So I was reading a thread about CAI oiling and performance and couldn't resist the urge to go look under the hood and admire my Mustangs powerhouse. My Steeda CAI looks pretty cool under there and... Well now, this could suck far less!!!
The big hose clamp thing loosened at the throttle body and allowed the silicone connector to the high flow elbow to come loose. There was about a 3/8" gap at the central / widest point. This SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. Those things were all VERY tight. (I know because I did it myself rather than some OTHER bonehead. )
Let's see... It COULD have been that way for a hundred or so miles. So I'll call Steeda tomorrow and tell them I need some new clamps or advice or something.
My question for the forum is: How worried should I be about internal engine damage caused by random road crap getting sucked right into the engine through that litlte gap? It seems like when I have done compression tests on other engines in the past there's a LOT of pressure pushing out the spark plug holes, so my intuition tells me that any crap should have blown out the exhaust system pretty quickly. Plus I know most of the air was going through the filter because when I shifted recently I heard the same "sharp inhale" sound that I have always heard.
My crotchedy side tells me that heavy sandy stuff got sucked in and is scouring my cylinder walls every time i step on the gas.
Opinions on what if anything I can / should do or whether or not I should even be concerned?
Unless you are in a dirty or sandy environment, there shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you happen to notice a bit of engine surging, especially at idle, it is quite possible the throttle body got a bit dirty and the blades aren't operating at 100% but that is nothing that can't be cleaned thouroughly within 30 minutes. If you decide to take it off, that is a good opportunity to take a peek inside the intake manifold and look for any evidence of dirt inside. As 2006greyGt stated, I would certainly change the oil and filter immediately.
I don't think you have anything to worry about. Theres a lot of area for that air to be sucked in from. Unless your filter was completely pluged and the only air you were getting was where the hose clamps loosen up, then I would worry more.