My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock - Honda Civic Forum

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My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

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Old 10-09-2011
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My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

Ok, this topic has sort of been discussed to death for all gens all brands all trim lines etc. Im not posting to compare one brand to another or why one is better than another I am just relaying MY personal experience, what I have done, and what results I have had for others who were like me in the past, seraching for information and finding it here. It's what its for. Anyways, here's my schtick.

I currently have a swapped hatch. I've also had a multiple swapped Si, and a multiple swapped sedan. I've swapped everything from d15bs to B20Vtecs and I've amassed a bit of feedback from all the swaps, pros cons etc. But it seems one of the most controversial issues is intake systems. Most people do intakes because it's a fairly harmless, straightforward, cheap and easy mod that increases power and can increase fuel economy. Everyone has their personal preference to brand x or y, again, this is just my experience

Short ram intake (everything from eBay-K&N)
I've had these on my CX stock, CX swapped, Si stock, Si swapped and sedan stock and swapped. I noticed with the short ram... not a whole lot of difference LOL it wasn't until I was winding out 9k rpm in my b16/18s that the short rams were making a difference... or lack there of. They kinda ran out of breath above 7k or so, like the engine was working to breath at those rpms. Sounded great though I will say that, my mpg improved slightly, the filter got very dirty... very fast. There is also that annoying whistle....

Cold air intake
Also have had these on all my cars and all my swaps. These are great for high rpm engines like the b16/18, longer tubes means greater velocity at higher rpms=more air for the car to use, but at lower rpms the car was not as responsive as it was with the short ram. I did have greater throttle response at higher rpms i.e. at highway speeds spinning 4k rpm (approx 75-80mph) but in town, the car felt sluggish and not as crisp as the sri. There were also holes in the power band that could be felt. The annoying whistle is farther away from my ear too...

Ice box
I used the comptech on my Si with a B16, GSR and a B20vtec and it was by far my favorite. I paired it with a Samco arm and I was happy as hell. Crisp response down low, great midrange and the pickup behind the fog light helped at high rpms. It was quiet until vtec, vtec was a bit muffled compared to sri and cai but it made my engine come alive. I could use the stock filter or a drop in, it was great. By far, the best aftermarket intake I have used. Hands down. The lower horn kept falling off though, I had to glue that bastard on there. Mugen and spoon both use similar set ups. Should say something right there.

Many people choose to keep the stock set up. I can't blame them. The stock intake set up (LX/DX/CX/VX intakes are the exception) is optimized for overall performance, honda did their homework. They don't breathe as well as the open element ones do, but they make solid overall power. The tube is right length, diameter and material for performance. The rubber doesn't heat soak, the filters don't let harmful particles in. The design is optimized for the particular engine.

There is a growing number of people who like the stock sleeper look of the stock intakes, especially in states like California and Virginia where Hitler himself enforces emissions. For these people, there are countless threads on which is better EK/LS boxes, and this is where I can input some numerical information.

On my hatch, I have an APEX'I SVAFCII. Among other things, I can monitor throttle input. It reads off the TPS voltage and kicks back a numerical value equivalent to how far down you have the hammer. I did a little experiment comparing the EK box to the Integra box and these are my results.

In town: It is hard to say really what the difference in throttle input was in town since I normally dont go above 3500 in town (gas is expensive here in hog town!! were still at 3.60+/gallon for 87) and traffic is so sporadic that its hard to get a baseline. What I can tell you is that throttle response is infinitely better all over from idle to approximately 4k. It doesn't take much to get the car going and it doesn't take much to keep it at speed. Gear shifting isn't required as much as either because I still have enough power at 2k or so to accelerate easily.

Highway: This is where the biggest difference I noticed was. I drive to orlando and around the state on the reg and I started taking notes on my skinny pedal readings.
EK Box, EK arm, New EK filter. I found that, to cruise at 75-80, I would need to keep the pedal at 18-20% on flat roads, and as high as 25-32% on inclines, depending on the grade. To accelerate from 75-85 in one gear to pass a mini van for example, required an input of 32-50%. At 100% throttle input, the car would accelerate from 75-110ish before terminal velocity in a few minutes, again depending on the grade.

