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

Hello to everyone ! I just picked up a new 2012 370z with manual transmission with the sport package. I chose it over a new corvette LT1 that I tried

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Old 01-21-2012, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is it really worth putting a Cold Air Intake on 370z and what HP gains

Hello to everyone ! I just picked up a new 2012 370z with manual transmission with the sport package. I chose it over a new corvette LT1 that I tried to pick up earlier in the week and had its paint job ruined by car detailers (completely scratched the entire clear coat on the vette). I was so pissed I stopped at the nissan dealer next door, drove the Z and loved it. Glad I did, overall the Z seems better designed and more refined than the vette, with more than enough HP and speed. Also $15K cheaper out the door than the vette.

On to the question, do you really think the cold air intakes are really worth the money and do you really get real world HP gains.

One thing a lot of ppl. don't know about these external air filter systems is that while they do flow more air they also tend to let more dirt into your engine. I come from a sport bike background and early sports cars for 30yrs.

What we found out about oiled air filters is that while they may work good when new, after about a year of use on the vehicle they became very dirty and when we cleaned them, we were never able to get them completely clean. What we found was that there was a lot of dirt or grit inside the air filter and we were never able to get rid of it.

If we reinstalled the oiled air filter this dirt would have been sucked directly into the engine. Note we correctly cleaned it from the inside out, as not to allow any dirt into the inside of the air filter.

To play it safe we went back to a stock disposable paper airfilter element.

What a lot of ppl. forget is that the airfilter is meant to protect the engine from dirt and its best to install a new airfilter every few thousands of miles.

Another interesting note is that the use of external air filters style on sport bikes were abandoned, about 15yrs. ago after it was found that they really didn't provide any real hp gains over use of the stock air box and filter.

This was due to the fact that big 4 jap bike manufactures put so much design effort into the tunned intake air tracks on most sport bikes, that most after market air filters actually reduced HP when used.

While a lot of ppl still buy these external and internal oiled filter types on sport bikes, they do so because they really don't know how they work in real life driving environment.

Last edited by gsxr750; 01-21-2012 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes it's very so worth it. I highly recommend the Stillen Gen. 3 But I would highly suggest doing a search here. Plenty of threads on CAI with proven dyno results. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I opted for drop in air filters over a cai. The few horses you pick up wasn't worth spending $500+ IMO.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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here was my dyno results with just the gen 3 cai...dont have a base line to compair it tho. I defently felt a difference, thus making it worth it.


As for my EvoX theres a 5-7whp (dyno proven) increase between the SRI and the CAI...$250 difference. So in other words, if you are planning on squeezing every hp you can, its worth it. If you are on a budget, get the SRI.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey welcome & congrats. Sorry to hear about the Vette, but i'm sure the Z will provide plenty of smiles. From what I've read, the Stillen G3 is the way to go for the best gains
I also have a GSXR750 Are you on Gixxer.com? I'm Felix over there as well.

Enjoy the new ride
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Belonged gixxer.com until they started charging to get full access. Own a buell firebolt 1200, gsxr1000 and highly modded performance sportster. Selling most off to pay for the Z, after riding and racing bikes for 35yrs. its getting quite boring, Time to speed in comfort/style once again, helmet head and eating bugs, freezing and rain isn't bad in your 20's. But when your in your 50's it just plain sucks.

Fortunately I never took delivery of the vette, also found out the vettes run great till about 30-40k and start to develope engine and other problems. Just another reason not to buy american made cars.

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gsxr750 View Post
Fortunately I never took delivery of the vette, also found out the vettes run great till about 30-40k and start to develope engine and other problems. Just another reason not to buy american made cars.
I agree with that to the fullest. Coming from owning a Camero (flat out junk) and my dad owning a Vette. The Vette is not bad at all but something is different after 50K miles.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The sound alone makes it worth it.

