Our Community is 705,000 Strong. Join Us.

Cold air intake

12-19-2004, 12:30 AM
I was wondering what brand/model cold air intake i should get for my '99 grand am gt 3.4, i recently bought a resistor that goes in a cord near the air filter that is supposed to make the car think it has a steady flow of cold air. And now im wondering what type of cold air intake i can get for 100 bucks or less that will add even more power.

12-19-2004, 02:05 AM
i would suggest going to Driverfx.ca its a canadian company they will ship to the US i have a 2001 GA and i bought a cold air intake for 160.00 check it out you can search for your car and it will show only parts compatible for your car. as far as brand im sure they sell aem etc... but the one i bought is the same thign as aem you can always buy a different filter it doesnt matter what the brand name of piping is is all the same.

Hope this helps you.

12-19-2004, 10:28 AM
First of all, as far as the IAT resistor goes - if you're gonna get a CAI, take it out. It's making your engine run rich in order to compensate for the cold air that it thinks it has, but it always thinks the air is 32 degrees. So if you put in a CAI and the air gets any colder then that, you're in fact going to be running lean, which kills performance. I had the resistor and then got a CAI, and my car in fact ran faster without the resistor then it did with it. Also, if the air gets too warm coming in (eg. 80 degree summer heat) and the computer is only allowing enough fuel for 32 degree air (which is a lot denser, that's why it adds fuel in the first place) then you're in fact going to be running too rich, which will also kill performance. So my advice is, if you're going to get a CAI, lose the resistor.

As far is which CAI to get, I agree with Kidlex - piping doesn't matter a whole lot - they're all generally the same - it's the filter that matters. I would actually suggest going to www.doctorspeed.com and getting his stage III cold air intake setup - it's pretty damn good and doctor speed is a reliable guy in the grand am community. If that costs too much for you, you can get one off of ebay for under a hundred dollars usually - just make sure the seller has a good rating. In my opinion, the filter to shoot for would be a K&N 7" cone, or something around that size. But I'd say go for K&N over other filters.

12-19-2004, 10:49 AM
I looked around on ebay and found this one, what do you think?


12-19-2004, 07:43 PM
Seems like a good buy - the guy's got a flawless feedback, it seems to be a geniune K&N filter, and it's a pretty good price. It's a good deal I'd say - buy it.

12-19-2004, 09:42 PM
I have no experiance what so ever, will i be able to install it and not screw any thing up?

12-19-2004, 10:40 PM
Yes you'll do fine - it'll most likely come with instructions. What is will consist of it pulling out your stock intake up to the ribbed rubber hosing. Ram air, shroud, airbox, everything - gone. You'll then put in the cold air tubing and route it into your wheel well, then attach the filter. You'll have to remove the intake resonator (black tube that goes from your air box into your wheel well) which can be a PITA to do. My advice would be just to use a section of the tubing with the filter and make a WAI short-ram setup. In other words, just have a straight pipe with a filter setting inside your engine bay. It will actually give you more low end torque then a cold air intake, and gets the same cool air anyways after you start moving. It makes changing the filter a hell of a lot easier too.


| |_______|\\\\\
| engine | tubing |filter \
| battery |

hope that pic give u more of an idea. You might have to saw a section of tubing, but do whatever it takes to make it fit. If your intake is the same setup as mine, you'll end up running a straight section of the metal tubing dirrectly off of your MAF (the box with the post in the middle at the end of the rubber tube) U can then attach the filter at the other end of the pipe, and it should set behind the battery. hope that all gives u an idea - ask if you got questions

EDIT: damnit never mind about the picture - it got F'd up majorly when it posted it

12-19-2004, 11:01 PM
ha, ok. Did your car used to have ram air also? if so could you send me a close up pic of your cold air intake. And in your explination if i understood you right i should get a cold air intake with a short straight pipe instead of the long one that curves downwards?

Edit: or do i just get the one off of that listing on ebay and cut it shorter?

12-20-2004, 12:13 PM
yeh mine use to have a ram air. You'll end up cutting the CAI pipe, cause any cold air intake you have is going to have a couple bent pipes. It's not a big deal to cut it, just put a long section in a vise, and cut it with a hacksaw. So just get the one off of Ebay, and then cut it.

