Mechanics

COLD AIR INTAKE AND THROTTLE BODY SPACER

2003 Dodge Ram • V8 2WD Automatic • 127,000 miles

Will a Volant cold air intake fit with a afe throttle body spacer?
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Levi1120
May 26, 2014.




I don't mean to be a smart alec, but what are you trying to accomplish? Liquid gasoline doesn't burn. It just goes out the tail pipe, wasted, or it burns in the catalytic converter and eventually overheats it and destroys it. The goal of all intake manifolds is to warm the air so the fuel vaporizes better and will burn with more power. There is no reason to want to defeat that.

According to the advertising, cold air intakes cool and therefore condense the air so you can pack more of it into the cylinders. You don't get any power from air. You need the fuel to go with it, and fuel metering is based on manifold vacuum. Chrysler is the only manufacturer that has been able to make an engine run right without resorting to using a mass air flow sensor. Mass air flow sensors measure the weight of the incoming air, then the Engine Computer calculates the appropriate amount of fuel to go with it. Your Engine Computer uses a different system called "speed-density" to calculate fuel needs based on the MAP sensor readings, and it works really well, ... Until you mess with it. You'll have cold air, and too much of it, so there won't be enough fuel, and what you DO get won't vaporize and burn completely.

People who push cold air systems will brag about how much more power they have, but that's an illusion. They claim they get more air and more fuel packed into the cylinders, and that may be true, but the rest of us do exactly the same thing by pressing the accelerator pedal further. The only time you might see a real improvement is at wide-open-throttle, but how often do you run your truck on the race track?

Race engines also have to contend with very high under-hood temperatures, and the hot air causes the fuel to heat up and expand so much that not enough goes into the engine. They use cold air systems to prevent a seriously lean condition. Fuel is needed to cool the intake valves, and a lean condition will lead to overheating those valves. That leads to pre-ignition, which can cause a high-power engine to explode, and for the rest of us it leads to burned and leaking valves.

The automotive marketing business is an extremely competitive one, and if any manufacturer can find one extra cubic foot of room, one more horsepower to advertise, or find a place to stuff one more cup holder, you can be sure they're going to do it. You or I are not likely to improve on anything without sacrificing reliability, idle quality, emissions, or some other quality.

If I haven't convinced you to keep your system stock, your best bet is to contact the manufacturer of the products you're considering. We work with original equipment products and non-modified vehicles here. Some of us have raced cars in the past, but all of those are custom projects and what applied to one of mine won't apply to anything you are trying to do. There are other forums related to performance modifications, and you'll find a lot of information there as to what people have tried with good luck and what didn't work. Just remember you won't improve power under most driving conditions, emissions, or fuel mileage. If those are important to you, test-drive a Dodge Cummins diesel.

Caradiodoc
May 26, 2014.


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