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Installed a Volant CAI on my 2012 BigHorn at around 200 miles. The first 1,000 miles, I noticed that my mileage actually dropped and I was lucky to pull 17 MPG going down the interestate. Those first 200 miles my truck said it was doing 19 and the CAI is the first thing I changed. In between, I also installed a Magnaflow 14".

I wasn't overly concerned about it at first. But now I've got a 4 inch lift with 35s that I know are going to drain my gas, so I'd kinda like to get that 2 mpg back if possible. Anyone else have issues with Volant? It made no difference in performance and very little in sound. Should I go back to stock on the intake?
 

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The computer uses data from the oxygen sensor to adjust the fuel injectors to achieve the proper mixture. I am not sure why people think a CAI is going to improve their mileage? Especially at cruising speed, you are getting no more air than a stock setup, and even if you did, the computer would meter the fuel to the proper mixture.
The only point to a CAI is for WOT performance, and even then there isn't a lot to be gained for us, since the oem airbox is pretty good.
 

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Sounds familiar. The best thing to do is put the factory intake back on and test it yourself to eliminate the flood of opinions. Let us know how it goes.
 

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The computer uses data from the oxygen sensor to adjust the fuel injectors to achieve the proper mixture. I am not sure why people think a CAI is going to improve their mileage? Especially at cruising speed, you are getting no more air than a stock setup, and even if you did, the computer would meter the fuel to the proper mixture.
The only point to a CAI is for WOT performance, and even then there isn't a lot to be gained for us, since the oem airbox is pretty good.
Tend to agree about the gas thing here, the only thing the CAI will do is allow less restrictive flow of air to the intake and if its sucking the air from somewhere else than the engine compartment, the air may be cooler and as such provide better burn in the engine, cooler air has a higher densityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_density, thus containing more oxygen per volume unit than warmer air. But the end result will still only make small differences.
 

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On a stock engine a CAI is basically a waste of money. The factory intake is not really that restricting to the stock engine. I did mine (K&N) for the sound, not for performance or gas mileage. The only way to take advantage of more airflow is if you modify the truck to breathe better, i.e. a more aggressive cam profile, larger valving, ported/polished heads and free-flowing exhaust. As expensive as these things are that money would be better spent elsewhere, especially since we do not yet have a tuner specifically for our '11-'12 models.
 

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Tend to agree about the gas thing here, the only thing the CAI will do is allow less restrictive flow of air to the intake and if its sucking the air from somewhere else than the engine compartment, the air may be cooler and as such provide better burn in the engine, cooler air has a higher density, thus containing more oxygen per volume unit than warmer air. But the end result will still only make small differences.
I think CAIs are beneficial because they allow more air at WOT because of a larger, less restrictive filter, and bigger pipes. Not because of the "cold" part.
But even though "cooler air has a higher density, thus containing more oxygen per volume unit than warmer air" is true, the computer would sense the leaner mix and adjust for it.
Only reprogramming can do much to improve mileage, other than driving habits.
 

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I think CAIs are beneficial because they allow more air at WOT because of a larger, less restrictive filter, and bigger pipes. Not because of the "cold" part.
But even though "cooler air has a higher density, thus containing more oxygen per volume unit than warmer air" is true, the computer would sense the leaner mix and adjust for it.
Only reprogramming can do much to improve mileage, other than driving habits.
Thats what I said " CAI will do is allow less restrictive flow of air to the intake "
 

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Thats what I said " CAI will do is allow less restrictive flow of air to the intake "
The only way that is of any benefit is if the stock air filter setup was restrictive and choking off the engine. In stock configuration, that just isn't the case. The stock airbox is more than capable of flowing enough air to meet stock engine demand. Now, like I said earlier, if you change the flow characteristics of the engine to where it needs more air, then a CAI makes sense.
 

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The only way that is of any benefit is if the stock air filter setup was restrictive and choking off the engine. In stock configuration, that just isn't the case. The stock airbox is more than capable of flowing enough air to meet stock engine demand. Now, like I said earlier, if you change the flow characteristics of the engine to where it needs more air, then a CAI makes sense.
wow, your so right, sorry for indicating the wrong information, yup, stock airbox is the best, it wont help to have cold air or anything with less restriction like a less restricting air filter, or a box that will get cooler air from somewhere where cooler air is located like at the lower level of the front of the truck. His CAI is junk, so he should scrap it and chuck it in the garbage, and anyone else looking to buy one, should not, its all just junk.
 

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you must have missed what i posted.

i installed a KN cai the other day. pleased with it, more power over stock.
 

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wow, your so right, sorry for indicating the wrong information, yup, stock airbox is the best, it wont help to have cold air or anything with less restriction like a less restricting air filter, or a box that will get cooler air from somewhere where cooler air is located like at the lower level of the front of the truck. His CAI is junk, so he should scrap it and chuck it in the garbage, and anyone else looking to buy one, should not, its all just junk.
Dude, your sarcasm is misplaced. I never said the stock airbox is best. I said that on a stock engine there is nothing to be gained by a CAI in terms of performance. There is not enough restriction in the stock airbox to affect a stock engine. There is no benefit in increasing the airflow of a stock airbox if the engine is incapable of using that increased airflow. You might see a tiny bit of benefit at high RPM, but how many people drive their trucks that way? Even then, it would only be measurable on a dyno or a racetrack, neither much help to those of us who don't visit either one. If your plans are to open up the exhaust (just throwing a Magnaflow on doesn't count) and doing some headwork or adding a better cam, then by all means don't ignore the airbox, but for someone planning to rock the stock engine the cost of a CAI is better spent elsewhere.
 

