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Discussion Starter #1
I've read a ton of online articles and have watched a bunch of YouTube videos surrounding the controversy between which is better in terms of power for our EB's... a Cold Air Intake or the Stock Airbox. And frankly there's no clear cut proven results that I can find, at least not for our specific vehicle.

Does anyone have any technical information or a video of the dyno results between these 2 options? Again, for the Mustang Ecoboost specifically. I keep going back and forth between my CAI, which admittedly is not the best out there, and the stock box, trying to do my own testing, but have no conclusive evidence that one is better than the other.
 

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I thought the airraid cai made a noticeable difference and looked nice under the hood as well..i never did compare it to a performance drop in filter
 

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Adding a CAI won't do much without a tune.

That being said...I'd like to mention that i have the Ford FP tune, and the GT350 CAI bucket. I have been giving a lot of thought to putting back in my stock intake. I had doubts about the GT350 bucket and its ability to seal, in particular, when part of the intsall process for it, is to cut "a lip" in the sleeve socket that fits into the intake piece on the bumper. When I finally took my front bumper off this weekend, and finally got to see up close, the air intake compartment....I noticed that a good section of the intake piece on the bumper is just letting air flow right through it, because of that cut flap that makes the GT350 bucket fit in. I wish I wouldve took a picture, but I wasn't in documenting mode...just "get it right" mode. Essentially the GT350 bucket is not able to "fully envelop" the intake fitting on the bumper....so you get escaped air right then and there. The Stock intake is all sealed up. I like the cone filter and the sucking sound, but I'm not 100% sold that its optimal performance.

I can't speak for any of the other intakes, but I would imagine that most of them are designed to properly fit int the bumper piece, and that Ford decided to jerry-rig this, to throw us a bone. I will probably change the intake to something better at some point, whether I go back to stock or keep the GT350 bucket in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Adding a CAI won't do much without a tune.

That being said...I'd like to mention that i have the Ford FP tune, and the GT350 CAI bucket. I have been giving a lot of thought to putting back in my stock intake. I had doubts about the GT350 bucket and its ability to seal, in particular, when part of the intsall process for it, is to cut "a lip" in the sleeve socket that fits into the intake piece on the bumper. When I finally took my front bumper off this weekend, and finally got to see up close, the air intake compartment....I noticed that a good section of the intake piece on the bumper is just letting air flow right through it, because of that cut flap that makes the GT350 bucket fit in. I wish I wouldve took a picture, but I wasn't in documenting mode...just "get it right" mode. Essentially the GT350 bucket is not able to "fully envelop" the intake fitting on the bumper....so you get escaped air right then and there. The Stock intake is all sealed up. I like the cone filter and the sucking sound, but I'm not 100% sold that its optimal performance.

I can't speak for any of the other intakes, but I would imagine that most of them are designed to properly fit int the bumper piece, and that Ford decided to jerry-rig this, to throw us a bone. I will probably change the intake to something better at some point, whether I go back to stock or keep the GT350 bucket in the meantime.
Well, I have a tune, but highly doubt it takes the CAI into consideration. I would imagine that would take a custom tune to do. And as far as the sealing goes on an open box CAI, I agree that most probably have air leaks somewhere or another. Like you I am not convinced that having a CAI, at least mine, adds any benefit in terms of power. Perhaps someone here will change my mind.
 

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Well, I have a tune, but highly doubt it takes the CAI into consideration. I would imagine that would take a custom tune to do. And as far as the sealing goes on an open box CAI, I agree that most probably have air leaks somewhere or another. Like you I am not convinced that having a CAI, at least mine, adds any benefit in terms of power. Perhaps someone here will change my mind.
One thing that keeps bugging me is the fact the the 400+hp GT is using the same airbox and filter plus youtube channels from enthusiasts like watchmyeco and parker performance all use the stock airbox and run 1/4 mile times into the 11's. These 300 to 500 dollar fancy cold air kits really dont seem justified from a performance standpoint.

That said, I still run the gt350 airbox because i just like the look and the sound.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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One thing that keeps bugging me is the fact the the 400+hp GT is using the same airbox and filter plus youtube channels from enthusiasts like watchmyeco and parker performance all use the stock airbox and run 1/4 mile times into the 11's. These 300 to 500 dollar fancy cold air kits really dont seem justified from a performance standpoint.

That said, I still run the gt350 airbox because i just like the look and the sound.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
I don't really have any plans on tuning my gt anytime soon ..so this weekend i decided to go with a K&N drop in filter ..first impressions was very nice ..it actually Idles smoother i noticed with the new 18/19 gt it would kinda Surge at low Rpm ..like stop and go at lights..now much smoother..no surging
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One thing that keeps bugging me is the fact the the 400+hp GT is using the same airbox and filter plus youtube channels from enthusiasts like watchmyeco and parker performance all use the stock airbox and run 1/4 mile times into the 11's. These 300 to 500 dollar fancy cold air kits really dont seem justified from a performance standpoint.
Agreed, which is one of the reasons I believe I'm destined to switch back to the stock airbox with the K&N filter and just be done with it.
 

