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Old 02-26-2014, 04:15 PM   #1
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Cold Air Intake

I have purchased a 2014 Rubicon. I was talking with a fellow jeep owner, and he told me I should get a cold air intake to improve my fuel economy and horsepower. He gave it many accolades and said he wouldn't own another vehicle without one. I feel like I have enough power with this 3.6 liter Pentastar engine, but I'm only getting about 16 mpg, and would enjoy the benefits of increasing that number. Extra HP would be nice to I guess.

I would like comments from those that have used these and maybe what type you used. I've read enough about theory, DINO tests and stuff like that, so don't need any of that. I just would like to hear from those who have actually tested these.

Thanks

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Old 02-26-2014, 04:18 PM   #2
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If it's possible for you to keep your foot out of it, then you might get 16.5 mpg with a CAI. They might give you a very slight improvement, but it will probably be negated because your so thrilled with how it sounds & drives that you will keep mashing on the skinny pedal.

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Old 02-26-2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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Not worth it, save you money for more useful mods. I've used them on more heavily modded turbo diesel applications and saw benefits but on a naturally aspirated engine like ours, not worth the risk of hydrolocking or voiding warranty on a new vehicle.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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Save your money for some other MODS!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirJunky View Post
If it's possible for you to keep your foot out of it, then you might get 16.5 mpg with a CAI. They might give you a very slight improvement, but it will probably be negated because your so thrilled with how it sounds & drives that you will keep mashing on the skinny pedal.
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Save your money for some other MODS!!!!!!!!!
THIS.

From a cost/benefit standpoint, you really won't see a return on your investment. I've had heavily modified forced induced applications where yes, you do see a benefit. However with naturally aspirated platforms it would be a long time to see a return on investment from a $300 intake in regards to fuel economy (and a very minute performance gain). Just my .002.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:28 PM   #6
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The intake is just one end of the total system. If you really want the increased dyno numbers that some people get, you need to look at the entire system. From intake through exhaust.

So, IMHO, if you are not into this for the $1000-1500 or more to upgrade the whole system, don't even start.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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The "Butt Dyno" is the best there is
Who needs real world testing; whats the fun in that
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:39 PM   #8
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I put one on my 2010 Rubicon (manual 6 speed) and really like it so when I got my new 2014 Rubicon X (auto) I bought the kit and put it on. I now have it for sale if you like so that should tell you everything you need to know. I did not like how it worked with the Pentastar engine. No go for me. The factory intake does a great job of both HP and MPG.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomaboyd View Post
The intake is just one end of the total system. If you really want the increased dyno numbers that some people get, you need to look at the entire system. From intake through exhaust.

So, IMHO, if you are not into this for the $1000-1500 or more to upgrade the whole system, don't even start.

Good advice
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tomaboyd View Post
The intake is just one end of the total system. If you really want the increased dyno numbers that some people get, you need to look at the entire system. From intake through exhaust.

So, IMHO, if you are not into this for the $1000-1500 or more to upgrade the whole system, don't even start.

This. What goes in has to come back out. My JK has a CAI and exhaust and the difference is noticeable.

You'll get mostly negatives here from what I've seen. Depends on what the primary usage of the vehicle is, really. If you're gonna be in dusty off-road conditions or playing in deep water most of the time, a CAI probably isn't for you. If you're like me and your Jeep will see pavement 95% of the time, go for it.

CAI threads on this forum are almost as much fun to read as oil threads.....
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:34 AM   #11
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Save your money for something that belongs on a Jeep.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:44 AM   #12
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Put your money into something that will be of actual value to you like an sPod or something. CAI's are a lot of hype on naturally aspirated cars. I did put a re-usable filter in mine but that is due to cost effectiveness. If I clean the filter three times then its paid for itself. Some will say they don't protect the engine well enough, some will, all depends on the phase of the moon. About the only thing that is going to hop up the Jeep is a power adder, a super charger. Then maybe a CAI will be worth something but stock? No.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:16 AM   #13
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Has anyone proven with a dyno that they have any effect on JK's?
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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The best and cheapest and only truly functional way to improve fuel mileage on a JEEP is bolt a short wooden block under the gas pedal!!! ALL else is snake oil!
Or just trade for a Prius!
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by colder View Post
Has anyone proven with a dyno that they have any effect on JK's?
ALL of the salesmen have proven the great improvements about 82 zillion times on THEIR OWN dynos..........just ask them!!!
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:52 AM   #16
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Has anyone proven with a dyno that they have any effect on JK's?
there is a thread on here where a member dyno'd his 2013 with the Banks Stinger system so intake and I believe axle back monster exhaust and made some significant gains pre to post. There has also been discussion how the Pentastar is making more power on other platforms that have more freely flowing intake systems then the Jeep. That's enough for me.

