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Old 10-01-2014, 05:25 PM
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Snorkel and CAI together

Has anyone installed a CAI and Snorkel together, specifically the Airaid 311-132 and Rugged Ridge Modular Snorkel? (Im aware of alot people's opinions on CAI's) I would like to run both and looking to see if anyone has done it and if they can share info on how they modded them to fit together, unless it works out of the box.

Thanks in advance for any help you can lend.

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Old 10-01-2014, 09:25 PM   #2
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Take a step back and think of the logic of what you just asked.

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Old 10-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #3
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A snorkel with a CAI in it is nothing more than a snorkel with a very expensive air filter in it or a now restrictive CAI kit with an expensive and very long breather tube.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:58 AM
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Ok I guess Im a little confused. If a CAI produces better results in performance, even if small results, and you feed "cold" air into it from the snorkel how does it not improve the performance of the CAI? The CAI is more restrictive than the stock air box? I was under the impression that the improvement with the CAI is that it allowed more air flow than the stock air box and this was why it added a small improvement to performance.

If you are saying that there is only a benefit to using one or the other then which one is a better performance mod between the snorkel and CAI?

I appreciate the helpful post above and any additional information anyone can share. If I understood this better I wouldnt be asking the questions.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:30 AM   #5
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FWIW a LOT, but not all, Jeep people feel that the CAI is a waste of time for a Wrangler....part of this comes from the statement that it is "worthless" for the TJs......I know you are speaking of JK's.
IMO it depends on if there are any other MODs done to make whatever intake you have work better with the motor.....it doesn't do MUCH good to force a bunch of clean air in if it can't get it out as well...so plan on an exhaust upgrade.
I have a TJ with the "worthless" CAI and a "higher/ free flowing" exhaust. I like it.... my Jeep I can do what I want.
I haven't heard a lot of first hand experience in reference to JKs and CAI/ snorkels....it makes sense...but again would need to open up exhaust......which begs the other question what if I just opened exhaust and didn't change the intake? Like the "COAL Rollers"? ( I realize some of them do that as well but most open the exhaust first)
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:35 AM   #6
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The route I will take when I have the time and the money will be to use the Rugged Ridge snorkel kit with an aftermarket CAI that a Donaldson Power core filter can be added to. It will involve mod work, closing the CAI air inlet and creating a new inlet for the snorkel.

The upside, better filtration than the stock, reduce/eliminate the possibility of hydrolock, Cold air yes, but we don't turn alot of RPM's so it is not as critical as it would be in a high performance car.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:36 PM   #7
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I’m considering Rugged Ridge’s snorkel with the pre-filter, reason being that the dust and sand here in the desert can be overwhelming to a filter system. Changing the filter frequently is an understatement, I tried a K&N oil based system in my truck and it was a PITA. The pre-filter serves as a trap for sand that can easily be dumped extending the life of the air filter. Many first think of the snorkel for deep water crossings but the benefits go further than that.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:37 PM
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Thanks guys. So Im not crazy there is a benefit. I have the exhaust and programmer ready to go in addition to the snorkel and CAI.

My plan is to use the connection from the tray with the snorkel. Seal off the hole in the CAI and cut a new hole to accommodate the connection from the snorkel. I can then either silicone or RTV the cut piece into the hole to make sure its sealed.

Does Donaldson make a filter that will fit in the Airaid that you are aware of?
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #9
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A Snorkel is essentially a CAI, since it draws in the cooler air from outside the engine bay. The standard designed snorkels also ~ act like RAM scoops at highway speeds. Now, from what I understand, the JK breaths plenty well with the stock air box. So there is really no need to try and make the intake less restrictive. If the engine is already breathing at or near 100% of what it can, the only way to get it to breath deeper is with force(Turbo/Supercharger).
Also, any CAI or RAM air you add only gets ~10% or less of the possible, if any, gains it is capable of if you just slap it on your motor. You need to remap the ECU to get the full benefits.

In short, if you really want to mess with your intake, get the snorkel. It is a snorkle/CAI/RAM scoop all in one, keeps your jeep from drowning(CHECK THEM SEALS!!!!) and just looks cool
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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Ok I guess Im a little confused. If a CAI produces better results in performance, even if small results,
Generally, it doesn't. That's the thing. People think it does because it sounds better, but there are almost zero actual dyno sheets that show any improvement. And if there IS improvement, it's only at very high rpm where you spend almost no time. The last time I saw any dyno evidence, the CAI provided an extra 5.8 hp at 5100 rpm. So the questions are: A-how much time do you spend above 5100 rpm? and B-Can you honestly tell the difference between 207 hp and 213 hp at that speed? The answers are probably "not much" and "nope."

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and you feed "cold" air into it from the snorkel how does it not improve the performance of the CAI? The CAI is more restrictive than the stock air box? I was under the impression that the improvement with the CAI is that it allowed more air flow than the stock air box and this was why it added a small improvement to performance.
The snorkel is probably a restriction.

