Print Story A Guide to Installing.
Today: the installation of an Injen RD series cold air intake into a 2005 Acura RSX type S, with a maximum of grunting, cursing, personal injury, and manly greased-up shirtless sweating animosity.


Preface: What The Hell?

If you're any sort of tinkering geek, you like to take things apart and make them faster, better, smarter, whatever.  You may have tweaked your computer, overclocking it.  You may have tuned your personal grooming strategies, making them smarter.  You may have overclocked a family pet.  In cars, these sorts of geeks are called hot rodders (archaic) or ricers (insulting) or foolish.  They seek to find all the "hidden" horsepower in their vehicle, and / or replace entire systems in the vehicle to make it faster / more efficient / better handling, etc.

To that end, a certain knowledge of science is required.  Internal combustion motors are notoriously science-y, filled to the corners with chemistry and physics.  Your average modern car has more technology in it than the first moon landing.  But there are some basics, and these basics are true across the board:

  1. A motor requires fuel and air.
  2. It also requires something to ignite that fuel and air mixture.
  3. The fuel-air mixture is placed into a metal cylinder and once ignited expands quickly, pushing a slug of metal (a piston) against a lever (a crank shaft).
  4. The fuel-air mixture is now spent exhaust gas, has to be allowed to escape the cylinder before the introduction of more fuel and air.  A simple arrangement of levers and valves controls this behavior: the cam shaft and the intake and exhaust valves.  The cam shaft has "lobes" that, during rotation, tap the valves open and closed.  The intake valves are open when fuel and air are needed and the exhaust valves are opened when the combustion is complete.
  5. An engine, then, requires air, fuel, and a place to put the exhaust.  To make more power, the air, fuel, and exhaust volumes and the speeds at which they enter and exit the engine must be increased.  There are also ways to increase the energy of the fuel-air mixture by adding additional explosives.
  6. There are systems that bolt onto an existing engine that are intended to get more air into the engine, get more reaction out of the air-fule mix, and get the exhaust out faster.
  7. On the intake side of things, the user can bolt on a new intake system that increases air volume, or the user can bolt on forced induction, which compresses the air entering the engine to a set amount.  Forced induction systems (turbochargers and superchargers) are expensive, complex, and difficult to install.
  8. A good compromise, then, is to install an intake that allows a greater volume of air.  A cold air intake acheives this by placing the inlet for the intake outside of the engine bay, allowing cooler air to enter the system. Cooler air is more dense, which gives the engine more air per stroke. The path the air takes is simplified (smoothed out) to increase efficiency. All of this at the cost of a noise increase.
OK, enough already.  How does the install work?

The simplified version: you remove the stock airbox / intake, and replace it with the cold air intake.

What actually happened:

  1. Remove the front bumper / bumper cover ("the front end of the car is laying on the ground, Jason," says Dr. Wife).
  2. Remove the stock windshield wiper fluid resevoir and pumps. ("No, seriously, the front end of your new Acura is laying on the ground where it doesn't do anything useful.")
  3. Using a razor blade or similar sharp implement, cut a 4 inch by 5 inch circle through plastic of the inner fender wall / engine bay directly behind the windshield fluid resevoir location. ("The whole front...hey!  What are you doing with that knife?  You're cutting a HOLE in your new car?")
  4. Remove the battery.  Find the bracket that holds the positive terminal wiring loom and the ground wire loom.  It attaches to the battery tray with two spotwelds.  Use a 4mm drill bit and drill the two spotwelds out, then snap the bracket off. ("...a ragged HOLE behind the...and now a drill?  What the hell?  I'm going inside.")
  5. Attach the windshield grommits and motors to the replacement (small) resevoir.  Screw it in place, hand tight. ("I'll be inside laughing if you yell.")
  6. Remove the stock airbox and associated EGR plumbing.  This is a box roughly the size of the motor itself, just to the right of the motor.  It is much bigger and heavier than it looks. ("Hey! Did you want anything for dinner?")
  7. Attach the 2 7/8" silicon elbow onto the throttle body, and hand tighten. ("We can take your car to the store!  It'll be fun with no front end!  We can, like, park it next to an SUV and lay the bumper on the ground, then act like we just nailed the SUV in the parking lot.  We totally need some broken glass, though.  And blood.")
  8. Feed the stainless intake tube through the hole you cut in the fender, and attach the mounting bracket to the vibra mount.  Position the intake, and find the best fit.  Re-attach the EGR tubes, and attach the filter to the front of the intake. ("Is that a hat?  It's a filter?  Can I use it as a hat?")
  9. Tighten everything.  Replace the battery, use zip ties for loose cables.  Replace the bumper.  ("What do you mean the bumper doesn't fit?  It fit before you took it off.  Did you notice any alteration of physical space near the car or garage?  No transient black holes?  Well then it has to fit.")
  10. Tighten all bumper attachments.  Start the car, check the gauges, and call it a day. ("Yes, you need a bumper.  Because it looks funny without a front end, and the cops get angry if you don't have a bumper.  Look at it!  You can see all the bugs on the radiator!  It's an ugly car now.  You uglied it.")
  11. On first driving it, you will notice a whole new sound, as though you've removed the exhaust pipes and have installed a weedwhacker on steroids.  When the iVTEC cams switch to their more agressive profile, the motor will sound like an unladen outboard boat motor, uncorked and ugly and raspy and screaming.  Thankfully the noise totally requires you to bury your accelerator in the floor.
  12. Enjoy the envious looks from 16 year old boys in beat up Civics.  Race a few Mustangs.  Have fun.
That's all it takes.  If you have any questions, feel free to gather up all the parts of your car and head to a professional mechanic, allowing them to a) laugh at you and b) fix your shoddy work.
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A Guide to Installing. | 31 comments (31 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I want Dr. Wife's job by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:36:18 AM EST
though my comments would not be nearly as funny or snarky. hahah. Riot. Did you at least smack her rear/grab a boob with a nice greasy hand when you were done ? Or make some Tim Allen 'I am man, hear me roar' type noises ?

