Just wondering if someone could shed some light on the advantages and or disadvantages if any of having cold air intake in my 2002 mustang gt. I just bought it and it came with it on and I can’t for the life of me find a logo or brand name anywhere on it. Thanks everyone I appreciate the help.
Don’t expect any real performance improvements from a cold air intake. They are just eye candy. Just a gimmick to sell you a fancy air cleaner that you don’t really need. They may possibly flow air a little better, but no gains are from cold air. Complete waste of money. Here’s why.
First, you need to think of your engine as an air pump. If your 4.6 liter engine had the perfect cylinder heads, perfect camshafts, largest possible valves, perfect intake manifold, at 5250 RPM when it makes its maximum power, theoretically it can only flow about 425 CFM of air. I doubt you have these perfect engine components, so the engine flows considerably less, as much as 25% less. Realistically your engine flows more like 370 CFM when it is making maximum power. It’s not as though you are feeding a 460 cubic inch V8 with a big Holley carburetor. So how much airflow do you really need? In addition, believe it or not, the factory engineers designed your stock air intake including the stock air filter to supply the engine with more than enough air. If the factory engineers wanted to restrict airflow for some strange reason, they would have simply installed a smaller throttle body.
Next, you need to examine the throttle body and the tube that connects it to the air filter housing. I will use my car as an example. The engine is a common multi port fuel injected, 3.1 liter V6. On this engine, if you measure the diameter of the throttle plate, it is 2.205 inches (56 millimeters). If you measure the diameter if the stock pipe that connects the throttle body to the air filter housing, it is 3 inches, (76 millimeters). Since the stock pipe connecting the throttle body to the air filter is already nearly 50% larger than the throttle plate, adding an even larger pipe will not flow any more air than can already pass through the throttle bore. No real improvements here unless you also add a larger throttle body and enlarge the throttle opening in the intake manifold.
NOTE: The stock 56mm throttle body on my 3.1 flows 345 CFM that is already much more air than this engine can use. Adding a larger throttle body would give absolutely no improvements to my engine.
If you examine the stock air filter housing you will see that it draws its air from an opening in the radiator core support, drawing air from in front of the engine compartment. This air is already relatively cool. No gains found here.
The name “Cold Air Intake” is very misleading. On a cold air intake, even if it has some kind of intercooler, it will NOT cool the air any cooler than the ambient outside air temperature. Also, consider that the air passes quickly between the air filter and the throttle body, too quickly to absorb any significant amount of heat. With a V8 engine, you gain about 1 horsepower for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit drop in temperature. Therefore, even if you could drop the incoming air 50 degrees, you gain a measly 5 horsepower. They are hardly worth the expense.
Another thing to consider is that your engine is equipped with an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve. This device dumps between 5% to 15% hot exhaust gas from the exhaust manifold directly into the intake manifold. This exhaust gas is over 1200 degrees F. A cold air intake can’t make a difference over this extremely hot gas. Your engine is tuned to operate with this so it is not a problem.
The air filter used in the cold air intake is the only component that may give you any real improvement. In general these air filters will flow a little more air than the stock paper disposable element, but only if they are routinely cleaned and oiled. If they are allowed to get dirty, they will work no better than the stock paper air filter. However, with a late model fuel injected engine, avoid the ones that use the washable oiled gauze elements. If even the slightest amount of oil from the filter gets on your Mass Airflow Sensor, it will foul the sensor. This sensor is located in the tube between the throttle body and the air filter housing. If fouled, it will send erratic signals to the engine management computer. This will mess up your fuel / air mixture to the point that you could have even less power than you had before you added this component. If you already have one of these types of oiled air filter elements, you should clean the Mass Airflow Sensor with the correct cleaner every few months. Use Mass Airflow Sensor cleaner, and not carburetor cleaner, or you will destroy the sensor. Instead of the cold air intake, I would just simply add a low restriction air filter element.
With these higher flowing air filters, you don’t notice anything until the engine is in the higher RPM range. No real noticeable difference in normal driving. Your engine when cruising at highway speed only needs about 120 CFM.
Personally, I hate washing and oiling air filters. A messy job. I would stay with the disposable paper air filter for this reason.
Mad Jack basically summed it all but I have one thing to add..
@superminicars: A Mustang CAI is not designed like your average import CAI where the air filter is located down by the bumper. The air filter sits just inside the fender and is shielded by the splash guards in the wheel wells. Unless you drive a Mustang into a river, it’s unlikely that you will be able to get any decent amount of water near the air filter.
A good tuned cold intake makes more horsepower.
Bad the thing about the cold air take is you can’t drive
onto a large/high puddle of water because it can suck
the water into the engine. That will cause hydrolock. Forget, a little
noiser that oem airbox.
Hard to ad much to the already thorough answers, but dyno tests have shown that the stock intake flows enough for the stock engine… if however, you ad a bunch aftermarket goodies, (upper/lower intake, heads, cams, exhaust etc. etc.) then the extra flow from your CAI will be usefull.
I think this article will give you information on the advantages and disadvantages. http://www.articlecell.com/Article/Mustang-Cold-Air-Intake—For-Even-Better-Performance/432026
I woud suggest you research all areas of performance for your Mustang prior to enhancing the hp on it 🙂
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