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If you are saying that there is only a benefit to using one or the other then which one is a better performance mod between the snorkel and CAI?

I appreciate the helpful post above and any additional information anyone can share. If I understood this better I wouldnt be asking the questions.
Ok, here's the fundamental problem here: we drive vehicles equipped with computer-controlled engines. The computer is programmed to run the engine a certain way, based on emissions standards for the year of manufacture and what vehicle it's installed in. The program is designed for a specific performance point that delivers an appropriate blend of low emissions, high fuel economy, and high power output in specific rpm ranges. Different applications have different levels of all of these, that's why some versions of the 3.6 have more power, etc. But it's all controlled by the computer.

So what happens if you throw a CAI with a huge filter on the end, with a straighter and wider tube? It means you get more air, right? No. It might make more available, but the computer is determining how much air the engine needs. In the old days when you stomped on the gas, the pedal was connected to the throttle body (or carb) directly by a cable which pulled the butterfly(ies) open and the engine instantly sucked down as much air as would fit. Making more air available could have a major impact (trust me, I replaced a 50mm throttle body with a 65mm throttle body w/CAI...I've SEEN how much of a difference it can make). But these engines don't have that connection. You hit the gas, a signal goes to the computer, the computer decides how to do what you want, and sends the appropriate signals to the engine. That's how your throttle body opens nowadays. So putting the pedal to the floor may or may not even get you WOT! But the computer is deciding, within the parameters of the program, how much air the engine needs to respond. As long as the intake can provide that amount of air, you will not notice any difference. It wants X amount of air. It doesn't matter if it can get twice that much, it will only take X amount. If it responds like normal but more air comes into the engine, the computer will adjust the position of the throttle body butterfly and restrict it...it'll actively block your extra air.

Now all this assumes that the factory intake is actually a restriction. I'm not convinced that's the case. At least not to the extent that I'd spend a few hundred bucks on a 2-3% increase in an rpm range where I don't need it and don't really drive for more than a few seconds a week.

A CAI might make slightly more of a difference if accompanied by other mods (the dyno charts I saw also compared the same vehicle after an exhaust was added, but that actually COST him hp compared to the intake alone). Key among any of these is going to be a different tune, otherwise the computer is just going to get in the way.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the info Godholio. I do have a tuner for it and already bought all the parts so I guess I will see how it goes and take it from there. I do appreciate you taking the time to explain all of it though.
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:00 PM   #12
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Godholio, the one thing you are forgetting is IAT. Modern cars use IAT to control timing. As temps rise timing is pulled and HP and Torque are reduced. The way the Jeep intake is designed we get cool air, at least ambient when moving at speed. The problem comes when we slow down and the incoming air mixes with air of the radiator raising IAT. I

I have not seen anyone in the Jeep world map IAT temp to timing. In the Vette world though timing starts getting pulled at 76 degrees. Now I agree with you that to get the most out of a CAI you need a custom tune. But if a snorkel system lowers IAT there will be improvement in performance even without a tune.
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:27 PM   #13
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Believe it or not I was trying to keep it short and simple. Whoops.

Cooler air has more oxygen. Oxygen is what we're really burning here, the gasoline is a catalyst to get the reaction where we want it.

That said, most of these CAIs aren't actually cold air intakes, they're short rams that are still feeding off engine bay air, and are probably getting warmer air than the factory intake even if there's a heat shield (which just makes the heating less direct). If a snorkel flows well enough (which I doubt) I'd totally agree it should be a better performance mod than a CAI.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:26 PM   #14
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Looking at the rugged ridge snorkel I am betting it flows just as well if not better. The cross section of the inlet on the stock air box is 4 by 1 3/4 inches. From what I have seen of the setup everything is larger than that.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:08 PM   #15
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Looking at the rugged ridge snorkel I am betting it flows just as well if not better. The cross section of the inlet on the stock air box is 4 by 1 3/4 inches. From what I have seen of the setup everything is larger than that.
Even with notching the hood, the AEV snorkel is much easier to install.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:07 AM   #16
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Generally, it doesn't. That's the thing. People think it does because it sounds better, but there are almost zero actual dyno sheets that show any improvement. And if there IS improvement, it's only at very high rpm where you spend almost no time. The last time I saw any dyno evidence, the CAI provided an extra 5.8 hp at 5100 rpm. So the questions are: A-how much time do you spend above 5100 rpm? and B-Can you honestly tell the difference between 207 hp and 213 hp at that speed? The answers are probably "not much" and "nope."

The snorkel is probably a restriction.


Ok, here's the fundamental problem here: we drive vehicles equipped with computer-controlled engines. The computer is programmed to run the engine a certain way, based on emissions standards for the year of manufacture and what vehicle it's installed in. The program is designed for a specific performance point that delivers an appropriate blend of low emissions, high fuel economy, and high power output in specific rpm ranges. Different applications have different levels of all of these, that's why some versions of the 3.6 have more power, etc. But it's all controlled by the computer.

