: Volant Review / So I did it without instructions.

11-01-06, 02:48 PM
OK so I took it upon myself to install this damn Volant CAI. I'm not impressed. At this point I haven't driven the car yet but the design of these things leaves quite a bit to be desired.

First of all there is no provisioning to mount the box to the car.

The bracket to hold the PCM in place didn't really fit and required some bending, not to mention they only provided one hole for attachment that was poorly located. I had to drill 2 of my own holes for the PCM bracket.

The slot provided for the PCM wiring sucks. It's way to large and poorly located.

The intake hole is massive which is great except for the fact that it has no way to seal to the car leaving room for hot air to enter the system.

Overall I think these things are over rated and aren't worth half the money they cost. I'm pretty disappointed to the point where i feel like I just spent $300 to cob job my $58,000 car.

11-01-06, 03:45 PM
You spent $300 on an intake?

11-01-06, 03:59 PM
:yeah: and..........:ripped:

11-01-06, 05:06 PM
Look around. You can't touch them for under $300. I paid $259 on eBay.

A few examples




Actually I did see some for $277 while doing this search

Now that I've driven the car I would like to add that I did the routine TB plate and bore cleaning while I had this apart. The low end torque and overall throttle response is improved. I don't know what to attribute improvements too. The TB wasn't that bad. The outside was spotless but the inside was pretty crappy.

11-01-06, 05:10 PM
Overall I think these things are over rated and aren't worth half the money they cost.
Just going by what you said.

11-01-06, 05:33 PM
Yeah I do agree that they're over rated and way over priced. I should have stuck with cosmetic mods :) I suppose with the Corsa exhaust there will be substantial improvement.

Just going by what you said.

11-01-06, 06:01 PM
The low end torque and overall throttle response is improved. I don't know what to attribute improvements too. The TB wasn't that bad. The outside was spotless but the inside was pretty crappy.

An intake/filter won't affect low end torque. They affect torque at high rpm's, where breathing would fall off normally on a "stock" engine.

You should have just bought some mandrel bent aluminum tubing and made your own. If you took your stock air box to a machine shop, they can duplicate it in sheet metal (aluminum or stainless) for a LOT cheaper than $300. I'd bet there are even stock applications that use larger airboxes as well. $10 from a junkyard... ;)

11-01-06, 06:05 PM
I have never understood why anyone would waste money on those things. The factory intake draws intake air from behind the left headlight or in that vicinity so it is drawing "cold" air rather than hot underhood air. What does it do that the factory intake does not do? Am I missing something?

11-01-06, 06:29 PM
They do make a roaring noise like when the teenagers pulled the air cleaner off their old beater. This equates to more low end torque applied to your wallet.

11-01-06, 07:03 PM
Most of the tests on other cars claim some power increase, it depends on how restrictive the stock intake is. It would take a dyno or some dragstip runs to tell for sure.

11-01-06, 09:37 PM
Well I will agree with the fact that the factory intake is well designed in the fact that they do draw cold air. However, the Volant, and I imagine others, have much larger airways, are less restricted internally, and situate the PCM so that it is less restrictive. So overall the volume of air is far increased.

Now I'm still trying to figure out why everyone buys these things and everyone recommended them but now everyone is bashing them.

11-01-06, 09:58 PM
Two things come to mind.

First, I have to believe that when the factory engineers designed and tested the Northstar, that they took air flow, volumn at WOT and restrictions into account. I cannot imagine that they would us a restrictive intake or not have thought about it when designing a world class engine which they wanted to be a high performance engine.

The other thing you mentioned is the PCM. It was placed there to be cooled. If the volant is built to flow air so as to be "less restrictive" around the PCM, I would be a little concerned about it being cooled properly by rerouting the air flow away from it. I am sure that if it were to get fried Volant would not be stepping up to the plate and paying for a new one and we all know how expensive they are.

Just my thoughts.

11-01-06, 10:14 PM
Ranger, they do balance the flow and the noise, so there is usually some restriction in the stock tube. I'm sure there are some Caddy owner's that would not appreciate the deep roar a CAI can give.

I had a Lincoln MKVII, it had a really restrictive section in the intake. It was definitely in there to silence it.

11-01-06, 10:27 PM
Ranger, I was concerned about that also, being the computer guy that I am. I don't know what to say. I think there's enough air around the PCM it's just not directly in the air flow as it was in the stock box.

There's always cold air entering the box and circulating so I guess it really can't get hot. The side with the fins is in fact right in the inlet but not really blocking air.

Also note that the reason the system is made from the material it's made from is because it doesn't conduct thermal energy thus not transferring engine heat into the system you're trying to cool, unlike metal boxes and metal tubes.

I now hate Volant and I've told them so. Or at least I think I did. I'm not really sure if any of the forms or email address on the website work. No one ever responded to me installation questions.

11-01-06, 11:43 PM
I "sleeved" my intake tube with "superflex" aluminum tube from an industrial/commercial blower supply company. It's flexible but very smooth to flow much more air than other flexible vent tube of similar diameter. I also added a flared metal piece at the begining of it as a "horn" to smooth and improve airflow into the sleeve. It actuially works. The engine no longer seems to lack for breath at all from around 5500 to 6000 RPM.