MSD Introduces the Atomic AirForce Intake Manifold for LT1 and LS Platform

By: Miguel Angel Tapia11/23/2015 < Back to Blog Home
Atomic Airforce Manifold LT1, PN 2700


1. Dyno-proven Bolton power Gains of over 20 horsepower and over 20 ft-lbs of torque compared to an OE manifold

2. Gains of 36 HP and 16 ft-lbs of torque versus leading competitor on Lingenfelter LS7 Camaro L28

3. Direct Flow path runner design promotes maximum airflow

4. Two-piece intake design provides the ability to port and modify the runners for specific applications

5. Polymer-molded design resists heat and minimizes weight

6. Accepts OEM and 103 mm throttle bodies

7. Fits most stock, aftermarket and Atomic LS electronic fuel rails

8. Molded bosses provide the ability to add nozzles for nitrous systems for racing

El Paso, TX; November 12, 2014: If you're looking to Bolt-on power and torque, the new Atomic AirForce intake manifold from MSD is the answer! This all-new polymer intake will increase the performance of stock and modified GM LS engine platforms and the new LT1 engine.

MSD started designing the AirForce by addressing the performance shortcomings of the OE manifolds. Through the use of Computational Fluid Dynamic modeling MSD was able to optimize plenum volume with improved flow paths into each intake runner. By shaping the unique runners with a bell-mouth form, the air is packed into each runner evenly to equalize and maximize flow.

Each intake, from the LS series to the direct port LT1 engine, is a two piece molded design. This design allows for porting and modifying the runners while the polymer construction minimizes the weight and reduces the heat absorption. MSD also included provisions for further power gains by molding bosses on each runner to ease the installation of nitrous fogger nozzles used in racing applications.

The AirForce intakes accept an OEM throttle body as well as aftermarket designs up to 103mm. It can also be used with most aftermarket fuel rails, OEM rails and the MSD Atomic LS electronic fuel rails. The AirForce intake is available for the following applications:

LS7: 2014 Z28 Camaro PN 2701

LS7: 20062013 Z06 Corvette PN 2701

LS1/LS2/LS6 Platforms: PN 2702

LS3/L99 Platforms: PN 2703 *Available January 2015

LT1: 20142015 Corvette PN 2700 *Available Spring 2015

Installation Instructions

Removal Of The OEM Manifold

1. Remove the fresh air intake duct assembly (refer to the OEM Service Manual). Before disassembly of the intake manifold, clean the entire intake area with compressed air to remove any dirt or debris that could fall into the engine or interfere with the installation.

2. Disconnect the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) connector and MAP Sensor (Figure 2, Figure 5).

3. Disconnect the PCV hose from the intake, as well as the EVAP Purge Solenoid tube and electrical connector from the passenger side (Figure 3).

4. Remove the four bolts holding the electronic throttle body to the intake (Figure 4). The four OEM throttle body bolts will be replaced with the shorter bolts provided in the MSD manifold fastener kit. The MSD-supplied bolts (M6x1.0x40mm) MUST be used during re-assembly. Damage to the intake shell could occur by using the longer stock bolts.

5. Fully loosen the 10 intake-to-cylinder head bolts using a 10mm socket or wrench. The two rear bolts (one on each side) are partially hidden under the cowl and difficult to reach. These two bolts may need to be held up with rubber bands to keep them from dropping down and snagging on the intake ports.

6. With the intake bolts fully loosened, the OEM manifold assembly will need to be lifted up and moved forward. Note that at this time the brake booster vacuum tube is still attached. Move the intake forward and position the vacuum tube where you have access to it (Figure 6).

7. The vacuum tube push-to-connect fitting must be released so that the tube can be worked out of the OEM intake. Use of two small flat tip screwdrivers provides the best access. Apply steady inward pressure to the collet ring, while simultaneously pulling outward on the vacuum tube. The vacuum tube extends over an inch into the intake where there is an internal O-ring seal. Care must be taken not to damage the plastic tube assembly (Figure 7).

8. With the vacuum tube disengaged from the OEM push-to-connect fitting, lift the intake off and set it aside. Clean any material and debris away from the top of the cylinder head ports to prepare for the MSD intake installation.

Preparing The Airforce For Installation

The AirForce intake requires that the remaining pinch bolts be installed and torqued to the required specifications prior to installation. Also, it is recommended to use an O-ring lubricant (such as Silicone spray or vacuum grease) on the brake booster vacuum tube, MAP sensor port, EVAP Solenoid port, and the PCV nipple.

