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Is it really worth putting a Cold Air Intake on 370z and what HP gains

Just have a quick question, anyone with the CAI installed can tell how it effects the mpg?

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Old 02-11-2012, 11:01 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Just have a quick question, anyone with the CAI installed can tell how it effects the mpg?
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #107 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alcheng View Post
Just have a quick question, anyone with the CAI installed can tell how it effects the mpg?
Should not effect MPG except, they sound so cool that you may start wasting gas just to hear the engine note.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chuckd05 View Post
with all the money i put into my Z

CAI, Long tube headers, the G3 CAI, 4.08 final drive, uprev tune... costing me close to 4k id imagine, i wish i didnt spend a penny and purchased a SCer or Turbo, I would of still had the car...

but if you are modding it, i say test pipes and tune are the two things that help the most
That's why I did my brakes first. Now I'm about to do oil cooler and I'm trying to find a good brake duct diy till something solid comes through... the next major will be all to the suspension mod hopefully will be exhaust and TT kit.

These are just performance mods and don't reflect stereo, possible bodykit? and JDM exterior mods.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:53 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mt Tam I am View Post
Should not effect MPG except, they sound so cool that you may start wasting gas just to hear the engine note.
I have the K&N drop-in, I found it pulls a bit quicker and smoother especially 4k and up, but I also notice it drains a bit more gas, not much, just want to see how is the CAI, gonna get the short one from K&N soon.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:06 PM   #110 (permalink)
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if it devlopes more hp than it should get better gas mileage, with more efficient combustion comes better fuel economy. On the older 1980's cars, when you allowed the engine to breath better thru the intake and the exhaust, you usually got better mpg, HP, and 1/4 mile times. This usually meant removing the Cats and resonator on the exhaust, as they really really rob you of power.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:13 PM   #111 (permalink)
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Not worth it, money much better kept in the bank or other investments.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:24 PM   #112 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alcheng View Post
Just have a quick question, anyone with the CAI installed can tell how it effects the mpg?
usually it would be on the leaner side until ecu compensates so you would get better mpg... but on the Z i couldn't tell when i had the R2C on. right now im on stock box KN drop-ins and HPS tubes.

on the G consistent 2-3mpg improvement tank to tank. heck, when i put the stock intake box on mpg dramatically dropped to about 15-16mpg on surface roads.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #113 (permalink)
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Having just bought a Z I've been looking over the forum to see what you guys have found that works. This is a pretty good thread.

One thing to consider is the Z is a MAF based system. It can and will adjust to bolt on mods without a tune. That's why you guys see 20HP gains with CBE or CAI. It is true that it's not cumulative. You may see 18HP from the cat back, or the CAI by itself, but if you add one to the other you won't see 36HP gains. I'd wager 5-10 more only.

My Challenger is MAP based. That means it does NOT adjust for mods. I did in depth testing on that car, and dyno'd it bone stock, bolts on a cat back as it sat on the dyno, dyno'd that, then added a CAI, and dyno'd that. It gained about 12HP TOTAL. The AFR never changed much however. The CAI looked great though.



I later built the motor and added a supercharger. I dyno'd that with the stock air box, then again with a modified CAI to fit. It picked up 30HP and needed a tune tweak to add fuel.



I went all out on this Challenger and it's scary fast. For the Z I just want a peppy daily driver and it's been a fun car the past 600 miles.

I've been eyeballing the FI CBE, and looks like going with some drop in filters and air tubes is the best bang for the buck on the intake side.

My goal is to hit 12s in the car at the drag strip eventually without too much money tied up in it.

My car came with a CPO 100K warranty. How is Nissan with cat backs and CAIs regarding that? Dodge like to void everybody's warranty at the drop of a hat. Not like I cared on that car, but on my Z I do since it's my DD.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:06 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Not worth it, money much better kept in the bank or other investments.
I couldn't disagree more. I put in the K&N Typhoon's (Short RAM), the Throttle Response has improved dramatically. Yes, because of the improved performance, I am having so much fun opening her up, that I am actually using more gas, but that is a conscious decision - If I wanted to, I could keep my foot out of it, play it real easy, and I'd probably see some modest Mileage Gains - but then I bought a Z, not a "Prius" - FUN is the objective, not "gas mileage". All of this said, the note from the exhaust upon acceleration alone is worth the modification!

Next mod - High Flow Cats and Cat Back Exhaust. And then, the engine will be breathing as efficiently as it can be...! I can't wait for the even more improved performance, and the better note.

By the way, DYNO day is March 24th. I'll get you hard results then with just the K&N Typhoons (a friend's Z), and then with all mods (My Z)...
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:30 PM   #115 (permalink)
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Its really hard to believe individual claims of vast improvements in speed power or accelleration for the CAI KITS, (humans are not biological engine dynos), unless your a "Terminator" under that skin.

So most of these claims are very subjective from individual to individual.

I would only go by actual proven dyno charts by reputable manufactures and private claims.