LS open element, LS arm, New LS paper filter. To cruise at 75-80mph required an input of 12-15% on flat roads, 18-22% on graded inclines, to pass 32%-37% and at 100% throttle, velocity would terminate at 115-120, depending on the grade.

LS Box closed with stack behind the bumper, LS arm, New LS paper filter. 75-80 cruise 12-14% flat, 17-20% incline, 30-36% pass and 115-120 at 100% throttle, depending on grade.

What to take from this: The LS box closed stock set up with the stack behind the bumper obvioulsy outperformed the EK box... considerably. 4%-8% reduced input required to cruise, 6%-12% less to incline, 2%-14% less to pass, and hit much higher speed in one gear in less time then the EK box did.
EK mpg approx 32 city/highway
LS open approx 35-37 city/highway
LS closed 35-37% city/highway
I attribute the increase in mpg to the decrease in throttle input. The LS set up yielded outstanding throttle response at all rpms on the highway and in the city, far superior to that of the EK box. I'm planning on swapping the LS arm for the Samco arm as I did in my Si here shortly.

In conclusion, this is just my experiences here in Florida, we are getting into the colder months and I will be taking notes as far as any differences in ambient temperatures go. I hope this was useful and I don't get flamed for a long *** post, but as long as this helps one person out, it was all worth it. I wish someone had done this research before me and saved me the time and effort lol

note: my hatch has an LS with an LS trans, header flywheel and axleback. This is a pretty stock swap since I blew my GSR swap all to hell. Horrific conflagration of shredded metal and bent internals. Fun stuff. I'm curious if anyone out there has similar readings with aftermarket kits and what their numbers show.

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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

Also interesting, K&N doesn't offer aftermarket intake kits for the integra, only the filters themselves. Should also say something.
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

^Spoon doesn't offer replacement intake ducting either, just filters. In fact, on their Ek9 race cars, I believe Spoon strictly uses DC2 air boxes which are larger than civics with their filters for maximum power. The design of Mugen intakes is further evidence that OEM or a similar design is best. I trust Spoon and Mugen, who actually have Honda race teams using their products over K&N, AEM, Injen and other manufacturers who develop relatively generic products for every single car being built.
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock



this is the spoon set up i am familiar with, and yeah they make the filters for the DC box too, unfortunately I can't find one anymore
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

im trying to find the article on team-integra about tube diameter vs. length vs. power it was really cool. ill link it if i can find it
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

^
Please do!
If enough information is posted in this thread I'll sticky it.

Ah yes, I forgot they added that piece to the ducting to open it up, same principle though. It's a very close to stock intake.
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

icbmotorsports i think was the last to have the spoon parts, i believe (dont quote me) they still ahve the elbow.

this is the link from the team-integra site. its been around a while and it helped me stick to the stock stuff. Michael Delaney is insanely full of useful information.

http://www.team-integra.net/forum/14...read-here.html
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

im sure anyone can find this using google, but as we all know some people don't and as we are already on the topic this is the link for the diy DC airbox mod.

http://www.team-integra.net/forum/19...le-cai-22.html

fitting the dc airbox into the ek isnt hard just takes some fabbing up and a few short trips to Lowe's XD
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

Okay, stuck.

Any future posts in this thread will be to add information only.

DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS IN THIS THREAD.
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

Here is my take on intakes for the 2001 civic, being that there are over 10 different brands and types, and I have quite a bit of dyno time on the stock vs aftermarket intakes and their technology. True these are only civics, but the same principles apply to any car.

there are several factors to consider when choosing an intake, and its all about tradeoffs based on the user and driving style.

material type (plastic or metal or CF): this determines how hot the intake system gets during operation. The longer the intake, the more it becomes an issue due to thermodynamics. A short pipe will not have much chance of heating up a fast moving air charge like a long pipe would. Plastic tubes do not get as hot as metal and are therefore ideal for any system. The negative is that they look worse compared to a shiny polished metal pipe. In the summer, metal pipes can reach 150F+ temps and that can have some effect on heating the air charge (less for short ram, more for cold air intake). In the winter, you can have the opposite effect and the metal pipe will actually measure a colder temperature than plastic.

