT CJ CAI is available in black composite for $299 (PN #CAI-FMG11CJ). It looks really factory like this, but if you want to customize your engine, a color-matched version will be available for $349 by late June.

For quite awhile Mustang fans looking for more performance have chosen to add the CJ intake, but early on there were no production cold-air intakes were available. Eventually some shops began creating small production runs of intakes for the CJ intake-swap crowd. However, for fans of the cold-air intakes from JLT Performance, the only option had been to make a Three-Valve JLT work.

Most of you will be installing this CAI as part of your Cobra Jet intake (PN M-9424-M50CJ) swap, however Matt was ahead of the curve on running the CJ intake. He had been running the ’05-’10 Mustang GT kit. It worked, but the fit was slightly off. Matt was happy to upgrade to the CJ-specific unit. Whatever setup you are running, remove the airbox or heat shield and inlet tube. Then you can slide the JLT heat shield into place.
Most of you will be installing this CAI as part of your Cobra Jet intake (PN M-9424-M50CJ) swap, however Matt was ahead of the curve on running the CJ intake. He had been running the ’05-’10 Mustang GT kit. It worked, but the fit was slightly off. Matt was happy to upgrade to the CJ-specific unit. Whatever setup you are running, remove the airbox or heat shield and inlet tube. Then you can slide the JLT heat shield into place.

Well, if you want to run a Cobra Jet manifold on your modern 5.0-liter with a JLT intake, your wait is over. “With more and more requests coming in from customers and dealers we figured it may turn out bigger than we originally thought,” JLT Performance main man, Jay Tucker, explained. “The market may be small, but niche markets are what JLT is all about. We don’t make intakes for Nissan Titans, but do make them for the ’11-and-newer 5.0 with a Cobra Jet manifold.”

The JLT shield uses existing mounting holes. Just bolt it into place.
The JLT shield uses existing mounting holes. Just bolt it into place.

As it turned out, Jay followed the lead of JLT customers that had been molding the JLT Three-Valve CAI to work on the Cobra Jet-equipped 5.0s. Better yet, he was able to create one product to serve two needs.

The JLT CJ inlet tube is designed to work with the GT500-style throttle body, and it offered an easy, direct fit on Matt’s GT500-throttle-body-equipped Cobra Jet intake. Conversely, the smaller Three-Valve tube didn’t quite match up. This one looks right at home.
The JLT CJ inlet tube is designed to work with the GT500-style throttle body, and it offered an easy, direct fit on Matt’s GT500-throttle-body-equipped Cobra Jet intake. Conversely, the smaller Three-Valve tube didn’t quite match up. This one looks right at home.

“…We had two molds producing parts for the ’05-’10 GT, and with some production juggling we knew we could cut that down to one. So, we cut the mold in half and enlarged the opening to meet up with the larger, GT500-style throttle body,” Jay added. “We’re all about getting more from one mold, so this tube will also work for those ’05-’10 GT guys who did the GT500 throttle body conversion, so it’s a twofer.”

Next, Matt installed the high-flow air filter. As you can see, he already swapped the mass-airflow sensor electronics on the bench before he installed the tube. It is a direct fit with the stock fasteners.
Next, Matt installed the high-flow air filter. As you can see, he already swapped the mass-airflow sensor electronics on the bench before he installed the tube. It is a direct fit with the stock fasteners.

To get a closer look at the brand new JLT CJ CAI we headed over to SCT Performance in Sanford, Florida, to meet up with Calibrations Specialist Matt Alderman, owner of a deftly modified 2014 Mustang GT with, you guessed it, a Cobra Jet intake. Matt’s car is an impressive performer thanks to Boss 302 heads, a custom cam setup, and more.

After routing and connecting the breather tubing, Matt plugged in the mass air sensor. Naturally, it is necessary to tune the Powertrain Control Module to have to work with the new, larger inlet—especially if you are stepping up from a stock intake manifold and airbox.
After routing and connecting the breather tubing, Matt plugged in the mass air sensor. Naturally, it is necessary to tune the Powertrain Control Module to have to work with the new, larger inlet—especially if you are stepping up from a stock intake manifold and airbox.

