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Thoughts on which CAI I should get for my my 2008 rubicon 3.8. I just put 35s on it. I plan on possibly getting the Superchips Trail Dash 2 and dual exhaust. I’m going to regear to 5:13 also. Also thinking about a pedal commander. Any and all input is appreciated.


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Thoughts on which CAI I should get for my my 2008 rubicon 3.8. I just put 35s on it. I plan on possibly getting the Superchips Trail Dash 2 and dual exhaust. I’m going to regear to 5:13 also. Also thinking about a pedal commander. Any and all input is appreciated.


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CAI, headers, etc are all a bit of waste of time IMHO. Most of the time you need low end torque, not high rpm power. Things that help with airflow only make any difference at the high end.

As for the pedal commander, all that does is change the throttle response, you won’t get more power.

The regear will make a huge difference. Be careful at 5.13 though, you really need upgraded carriers for that sort of ratio. Most folks seem to caution against going over 4.88 in stock carriers.

Ian


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Since you have the older 3.8 motor, 5.13 is a common ratio upgrade for 35's. It has been pointed out a few times that 5.13 and 4.88 have the same size pinion and as such are about the same as far as strength goes. And the 3.8 motor needs more gear than the 3.6 motor does to do the same work.
Cold Air Intakes do tend to be a waste of money if you are expecting noticeable power increases. The only type I would even recommend for a Jeep that gets used off road are the snorkel types. The rest are just bling.
As far as the Pedal Commander, it does help deal with the crappy drive by wire throttle pedal. It is a possible improvement. Ours seemed to help greatly when our Jeep was new with the stock gearing. Then we re-geared. And when the widget failed we realized that it was no longer as much of an improvement.How much was getting used to the Jeep and its DBW throttle pedal, and how much was the gearing, I don't know. All I know is I have another one, this one by iDrive, to install but have not done so yet. The gearing was probably the best money we have spent on our Jeep.
 

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I had the AirRaid... sounded nice. Did nothing else.

I added a Banks exhaust... sounded nice. Also did nothing else.

There is a lot of documented research that CAI's filter less, and do little to nothing for air flow. But... they are still a popular upgrade. When I went from my 2009 to 2016 I swore I'd never touch a CAI again, or ever buy a used vehicle that had one...
 

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CAI are a waste of $ and a liability on a Jeep if you Offroad.
For one, they should call it a hot air intake.
For two, the computer controls air to fuel so unless you have a custom tune the engine will not make use of the extra air.
For three, an under hood CAI makes the Jeep susceptible to water ingestion..

The only true CAI for a Jeep is a snorkel as already mentioned...


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If you really want cold air, (like I did), get a snorkel. I installed a Gen 1 AEV on my 3.8 because of pinging uphill in summer. Inlet temps dropped from ~15-25C over ambient, (so frequently up to 55-60C), down to 5-10C over.


Pinging is almost completely gone as well.



The snorkel was the last thing I tried, starting with higher octane fuel, & a tuner. They were no significant help.
 

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I think all the basis for saying a CAI is a waste is that “extra air” can’t be used by the engine... I am not sure, living at 7k feet and off roading at 10k+ feet of elevation, I am getting even what the computer would think is “enough air” with my CAI and my straight exhaust system.

I am sure that you all are smarter than me. But all my vehicles have modifications to allow more air in and out, 1 of them is an original engine that is 50 years old and the other has the original engine with 315k miles on it. So my jk is no different. I will let you know in 20 years how it works out.
 

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The issue with attitude is lower air density than at sea level. When I was flying prop aircraft the difference between a turbo engine and normally aspirated was very noticeable. The intake manifold pressure (and temp to a much lesser extent) is what matters. Piston engines can only intake a given volume of air per stroke. Some automobile engines are purposely “held back” from the factory and for those a tune can recover quite a bit of hp. The 3.6L however is not one of those.
 

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I would love to see the research.
Then we could put an informed answer so the many wonderful hard working people will be able to find the holygrail of air filtration.
For air filtration I have seen several research articles over the years. The old fashion paper filters work pretty well. I just stick with OEM. But I think most people go for CAI because they are interested in more intake sound. Or maybe for looks? Because as many have mentioned here, there is no real world measurable performance advantage.

For a particular car I own that is heavily favored by tuners and modders there is a large database of official 1/4 mile strip times. They keep track of mods, tune, fuel type, car weight, track temp, density altitude, etc. CAI is down in the noise. The best times are for E85 fuel.
 

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I would love to see the research.
Then we could put an informed answer so the many wonderful hard working people will be able to find the holygrail of air filtration.
It all depends on who you trust. I say do the research yourself and decide. Coming to a forum to have people give out the answer is how fake news gets started :).

I can tell you that Amsoil makes a good filter that has been tested by them and filters better than OEM. Now you have to decide if that is good enough for you. It was for me... I need to clean my air filters quite often since I live "off-road". Changing the stock filter every 1k miles is not cost effective for me. But I can clean my filter every month and throw it back on in under 5 minutes... Thank you CAI!
 

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I have the stock air box and run a Wix filter on my JKUR. As stated a CAI does increase the sound and some people report a mile or so more per gallon. I think that comes from getting rid of the air restrictions in the factory box and air tubing and smoothing out the flow.

I will say this, and it is by no means scientific. I put a K&N Blackhawk CAI on my 2010 Camaro SS/RS. I opened the hood with the stock box and revved the motor a little and it didn't move or make any loud noise. I put the CAI on it and did the same thing and you could see the motor literally rock to the side on the motor mounts and heard a loud varoomph from the intake. How much power did it gain I have no idea, nor did I care but the sound was pretty cool...... It did respond and drive a little better. The choice is up to you....

As a motor is simply a complicated air pump, I think any improvement in flow is a good thing, just don't expect a lot out of it....Just my .02
 

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The issue with all the CAIs out there is that they really don’t bring cold air in. What the motor wants is more oxygen to mix with fuel, this means you need a denser air charge. Cold air is more dense, and pressurized air is more dense. Hence true CAIs have some value and forced induction has a lot more value.

Back to the original post though. Of the things you mention. New gears will make the biggest difference by a country mile.


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I don’t expect any one thing I’m doing to help much. I hoping by changing or adding everything in the OP that I will get some gains.


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I put 4.88 gears in my 11 with 3.8 auto with stock 32 tires and wheels. It has more power then I’ll ever need. Tops out over 100 mph and cruses 80 mph all day long. To the op, you need at least 5.38 to make use of your power with them big heavy pavement pounding gas hogging meats.anything else you do is mostly a waste of good 💴!
 

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My '14 came with an AFE cold air intake, which has a heat shield that keeps it closed off from the rest of the engine compartment fairly well. It was installed by the previous owner, otherwise I would be still running the stock air box. I plan to add a pre-filter "sock" on the filter to help keep it clean, but that won't help with water ingestion, which has been a big concern of mine. I also have 4:56 gears, 35s, and a TrailDash2 which help, but the exhaust has not been touched. I do wonder if I would see any performance gain by changing the exhaust out.
 

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I don’t expect any one thing I’m doing to help much. I hoping by changing or adding everything in the OP that I will get some gains.


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As mentioned, the one thing that will make a noticeable difference in your plan is gears. Re-gearing will put more power to the pavement. Your Jeep will be faster than it is now after you re-gear. It is the best money we have spent on our Jeep, and we have spent a lot of money on our Jeep.
The other stuff, well, a throttle widget like the Pedal Commander or iDrive will make it "FEEL" faster, but it won't be. An intake might make it SOUND faster, but it won't be. But after re-gearing it will be faster, measurably so.
 
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