I have a '96 Firebird Trans Am WS6 with the Ram Air package. I will have to replace the air filter in a few thousand miles and had been considering just installing a K&N filter in the stock air box. Now I am relatively new when it comes to LT1s and wanted some information on how good the factory ram air kit was and whether I would be better served by saving the money difference on getting the K&N filter ($83 vs $12 for stock) over stock and replacing the ram with another more efficient intake setup. So basically I am asking if the Ram Air is decent or is there something out there better for this setup and how much it is priced? If this car didn't have the ram air I would get a CAI without hesitating.
Your factory airbox is rather effective as it is very much like the ls1 lid
Dont go CAI as it will hurt performance. Instead remove the plastice strips that run over the middle of the filter with a dremel, then run a good filter AEM, K&N, or Moroso, or whatever your favorite brand is and you have one of the most effective CAI available for an F-body.
The K&N filters have shown time and time again to show no real noticable HP or TQ gains on a dyno. You won't notice it by feel, or probably even at the dragstrip compared to a normal, clean paper filter. I got one on the cheap and it fit a lot better, and now I have piece of mind that there aren't moths in my engine, but the car is no faster and I will be saving very little if any $ in the long run with the cost of "refreshing" the K&N.