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C8 Cold Air Intake Benefits - Fact or Fantasy?

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  • C8 Cold Air Intake Benefits - Fact or Fantasy?

    Although there are a bunch of threads that talk to alternative air intake filters. I"ve not seen any opinions about the growing variety of cold air intake systems for the C8 other then some suggestions that given the large amount of cold air coming into the stock system, changes make minimal difference.

    K&N, AFe, Corsa and others have bolt in systems that suggest that they provide additional airflow and in some cases more protection from heat resulting in hp gains up to 22 hp.

    Any views on fact vs fantasy on the addition of any of these air inlet alternatives?




  • #2
    Darn good question. I can add a little to this but not exactly what you are wanting…

    1) GM’s filters meet all their requirements for filtering out certain size particles, flowing a certain quantity of air with minimal restriction, etc. While I am not suggesting your using someone else’s would void your warranty (I highly doubt that), that bring us to question do all of those filters or the one you want, meet those stringent requirements?

    Perhaps many do. But that leads me to the second thought, why would GM leave HP on the table (for in the quantities they buy filters I highly doubt cost is why GM would give up up to 22 HP, let alone five measles horses. Wouldn’t it have been cool if they could have brought out the C8 Stingray with 500 HP just by a different filter (that met their standards).

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    • #3
      The stock intake on the C8 is a cold air intake. It takes in air from the top part of each of the side scoops and funnels it outside the engine compartment and into the air box behind the engine. I'm not sure how an aftermarket intake could get much cooler air other than scooping it from above the roof. GM's intake plumbing has to pass tests to make sure there's no water ingress, so an aftermarket intake whose designers don't care about that might be able to get slightly more airflow, but is that a risk worth taking?

      Same with air filters. Yes, some aftermarket air filters flow more air. Tests have shown that those that do also let more particulates through. Will those cause increased engine wear? In the short term, likely not. But as John says, GM could easily have put a less restrictive filter in the car and gotten a few more HP. There's a reason they didn't.

      Suppose a cold air intake and filter gains you 15 HP (take manufacturer claims with a grain of salt). That's a 3% improvement. Even if you do get 22 hp, that's only 4%. Think you can feel that on the road? I don't think I can.
      meyerweb
      Forum Founder, Sr. Content Contributor & Patron
      Last edited by meyerweb; 01-12-2022, 11:37 PM.
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      • #4
        The guys at HallTech have been developing a new intake system and are using a filter built by TKO(attack blue). There's a good read on the "other" forum. If you wanna read up on the system on the HallTech website, here's the link:
        https://www.halltechsystems.com/product-p/hrnt.518.htm

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        • #5
          If I was Drag Racing of Track Racing by C8, I would want to squeeze out every bit of HP I could. But the fact is, I drive my C8 to the Country Club, Golf Courses, Wine Events, Car Shows or basic Car Cruzes. I’m not even using the Factory HP provided by GM.

          But I did have a Halltech Stinger in my C5, really couldn’t tell if it ever made any difference either.

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          • #6
            All good fact based dicussion.

            Three thoughts...

            Does insulating the air box help keep the incoming air cooler in a hot engine or is the volume in a moving car so large any insulation has no teal effect?

            I don't think anyone wants to risk engine reliability for a potential minimal return. So particulate filtering is important.

            But the other ways to get more air is increase the filter size/ surface area, increase pipe sizes to improve air flow into the engine etc. Will increased air flow make a difference?

            Assuming the vendors have accurate performance benchmarks... is there something in their HP gain benchmarks that make them irrelevant in the real world.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ssams View Post
              All good fact based dicussion.

              Three thoughts...

              Does insulating the air box help keep the incoming air cooler in a hot engine or is the volume in a moving car so large any insulation has no teal effect?

              I don't think anyone wants to risk engine reliability for a potential minimal return. So particulate filtering is important.

              But the other ways to get more air is increase the filter size/ surface area, increase pipe sizes to improve air flow into the engine etc. Will increased air flow make a difference?

              Assuming the vendors have accurate performance benchmarks... is there something in their HP gain benchmarks that make them irrelevant in the real world.
              Can't answer the first with any actual data. I suspect that if adding a few bucks worth of insulation to the airbox would add real HP GM would have done it, but maybe saving a few bucks on 40,000 (planned) cars per year was more important than adding a few HP that almost no one would notice.

              Increasing filter surface area or using larger pipes might work, but intake tuning is complex. Not like back in the 60s when turning the top of your air cleaner housing upside down could really improve airflow (or at least sound cool). The entire intake system is tuned to optimize airflow in a certain rpm range (or in the case of the Z06, in multiple ranges). Just forcing more air in could change that optimization. Or worse, create pressure waves that actually reduce the amount of air getting to the valves in some rpm ranges. A larger pipe or airbox might increase total air volume, but reduce velocity.

              I don't doubt a good aftermarket intake can increase peak HP. But unless you're tracking the car, how much time do you spend with the throttle wide open at 5,000 rpm (or wherever peak HP is reached)? if a manufacturer says their intake increases HP, I want to know more: at what rpm, and what is the effect across the rpm range? What is the effect at partial throttle openings as opposed to full throttle? If a product adds 20 hp at 5000 rpm to 6500 rpm wide open, but loses 20 hp from 1000 rpm to 2500 rpm at part throttle, where you spend most of the time on the street, is that a good trade-off?

