Which CAI for I6

Yacdogg

Original poster
Member
Apr 27, 2012
92
I am looking to get a cai, I am looking into the Volant, but what do all you have on the I6 ?
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,657
Tampa Bay Area, FL
Build your own, it will be much cheaper, since the only thing you're getting is a slight change in tone when you stomp the skinny pedal. There's a write up on how to do it out of PVC/ABS plastic piping from your local hardware store. I chose to build mine out of silicone tubing which was a bit more expensive than that, but still much cheaper than the ready-made kits. :twocents:

IntakeInstalled.jpg
 

Sputnik312

Member
Aug 9, 2012
38
I have a K&N. But to be honest it doesn't really do much. It just sounds cool. I also feel like the heat shield isn't very effective. I think your best route would be to make your own and use money towards a tune or something in the future! - chris
 

Irishboy02

Member
Apr 1, 2012
222
On those motors GM did a pretty good job from the factory. I also had the k&n, ran decent IMO but it was more for sound then performance. Plus i think it actually looked kind of crappy for such a high profile company. You can get cheap ebay $20-30 kits that will do exactly the same thing for 1/10 the price
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Keep in mind you have an 06 and it is not as simple as the previous years...
 

Irishboy02

Member
Apr 1, 2012
222
HARDTRAILZ said:
Keep in mind you have an 06 and it is not as simple as the previous years...

Doh! :duh: Forgot about that. You have to take into consideration the MAF sensor too.
 

Me007gold

Member
Nov 20, 2011
1,106
Stay stock, I ran a Volant for about a year and noticed nothing other then a $250 hole in my wallet. The factory intake is very efficient.
 

Yacdogg

Original poster
Member
Apr 27, 2012
92
Me007gold said:
Stay stock, I ran a Volant for about a year and noticed nothing other then a $250 hole in my wallet. The factory intake is very efficient.

Sounds good, I was going to get one before getting a tune, guess I'll just save money and get a pcm4less tune
 

Chickenhawk

Member
Dec 6, 2011
776
It is always hard to fight the "seat-of-the-pants" perception with certain performance "upgrades."

There are some upgrades that add nothing, like throttle body spacers and performance chips. There are others that are out and out obvious improvements such as a PCM4Less tune. Cold air intakes seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

I have never seen actual back-to-back tests with identical conditions that would match the perceived seat-of-the-pants improvements. I had a K&N in my basement for a few years and never got around to installing it, mostly because I realized that horsepower increases under 10 HP would be literally imperceptible (beyond that mythical "feel.") I was also suspicious that almost all cold air intakes on the market are actually warmer air intakes. (WAI, maybe?)

Just for fun one day, I installed the K&N system. I seriously did not expect any change and I half expected there to be slightly reduced performance because of the warmer ambient air. Well ... I was actually surprised that there WAS a very slight improvement. It was almost imperceptible but I tend to be a pretty aware driver. However, there was WAY more noise. The noise in the cockpit was actually very cool, and it added a somewhat "V8" roar to the inline six. I certainly stuck my foot into the throttle a lot more the first few days just to hear the cool sound.

However, after the first few days, I found myself backing off highway acceleration if I had a passenger, just to keep the noise down.

I then decided to remove the heatshield and replace it with the factory airbox. (It fits right over top of the K&N intake and filter without modification.) To me, this was the ideal combination. I ended up with the same performance as before (and maybe even a tiny bit better due to the cooler intake air) and only a slight increase in noise when I accelerated.

In technical terms, the heatshields on most cold air intake kits don't do much. However, the factory airbox is what could be considered the equivalent of an air-to-air intercooler for the air intake system.

The funny part is that people pay big money for aftermarket air-to-air intercoolers for their turbocharger kits, and here we have one on our intake system right from the factory that some of us replace with a much less efficient piece of metal.

So, if there is any kind of increase in power with a CAI - and it is very slight - it seems best if you can still use the factory airbox. (On the K&N, you don't need to hollow it out or anything; it just bolts right on top.)

A PCM tune is still, hands down, your best bang for the buck with our platforms.
 

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