So what happens if you throw a CAI with a huge filter on the end, with a straighter and wider tube? It means you get more air, right? No. It might make more available, but the computer is determining how much air the engine needs. In the old days when you stomped on the gas, the pedal was connected to the throttle body (or carb) directly by a cable which pulled the butterfly(ies) open and the engine instantly sucked down as much air as would fit. Making more air available could have a major impact (trust me, I replaced a 50mm throttle body with a 65mm throttle body w/CAI...I've SEEN how much of a difference it can make). But these engines don't have that connection. You hit the gas, a signal goes to the computer, the computer decides how to do what you want, and sends the appropriate signals to the engine. That's how your throttle body opens nowadays. So putting the pedal to the floor may or may not even get you WOT! But the computer is deciding, within the parameters of the program, how much air the engine needs to respond. As long as the intake can provide that amount of air, you will not notice any difference. It wants X amount of air. It doesn't matter if it can get twice that much, it will only take X amount. If it responds like normal but more air comes into the engine, the computer will adjust the position of the throttle body butterfly and restrict it...it'll actively block your extra air.

Now all this assumes that the factory intake is actually a restriction. I'm not convinced that's the case. At least not to the extent that I'd spend a few hundred bucks on a 2-3% increase in an rpm range where I don't need it and don't really drive for more than a few seconds a week.

A CAI might make slightly more of a difference if accompanied by other mods (the dyno charts I saw also compared the same vehicle after an exhaust was added, but that actually COST him hp compared to the intake alone). Key among any of these is going to be a different tune, otherwise the computer is just going to get in the way.
Great write up!!!! There is another aspect to changing air intake that is not mentioned. This is that one can actually make the engine run flatter at low RPM; (less power) and therefore making it seem like more power on top end; when in reality, you were making less overall power and poorer performance. This was very true with carbureted engines that were not re-jetted properly when aditional air was given. This is where the actual dyno tests need to be done or actual drag strip times to know for sure, rather than just going by the butt dyno
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:17 AM   #17
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I’m considering Rugged Ridge’s snorkel with the pre-filter, reason being that the dust and sand here in the desert can be overwhelming to a filter system. Changing the filter frequently is an understatement, I tried a K&N oil based system in my truck and it was a PITA. The pre-filter serves as a trap for sand that can easily be dumped extending the life of the air filter. Many first think of the snorkel for deep water crossings but the benefits go further than that.
Just do it! I have the RR snorkel with pre-filter. It really works! Have ridden dusty trails all day...the pre-filter was 1/4 full of dirt. The air box air filter hardly saw any dirt.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:27 AM   #18
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Just do it! I have the RR snorkel with pre-filter. It really works! Have ridden dusty trails all day...the pre-filter was 1/4 full of dirt. The air box air filter hardly saw any dirt.
Great info from a real world user. Is it possible for you to post some pictures of the set up with the precleaner? Also is it possible to use a precleaner with BOTH the low mount and the high mount?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #19
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Great info from a real world user. Is it possible for you to post some pictures of the set up with the precleaner? Also is it possible to use a precleaner with BOTH the low mount and the high mount?

Thanks again.
The filter only works with the high mount.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #20
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It wants X amount of air. It doesn't matter if it can get twice that much, it will only take X amount. If it responds like normal but more air comes into the engine, the computer will adjust the position of the throttle body butterfly and restrict it...it'll actively block your extra air.
This is a completely backwards explanation of how the computer manages the air/fuel mixture. We already went over this in another thread:
1) https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/af...l#post13668705
2) https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/af...l#post13674377

The computer does monitor airflow (through a temperature sensor and pressure sensor, calculating airflow based on volumetric efficiency of the engine at the current engine speed).

However, it does NOT use this feedback to control airflow via the throttle. It uses this feedback to control FUEL (under certain conditions, within certain limitations) to match the amount of air and get the desired air:fuel ratio.

If a CAI actually flows more and/or cooler air than a stock intake on a modern computer controlled vehicle, then the computer will adapt its fuel trims within certain limitations and even simply instantly react based on intake temp/pressure to take advantage of the extra air and produce more power. Exactly the same way that the computer adjusts to colder and/or denser air and makes more power at lower elevations and/or on colder days.

If the computer worked as you explain it, then the computer would have to be calibrated to the lowest common denominator of atmospheric conditions (amount of airflow possible on a hot humid day at high elevation), would restrict airflow in more ideal conditions, and cars would perform the same at all elevations, temperatures and humidity levels. The software would also be much more complicated for no real purpose.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:50 AM   #21
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Thanks Pickles, I do not have the expertise to explain it the way you do. Coming from the vette world there are good gains to be had from a properly engineered CAI, throttle bodies, throttle body spacers and intake manifold upgrades. Of course to take full advantage of these you need a custom tune.

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