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GT S197 General Discussion This section is for technical discussions pertaining specifically to the V8 variation of the 2005 and newer Ford Mustang.

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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
MikeVistaBlue06
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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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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 10-14-2006, 09:43 PM
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