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Drop in vs. CAI

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by afireinside, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. afireinside

    afireinside Member

    I have a 2008 4.8L Silverado 4x4 and am looking to mod it a bit, ordering a Gibson exhaust tomorrow and looking for a filter.

    Is their any difference between just a drop in K and N vs a CAI? $50.00 for a drop in and $300.00+ for a CAI what would be gaining a few hp and .5 MPG more with the CAI? Or is it more drastic then that? I dont care about looks ect I want best performance!
  2. cutabovetherest

    cutabovetherest New Member

    Well, with just a drop in, you just have a more opened air filter. A CAI, you actually have a freespace for air to be sucked into the engine, where your stock is closed off
  3. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Drop in vs Cai

    The throttle response seems to be better with a CAI and a few more hp. Drop in is good for about 5hp. CAI about 10hp.
  4. 1st Synthetics

    1st Synthetics Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    CAI are good but a good drop in is also a good choice. I would stay away from gauze filters, they do not filter very well. There are a few good ones on the market that you don't have to oil and have great flow.
  5. 04SilverChevy

    04SilverChevy Rockstar 100 Posts

    With a CAI you get rid of the stock tubing with is pretty restrictive. It has some unnessacary bends in it that slow down the air flow to the engine.
  6. heavy chevy

    heavy chevy Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    If you want to go cheap go with the spectra cai. It will give you more power than the drop in and it is about 189.99
  7. usetaboost

    usetaboost Rockstar

    If you are going to do anything get a CAI. Don't bother with a drop in. If you are going to do that you just as well put an a/c delco filter in. They flow just as good if not better than the performance drop in. There is research to back it. And as far as fram stuff goes, fram rhymes with ram-get my drift?
  8. 99'HEARTBEAT

    99'HEARTBEAT Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I have had both K&N's Drop in Filter and CAI.For my truck the K&N CAI has been the Better of the 2 from the stand point of Performance and Fuel economy for me.
  9. 1st Synthetics

    1st Synthetics Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    Not so true. Yes a a proper CAI is better but there are a few great drop in filters on the market that will add better filtering,flow, and performance than a cellulose filter.
  10. usetaboost

    usetaboost Rockstar

    Yes you are right on that. There are filters out there that outflow K&N and are probably the same price. AEM I believe is what they are. The test was done on a ford lightning.

    One cheap alternative would be a spectre filter or whatever the heck they are. They are giving good rebates which makes them almost the price of a paper filter. I think I saw their CAI for 189

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