That box is a heat shield. Who knows how much it helps but even Mopar engineers felt it was best to have one from the factory.
Yeah.... thanks. lol
I've been modifying OEM intakes on my cars for over 35 years, usually with very good improvements.
The problem with those plastic boxes is that they don't contain a large enough volume of air to keep the intake properly fed with air.
Under high boost conditions especially, there will be engine vacuum inside the air box. You can't get the air into the box fast enough.
It's true that one reason for the air box is to try to avoid feeding warm air to the intake. However, OEMs are often more concerned
with noise reduction and protecting the air filter from water and debris. Performance actually ranks under other concerns sometimes
from the OEM point of view.
There are often trade offs when designing complex systems. In this case, I chose to rebalance the CAI properties on my car to
favor overall air flow more than noise reduction, IAT reduction, and water/debris protection. I don't see a big increase in IAT.
And I don't plan to drive the car through flooded streets.
I didn't remove the headlight cold air port, it's still blows right at the air filter. Except now the air filter is free to pull as much of
the air surrounding it as possible. It's not restricted by the volume of the air in the plastic box.
I know it seems blasphemous to some people, but I've chosen to change parts that an OEM engineer put in my car.
Here's a tip for anybody else using the BWoody or similar CAI:
Don't put the conical filter on the end of the intake pipe down as far as it will go. You'll have a situation where the intake pipe is
extending up into the filter and can block a large amount of air from coming into the filter. The edge of the pipe will be contacting
the inner surface of the cone and limiting air from around the wider base of the filter. Take an empty paper towel tube and stick it
into a funnel to illustrate what I mean. The edge of the tube will seal against the inside radius of the funnel.
You want the rubber seal of the conical filter out near the end of the intake pipe. Leave enough room for the clamps of course.
That tip is not on the install sheet for the BWoody, but it really should be.