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plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

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Old 10-13-2006, 11:44 PM   #1
Chef
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Default plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

others asked what the diff is? I thought Fred at evolution performance said that as a standalone the metal C&L CAI with SCT2 tune was more appropriate unless adding what I referred to as "other stuff" . . . .Anyone know? I thought Fred said plastic Racing CAI meant to have (I forgot, maybe exhaust? pipes? headers? gears) can anyone shed some light on this please? at the time i thought i was done but alas, i am likely addicted
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:00 AM   #2
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

All things equal, plastic will not heat soak as bad as metal will, so the heat transfer to the air charge will be less with plastic than metal.

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Old 10-14-2006, 12:15 AM   #3
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

This subject has been beat to death many times.


The metal intake tube is all that you need unless you are running forced induction or heavily modded. The plastic tube is larger than the metal tube.

As for heat soak. There have been many different examples given, tempatures taken arguements argued. Bottom line is the air is going through the tube too fast for the tube to transfer heat to the air. So it being metal is a non factor. Yea, if you are sitting still in traffic, 100 degrees outside, you bet, it is going to be warmer than a plastic tube. But once you are driving the difference is nill.

Think of it kind of like this. Your garden hose is laying out in the yard all day soaking in the sun. You turn on the water. Sure, the initial surge of water that had been left standing in the hose is going to be hot. But once fresh water starts going through the hose it changes. Why? Because the water is moving so rapidly that the heat of the hose does not have time to transfer to the water. Obviously air and metal are different than water. But you get the point.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:19 AM   #4
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

Chef...listen to the HAWGMAN...he knows his stuff...but I have the metal and have noticed NO Difference....beleive me I get the arguments from people looking at it and they say SHOULD'VE went plastic...that metal soaks the heat...I have given the same answer just as Hawgman explained and some fools still dont get it...but he is right....the metal one (IMO) looks better than that of the plastic...
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ORIGINAL: hawgman

This subject has been beat to death many times.


The metal intake tube is all that you need unless you are running forced induction or heavily modded. The plastic tube is larger than the metal tube.

As for heat soak. There have been many different examples given, tempatures taken arguements argued. Bottom line is the air is going through the tube too fast for the tube to transfer heat to the air. So it being metal is a non factor. Yea, if you are sitting still in traffic, 100 degrees outside, you bet, it is going to be warmer than a plastic tube. But once you are driving the difference is nill.

Think of it kind of like this. Your garden hose is laying out in the yard all day soaking in the sun. You turn on the water. Sure, the initial surge of water that had been left standing in the hose is going to be hot. But once fresh water starts going through the hose it changes. Why? Because the water is moving so rapidly that the heat of the hose does not have time to transfer to the water. Obviously air and metal are different than water. But you get the point.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:19 AM   #5
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

I asked this before I purchased and consensus seemed to think the metal was worth an additional 3-4 HP. I happy with the metal just wondering about the low RPM Whining I hear in my other post. Hate to have to take this thing off and go to the shop.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

You forgot something metal weights more and needs a brace haha. Only go with the "racer" intake if you have quite a few mods if not stick with the metal.

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Old 10-14-2006, 02:35 PM   #7
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

really, the difference in weight is not as great as you state. I understand you have both...(so did I) the weight was not that great and the brace is optional....I have not used the brace on mine...absolutely no issues.
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ORIGINAL: androdz

You forgot something metal weights more and needs a brace haha. Only go with the "racer" intake if you have quite a few mods if not stick with the metal.

