CAI and tune, gains really from the tune?

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by MoonieGT, Aug 20, 2007.


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  1. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    Just currious if anyone has tried doing the re-tune without the CAI? Or in other words, how bad is the stock air setup really?
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  2. Marine One

    Marine One New Member

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    I installed a brenspeed tune w/o changing to a CAI. Performance and drivability changes were huge, especially when using the 93 octane tune.
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  3. chubhunter

    chubhunter New Member

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    I have heard and read that the stock air box isn't very restrictive. And that the big gain comes from the tune. I have the jlt 2 and brenspeed tunes but I've never tried the tune seperate from the cai.
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  4. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    I was looking at the intake yesterday and it dawned on me that the intake is probably not the main reason the CAI/tune combo wakes the car up so much. The stock intake tube does not seem to be that restrictive to me (I've seen cars with WAY worse). I need to take a closer look at the airbox and see if there seems to be any huge restrictions in air flow. I'm sure the CAI kits flow better than stock, but I'm willing to bet they don't flow so much better that it's worth $200-350. They do look nice though.

    I think I'll spend my money on an axle back and tune and skip out on the intake unless I find out about some huge problem with the stock intake.

    If you guys have more info, please let me know. I've had my GT for 3 weeks now and it's my first Mustang, so I'm trying to learn as much about the car as I can.
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  5. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    While the majority of the gains from a tuner/intake combo are from the tuner, there are definitely gains from the CAI, especially if you get one with a replacement elbow. Steeda initially sold their intake with just the maf housing and air filter and flashing. They now sell it with an elbow, and sell the elbow separately with dyno proven gains on the elbow alone. I can also notice a large "whoosh" coming from the engine bay when I drop the hammer, unlike stock.
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  6. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    Thanks Dark, I'll have to keep reading up on CAI's :).
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  7. ski

    ski Member

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  8. cowtown

    cowtown Founding Member

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    I'd say that the CAI is in most occasions the biggest HP gain itself. There are several reasons why the stock intake tube isn't that great, amongst them rigidity as shown on the MM&FF video. The tube as pressure mounts can start to contract and thusly restrict airflow.

    That article above from 5.0 Mustang is great to show you how a non tuned car response to just a CAI and with both installed. If you look at the C&L and WMS information in particular (the C&L stuff from their site with the no tune option) you'll see the difference pretty plainly.
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  9. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    I'll track down that article. Thanks for the replies guys.

    I actually have another concern regarding the rigidity of the aftermarket systems. The fact that the stock setup flexes is important. Under heavy throttle the engine will rotate on it's mounts. If the aftermarket systems are rigid, some part in the system will experience a heavy load unless there is some built in give in the aftermarket setups (I assume there must be, I just havn't had the chance to look at one in person).

    Thanks for all the help guys.
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  10. ski

    ski Member

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    FWIW, I installed an aluminum C&L Street CAI(without the supplied metal support bracket) in June of 2005, and have not touched it since then. It has performed flawlessly.
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  11. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    Most of them have rubber somewhere, so that when the engine flexes, the intake assembly can absorb it. My C&L racer uses rubber fittings where it meets the throttle body and where it meets the filter. Also, the filter is not connected to the heat shield, and it's got about 1/2" of clearance all around it, so there's plenty of room for movement.
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  12. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    I read that article. It was a good read. Those are some impressive performance gains from a new intake. Looks like I'll have to pick one out now. Thanks for saving me from a mistake.
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  13. TGJ

    TGJ New Member

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    From the research I have done, CAI's are eye candy, nothing more. I am not going to elaborate, but do a search on my posts and you will find what I think about CAI's. Now I do run a mail order SCT X-Cal2 for my mustang. With just the tuner and stock airbox/filter, I saw just as good and in some cases better than cars with CAI/Tunes in the 1/4. I saw .5 faster in the 1/4 and 5 MPH with just the tune. Doing a search on my posts, you will find how I conducted that finding.
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  14. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    No offense, but maybe you're not tuning for the cai right. Every other tuner, and magazine, has seen a sizable increase in using a CAI over a the stock filter/box. And I'm going to lean towards the dyno sheets I've seen from various tuners, including in person, over one guy I've never heard of who says he does mail order tunes.
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  15. Mr_Q

    Mr_Q Founding Member

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    If you want more power get FI.

    HAR!
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  16. TGJ

    TGJ New Member

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    Bull****...

    I am not tuning cars, I am not selling parts and I have done my homework. The fact of the matter is this, I saw a 5 MPH gain and .5 ET Drop from just a tune. That is better than most people with CAI's and tunes are seeing. The true test is 1/4 mile results, not gains shown on a dyno graph.

    Read this thread, I went into more detail there and don't feel like typing it out again...

    http://forums.stangnet.com/showthread.php?t=714575
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  17. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    My only problem with 1/4 mile claims is that so much of that depends on the driver. You cannot repeat a launch every time so that it is exactly the same. There are way too many variables that will affect your times.
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  18. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

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    No crap. But if you put the same car on the same dyno, you'll get a lot more accurate results for gains than a run down the strip. There's too many variables with 1/4 mile. It's great for telling over all speed, but you can't tell what part gained what on anything but a dyno.

    I thought you had said you ran a mail order tuning business. Now that I realize you meant you run a mail order tune on your car, you have less credit. You said you didn't see any difference with the CAI? First of all, you don't mention dynoing your car with and without the CAI. Second, you don't mention what CAI you were using along with what size MAF, and third, you don't mention if you used 2 tunes or 1.
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  19. ski

    ski Member

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  20. MoonieGT

    MoonieGT New Member

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    After reading the above article, how can you argue that CAI don't offer any gains? I was skeptical at first, but now I am a believer!
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