As luck would have it, Matt had been running the JLT Three-Valve intake, so he was only too happy to swap it out for the new CJ-specific unit and refine his calibrations for the inlet’s mass-air transfer function.

After loosely installing the kit and checking all the connections, Matt gives the hose clamps a final tightening to ensure a leak-free seal.
After loosely installing the kit and checking all the connections, Matt gives the hose clamps a final tightening to ensure a leak-free seal.

“The installation was simple, with no special tools needed. It offered great fitment without having to modify anything. Great quality as always,” Matt said.

With the install completed, the JLT and CJ look right at home under the hood of Matt’s ’14 GT.
With the install completed, the JLT and CJ look right at home under the hood of Matt’s ’14 GT.

We snapped photos while Matt installed the kit and dyno-tested the car’s new combo, so check it out.

Not only is Matt an enthusiast, he just happens to work as a calibrator at SCT Performance. That’s right, tuning cars for more power is Matt’s business and business is good. He prides himself on not only making power, but maintaining stock-like driveability. With a few slight tuning tweaks, the car was ready to run with the new JLT.
Not only is Matt an enthusiast, he just happens to work as a calibrator at SCT Performance. That’s right, tuning cars for more power is Matt’s business and business is good. He prides himself on not only making power, but maintaining stock-like driveability. With a few slight tuning tweaks, the car was ready to run with the new JLT.
During our visit Matt utilized SCT’s Livewire TS to tune his ’14 GT. He also used the Livewire to datalog the car’s vitals to ensure everything was working smoothly.
During our visit Matt utilized SCT’s Livewire TS to tune his ’14 GT. He also used the Livewire to datalog the car’s vitals to ensure everything was working smoothly.
After a short time refining the calibration, Matt was ready to take his car for a spin on the SCT Dynojet. The car pulled strong till to top of the tach. “As for the tuning there where a lot of similarities and with only minor modifications to the transfer function,” Matt said. “It was very easy to dial in.”
After a short time refining the calibration, Matt was ready to take his car for a spin on the SCT Dynojet. The car pulled strong till to top of the tach. “As for the tuning there where a lot of similarities and with only minor modifications to the transfer function,” Matt said. “It was very easy to dial in.”

Matt’s ’14 GT put down 442 horsepower and 377 lb-ft of torque at the wheels breathing through the new JLT CJ CAI. Power was a break-even with the old Three-Valve intake, but the fit is so much cleaner.
Matt’s ’14 GT put down 442 horsepower and 377 lb-ft of torque at the wheels breathing through the new JLT CJ CAI. Power was a break-even with the old Three-Valve intake, but the fit is so much cleaner.
Here’s a look at how Matt’s modified 5.0 builds power. Boss 302 heads, a custom cam setup, a CJ intake top his stock Coyote short-block. In the near future, Matt is hoping to push 500 rwhp after swapping out his mix-and-match exhaust setup for a full Kooks system and adding a Ford Racing throttle body.
Here’s a look at how Matt’s modified 5.0 builds power. Boss 302 heads, a custom cam setup, a CJ intake top his stock Coyote short-block. In the near future, Matt is hoping to push 500 rwhp after swapping out his mix-and-match exhaust setup for a full Kooks system and adding a Ford Racing throttle body.

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Tech: JLT Cobra Jet Cold Air Intake”

  1. So the cj version is really just for better fitment, no power difference over the 3v version tube? Any comparison reference to the 5″ revolution auto, or frpp tube?

    And confused on peak numbers, by the graph and table it’s 438 but reads 442 at the top.

    1. We only tried out the JLT. As for the numbers, a graph has a much higher resolution of data. The chart only captures numbers at the selected rpm intervals. If the peaks don’t fall on those intervals they don’t show on the chart. The chart just gives a better idea of how the performance looks across the curve.

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