Intake piping size (diameter) and length: The primary goal of an intake system is to flow air as fast as possible into the engine. Smaller pipes increase speed, larger pipes decrease it. the idea is to find a happy medium. Usually on civics, this is around 2.5 inches. a couple of intakes take a different approach, which also works. Injen and WR both have 3 inch pipes that reduce to a 2 inch "plenum" that then fills the throttle body. AEM V2 uses a dual chamber pipe design with a larger pipe reducing to a smaller one in mid pipe. these designs are acceptable because they speed up the airflow to the throttle body at the last second. The length of pipe also matters. Not due to the length itself, but rather the bends that are required to fit a longer intake under the hood of a car. This is bad for cold air intakes. Bends are bad for airflow because they disrupt the laminar flow and slow down air velocity. It can also cause pulses that will not be in tune with the engine intake pulses. This can actually cause a decrease in performance. This is why short ram intakes often perform the same as cold air on many cars. The short rams have one or zero bends, while cold air as many as four. Short rams suck in hotter air, but at a faster rate. In winter, the short ram would actually perform better because the pipe stays cool and is being fed cold air from the upper grill.

Filter design: the type of air filter also matters. Ofcourse by now everyone knows K&N flows more air because it only has a 92% filtration ability due to the thin cotton media. The reailty is that most cars do not need this extra air. Filters like the AEM dryflow provide more air than the engine would ever need while filtering 99% or more of particles and not requiring oil that can clog intake system sensors. Filters that incorporate a velocity stack design are even better because they flow more air than an open pipe with no filter. currently DC, WR, and Apexi make filters with velocity stacks. While it may not matter on a civic, many turbo vehicles would see noticable gains just from switching to a velocity stacked filter.

Location of air temp sensors: This becomes important because the factory intake air temp sensor is located directly above the hot engine throttle body and may fool the ecu into thinking the air is warmer than it really is. Good for mileage, bad for power. If possible use an intake that locates the sensor to mid-pipe where it will get a better reading of air temp, or move it yourself. The sensor is a simple thermistor and can even be located outside of intake vacuum, provided you seal the hole in the intake where the sensor was. In many intake designs, the sensor also blocks a good part of the airflow and can disrupt the smooth profile. DO NOT remove or change the PCV hose configuration by deleting it and adding a separate "breather filter" to the engine. The PCV system MUST be under vacuum to work properly. Disabling or changing a PCV system can cause permanent and serious engine damage due to buildup of corrosive gases.

intake construction and assembly: this can also have an impact on performance. Typically an install consists of connecting pipes together with rubber couplers and tightening everything down. The biggest issue is how you mount the intake pipe to the throttle body. You want to leave a few millimeters of air gap between the pipe and throttle body, especially if the intake tube is metal. This will greatly reduce how hot the pipe gets year around. You also need to make sure that the final assembled intake has about 1/4 inch of play in every direction. when you are driving, the engine (and intake) will be moving. An intake that is bolted down hard with no movement will cause stress to joints, clamps, and can eventually cause welded bracket supports to break. always use a soft rubber isolation mount (many kits have this now).

heat shields: only one intake includes a heat shield with their kit and that is the K&N FIPK system. the problem with most heat shield designs is they do more harm than good. usually they are too close to the filter and made of metal, so they can get hot and transfer heat into the filter by convection. the heatshields are also never made with regard to car-specific airflow. the K&N shield for example is mounted at an angle and therefore blocks over 75% of fresh air coming thru the upper grill. The ideal heat shield would be a flat piece of metal (preferably CF instead) that provides a barrier between the engine and intake and is mounted parallel to the engine. this allows cold outside air to be directed straight to the filter, essentially creating a cold short ram air intake. the shield must also be at least 2 inches away from the filter to actually work in reducing intake air temps. the generic heat shields that mount directly around the filter are the worst design. Not only do they inhibit normal airflow, but they also trap heat and increase air temps going into the side of the filter.

