View Full Version : What will a cold air intake do for me?
12-25-2000, 10:53 AM
I can't find any information about cold air intakes except for how to order them. I have a 93 Integra and am considering getting a cold air intake, at least if they do what I think they do. I think they give you better performance because they are taking in cold air, and thus more oxygen to burn. However, I have some questions: Do you have to remove the resonator or air box, making the engine rice-burner loud? (That I don't want.) Also, is the extra power generated in the lower RPMs, creating a greater sensation of pickup and torque? (That I do want; I don't like revving high.) Are they worth the money, or is it recommended just to build your own, like several web sites have suggested. And yes, I do plan to get a K&N air filter to go with it. So, does anyone have any experience with cold air intakes?
12-25-2000, 12:21 PM
You are right, A cold air intake will improve performance since it is pulling in cooler air, which is more dense, and therefore will make combustion more efficient. Your Mass Airflow sensor will read this as "more air...hmmm need more fuel" thus more power when you want it. If you keep your foot out of the accelerator, it can help your gas mileage some. If you have your foot in it all the time, the mileage may decrease. (this is my experience, at least)
Cooler air will help at ANY engine speed, though another reason to upgrade your intake will be better airflow, meaning that you will have better efficiency at higher RPMs than the stock airbox theoretically gives you. The resonator and airbox are designed more to reduce noise, and cause turbulence in your intake. The aftermarket intakes offer smoother airflow which helps smooth this out.
Yes, it usually means removing the airbox and resonator, which means a little more noise, though in most cases, this isn't a huge change. The rice-burner loudness to which I think you refer is more often than not due to a resonating exhaust tip, having a "motorcycle in a tin can" effect as I call it.
YMMV, and you'll have to decide for yourself whether the extra noise, and possible loss/gain in mileage is worth it to you. ON my truck ('98 GMC Sonoma w/ a V-6) there was a noticeable difference in power, though it was slight, and more of a whooshing sound under the hood since you could hear the intake a little more. Gas mileage varies inversely with the pressure applied to the accelerator.
Here's a link for a Honda-specific FAQ (http://members.tripod.com/~Angelo_Lee/personal/hondafaq.html#4.1)
If you do a Google (http://www.google.com) search on "Cold Air Intake FAQ Acura", here's what you'll find: lots of stuff. (http://www.google.com/search?q=Cold+Air+Intake+FAQ+Acura&hl=en&lr=&safe=off)
12-25-2000, 05:05 PM
Yeah, a CAI will improve your performance, but only some. The intake is part of a system, and only fixing half of it won't give you the best results.
You will lose your filter box, but you should get a new filter with the CAI... what brand did you get?
We (my friends and I) just put an intake on a Civic the other day, and the rest of his system is stock. It is a bit louder, but nothing harsh (no bumblebee's allowed in our crew, dammit!)
To get the full effect, you should look into a new exhaust system, full cat-back if possible. Call around, there are some shops that get a lot of import business, and they may be able to help you get the look and boost of a good aftermarket exhaust, without the bee-in-a-can sound.
Headers should also be added, but they are usually last, as they are the most expensive part of the package....
next is cams and cam gears, throttle-body (P&P), pistons, clutch, turbo and NOS.... hehehehhehe
Also, a word of warning.... some folks with CAI that drive them hard when the ground is wet (moderate to heavy rain) have had problems with water getting sucked into it. Just be aware. My friend has a shorty intake that he swaps out when it's raining hard (most of the winter here in Sac!). Just something to keep in mind.... YMMV
12-25-2000, 06:30 PM
Whoa, let's not get carried away here. :)
I'm not an import racer of any sort, I just happen to own a slow import that could be a touch quicker.
I was just interested in a semi-cheap mod (ie, CAI) that I could do in a couple hours and get some semblance of a result. If I wasn't planning to get something European this spring I'd probably go all out with cams and wheels and such, but stop just short of the "racer" extent. Just something to get me from point A to point B with a little more pep is all I'm after.
Anyway, I was planning to get either an AEM or a DIY (do-it-yourself), with a K&N filter. Incidentally, about 20 minutes after I made the OP, I found the site http://www.carreview.com and looked at their AEM reviews. It seems like a worthwhile product, although I'm still worried about the noise. Practically everyone commented on how "nice" the engine "growls", and, given the typical import performance mod buyer's take on the word "nice", I'm a little concerned. Which is the main reason I'm considering DIY, because then I wouldn't have wasted $200. But I have yet to find a tutorial on DIY CAI's for Gen2 'Tegs.
12-25-2000, 07:26 PM
The cold air intake should increase power, by increasing torque, due to allowing cooler, denser air into your engine. Your model and year of car should have a fuel injection system that can automatically adjust for this, and take advantage of it.
This effect occurs at all engine speeds.
Also, removing intake restrictions and reducting pressure drops may give you a high-rpm power increase (by increasing your torque, see my previous long-ass post on "what are power and torque in cars").
As to the noise - yes, the engine noise can increase. Some people like the different, louder sound. Others do not. It's easy for you to give it a try and find out.
12-25-2000, 09:46 PM
Don't worry, I'm not trying to convert you... at least, not much.
I would recommend against a DIY kit, as the pro companies (especially AEM) have a lot of time and experience working on it, to get everything right.
I would recomend an Iceman Cold-Air Intake... it's a 2 piece CAI that come apart for wet wheather, comes in a variety of colors, including black for that "Stock, really, I swear" look.
There was an 94 Integra in my crew that had the Iceman, and said that it wasn't appreciably louder, but it did give him more HP, and he noticed a decent pick up in his off the line torque. It all depends on what you want, I suppose...
Go for it... you have nothing to lose but money, and mayhaps you will get the Asian Import Bug like I did.... just fun to smoke a Stang or F-body in a Civic Si... they never seem to expect it... hehehehehe....
Now if I can just get a license....
I've been quite happy with the Iceman (on a Neon). It is a little louder, but not enough to draw attention, and it seems to even out the "bumps" in the torque curve a little.
FWIW though, I think you'll be happier with a better exhaust rather than messing with the intake. For the money, you will realize greater gains there. Before trying to get more air IN, you should be making sure it can get OUT. The exhaust is nearly always the greatest bottleneck in the system.
12-26-2000, 01:47 AM
Good points on the exhaust.... but one must also be sure not to get too big a diameter of piping, as to big is worse than too small.
What's your take on the American Car industry trying to chip into the Asian import market (ie: the Focus, the Neon.. other cars that are styled more like the Asian Imports, and supported by Aftermarkets with the same styling and advertising..)??
Just curious... I think we've topped the OP at this point.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.