Car tuning and styling club

Induction kits and cold
air intakes

 

Suck it and see - induction kits.

Improving the Suck – if you put a piece of cloth over your mouth and suck in air you will not have too much of a problem but if the cloth were wet or a double thickness things start to get harder. The air filter is a very necessary part of the engine unless you are operating in a laboratory so the aim is to get an efficient air filter that is not too thick and is not oily greasy or dirty. This is where induction kits come in.


The best filters for flow rates are usually constructed of a sponge impregnated with a dirt retentive spray to aid filtration or comprise a fine grade metallic mesh. The bigger the surface area of the filter the better the air flow will be. Mainstream cars today can be fitted with an air induction kit which completely replaces the air intake box.

The plus is much better air flow, particularly at higher revs, and the induction roar as air is sucked into the engine the downside is also the roar - some people dislike the extra noise these kits create . Smaller engined cars can actually lose power when an induction kit instead of an airfilter is fitted. It can be challenging to deliver COLD air (which carries more oxygen) to the engine as the temperature under the bonnet can get quite high and and a 20 degrees rise in temperature can rob you of up to 3% of your power! Under bonnet temperatures can quickly rise to double this. An intercooler can be added which is sprayed with Co2 and reduces the temperature of the air intake. It should be noted that in some small engine non turbo applications the car will feel less powerful with an induction kit - in these instances the best option is a direct replacement panel air filter which goes in the standard airbox.

So the best air induction kits come with a cold air feed pipe and are fitted in an air box which shields the intake air from the high under bonnet temperatures – the best compromise between the standard air intake box and the induction kit. Some kits have a long pipe which the filter sits at the end nearest the bonnet which really does help cut down the noise and improves the intake temperature. Induction kits that protrude under the front bumper which claim to get more air forced in through the pressure built up on the front of the car as it cuts through air do not have significant power gains, other than the benefit of the cold air from outside the engine bay, - the RAM effect takes speeds up over 100 mph before a benefit is realised - they are however a great way to collect many botanical specimens of fly's, moths and bugs in the air filter!

NB: Be careful where you site the cold air feed - the last thing you want is to be sucking water into the engine every time you splash through a puddle. If the induction kits air filter is enclosed in a box with a cold air feed, then more power can be obtained avoiding the hot under bonnet air (Carbon fibre boxes are very good for their heat shielding and durability). It also good to wrap a the exhaust manifold with a heat resistant material to keep the under bonnet temperatures down and tasteful vents can be added to the bonnet to take away the heat.


Other Power tuning guides:-

How to improve air induction
How to maximise combustion

How to increase the exhaust rate
The importance of oil

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