stock intake: the factory intake on these cars is surprisingly good for all around daily driving. it is plastic, it has a duct that collects colder air by the battery, and the resonator helps with cylinder filling for better midrange power. It also keeps the noise down. There is an air plenum built into the airbox for better torque. After about 6k rpms, the stock intake stops making power.

aftermarket short ram: there are many configurations, shapes, and sizes. Most intakes perform the same, but some have a few extra tricks. A good short ram like the K&N typhoon will perform better between 1-3k rpms than the stock intake. But when you reach 3.5-4.5k rpms, the stock intake will make more power due to the timed intake pulses and the resonator. 5-6.5k rpms the aftermarket will again make more power. If you are the type of person that usually drives at or below 3k rpms, and sometimes likes to floor it to redline, an aftermarket would work best. Still we are only talking about maybe a 5wtq and 2whp improvement across the power band. You may not even notice a difference. In the summer, a short ram will provide better gas mileage but worse performance. opposite in winter. Injen and some WR short ram intakes do have an air plenum built into the piping above the throttle body and this can increase midrange torque to stock intake levels.

aftermarket cold air: these kits are almost all the same configuration. a really long pipe (2-3x longer than a short ram) that bends and twists to relocate the filter closer to the outside air above the fender. Ironically, for many intakes this is still not exposing the filter to direct outside air but rather "cooler" air behind the bumper and below the battery. Then you have the problem of too many sharp bends that disrupt the airflow and slow it down, causing performance loss (even if the air is slightly cooler). On the dyno on an average 70F day, the cold air will barely make 1whp more power and that can be attributed to any number of other factors. in reality, there is no difference yet you increase the chance of water getting in the engine since the filter sits low enough to get splashes on it (but not low enough to actually see direct fresh air blowing on it).

Last edited by gearbox; 10-09-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

my current intake, which ive been using for 6 yrs, is a WR secret weapon with AEM dryflow filter. You can see the air plenum above the throttle body, and the intake pipe only has one mild bend in it. The IAT sensor is located behind the pcv hose, mid-pipe. The plenum pipe is spaced 1/4 inch above the throttle body to prevent heat transfer. There is a custom bracket mount holding the pipe in place. The dryflow filter does not get anywhere near as dirty as the oiled versions. I've had it for 6 months and there are only some twigs and leaves in it. the media is thick, like two K&N filters combined (you cannot see light shining thru the dryflow media). Removing the factory airbox and resonator also allows better airflow and cooling of the trans and engine (with altezza style front grill). All of the couplers are silicone, no chance of breaking or leaking air. clamps are tightened with a socket wrench. By far the best intake i've had compared to K&N typhoon, AEM SRI, K&N FIPK, and a few others. Those only lasted a few months before I got tired of them. I would like to eventually replace the air filter with a DC sports velocity stack dryflow filter, but they are impossible to find without buying the whole intake.

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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
Here is my take on intakes for the 2001 civic, being that there are over 10 different brands and types, and I have quite a bit of dyno time on the stock vs aftermarket intakes and their technology. True these are only civics, but the same principles apply to any car.

there are several factors to consider when choosing an intake, and its all about tradeoffs based on the user and driving style.

material type (plastic or metal or CF): this determines how hot the intake system gets during operation. The longer the intake, the more it becomes an issue due to thermodynamics. A short pipe will not have much chance of heating up a fast moving air charge like a long pipe would. Plastic tubes do not get as hot as metal and are therefore ideal for any system. The negative is that they look worse compared to a shiny polished metal pipe. In the summer, metal pipes can reach 150F+ temps and that can have some effect on heating the air charge (less for short ram, more for cold air intake). In the winter, you can have the opposite effect and the metal pipe will actually measure a colder temperature than plastic.

