Do K&N cold air kits actually do anything on a Silverado?

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by stchman, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    It'll still be colder than what's in the engine compartment due to the fender opening. You could always use a bit of flex duct to duct it to the location behind your tow hook if you're insistent on it being from somewhere other than the engine compartment ... and you'll pick up a little ram air effect, from that, too (which won't matter because you're still restricted on how much air comes out the far end of the truck).

    But I think you get my point -- you can absolutely get more air (and even cold air from outside the engine compartment) through the stock airbox without spending much, at all.
  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I agree and I like that idea... Hmmm you got me thinking, but I really don't wanna cut up my nice factory box. May get cheap replacement to play with.

    Yah, most trucks come with very, well non performance headers and exhaust. Mine are straight I don't know if there was any improvement to that on the new trucks.
  3. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Intakes are engineered by OEM manufacturers such that they are tuned for maximum engine performance. They do not design them to comply with "noise" laws.

    I have personally seen vehicles on a dyno test with and without a K&N intake system, and the aftermarket system made no difference whatsoever on the dyno. None. My shop, which is a very sophisticated high performance shop (they designed and build a proprietary engine for a U.S. made exotic ultra fast sports car) told me that aftermarket intakes and TBI spacers do absolutely nothing for performance and are only purchased for looks. They do nothing for engine performance.

    I have also personally had experience with using an aftermarket header and exhaust system that, when installed with proper carburetor jetting, resulted in a DECREASE in both horsepower and torque. I ended up putting the stock system back on. The manufacturer said it would give me more power. They don't think you will actually test their claim on a dyno.

    If you install an aftermarket intake, admit to yourself you want it whether it increases performance or not. You like how it looks, just like those chrome muffler bearings that guy sold you. If you can't do that, then just keep it stock.
  4. Grizzly Guy

    Grizzly Guy Rockstar 100 Posts

    This is the answer I was looking for,Thanks.
  5. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    ABSOLUTELY correct! People go around spending a bunch of money on Throttle Body Spacers (Snicker) and Cold Air Intake systems when in fact, they do NOTHING to enhance performance whatsoever. When you see these products demonstrated on the popular TV truck shows, it is called "Product Placement". Essentially, it is a paid advertisement for the manufacturer. Of course the show host isn't going to tell you that they are crap. I have seen first hand a cold air intake installed in a TV demonstration and then the vehicle strapped to the dyno. The results they showed were NOT the results they actually got. Been there!

    Besides... What if you DID get a 3 horsepower gain... You would never feel that gain next to the 355 horses you already have. How much of a difference do you suppose there is between 355 and 357 horses? Noticeable? Not at ALL! In fact, ANY engine can (and does) have a fluxuating horsepower rating that for 355 horses, for instance, can under normal conditions swing from 350 to 360 HP without any mods.

    Your engine is nothing more than a big air pump. It can only pull in as much air as it can push out. The more you get in and out, the more power you are making. You can open your intake tube up to the size and smoothness of a bowling ball and it isn't going to make ANY difference!

    On the other hand... If you open up your engine and bore the cylinders to a larger diameter so that they can handle more air, and then you add a cam in to open the valves faster to get that air out faster into an exhaust system that can flow that amount of air, AND you port and polish your intake air path and heads then yes. You are going to make more power. Cutting up a stainless salad bowl to make a "power bowl" out of your air cleaner or adding a cold air intake to an otherwise stock engine will only give you more speed because of the weight of the money that is no longer in your wallet because you spent it on this silly stuff.

    Now, I have had this conversation to death on other forums and have even been flamed and bashed by others who believed in the product (Though I suspect that after buying some of this stuff, people feel compelled to defend their buying decisions by adding to the claims... )

    On top of that... 3 horsepower is near impossible to prove. There are SO MANY factors that affect the outcome of mileage and power tests. Ambient temperature, fuel temperature, fuel grade, fuel condition, engine temperature, engine condition, ECM values and let's not forget, the HUMAN controller in the test... A fraction of a second either way on the speed and timing of activating the throttle will give you a different reading. Engine and ECM variables are constantly changing and directly affect power, economy and performance. It just is what it is!
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  6. zigger215

    zigger215 Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    Moogvo, you touched on something super important, strap your truck to a dyno one day with a certain weather condition and humidity and you will get a reading that can be 4 or 5 HP different then a reading on a colder or hotter day.

    I have been searching for ways to wake up my 04 5.3l and I have money to do it but I don't want to go with a forced air induction system (turbo or blower). I called a shop down in anchorage called Underground Performance. They have a dyno and specialize in the ol' horsepower squeeze that most of us enthusiasts try to obtain. He gave me some awesome advice that goes right along with what moogvo said.

    "If you want the most HP out of your truck (5.3) then go with a setup as follows, open up the trucks ability to inhale and exhale, throttle body spacer, intake, intake manifold (port and polish). Then port and polish the heads, throw on a GOOD set of long tube headers and then put a big cam with a push rod and spring kit on the truck and then dyno tune. Even the , stayin naturally aspirated my little 04 will be lucky to hit 420hp to the wheels.

    I love it moogvo! You can't do one side of the "pump" without doing the other.
  7. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    This is the short answer. If you talk to the people who are paid to make performance engines for people with the money to spend on it, this is what you are told.

    Yes, lots of people on web forums don't like hearing that they have to replace their camshaft and either modify or replace their heads, or increase volume of the engine, but this is how you get more power. Not with a spacer or intake or "cool sounding" exhaust system.

    There are no shortcuts. You want power? Then you have to either do the work yourself or pay to have it done (the latter is my preference since you know it is done right). If the vehicle is not expertly tuned on a dynomometer with a laptop to the ecu, you don't get the whole result.
  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I've come across too many mechanics, car audio people, and the like that I wouldn't trust with a potato gun (let alone my truck) ... so the concept of supposedly knowing something is done right just because you paid someone else to do it ... is foreign to me.
  9. zigger215

    zigger215 Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    Surreal my friend I feel your pain lol. On the flip side, Heater nailed it too, there is no cheap, easy HP adding solution and while I'm not a master mechanic, I have to use my best judgement and pick a pro to do that sort of work for me and hope to god he is worth his weight in gold lol

    Pretty good info on CAI power adders on this thread
  10. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    If you network like a true business person, there are always places you can use that are good. I have a great customs shop for my body and paint work, a great high performance shop, a great electronics shop, etc. There is always room at the top, and there are always businesses that work to be at the top and stay there. Those are the places I use and I always hire by word of mouth. You hire those.

    If you are cheap, you get the rest. End of story. Last time I had a "bad experience" was so many years ago I can't remember.

    Maybe where you live those "at the top" are few and far between.

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