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Old 10-14-2006, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

I personally don't think you're gonna see enough of a difference between metal and plastic to even be concerned with this question. Many will claim this HP gain or that HP gain........but most all of them accomplish the same thing. I stayed with the factory plastic air pipe on my Saleen s/c'd GT and I honestly don't see how a metal pipe would have made any difference. As some have said already, the only difference is underhood looks IMO. And if, by chance, there IS a difference in power gains........it isn't significant enough for me to spend the extra $$$ to get.
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielleAnne
So technically the power to money ratio is still much better with the Camaro...
I don't think they correct times at the 1320 for that......
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Old 10-14-2006, 08:55 PM   #9
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

I doubt there's any difference in heat transfer between plastic vs. metal for the reason already stated (time of contact with rapidly moving air). The one thing I do remember is a thread about a guy that had a plastic K&N CAI that partially melted and distorted from excessive heat in the engine bay. As I recall, he was from the Southwest US and it's not hard to imagine this happening in AZ or similar arid areas. The plastic tube dislodged from the intake manifold causing the engine to run very lean which subsequently ruined it.
This is a valid reason why NOT to buy a plastic one over a metal intake because in this case it cost this person an engine that was NOT covered under warranty!
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:43 PM   #10
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

Well, it has since been corrected with an update ( of a metal insert if I remember right ) but the first generation S197 model of the JLT had "issues" with distorting because of heat also.

As for the brace...uh...what brace? When my car was NA I ran a Steeda CAI with the C&L intake tube with no issues what so ever. I honestly didn't even know that there was a brace for them!

ThisBlood. I assume basically you are correct. Only thing I can speak on is personal experience. Did a dyno pull with stock tube and Steeda CAI, pulled the stock tube off, did a pull with the C&L tube and there was a 6hp difference. Also, was running a little leaner ( which makes perfect sense ) Then tweaked the tune to adjust the A/F for the new intake tube and did a third pull and had a 9hp difference over the stock intake tube.
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:07 AM   #11
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hawgman


ThisBlood. I assume basically you are correct. Only thing I can speak on is personal experience. Did a dyno pull with stock tube and Steeda CAI, pulled the stock tube off, did a pull with the C&L tube and there was a 6hp difference. Also, was running a little leaner ( which makes perfect sense ) Then tweaked the tune to adjust the A/F for the new intake tube and did a third pull and had a 9hp difference over the stock intake tube.
Pretty cool. I have no doubts you have experienced some gains. Air can always flow better in some shape or form. I just haven't found enough motivation for those extra 9 horses to spend the 150+ bucks to put a metal tube under my hood. Of course, I'm not as particular about my power output as alot of guys on here. My goal was 400rwhp, and I met that. When I start to seriously consider upping my boost, I'll look into a better breather pipe. But for now, 6 to 9 hp isn't gonna make the difference between a grin and full-on smile on my face. So I'll save the money for what I need more right now............TIRES.[:@]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielleAnne
So technically the power to money ratio is still much better with the Camaro...
I don't think they correct times at the 1320 for that......
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:18 AM   #12
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

How can you ruin your engine by running to lean ? Wouldn't your cel light come indicating a lean condition ?
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:35 AM   #13
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

Quote:
ORIGINAL: ThisBlood147
So I'll save the money for what I need more right now............TIRES.[:@]
I hear ya brotha... I hear ya. Just put 305/45/18 555R Extreme DRs on the back of mine and can still spin the damn things if I try hard enough.

As for the intake tube, I switched to the racer tube when I went forced induction. Ran the stock tube for a brief period of time and it was collapsing.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:39 AM   #14
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help


Quote:
ORIGINAL: cfr865

How can you ruin your engine by running to lean ? Wouldn't your cel light come indicating a lean condition ?
Lean condition will cause detonation. Detonation will cause ventalation. Ventalation will cause debt.

If you have a NA car, yea, a lean condition will throw a CEL and you get a retune and don't sweat it. If you have forced induction, you will usually throw a rod before you have the chance to throw a CEL. Lean.... good for strippers, bad for modular motors.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:39 AM   #15
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hawgman


As for the intake tube, I switched to the racer tube when I went forced induction. Ran the stock tube for a brief period of time and it was collapsing.
Yikes. What boost level were you runnin at the time?
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So technically the power to money ratio is still much better with the Camaro...
I don't think they correct times at the 1320 for that......
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:52 AM   #16
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

I was only running 4psi. The flex part of the tube right before it connects to the MAF was actually shifting and obstructing flow.