added thread link
Banks Dyno day!

Cliff notes: "Final tally showed a net gain of 19.1hp and 12.3ft/lbs...not too shabby for some quick bolt-ons! " For wheel horsepower increases taking into account driveline losses that's in the neighborhood of 25hp and 16ft/lbs. Not earth shattering supercharger gains but also not $6000 minimum. I think the supers are doing about 100 wheel hp increase so what's that like $60/horse.
This evidence shows about $22/horse at the wheels. How again are people still arguing this?
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:03 AM   #17
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Cliff notes: "Final tally showed a net gain of 19.1hp and 12.3ft/lbs...not too shabby for some quick bolt-ons! "
This was including the exhaust system, according to the link, not just the CAI.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:21 AM   #18
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This was including the exhaust system, according to the link, not just the CAI.
correct

Stock runs 1&2 done back to back produced 202.23hp/173.10tq and 197.16hp/170.35tq respectively. That's 200hp 172tq correct?

Intake only

Runs 3&4 with intake produced 216.14hp/182.12tq and 213.29hp/180.49tq respectively. That's 215hp 181tq average.... correct?

Simple math would tell me that is a 15hp and 9ft/lbs improvement from the intake alone... This guy literally installed the intake on the freaking dyno after pull 1 and 2. Granted it's a sample of 1 and no life or death decisions should be based on trials where n=1 but come on folks the whole "CAI are snake oil" is non-sense unless you don't like facts that is.

One of my favorite quotes of comes from a Adam Savage on Mythbusters.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own" which is exactly what happens here quite often. There may very well be hundreds of drivetrains that will see no benefit from a high flow intake but just because you might know of a couple doesn't mean it applies to all engines and drivetrains. With a 15hp gain for $300 bucks your getting $20/horse. Try to find that kind of gain anywhere but nitrous which I will admit has no place on a wrangler or any other vehicle that doesn't ONLY do the quarter mile.

The exhaust in this test was the snake oil if you will and that makes it pretty clear that the stock 2.5" exhaust is not all that restrictive and replacing it with another 2.5" exhaust with a slightly less restrictive muffler does very little.

