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Cold Air Intake Question


DLC360

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OK, since we have nothing better to do at work, we were talking about cars today. The resident tunner expert of the shop (who drives a minivan) was talking about one of his friends cars today. He was talking about his fancy home made CAI system, you know, the cone filter under the hood. Well with the normal HAI / CAI discussion he said his friend is working on new system that will be much better. :rolleyes:

His idea is to make a ram air system with the intake being in the lower grill opening of his bumper. He plans to use a flat panel filter in a box set up. All this sounds good, but the really strange thing is he wants to install an intercooler between the grill and the filter box. His idea is to cool the air before the filter and he says that he will get enough air flow for this to work. :blink:

I dont think this will give him the performance boost he thinks, but i'm not sure thats why I am tossing this out to the group. Is this kid on drugs & just trying to blow money, or does he have a workable idea ???

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In theory, the idea sounds excellent. In reality, I wouldn't be surprised if he sees decreased performance. But, hell, it's worth a shot, I suppose.

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I was thinking that it would be a restriction to the airflow. I gotta give the kid credit for thinking this out, but without forced air (turbo) I dont think it would be worth the cost for any gains he may get.

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I was thinking that it would be a restriction to the airflow. I gotta give the kid credit for thinking this out, but without forced air (turbo) I dont think it would be worth the cost for any gains he may get.

Agreed. On paper, it sure is a great concept.

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Sounds expensive and fairly useless. He can put the tube at the bottom of the bumper for a piece of mind that the filter will be getting cooler air.

You're exactly right, it would be a restriction on airflow, since nothing would be pushing the air through the heat exchanger.

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  • 1 year later...

An intercooler transfers heat from where it is hotter to where it is cooler. When air is compressed it gets hotter, so the intercooler transfers this heat to the atmosphere which is cooler. Ram air, poplular in muscle cars from the sixties, drew air from the front of the car, which was atmospheric temperature, instead of from under the hood, which was often warmer. No compressor (turbocharger or supercharger), no temperature increase and an intercooler would just add restriction.

Today many people install a "cold air intake" by-passing the stock factory external air source and using a cone filter drawing under-hood warm air. Maybe the slight reduction of air filter restriction balances off the warmer underhood air, then maybe not.

Then again, maybe it is a matter of perception - the sound of the unsilenced cone filter sounds more powerful.

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You may get better throttle response from a HAI, but you will definitely see a decrease in HP in the higher RPMs.

His setup sounds childish for a "tunner expert", something 3 months of ITT tech and Honda owning experience would think of.

I'm picturing half a box sitting in the grill, panel in the front in the open and piping out the back. Good luck getting that much room behind the grill. Unless he's putting an airbox in a more stock location and then piping to the front. The intercooler will do zilch for the car anyway, especially if you're already gathering cool air from the outside.

I've always thought too that filter location means absolutely nothing, but yet most cone filters are on the end of where-ever they go. An airbox with a highflow filter right after the intake and then piped into a cooler location does the exact same thing as a pipe out of the intake with a cone filter in a cooler location.

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  • 7 months later...

I've always thought too that filter location means absolutely nothing, but yet most cone filters are on the end of where-ever they go. An airbox with a highflow filter right after the intake and then piped into a cooler location does the exact same thing as a pipe out of the intake with a cone filter in a cooler location.

So, by your definition, does that mean that one could consider my 03 sable with intake silencer removed and a k&n filter added in the stock location could be considered a CAI? The piping still comes out (flush with the steel) of the engine compartment.

Totally not being a smart a**.

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No, that's exactly what I'm saying. The Taurus and Sable, and most modern cars, have a stock CAI.

 

post-1493-0-59835400-1391231737.jpg

 

 

That's a mockup that I just did.

 

Why does it matter where the filter goes? The air doesn't know if it's a $300 cone filter or a $30 drop in filter. It makes no difference. The piping and the source of the air is exactly the same.

 

Its a waste of time to do. A drop in high flow filter and removing the silencer is the exact same thing.

post-1493-0-59835400-1391231737_thumb.jp

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That's what I thought. I haven't made any intake mods except for removing the silencer. I was more just curious if it would be considered that way. Your logic makes perfect sense to me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My turn to chime in. My 2008 has a dumb design. It has a tiny tube going into the fender and the rest of it is just sucked in from the hot engine bay. It has a little air intake port on the front of the air box but unless you're at highway speeds its going to suck in hot air.

 

A CAI may actually give some small benefit but nothing enough to be worth it to me.

 

2 years later that still sounds really stupid though.

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The warm air intake design is probably to benefit fuel economy, it all depends on the motor, maybe the duratec 35 runs more efficient with slightly warmer air.  The computer would probably over compensate for cold air and you would burn too much fuel.

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