So why do we bother with Cold Air Intakes? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 12-14-2014, 09:40 PM   #1
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So why do we bother with Cold Air Intakes?

So i grabbed a spare set of manifolds to port (shameless plug - will have a stock set for sale soon) and i couldnt help but notice something... So i surely am not the first person to notice this, but i cant believe this is the first time I"VE noticed it... Why are we bothering with Cold Air Intakes when there is a massive Coolant jacket running right through the middle of the lower intake?

Normally these systems are here to air with Cold starts but can be eliminated by just blocking off the coolant passage and re-routing the hoses. This one on the other hand seems pretty integral, with passages that i can only assume go down into the cylinder heads. Kind of seems like the whole CAI vs stock intake thing is kind of a wash now.

Granted, i suppose the air spends a very small amount of time in the lower in the grand scheme of things, but i wonder how hot these manifolds are actually getting. Anyone happen to have an infrared laser and care to takes some readings for us when the cars hot?


BTW, i've done some mild porting before, but any tips and tricks on these 3.7 manifolds would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:10 PM   #2
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Really interesting... maybe you should post it to our facebook group (Cyclone Mustangs) and see what they say. There are quite a few builders, I'm sure they could offer something insightful.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:04 PM   #3
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Why do we bother with axle backs?

For me it's simple...looks and sound. Neither have much performance gains but they look cool and sound great. Those 4" Borla tips look bad *** and to be honest they sound awesome!

Pop the hood and you see the CAI and it just looks good. The Airraid looks right at home I the engine bay. Ford should have put them in at the factory.

I understand what you're saying but for most I think they do it for the reasons I'm talking about...
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:37 AM   #4
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I bought mine used for sound only......
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Old 12-15-2014, 05:45 AM   #5
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On this subject, why bother with a solid driveshaft? The stock one supports legal speeds...

It's because we can, and do. It's what makes this auto hobby great, and fun.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:08 AM   #6
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I only have the airaid for looks and for sound (before my car for too loud to hear it).
I knew there would be really no performance gains which is why I picked it up used with only 2k miles on it for half the price.
The stock airbox to me was just way too ugly. The airaid looks awesome!!
Very interested to hear how porting goes for you. Never got an email back from lonewolf so if you're successful you'll be getting a request for some business :p

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Old 12-15-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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I understand the looks and sound, by all means i do. I just found it odd that there's a big "stock box is the best because it brings in 'Cold' air" argument when it really seems to be kind of a wash. That is a massive coolant jacket running through there.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
I understand the looks and sound, by all means i do. I just found it odd that there's a big "stock box is the best because it brings in 'Cold' air" argument when it really seems to be kind of a wash. That is a massive coolant jacket running through there.
I get what your really saying Volt. Companies pitch the CAI as a performance mod ment to increase HP and TRQ and give you better MPGs and then will say "also it looks grrrrrreat!" I know I have only had the car for 3 years and tried the CAI, went with brand new and used and did a couple different ones (Airraid and Injen) wasnt impressed been on an anti CAI (short ram) protest ever since.

However after getting my cheep-O Ebay intake and getting some datalogs done I find it to be a world of difference. However the vast majority just buy, install and go. I dont think the coolant in the lower intake is that much of a worry anyway. I have noticed that at temps below 50* the car just doesnt feel the same. could be the air is too cold (IF THERE CAN EVEN BE SUCH A THING) or just the my head but deffinatly at <35* it drives very off...not a whole lot of fun.
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:11 AM   #9
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Interesting. I am probably getting ahead of myself here, but when i pulled the manifolds out of the box it was just like "GOOD LORD" lol that's a massive water jacket running right through the middle of the lower intake.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
Interesting. I am probably getting ahead of myself here, but when i pulled the manifolds out of the box it was just like "GOOD LORD" lol that's a massive water jacket running right through the middle of the lower intake.
I would say if you dont have a laser gun to check the official temp to a palm test...after running it hard for 5mins or so touch your palm to it...if it doesnt hurt to touch then its not affecting anything...however even if it is it may not affect anything anyway lol but at least then you will know that it does get very hot and you may want to try something to fix that.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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Wow this is really interesting.

Do you see any way to bypass this, volt?

I've had cars that have run coolant through the throttle body to prevent freezing (so the car could be sold in places where that would be an issue). In that car I just rerouted the coolant lines to bypass the throttle body.

This looks a lot more complex. This looks like a major artery for coolant.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:50 PM   #12
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Volt (and all) I would assume since those tubes are coolant they would really heat the intake charge since the engine coolant runs at 180 or so and I doubt under hood temps are that high.

just thinking out loud correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIG View Post
Wow this is really interesting.

Do you see any way to bypass this, volt?