I'll have a picture posted of mine within a day or two. But meanwhile, I would go ahead and order the one off of Ebay (buy now option)

12-20-2004, 07:36 PM
Hey brots heres my intake just to show you how creative you can get. I took this picture while I was setting up the intake housing so some wiires like the air temperature sensor is sticking out. I used a air filter box and k&n filter from a 97+up ford f150 then after I made a ram air tube from a fog lamp port and it runs through the fender and up where the original intake was. If your intake is ram air I suggest leaving the ram air portion as is and perhaps port the lowwer intake so that it has a larger diameter , this will increase your low end and high end throttle response and when you achieve speeds greater than 40mph the ram air gives a lil more. My friend shark2000 removed his ram air but I suggested he put it back on to compliment the increased diameter on the lowwer intake he made. http://mysite.verizon.net/res1sm23/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/P0001795.jpg this is sharks ported lowwer intake on his ram air gt.

12-20-2004, 08:29 PM
Here's the pics of my WAI



I think I uploaded those images right. Anyways, obviously mine's nothing compared to Mark being the Grand Am God that he is, lol but it does the job. I took the cold air intake tube, cut a straight section, attached the filter, and then attached it to my MAF. You can also see that I removed the intake resonator (kind of a pain, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you) i just did it to let in a little more cold air into the area.

12-20-2004, 10:41 PM
Hey, Ridenour, you no longer have a cold air intake with that setup, wouldn't you have gained a little more HP leaving it a cold air sytem. I'm thinkin the gains from having less bends would be less than having cold air brought into the engine.

12-21-2004, 10:55 AM
I know that Forkliftguy. It's a WAI (Warm Air Intake). If you read my posts earlier in the thread, I talk about how I like the WAI better. The filter is much easier to change on a WAI, you don't have to worry about water getting in, and WAI's have more low end torque, do to a shorter pipe length = less lag. Not only that, but after you start moving, the air going into the WAI is nearly as cool as the outside air anyway. CAI's have better high end though.

The type of intake is dependant on the driver. If you like to gun it from stand stills and race from stop lights, the WAI is better. It has better low end (0-40ish) then the CAI due to the fact that CAI's lag more low end since they're so much longer. If, however, you're the type of driver who likes to gun it to pass people on the highway, or races on the freeway (70-130ish), then the CAI would be better because it has better high end torque.

If you're like me, and you like throwing your girlfriend into the back of her seat unexpectadly, then the WAI is for you. I like to gun it all the way to the speed limit, which is usually where the CAI starts to become more effective.

My vote is for the WAI Short-Ram setup, but like I said, It's all dependant on the driver.

WAI = Low End
CAI = High End

12-21-2004, 10:56 PM
I also forgot to mention , the way I designed my simple intake for 3 uses , WAI , CAI or a huge 4'' ram air tube running into the filter housing from the fog light port (straight as it can be without hacking) straight across running into the fender which I had to open to 3'' it serves as the low end cai intake and also holds the filter housing snuggly in place then complimented with the 4'' port to the low side of the filter housing that the ram tube runs too. Its not very sophistacated but proved to be a benefit for all types of conditions. The plastic and rubber tube matereals prove to absorb less heat thats why I stuck with those types of materials even though they have ribs and what not. On cold days I use the WAI setup open filter , the only benefit I noticed from this is its alot louder and "get the hell out of my way!!" but I think in actuality I gain throttle response but I lose alot of power on the low end just missing that umph so if Im gonna drive agressively I use the CAI setup , it has the same throttle response as the WAI setup cus I mean the filter housing has a 3'' intake and a 4'' intake both from colder sources than the engine bay.
When I look at ridenour's WAI setup I think " thats gotta sound damn mean!" and I like it alot. It looks sharp , sophistacated and clean. Id think twice if he pulled up beside and let his machine bounce off the rev limiter at a light. I have a neat lil trick for improving the WAI setups for better throttle response , torque and hp. I took my stock MAS housing and ported it from a split 55mm to wide open 75mm using a hack saw , die grinder and a file. This greatly improved the throttle responseand added a tiny touch of hp and torque and another benefit was the 3 MAS coils dont get gummed up as fast as before so they require less often cleaning. Ive done tons of porting on my 3400 (upper and lowwer intake manifolds , I port polished the exhaust manifolds) I have to watch for leaks on a daily basis but it really made that lil v6 torqy. G-Tec pro rated the torque at 271lbs at 3750 rpms not bad for a naturally aspirated v6. I dont know if buying a setup like this is the best bang for your buck however since most of the work was done myself I guess it was worth it. What wasnt worth it was the fact that I have to modify interlocking gaskets to be even with the ports cus there wasnt any extra meat. This was the biggest most expensive mistake I have ever made with modding a car. Im on my 3rd set of brand new "modified gaskets" which i used a lil silicone on the 3rd one as an experiment to see if it helps hold back the leaks. I think Im averaging 20,000 miles per gasket change. The coolent loves to squeeze into the engine and as soon as I notice it I have to do the following.
1) save money for parts , $260. Gaskets , oil , oil filter , coolent flush and new coolent. Errr thats alot for just parts like gaskets and coolent.
2)Find time to tear the engine apart and clean it in and out , modify gaskets , put it back together and add the fluids. Problem Im not a tec so simple things like removing and replacing vacuum lines spark plug wires (which I have numbered for the future cus Im a dumbass) and a ton of other crap thats over my head. Takes me a few days to do this myself 6 hours with a little help and this job only takes one of our mechanics 2 1/2 hours so they laugh at me.
3) Then the dreaded road test to make sure I put it back together right (which I messed up several times in the past by fogeting to plug in things simple like throttle position sensors and mas plugs.
Hey but then again thats what learning is all about right? I learned my lesson and decided next time I want ported Intakes and exhaust I will simply save the cash and buy proper ones with the proper gaskets. Pretty dumb huh?

