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5th & 6th Generation (2002-2006 & 2007-2011) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 2002-2006 & 2007-2011 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Truth about Cold Air Intakes and Drop in filters

I drive a 2009 Camry SE (4 cylinders). No BS, whats the real deal about cold air intakes? The advantages and disadvantages, and please, dont come saying there are no advantages because thats like saying physics doesnt exist, please, realistic views. I need something, but i need to hear the truth.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Intakes really dont yield much power/mileage on our cars, theyre mostly for sound. A good drop in filter like k&n or trd would be the best option. I personally have a cai for the sound, but i've been told if you throw in a trd/k&n filter and remove the plastic resonator from the intake that it helps increase the sound of the intake. This will supposedly help give you the best gains in both performance and mileage, as well as being the cheapest route.

Also, as im sure others will tell you, please search the forums before starting new threads on topics that have aleady been discussed numerous times.

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Old 12-05-2011, 12:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 1blualti View Post
Intakes really dont yield much power/mileage on our cars, theyre mostly for sound. A good drop in filter like k&n or trd would be the best option. I personally have a cai for the sound, but i've been told if you throw in a trd/k&n filter and remove the plastic resonator from the intake that it helps increase the sound of the intake. This will supposedly help give you the best gains in both performance and mileage, as well as being the cheapest route.

Also, as im sure others will tell you, please search the forums before starting new threads on topics that have aleady been discussed numerous times.

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Thanks for replying. On the topic, however nobody in their right minds is expecting to win a NASCAR race with a cold air intake on a camry, my question was for realistic reviews or views of anybody with experience with them or someone who has them. I'm not really looking for mileage, i'm more interested in power gains, mileage would be a plus. I just find it hard to believe that something that reduces the lenght of air flow to an engine and then tries to get the coldest air possible to that engine is "just for sound". I expect a difference but how much is the question?

Secondly, i did search the threads for this, but i couldnt get an unbiased view of cold air intakes, it was just about people peddling a certain brand or completely bashing the whole concept. So its a legit question, and i'm surprised there is not a thread like this for general information on this on the Camry 6th gen. If you are a mod and you feel otherwise, feel free to delete the thread, otherwise the question is valid.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i have a "drop in" K&N filter. i have only "noticed" a mere extra mile or two in gas mileage. power gains, if you read the literature about CAI will tell you "up to" what, 20 hp gains..??? i probably only get a mere 1 hp gain....if that at all.

but take into account the cost of a CAI over ANY amount of power gain, and the numbers just do not add up to the cost over say an ordinary drop in filter.

the only tried and true power gains one can achieve, is through engine modifications, such as pistons, intake manifold, headers, etc,etc, then too, unless one is racing, the cost is too much to bear for still what will amount to a small to medium power gain.

it takes more than just a CAI or drop in filter to increase power gains, bottom line.

one would be better served to just keep the engine in peak tune, use the proper oil viscosity and blend or full synthetics, not only for the engine oil, but the transmission fluids as well. it would be a complete and total waste of money to spend on the engine performance, and nothing on the transmission. once those wheels hit the ground, you lose valuable HP pushing that car if the transmission is using say gear lube (manual transmission) or ordinary ATF fluid, over full synthetics.

so in the end, unless you are willing to spend copious amounts of money for a full HP engine and transmission re-do, then you will NOT gain any higher HP ratings from a CAI...as stated, most are for the pure enjoyment of the sound, nothing else.

which then, one will NOT be satisfied about that noise, until he gets a different muffler as well....may sound like it goes fast, but nothing else for the cash outlaid for it all.

Last edited by Glenn8963; 12-05-2011 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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K&N's website has the dyno proven results for the CAI they sell. We have a rep from K&N on the forums who swears by these dynos as they take multiple dynos from different vehicles/conditions and take the median of them all. May get some bashers as this has been talked about day in and day out... I love mine... I love it to death. On top of the sound and performance, it looks amazing... You go to pop your hood and someone looks at a stock intake box... Pretty sad day. My 2 cents.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Dyno proven results really don't mean much unless ALL CONDITIONS are identical to the earlier pull, which is pretty much impossible. A cold engine vs hot engine pull is a common manipulative 'flaw' used by many companies. Other variables often neglected are oil temp, water temp, tire pressure, strap tension, rpm selection..... dyno results only mean something in 'marketing to the small minded masses' who don't know any better!

Typically, you'll sacrifice some bottom end MPG/TQ for top end HP. It depends on how well the CAI/HAI were engineered from the 'speed shop'. Most are just bent tubes without much thought(ok, they made it fit). Your airbox/intake are 'extensions' of your intake manifold's tuning.