From what I discovered from different dyno posting here and other online sources, these cold air intake kits only really make 5-9 hp and with the addition of a good free flowing racing exhaust you could get it up to 10-15 hp.

The real problem is that there really is no magical cheap bolt on way to increase HP considerably, out side of TURBO CHARGING or NITROUS OXIDE and both of these effect engine life and reliability.

So if you PPL talk to any reputable engine or true performance shops that really road race or build cars and engines for winning racers and winning teams. They will tell there is no magic or bolt quick way to HP gains, the simple truth is that the engine needs to come apart pistons, cams, valves, head work, rods, stroking etc. Then along with some quality air intake kits and racing exhaust or turbo charging them, if necessary for the particular application.

You really can't trust to many of these little performance shops that just get a small rental building and buy a dyno. Then start doing all these simple bolt on mods and charging ppl for the dyno runs, along with the part sales and installation. Along side their 21" rim. tire selections and window tint.

Some of these small shops may know what they are doing , but most probably have little or no real world experience building or tunning engines.

You really want to find a shop that builds engines or sets up cars for most of the top regional racers etc. These shops can be found by going to a local track day event or getting a pit pass to some top amatuer events, most of the racers and mechanics will be glaid to share info on who to go to for the best work.

So in my opinion these current bolt on CAI and Cat back exhausts are just the new form of "Snake Oil " being sold to the young new car buyers.

If you have a few extra dollars and want to do something usefull for your 370z, then get a good clear car bra installed and some quality protective seat covers or leather seat upgrade.

Heres what I did, Nano Fusion Clear Bra on most of the cars front end and exposed panels,window tint and a set of Cover King ballistic black seat covers to protect the seats. Total cost $1000 for everything.

Last edited by gsxr750; 02-14-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:48 PM   #116 (permalink)
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Track times really tell the tale. Dynos can be manipulated way to easy.

For example, let the car completely cool and make a run. Then make 3-5 more back to back runs and the power will start to decline due to heat soak. What's to say the base line wasn't a dead hot run and the new and improved a bone cold run? A true 5HP gain now becomes 11-15 on paper.

Dynos are really nothing more than tuning tools. The times I've tested parts, I've done it back to back without ever unstrapping the car from the dyno. Same tire pressure, etc. I do three runs and take the average. That will give the best idea of what it actually gained. You also have to watch the correction factor and smoothing used as those can both affect the numbers.

Here's the testing I did on the Challenger with cat back and CAI.

<table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="5" width="498" align="center"><tbody><tr><td width="120">
Stock Intake HP
</td> <td width="120">
Stock Intake Torque
</td> <td width="120">
Mopar CAI HP
</td> <td width="120">
Mopar CAI Torque
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Run 1: 335.08
</td> <td>
355.52
</td> <td>
340.19
</td> <td>
366.86
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Run 2: 333.97
</td> <td>
356.11
</td> <td>
340.14
</td> <td>
358.89
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Run 3: 335.77
</td> <td>
358.98
</td> <td>
340.73
</td> <td>
364.32
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Average: 334.94
</td> <td>
356.87
</td> <td>
340.35
</td> <td>
363.35
</td> </tr> </tbody></table>


<table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="5" width="600" align="center"><tbody><tr><td>
Magnaflow 16515 HP
</td> <td>
Magnaflow 16515 Torque
</td> <td width="120">
Magnaflow 16515
and
Mopar CAI HP
</td> <td width="120">
Magnaflow 16515 and
Mopar CAI Torque
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Run 1: 347.01
</td> <td>
373.36
</td> <td>
347.98
</td> <td>
373.02
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Run 2: 344.40
</td> <td>
370.07
</td> <td>
346.64
</td> <td>
373.70
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Run 3: 343.85
</td> <td>
365.20
</td> <td>
347.01
</td> <td>
368.26
</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Average: 345.09
</td> <td>
369.54
</td> <td>
347.21
</td> <td>
371.66
</td> </tr> </tbody></table>


Now with the motor and blower it's right about 600RWHP and 600RWTQ.

Last edited by Speedy; 02-14-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:01 PM   #117 (permalink)
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So Speedy for your 10 -15 HP and 20 lbs torque gains, how much did you spend with the dyno runs. Also the costs of the engine build and tunning to get 600 hp.

Please share it will help to inform these novices.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #118 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gsxr750 View Post
Its really hard to believe individual claims of vast improvements in speed power or accelleration for the CAI KITS, (humans are not biological engine dynos), unless your a "Terminator" under that skin.

So most of these claims are very subjective from individual to individual.

I would only go by actual proven dyno charts by reputable manufactures and private claims.

From what I discovered from different dyno posting here and other online sources, these cold air intake kits only really make 5-9 hp and with the addition of a good free flowing racing exhaust you could get it up to 10-15 hp.

The real problem is that there really is no magical cheap bolt on way to increase HP considerably, out side of TURBO CHARGING or NITROUS OXIDE and both of these effect engine life and reliability.

