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Super Noob CAI Question

2859 Views 39 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  bucko
Ok, so there was bombing down the highway tonight totally enjoying the new sound of the engine due to my newly installed CAI. I was quite obnoxious cruising up to other cars and then HAMMER DOWN! Whomp Whomp Whomp Whomp as I sped by. Phil Collins, "In the air tonight" was on the radio and I found myself doing it over and over just to hear the engine growl. (Imagine American psycho in a mustang!) And you know my poor victims were thinking either one of two things (1) what a donkey! Or (2) omg that's awesome. Right?

Anyway, on to my question/concern. If any of my other cars (past or present) sounded like that at 80mph I would take it in to the shop thinking something's wrong with the engine. The thought crept in that my idea of having fun could be damaging the engine longterm somehow given the deep (rough) sound and slight vibration in the pedals(?).

Can someone put my mind at ease, tell me that its normal and my engine will be fine so I can get back to enjoying my rides home from work?
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The stock 3.7 air boxes flow great; buying a CAI only gains you the "noise" most like to hear (such as this post is attempting to describe.

I have one (CAI), only because it was a used item (paid 75 bucks for it), and liked how it cleaned up the engine bay area. Other then that, I would not shell out the prices the aftermarket folks are getting for them, as they do not flow any better then the stock units. Even with an exhaust and tuner, the stock air box is more than what you would need for the 3.7 V6.
I couldn't disagree more with you, Bucko. I don't mean to argue or be rude, but you're absolutely wrong. I felt a big difference with my CAI. And that was before a tune. The stock air box on the 2012 is garbage. Wonder why the engine is louder? It's breathing better, my man. Even the 2013 is trying to fake a CAI box for sales. A box and square filter will never amount to a circular filter sucking that delicious air in all directions.
False!!! The engine is louder with the CIA because the "sound muffler" is not on a CAI. Look at your stock inlet tube; you'll see this square type sound muffler.

I did an experiment on a 3.7 stock air tube about three months ago. I first installed a GT sound tube by drilling a hole in this sound muffler, then plummed a 90% threaded PVC fitting, then connected the GT sound tube to it. This gave me the "sound" in the cabin.
Then, I removed the sound tube, as I felt is cluttered the engine bay. I then used my dremmel tool and cut off the sound muffler from the stock air tube. I fiberglassed the hole it left behind, painted it, and re-installed. So what I had was the stock air cleaner box (which grabs gobs of cool clean air from the front grill area), and the modified tube that connects the filter box to the throttle body. Went for a ride and accellerated just like I would before this mod. The sound under the hood was just like the used CAI I have now.

If you do some additional searching, you'll fine that most CAI's that are sold for the 3.7 V6 are the same diameter (air tube from filter box to throttle body) as the stock unit. This avoids having to re-tune the PCM, as the stock throttle body cannot do anything with an additional air flow anyhow without replacing the throttle body with a larger one (more bucks). Simply put, Ford did their homework with the stock setup. Save your money, unless you are after looks and sound. The sound however is easily obtained by either adding a GT sound tube, or cutting off the sound muffler in your stock intake tube.
But don't take my word for it, search the net. Talk with the dyno guys. They will tell you that the 3.7 V6 stock air box flows more than enough; can't be beat with a CAI unless you go all out with a complete exhaust (including long tube headers), a larger throttle body, and a tuner.
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It's obvious you have not looked at a stock 3.7 V6 setup I'll guess.

Take a look at the square box on the bottom part of this picture (stock 3.7 V6 tube off of a 2011 below). You'll see the "box/"J" tube I'm refering to. This is a "sound deadner" or sound muffler. It's on the 2011 V6's for sure.

Notice that I referenced the 3.7 V6, and not ALL Elvis driving fans. As I stated, THE 3.7 V6 stock intake flows great; does not require a CAI to grab any additional HP gains by itself. If you buy one for this engine, it will be for looks, perhaps the sound, or because you have lots of money to spend on something that in this case, gains you nothing.

Have a quality day!


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Okay Bucko. You're the only person on this website to be right about something everyone disagrees with. You're so smart. We all bow to your made up intelligence. Congrats man. I succeed. You win. I'll do some fake research too and soon we will agree on what ever it was you said. Cheers mate.

---------- Post added at 08:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:25 PM ----------

I like you though, Bucko. You're obviously an intelligent person by reading your sentence structure. I'd like to apologize for being a dick, even though I always come off that way, and I kind of am... But none the less... No offense. I've enjoyed conversing with no chance of medium.
Only trying to share some facts. I've spent my money foulishly in the past on items that did me no good. I have a 2004 F150 with the 4.2 V6; with a tuner AND a CAI, it indeed woke up that engine.

No reason for apology. These forums are a great place to share ideas, opinions, and help each other out.

From all that I have read, and the conversations with some of the Mustang club members, it has been addressed that Ford did a great job engineering the 3.7, which includes the air intake.
I'm a huge fan of V6's. I'll show my age here when I tell you my first V6 experience was a brand new 1985 Buick Grand National. God I wish I had that car today!

Since then I've always respected the V6. This 3.7 V6 Ford has impressed the heck out of me. I drive on average 600 to 700 miles a week (my 2011 V6 Mustang already has 37K). I get an honest 23.8 to 23.9 MPG (3:31 rear gear setup) on the highway.

Great engine!
You are saying the air box on you '13 is better than a CAI? To each his/her own bro. Do you. Must be wrong about the millions of after market CAIs sold. Guess headers and cat delete don't make higher flow wanting more inlet mean nothing. And I guess that's why mods is so unimportant on every tuners checklist is so minuscule... Guess again... You're right homie. Bottom line is, every mid makes a difference, add it up. Just like pocket change, it means something.
You have good and valid points. However, what is being said (at least in my case) is that a CAI does not do much to the 3.7 V6 that the stock box already does. To gain anything from a CAI install for the 3.7 V6, you'll require a larger throttle body, as the stock throttle body flows only so much air. The stock setup works great with the stock throttle body.

Adding headers (long tube), a complete exhaust system, and a tuner will net you great gains, and HP you indeed will "feel".

Smoky Yunick said it best: speed costs money; more speed costs more money. He had this written on the wall in his garage at his Daytona shop. My dad was a friend of his; I got to meet him many years ago when I was a stupid teenager; now I'm an old senile Mustang owner.
I guess I better not mention that a dyno service tested the K&N drop in filter for the 5.0 GT (and 3.7 V6). They found it LOST 2 to 3 HP on the dyno....Not sure I believe this one. I have no doogs in that race!

I won't mention the dyno service, but if you google it, you'll find the article.

I'm a huge fan of K&N, as this is what I have on my Harley (2001 Dresser), and 2005 F150. The bike has over 132,000 miles on it, and the truck is at 96K; they have been cleaned and re-oiled more times then I can remember.

K&N sometimes gets a bad rap because folks will over-oil them after cleaning.
Dude... AM did it and gained 9-11 on the GT. they only did the fan method!! Not even gonna google it bro... AM wouldn't **** me. I trust them.
Not talking the cone type K&N filter used with CAI setups. Talking about a stock filter replacement drop in filter.

No big deal. I saw the link on another popular mustang forum. I can neither confirm or deny the statement.

As stated, I own two K&N filters; one on my truck, and one on my bike. Happy with both. Never dyno'd either. Not into that.
Did you change mufflers at around the same time? The CAI would in no way cause a vibration that I can think of. Some Mufflers can cause a drone that will come across as a vibration.
X2. A drone (via cat back or other muffler/exhaust work) can cause a vibration feel, but not a CAI install by itself.
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