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I have been pondering whether to spend $200+ on a CAI system, and besides the cool factors (looks cool, sounds cool), is there really any performance or MPG increase on the 3.6 to justify the expense? Would say a K&N drop in filter in the stock air box work just as well? The web is full of pros and cons on this subject and I'm confused on which way to go or even if I should bother at all.
Thanks
 

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If I had to do it all over again, I'd save the $ and only install a K&N panel filter. And that is on hemi's which suck even more air. For a stock 6 cyl., that's even more reason to use a drop-in.

:eek:ld:
 

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Same here, I have had both. Just get a high flow drop in filter and save your money.
Regarding the drop in filter, I had the K&N which you need to clean and oil periodically. I recently switched to the AFE Pro dry filter. Same performance and you just clean it, no oiling which can get messy. part # 31-10220 great price from AutoAnything. It the same # for the 3.6 and 5.7.
 

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I somewhat tested the two back in November at my local track. I started with my CAI kit , made a few passes. Went to the pits and installed my stock air box with a K & N drop in. I consistantly ran faster times with the stock/K & N set up. I never tested the two in MPG.
 

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If I had to do it all over again, I'd save the $ and only install a K&N panel filter. And that is on hemi's which suck even more air. For a stock 6 cyl., that's even more reason to use a drop-in.

:eek:ld:[/QUOTE

2X on that!!! save your money!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey, Thanks for your opinions on this, I have been leaning toward the drop in, as a lot of reports on the web say the drop in gave just as good results. Also $50.00 bucks is easier to swallow than 200+. I also like the dry filter over the oiled. Don't know if it's true but they say oiled causes sensor problems on some cars.
 

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Hey, Thanks for your opinions on this, I have been leaning toward the drop in, as a lot of reports on the web say the drop in gave just as good results. Also $50.00 bucks is easier to swallow than 200+. I also like the dry filter over the oiled. Don't know if it's true but they say oiled causes sensor problems on some cars.

I track tested the drop in K&N filter and the cai from K&N 63 series.

K&N drop in filter over stock was worth .05 second reduction
in e.t. and worth .4X mph in trap speed.

The K&N 63 series was worth .10 e.t. reduction and 1 mph gain
in trap speed.

hope this helps
 

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If you simply look at the designs of both you can tell that stock will pull cooler air. It's routed down into the fender and it has a free flowing intake tube all the way to the throttle body.

The aftermarket kits keep the filter up in the engine compartment exposed to the warmer air, with basically the same kind of intake tube. There is no way for the aftermarket kits to make more power on these cars than stock.

Having said that, K&N swears up and down that their kit pulled 8 more horses on the dyno. I'm running it basically for the sound and looks when I hit car shows this year...and also because the stock intake cover tears up my hands when I check the oil dipstick.
 

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If you simply look at the designs of both you can tell that stock will pull cooler air. It's routed down into the fender and it has a free flowing intake tube all the way to the throttle body.

The aftermarket kits keep the filter up in the engine compartment exposed to the warmer air, with basically the same kind of intake tube. There is no way for the aftermarket kits to make more power on these cars than stock.

Having said that, K&N swears up and down that their kit pulled 8 more horses on the dyno. I'm running it basically for the sound and looks when I hit car shows this year...and also because the stock intake cover tears up my hands when I check the oil dipstick.

How can you say
there is NO way for the aftermarket kits make more power.........


Many have felt a difference after install and so did I, improved throttle response and more get up and go, I took everything to the track
to confirm what I felt and others.


I tested the heck out of this many times over at the track
using same DA air, swaping stock to K&N to Mopar and such,
the stock unit is THE worst when it comes to 1/4 mile e.t's and
trap speed period. it just wasn't one pass deals, it was multi pass to confirm each part, not an average either. it was so clear
that I could put the stock unit back on the car slowed down to
it' original pass.

Can't argue with time slips, fact is, K&N and Mopar kits will
make the car faster.

The stock unit on the challengers even with a v6 is a restriction.The
choking point of the intake system is the air box, once you eliminate
the stock air box, you get greater response from ported tb and ported intakes.

Look at airaid, they figured this out as well and only sell the filter
kit.

I have
been testing cai, tb, intake manifolds, exhaust and I can
tell you straight up what works and don't. I think I'm the
only one on this board that has tested the heck out of all this
and I pass the information along so others will know really whats
going on.

we should be passing on real information. Better informed we all
are about this the better decisions one could make.

