Thursday, October 18, 2007

Open Air Intake, Week 1 Review

I’ve had the K&N air filter installed for one week now. The night I installed it I made my wife take a ride with me so she could hear the great turbo sound that was unleashed by the open intake. All she said when we got back was, “Is that how it is supposed to sound or did you install it wrong?” I guess there is no accounting for some people’s taste... or lack there of.

Noise wise? I have to admit that after a week of driving to and from work, the sound of the turbo sucking air (even when the windows are up) is losing its novelty. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a lot of fun to hit the gas and hear the turbo spool.

You had problems in the rain? I think it has rained every day this past week, but no problems with water in the engine and I haven’t check since that one night to see if the filter even gets wet in smaller rain storms. I’m still devising an elegant and easy way to keeping water out. I will post when I come up with something perfect.

Power increase? I can’t tell. My “butt dyno” notices a change when the car downshifts on the highway, but I’m not willing to point at the new intake and say “this added +5 ATK, +3 DEF, with protection from ‘bolt’ attacks” just yet.

Two big things are keeping me from declaring the air filter the culprit for any perceived power increases. First, the weather changed the same night I installed the new intake (hence the rain). So the air temperature got a lot cooler. And second, I don’t have the equipment to measure changes in performance.

In a perfect world I would have waited until I could measure the stock levels with a dynojet and then, on the same day, install the new air filter and run the dynojet again. That way I could post images of the results and say, “It changed by exactly this amount and here is the proof”.

What about heat soak / hot air? I will have to wait until late spring before I will know if replacing the stock box with an open filter causes problems with material heat soak and the incoming air temperature. I’m doubting the area where the filter sits gets very hot, but keep in mind I thought the filter would stay dry in the rain too. It is separated in a space between the fender and engine bay and it is very open to the outside air. Some warm day I will drive around with the remote thermometer down there and post what I find.

So? So... I’m happy with the results. It was a fun and easy project. The change is sound is great. Plus it will pave the way for a stage I upgrade.

3 comments:

  1. I'd say that sound is the primary (if only) benefit of this mod ;]

    The stock airbox with the big new style paper air filter and 2004+ Aero snorkel can move plenty of air. And the cost of replacement OEM filters is not such a big deal if you consider the hassle of unbolting the K&N and cleaning it every year (and you need to buy a K&N filter service kit too!). But the sound this thing makes never fails to entertain me ;]

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  2. Car Reviews » Open Air Intake, Week 1 ReviewOctober 18, 2007 at 10:04 AM

    [...] infocog wrote an interesting post today on Open Air Intake, Week 1 ReviewHere’s a quick excerptMy “butt dyno” notices a change when the car downshifts on the highway, but I’m not willing to point at the new intake and say “this added +5 ATK, +3 DEF, with protection from ‘bolt’ attacks” just yet. Two big things are keeping me from … [...]

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  3. @dip

    I'd agree.

    I’m embarrassed when I look back to the mid-late 90s and K&N really became popular around here (Kansas). I installed a filter on my supercharged Thunderbird. The hype was "up to +20whp" or something like that, and I remember thinking I could feel all this increased power from it. The SAAB is the fifth vehicle I’ve owned with a K&N filter, with each vehicle I’ve gotten older and wiser and my expectations of what a filter can do have lowered greatly.

    But it sure does sound great.

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