NTPOG AEM Intake Review

Author: William Howell

Initial Impressions
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.

Installation Impressions
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:

Performance Impressions
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.