Intake piping size (diameter) and length: The primary goal of an intake system is to flow air as fast as possible into the engine. Smaller pipes increase speed, larger pipes decrease it. the idea is to find a happy medium. Usually on civics, this is around 2.5 inches. a couple of intakes take a different approach, which also works. Injen and WR both have 3 inch pipes that reduce to a 2 inch "plenum" that then fills the throttle body. AEM V2 uses a dual chamber pipe design with a larger pipe reducing to a smaller one in mid pipe. these designs are acceptable because they speed up the airflow to the throttle body at the last second. The length of pipe also matters. Not due to the length itself, but rather the bends that are required to fit a longer intake under the hood of a car. This is bad for cold air intakes. Bends are bad for airflow because they disrupt the laminar flow and slow down air velocity. It can also cause pulses that will not be in tune with the engine intake pulses. This can actually cause a decrease in performance. This is why short ram intakes often perform the same as cold air on many cars. The short rams have one or zero bends, while cold air as many as four. Short rams suck in hotter air, but at a faster rate. In winter, the short ram would actually perform better because the pipe stays cool and is being fed cold air from the upper grill.

Filter design: the type of air filter also matters. Ofcourse by now everyone knows K&N flows more air because it only has a 92% filtration ability due to the thin cotton media. The reailty is that most cars do not need this extra air. Filters like the AEM dryflow provide more air than the engine would ever need while filtering 99% or more of particles and not requiring oil that can clog intake system sensors. Filters that incorporate a velocity stack design are even better because they flow more air than an open pipe with no filter. currently DC, WR, and Apexi make filters with velocity stacks. While it may not matter on a civic, many turbo vehicles would see noticable gains just from switching to a velocity stacked filter.

Location of air temp sensors: This becomes important because the factory intake air temp sensor is located directly above the hot engine throttle body and may fool the ecu into thinking the air is warmer than it really is. Good for mileage, bad for power. If possible use an intake that locates the sensor to mid-pipe where it will get a better reading of air temp, or move it yourself. The sensor is a simple thermistor and can even be located outside of intake vacuum, provided you seal the hole in the intake where the sensor was. In many intake designs, the sensor also blocks a good part of the airflow and can disrupt the smooth profile. DO NOT remove or change the PCV hose configuration by deleting it and adding a separate "breather filter" to the engine. The PCV system MUST be under vacuum to work properly. Disabling or changing a PCV system can cause permanent and serious engine damage due to buildup of corrosive gases.

intake construction and assembly: this can also have an impact on performance. Typically an install consists of connecting pipes together with rubber couplers and tightening everything down. The biggest issue is how you mount the intake pipe to the throttle body. You want to leave a few millimeters of air gap between the pipe and throttle body, especially if the intake tube is metal. This will greatly reduce how hot the pipe gets year around. You also need to make sure that the final assembled intake has about 1/4 inch of play in every direction. when you are driving, the engine (and intake) will be moving. An intake that is bolted down hard with no movement will cause stress to joints, clamps, and can eventually cause welded bracket supports to break. always use a soft rubber isolation mount (many kits have this now).

heat shields: only one intake includes a heat shield with their kit and that is the K&N FIPK system. the problem with most heat shield designs is they do more harm than good. usually they are too close to the filter and made of metal, so they can get hot and transfer heat into the filter by convection. the heatshields are also never made with regard to car-specific airflow. the K&N shield for example is mounted at an angle and therefore blocks over 75% of fresh air coming thru the upper grill. The ideal heat shield would be a flat piece of metal (preferably CF instead) that provides a barrier between the engine and intake and is mounted parallel to the engine. this allows cold outside air to be directed straight to the filter, essentially creating a cold short ram air intake. the shield must also be at least 2 inches away from the filter to actually work in reducing intake air temps. the generic heat shields that mount directly around the filter are the worst design. Not only do they inhibit normal airflow, but they also trap heat and increase air temps going into the side of the filter.

stock intake: the factory intake on these cars is surprisingly good for all around daily driving. it is plastic, it has a duct that collects colder air by the battery, and the resonator helps with cylinder filling for better midrange power. It also keeps the noise down. There is an air plenum built into the airbox for better torque. After about 6k rpms, the stock intake stops making power.