              GM probably spent hundreds of hours doing computer flow modelling, and hundreds more testing the intake on actual engines. Did the aftermarket company do that?
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              • #8
                Originally posted by meyerweb View Post

                I don't doubt a good aftermarket intake can increase peak HP. But unless you're tracking the car, how much time do you spend with the throttle wide open at 5,000 rpm (or wherever peak HP is reached)? if a manufacturer says their intake increases HP, I want to know more: at what rpm, and what is the effect across the rpm range? What is the effect at partial throttle openings as opposed to full throttle? If a product adds 20 hp at 5000 rpm to 6500 rpm wide open, but loses 20 hp from 1000 rpm to 2500 rpm at part throttle, where you spend most of the time on the street, is that a good trade-off?
                I don't drive the car at WOT in the 1,000 - 2,500 rpm range, so I would never notice that loss. Probably have never gone over 50% throttle at that speed because I'd have to be in manual mode (to prevent an automatic downshift) and not downshifted. If it makes partial throttle response sluggish, that would be a concern.

                I'm curious to see if the Haltech system delivers. The filter has been proven to provide a few HP, can his bigger box also deliver any gain is the question.
                2021 Red Mist HTC / Z51 /Mag Ride / Yellow Calipers / C-Flash Mirrors and Wing / Front Lift / Black 3LT / CF Interior Trim / Yellow Belts and Stitching

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ragtop 99 View Post
                  I don't drive the car at WOT in the 1,000 - 2,500 rpm range, so I would never notice that loss. Probably have never gone over 50% throttle at that speed because I'd have to be in manual mode (to prevent an automatic downshift) and not downshifted. If it makes partial throttle response sluggish, that would be a concern.

                  I'm curious to see if the Haltech system delivers. The filter has been proven to provide a few HP, can his bigger box also deliver any gain is the question.
                  Actually, I said part throttle at those rpms, not full throttle. The general point, though, is that adding more peak HP is only part of the story. What happens to the rest of the HP (an torque) curve? Adding peak HP at the expense of less HP where you normally drive may be a poor tradeoff. One shouldn't assume that if a mod adds 20HP at peak / WOT it's going to add HP throughout the rev range and a part throttle.
                  Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Naturalw/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust, MRR 755 Gunmetal wheels

                  Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                  Never grow up - It's a trap.

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                  • #10
                    The C8 comes with a standard cold air induction system. The air comes that feed into the engine itself comes though an opening in the right scoop then is directly connected to the car’s intake. If the concern is that for that roughly 2’ that that air is heating up, I am with meyerweb on this one. For a couple of bucks for insulation, to be able to post that the Stingray had 500 HP would have been literally priceless.
                    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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                    • #11
                      ^^^ Isn't the engine tested on a stand for the SAE rating, such that insulation shouldn't matter?
                      2021 Red Mist HTC / Z51 /Mag Ride / Yellow Calipers / C-Flash Mirrors and Wing / Front Lift / Black 3LT / CF Interior Trim / Yellow Belts and Stitching

                      Atomic Orange C6. Plenty of engine and suspension mods. Gone, but not forgotten

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                      • #12
                        I could see where the Halltech system might help initially but putting in a larger filter moves the element closer to where the air comes in. The fact that the element is closer means it will get dirty faster ( where it matters ). The GM design leaves space between the intake and the filter which in turn does not force the air to enter in a specific area. Make sense?

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                        • #13
                          Pretty well all of the cold air intake providers are providing comparison numbers. Benefits generally appear to start around 2500 rpm. The highest I have seen is a claim of + 29 HP and their graphs suggest this is around 4000-4500 rpm.

                          The minimal value for insulation as others have suggested seems reasonable since if the car is moving there should be significant airflow resulting in minimal time for the air in the intake to heat up.

                          The designs featuring oval air filters including GMs, all present some portion of the filter to the air first but given the air volume when the car is moving more surface area should be better for air volume to the engine and minimizing potential for clogging.

                          The current design is excellent. I love my C8 and I am very hesitant to tamper with it, but I believe there is always room for improvement. We see a wide variety of companies designing performance options for the C8 and groups demonstrating what they did to go faster or have more HP.

                          Although most of the cold air intake modification systems are just coming to market, has anyone out there installed any of them on their C8 and what is your experience?

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                          • #14
                            The Haltech system does look interesting. I wonder what sort of modification is required to the HTC trunk panel?
                            Also I'm curious to see if anyone does an independent dyno testing.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MGfoursixeight View Post
                              The Haltech system does look interesting. I wonder what sort of modification is required to the HTC trunk panel?
                              Also I'm curious to see if anyone does an independent dyno testing.
                              Paragon Performance did a dyno test of three different air filters and found that while they did increase horsepower a little bit, the difference was minimal. You can probably find the dyno test video on their web site. Paragon doesn't make air filters but the sell ones that others make.

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