50 bucks for just over .4 mph gain in the 1/4 mile
or 216 bucks for 1 mph gain going with a cai kit.

Having that information then one can decide if it's worth it to them or not.

It's a lot better then people repeating, "Oh none of that
stuff makes power, is all snake oil.....bla bla bla. Cause I THINK
it don't work."
 

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I have been pondering whether to spend $200+ on a CAI system, and besides the cool factors (looks cool, sounds cool), is there really any performance or MPG increase on the 3.6 to justify the expense? Would say a K&N drop in filter in the stock air box work just as well? The web is full of pros and cons on this subject and I'm confused on which way to go or even if I should bother at all.
Thanks
I did the testing for folks just like you, real world, no BS, to give proper
information, so one can decide. Knowing makes the decision so much
easier. I hope my posts helped.

I post much of my findings on the OTHER challenger site seem to have more traffic, check out my latest exhaust testing. track testing coming
march 15th for that.
 

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How can you say
there is NO way for the aftermarket kits make more power.........


Many have felt a difference after install and so did I, improved throttle response and more get up and go, I took everything to the track
to confirm what I felt and others.


I tested the heck out of this many times over at the track
using same DA air, swaping stock to K&N to Mopar and such,
the stock unit is THE worst when it comes to 1/4 mile e.t's and
trap speed period. it just wasn't one pass deals, it was multi pass to confirm each part, not an average either. it was so clear
that I could put the stock unit back on the car slowed down to
it' original pass.

Can't argue with time slips, fact is, K&N and Mopar kits will
make the car faster.

The stock unit on the challengers even with a v6 is a restriction.The
choking point of the intake system is the air box, once you eliminate
the stock air box, you get greater response from ported tb and ported intakes.

Look at airaid, they figured this out as well and only sell the filter
kit.

I have
been testing cai, tb, intake manifolds, exhaust and I can
tell you straight up what works and don't. I think I'm the
only one on this board that has tested the heck out of all this
and I pass the information along so others will know really whats
going on.

we should be passing on real information. Better informed we all
are about this the better decisions one could make.

50 bucks for just over .4 mph gain in the 1/4 mile
or 216 bucks for 1 mph gain going with a cai kit.

Having that information then one can decide if it's worth it to them or not.

It's a lot better then people repeating, "Oh none of that
stuff makes power, is all snake oil.....bla bla bla. Cause I THINK
it don't work."

Because it's common car knowledge (and the laws of physics) that colder air makes more power. Therefore pulling from the fender with little if any restriction in the intake tube HAS to be better than pulling from the hot engine compartment with a basically identical intake tube.
 

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So....I guess there is at least one posting here that really believes all those college degrees and high paid engineers the car manufactures employ are just a waste of time and money and that they don't care about HP. Every....EVERY...high performance car made now days including the 1/4 million dollar super cars draw air from ANYWHERE but the engine compartment....but they are all wrong I guess. Here is a link to another Z forum of my opinion for what its worth.
http://www.dodgedartforumz.com/showthread.php?p=6996#post6996
 

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There are a few CAI systems that draw air from deeper in the fender well than the stock systems. I believe the LMI does and I know the Volant does (I have a Volant). The Volant has a snorkel set up that goes down into the fender well.

That said, the power gains from just a CAI are negligible in my opinion. The amount gained will be hardly noticeable and not worth the money IMO unless you are taking the car on the track or are simply chasing dyno numbers. To really feel a power gain, you have to have a 10% increase in HP. That would equate to about 30-37HP on an RT and around 26-30 HP on SXT I believe.

You may notice an increase in throttle response but you can get the same feeling from simply pulling the #2 fuse every month or two and resetting the computer.

If I had to do it again I would go with the drop in filter and save the $.

I do however believe that a good CAI system that draws from the fender area, coupled with a good exhaust system and less restrictive headers would give a bump you would notice. But by that point you would also need a tune as well to get the most out of it.

Personally I am waiting on any future performance mods, to see if Dodge will offer the Scat Pack packages to cars before 2013.
 
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There are a few CAI systems that draw air from deeper in the fender well than the stock systems. I believe the LMI does and I know the Volant does (I have a Volant). The Volant has a snorkel set up that goes down into the fender well.

That said, the power gains from just a CAI are negligible in my opinion. The amount gained will be hardly noticeable and not worth the money IMO unless you are taking the car on the track or are simply chasing dyno numbers. To really feel a power gain, you have to have a 10% increase in HP. That would equate to about 30-37HP on an RT and around 26-30 HP on SXT I believe.