aftermarket short ram: there are many configurations, shapes, and sizes. Most intakes perform the same, but some have a few extra tricks. A good short ram like the K&N typhoon will perform better between 1-3k rpms than the stock intake. But when you reach 3.5-4.5k rpms, the stock intake will make more power due to the timed intake pulses and the resonator. 5-6.5k rpms the aftermarket will again make more power. If you are the type of person that usually drives at or below 3k rpms, and sometimes likes to floor it to redline, an aftermarket would work best. Still we are only talking about maybe a 5wtq and 2whp improvement across the power band. You may not even notice a difference. In the summer, a short ram will provide better gas mileage but worse performance. opposite in winter. Injen and some WR short ram intakes do have an air plenum built into the piping above the throttle body and this can increase midrange torque to stock intake levels.

aftermarket cold air: these kits are almost all the same configuration. a really long pipe (2-3x longer than a short ram) that bends and twists to relocate the filter closer to the outside air above the fender. Ironically, for many intakes this is still not exposing the filter to direct outside air but rather "cooler" air behind the bumper and below the battery. Then you have the problem of too many sharp bends that disrupt the airflow and slow it down, causing performance loss (even if the air is slightly cooler). On the dyno on an average 70F day, the cold air will barely make 1whp more power and that can be attributed to any number of other factors. in reality, there is no difference yet you increase the chance of water getting in the engine since the filter sits low enough to get splashes on it (but not low enough to actually see direct fresh air blowing on it).
there is a link in my previous post from team-integra discussing intake designs, and bend in the pipe can actually improve performance quite a bit
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Old 10-09-2011
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

oh okay good to know. i havent read those yet. and your intake looks really good in the above pic. i heard about the icebox a while back, its too bad they never made anything for d17. i guess the battery would have to be relocated with that kind of airbox setup. i wonder what would be the best pipe bend angle, cause i remember reading an article while back that said 90 degree bends would slow down airflow enough to be measured with a meter. but again these are small details. it won't make or break the engine. im sure the air is still able to move fast enough to supply the needed air. i'll read that long thread later today looks interesting.

forgot to mention, the WR above uses a 3 inch main pipe and universal AEM dryflow filter (thats why its red instead of grey, they only have red in 3 inch size).

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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

pic of inside the air plenum piece above the throttle body. rough grooved surface to promote turbulence. the 3 inch section of pipe is super smooth. then it hits the rear piece and the pipe is reduced to about half the size.

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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
oh okay good to know. i havent read those yet. and your intake looks really good in the above pic. i heard about the icebox a while back, its too bad they never made anything for d17. i guess the battery would have to be relocated with that kind of airbox setup. i wonder what would be the best pipe bend angle, cause i remember reading an article while back that said 90 degree bends would slow down airflow enough to be measured with a meter. but again these are small details. it won't make or break the engine. im sure the air is still able to move fast enough to supply the needed air. i'll read that long thread later today looks interesting.

forgot to mention, the WR above uses a 3 inch main pipe and universal AEM dryflow filter (thats why its red instead of grey, they only have red in 3 inch size).
from my understanding on the topic, it isn't so much about the maximum rate of airflow through the pipe, its the density and pattern of the airflow through the pipe. AEM's V2 was the best on the market for the longest time because of its dual stage design, it slowed down air for tq and had high speed air at high rpm. The other interesting thing to note from the above article is that there really isn't much of a difference between ambient temps and filter temps, now the temperature of the pipe material is another matter. Interesting stuff guys I like the elevated level of discussion.
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Re: My take on intakes SRI CAI vs Stock

I was considering a couple mods for my stock '97 EX: headers and an intake. I'm not looking for huge power gains, but the idea of cooler air is appealing since that means a more complete burn (more oxygen in denser air, right? Physics) which can possibly have a positive effect on gas mileage, and the headers I'm thinking will cut resistance which will result in smoother air flow out, which will allow the engine to run smoother (in theory- I realize an inline 4 is naturally unbalanced but I'm working with what I got lol- my fiancee has the "smooth" car: Volvo S80)

For headers, I'm thinking this: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/d...da/model/civic

For intake, I'm still unsure... short ram, CAI? I was considering this: https://www.aemintakes.com/search/pr...x?prod=21-414P

But then I read this thread and wondering if just keeping the stock airbox might be the best idea. Thoughts?
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