PRL Cobra CAI MAF upgrade Question

MediumUnwell

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So I know there has been a lot said about the PRL Cobra CAI. I've searched but haven't seen anything about this. Maybe PRL can chime in. So I purchased a PRL Cobra CAI street maf version a few months back. My car came with an Injen and I wanted to avoid long term damage to my car so I swapped to the PRL. It was amazing to see the difference in craftsmanship and quality. I can see why the PRL was more expensive - it is well-made and well-engineered. The Injen one looked like - well, I don't want to belittle Injen, but there was a night and day difference. You could just tell handling both and even after install, the car seemed to just run smoother - I don't know of any other way to explain it, but with the Injen, it just seemed kinda jumpy and skiddish. With the PRL it was just smooth raw power. A seriously great product and worth the price of admission. Anyway.

I now find myself wanting to get a K-Tuner and because I'll have a tuner, I can therefore run the race maf. Now I knew going in that I could simply buy the street maf version fo the Cobra CAI and then later upgrade only the maf housing and a small piece of tubing from the maf to the intake and have the race version. My question is this - the entire intake is like $400 street or race. The cost to upgrade just the maf and adjacent tube is like $250 - over 60% of the cost of an entire new setup - for a part that represents maybe a quarter of the entire setup. Why is this relatively minor upgrade to the Cobra CAI so expensive? I'll admit - I didn't look at pricing on the upgrade prior to buying the Street version. I just knew I would need a tune and couldn't afford a tuner and CAI at the same time so I bought the street maf version thinking I'd get a tuner and maybe just upgrade the maf housing when I get the tuner. Looking back, I may have done things differently in terms of perhaps purchasing the tuner first, then the CAI and just gone straight to the race maf. For the record, I have nothing against PRL - they are outstanding! They make quality parts and more importantly they do the research necessary. Just kind wondering why it's so much. Like it seems like you should be able to buy the whole thing for $400 and then swap the maf for like an extra $100 or $150? Idk. Maybe wishful thinking on my part. What say you PRL... and the rest of the forum?



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555sexydrive

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Well you could buy a whole new intake with the race maf later for $400, sell the street maf version for say $325 (give somebody a nice deal, you could sell them the unused parts from the race maf intake and just swap the needed street parts) and you only lost $75 versus buying just the MAF and losing $250. What say you?
 
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Well you could buy a whole new intake with the race maf later for $400, sell the street maf version for say $325 (give somebody a nice deal, you could sell them the unused parts from the race maf intake and just swap the needed street parts) and you only lost $75 versus buying just the MAF and losing $250. What say you?
That sounds like work. ;)

FR though that's actually not a bad idea. I mean, I did like the idea of owning both just to allow me to revert to stock-ish if I wanted. But yeah, in the end only being out $75 for the upgrade isn't bad. That's a great workaround and thanks for the suggestion but still any idea why just the maf upgrade is so expensive?
 

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That sounds like work. ;)

FR though that's actually not a bad idea. I mean, I did like the idea of owning both just to allow me to revert to stock-ish if I wanted. But yeah, in the end only being out $75 for the upgrade isn't bad. That's a great workaround and thanks for the suggestion but still any idea why just the maf upgrade is so expensive?
Legit question. But it is more likely just because they are business men. They knew in advance that people may want to do exactly what you are doing and they are taking advantage of it. I can't really blame them but it is still irritating. Looks like the best option is to do what 555sexydrive suggested. I am probably gonna have to take their advice. I would also like to upgrade to the race version. I didn't think it was going to be that expensive either...
 

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Because there is additional engineering and R&D involved in making a new part. There are hours upon hours of testing and prove-in to make sure they put out a reliable product out into the market. Not only is this material dollars for manufacturing, but this is labor hours for the design, prove-in, testing, and fabrication. Obviously (or maybe not so obvious), these costs get passed down to the consumer.

You are changing a sensor that sends very important information back to your car's computer (ECU) and the signal is used for real-time computation for controls of other systems in your vehicle - the fuel system for instance. You wouldn't want this sensor to FK up. Many aftermarket intake kits are cheaper becuase they make you reuse your factory MAF. PRL is putting out an aftermarket kit with an aftermarket MAF, or giving you the option of just buying the MAF. If you were curious, the MSRP of the OEM MAF is $113, and that is mass-produced.
 

