When you talk about air intakes it's like beating a dead horse. SPE isn't trying to rewrite the book, we are just giving the customer an honest design for what we feel is needed. There are many good filtering intakes and box designs that work very well. SPE wants to give our customers peak performance at a reasonable cost. This is the area we love to focus our energy.
Over the years, we have been running many different intake systems through dyno testing and racing and we have found many things. One of the major things that seems backwards for us is the term cold air intake. Cold air intakes are normally composed of a box or surround that seals to a single entry point near the front of the vehicle, therefore not pulling in any engine bay “warm air”.
This is great logic and does work for some situations. Through testing, in real world applications at higher than stock power levels, most box/sealed designs are unable to supply the filter with enough air volume at low vehicle speeds.Meaning to simply function properly, it’s best for the vehicle to be moving with the help of atmospheric pressure. For most people this is fine. There are many problems with this in a performance vehicle aspect.
For example, if you use your truck for pulling, your wheel speed will be very high but vehicle speed will not be. At this point air volume is much more important than air temperature. With hot air it will make a little less power, but with limited to no air an engine won't run. This is obviously a worse case comparison but it’s not an impossible scenario. The engine in a pulling application will make peak power all the way down the track and vehicle speed (not wheel speed) will sometimes be under 10MPH. This means the engine is pulling in maximum volumes of air, so if your filter is in a box and the filter surface area is larger than the box opening you more than likely will have pressure drop and a restriction.
DRAG RACING SCENARIO
Drag racing applications will need to make boost on the line to launch properly; it can also be a hindrance in this aspect. You can have the largest filter in the world but if you put it in a small box with a smaller opening than the filter's surface area it won't be able to perform at its maximum potential. Once the vehicle is moving, the air flow from the radiator or front of the vehicle is pushed through the engine bay around the engine and through the trans tunnel. At a stand still an engine bay will be very, very hot with the hood closed. Once moving and air flow is established, the atmospheric temperature under the hood drops and is not so hot, especially where most filters are located. This allows an open filter to be the best of both worlds.
WHY AN OPEN FILTER
An open filter still sits where most factory boxes do, meaning the front vehicle air feed is still utilized and flowing to the filter. At the end of the day, the application of the vehicle is key to selecting the perfect intake and if you're looking for an all out performance type application SPE will deliver.
SPE has taken all of these tests and vehicle uses into consideration when designing our intakes. We have found through dyno, street, and race testing that open filters performed the best all around. Our intakes are designed with overall performance being the major player. Our intakes are not designed around stock applications they are designed around performance oriented applications. They are engineered around the provided space in the engine bay to give the customer the most tube volume as possible. There are no inserts for the mass air flow (MAF) to neck them down to stock size tubes. This hurts performance and defeats the purpose of us wanting to build our intakes.
Our intakes are designed to look as good as they perform. We take extra time and care in our mold design to make them as seamless as possible so that they are aesthetically pleasing (unlike some of the other options on the market). We also keep MAF locations out of plain sight as well leaving the customer with a flowing clean look that performs. If you also take note,all of the mounting points are integrated into the intake mold. That means there are no metal brackets to flex, bend, rust, or break. This also simplifies installation.
AIR FILTER DESIGN
We also engineer the air filter for each application. We don't do a one size fits all like most. The filters are designed to fit their space properly and flow as well as possible. Our filters use non-woven cotton material layers which are maximized for filtration and performance. They are able to be run dry, for max performance, or oiled, to help filter even better. We pride itself on our design process for all aspects of our products; this is the foundation to any well made part. Our filter mold design is no different. We make sure that when our filters are manufactured it's done with the utmost quality in mind. Pleat bleed occurs when the mold & material injection process isn't designed and controlled properly. This is when the rubber/silicone material bleeds into the filter material therefore decreasing the usable surface are of the filter for the air to pass through. The less area, the less flow. We pride ourselves on controlling pleat bleed so that the surface area is not altered, hindering airflow and performance of the filter. This is all done through tedious mold design.
Our brand speaks for itself. This is what you call performance engineering.
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