First Performance Mod? Let Your Motor Breath!
You just bought a new car (or new to you) and on the drive home you are already looking to make it get you from point A to point B faster. So what are the first performance mods that should be done to your car?
There are most likely thousands of articles and Youtube videos out there which help you decide what performance mods to start putting on your car after you get it. What you start modding depends on a few things. First place to start is to make sure your ride is in good working order. You aren’t going to do any good throwing in a turbo kit on your tire ‘ole motor with 300k+ miles (unless it’s the Fourth of July and you're itching to blow something up).
So in some cases your first performance mod will be to do some good old fashioned routine maintenance (followed by a lot of four letter words). Replace those cardboard head gaskets, check compression, put in some high performance Motul engine oil, rebuild that transmission, and clear that check engine light (electrical tape usually does the trick). Don’t add more to that tired car which will just exacerbate your problems.
OK, now your engine/drivetrain are running top notch, let's beef that ish up! Again, thousands upon thousands of ways to go but the easiest and most economical way to go would be to improve the breathing of your engine. The answer is most likely obvious to you and that is getting rid of your stock filter and upgrading to a high performance cold air intake (CAI). Also probably the first mod many of us did to our first car and thought we could give Toretto a run for his money!
A CAI can be beneficial for a couple reasons. You're upgrading from a dry paper filter media to an oiled cloth filter which decreases air restrictions and increases flow! You’ll also be changing the stock intake tube that usually consists of a rubber arm, small diameter, weird bends, and sound dampening compartments (whatever those stupid things are called), which all cause an uneven, restricted, turbulent flow of air to your throttle body. The manufacturers do this to meet emissions, keep the noise down, and because it's cheap and will save the manufacturer some money. The aftermarket CAI tube uses a larger diameter tube with smooth bends and no sound dampening departments, which gets you a nice smooth, laminar flow. All this will provide a more consistent flow of air to your throttle body! But what about the cold air part? The best and most important part about a cold air intake is the fact that they grab colder air from different locations than your stock intake setup. Quick science lesson; cooler air particles move slower and are closer together than warmer air. If you take a jar of cold air and warm air, the jar with the cold air will have more air particles in it. Since a fire (or in our case explosion) needs two things to happen, air and fuel, more air particles that mix with a fuel will create a better, bigger explosion! More air alone won’t do the trick because the critical air/fuel ratio, something that will be discussed in a different post. Anyway cold air = more particles, more particles = bigger, better explosion, better explosion = more smiles.
Side note: If you live in a desert state (AZ, CA, NV, NM, West TX, etc.) and you're using the car as a daily, I highly recommend finding a CAI with an enclosed filter box to extend the time between having to clean your filter. Volant Performance makes a high performance CAI setup with an enclosed box. It’s amazing how quick that dust and dirt builds up!
To conclude, the most important thing to do first is to ensure your engine is in good working order. If your engine is tired and worn, any modification you do to it will either speed up the process to it blowing up or the motor won’t be able to take advantage of any performance you try to add. After that, the easiest and one of the least expensive mods is the Cold Air Intake (CAI). The CAI will get your engine a more consistent and colder flow of air to possibly add 10+ horsepower and we all know more horsepower is more fun. Parts with purpose to help you HAUL ASS! Visit 7KPerformance.com today to Find your Speed!!