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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to post up my experience putting a CAI intake on my 04 wagon. I ended up getting an Ebay chinese intake. They were substantially cheaper than the brand name stuff but take some tweaking to work properly. I did have to purchase a few other items but still ended up cheaper.

Intake was $37 shipped


First was to throw away the filter it came with. I replaced it with a K&N RU-5114 purchased off Amazon for $53. I installed the intake and the car would barely move. The MAF sensor was not reading properly and the car ran super lean. The intake also didn't fit the car quite right. It was about 3/4" too long to properly line up with the hole in the fender. Seemed air straighteners on either side of the MAF would kill two birds with one stone. I'd have to cut the intake to install them fixing the length issue and the straighteners should fix the lean condition.

Air straighteners were purchased from a company called MRP and cost $44 for both.
https://performancemrp.com/i-30497562-3-diameter-aluminium-honeycomb-air-straightener-screen.html?ref=category:1389190



Also had to get a 3" silicone hose coupler off amazon for $12. I ended up cutting 1" out of the intake right before the MAF. I then pressed the straighteners in using a spray paint can. I put them about 1" to either side of the MAF.

Final result is still a bit of a lean condition below 3k rpm but runs great on the top end. It is 100% driveable as is. I'm going to be adding a split second PSC1 to modify the MAF signal to clear up the lean condition. Total outlay was ~$140 in the end.



I also added a cold air intake for my cold air intake. I took the factory fake grill, dremelled out the middle then used a razor blade, 60-200 grit sand paper to finish off the cuts. I then added some black metal mesh(Home Depot gutter guard $3) to it. The mesh is held in with small black zip ties. They are actually almost invisible and the final product came out great.



The original for reference-
 

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Wanted to post up my experience putting a CAI intake on my 04 wagon. ,,,,[snip]

I also added a cold air intake for my cold air intake. I took the factory fake grill, dremelled out the middle then used a razor blade, 60-200 grit sand paper to finish off the cuts. I then added some black metal mesh(Home Depot gutter guard $3) to it. The mesh is held in with small black zip ties. They are actually almost invisible and the final product came out great.


This is sweet. Are you concerned with water saturation of the intake filter during wet highway drives? I'm not sure how low the CAI hangs inside the front .


I really do like how this appears and the possible functionality of it completely sells it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Piping is 3". This car had fueling issues before hand. It ran a little lean on the low end when I got it a few weeks ago. The intake made it worse. I've done everything but replace the MAF sensor to clear it up with not much luck. I'm probably a little more sensitive to this than the average joe too. What I'm picking up would probably not be noticed by most.

As far as the filter and water goes- The bottom of the filter is a few inches above the opening and 8-10" back. I may add a piece of aluminum sheet behind to deflect water away if it seems like a problem. Here is the worlds worst diagram of what I'm talking about-

 

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I run a hydroshield on my filter and have had no issues in the flash floods of FL. It's just a sock type thing that slips over the filter. You can also spray it with something like tent coating to help with the water barrier.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Definitely needed the split second PSC1 to get this working properly. I was getting lean check engines with just general not running great. Here is the map I ended up with after a few weeks of fine tuning. I had to add "air" everywhere but especially in the -16.3 to -7.1 range from 1000-3500rpm. Only mods to this car are the cold air intake, no exhaust etc.

237854
 

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Another update- Been having issues with the car being super boggy when starting from a stop. I've figured out the cause and it's sky rocketing intake temps. my intake temps are going from 5 above ambient to 180 degrees + while sitting for under a minute. This probably worse with me being in Texas where it's been around 100 for almost three months. Guessing the ECU is pulling timing and the air just being less dense is what I'm feeling.

There are two things that could be causing the spike. One is the intake picking up heat in the engine bay. Either the MAF is getting heat soaked or the piping is transferring that much heat. Second cause could be there is a big hole in the inner fender area where the filer sites that is open to the engine bay. Hot air could be getting sucked in through there. Solution to problem one is to heat wrap the whole intake pipe. Problem two I need to block off the hole with some sheet metal. Going to try the sheet metal first this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Blocked off the opening to the engine bay. No difference in heat rise when stopped. It did drop moving intake temps 3-5 degrees. That brings it basically right to ambient. Wrapping the intake with exhaust wrap is next.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Intake wrapped. One layer of DEI titanium exhaust wrap with a layer of DEI Gold heat reflective tape on top. Another 100 degree day here and this for sure helped but I'm not there yet still. I didn't experience any severe low end bogging. Max intake temp of 160 now, down from 180. Climb is slightly slower. Recovery to ambient is much quicker once moving. The MAF sensor itself is still exposed and this maybe falsely conducting heat to the intake temp sensor making it think the incoming air is much hotter than actual. I'm going to put a DEI starter blanket over that and whether or not it helps I'm calling ti done.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Funny you mention NASA. That's sort of my day job. My company is contracted by NASA to build prototype exploration vehicles. Mostly things that melt/drill through ice for eventually exploring Europa.
 

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Thanks for the rundown here. I know it didn't get to where you wanted it, but a 20-degree drop is still impressive. I also have an eBay CAI and live in Phoenix, so I know about the heat soak when stopped. I think I'll have to do the CAI wrapping like you did.
 
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