12-21-2004, 11:31 PM
lol holy crap mark... You must have one of the most mulifunction intakes ever. LOL all that stuff's pretty awesome though. So you got gains by porting your MAF without any codes or problems? Your talking cutting out the fin and stuff right? I had read about doing that before but some people had problems with the PCM throwing fits over it. I might do it now though that you say you got noticable gains without any issues. I've had it apart before and it really looked easy as hell to do.

Question - Does coolant run into your throttle body or upper intake manifold? I'm wondering cause if I were to get a 62 mm TB or do any port and polishing myself, I'd want to know if the thing was gonna piss coolant all over me when I pulled it off. Thanks

12-21-2004, 11:47 PM
Well if any body here has ever changed there entire exhaust system they will need a O2 simulator to make the engine behave without throwing codes. This o2 simulator also makes it behave with the porting. I think when you order one it says its for 99 and up sunfires and cavaliers but it worked on my GA and thats what they gave me when I ordered it. As for coolent leaks I mean internally , the coolent leaks into the engine and messes with the oil. Coolent is bad in the oil messes eveything up and can sieze the engine among tons of other thing. Theres no coolent running into throttle bodies so when you remove it you just have to replace the gasket. That gasket was simple to modify but the first time I screwed that up too and it leaked. (pinched the gasket when putting it back on somehow and it made a crease) If your looking to port the throttle body add a couple extra pounds of torque with a torque wrench to make up for the lack of gasket. I highly dont recomend you port the upper and lower intakes or you will be always having to check the oil for a leak , its inevitable especialy since they leak on stock ones quite commonly. Best thing to do is purchase already ported intakes and exhaust manifolds I believe they are ported greater than my home made setup anyway. I forgot what USA site was selling those intake manifolds and exhaust manifolds.

12-22-2004, 08:43 PM
Hmmm, I didn't really think the WAI would perform that well for the given situation, makes sense though.

Umm, Mark is right on the TB...as far as the 4cyl goes. The V6 DOES have coolant lines running through it though. The manual say to just clamp the lines before removing them.

12-22-2004, 09:47 PM
Hmm... alrighty - So I need to clamp the hoses outside of the TB, then when I pull it off, the coolant from the clamp to the TB will empty, then after I put on new TB and reinsert hoses I top off my coolant?

12-22-2004, 09:54 PM
That's all there is to it. Good luck.


12-22-2004, 10:00 PM
Oh one more thing, you can buy a bypass kit so that the TB no longer has hot coolant running through it. This can help performance because you no longer heat the intake air, it stays cool when it enters the engine. The whole point of the coolant going through the TB is to help the engine in cold climates like here in Canada during the winter. Other than that it robs engine power during the summer.

12-22-2004, 10:17 PM
Thanks Forkliftguy. Yeh I had heard about the TB bypass, but I live in the great white North of Mid-Michigan, so I don't think it'd be a good idea.

12-22-2004, 10:27 PM
Good point. Engineers do put a lot of "questionable" items in cars. Some of those things are actually well thought out.

Add your comment to this topic!