If you have a manual transmission and like to bounce off the engine's redline all the time, definitely get any of the intake systems. If its just a daily driver, stick with the stock plumbing.

Improvements to the stock system are simple. You can try a drop-in higher flowing element. Or, you can break out the hole saw and cut a larger hole in the airbox. The two together will usually match what the best tube-systems can do.

Also, high flow 'rock catcher' type air filters let in too much smaller sized dirt. This will increase the wear in your engine. It can be proven with a used oil analysis. Usually Si(that unfiltered dirt) will increase. As it increases, the metal wear rates increase with it. If you use a "any brand" higher flowing air filter, I do recommend a couple UOA's to see if you need to shorten your oil change interval.

If you're in a dusty/dirty environment, some of the reputable manufacturers sell a pre-filter sock. And you don't wonder why?

If you decide you want the pretty tube under your hood, then consider swapping in a real air filter. Donaldson Powercore filters are available in many sizes. There are also resold by the likes of Volant, Wix, and Amsoil. The Powercore will filter extremely well without the loss of airflow.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There you have it.... Not much worth arguing there because both sides are arguable... Dynoing within 30 minutes of each other (stock vs intake) is not accurate enough I guess.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If the dyno shows a 10hp gain from 6000rpms to 6700rpms but showed a 5hp loss everywhere else, they will still market it as a 10hp gain. Keep that in mind.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougs57 View Post
You go to pop your hood and someone looks at a stock intake box... Pretty sad day. My 2 cents.
it's a camry. the only time you should be popping the hood to show someone is when something is wrong or you're changing the oil.



srsly tho, if you just want some kind of sound, get a k&n drop in, cut the bottom of the stock airbox, and plug the silencers. it'll growl, but still be slow as balls. and for those who think this is "ghetto" or not safe, blow me.

Last edited by BlackG5; 12-05-2011 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When properly engineered parts like this make a difference, but most companies use cookie cutter designs for cars that aren't race oriented. Big companies aren't going to waist their time on R&D on a performance part for a Camry when the ISF and LFA are out, because they don't expect people would seriously want to race a Camry with cars like the ISF and LFA out.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Save your money and spend it on required maintenance. These are plain/jane family sedans produced by the millions.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Okay, here's the situation. This thread will remain closed to allow for a cool off period, then it'll be reopened. I realize that discussing CAIs, K&N filters, etc., are often like discussing religion, but I think our members ought to be able to help out any OP in a thread and not get into ridiculous fights over this stuff. Infractions served. Anyone else wants to start up a fight about filters and such in this or another thread will discover how quickly a ban can be issued. Thanks.

EDIT: Back open for business.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If you want to know anything about drivetrain related "performance" parts maybe the lexus forums are the way to go... This site seems to be geared towards useless suspension and exterior mods. You will not win in any debate on this forum regarding an intake. Will not happen. It is like democrats vs republicans. Argue argue argue. Nothing ever gets accomplished.

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Old 12-06-2011, 07:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougs57 View Post
If you want to know anything about drivetrain related parts maybe the lexus forums are the way to go... THis site seems to be geared towards useless suspension and exterior mods. You will not win in any debate on this forum regarding an intake. Will not happen. It is like democrats vs republicans. Argue argue argue. Nothing ever gets accomplished.
I see your point but what you are getting wrong is that this is not a debate, i want the truth, your view on your own experience and what you think, not about how you swear by what you have put in your car, some people dont like being told that they wasted money, but stuff happens once in a while, learning from it is what makes you better. I just want to hear both sides and what they have experience, so far, someone i think Glenn has made some good points which just make sense. I'm not looking for 15hp gains, not even 10, 2-5 is kool is with me.

Another major question is whether the power gain is in the low RPM range, since nobody is racing i dont care about speed, i care about acceleration.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You want to save yourself the time of this? I have a thread for the 2gr-fe intakes with the pros/cons. Lots of debate in that thread with charts and whatnot to prove what the gains are. People also have stated their gains with a drop in filter in the thread as well. Link is here in case you want to look at it.

Air intakes for the 2gr-fe

As far as gains, like you stated, it is physics... Bottom line though, it is all about the drive. If you are ok with hacking your air-box to shit, do it and make yourself a homemade SRI. If you want to do things on the more professional level, get an actual production intake. Gains are there on both levels.

Last edited by Cougs57; 12-06-2011 at 08:35 AM.
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