Cold Air Intake vs Short Ram Intake – Which is better?

There are two main types of intake systems available for a car or truck. There is the short ram intake and the cold air intake. We always get the question of which is better, which makes more power, which is easier to install, and which sounds the best. Of course, this varies for every car and every different setup, but we’ll tackle this question below and hopefully this article can help you better understand the differences between each setup, and the pros and cons to each as well.

Cold Air Intake
A cold air intake is designed to drawn in as much cold air as possible, giving it the name cold air intake. Some people also call it a cool air intake, because it’s design is such that it places the air filter as far away from the heat of the engine as possible. A cold air intake usually is placed in the fender of a car, under one of the sides of the engine, or somewhere behind the engine depending on the engine design and fitment possibilities. Due to the intake having more piping, the cold air is usually more expensive, and more difficult to install. Part of the cost is also the research and development that goes into each intake to make sure that the intake performs properly. Since this intake has more piping length and bends, the manufacture needs to be sure that the air/fuel ratio remains in safe levels, which takes a lot of testing and development.

Another key take away is that since the air filter is farther away from the heat of the engine, your car is less likely to be affected when your radiator fan flips on. On some setups, the intake is near the radiator fan, so when the fan turns on and blows heat away from the radiator, it might blow the air right into your intake, causing poor performance.

Short Ram Intake
A short ram intake is the most popular type of intake on the market. This intake is designed to simply replace your factory intake with a new smooth pipe and an open element air filter. Due to this, the cost is less than a cold air, and also is much easier to install. Since the intake is in the same location as your factory intake system, it’s design allows for engine heat to have an easier path into your intake system, creating less horsepower and torque than an equivalent cold air intake.

In the picture on the right, you see a short ram intake setup on a BMW M5. This car is a dual intake setup, so this particular intake kit comes with two pipes and two air filters. Some people also like the short ram intake better due to the looks of the kit since the air filters are in the engine bay.

Why doesn’t my car have the option for a cold air intake?
When a manufacture builds an intake for a car, they typically test all available options. In their testing, sometimes the cold air intake either doesn’t add more power over a short ram, or doesn’t add enough to justify a price difference. In rare cases, a cold air might decrease power due to the maf sensor or another intake design that doesn’t work well with your particular vehicle. In these cases, the manufacture will only have a short ram intake available.

Some intakes come with a heat shield. Is this worth it?
Absolutely. If a heat shield is available for your aftermarket intake system, we recommend to get it. Usually this allows a short ram intake to make more power, since it blocks off some engine heat from reaching your open element air filter.

I have seen intake scoops, do these help? How about ram air?
These help as long as the design is executed well. You’ll see some race cars have intake scoops that scoop air from the bottom of the car, or the front of the bumper routing into the air filter. This allows more cool air to reach your air filter which creates more power. A ram air works about the same way. A true ram air forces air direct into your air filter, which gives your car more power since it essentially turns your intake into a cold air intake.

In the picture on the right, you can see how the air filters are surrounded by a shroud. When the hood closes, it seals this shroud, creating a blocked off ram intake.

Are short ram intakes with an air box worth it?
Some manufactures have intakes that include an aftermarket performance air box. This typically has much higher flow than the stock air box and allows your air filter to get more air. These are good for engine bays that don’t allow for a heat shield, and have a problem of the radiator fan circulating hot air around the engine compartment.

What is heat soak?
Heat soak is when your intake piping becomes so hot, the piping heats up the air going into your engine, decreasing engine performance. A good intake system is built from material such as aluminum that doesn’t allow the piping to get hot enough to hurt performance.

Why are some intakes so much cheaper than others? Is there really a difference?
Many people think that an intake is an intake, and you should get one that is cheap since they all perform the same. This is far from the truth. Over the years, we have seen many people use cheap short ram intakes or cheap cold air intakes that actually hurt horsepower. Their design is simply a pipe with a cheap filter, and since it has no testing, the design doesn’t ensure that your air/fuel mixture remains in the proper range to allow your car to take advantage of the extra air flow, and instead this sends your computer into defense mode and it pulls back timing which hurts your performance.

A quality intake is more expensive because the manufacture invests lots of time and money to ensure that when you put the intake on your car, the design, size of the piping, length of the piping, thickness of the metal, and the quality of the air filter is good enough to put their name on it.

The air filter is a key component. It requires a good design because it’s supposed to allow more air flow, but capture as much or more dirt from entering your engine. It’s actually difficult to allow more air flow, but catch dust and dirt particles. Cheap intakes allow many more particles through that overtime can damage your engine, clog your sensors, and cause many other problems.