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you must have missed what i posted.

i installed a KN cai the other day. pleased with it, more power over stock.
I didn't miss anything. Did you look at the dyno charts that came with it? I defy anyone that says they can actually feel that little bit of difference (mostly at high RPM) by the seat of their pants. You would need an actual 25 or more horsepower difference to really feel a quantifiable performance increase. I've done this kind of performance testing for magazines I used to write for and have even used the K&N dyno at their CA facility many times. I'm not just talking off the top of my head. What you're feeling has more to do with the increased intake sound and the psychological effect of your purchase than any real increase from the CAI. But don't take my word for it. There's lots of companies that will gladly take your money to sell you a device that gives you 3-4 peak horsepower more and zero improvement in gas mileage or E.T.
 

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Sounds familiar. The best thing to do is put the factory intake back on and test it yourself to eliminate the flood of opinions. Let us know how it goes.
I have too agree 100% do your own testing
 

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Dude, your sarcasm is misplaced. I never said the stock airbox is best. I said that on a stock engine there is nothing to be gained by a CAI in terms of performance. There is not enough restriction in the stock airbox to affect a stock engine. There is no benefit in increasing the airflow of a stock airbox if the engine is incapable of using that increased airflow. You might see a tiny bit of benefit at high RPM, but how many people drive their trucks that way? Even then, it would only be measurable on a dyno or a racetrack, neither much help to those of us who don't visit either one. If your plans are to open up the exhaust (just throwing a Magnaflow on doesn't count) and doing some headwork or adding a better cam, then by all means don't ignore the airbox, but for someone planning to rock the stock engine the cost of a CAI is better spent elsewhere.

Installing a CAI can benefit the truck, Stock air filtration systems usually include Resonator-based muffling tubes. Most CAI will be Removing them this in turn reduces pumping losses but will increases engine noise. Most CAI will create less air turbulence and in so doing help with the flow of air to the engine. Many CAI also pick up the air from locations that have lower temperatures again aiding in engine combustion, some will also provide an intake duct so as to use the ram air effect to give positive pressure at speed. There are many reasons to get a CAI and your right in saying it cannot change the truck into a race car but over the long term it benefits the engine and is a fun mod to do, a cold air intake system will reduced air flow resistance. All of the pipes in this system have been polished and tuned to reduce air flow resistance. This reduces unwanted turbulence within the pipes which would otherwise reduce airflow into the engine. There are many ways to increase airflow into an engine. Turbochargers, superchargers, and cold air intakes all qualify in this category. Cold air intakes are the cheapest and easiest of the three to install. Cold air intakes also do not cause a major increase in fuel consumption. It is a cheap alternative when you don't have the time or money to invest in the engine modifications needed for the other systems. Add that up with a free flow exhaust you will benefit the engine of your truck., IMO most CAI will provide some fuel economy over the stock unit, but since they sound so great, and you feel that extra push in your pants, you end up many times putting the pedal to the floor, this in turn makes your economy go out the exhaust lmao
 

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Dude, you just keep missing the point. I'm not going to argue that a CAI does those things you used way too many words to tell us about. It does. What I am arguing is whether on a stock engine it makes any real difference. It doesn't. It only would if the stock airbox was incredibly inefficient. It isn't. Again, if your plan is to modify your engine then a CAI should be included, but for the majority of owners who probably won't then a CAI is a waste of money. When you look at the minimal gains against the amount of money a CAI costs, they just aren't worth it on their own. Period, time to move on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I can tell you that in 1,000 miles with the cai, my mileage went down between 1-2 mpg, mostly noticeable at around 65 mph when I was pulling 19, now 17.3 on long hauls. No power gain I can feel, a slight improvement to sound. Not a mod I would do again. Figured by posting maybe I save someone else the money I wasted.
 

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Converting from the Volant back to the stock CAI will only take about 30 minutes so I highly recommend you do that to find out once and for all. I will be very interested in your results as I also have a Volant CAI and really like the Donaldson filter that does not require replacement for a very long time and maintains a constant air flow restriction during it's life. What I don't particularly care for is the 'sound'. I would much prefer to hear my exhaust at WOT.

I wish I had a dyno at my disposal, or a race track close by so I could measure the difference (if any) between the factory and the Volant CAI. Although my butt dyno seems to think there is a difference, it is very subjective and has a history of inaccurate readings along with repeatability issues. ;)

If I knew with absolute certainty that I was dealing with less then 5HP difference at WOT with my 91 tune, I would switch back to the factory CAI just so I don't have to listen to the Volant. :)
 

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OK not to get off topic but I was wondering what you guys think of the drop in K&N filters? I had one on my 98 Dakota and I had no complaints. Just wondering what your opinions are?
 
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