[IMG]local://upfiles/13513/EB762D058DF84962A3FF8C82C850B673.jpg[/IMG]


Switched to the racer tube and don't have that issue anymore.



[IMG]local://upfiles/13513/377DCB8062BE4741912F3D1F52595D26.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:13 AM   #17
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help


Quote:
ORIGINAL: hawgman

I was only running 4psi. The flex part of the tube right before it connects to the MAF was actually shifting and obstructing flow.

[IMG]local://upfiles/13513/EB762D058DF84962A3FF8C82C850B673.jpg[/IMG]


Switched to the racer tube and don't have that issue anymore.



[IMG]local://upfiles/13513/377DCB8062BE4741912F3D1F52595D26.jpg[/IMG]
Noice. Did you powdercoat the racer tube......or does it come like that?

I also see you built a bigger intercooler fluid reservoir.......and went with all braided metal hoses.

[Sigh] When I think of all the things I'm gonna want to do when I upgrade to 10psi......my wallet starts to cry
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Quote:
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So technically the power to money ratio is still much better with the Camaro...
I don't think they correct times at the 1320 for that......
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:49 AM   #18
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

I've NEVER had a system recalled due to plastic warpage.

plastic has these advantages: heat insulator, no condensation which can lead to corrosion, nearly half the weight, cools much quicker than metal with just idle airflow, less heat soak off WOT, and cosmetically offers more options.



Look back at the 05' CAI Shootout as there were some references, FINALLY, to heat soak both with the shields and system construction.

The best study that's been on nearly all of the forums is the AFE engineers very thorough testing. He determined that there is little difference in heat soak at WOT, but metal will soak more heat off WOT.

In the dyno cell little difference will be seen but is this what the normal everday driving will be like?

OF COURSE NOT, most motors are off WOT 90% of the time.


Plastic qualities varry and the ABS/Polycarbonate materials I use have held up to 6 years in service on over 7000 systems.

Cosmetically the smooth plastic has allowed me to offer the 2-stage factory paint still over $ 100. cheaper than the metal systems and the 2-stage paint adds another BEAUTIFUL insulative coating to a heat insulative material.


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Old 10-15-2006, 11:57 AM   #19
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

I am currently looking at purchasing the C&L intake with XCal2. I personally like the looks of the plastic better then the metal ones. My question would be do they both flow the same amount of air? Are they the same size? I don't plan on big mods, most likely as far as hp adders the intake and programmer will be about it as I don't intend on having a blower.

I keep reading about people should "only" get the C&L "racer" (plastic) if they plan on big time mods so I am trying to understand why that is. I know most perfer the looks of metal under the hood but I perfer the looks of the plastic version better.
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:26 PM   #20
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Default RE: plastic vs metal CAI ?? Help

just read an article where they used a comp cam and bbk throttle body. they originally used the c&l 83mm intake, and gained 6 rwhp switching to the plastic 95mm racer kit. this was all done an a naturally aspirated setup. they actually stated with a stock configuration, the metal would be a better choice, as you wouldnt be throwing to much unneeded air in, and it gives less to regulate. however, if you were looking at a setup that could make use of the added airflow, the 95mm will produce gains, albeit small ones. but hey, for the money, 6hp is 6hp right? and yes, the air temperature is less with the plastic intake tubes, but again, would you really notice it in day to day driving or even WOT ifthat was the only thing you had? you would have to have an engine that needed and used the added dense air. it doesnt hurt to have the racer, especially if your plan is to move up. you could also talk to brenspeed, as they have done testing with the comp cam they carry. here is their testing article http://www.brenspeed.com/tech/compcams.html pretty much the same observations and data. think they only added 5 hp. but its still a gain.
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:26 PM
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