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I don't really have any plans on tuning my gt anytime soon ..so this weekend i decided to go with a K&N drop in filter ..first impressions was very nice ..it actually Idles smoother i noticed with the new 18/19 gt it would kinda Surge at low Rpm ..like stop and go at lights..now much smoother..no surging
I think the GT would definitely have the "lungs" to make use of a less restrictive air intake, the cfm needed to make 470bhp must be substantial.
The ecoboost though, in comparison is making 310bhp in stock trim and around 350bhp with a common stage 2 setup, the cfm requirements will definitely be more modest.

This all gets me wondering about what the true air flow requirements are for the stock turbo from an engineering perspective.

I see these advertisements claiming hp gains on a stock car but any offered dyno charts show the car being software limited due to heatsoak, ie- the 2.3 mustang ecoboost platform makes around 260 to 270whp on the dyno depending on auto or manual when all the sensors are happy.
Poor fuel, high charge air temps, high cylinder head temps and high catalytic converter temps, badly gapped plugs, any of these will cause the ECU to pull power so when a dyno shows a 240hp run and then a 245hp run and claims the fancy cold air box was the cause of the increase I cant help but be sceptical because the variables have not been properly addressed.

Then there are the claims about a tune being required for an intake.
The turbo is going to get what it needs to reach its pre programmed targets or it won't, it should be that simple, with no MAF sensor in play you should be able to take the entire intake assembly off and run fine, (the pcv system would obviously be unhappy though)

I have lurked the Hptuners forums and read though the tuning discussions on ecoboost platforms and I have never seen a single mention ever of making a tune adjustment for a better air cleaner, they speak of wastegate tables, boost targets, timing advance tables, ect, it appears the tuners adjust the tune for preset torque targets and the engine components either support it or not.

So, in the end it appears that an upgraded air intake will only show true gains on the dyno if the tune is making the turbo pump more air than the stock intake assembly will allow but even with that there is the highly restrictive stock intercooler on the other side of the turbo.

I'm thinking out loud here so please excuse the rambling.



 

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Another thing to keep in mind being that I used both my previous Mustang and this one as my everyday driver I'm not too keen on having an open air box because water does get into the hood vents especially on the new 18/19 model ..i had custom heat . Heat extractors on my 15 and I would have been dumping water easily on my filter if I didn't have a enclosed box
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Forgive me if I am wrong, but it almost sounds like those of you who have replied so far are saying the same I am, which is, a CAI, while looks and sounds cool, doesn't necessarily help with performance on the Ecoboost platform. I *JUST* swapped back to my stock airbox and the K&N filter. Done. Not going back to a CAI.

What I've learned here is this... do the modifications that *YOU* want, not necessarily what everyone else is doing, and do them based on your driving habits and what your personal goals are. This has been a hard and slow lesson for me to learn, yet, I am now working, or will work, on what modifications make the most sense for me, and not chasing everyone else just for the sake of it.:)
 
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Forgive me if I am wrong, but it almost sounds like those of you who have replied so far are saying the same I am, which is, a CAI, while looks and sounds cool, doesn't necessarily help with performance on the Ecoboost platform. I *JUST* swapped back to my stock airbox and the K&N filter. Done. Not going back to a CAI.

What I've learned here is this... do the modifications that *YOU* want, not necessarily what everyone else is doing, and do them based on your driving habits and what your personal goals are. This has been a hard and slow lesson for me to learn, yet, I am now working, or will work, on what modifications make the most sense for me, and not chasing everyone else just for the sake of it. YouTube Video of this coming soon :)
Well put. In addition, it is sometimes fun to change something, just because you enjoy tinkering with it, not necessarily for any other reason
 

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I would probably point your question to Ford Performance, in the form a phone call. They develop the tunes with the engine in the car, and the car on a dyno. So my assumption is if they have data to support why they're shipping the Tune Voucher with the GT350 airbox. There must have been some gains, otherwise why would Ford PP include the GT 350 airbox?

I guess I didn't question it and allowed them to install the GT350 air box. I can hear it sucking air big time when I step on the gas... Sounds like a huge sucking sound, so it's definitely sucking air down. Whether that translates to real numbers, don't know...
 

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They all say you get the best performance out of the cold air intake by doing a tune but what I have noticed are the ones from the get-go that says will need a tune required to work correctly those are the ones that are really sucking in the most air and are most beneficial. just like the new Roush setup that coms with with two pipes .for cars that are tuned and for cars that are not tuned you can remove the pipe to let more air in.
 

