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Hi guys, complete newb question. I replaced my air filter and cant get the air housing back on right. The two outermost little protrusions fit right in but the middle one won't go through. Not sure if there is a special way to put it back on but I didn't think it would be this stubborn. I tried searching but couldn't find anything, probably because it's so easy no ones had to ask lol...
 

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I can't even remember what the stock airbox looks like but there should be pins on the downward side of the lid, get those in the holes then it will be in place. If they won't go through try rocking the lid up and down. Never seen anyone have issues with the lid before so your a special one :)
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if you stand on the drivers side of the vehicle, you should be able to pop the two little pins in first and push and then push it down, maybe wiggle it around a bit and it should pop into place. it can be a pain sometimes to get it lined up properly, but you just gotta wiggle it a little.
 

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Thanks guys, I'll give it another shot. I've jiggled it, shook it, even punched it and it still doesn't seem to go in... I'm not the most seasoned person but I've done brakes, suspension swaps so I figured I could change out an air filter lol.. So I'm sitting here like WTF...
 

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I had the same problem if you have thick arms its a pain, if youre flexible its a piece of cake. Take the top of the air box and line the tabs up the best that you can and then tilt the airbox (front part with the clips) up towards the hood. When you do this the 3 tabs on the back should slip in. I kept my thumb on the center one that you are having trouble with to guide/push it in.

I hope that this helps.
 

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I've found that if I use a fram air filter it is too thick and you really have to work to get the airbox to close right.
 

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So, use your thumb to guide/push it in? ..... . . . :sex:
Yeah so I have have been having a lot of induendos today while at work as well. Unintentional ones as well. My partner (at work, ima paramedic obviously) has been calling me out on them all day.
 

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I had a K&N. Well oiled. After a trip to the beach I found sand post K&N. No thanks. It came out. Minimal HP gain isn't worth letting dirt and sand into the engine. Oil coating the MAF isn't something I look forward to either.
 

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I had a K&N. Well oiled. After a trip to the beach I found sand post K&N. No thanks. It came out. Minimal HP gain isn't worth letting dirt and sand into the engine. Oil coating the MAF isn't something I look forward to either.
Funny these. The die-hard K&N crowd claims that they flow more air, yet not more dirt...seems counterintuitive now doesn't it. There have been numerous studies that they do let substantial particulate matter into the engine.

As for the OP.

Not clear, is this an non-OEM filter? They tend to run too thick. Best way to get the box back on is to shoot a little WD-40 onto the tabs (not into the box) and tilt the fender-side of the box up and catch all three. As you push the box down keep pressure towards the engine side of the box. Then clamp it shut.
 

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^^^ Like I said guide it in with your thumb bud, slips right in!!:D:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the advice. I managed to get all the guides back in finally after messing around with it some more. But you are right, I got the K&N filter and it seems like its a bit thick around the edges. Looks like theres a small opening still near the back (where the guides are) even though everything fit into its spot. Not sure if I want to continue using it... has me a little worried.
 

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A solution

Sorry to resurrect this thread but I will not be alone in trying to find a solution to this problem as a new Xterra owner. Had the same problem with a Fram not allowing the lid to close despite all clever and persistent efforts. No amount of wiggle and angle would overcome the fat lip on the filter.

So, necessity and invention and all that, I took the original Fram filter and with my sharp blade, cut the lip off the entire side that is next to the tabs in question. Just there. Slid it in, and wham, she closed right up just as tight as you please.

Problem solved. The prior owner or shop had simply clamped down on it with the rubber sticking out the back, and I believe this would have allowed air in, although it would likely still have to go through the filter before reaching the intake.

So here is a solution that worked well for me. Maybe it will for you too.
 
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I'm having the same issue on the filter i just picked up from Auto Zone. I'll try the WD 40 on the tabs and then trim the edge of the filter if necessary.

Thanks for the posts on this.
 

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I had the same issue with my 2010. It had 30K on it when I got it and when I went to replace the stock filter with a AEM cleanable dry filter the housing wouldn't fit back on tight. What I found was it wasn't a filter size issue, rather the last person who opened the airbox lid failed to lock in all the tabs on the backside when they replaced the lid and it deformed the lid enough so it wouldn't fit easily. I really had to mess with it and once on I used a strap to completely seal and secure it.
 

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Hi guys, complete newb question. I replaced my air filter and cant get the air housing back on right. The two outermost little protrusions fit right in but the middle one won't go through. Not sure if there is a special way to put it back on but I didn't think it would be this stubborn. I tried searching but couldn't find anything, probably because it's so easy no ones had to ask lol...
I think what happens is heat warps the middle part of the lower air box, or it’s not put back on right (probably by a quick oil change shop) and then heat molds it into the wrong position. Either way, I cut the center tab off and mine fits beautifully now
 
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