A friend put a cold air intake on his Honda.. A whole big aftermarket addone kit he got.. Ripped off the old air filter/intake (top center left, as you look at engine) and there was a nice 'gap' to run new piping down to 'ground'.. Seemed easy, but it took him most of a day. No bumper removal, at least, or cutting holes, removing things like your exhaust regulator (isn't that an EPA violation ? Oh, wait, you live in texas, carry on.)

All emissions by blixco (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:44:24 AM EST
controls are still in place: the MAS, the EGR piping, and the broadband O2 sensor / air temp probe are still there.  Here in Austin we started having emissions checking last year.  They've done it in Houston and El Paso for a few years.

So, yeah: no more "test pipes" or "off road only" mods for me.  The next thing will be a less restrictive catalytic converter, muffler, and resonator.  At that point I'll be done: the car will be breathing better than I do.

And in reality, her comments weren't snarky.  She's hilarious, she really is.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
This is painfully pornographic for me by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:39:42 AM EST
Sadly, I don't have the time, money or energy for such a thing, and it hurts, becuase I know there's a rice burning beast lurking within my 16 valve '95 Tercel, I just can't unlock it.


Toyotas by blixco (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:47:18 AM EST
are a pain to mod.  There's an Ecuadorian guy down the street from me, he's a mechanic and he spends evenings modding and fixing Toyotas on the side.  He's been working on a Celica for the past week, trying to get a new intake manifold and a new exhaust manifold + exhaust into it.

I don't know why the smaller Toyotas are such a pain to work with.  I do know that the Supra was King Hell Ricer, especially in twin turbo clothes; I saw one that had 1200hp, but was still street legal.  Not very friendly, mind, but legal.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Speaking of which by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 08:35:03 AM EST
why does Toyota insist on killing off their best models?  The Supra was truly awesome, and what the hell made them kill the MR2 Spyder?  That car fits what I want PERFECTLY.  Mid-engine, cool-looking, convertible....sigh.


[ Parent ]
Indeed. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #19 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 09:16:29 AM EST
But it's the sales.  Toyota is an old folk's brand here in the US.  The cooler models in Japan won't ever make it here.

Hell, they had to create a whole new division (Scion) to appeal to the younger markets.  Thankfully, though, they're updating the styles a bit.  The newer cars are OK looking, and those Lexus IS250 and IS350s?  Holy crap, what a beautiful car.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
I blame CART/IRL by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 09:32:41 AM EST
If open-wheel racing in this country hadn't shot itself in the head by splitting itself, and it was actually still popular, maybe people would still remember that Toyota's engineers pretty much rule the school.


[ Parent ]
I'm packing half a rod here. by miker2 (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:59:58 AM EST
I miss those lost weekends in high school tinkering on my Camaro with my friends.  That was fun.

Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
Oh my god. by grendel (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:53:13 AM EST
I miss Doc so much sometimes. I could practically hear her voice while reading this. This totally cracked me up.

You should have done this while I was visiting... just imagine how much worse we could have made it.... remember when we helped Mike replace the clutch in his pickup?

Enjoy teaching the pukes humility.

Man, by blixco (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:55:50 AM EST
we would have caught the car on fire, I'm sure.

