Millions of Americans suffer from asthma. Some may suffer mild symptoms while severe cases can be very serious when left untreated. An asthmatic person has difficulty breathing and is unable to absorb oxygen through their lungs.
Why are we writing about asthma? Like the human body, an internal combustion engine needs oxygen to survive. The less oxygen the body is able to absorb, the less energy it has. Same goes for an engine--less air means less power.
Like human lungs, the intake system (i.e. air box, intake tube, etc.) is a vital component in the power equation. The more air making its way through the intake system and into the combustion chambers, more oxygen-rich molecules are available to combust and generate power. Most factory intake systems utilize a cotton or paper element filter sandwiched in the middle of a plastic air box, which leads into a throttle body via rubber intake boot.
It doesn't take a genius to realize the factory air box was designed to provide the straightest path and least amount of restriction to the throttle body. The usual square air box, combined with the rippled intake boot, can cause a turbulent flow of air, thus hindering the true potential of the engine. In some cases the air box inlet is a restriction.
Advance Engine Manage-ment (AEM) of Hawthorne, Calif. spends a great deal of its R&D effort on improving the shortcomings and compromises of factory intake systems. Today, AEM offers two types of intake systems; the cold air and short ram.
The cold-air system positions the filter element in the fenderwell of the vehicle where it gets more and cooler air than in the engine bay. The short ram system's filter sits in place of the factory air box. Similar to the cold-air system, the short-ram systems feature the company's trademark mandrel-bent lightweight aluminum piping with high-flow filter element.
AEM's cotton-gauze filter element incorporates an air horn within the filter to increase the air velocity into the intake. This one-piece aluminum piping section is precision CNC mandrel-bent for a perfect fit and quick installation. Every cold-air and short-ram system produced by AEM has gone through rigorous CARB testing and is 50-state legal. The systems come in three different colors; anodized red or blue and polished aluminum.
Off to the Dyno Cell
Let the testing begin. Our test car was a 2001 Honda Accord V6 equipped with a GReddy Evolution exhaust system and rolling on 18-inch RH Evolution C2's with Yokohama Parada skins. The Accord registered 169.9 hp and 163.4 lb-ft on the Dynojet chassis dyno. Installing the AEM short-ram intake was a piece of cake. It took us less then 10 minutes with a few simple hand tools (10mm socket, needle nose pliers and a Phillips and standard screwdriver) to remove the factory intake box and rubber boot and install the AEM piping and filter.
The dyno rolled once more and this time peak power rose to 171.8 hp and 166.5 lb-ft of peak torque. The AEM system made the most significant power gains at the higher rpm range with gains as high as 7.8 hp and 6.9 lb-ft of torque.
There's righteous power to be had in the Accord V6 and the AEM intake system offers a quick-and-easy option to enhance performance.