You may notice an increase in throttle response but you can get the same feeling from simply pulling the #2 fuse every month or two and resetting the computer.

If I had to do it again I would go with the drop in filter and save the $.

I do however believe that a good CAI system that draws from the fender area, coupled with a good exhaust system and less restrictive headers would give a bump you would notice. But by that point you would also need a tune as well to get the most out of it.

Personally I am waiting on any future performance mods, to see if Dodge will offer the Scat Pack packages to cars before 2013.
See your opinion that power gains are negligible is just an opinion, if you
do the testing you will know the fact, it's better to really know then just
to say what you think and make it harder for other to decide.

In the bigger picture, for around 200 bucks to gain 1 mph and reduce
the e.t. .10 seconds is a reasonable cost and worth doing,
don't think so?

Do you think adding a SC for 6k is worth it, many would like to. No one
would say it's not worth it when compared to say the CAI's. People
hammer cai kits all the time as waste of money, how many say getting
a supercharger is a waste of money, not many, not like cai.

Cut up the cost, 15 seconds flat for a 3.6 challenger add the SC
and now it's 12.5 seconds in 1/4 mile, whats the cost? About
240 bucks for each .10 reduction. So the cai is a cheap mod that is effective.

The interent myth of 10% power gain to feel is just garbage.

According to your logic, anyone with a tuner will never ever FEEL the difference.

There are many folks with the 3.6 engine that have tuners and really feel the difference in power, yet it's only 15hp and 15ft lbs of tq on 93
tune. So according to your logic, diablo might as well advertise the
3.6 tune as 29.5 hp because it has to be 10% or more before your FEEL it.

Beleive me I can feel hp and tq changes as small as 5-10 nowhere
near 10%. Someone came up with that and most who have NO clue
run with it and spread it like wildfire.

Just give those who are looking for advise the real truth, I give advise
based on what I do and have done and don't spread garbage
because I read is somewhere.

We all should know that colder air does make better hp, buit what good
does it do if you have restricted cooler air? A free flowing slightly
warmed air will make more power at the end, why do you see gains with
aftermarket cold air intakes? because they are not as restricted
as the factory box, common people use your head.

You want a little more then what say K&N 63 series can give ya then
get the filter out of the engine compartment, K&N, Mopar, airaid all figured
out the factory box was a restriction and was able to give you a product
to make a few extra hp and tq. Is it the best design?, no, but it is effective.
 

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In one of the test drives you can see on You Tube, Ralph Gilles, Chrysler's President of SRT operations makes a comment about the many hours of computer time devoted to getting the air intake system "Just Right" with the least amount of compromise. However, it could be possible to blow $300 on a CAI system designed in a garage, promise great things to a gullible public, and the guys that designed it be way smarter than all those Chrysler engineers. Yea... I can be dumb for a few seconds.

-John
 

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ddennis-

If you actually read my post completely you will notice, that I said "Unless you are taking the car to the track OR chasing dyno numbers you will not notice a difference in the performance of the car" By negligible I meant that the gains will be small to the point that you PERSONALLY will not notice the difference in day to day driving. AGAIN when is gaining 1 MPH going to be noticed in day to day driving.

If you can notice a 3% gain felt in HP more power to you. I noticed little to nothing in performance gains after the install of the Volant intake system which promised gains of 10-15HP.

People with tuners feel increases to throttle response. You get the same feeling to some degree when you pull the #2 fuse in the car to reset the adaptive in the computer. (I know the tuner is better just using it as an example) so by your logic every time I reset the #2 fuse my car is gaining at least 10-15 HP because I feel the difference. A tuner adds better throttle response and some HP gains. What people notice mostly is the throttle response and the car losing some of the lag.

Colder air does in fact create more power I agree. If that is the case explain to me how exactly an OPEN box in the engine bay is pulling colder air? The 'heat shield' would have to encompass the entire unit to block the hot air from the engine would it not? If you read my post you would see I said the intakes that draw from the fender well work better.

Also you keep commenting on the tune and the CAI combination. The original poster asked simply if the CAI was better than the stock set up and worth the money. I say with no tune then stick with the stock set up or go simply with a drop in filter. Adding a tuner is what another 400 bucks. So to get the full effects of the CAI you are not spending the simply 200-300 dollars a CAI will cost you are adding on what another 400 dollars or more for the tuner? So for a grand total of about 600 dollars you can get a gain of 10-15 HP.

