Since out last trip to the drag strip we've installed Corsa exhaust and K&N cold air induction on our SRT-4. Did we see a difference? Time slips don't lie so read on and find out how our four-banger responded to modifications.
In the world of performance automobiles it is commonly known that the more air you move through an engine, the higher the engine's potential for horsepower. It is for this reason that gearheads spend so much time and money on cylinder head porting, superchargers, and turbochargers for their rides. So when we heard that we could pick up in the neighborhood of 12 horsepower simply by installing K&N's cold air induction we were intrigued. This claim would make the K&N kit one of the most cost effective power adding modifications we could perform on our car so we had to test it ourselves. A quick call had the kit on the way so we could see for ourselves if the parts would back up the horsepower claim.
The K & N cold air kit comes...
The K & N cold air kit comes with everything needed to complete the installation. They even include an allen wrench to tighten the duct clamps.
The theory of moving more air through an engine is what K&N is all about. Knowing that common OEM style air filters are extremely restrictive they designed their "Filtercharger" elements specifically to flow more air than the units they replace. The cold air induction kit takes this theory one step farther by locating the filter element or air inlet outside the hot engine bay where it can direct cool, dense, powerful air to the engine. We know from experience that this theory works, but were a little skeptical that we'd see a full 12 horsepower gain. After all, our engine only puts out 230 horsepower so we're talking a pretty high percentage gain in ponies. Well, with only one way to find out we unboxed our kit and began wrenching.
When we took our kit out of the box we were pleasantly surprised at its completeness. This kit comes with everything required for installation including an allen wrench for the clamps and has detailed instructions with photographs, we like photographs. Only basic hand tools were needed for the installation and the entire process took about an hour. Everything went together with ease and the fit and finish of the parts was exceptional. After the installation we fired the car up and were a little surprised at the additional induction noise we now had. Not that we're complaining, we race open headered big blocks on the weekends so we like noise. The stock air system's restrictive ducting was apparent, however, as we could actually hear the air moving more freely once the K&N kit was installed. The engine seemed more responsive as well and built about a pound more boost than it had before.
The first step after laying...
The first step after laying out our new pieces and reading instructions is to remove the factory air box and duct work between the air box and the turbo. Only a screwdriver was needed to complete this task.
Knowing that we had to put numbers to the obvious gain in power we headed to the Lakeland Drag Strip where we had already made some baseline passes to see if our times would improve. During our first pass we launched the car as usual but when the throttle was opened we lost traction. Yes, we had more power to play with now so our driving technique had to be adjusted. After a couple of passes we optimized our launch technique and blistered down the eighth mile in 9.38 seconds, a full two tenths quicker than our previous best. A testament that this elapsed time was not a fluke is the fact that our speed also increased by two miles per hour in the eighth mile! We made several passes duplicating our 9.38 elapsed time and were convinced that the engineers at K & N were right. This kit dramatically improved horsepower and was one of the most cost effective improvements we could perform. As we make more and more modifications to our car we will likely see even better performance now that our engine had a breath of fresh air.