The work was OK except for the bumper re-install: the filter was too far forward, so the bumper didn't fit.  Had to make some holes larger, etc.

It was also 120 degrees on the ground, and I lost roughly 12 pounds in sweat.

On the plus side, I'm in serious pain.

I'll have to record the noise this car makes now.  Holy crap.  It seriously sounds like an uncorked turbo.  All i need is that stupid wastegate "pshhhh" sound between gears.
---------------------------------
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Just get a CD of the wastegate hiss. by grendel (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:58:45 AM EST
Or hire someone and have them hang out in the backseat with a bullhorn.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, some homeless dude. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:11:25 AM EST
Pay him a living wage to ride around with me and go "Psshhhh" at 100 watts everytime I take my foot off the gas.

That's an excellent idear.

There is a company that sells a device that makes the wastegate / blowoff valve noise.  Little peizo horn speaker with like 50 watts, loud little fucker.  I totally wanted to put it in Laurea's truck.  Beat up Mazda B2300, that'd be great.

Only better thing would be on my bicycle.  Playing card in the spokes and a "psshhhh" noise everytime I shift gears!
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Check it: by blixco (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:16:33 AM EST
http://www.engadget.com/2005/06/28/vroombox-pimp-your-rides-engine-sound/
Fucking great.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
That's awsome by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 2) #15 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:19:35 AM EST
it's the adult version of sticking playing cards in your bicycle's spokes to simulate engine noise

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Yep. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:27:42 AM EST
There's another company that is linked in that thread, they just make a blowoff valve thingy: http://sunamiturbo.com/sunamiturbo.html
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
How much shorter is your erect penis now? by komet (4.00 / 2) #10 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:13:06 AM EST
It sounds like you lost at least three eighths of an inch there.

--
<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
Only by blixco (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:17:22 AM EST
about 2mm.

It was totally worth it, though.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
(shudder) by zarathus (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:13:10 AM EST
If you value what few shreds of respect you have for me you should refrain from uttering the phrase "manly greased-up shirtless sweating animosity" within a 100m radius of my ears.

Got it?

Good!

You have been warned.

----------
Blogger - n. Someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do.

Did I mention by blixco (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 06:18:24 AM EST
that I had to take a cold shower afterward, and that the heat from my naked body was enough to make the water actually appreciably hotter?
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
I'm still waiting for pictures. by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #18 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 08:35:23 AM EST
Well, by blixco (4.00 / 1) #29 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 03:58:03 AM EST
I've been asked to not post them by the President of the United States of America.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
Please Mr Blixco, by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #21 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 10:15:27 AM EST
is there something wrong with my car? It doesn't seem to mix in the fuel until the air's already in the cylinder.

Heh. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #22 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 10:21:58 AM EST
Yeah yeah yeah, get all picky on me.  Sheesh.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
Getting on for 50% of the UK market now. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 10:46:12 AM EST
They last for ever, compared to Otto cycle machines.

[ Parent ]
I really do wish by blixco (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 03:56:49 AM EST
we had a better selection here, I really do.  Biodiesel would be fun.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
I know, by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #30 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 07:57:12 AM EST
it was just good natured joshing. I am aware that you know much more of these things than I do.

Also you have someone handy to make you laugh while you're doing it, which sounds pleasurable.

[ Parent ]
Begone Furner! by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #24 Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 05:36:10 PM EST
Real merican cars run on gas-o-line. Not petro, not diesel, gasoline. One of the first things W did in office was to keep the sulphur in the diesel to make sure nobody tried any of this silly TDI business and use less of the stuff.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
That's supposed to change by blixco (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 03:55:16 AM EST
this year?  Or by 2009.  But even then the new EPA tier 2 regs will be too tough for most deisels.  But by then, we might be outta gas.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
the noise by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #25 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 02:20:52 AM EST
before nick wrecked his car, we were forced to accelerate like mad because of the fun noise. in fact, i almost just simulated the noise, which would be bad because people are still sleeping.
Send me to Austria!
Heck yes. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 03:54:09 AM EST
I am a stoplight hero now, waildly and wickedly accelerating to get that sound.  I love it.

I went to the Acura dealer yesterday to get some parts (pollen filters...the previous owner smoked, and new filters cured the "old nightclub" smell) and the parts guy came running out when he heard my car.  "Is that the Injen intake?  I have one of those.  Dude!  Rev your engine!"
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
the current build by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #31 Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 10:54:20 AM EST
has no special intake, but the turbo should take care of the noise.
Send me to Austria!
[ Parent ]
A Guide to Installing. | 31 comments (31 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback