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JLT’s Mopar Oil Separator is Worthy New Entry

New Mopar CAI Sucks in a Good Way


Words and photos by Richard Kratz

Here are the pieces of the JLT Performance kit. A very sturdily molded airbox, a huge flowing air filter with a bell mouth shaped outlet to smooth the flow of air into the intake tube, a nicely made molded intake tube, a 90-degree elbow, an extension for the crankcase vent tube and some hardware. And what better place to do the install and take these photos than at a race track. The soundtrack for the install was wonderful.


We here at MoparMax really like it when a quality aftermarket company that has years of experience in the blue oval or bowtie market makes the decision to expand into the Mopar market. And we absolutely love it when that company brings new, high quality parts to the Mopar market.


We have a new project car, a 2016 Dodge Charger 5.7L R/T. It’s been a while since we looked at basic bolt-ons and we haven’t really gotten elbow deep with the new generation of 2015+ Mopar HEMI cars. We heard some folks saying you can’t easily modify these cars any more. Well, that got our attention and we aim to see just what we can do with this car.


One of our first mods is to address a known issue with the Gen III HEMI when it comes to oil in the intake, and to see how one of the most popular mods, a Cold Air Intake (CAI) work on a 2016 5.7L.


The owner of our project car, Fernando “Fender” Concepcion, used to drag race Mustangs (shudder) before he went into the U.S. Army. But thankfully, the Army straightened Fender out and he now drives, and is planning on bracket racing, the aforementioned 2016 Charger R/T.


We started to look at our usual suspects list for a CAI for the project car when Fender asked, “What about JLT? They made a great kit for my old Mustang.” Hmmm, we weren’t familiar with JLT, so we figured it was one of those blue oval only companies. It turns out that while JLT got their start in that market, they have expanded into our market.


Jay Tucker, owner of JLT Performance Inc., started JLT back in 2003. At the time he worked doing all aspects of collision repair as his profession. He built several custom Mustangs for fun and was working on a 2003 Cobra. He wasn’t happy with the CAI’s available and decided to make his own. It worked really well and according to Jay his car produced more horsepower than he had seen locally or on the internet forums. Word spread and orders came in. Jay quickly switched to part time at the body shop and eventually resigned to work full time on his new company, an American success story.


JLT’s pricing is very competitive, downright reasonable in fact. In the past, quality has sometimes matched low pricing on parts we’ve tested. Not this time though. Both the CAI kit (PN CAI2-DH57-11) and the oil separator (PN 3061P) are extremely well designed and manufactured. The plastic molded parts are top notch and the metal parts are well machined. Everything fit exactly as it should. Following the instructions on a Saturday afternoon after MoparMax’s race car exited an NHRA Summit Series race at Auto Club Fontana Dragway, we installed both kits in a bit over an hour. And that included pauses for taking photos for this story.


JLT Series II Cold Air Intake (2011-18 5.7 Hemi cars)


JLT just redesigned their CAI kit in 2018, so the kit we’re installing here is their new “Series II” kit derived from lessons learned and tooling made for their Hellcat CAI kit. This is a true cold air intake design that seals the air filter from the heat of the engine bay and draws air from the factory inlet inside the fender while adding cold air flow from the grill area to increase the overall amount of air available to the engine.

JLT Performance CAI kits include S&B Powerstack air filters. We liked that the air filter uses the area at the end of the filter to add more intake area with an inverted cone of additional pleats. The main pleats are very deep at one inch in size.

The molded airbox is very well made. It seals around the factory opening (the irregular shaped opening) to draw air from inside the fender, but also adds a second opening (the more or less square shape opening at the top in this photo) that allows ambient temperature air to flow in from the grill area. Between this box and the S&B filter, no 5.7L will suffer from a lack of air flow.

Here’s where we started, the factory air filter and box. Removal is easy; disconnect the Intake Air Temperature (IAT) sensor, visible at the left just in front of the throttle body (TB), disconnect the vent tube where it goes into the airbox (just to the left of the coolant tank here), and unbolt the single hold-down bolt visible just in front of the airbox. Loosen the clamp on the air tube at the TB and lift the whole thing out. The only part you’ll reuse is the IAT sensor.

Per JLT’s instructions, it is easier to get the new airbox into place if you remove the two 10mm bolts holding the coolant tank in place and have a friend hold it up and out of the way while you put the airbox in. This took all of two minutes and we recommend it.

With the airbox in place, you just install the air filter and rubber elbow onto each end of the intake tube with the supplied clamps. Follow JLT’s instructions to transfer the IAT sensor from the factory intake to the JLT rubber elbow. We recommend putting the IAT into place first; it took a bit of hand strength to insert and twist into place. With the air filter, intake tube and elbow assembled, drop into place, fit over the TB and tighten the three clamps. Use the included vent tube extension to reconnect the crankcase vent to the intake tube. And that’s it. All of the pieces on our kit fit perfectly and went together easily.


JLT 3.0 Oil Separator (2005-18 5.7 Hemi Passenger Side)


The Gen III HEMI is one of the greatest engines ever made, period. It is well known however, that these engines suck more oil into the intake and thus into the engine than is desirable. When MoparMax’s Maulin’ Magnum was almost factory stock we removed the throttle body one day and found about a third of a quart of oil lying in a pool at the bottom of the intake plenum. We dubbed it, “Lake Petroleum.”


Ideally, your intake air is completely free of any oil mist or content. Engine oil in the intake air can increase detonation (knock), create carbon build up on valves and pistons, and foul spark plugs. There’s really nothing good about oil in the intake air.


But in order to meet emissions requirements, for a very long time now cars have had to run a Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve (PCV valve) system. In all engines some combustion pressure inevitably leaks past piston rings and builds a bit of pressure in the crankcase. In the old days, this pressure was just vented to the atmosphere. The problem is that the vented air includes some oil vapor or mist and if just vented adds to the hydrocarbon emissions issues that smog laws are meant to control. So, manufacturers started using PCV systems which in essence recirculate the crankcase air into the intake tract where the hydrocarbons are given a chance to be consumed during combustion.


The problem is that some of that oil mist in the recirculated crankcase air ends up falling out of suspension and in the case of the GEN III HEMI tends to accumulate in the intake plenum. None of this is ideal. That’s where oil separators come in.


We have always recommended that all Gen III HEMI owners run an oil separator on their engines. An oil separator is just that, it is a device that separates the oil suspended in the recirculating air from that air and accumulates the separated oil in a small reservoir that you periodically empty. Better the oil end up in the separator than your engine.


JLT Performance has a neat oil separator (PN 3061P) for late model HEMIs that is easy to install, effective and very reasonably priced. Follow along as we install one on our project 2016 Dodge Charger 5.7L R/T.

The JLT Performance HEMI oil separator kit consists of a mounting bracket, the separator assembly, two hoses and mounting hardware.

Here’s the JLT oil separator with the accumulator unscrewed from the separator body. Oil separators work on the simple principle of inertia. The separator itself (in the middle with the O-ring and barbed hose fittings) draws oil contaminated air from the PCV valve into one side (in this photo, the right side opening with a screen in it). The oil-contaminated air is forced to change direction several times within the device and the screen on the inlet side creates turbulence. Oil is much heavier than air, so during the changes in direction and in the turbulence the oil is separated from the air and is captured in the accumulator (commonly called a “catch can.”) Every 1,000 miles or so, you unscrew the catch can, empty the oil and screw it back into place. JLT recommends thoroughly cleaning the separator and screen with something like carburetor cleaner every 10,000 miles.

Assembling and mounting the bracket and oil separator takes just minutes. Don’t forget to put the aluminum spacer behind the bracket (between the cylinder head and bracket).

The factory PCV system simply routes the oil laden crankcase air from the PCV valve straight into the intake plenum as shown here.

Once the JLT oil separator is mounted in place, you remove the factory PCV hose and replace it with the two hoses included in the kit. The longer hose runs from the PCV valve to the inlet of the separator as shown, and the shorter hose runs from the separator outlet to intake manifold. The hoses are by design a very tight fit onto the separator, intake and PCV valve. JLT’s instructions say to put a bit of oil on the inside of each hose end to make it easier to slip them into place. We tried putting them on without oiling and all we did was prove that JLT was correct. Just oil the fittings and hoses to start with and they’ll slip into place.


Driving improvement and next in the series


Our charger owner, Fender, noticed the improvement right away when he drove away from the track after the install of the JLT Performance CAI. Seat of the pants, the car was more responsive at wide open throttle and at part throttle around town. With his significant other in the passenger seat she confirmed his impression that the car felt stronger around town and on the open highway. Fender reports that the car is more fun to drive than it was before. And for the very competitive price of the JLT CAI, what more can you ask?


As to the oil separator, we can tell you that it WILL accumulate oil and prevent a lot of oil from contaminating the engine. Performance gains come in the long run, from the prevention of buildups and deposits. We can also tell you that we’ve seen a lot of oil separator kits and when it comes to bang for the buck, JLT has it nailed. Well designed, well made, easy to install and nicely priced. Again, what more can you ask? We’re glad to welcome JLT into the Mopar market and we hope to see more products from them in the future.


Next up, we’re going to reinstall the factory air intake and do some before and after dyno testing. We have a set of Hedman Hedders bolt-on shorty headers for the car and a new Diablesport inTune i3 hand held programmer on hand ready to install. With factory air intake in place, we’ll get some baseline numbers on the car. Then we’ll put the JLT CAI back in place, bolt-on the headers and use our Diablosport inTune i3 with PCM swap to upload a Diablosport “canned” tune. We are very interested to see what kind of extra power and performance can be wrung from the latest generation HEMI cars with these most basic of bolt-ons.


Contact information:

JLT Performance

Website: www.jlttruecoldair.com

Phone: 757-335-1940

Address: 1008 Executive Blvd., Chesapeake VA 23320


Part numbers:

CAI2-DH57-11 - JLT Series II Cold Air Intake (2011-18 5.7 Hemi cars)

3061P - JLT 3.0 Oil Separator (2005-18 5.7 Hemi Passenger Side) 



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