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Old 08-11-2014, 01:39 PM
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Post Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

I searched for a comparo thread and came up empty, so thought I'd start one to see what everyone's experience and opinions are with the Airaid and K&N intakes for the WK2 3.6L V6.

I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts because in regards to material (ribbed rubber vs. smooth aluminum) there is an ongoing and inconclusive debate. Based on my research I've found that while the rubber is ideal from a minimization of heat absorption/heat soak, it's so minimal due to the speed of the air actually flowing through that area (~1/10th of a second). Although every little bit helps!

However, the drawback of the stock ribbed rubber elbow is that the surface (ribs) causes airflow disruption as opposed to a smooth surface making it flow "worse" than the smooth counterpart (a la the K&N). All in all, seems like the +'s and -'s cancel each other out. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but just curious to hear your thoughts are.

Price isn't a factor in this decision, it's purely "scientific" research.

And for clarification, these are the 2 intakes in question:
Airaid (once you select the V6 option it shows the elbow-less item)
K&N
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:08 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

I have the K&N, and don't know from ribbed, smooth, aluminum or rubber! what I can tell you is that it looks great and sounds 100% better than what came from the factory. I also had K&N on my 2006 chrysler SRT, and was happy with it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:59 AM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

The only real way IMO to compare the two CAIs is the results one gets from the dyno runs. I believe the K&N gives a couple extra HP/ft.lb.

I still chose the Airaid because:

1) I don't like to deal with oiled air filters, especially re-oiling after cleaning.

2) The Airaid was about $100 less expensive.

3) The Airaid was easier to install.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:13 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

I have the K&N. 20min install. Very easy. Will probably change to a dry filter to ease maintenance down the road. Nice quality unit. Magnaflow exhaust on the way. I have the Hemi.


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Old 08-15-2014, 12:57 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

I ended up going with the K&N for a few reasons. Sharing my insights and opinions to hopefully help others make better informed decisions...

1. The K&N comes with a smooth intake elbow maximizing airflow while removing some of the noise reduction (which I don't necessarily mind). OEM builds include a lot of sound reducing materials which, while they do reduce noise, they also take away from optimal performance (ie: take a look at the mid resonators [ideal would be an x-pipe], the ribs in the rubber intake [ideal would be smooth], etc.).

2. Oiled filter over a dry filter because oiled filters flow better than dry filters. So much so that a dirty oiled filter will perform as good (or better) than a clean dry filter. Airaid's site shows some insights into that but there are other forums where members have run actual tests. I don't mind oiling the filter every 10k miles (or whenever it needs it) as it takes maybe 20-30 minutes and provides maximum performance which is why I'm doing this mod in the first place.

3. K&N over Airaid because I got the K&N virtually at cost. With the $50 rebate the Airaid would still have been about $35 less, but the additional cost was worth it to get the smooth elbow. While most of you probably won't be lucky enough to get as good of a deal, Autoanything had a 20% off coupon which could've been applied to the K&N saving over $50 off. Not sure if it's still around, but they are often having those kinds of sales.

4. Heat soak: While the rubber material might be a little better than metal (ie: aluminum), I am planning on adding something like this or this to help reduce heat soak.

Thanks to those that chimed in and happy modding
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:57 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

You guys realize heat soak is not much of an issue unless your doing a track day and bracket racing. Once your moving within a minute or two the intake temps in the duct will be close to ambient temps unless your in number to bumper traffic and at that point not much you do will make a difference.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:37 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

Have you ever plugged in HPTuners or any other equivalent and actually monitored your IATs? Have you ever tuned a car? My guess is no...
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:52 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gootz View Post
Have you ever plugged in HPTuners or any other equivalent and actually monitored your IATs? Have you ever tuned a car? My guess is no...
Are you saying that heat soak is a bigger issue? Not trying to be a dick, just trying to figure out what you are saying here.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:07 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

I'm not a professional tuner by any means, but having tuned a couple of my own cars and having had professional tuners work on my cars, I've seen IATs first hand. For the unaware, when you use a tuner like HPT, you plug into the OBD2 port and can read in real time data points such as IAT (intake air temp), KR (knock retard), AFR (air/fuel ratio), etc. In regards to the IATs, just sitting at a red light for 20 seconds and you can see them shoot up significantly. The hotter the air coming into the motor, the worse the performance. Hence why everyone is always trying to get more "cold" (a la fresh) air into the motor. Point being that heat soak is a real issue that we all experience. While it might not be that big of a deal for daily driving, it definitely impacts performance regardless if you're putting around town, doing some serious offroading or drag racing. Reducing heat soak helps. That's all I'm trying to convey here.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:22 AM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gootz View Post
Have you ever plugged in HPTuners or any other equivalent and actually monitored your IATs? Have you ever tuned a car? My guess is no...
You guessed wrong, that's why I posted what I did. Like I said sitting in traffic the temps will climb but once driving again they drop right back down. Insulation on your intake duct will not do anything to stop the heat from the engine migrating up the pipe after a long sit in traffic.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:50 AM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

I understand what you're saying. Having seen IATs in action I know exactly what you mean. I think we're now debating whether or not something like a heat wrap would actually have any positive effect at all. I have never run an A + B test, but would be interested to see if there actually is a benefit to installing heat wrap. Furthermore, if there is a product out there that is more effective than it's competition. I'm sure there are some out there that make a difference, I just don't know if it's significant enough to warrant the purchase and trouble of installation.

Because I'm not doing anything that requires anything extreme, I'm not as motivated to do it, but if there's anyone who is aware of actual tests that have been run and results proving (a certain) heat wrap's effectiveness I'm all ears.

Joe, thanks for talking me out of the heat wrap (for now), even if that wasn't your intention.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:57 PM
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Re: Airaid vs K&N CAI - Is there a clear winner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gootz View Post
I just don't know if it's significant enough to warrant the purchase and trouble of installation.

Because I'm not doing anything that requires anything extreme, I'm not as motivated to do it, but if there's anyone who is aware of actual tests that have been run and results proving (a certain) heat wrap's effectiveness I'm all ears.

Joe, thanks for talking me out of the heat wrap (for now), even if that wasn't your intention.
That was my point, it was not worth doing. It does have it's place but not worth it on a street car.
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