Hi there, I have a 2002 Escalade ext, I installed a BOMZ cold air intake on my truck, works and sounds great. What I'm wondering is if it is harmful to my engine in any way? Also why does the OEM intake consist of so many more pieces? Twice as many pieces went into cardboard box as came out to install.
There's some debate whether or not oiled cotton filters do a better job filtering out debris then the old fashioned paper filters. This seems an issue of common sense to me. The more air you flow, the more particulate matter you'll allow into the intake. Or the better you filter air, the more restrictive the air flow. An air filter's job is to keep dirt out of the engine that can cause wear in the cylinders and bearings. The factory recommended replacement interval for paper air filters on some engines might be as high as 30,000 to 50,000 miles. But the life the filter varies so much depending on the environmental conditions where you live. For the same reason an you may be incurring more risk by ingesting more trash into your motor with a CAI if you live in an area with a lot of dirt work and construction going on. Some areas are just dustier then others....you'll have to make that subjective call. If your area always has a lot of dust and dirt in the air you may want to think twice. That's just my opinion though.
CAI (cold air induction) is still one of the most common aftermarket additions to modern vehicles. The factory air boxes are restrictive and quiet by design. Adding a CAI will buy you a few extra horses and unleash a glorious high performance sound under the hood. EXPECT YOUR VEHICLE TO BE LOUDER. Though the claims of 25+ hp gains by the companies are IMO overinflated for the purposes of marketing. With a 6 liter GM engine I'd bet 10 hp is a reasonable expectation, though you won't likely feel it in the seat of your pants. It's not a supercharger after all.
I know first hand that cleaning and re-oiling these filters can "gum up" your mass air flow sensor. With my old K&N I used the recommended amount of oil and allowed it to soak in for 24 hours before reinstalling. Even still I got a service engine light because that oil got all over the MAFS. After cleaning the MAFS with spray cleaner designed specifically for that job, the problem went away. Don't clean the MAFS with the wrong solvent though!! It could damage the fine little element and cost you hundreds to replace. I believe K&N began using an aerosol applicator for their oil not long ago because this issue was a frequent occurrence. Use the oil sparingly after you clean and you'll be fine. AEM is now manufacturing a dry flow filter that doesn't require oil, but flows much better then OEM. It may be worth a look.
How about claims by these manufacturers of 1-2 mpg gains? I recently replaced the factory airbox on my Titan with an Injen CAI. It's a great add on and I'm sure has given me a boost in hp. I will say that I'm probably seeing .5-.7 mpg gains with my city driving (WITH MY DRIVING HABITS UNCHANGED). I don't think it's reasonable to expect 2 mpg though. I think it's safe to say the majority of people who add these things on do so for the performance gains, and not because they're being frugal and trying to save $$$ on gas. For that matter, it may take years of gas savings to justify the $$$ spent on these things. I believe most users actually see a decline in their mileage. The primary reason for this IMO, is the less restrictive airflow makes the engine sound like a "performance engine." Once you hear that magnificent sound you may find yourself accelerating harder, and doing so more often, just to hear that sound. This new found performance and accelerating = drop in mpg.
My guess a to why the OEM airbox is made in little pieces is cost. Instead of molding a solid piece it's probably much cheaper to make it from smaller pieces, and probably easier to do quality control on the smaller pieces. They don't expect the average car owner to notice or give a darn about it either. You and I are the exceptions to that though.
All very good info there Rolex. I am in agreement with everything but that the factory airboxes are restrictive. That can be misleading, because comparatively yes they flow less than CAI systems. But they generally flow quite well bearing in mind that the major design focus is to be quiet.
And that, Escalade in BC, is why there are so many pieces to the factory intake. There is more to it than that but that is the simple answer to your question.
Definitely big increase in sound...more obnoxious. There is also a noticeable increase in acceleration. I love the sound and acceleration aspects. Its a nice little upgrade for me. My only concern was the long term effects of the C.A.I on my engine.