I would do it again regardless of HP gain.
I did CBE too. Get at least one for HP gain. Combined their is a diminishing HP return. Still the sound makes it worth it each time I give it gas.
Zero regrets.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gsxr750 View Post
Belonged gixxer.com until they started charging to get full access. Own a buell firebolt 1200, gsxr1000 and highly modded performance sportster. Selling most off to pay for the Z, after riding and racing bikes for 35yrs. its getting quite boring, Time to speed in comfort/style once again, helmet head and eating bugs, freezing and rain isn't bad in your 20's. But when your in your 50's it just plain sucks.
Yeah, different site since Brian sold it. Not over there too much anymore. Nice list of bikes. I hear you about the rain, but out here we have too many nice places & weather to ride so it never gets boring. Been on bikes for 30 years myself.


Well enjoy the Z, I sure am
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes it's very so worth it. I highly recommend the Stillen Gen. 3 But I would highly suggest doing a search here. Plenty of threads on CAI with proven dyno results. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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K&N drop-ins + Z1 post MAF tubes
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by batman_4 View Post
K&N drop-ins + Z1 post MAF tubes


Definite horsepower gain.
Zero drawbacks.
The stock system already pulls cold air from right behind the front bumper. All that's needed is to smooth out the airflow in the upper elbows.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Before you get the CAI's (which are great) be sure you are not going to go with Forced Induction in the near future. You will have to pull out your expensive intakes and throw them on the pile to make room for the intakes that come with the FI kit.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Can anyone provide a baseline before and after dyno charts for just the CAI alone, with the K/N typhoon or other similar kits. If these kits even provide a 5-6 hp increase such a small power increase is almost unable to be detected in the seat of the pants. Example a 5-6 hp increase only gives you .0018 hp/lb (3260 lbs 370z) and that takes into account the hp is the same across the entire rev. range. Such a small hp increase would not even be noticed except in a top speed, dyno run or 1/4mile drag in very small numbers. Usually it takes a lot more HP gains to really be felt on the street or normal driving example 25-50 HP gains.

Even on the bikes with a 5hp on the bikes isn't really noticed and your dealing with a 450lb bike and 200 lb rider for 650 lb total 5 hp increase = .0076 hp/lb compared to 370z (.0018 hp/lb)

To really feel the extra power of a substantial HP power increase, you need large amounts of HP/lbs of weight. example stock harley 883cc sportster puts out around 38 BHP stock and the simple install of larger 1/2" pistons makes it a 1200cc bike and gives you 65-70 bhp almost doubling the felt HP and it comes down to a 35 hp increase or .053 hp/lb increase compared to the .0018 hp/lb increase for the 370Z.

I would agree that a more substantial hp gains can be achieved if you were to completely remove the stock exhaust system and intake system and go with a full length header and exhaust combo and a racing ram air intake system, but you really can't run this type of system on the street, unless the car is an old muscle car excempt from smog testing.

What a lot of young drivers don't really know is that most of these bolt on HP kits, don't really provide any real world HP gains and are really just shiny bolt or louder muffers that give the driver a feeling of a power increase when they are really only sensing the louder noise as they accellerate.

Heres another example of a real world power increase in the 80's chevy came out with the 262 cu in V6 for their full size trucks, it probably made around 180 hp. I had a short bed 2 wheel drive 4 speed manual 262 cu in motor. With a stop watch the truck did 1-60 in 13 seconds (stock) after using a saws all removing the cat and stock muffer and replacing the aircleaner with a large filter housing from a 1960's style car and a dual cherry bomb exhaust, note the truck came with tubular steel stock headers that flowed pretty well. End result was that the truck did 0-60 10sec that and gas mileage went from 17mpg - 22 mpg highway. When I sold the truck I put everything back stock and once again timed it and it dropped to 13-14 sec for 0-60 once again. Note at resale no one wanted to buy a noisy moddified car or truck, used car buyers like everything left stock.

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Old 01-22-2012, 03:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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From Stillens web site http://www.stillen.com/product_files/402852~dyno.pdf
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