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Cold air intake

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by hbrady, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. hbrady

    hbrady Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Picked up my new (to me) 2015 2500 SLT w/ 5.7 and 3.73 ratio. The main reason I upgraded was my summer job for the truck involves hauling a 30' long 9000lb (loaded) travel trailer. One of the mods I'm considering is a K&N cold air intake, better gas millage and about 15 additional ponies @4688 RPM (supposedly). I'll be hauling up some long steep grades this summer and the additional power will be nice. Has anyone else made this mod to their RAM? My one concern is the open design and plowing, I wondering if moisture is going to be an issue. Since I may never get to plow with it this year (thanks to El Nino) I can't just pop the hood and inspect after plowing :rolleyes:
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    a k&n inst going to get ya 15hp.
    its just aint gonna happen.
    Your stock set up is as free flowing as there is.
    it takes cold air in from the grill area, not hot air from the engine compartment.

    I'll never run a k&n Again.

    On one I had the metal mesh failed allowing small pieces of it to enter the engine.

    to much oil can coat the mass air sensor.
    they only filter better when they are dirty then they restrict the flow.

    just my .01
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
  3. LogansLawnCare

    LogansLawnCare Member
    Messages: 84

    I agree with snofarmer on this, I have run k&n filters in multiple vehicles and I will not be going that route again. In the future I will stick with dry filters over oiled ones such as k&n for the reasons that he stated
  4. BRL1

    BRL1 Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 666

    Be careful you can dust your engine.
  5. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I don't know that cai will give you 15hp. I'd like to see that on a dyno. A modified tb will do it...and more.
  6. hbrady

    hbrady Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Glad I asked Thumbs Up
  7. novawagonmaster

    novawagonmaster Senior Member
    Messages: 177

    Don't waste your money.

    I have not done testing on trucks, but I tested several different "cold" air intakes on my Challenger over a 3 year period. Anything that keeps the filter in the engine compartment was no better than the stock filter and housing. The filter and housing get heat soaked in the engine compartment. Some of them make cool sounds at WOT, but no measurable gains in performance. The only two designs that showed measurable improvements were one that used a longer tube which placed the filter down low behind the fog light area (outside the engine compartment), and one that went through the headlight assembly which was essentially a race-only setup.

    The idea behind a "cold" air intake is to get ambient temperature air to the engine. Of course first, it must be taken in through the filter. High intake air temps cause the engine computer to pull timing. The benefit of a true cold air intake is that it gets you ambient air quicker when you mash the throttle from a stop. Any filter under the hood is going to be heat soaked at idle, and it takes a long while after you begin moving for the intake air temps to come down. When I ran the longer tube with the filter behind the fog light, intake air temps only took about 6-7 seconds to reach ambient after taking off. When I ran a tube out through the headlight, it only took 1.5 seconds! This was all easily recorded while datalogging on the drag strip.

    Cold air intakes do not add horsepower. The ones that actually work only allow you to maximize the performance potential you already have. In short, unless you are drag racing and need another half a tenth in your ET, don't waste your money.
  8. hbrady

    hbrady Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Great info everyone, thanks again.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Just to pile on....
    Filtering efficiency is a measure of the filter’s overall ability to capture dirt.Compared to the AC, the K&N “plugged up” nearly 3 times faster, passed 18 times more dirt and captured 37% less dirt. See the data tables for a complete summary of these comparisons.

    *****Accumulative Gain:****
    “Accumulative Gain” is the total amount of dirt that passed through the filter during the test.


  10. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I have two additional comments.

    1: SnoFarmer is right about letting minute particles of dust/dirt/contaminants that are allowed to pass. However, how many of us drive in the sub-Saharan? This is especially true for plow trucks: How much dust is present when snow plowing? Answer: next to nil.
    2: Whilst CAI will not "add" hp, it can harness and unleash hp you have, but are restricting. Engines love cold air, not hot. And many engines have highly restricted air flow from the factory.

    I have a CAI on a dedicated plow truck, and the filter is as clean as it was three years ago.

    I have dual CAI on a hemi, and it not only growls, but has more power. Now, I have a few other things under the hood (modded TB, ceramic headers, flowmaster ss exhaust, egr delete, etc.).

    That being said, I would not run a K&N or other open weave filter in dusty conditions. I do think it is virtually harmless (and is beneficial) in mildly dusty conditions (city driving). And those are the conditions I generally drive in with these trucks: Snowplowing, driving on the interstate and city driving.

    So, while not "adding" hp (as in internal mods like cam, or injection or chargers), CAI can certainly unleash hp. Conditions and the amount of restriction in the oem filter are the variables.

    Here is one of many independent tests, not performed by a company selling a specific product, but a speed shop:


    Finally, allowing an engine to "breathe" is elementary in performance. CAI is the simplest, least expensive upgrade with the smallest gains. However, if added in conjunction with other mods (catback, long tubes, tb, etc.) CAI is absolutely beneficial.

    Just don't be using it in the sub-Saharan! ;)
  11. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    johnhenry1933 tries to be.....witty?

