Bearly Flying

You're a Regular 2 You're 10
Dec 31, 2009
Ponoka, Alberta
2001 C5
I purchased a Vararam Air intake system for My C5 this winter, just got finished the install. My Thoughts.....

Altho this is a highly rated system, the quality of the components seemed lacking for their price point. The Instruction Manual ( so Called) is a few pages of very low quality printed pages with very vague instructions and some very bad black and white photo's that have been photocopied way too many times. Good thing for forums with pictures of installs.

After installing the system as per instructions, such as they were. There was NO FREAKING WAY the filter housing would line up with the Vararam Air Bridge, even using the stock Air Bridge there was NO way of lining up the tubes.

Somebuddy came over to lend a hand and We figured out the Air Inlet tubes that mount to the front facia were about 1 inch too short. Luckily I had a few spare self tapping screws in various lengths, we replaced the supplied 5/8 long screws with 1 1/12 self tapping screws and made 3/4 inch standoffs from 1/2 inch fuel tubing.

This moved the Air Inlet tubes back approx 1 inch, allowing the bend in the inlet tubes to clear the front frame cross member, allowing the intake filter to line up with the Air Bridge, sort of.

Once everything was said and done, everything tightened up it seems sturdy enough, but for a High Dollar System designed specifically for the C5 Vette, I was rather disappointed.

I took the Car out for a leisurely drive as the instructions state, for the ECM to relearn the fuel curves. No codes thrown, seems like the car is Happy after 100 km's.

Got on the throttle ( on a closed course, Pro Driver etc...) it definitely seems to have more snap. Time will tell, I had a dyno tune done before the install. I will get another one done, I realize the greatest gains from this system do not always show up on the dyno, due to the ram air effect they claim.. The tuner that dyno'ed my car previously has some big honking blower fans that should replicate a reasonable air speed to the front of the car.

We will see what difference it really made.
Wow,Don, that's disappointing to hear of the quality shortcomings. Not representative of their rep. I wonder if you got the wrong unit due to improper packaging.
Glad you got it sorted -- (with a little stress, imagination and help from SB.:D)

Not sure how realistic their estimate of hp increase is but you should see at least a 10 hp increase on the dyno -- and as you've said it does effect the SOTP impression for sure.

Enjoy the mod. A side benefit is a little more throaty exhaust note which can be quite pleasing too.

I think I notice my Vararam only at the higher third of my rpm range, or maybe the mid-half anyways.

I don't really know what 10 more ponies is supposed to feel like, but the added sound alone is pretty cool. The sound might give the impression of going faster too, but I do think I notice a slight improve when the rpms get up there.

That being said, I got someone to do the install for me. It fits snug as a bug, and I'm happy from that point of view. I'm a little concerned about cleaning the filter this year, but I'm sure it will go be an easy enough thing to do. Sometimes I feel like how my mom does around computers when it comes to working on my vette. I think I am always going to ruin it, lol.
We got our Vararam from CCO Colin for our 2005 after he went supercharged. Manny's guys installed it. In about an hour and a half, they installed the intake and the stone guards behind the four wheels and we were on our way. Can't beat that. Perhaps the company improved things with the newer model for the C6 as ours seems to fit fine. I've seen pictures of warped pieces on the internet so the problem is real. I ordered a spare filter along with the cleaning and oiling kit and it arrived promptly. The best gas mileage before was 34.9 (Imperial) The best so far after has been 35.1 (Imperial). That's taking the actual odometer reading and the actual amount of gas at the pumps to figure the mileage. As far as power, I think you would have to take the car to a drag strip and compare before and after with identical atmospheric conditions to get a true idea of power. Seat of the pants is a poor dyno, especially at speed. Our car seems to run very well and needed no recalibration after the install. No complaints here.
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Well, your review is very common to what I have heard about Vararam from people who have installed their own system. Now, I'm not sure how many systems get installed with no problems vs ones that get installed with problems. But, with that said and the fact that I already have it in my car, I love it!!! I like hearing the engine sucking the air in from the front of the car and it's the only true cold air intake system that I know of for the C5.

I know I tried to upgrade my airbridge from the CF one that I have to Vararam's version and I could not get it to fit. I may play with it this summer, but it's working and I don't really want to fix what isn't broken.

In a nut shell, an absolute headache to install but probably the best system that I know of once it is installed in the car.
Delete It always pays to check before posting information. On checking our car, neither the IAT nor MAF sensors are anywhere near the rad hose. Perhaps this applies to other years.
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My AIT sensor isn't very close to the rad hoses, however, as I have a weird air bridge, I'm not sure if this is the case with the stockers.

As you can see, my AIT sensor is just behind and near the center of the rad.

I have installed a couple of these units. What a PIA. When finished, My hands looked like I was attacked by a Pit Bull.

I've made molds for close to 40 years, so when I saw the quality & workmanship of this product, I was truly surprised. The fit and finish of the mold cavities, mismatched parting lines, loose flashing, I was amazed anyone would ship this product, much less charge a premium price for it.

I cleaned up the imperfections as much as I could, then installed the unit.
After all of what was said above, This unit works like a charm. "Best seat of the pants" performance mode I have done to date.:canada:

Too bad they can get away with selling such a poorly finished product.:canada:
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