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That sounds like work. ;)

FR though that's actually not a bad idea. I mean, I did like the idea of owning both just to allow me to revert to stock-ish if I wanted. But yeah, in the end only being out $75 for the upgrade isn't bad. That's a great workaround and thanks for the suggestion but still any idea why just the maf upgrade is so expensive?
Once you taste the RACE, you won’t want to sample the street again. Probably shouldn’t say that for fear of screwing up your potential sale later, but one does need to drop more $$$ for a tuning solution, so would still be a great buy for somebody.
 

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any idea why just the maf upgrade is so expensive?
The machine they use to make the part sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars if I recall correctly. There is also the engineering costs, not to mention the man being paid to run the CNC machine. (and anodizing)
 
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Because there is additional engineering and R&D involved in making a new part. There are hours upon hours of testing and prove-in to make sure they put out a reliable product out into the market. Not only is this material dollars for manufacturing, but this is labor hours for the design, prove-in, testing, and fabrication. Obviously (or maybe not so obvious), these costs get passed down to the consumer.

You are changing a sensor that sends very important information back to your car's computer (ECU) and the signal is used for real-time computation for controls of other systems in your vehicle - the fuel system for instance. You wouldn't want this sensor to FK up. Many aftermarket intake kits are cheaper becuase they make you reuse your factory MAF. PRL is putting out an aftermarket kit with an aftermarket MAF, or giving you the option of just buying the MAF. If you were curious, the MSRP of the OEM MAF is $113, and that is mass-produced.
What you said at the end kinda clicked. When you can spread the R&D over tens of thousands of products its lowers the per unit cost. I don't have any idea how many of these PRL sells, but it is definitely far fewer than honda sells so they have fewer units over which they can spread those R&D costs.

Once you taste the RACE, you won’t want to sample the street again. Probably shouldn’t say that for fear of screwing up your potential sale later, but one does need to drop more $$$ for a tuning solution, so would still be a great buy for somebody.
No worries - remember I still have the INjen unit I have to sell too but I don't even feel comfortable listing it here on civicx. LOL Probably put it on ebay see if I can get any takers. The PRL street maf is still a good solution for the non-tuner, but I have a feeling you're right about not going back to the street once I've tried the race.

The machine they use to make the part sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars if I recall correctly.
:eek::eek: All of a suden $250 doesn't sound quite so bad.
 

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The CNC machined MAF housing is the most expensive part of the system even though it isn’t very big. The cost isn’t spread evenly.
 

REBELXSi

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Guess I'm the only one here that thinks the "upgrade" price is still bullshit even after hearing the supposed reasoning.

Is there at least a world of difference?
 

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Because there is additional engineering and R&D involved in making a new part. There are hours upon hours of testing and prove-in to make sure they put out a reliable product out into the market. Not only is this material dollars for manufacturing, but this is labor hours for the design, prove-in, testing, and fabrication. Obviously (or maybe not so obvious), these costs get passed down to the consumer.

You are changing a sensor that sends very important information back to your car's computer (ECU) and the signal is used for real-time computation for controls of other systems in your vehicle - the fuel system for instance. You wouldn't want this sensor to FK up. Many aftermarket intake kits are cheaper becuase they make you reuse your factory MAF. PRL is putting out an aftermarket kit with an aftermarket MAF, or giving you the option of just buying the MAF. If you were curious, the MSRP of the OEM MAF is $113, and that is mass-produced.
If you don’t mind, could you share the link of the upgraded sensor from prl?
I have the Race CAI from them but don’t recall changing my stock sensor to a prl one
It’s just the bigger MAF housing and bigger hose to connect the housing to the turbo inlet tube.
 

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If you don’t mind, could you share the link of the upgraded sensor from prl?
I have the Race CAI from them but don’t recall changing my stock sensor to a prl one
It’s just the bigger MAF housing and bigger hose to connect the housing to the turbo inlet tube.
My bad, looks like they do make you reuse your MAF... $250 is looking a LITTLE steep, but most of the previous points still apply. R&D, design, labor, etc.

And as @360glitch mentioned, CNC machines aren't cheap. I used to work in an aircraft engine manufacturing plant and some our 5-axis machines were over $500k.

Of course, this is still a company trying to stay in business. And they need to pay their employees and turn a profit to do so!
 

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Guess I'm the only one here that thinks the "upgrade" price is still bullshit even after hearing the supposed reasoning.

Is there at least a world of difference?
I can't imagine that the race MAF provides much gains at all unless you are running a larger turbo. Maybe a bit louder. Coming from the Subaru world, the stock MAF diameter was good for around +100 HP. Look at 27won's intake. They don't even offer a larger size. I know they've been asked about it, but I'm guessing their primary reason so far for not offering one is because it's mostly pointless.
 

                           

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