    "sub-Saharan" :laughing::laughing:

    Dust, dirt, grit, sand , is kicked up by the vehicles in front in front of you, Its also present in the air year around.
    Cities have some of the poorest air conditions, lots of dust and grit,,,
    Winter can be the driest time of year.

    Then some of us our vehicles year around.

    johnhenry1933 ,His truck now "growls" this noise = power.....
    Thumbs Up
    "I have dual CAI on a hemi, and it not only growls, but has more power. '

    but then he says,
    "So, while not "adding" hp m CAI can certainly unleash hp.."
    if it doesn't add any it can't unleash any= no gain,

    and those charts came from this site, that is a "independent lab"
    as you wanted.......and not from a MFG.:waving:
    if a filter is using “better airflow” as their marketing tool, remember this….Does it flow better? At very high airflow volumes, probably. BUT, our engines CAN’T flow that much air unless super-modified, so what is the point?

    incomplete or outright deceiving information printed on boxes and in sales literature. marketing and the lure of profit is VERY POWERFUL! It is amazing how many people believe that better airflow = more power! Unless you have modifications out the wazoo, a more porous filter will just dirty your oil! Some will say, I have used aftermarket brand X for XXX # years with no problems. The PROBLEM is you spent a chunk of change on a product that not only DID NOT increase your horsepower, but also let in a lot of dirt while doing it! Now how much is a lot? ANY MORE THAN NECESSARY is TOO MUCH!

    In fact, K&N (per their website) makes no claim that they do. They state: "We design our air filters to provide minimum restriction allowing high airflow into an engine."--however, there's nothing here that claims that others don't.

    They then state: "Because no two air filters are alike, the specific airflow and overall filtration efficiency will vary depending on the filter in question. However, you can rest assured that each air filter we sell, has been designed to achieve high air flow while providing superior filtration."--there's more fudge in this sentence than in all of Helen Georgia (if you've been there you know what I'm talking about). "Efficiency will vary", "has been designed to..." (but does it really?), "providing superior filtration" (superior to what?). I couldn't find any unambiguous, unqualified, explicit claims of higher air flow and superior filtration used in the same sentence in any document on their site.

    300% more air flow per square inch through an effective area 5 times smaller equals 80% less air flow. This may account for some of the dynamometer tests showing reduced power with the K&N drop-in filters.

    We believe the primary function of an air filter is to deliver both high airflow and superior dirt protection" -- yeah, and I believe in motherhood and apple pie, there is nothing here stating that their filters do this..:waving:

    ps the best part of a k&n is being able to hold it up to and see light threw it.
    if you can see light dirt is passing threw it.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  12. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Yes. Witty because it is about to get subzero again. :cool:

    Listen sno...I'm not going to debate with you. But why do you think a 2000hp GTR (and soooo many other makes and models) use CAI?

    Just to let dust into the engine? Just to waste money?

    And why do you think they invariably place those CAIs down low and in front?

    And what do you think they're doing on their laptops immediately after a run? Farming Snow?
  13. johnnywaz

    johnnywaz Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    hahaha, but you are and have been debating.

    When your truck produces 2000hp let us now..:waving:
    until then you will see no advantage from changing or modifying your intake,.

    The engine in your plow truck or his or mine will never be modified to a point it could utilize the extra air. A stock paper filter will flow more air than our engines can utilize
    even turbocharged

    I know, you think you need more air from your mods, but your not even close to needing it.

    you wanted a independent test, I gave you it
    I can find many more that say the same thing.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  15. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256


    In that the principle remains the same: an engine needs to breath to perform at it's best. .Period

    In the alternative, restrict your airflow on any oem filter and see what happens. The engine doesn't like it.

    Again, performance differences in CAI alone are moddest, at best. But in conjunction with modded tb's, long tubes, catback they can be huge.

    There seems to be an assumption that manufacturers spend oodles of money tweaking their engines, intakes and exhausts to maximize hp. They do not. That's why it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways (bolt on) to gain power.

    And we're always looking for bolt on hp (as opposed to those internal things that easily cost thousands, if not tens of thousands).
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    yea, we all drive around with2000hp and the peddle to the floor.
    or run 2000hp on a dyno
    You will not see a advantage.

    On a serious note, a air filter does not add HP.
    not even a small dwarf one.

    while back here on earth we are discussing plow trucks, not 2000hp heavily modified race engines.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
  17. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Not the sub Saharan but High Plains Desert country in Co and Wyo where the dust is as fine as Talcum Powder.
  18. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    This are the principles we have here on Earth: Physics.

    Again, the principle remains the same, (and the real world effect). Whether a 2000hp GTR, a 700 hp GTR or a 500 hp Hemi.

    Depending on the engine and mods, modified intake and exhaust can easily yield 25hp, if not 100 hp.
  19. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I am not here to debate if it is practical in your's...or anyone's specific instance.

    The question is does it yield results, and the answer is an unequivocal yes.

    If you want to debate the science of it...have at it.
  20. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    My comment was regarding your desert comment, most folks forget the western half of the country is primarily desert.
    I did run a K&N with a pre filter (to capture snow) on my supercharged sled.