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Discussion Starter #1
For autox, you are in high load, low speed (<60) conditions with power needed across the entire powerband, but especially in the low to mid-range. The runs are typically less than a minute, so under hood heat build up is also not a huge issue.

So if cold air intake isn't a big benefit, and speeds aren't high enough to make snorkels effective, then shouldn't a short tube ram, or even just stock filter replacement produce just as much power?

Obviously I am making lots of assumptions - where am I wrong?
 

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With my volant, my power delivery on the exit of a turn is perfect. No bogging, just hit the gas and go
 

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Oddly enough, I feel that heat soak conditions are more of an issue in autocross situations than road racing.

In a road race environment, you have a constant supply of fresh air being forced through the engine bay, leading to slighly lower temps for intake components.

On the other hand, in autocross you run the crap out of your equipment for a few seconds, and right as it reaches the temperature peak you park it and wait for the next run. During this time, the parts just absorb the heat, reducing power... this is ESPECIALLY present on turbocharged vehicles where the intercooler loses efficiency rapidly.

I'd say that in an autocross environment, I'd be even MORE concerned with a well ducted cold air intake.... or at the very least, a short ram with a good heat shield. Simply sticking a cone filter under a hot hood won't help.

My 2.2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In my region, we don't do multiple run heats, but rather run-work-run-work etc... I also got in the habit of pushing my car (WRX) thru the grid.

And shame on me - but I haven't spent much time under the hood of the Focus yet - just too cold in the garage - but I was looking thru the workshop manual and realized that the ZX3 uses a snorkel. So it is already a cold air intake of sorts.

I'm thinking just throw an ITG panel filter replacement in there and be done with it.
 

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I would have to agree with Smoe, i think the shorter is better for torq, and actual intake of air. It seems as though it takes a sec. for my AEM cai to figure itself out sometimes..unless im at the higher rpms already and continuing to press down on the throttle..
 

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Iceman is supposed to be real good about fattening up the mid range numbers--I like mine but my feelings are subjective with comparison only to stock. Someone posted dyno numbers a while back and they were quite good--which is one reason that I purchased one..
 

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I would recommend the Volant, w/ either the SVT Snorkel or the new Accessory Scoop. It's heat-shielding is excellent, as well as its flow. The Flow makes it better than stock. At the VERY Least, add an SVT Snorkel to your stock box.
I always raise my hood between runs to aid w/ heat dissipation. I'm also considering a Manual On/Off Over-ride Switch for the Fan so I can turn it on between runs.
 

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It would be safe to say that an intake will not help or hurt your auto cross times at all. AutoX is so much suspension, so little engine.

[ 02-23-2003, 09:00 PM: Message edited by: Andy Smith ]
 

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Originally posted by FocusOnPunk:
sure its a lot of turning, but if you can gain that extra few tenths on the few straights, then you'll have a better time.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">TRUE!!!!
Many times, places are determined by THOUSANDTHS, let alone 10ths.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have continued to research the intake choices. There is lots of good info to be had if you take the time to do the searching. Even though the relative performance of all of the units is very close, there are some criteria that differentiate the units. And even though my main focus is autox, you can't ignore other factors. The factors that I found most common are cost, sound, cold air effectiveness, water ingestion, ease of installation, appearance, and of course power (and where in the rpm band it is the most effective).

Here is a general recap of the major players, feel free to correct me if I have it wrong.

Long tube CAIs like the AEM/BOMZ
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Cheap for the knockoffs, not everyone likes the sound, very good for cool air flow, potential water ingestion, vibration related install issues/failures, more power at the upper end.

For me... power at wrong end of rpm range

Short tube "bare" intakes like AEM/MAC/STEEDA
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Generally cheaper, strong sound, potential hot air bogging issues, easy install, good usable power

For me... good overall choice as long as not too loud. Hot air intake should be minor factor for autox, but it will be annoying to exit the expressway, sit at a light and then bog off the line.

Shielded shorty or replacement airbox like Volant, Cool-Flo, FC CAI, K&N
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Not cheapest, strong shorty cone filter sound - Volant maybe too loud, some use reasonably effective cold air snorkels, more complicated installs especially with hybrids, good power, but some have restricted airflow issues.

For me... good compromise doing well in all categories. Volant seems to have lots of fans, but what's up with the new scoop attachment?

Stock airbox with upgrades like SVT snorkel or ICEMAN, ITG or K&N panel filter
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Except ICEMAN, some good low cost options, restricted sound, safest from ingestion, some issues getting snorkel to fit or ICEMAN to stay on, stock appearance unless colored ICEMAN, good low-mid range power claims for ICEMAN

For me... Low cost ITG filter and SVT snorkel option is appealing, although might enjoy more visual and audible impact

Here's an excerpt from Techguy#8288 from Steeda that sums it up very well.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
We tested a bunch of these things on the street, on the dyno, and at the drag strip.

Some of our findings, in no particular order:

The short intakes made the most power on the dyno with the hood up. The best short intake on the dyno was also the fasted at the drag strip after a normal cooldown (waiting in line for the next turn).

The AEM long intake was the best for hot lapping the car lap multiple passes down the track without opening the hood for a cooldown.

The best shorty intake was better at the track and on the dyno than one of the popular plastic cold air intakes, even with the car hot and the hood kept shut.

The air intakes that didn't use the complete factory air meter didn't idle as well. These air intakes mounted the factory sensor into a hole in the side of the air intake tube. The long intake that ran the strongest full throttle when hot also had a surge at part throttle. We believe that this was because of the way the mass air sensor was mounted.

Even though one of the popular plastic cold air intakes has a larger scoop to suck in fresh air, the smallest part of the air intake tube actually has a smaller inside diameter than the factory air inlet, because the tubing is thicker.

My conclusion: Even though a cold air intake is better in theory, it doesn't always work out that way in real life. Whichever way you decide to go, take a good look at the parts before you buy. A well thought-out shorty will work better than a poorly done cold air, and vice versa.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

My conclusion: I'll probably go with the MAC shorty, but not 100% sure yet. Anyone have any other heat soak experiences to share?
 
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