Do current so called "cold air intakes" really give any power?

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by svtash, Sep 29, 2005.


  1. svtash

    svtash New Member

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    I knoiw there has been discussion on whether current air intakes are cold air or not but I was wondering if they actually give any power. :shrug: Now I was just thinking of thos yesterday and I personally dont know the answer since I dont have my car quite yet but would like to know for when i do get it. Heres my question. Now most intakes need a retune of the computer to adjust for it. The power gains that are claimed on the websites of all the intake manufacturers seem to claim 20-25hp and ~20tq. I have also seen approx the same numbers on the sites for just the retune even with stock intake. SO does an intake actually give you a power gain or is it pretty much all in the tune? Has anyone done each one seperate or do just one or the other. I am curious to actually know how much an intake actually helps or if it all the tune.

    One other newb question: Can an intake really help much w/o a larger throttle body? I would think it would just tend to "bottleneck" a bit w/o a bigger tb.
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  2. 2003gt

    2003gt Member

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    oh hell ya they do....with a tune....


    my local dynoshop, also good friends of mine, have his wife's gt (their test car) completely stock accept for the JLT cold air intake, and a tune by with the xct and they have the (to the ground numbers) at 298hp and I forgot TQ

    so just about a 15hp gain !
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  3. dustindu4

    dustindu4 New Member

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    Yeah they make a huge difference, you know it as soon as you start the car. Do it and you wont regret it.


    Huge difference with my K&N air charger with no tune.
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  4. willgator1

    willgator1 New Member

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    bbkperformance has a cai with throttle body that really makes a diff check this months issue of fast fords
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  5. Owner1

    Owner1 Member

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    In my opinion, virtually all the horsepower gain is in the tune. Like you, I have seen dyno results of cars with just a tune, and they show the same 15-20 horsepower that the folks with "CAI" get after a tune.

    While it is possible that the factory left 5-10 easily obtained horsepower on the table, it seems unlikely, given the expense they went to in modifying the engine for the '05.

    If the gain from the CAI is really less than 5 horsepower (as I believe to be extremely likely) than it is an increase that could never be felt, but could be measured at a dragstrip. As for the folks who can "feel" the increase of 5 or 10 horsepower, well, the placebo effect is a real phenomenon. A two or three percent change is not perceptible without instrumentation.

    Having said all this, my '05 is completely stock. However, I did spend 19 years seriously modifying a fox body.

    Owner1
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  6. Fourth Horseman

    Fourth Horseman New Member

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    What I've noticed on many engines with CAIs, RAIs, etc. installed isn't so much a horsepower increase, as measured by the seat-o-the pants, as an increase in how quickly the engine will turn up to high RPMs. The engine itself seems to accelerate faster if it breathes easier.
    #6
  7. cleveland

    cleveland Founding Member

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    Yes, a tune will bring you larger numbers but the engine still isnt getting all the power that it can. A good example is the 03/04 cobra with the "no-tune-required" k&n short ram intake, please stop using Cold Air Intake cause it really doesnt do that for our cars, the intake is good for just about 20-30hp throughout the rpm.

    For the '05 though the filter does make a difference because 30hp isnt just in the tune, more than half of that is the short ram doing its job. Of course this ~30bhp is when using the c&l and jlt kits with a good tune to match on an otherwise stock vehicle.

    -Dan
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  8. RICVA05

    RICVA05 New Member

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    If you do not have the CAI and you are trying to figure out in your head if it is worth having one. See how many people are complaining about there CAI I think you will be hard pressed to find anybody unhappy.
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  9. svtash

    svtash New Member

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    I dont think anyone is unhappy cause im sure it gives at least a bit more power and might make it sound a bit different as well but I am just trying to figure weather it is worth an extra 300 or so bones for it, thats all. Im trying to figure out how much is from the tune and how much is from the intake. think i might buy the two together from jlt but not sure yet. Seems to be the best deal I can find.:)
    #9
  10. RandyB

    RandyB New Member

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    I don't like the looks of most of the CAI kits, so I will probably test your theory and maybe get a drop in K+N panel filter and an SCT tune. I like the factory appearance.
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  11. REDFIRE 05 GT

    REDFIRE 05 GT New Member

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    All I can say is the C&L is awsome in looks and performance :hail2:
    #11
  12. 05canuck

    05canuck New Member

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    I just installed the AFE kit in my car last night, I can say it alone is worth the 300 bucks. The sound is slight but noticable and its pulls hard too, the kit is very nice and had no problems and is more "cold air".

    ps I have no tune.
    #12
  13. 05canuck

    05canuck New Member

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    I'll post some pics inside the box tomorrow
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  14. Motorhead6T5

    Motorhead6T5 New Member

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    I don't have one.Don't plan on buying one either.
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  15. 1fastz

    1fastz New Member

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    if you had one you would probly be closer to 108-109 mph in the traps :)
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  16. Motorhead6T5

    Motorhead6T5 New Member

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    Naw don't think so. I don't think I would be any faster with a CAI. Things that would make me faster is a o/r pipe,and or gears. Track numbers don't lie :nice:
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  17. gotan05

    gotan05 New Member

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    Motorhead you do any dyno pulls? Not disagreeing with your statement just want to see your hp without the CAI. If i can spend $200-250 on something better I will.
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  18. 1fastz

    1fastz New Member

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    I will prove it one way or the other in a couple hours

    I will have PROOF one way or the other in about to hours ..

    my c and L cold air kit just arived via ups and i will be puting it on my car and dynoing it before and after.

    NO OTHER CHANGES except the car already has a magnaflow cat back.

    I am going to dyno the car before and after c and l with NO tune then I will put the tune in it and dyno it again ..

    this will be undeniable proof if they are worth a gain or not.
    #18
  19. 1fastz

    1fastz New Member

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    ok results

    Well there is NO denying they get more air into the motor..

    my car went from 11.8 to 14.2-1 air fuel with no change other then the cold air.

    adding JUST the cold air wihtout any tuneing COST ME horsepower

    however usegn my tuner to tune it to the SAME air fuel i had previously even with NO timeing adjustments i gained 11 horsepower at the wheels.

    then i went in and adjusted the timeing tables and the total gain was 19 horsepower at the rear wheel average..

    and peak gains of 34 horsepower at the higher rpms where the factory tune is just way off and the horsepower was droping badly with the stock tune.

    @With the programer the power curve stays flat and doenst drop all the way out to 6600 rpm.. I reset the limiter to 6800.


    air fuel was 12.9 straight across at the best power level of 293 horsepower and 308 torque..

    no mods other then the cat back magnaflow and the c and l cold air intake and the quick tune i put in it ..

    im sure there are a few maybee 4 5 more horses in the tune as i didnt do to much fine tuneing just got the air fuel in the corect area and added or subtracted timeign 2 degrees at at time globaly.


    conclusion without a doubt the cold air intakes are worth some power .. however you MUST use a tuner with them.

    I removed the cold air and made pulls with the stock box again retuning for the setup and i lost 9 rwhp across the rpms vs tune plus cold air and as much as 15 rwhp up top past power peak.
    #19
  20. krang00

    krang00 Founding Member

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    What are you guys using to do your tuning? I don't know that much about it but am pretty interestered in it with the new stangs. I'm assuming things are much more flexible than with my old fox?
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