Everyone that prefers to think there is a conspiracy afoot and that they know better then some silly pretest posttest dyno data you have every right to that opinion we know how many opinions are possible (think Limp Bizkit song)
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:12 PM   #19
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I sure do wish I was the dumb ass that invented the "Cold Air Intake" idea to sell to otherwise reasonably intelligent people!!!!!!!
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:03 PM   #20
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I sure do wish I was the dumb ass that invented the "Cold Air Intake" idea to sell to otherwise reasonably intelligent people!!!!!!!
I'm not sure if you're calling me "otherwise reasonably intelligent" or not and frankly I'm not interested in confrontation when its facts vs bold rude outbursts. It's not much fun to debate those kinds of issues. If we are going to get all riled up we should at least duscuss Jeep color, auto vs manual, or conventional vs synthetic. I would also never wish myself a dumb ass but to each his own.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:17 PM   #21
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I think there would be more a performance boost from a steeper windshield rake and more aerodynamic grill and fenders but that's just silly (it's an iconic design).
I think trying to improve a Wranglers engine performance is also silly. Its a Wrangler. I think torque is more important than hp with a vehicle of this type (not even gonna address mpg).
It's not a Honda Civic but to each his own.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:06 PM   #22
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I think there would be more a performance boost from a steeper windshield rake and more aerodynamic grill and fenders but that's just silly (it's an iconic design).
I think trying to improve a Wranglers engine performance is also silly. Its a Wrangler. I think torque is more important than hp with a vehicle of this type (not even gonna address mpg).
It's not a Honda Civic but to each his own.
If we all lived in Moab and had 2 other cars to drive all week you would have a point.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:15 PM   #23
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I'm not sure if you're calling me "otherwise reasonably intelligent" or not and frankly I'm not interested in confrontation when its facts vs bold rude outbursts. It's not much fun to debate those kinds of issues. If we are going to get all riled up we should at least duscuss Jeep color, auto vs manual, or conventional vs synthetic. I would also never wish myself a dumb ass but to each his own.
Not calling anyone any names...... just think about the actual mechanics of a naturally aspirated gasoline engine. The throttle plate (butterfly valve) that is in the throttle body regulates engine RPMs by restricting the air flow into the engine. So at normal operating speeds; the biggest restriction in the intake system is the throttle plate itself. This where probably 99.999% of all engines operate 99.999% of the time. So, with that, it wouldn't make much difference what size intake nor how free flowing it is before the throttle plate at these operating RPM now would it? At wide open throttle settings... maybe 5 to 7 % power increase.
And with modern drive by wire systems; just because the gas pedal is on the floor doesn't mean that the throttle is wide open. It will open "progressively"; for lack of a better word; as the engine builds RPM and will not be at WOT until the engine is up around 4500 RPM. That is one of the ways the manufacturers squeeze a little more fuel mileage out of the vehicle. Now if one is to add a tuner which can change the throttle response as well as the intake one might see a little more increase in power.
Diesels are a little different in that most modern ones have forced induction and an all together different way of regulating engine RPM. Their intake is wide open all the time.
When I put the stock air intake back on both my JEEP and my gas burning
Super Duty, my fuel mileage actually got better over the CAI.
But one thing is for sure... the CAI sounds cool!
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:16 PM   #24
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I drive mine daily to work on paved roads and I'll take all the extra power I can easily and cheaply come up with (especially passing and merging), thanks.

Gas mileage? Hasn't improved one bit on this rig.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:36 PM   #25
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Has anyone proven with a dyno that they have any effect on JK's?
That is the manufacturer's job. There are some for the 3.8 but I haven't seen any for the 3.6 but I haven't really looked because I already have enough problems listening to the head unit.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:48 PM   #26
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I sure do wish I was the dumb ass that invented the "Cold Air Intake" idea to sell to otherwise reasonably intelligent people!!!!!!!
Man, ain't that the truth!

When I was a kid with my drivers license, I flipped the lid of the air cleaner on my old Chevy Impala & it made this COOL turbo noise whenever I stomped on the gas. Our "butt dyno" told us we were haulin ass. But in actuality we were just using more gas & sounding cool. The CAI does essentially the same thing.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:52 PM   #27
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What about changing the air filter? I've used a K&N for all my previous cars. Are the wash-and-reuse filters better than the stock paper ones?
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:00 PM   #28
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Meh...I'm sure CAI's work if set up correctly with intake and output. But I don't see much use for them on a Wrangler.

I don't care much about gaining 2-3 HP at +5000 rpms in brick on wheels.

I spend 99.9% of my time between 1500 and 3000 rpms. I doubt it if the stock air filter is so restrictive that horsepower is being strangled at 35% throttle when I'm cruising along.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:25 PM   #29
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Cold air intakes are just as good as throttle body spacers, they look neat when you pop the hood...
As for the "dyno proven" statements, look how they run on a dyno. Hood up and fans pushing air, so therefor the system actullay is acting as a "cold air" intake. Now onto a real world situation, closed hood and just wind/ air moving past the jeep. That "cold air" is now hauling all that nice under hood hot air from the exhaust and rad.
There is a reason why intakes are plumbed into the finders or in the jeeps case. up front and close to the hood
Something to think about...
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:28 PM   #30
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What about changing the air filter? I've used a K&N for all my previous cars. Are the wash-and-reuse filters better than the stock paper ones?
Better as far as performance? No idea.

But they are better in that your not spending $30 on a paper element every tune up.

I use a K&N drop in filter with No Toil oil on all my cars & toys.

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