So if you PPL talk to any reputable engine or true performance shops that really road race or build cars and engines for winning racers and winning teams. They will tell there is no magic or bolt quick way to HP gains, the simple truth is that the engine needs to come apart pistons, cams, valves, head work, rods, stroking etc. Then along with some quality air intake kits and racing exhaust or turbo charging them, if necessary for the particular application.

You really can't trust to many of these little performance shops that just get a small rental building and buy a dyno. Then start doing all these simple bolt on mods and charging ppl for the dyno runs, along with the part sales and installation. Along side their 21" rim. tire selections and window tint.

Some of these small shops may know what they are doing , but most probably have little or no real world experience building or tunning engines.

You really want to find a shop that builds engines or sets up cars for most of the top regional racers etc. These shops can be found by going to a local track day event or getting a pit pass to some top amatuer events, most of the racers and mechanics will be glaid to share info on who to go to for the best work.

So in my opinion these current bolt on CAI and Cat back exhausts are just the new form of "Snake Oil " being sold to the young new car buyers.

If you have a few extra dollars and want to do something usefull for your 370z, then get a good clear car bra installed and some quality protective seat covers or leather seat upgrade.

Heres what I did, Nano Fusion Clear Bra on most of the cars front end and exposed panels,window tint and a set of Cover King ballistic black seat covers to protect the seats. Total cost $1000 for everything.


I have read many members on this forum who bought various CAI's, HFC's, and/or exhausts and put htem on the dyno for proven gains. Many of these people even ran comparison dyno tests on the same day to get more accurate results. Read all the reviews for things like stillen intakes, stillen exhaust, F.I. exhuast, berk exhaust, berk cats etc. (there are too many to list off) I have also seen people claim faster track times, better throttle response, etc. with these "bolt ons". Many people make in the range of 25-35 hp more with intake, hfc, and cbe (no tune) and usually can make more usable power, bring back low end torque, and make 5 addition hp with a tune on top of all those.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gsxr750 View Post
So Speedy for your 10 -15 HP and 20 lbs torque gains, how much did you spend with the dyno runs. Also the costs of the engine build and tunning to get 600 hp.

Please share it will help to inform these novices.
The catback was like $650 and the CAI was like $250. I knew neither was going to give me huge gains on the Challenger, but the stock air box looked like a microwave and the stock exhaust sounded like a sewing machine LOL

Both had big value to me outside of the measly 15HP they picked up, which by the way I NEVER felt seat of the pants....guess my butt dyno is off?

The motor and supercharger, and all that....sheesh I didn't even keep track, but it wasn't cheap. I sold a CBR1000RR Repsol Edition to buy the blower.

It costs money to go fast. Challenger runs 11.50s at 123-124MPH and weighs 4300lbs with me in it. MPH is good for a 10 second pass, I just gotta practice driving the manual trans to get it there.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:34 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ZMan8 View Post


I have read many members on this forum who bought various CAI's, HFC's, and/or exhausts and put htem on the dyno for proven gains. Many of these people even ran comparison dyno tests on the same day to get more accurate results. Read all the reviews for things like stillen intakes, stillen exhaust, F.I. exhuast, berk exhaust, berk cats etc. (there are too many to list off) I have also seen people claim faster track times, better throttle response, etc. with these "bolt ons". Many people make in the range of 25-35 hp more with intake, hfc, and cbe (no tune) and usually can make more usable power, bring back low end torque, and make 5 addition hp with a tune on top of all those.
I've seen a couple of folks mention better throttle response, but I'm confused by that. I've not looked at the stock intake system on mine too closely yet, but does it have mufflers or baffles? That would be about the only thing that could cause any sensation of better throttle response going with an aftermarket system that eliminated any such baffling allowing a more direct shot for the air to flow, but it would have to be a significant change. Cooler air alone isn't going to help the throttle any.

Like I said early on, the 370z is a MAF based system (mass air flow) so it's PCM can and will adjust to more air flow by adding necessary fuel and thus more power is made. Same with Mustangs and Camaros. However, I think it'd be hard to really say you feel 20HP. It's just not going to be that obvious when it comes to moving a 3300 lbs car. Under IDEAL conditions and perfect driving you'll only realize about a 2MPH faster ET in the 1/4 mile with an extra 20 horses. That's not a lot considering and I'd be shocked if one could actually feel it driving.

The best bang for the buck will likely be a custom tune. My next thing to look in to is the tuning on these cars to see what's what. I can tell ya on the Challenger, adding 1 degree of timing to the tune gives an extra 15-20HP. I'd imagine it's similar on the 370z, but you have to be careful and run good fuel. So if the stock tune is uber safe, and they normally are, you could fatten up the AFR a tick and keep it around 12-12:5 and add a couple degrees of timing and gain 30-40HP just in the tune alone, and likely with throttle by wire make the throttle a bit more sensitive in the program, and have a REAL gain in throttle response.

Last edited by Speedy; 02-14-2012 at 03:38 PM.
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