Originally Posted by DarkHue
So a CAI is pointless unless it's a true CAI ?
Correct. Though do take note there are a LOT of different versions out there....
The ones that are JUST a large filter hanging in the engine bay (especially those with METAL tubes) are almost definitely going to do nothing other than make a MUCH better sound. Nothing for performance. (and they COULD even hurt performance).
Some of the "CAI" are larger filters behind a heat shield... I am not an engineer so I cant say for sure if those will help but I would say if they do, it would be very little. The SRT may field better here since it has the heat extractor right above that area....
Other "CAI" are a large filter in a box with larger than OEM inlet ducts going to the wheel wells and/or behind the grille. Again, no engineer but I would think those would work a bit better. The air isn't any hotter than OEM and with MORE air (at higher velocity) from the wheel well I would think it might read a bit cooler.
Still though, a true CAI with the filter completely out of the engine bay is likely the only one that will show a true improvement on a dyno....
Now with all of that said, this is assuming you get no tune. And I am not talking about the "canned" tunes that come on the programmer. MORE air in, coupled with a custom tune that can take advantage of it (effectively changing the VE tables to align with the larger air volume) will then give you the improvements you would want.
This is a simple downside of a Speed Density system. Its not that we cant benefit from more air, its just that the computer doesn't change timing for MORE air, it only does it for COLDER air. Get MORE Air, Colder air AND get a tune. Now you are cookin.