Why are some intakes smog legal but others are not?
Some manufactures make it an effort to have their intake tested by CARB (California Air Resources Board) to have it certified as smog legal. This is an expensive test, so not everyone does it. Smog legal intakes come with a sticker so that law enforcement knows your intake is smog legal, and you do not have a problem during smog time.

What is hydro-lock? Do I need an air-bypass valve?
Hydro lock is usually not an issue, but it can happen in some rare cases. Hydro-lock occurs when your cold air intake gets submerged in water, and your engine intakes water, causing engine damage. This can and has happened in the past, but it’s usually an extreme case. An air bypass valve installs in the middle of your cold air intake, so if this happens to you, the higher pressure of the air coming into the air bypass valve wouldn’t allow water to enter your engine. Some cold air intakes also convert into a short ram intake, so if you are worried about hydro-lock, we recommend to switch to a short ram intake during raining season or other conditions that may cause your air filter to be submerged in water, or water splashed up on your air filter.

I want a supercharger, turbo or nitrous. Which intake should I get now?
If you are going to go forced induction later, we recommend to wait on the intake. Just about every supercharger or turbo setup requires a different intake due to differences in the location of your throttle body, or other changes. A turbo setup is completely different, and you would need a special intake that comes with your turbo kit since it changes all of your intake plumbing and requires your intake to connect directly to the turbo. For a nitrous setup, it doesn’t really matter, since usually the nitrous is plumbed right at the throttle body.

You can see from the picture on the right how the intake attaches directly to the turbo on a turbo setup.

So which one do you recommend? Which is better?
As you can see from this article, it’s really up to what you are looking for out of your intake. A cold air typically makes more power, but costs more and is harder to install. A short ram is less expensive, easier to install, and sometimes creates less power. Some people prefer the looks of the short ram intake. Some people also like that the short ram intake is typically louder when you’re heavy on the throttle. Whatever you choose, keep in mind to get a quality intake that sets the foundation for your other aftermarket modifications that will benefit from a good flowing intake system.

Subaru BRZ STi Turbo – Engine Swap or Next Gen?

The Subaru BRZ hit the US shores and became an instant success. Everyone is talking about the BRZ and it’s Scion FR-S counterpart. However, Subaru is known for it’s STi versions which add not only great appearance additions but plenty of extra power and suspension modifications. The Subaru BRZ is no different, and the Subaru BRZ STi version is planned and coming soon. The only problem is that Subaru has mentioned that the BRZ STi will not be turbo, but will be around 250 horsepower and have a 7500 rpm redline.

Subaru says the BRZ STi will not be turbo because the front of the car has no room for an intercooler and a turbo setup would take away from the appeal of the Impreza WRX and Impreza STi.

We suspect that this will not stop enthusiasts. There are going to be plenty of engine swaps such as the 2.5L Impreza STi turbo or even a V8 swap from a LS1, Lexus IS-F, or others. The forums are buzzing with potential swaps, even a F20 from a Honda S2000 that can be turbo’d to add much extra horsepower.

We’ll keep watching for the latest engine swaps into the BRZ and FR-S and report back here.

Subaru BRZ HID Headlights fit on a Scion FR-S

The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are virtually identical, but some small things do mean a lot. For example, everyone seems to like the headlights more in the Subaru BRZ. They are Bi-Xenon HID with day time running lights built in. The Scion FR-S doesn’t have this available, so people are starting to swap the BRZ headlights into a FR-S. Some people have wondered if this would fit, but we can confirm that it does. One of our customers informed us that he successfully pulled the headlights off a wrecked BRZ into his FR-S and they look great!

The USDM Subaru BRZ comes with a manual headlight leveling system that is not very complex and can be moved over. The JDM Toyota has an auto-leveling system, which would make it a much tougher swap due to the addition of this system.

If you want to keep your FR-S headlights but get HID, there are aftermarket HID kits that you can use.

Above you can see the factory Scion FR-S headlight and compare it with the Subaru BRZ in the first picture. Many people who have the FR-S are doing the BRZ headlight swap, and people with the BRZ are doing the FR-S front bumper swap.

Our customer who did this swap has sent us this picture that he found online and was his inspiration:

We think it looks absolutely great, and agree the DLR setup on the BRZ looks nicer, so this is a great swap!

2013 Scion FR-S TRD Body Kit revealed

Toyota showed us a TRD body kit on a 2013 Toyota GT86, known in the US as a Scion FR-S. This new FR-S TRD Body kit is going to be one of many accessories offered for the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, but here we get a first look at the kit, and we think it looks awesome!

