NTPOG AEM Intake Review|
Author: William Howell
When I recieved the AEM intake, I was impressed with the finish on the
tube and the overall quality of the hardware. The kit includes everything
needed for installing the intake, this includes; the intake pipe, rubber
"couplers", 4 large hose clamps, 4 small hose clamps, 5/16" rubber hose,
3/8" rubber hose, adjustable filter, vacuum line cover, instructions, and
license plate frame. Some people have said that the AEM has a thermal
ceramic coating on it. The filter seems to be a K&N; I am
not certain of this, but the quality looks top-notch.
Upon installation of the intake, my impression of the hardware was greatly
diminished. AEM includes rubber pipe couplers to couple the intake
to the throttle body and filter. The coupler fit fine between the
intake pipe and the filter, but there was a problem between the intake
pipe and the throttle body. The problem is that the intake pipe is 3 inch
OD aluminum pipe, but the intake has an outer diameter of about 2.5 inches.
The coupler supplied with the AEM intake did not have a reducer to compensate
for this difference in diameter, so the coupler bunched up when I tightened
the hose clamp on the throttle body. I was really dissatisfied with
it, so since then I have installed a silicone adapter that connects the
intake pipe to the throttle body which compensates for the difference in
diameters. Here is a picture of the stock AEM intake install:
Contrary to what I have heard from some people, you NEED to modify the
hole in the fender from the resonator to accomodate the AEM intake tube.
Here is a picture of the enlarged hole:
I used a grinding cylinder for a drill. My electric drill didn't
seem to work very well, so I ended up using an air drill. Also, you
will need to completely remove the secondary air intake system (resonator
and vacuum controller). The filter sits inside of the fender/bumper space
as you can see here:
If you are wondering if the filter gets wet when it rains, the answer
is a definite YES. It doesn't seem to cause any problems, though.
I have driven through huge downpours and puddles without any problems.
In the above picture, you can see three hose clamps. The top two
connect the filter to the intake tube. The bottom one is to adjust
the filter. You can move the filter in and out on its mounting tube.
Supposedly, moving the filter all the way out maximizes high-end power,
and pushing the filter all the way in maximizes low-end torque. I
can't confirm/deny these claims but it seems optimistic.
Finally, here is the finished install:
The intake is definitely louder than the stock intake, and at partial
throttle with the radio off, you can hear the air rushing through the intake
system. Also, at idle, standing by the passenger side of the front
bumper, you can hear the air being sucked in by the intake. I don't
think that the intake makes the exhaust louder, but the sound of the air
rushing into the filter can be heard inside and outside of the vehicle.
Performance wise, I seemed to notice a small loss in low-end torque, probably
caused by the use of 3 inch diameter tubing. This is a small price
to pay for the gains in top-end power. That's where this intake is
made to perform. The 3 inch tubing is made to flow large amounts
of air, and you can tell that it does just that. VTEC is more pronounced
and there seems to be more kick, but I have not been able to dyno the car
before and after, so I cannot confirm any gains/loses.
The butt dyno says that this is a worthy mod, but only if you are looking
for high-end gains. Overall, I would recommend the AEM over any other
intake that I have seen (the Iceman is a good intake, but I don't like
the plastic, and I like Knight Engineering even less).
This page last updated 4/3/01.