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Old 11-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #1
BKK
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Volant Cold Air Evaluation

Just installed a new Volant Cold Air System...here's my review.

'08 Wrangler Unlimited JK 4 dr
Factory stock 255-75R17 Good Years
3:73 gears with factory rear locker
Automatic, Hard Top
26,000 mi running full synthetic

I purchased on line at New Level Motor Sports - Auto Accessories,Truck Accessories, Cold Air Intakes, Flash Tuners, Exhaust, Headers & More at Discount Prices. Good price @ $294 and free shipping. New Level messed up in getting the order to me - took about twice the time and I had to make 3 calls to follow up. Had good price but the customer service was pretty poor in proactively following up. They did finally send it out NDA on their quarter though.

First thoughts....it's loud. Kind of like turning the air cleaner lid over on an old Chevy V8 - the growl/roar. You only really hear this when you are getting on the throttle - regular driving, no change. The growl is a good sound though - you can actually hear the motor running now. The box had a "+22 H.P." sticker on it - don't know if that is accurate; however, there is noticeable acceleration feel. It does feel more "peppy" especially when getting into the throttle.

I just got back from a 500 mi road trip last night (Nashville to Memphis and back) and was specifically paying attention to see if there were any mileage gains. This past fall during nice low 70's temps, I actually got 23.2 mpg on a roadtrip driving at about 70mph. I didn't get quite that good this time. About the first 260 mi, I was driving at 70/72 mph with the rear windows cracked, temp in low 60's. Later that evening returning at 65 mph with fan/heater on low, temp in low 40's.

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Note in the attachment, the reading shows 23.3 mpg. When filling up, I actually had 417.8 miles on the tank, and it took 19.417 gal to fill up netting an "actual" 21.52 mpg. This is actually the same way I calculated the 23.2 mpg above. That said, I don't know if it was the colder outside air temperature that was giving the lesser mpg or ?? When living up north in the past, I know vehicles didn't get as good of mileage in the winter. What was interesting though, as driving on the typical slight inclines/valleys on the interstate, the horse power claim may be legit as I would hear light growling as it was sucking more air; however, it never seemed to drop out of over drive and raise the rpm's as in the past. Seems to run and breathe smoother. 65mph = 1700 rpm's; 71mph = 1900 rpm's
Watching the "idiot gage - ECO", it appeared to "click up" better/faster going a bit slower around 1600 rpm's - maybe "best" economy range?

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Original unit removed

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Installed with cover removed

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Fully installed - note the limited air space at the leading edge for better protection from engine heat

Install was a breeze - about 45 min. All in all, pretty pleased with it. It's only been installed for a couple days, so will keep you posted with additional mpg data.

Hope this was helpful

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Old 11-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
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Well, the butt-dyno don't lie.

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Old 11-20-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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nice write up ,thanks for the info and give us another eval in a couple months to see how things are working.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:56 PM   #4
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Looks better than my K&N and I like the cover, It only increased my mpg by about 1 mpg.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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Looks great.
Any increase in MPG is always welcome.
Does the OEM filter system draw heated air? I'd really like to get one of these, but I'm in Northern NJ and if cold air is going to be detrimental to MPG, than I'll pass.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:38 PM   #6
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man I seen where you were getting 23.2mpg , the best I have ever gotten was 18 , and thats with stock tires and rims
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Volant Cold Air Eval

Steve-m wrote...
Looks great.
Any increase in MPG is always welcome.
Does the OEM filter system draw heated air? I'd really like to get one of these, but I'm in Northern NJ and if cold air is going to be detrimental to MPG, than I'll pass.