This TRD body kit includes a full body kit package, including a front bumper, side skirts, a deck spoiler and a rear diffuser with new twin exhaust pipes.

This particular GT86 has 18″ wheels with low profile sport tires, and also has upgraded suspension, brakes and exhaust.

Mustang 302 vs Camaro ZL1 Drag Race Video

There’s a video that was sent to us of a 2013 Mustang 302 vs a 2013 Camaro ZL1. This Mustang 302 has an intake, exhaust and tune. The Mustang starts at 444hp, and is estimated to be around 480 hp after the tune. On the other hand, the Camaro ZL1 is stock and is rated at 580 horsepower, at least one hundred more than the Mustang.

The camera car is a white Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution that seems to have no problem keeping up!

There are two races, both from a 40mph punch.

VIDEO: Corvette Z06 Hits Deer during HyperFest 2012 Race

Using a Go Pro HD Hero2 camera, this guy recorded himself in his C5 Corvette Z06 hitting a deer at high speeds during a race at the 2012 HyperFest event. You will see that about halfway down the track the deer runs right in front of the Z06 from the right hand side. Luckily the driver wasn’t hurt, but it goes to show another reason why you should always have your helmet shield down.

The deer rolled up on the windshield and then over the roof of the car. Scary how fast all of this happened.

Ferrari F430 Replica Body Kit for a Toyota Celica

There are a lot of replica body kits coming out, and this Ferrari F430 is no different. This Ferrari F430 body kit is designed to fit a Toyota Celica. The undisputed king of the replica body kits is the Pontiac Fiero, but new cars such as the Chrysler Sebring are receiving the royal treatment. Now it’s the Celica’s turn, and this F430 replica is pretty impressive. From the outside, the replica looks just like the original car.

One thing you can’t replicate is the awesome sound of the Ferrari F430, and since this car is based on a 2000 Toyota Celica, you are revving up a stock 1.8L with 140 horsepower. Not too fun stock, but could be if you turbo the car and do other modifications to it. Should be a fun and cheap Ferrari, until someone peaks inside and notices the stock Celica interior.

The interior is actually not too bad, and to the untrained eye might actually look exotic. You’ll notice that this interior in the picture above looks pretty stock Celica.

Above you can see the rear end of the replica body kit. Not too bad and it even has quad exhaust tips. This body kit is likely to catch on pretty quick… don’t be surprised if you see more Ferrari F430’s in your area and less Toyota Celicas.

Lexus IS-F CCS-R to compete in Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Lexus has been showcasing it’s IS-F high performance sedan in various events, and the most recent is the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. This special edition IS-F is the CCS-R version, and is the full race version of the IS-F Circuit Club Sport (CCS for short).

The Lexus IS-F CCS-R has a 416hp 5.0L V8, same as the production IS-F, and runs the same 8 speed automatic transmission, but has gone on a big diet to run just over 3000lbs at 3087.

The car has 18″ SSR Wheels wrapped in Yokohama ADVAN NEOVA A050 tires and various suspension tweaks.

Convert your Chrysler Sebring Convertible into a Bentley

So let’s say you have a Chrysler Sebring Convertible and you’re bored of it, and want to get a new car. How about a 2012 Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible. Pretty common upgrade right? Well, it is if you get a replica kit. This replica kit above converted a 2003 Chrysler Sebring LXi Convertible into a 2012 Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible.

Check out the sweet stock interior. Looks like there’s a few scratches in the seats, but nothing too major.

I don’t know the name of this kit, but I’m surprised how the exterior actually looks pretty decent. It needs a bit of work with the wheel offsets and things like that, but it’s not too bad. The factory Bentley headlights and taillights work as they should. If you don’t look at the interior, you might think a real Bentley was driving by.

Wald Porsche Panamera Body Kit

Wald International is a Japanese tuner that has gotten it’s hands on the Porsche Panamera. Wald is mainly known for creating stunning body kits and aerodynamics that really give the car the stance it should have had from the factory. The Wald Porsche Panamera is no different, and Wald is showing off it’s new body kit that includes some of the best lines we’ve seen!

The Wald Porsche Panamera Body Kit includes a front bumper with integrated LED lights, side skirts, wide body wheel arches and fender vents. It looks like Wald also lowered the Panamera to give it a very mean and demanding stance.

The Porsche Panamera looks like a mix between a sedan and a station wagon. It’s also got a love it or hate it look, but Wald is bringing in more love and less hate with their new body kit.