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  1. #1
    Jr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Wilmington, Ohio

    Question Ram air Vs. Cold Air Intake

    what are the differences between the two?I know ram air is more expensive but is the extra cost really worth it? And on a ram air hood to you need to buy a ducting kit or does the hood already have the ducts built in? I ask this cause i have seen hoods that say they have the ducts already in them and also seen ducting kits for ram air.

  2. #2


    Cold air intakes are better then ram air because ram air always end up sucking in hot air from the radiator. Cold air takes air from out side the engine compartment that is much colder and denser then in side the compartment.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

    Check out my other mods in My Garage:

  3. #3
    Jr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Wilmington, Ohio


    From a proformance point of view, which one is superior is another question I have.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by walmart player View Post
    From a proformance point of view, which one is superior is another question I have.
    IMO, using your butt-dyno, you won't see any difference between ram, CAI and factory. It (Ram, or CAI) may sound nicer, and that can make it worth the money.

    '09 Avalanche LTZ - Black
    '05 Envoy XL (sold)

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by RayVoy View Post
    IMO, using your butt-dyno, you won't see any difference between ram, CAI and factory. It (Ram, or CAI) may sound nicer, and that can make it worth the money.
    This is spot on. Street machines spend little time at WOT. WOT is where ram air, cowl induction, and CAI's tend to matter...

    Basically, if you don't intend to use ram air or cowl induction to duct cooler, faster, higher pressure air to the intake AND properly craft/tune the intake (specifically for your truck's engine at a given speed and air pressure) such that, together, they produce a resonant supercharging effect ... then your ram air or cowl induction is just for looks.

    If you DO duct and tune properly, you'll get the effect of having a light supercharger ... at a given speed and air pressure (for which you tuned) ... without the supercharger (because it's based purely on physics and pressure differentials) ... and you'll see a mild boost in ponies at that given speed ... at the expense of fuel, of course (because you'll burn more), presuming you've also tweaked the exhaust system to allow your engine to properly exhale.

    This really makes no sense for street machines because the place you tend to want to do this is at wide open throttle at top speed without the effect ... such that when you get there you receive a little kick. It makes a lot of sense for racing machines. Few are the people who can properly tune this, themselves, as there's a good bit of measurement, math, and physics involved. It's definitely NOT a bolt-on type of thing to do it, properly.

    As for CAI's ... it's the same sort of thing. Yes, they deliver cooler, denser air to the engine compared with warmer air from the engine compartment. No, it's not human-noticeable and, no, it's not going to get you piles of ponies or mpg's. Yes, it's measurable on a dyno, especially at WOT, where 3F degrees cooler can make a minor but measurable difference. The biggest difference CAI's tend to make ... is in how your engine sounds, not how it performs.
    Last edited by SurrealOne; 02-22-2013 at 09:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Sr. Mechanic
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Tuscaloosa, AL


    @Enkeiavalanche where did your friend Adam get that bumper it looks awesome!
    2004 GMC Sierra SLT 6.0L 4x4
    UWS Low Profile toolbox 10% tint front and over stock back tint
    AirAid MIT and K&N airfilter
    BlackBear Performance

  7. #7
    TRPLXL2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Norwalk, Ohio
    Blog Entries


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    I put a unknown cowl induction hood, I bought it used on craigslist for $100. It was cheap because the whole passenger side corner was broke off, had to refiberglass the whole thing and build it back up. It is functional, as you can see from the underside shot. I chose to buy a GREEN intake kit, which seals pretty good on this hood but not perfect. The only definitive information I can give you as far as performance goes is this, I have a CST monitoring device in my truck. I watched the MAF reading for several weeks after the install, It multiplied the % by at least triple fold. I do believe it sucks a lot more air than it used to, I have not had it retuned since I did this. If you don't retune you won't get anything anyways, I have hptuners but am too lazy.
    2004 Chevy Colorado
    LS1 5.7 swap/TBSS rear axle swap

  8. #8

    Enkeiavalanche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Piermont,NY, back in Northern NJ now, But may be in IL soon....


    You gotta remember.. Your driving a 5000lbs Brick which moves the air in front of it out of the way.. If anything With the open rears or both front and rear you may cool the motor more.. Some have put air intakes by the Tow hooks or under the front bumper.. You will get cooler air down there BUT how much you get up by the air box I'm not sure Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	49700 My friend Adams truck has it below the bumper Hard to see in this pic...
    08 Z71 Avalanche Mods to date: K&N CAI,Hellwig Swaybars and End Links, Corsa Sport Exhaust, Superchips Programer,IPCW LOF & 3rd brake light and tails, AMI Gas door,Show Hooks and Door locks, Enkei Wheels, with Pirelli tires, StreetScene Bowties, Grant Steering wheel,Muth signal mirrors,SSBC Big Brake kit,Huskyliner Mug gards,Floor mats and Hood shield, McGard Lug nuts and locks, Bedrug, Cervini's Ram Air hood,35watt HID Fog lights, Sylvania bulbs all around ZXE's Highs and Lows, WhiteNight Back up lights,Sirius and HD Radio, SnugTop sitting on deck now Got a Softopper on now,Tempress Boat Hatches.... New Bilstein shocks are on... New Mods coming soon..... X

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