There's nothing scientific to my "living up North and getting worse gas mileage" comment...a lot of that is probably due to the engine running on the choke longer so as to warm up, running the heater, etc. I've also noticed that the larger % of ethanol in the gas the less mpg I will get as well. Technically, the ethanol is supposed to be a less expensive alternative - (less refining cost and renewable source - corn); however, I understand it also burns less efficiently. The gas used in the original post was from the local Kroger with 10% ethanol - 87 octane. I believe last fall, I was coming down through Missouri and happened to get non-ethanol gas. That is where I pulled the 23.2 mpg. Typical (when paying attention to driving style) has been 21-22 mpg, which at this point is a net gain of "0" mpg with this Volant setup. I will continue to post any changes.

Anyone else notice any changes in mpg using ethanol enhanced gas?
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:44 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=BKK;492115]Just installed a new Volant Cold Air System...here's my review.

First thoughts....it's loud. Kind of like turning the air cleaner lid over on an old Chevy V8 - the growl/roar. You only really hear this when you are getting on the throttle - regular driving, no change. The growl is a good sound though - you can actually hear the motor running now. The box had a "+22 H.P." sticker on it - don't know if that is accurate; however, there is noticeable acceleration feel. It does feel more "peppy" especially when getting into the throttle.

Thanks for a great write up. my 2 cents: I put a Valant CAI on about 2 tanks ago. I also noticed the sound change when I get into it, yep, reminded me of turning the air box cover upside down. I noticed a MPG change of maybe 1 mpg in town, and a slight increase on throttle response. I haven't driven it further then 35 miles on the high way.

I thought the air inlet on top was placed well also, but I wonder about the hole/intake in the bottom of the air box. I would think it pulls in hot air that comes through the radiator. Thought of extending it to clear it of the radiator. Anything I gained though was lost and then some when I went from 265/70/17s to 295/75/16s.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:18 PM   #9
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Hello BKK,

I've been running both 10% ethanol (HESS) and pure petrol (Texaco, Gulf, Shell, etc) for years on 2 other cars and have never seen any difference in performance or milage. If there is, it is so small I cannot see it.

Of course in winter, milage suffers, but that is expected.

Maybe it's psychological, but I feel more secure tanking up with ethanol blend every other fillup in winter due to the fact that it has drygas by default.

By the way, regarding your new intake system, is the filter element washable or must you replace them?

Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:34 AM   #10
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Think about what you are saying. You wonder if your mpg goes down in the winter from the colder air. Then why did you put on a “Cold Air Intake” that's designed to draw in cooler outside air instead of the warm air in the engine compartment?

Any winter mileage change would be do to the change in gas blend.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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Funny about flipping the air cleaner over,, brought me back to my first car,, a '75 grand prix with a 455 in it. We use to do this before hitting the streets one the weekend.

lolol


After that I have ran many open air elements. I wonder if Jeep is as picking as my last few cars as far as mods go.. I know the mangnuson moss act,, blah blah,,,

But anyone have issues with service warrenty with slightly modded Jeeps? exhaust, air element,, maybe a flash for the ecu?

Thanks
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:39 PM   #12
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Steve M - the filter is reuseable. Volant sells a filter cleaning kit similar to the K&N...

Sparky - I actually thought about that when I was typing the post....still don't have a good answer though. Most likely there is a "volume" of air in play as well...the conical aircleaner seems to have more surface area than the OEM "flat" and it is also drawing from more directions - 360 degrees with the "swirling" air coming into the air box rather than a straight suction from the flat surface. Additionally, by the design, air being sucked into and through the flat air filter would most likely "bunch up" at the point of entering into the tube...just some thoughts.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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^^^ BKK, great write-up and pics. Interesting post... I'll continue to monitor to see if you are still pleased with your purchase months down the road.

Best,

BB
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:09 AM   #14
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Was it a direct fit?
No drilling, grinding, cuting or other modifications?
Thanks.
PTK
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:49 AM   #15
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High altitude, zero-ethanol = the best fuel economy.
I've gotten as high as 26.98 mpg (never hit 27) on 3 separate tankfuls in the Canadian Rockies. That's using GPS tracking rather than the odometer.
I kept the GPS on nonstop during our 7000+ mile trip last year and cataloged mileage, fuel usage, fuel cost, etc.

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