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This subject has been bouncing around in my skull since I bought the Gow. There is so much dust put into the atmosphere by agricultural work in my neck of the woods. The streets and roads are almost always paved by "chip and seal" (3/8 limestone chips and road tar). Even at 1.4k there was a small pile of silt in the bottom of the filter box. I know that the good Ford above designed a filter system to prevent intake air contamination under such conditions. When these high flow filters first became popular, there were some that promised BIG airflow gains, but you could drive a Kenworth through them and not even touch any part of the gauze or paper element. I favored K&N because they were oiled filters, which IMHO blocked smaller contaminants than a paper element. But now, most companies require a CAI or a drop-in filter as part of their tuning regiment. My thought: Is there really a way to establish the how efficient these CIAs or drop-ins are? (i.e. how small of particles in microns they block)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well put. In addition, it is sometimes fun to change something, just because you enjoy tinkering with it, not necessarily for any other reason
:) Absolutely!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My thought: Is there really a way to establish the how efficient these CIAs or drop-ins are? (i.e. how small of micron particles they block)
I'm going to personally do some street tests both with and without the CAI as soon as the weather permits and will hopefully remember to post those results back here. *Disclaimer, the opinions expressed by myself do not necessarily reflect the opinions (expressed or implied) of other forum members" :)
 

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This subject has been bouncing around in my skull since I bought the Gow. There is so much dust put into the atmosphere by agricultural work in my neck of the woods. The streets and roads are almost always paved by "chip and seal" (3/8 limestone chips and road tar). Even at 1.4k there was a small pile of silt in the bottom of the filter box. I know that the good Ford above designed a filter system to prevent intake air contamination under such conditions. When these high flow filters first became popular, there were some that promised BIG airflow gains, but you could drive a Kenworth through them and even touch any part of the gauze or paper element. I favored K&N because they were oiled filters, which IMHO blocked smaller contaminants than a paper element. But now, most companies require a CAI or a drop-in filter as part of their tuning regiment. My thought: Is there really a way to establish the how efficient these CIAs or drop-ins are? (i.e. how small of micron particles they block)
Pre filters or cheaply use a set of . Pantyhose..i use them on my cars and off road vehicles as well..works great
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pre filters or cheaply use a set of . Pantyhose..i use them on my cars and off road vehicles as well..works great
Pantyhose?
 

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There is a very simple test one can perform to determine if an aftermarket CAI or stock box with low restriction drop in filter is actually needed to increase performance on the Ecoboost or any engine for that matter.

First the theory...

If at any time, when the engine is developing its maximum power under WOT and the maximum engine revs at which this occurs, and the engine is "starving" for air because of the airbox/ filter setup, it will affect performance.

For the engine to be "starving" or not getting the air needed at any point in its power curve, means that there will be a pressure drop or slight vacuum being created in the air tract leading to the mouth of the turbo.

Air pressure increase or pressure drop can simply be measured using a homemade "manometer". (However, an electronic digital manometer would be better, and can be bought for less than $100).
A Manometer measures air pressure which exceeds or is lower than atmospheric pressure, which at sea level is 14.7 psi.

A homemade manometer can simply be made using a few metres of clear plastic tubing, formed into a "u tube" and filled with water, and attached to a piece of wood with a graduated scale marked on it.

At sea level, under normal atmospheric pressure... Water keeps its own level.
So when water is placed in the U-tube... The water will be equal on both sides.
If there is a pressure or vacuum applied on one side... The water level will rise or fall on one side. (Such if you blow or suck with your mouth on one side of the tube).



Now to test the airbox, it is simple...

A small hole is drilled in the plastic intake tube leading to the turbo, just after the airbox/filter (this small hole can be easily sealed later after the experiment is conducted).

One end of the manometer plastic tube is inserted in this small hole while the other end of the tube is open to the atmosphere.

The car is run at WOT and maximum revs.

The water level is noted on the scale... If the water level rises on the tube side attached to the air intake, indicating a pressure drop or vacuum... Then the airbox is starving for air, affecting performance and an upgraded airbox or filter may be of benefit.
If there is no change in the water level, or a positive pressure (decrease in water level)... Then the current airbox is adequate to meet the engine's air requirements.

Now no aftermarket CAI manufacturers will use or publish the results of the above test proceedure, because it would prove an aftermarket CAI would make virtually no difference.
Ford did an excellent job on the design of the S550 airbox, and it does not leave anything in the way of performance on the table.

The simple fact that the 2015 - 2017 GT which makes 435Hp versus the EB at 310hp and uses the exact same stock airbox and paper filter should be enough to tell you that apart from looking good under the hood and the increased sucking sound an aftermarket CAI gives you, the stock airbox on an EB is more than sufficient. :)

Now if you have a GT350 making 526Hp or more, then the GT350 airbox is probably warranted.
But a GT350 airbox on an Ecoboost Mustang not making that kind of power... No.
 
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