I've had cars that have run coolant through the throttle body to prevent freezing (so the car could be sold in places where that would be an issue). In that car I just rerouted the coolant lines to bypass the throttle body.

This looks a lot more complex. This looks like a major artery for coolant.
Havent really gotten a chance to see where these are plumbed into the car, likely wont for another weekend or two.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Mud View Post
Volt (and all) I would assume since those tubes are coolant they would really heat the intake charge since the engine coolant runs at 180 or so and I doubt under hood temps are that high.

just thinking out loud correct me if I'm wrong.

See above, their purpose (generally) is to heat the air. I've had cars with a coolant jacket in the throttle body to heat the air on cold starts, but those were always like a 3/8" line or something... Something you could very easily just remove from the TB, get a 3/8" double barb and connect the two hoses together and call it a day. This piece looks permanent.
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Old 12-15-2014, 01:49 PM   #14
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Could the actual flow of coolant be controlled in such a way that it's not necessarily circulating, depending on conditions? If so, that would make it considerably less invasive anyways. And while the factory intake design does negate most of the aftermarket CAI performance benefits, in general the coolant passages heating the air will not change the fact that cooler air entering the intake will still result in equivalently cooler air exiting the LIM and entering the head, with all else being equal.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:17 PM   #15
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Could the actual flow of coolant be controlled in such a way that it's not necessarily circulating, depending on conditions? If so, that would make it considerably less invasive anyways. And while the factory intake design does negate most of the aftermarket CAI performance benefits, in general the coolant passages heating the air will not change the fact that cooler air entering the intake will still result in cooler air entering the head, with all else being equal.

You're right, i tried to tie back to that in my OP, saying that the air is probably spending an insignificant amount of time in the lower manifold; its not but 2-3" all the way through. I doubt flow of the coolant could be controlled or diverted however, if i'm not mistaken, those two square ports go to the cylinder heads. I need to just invest in an infrared laser already.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:39 PM   #16
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You're right, i tried to tie back to that in my OP, saying that the air is probably spending an insignificant amount of time in the lower manifold; its not but 2-3" all the way through. I doubt flow of the coolant could be controlled or diverted however, if i'm not mistaken, those two square ports go to the cylinder heads. I need to just invest in an infrared laser already.
You do. I bought one just for the hell of it on one my my Amazon rampages. I take readings of random junk just because it's a fun tool haha

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Old 12-15-2014, 03:45 PM   #17
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Lol idk bout yall but I gained 54rwhp from my cai. 😄


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Old 12-16-2014, 05:56 PM   #18
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Lol idk bout yall but I gained 54rwhp from my cai. 😄


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Which CAI did you buy? Also what mods did you do to help gain all that hp?
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
You're right, i tried to tie back to that in my OP, saying that the air is probably spending an insignificant amount of time in the lower manifold; its not but 2-3" all the way through. I doubt flow of the coolant could be controlled or diverted however, if i'm not mistaken, those two square ports go to the cylinder heads. I need to just invest in an infrared laser already.
Plastic is not a very good conductor of heat. I doubt that much of it is being transferred to the intake air. If they wanted to heat the charge they would have used metal.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:45 AM   #20
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^^ That's a very good point as well. I likely am making a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be.
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:03 PM   #21
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Heating the intake manifold with either coolant or exhaust gasses is a holdover from the carburetor days. It used to be necessary because the heat would help atomize the fuel into a gaseous state, during cold starts and in very cold weather, whereas, it would otherwise remain in a liquid form and adhere to the walls of the intake manifold, causing "puddling" and a very "rich" running engine.
It became unnecessary, as far as driveability problems go, when everything went to port fuel injection, as the fuel is now being introduced so close to the combustion chamber intake port.
So why are they still heating the intake manifold?
Now it is due to emissions and fuel economy standards. Without that heat, they would have to tune the engines to run very rich until the engine came completely up to operating temperature. That wouldn't make the feds very happy at all! Also, the additional heat during the warm-up cycle still helps to properly atomize the fuel so that the engine runs better and there are less emissions during the warm-up period.
Since the coolant temperature never exceeds the engine operating temperature, there is very little performance loss once everything is warmed up and stabilized. And tests have shown that the intake air temperature is barely affected at all.
Racers, in the past, have blocked off the coolant passages to gain the last couple of horsepower, but they aren't concerned with driveability or emissions issues. On our daily driven cars, it's highly unlikely that you would notice any performance gains but in cold weather, you may notice some driveability problems with an unheated intake manifold until the engine was at normal operating temperature.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:25 PM   #22
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All the air is actually metered before that point, so the cooler denser air is already allowing more fuel in. Plus if you are dropping 5 degrees (just using that a number) the air would still be 5 degrees cooler there.
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