Again I am not saying that CAI systems do not work. I am saying that for day to day driving you are not going to notice a huge difference in the cars performance. If you had taken the time to read the intent of the post rather than be mad because I wasn't lauding the power of CAI systems you would have seen that.

I am not in the habit of telling people how to spend their money. I offered an opinion which simply stated I did not think for day to day driving without a tune that a CAI system was really worth the money.

And for every guy that says they have tested CAI systems at the track there are numerous videos on youtube that debunk CAI systems as not gaining anywhere near the advertised or claimed HP. I agree with you that with a Tune you will see gains (which I stated) without it you won't notice much.

If you are going to the track sure go ahead and buy one if you are chasing dyno numbers and trying to shave fractions of seconds off your 1/4 mile time. It makes sense since every second or fraction of a second is important. If you are driving to work or to the grocery store I am really not so sure you are going to be like "Wow that made getting a gallon of milk WAY more fun.."
 

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ddennis-

If you actually read my post completely you will notice, that I said "Unless you are taking the car to the track OR chasing dyno numbers you will not notice a difference in the performance of the car" By negligible I meant that the gains will be small to the point that you PERSONALLY will not notice the difference in day to day driving. AGAIN when is gaining 1 MPH going to be noticed in day to day driving.

If you can notice a 3% gain felt in HP more power to you. I noticed little to nothing in performance gains after the install of the Volant intake system which promised gains of 10-15HP.

People with tuners feel increases to throttle response. You get the same feeling to some degree when you pull the #2 fuse in the car to reset the adaptive in the computer. (I know the tuner is better just using it as an example) so by your logic every time I reset the #2 fuse my car is gaining at least 10-15 HP because I feel the difference. A tuner adds better throttle response and some HP gains. What people notice mostly is the throttle response and the car losing some of the lag.

Colder air does in fact create more power I agree. If that is the case explain to me how exactly an OPEN box in the engine bay is pulling colder air? The 'heat shield' would have to encompass the entire unit to block the hot air from the engine would it not? If you read my post you would see I said the intakes that draw from the fender well work better.

Also you keep commenting on the tune and the CAI combination. The original poster asked simply if the CAI was better than the stock set up and worth the money. I say with no tune then stick with the stock set up or go simply with a drop in filter. Adding a tuner is what another 400 bucks. So to get the full effects of the CAI you are not spending the simply 200-300 dollars a CAI will cost you are adding on what another 400 dollars or more for the tuner? So for a grand total of about 600 dollars you can get a gain of 10-15 HP.

Again I am not saying that CAI systems do not work. I am saying that for day to day driving you are not going to notice a huge difference in the cars performance. If you had taken the time to read the intent of the post rather than be mad because I wasn't lauding the power of CAI systems you would have seen that.

I am not in the habit of telling people how to spend their money. I offered an opinion which simply stated I did not think for day to day driving without a tune that a CAI system was really worth the money.

And for every guy that says they have tested CAI systems at the track there are numerous videos on youtube that debunk CAI systems as not gaining anywhere near the advertised or claimed HP. I agree with you that with a Tune you will see gains (which I stated) without it you won't notice much.

If you are going to the track sure go ahead and buy one if you are chasing dyno numbers and trying to shave fractions of seconds off your 1/4 mile time. It makes sense since every second or fraction of a second is important. If you are driving to work or to the grocery store I am really not so sure you are going to be like "Wow that made getting a gallon of milk WAY more fun.."
Great reasoning, Good Post!
-John
 

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I am not an engineer but don't most of the CAI filters have more area of filter than stock thus allowing more volume of air into the engine?
 

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I am not an engineer but don't most of the CAI filters have more area of filter than stock thus allowing more volume of air into the engine?
This is true...and I think that really does do some small good...but unfortunately...most also allow hot engine compartmant air to get sucked in. Not so much a big deal for a tracked car or for someone that lives in Alaska....but here in Texas in the summers...especially when stop and go traffic is encountered....that adaptive learning program in the PCM is going to start backing off your timing and fuel has the knock detectors report in thereby killing any gains the better flow gave you IMO. Believe me...there is a reason for every compomise the factory makes usually between HP...durability and cost. In this case...it cost them even more to use a cold air system than if they had just sucked engine compartment air so I figure they have done the math for a daily driver non-tracked car.:4-dontknow:
 
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