1. Locate the remaining M6x1.0x30mm socket head cap screws, the ID6.4mmxOD17mmx3mm Thick washers, and install them into the remaining pinch bolt locations.

2. Tighten the top three stanchion bolts, followed by the pinch bolts, in the pattern shown in Figure 10. Always use at least two complete sequences leading up to the final torque of 75 in-lb for all of the bolts.

3. Spray or place the O-Ring lubricant on the chamfered leading edge of the brake booster vacuum tube, as well as for the MAP sensor port, EVAP Solenoid port and the PCV nipple.

4. If re-using the port seals, remove them from the OEM intake manifold and ensure that they are not torn, damaged or suffering from excessive compression set. Wipe with a clean cloth or towel to remove any oil film or debris. It is recommended to install new seals, AC Delco PN 12626354 (sold individually, eight required). Install the eight port seals and ensure that they are fully seated in the retention grooves (Figure 11).

5. Use the supplied M6x1.0x25mm socket head cap screws to attach the MAP sensor and Purge Solenoid. Re-use the OEM Purge Solenoid flat washer.

Installation To The Engine

Locate the remaining M6 compression limiter bolts.

Note: The MSD-supplied bolts require an 8mm socket or wrench.

Apply Blue Loctite® thread locker to the bolt threads.

Ensure that each port seal is installed properly around runner port and that the heads are clean.

1. With the AirForce intake assembled and the seals in place, position the intake onto the engine so the brake booster tube can be installed.

2. Lube the vacuum port O-ring and the tube itself. Insert the tube into the manifold pressing it in straight until it stops and is secure (Figure 12).

3. Insert two of the new M6 compression limiter bolts into the rear most holes. Use rubber bands to keep the bolts from dragging and hanging up in the intake ports.

4. Lift and slide the intake onto the engine and under the cowl.

Note: Special care must be taken when maneuvering the manifold around the low-pressure fuel supply line - located on the driver's side near the rear. This is best accomplished with two people – one on either side of the engine.

5. Once in place, install the rest of the M6 compression limiter bolts being sure to start each bolt by hand.

6. Tighten the 10 compression limiter bolts using the sequence shown in Figure 13. Use multiple passes (a minimum of three are recommended) to achieve a final torque of 89-lb-in.

CAUTION:Failure to ensure a stable final torque value may result in subsequent vacuum leaks or other driveability problems. DO NOT overtighten the fasteners, as this can damage the intake assembly and/or the threads in the cylinder heads.

7. If re-installing the OEM Electronic Throttle Body, locate the supplied throttle body seal plate and adhesive-backed flat gasket (see Figure 14). Remove the gasket backing material and lay the gasket adhesive side up. Carefully lower the seal plate onto the gasket - making sure all the holes are aligned properly.

8. Install the seal plate assembly between the intake manifold throttle body flange and the throttle body. Ensure that the flat gasket is facing outward (towards the throttle body), and the raw surface is facing towards the molded intake manifold seal.

9. Locate the four new M6x1.0x40mm bolts and washers (ID6.4xOD12.5x1.4mm Thick). Torque uniformly to 89in-lb (Figure 15). Note: If an aftermarket mechanical throttle body is being used, you must ensure that the mounting bolts are not long enough to pass through the heat-staked brass inserts and damage the intake manifold shells.

CAUTION: Do NOT use the OEM throttle body retaining bolts. The OEM bolts will contact the lower manifold housing and result in irreparable damage.

10. Install and check the wiring connections for the ETC, EVAP solenoid, MAP and install the air duct.

11. Reconnect the battery negative terminal.

12. Fire up the engine, inspect for vacuum leaks, ensure a solid brake pedal effort and feel. Hit the road and enjoy the performance of your AirForce Intake Manifold!

Fastener Torque Checks

In order to ensure trouble-free long-term operation, it is recommended that you re-torque the following fasteners after 1,000 miles of operation, and again after 3,000 miles of operation:

1. The ten (10) M6 compression limiter bolts that attach the intake manifold to the cylinder heads (Final Torque 89 in-lb)

2. The four (4) M6x1.0x40mm Socket Head Cap Screws that secure the OEM throttle body to the intake manifold (Final Torque 89 in-lb)

Note: Step 2. is not necessary if the throttle body sealing plate and gasket are not being used.

Outfitting With Port Injectors

The use of auxiliary port injectors requires drilling of the injector pockets and adaptation of aftermarket fuel rails. The injector O-ring pockets and lead-in chamfers are molded in place, and all that's required is the drilling of 10mm through-holes to intersect the runners. Note that the through-holes will pierce both the upper and lower shells.