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Si PRL Short Ram Intake (SRI) Vs Cobra Cold Air Intake: Is the CAI worth the extra cost and why?

Civic_Si_Yes

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I currently have a PRL short ram intake (SRI) on my 2018 Si. Originally I wanted the cobra CAI but couldn’t justify the $400+ price tag for an intake. Luckily I was able to source a SRI locally for a good deal so I picked it up.

Recently I was browsing the PRL website and found that I can convert my SRI to a CAI for $129.00 via their conversion kit. It sparked some interest

$129 isn’t much compared to the $400 price tag but is this even worth the upgrade? While browsing the stats on both the SRI and CAI the HP/TQ gains were the same despite the $100 difference between the two.

if it’s worth it, why?
It’s it’s not, why not?

Ps: I live in a California where it hardly rains so “hydrolock” wouldn’t apply in this situation for reasons as to why not. FYI.

THANKS!👌🏼



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DaiLo

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I wouldn't put too much stock into the HP/TQ advertised unless it's from a dyno chart from a real user. It's been proven that SRIs don't do anything. They heatsoak easier than stock and even reduce mid-end power (just slightly and you prob won't even notice but still) since you're drawing in hot air from the engine bay. They make a nice woosh but that's about it. CAIs on the other hand do draw in cold air from under the bumper or near the fender depending on the brand. Not huge gains either so still be wary of advertised numbers but at the very least provable gains and IAT drops.
 

17civivsi805

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I’ve used both difference is short ram sounds a bit louder since it’s up top but iat was around 40 above ambient and would heatsoak. Cold air iat are the same or about 5 degrees above ambient which helps make and keep power so yes cold air intake is better the sri is just for sound and it actually heatsoaks a little quicker then the stock intake
 

kimtyson

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Then there is the street vs. race version to consider. I am not an expert but I do know the race has better gains but it requires a tune.
 

Myx

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I currently have a PRL short ram intake (SRI) on my 2018 Si. Originally I wanted the cobra CAI but couldn’t justify the $400+ price tag for an intake. Luckily I was able to source a SRI locally for a good deal so I picked it up.

Recently I was browsing the PRL website and found that I can convert my SRI to a CAI for $129.00 via their conversion kit. It sparked some interest

$129 isn’t much compared to the $400 price tag but is this even worth the upgrade? While browsing the stats on both the SRI and CAI the HP/TQ gains were the same despite the $100 difference between the two.

if it’s worth it, why?
It’s it’s not, why not?

Ps: I live in a California where it hardly rains so “hydrolock” wouldn’t apply in this situation for reasons as to why not. FYI.

THANKS!👌🏼
You have an aftermarket tune. If you will be upgrading your intercooler, keep your SRI. Your intercooler will cool the air down before it goes into your engine.
If you have no plans on getting an aftermarket intercooler, then get the CAI. It'll help some if your stock intercooler is heat soaked from running hard on the aftermarket tune.
 

Benster

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with your ktuner and Vit tune, the improvement from the CAI would definitely be noticeable, especially if you opt to get the race maf. Ktuner comes with base maps for their race MAf so you get an extra 5-8hp more from this alone, plus power from the CAI itself once you drive the car a bit and it gets hotter under the hood. As for intercooler or not, I'd still get the CAI if I pgrade the intercooler. IMO, whether or not the intercooler does a better job, 40F hotter air entering the intercooler will make it hotter at the other end than 5F above ambiant post intercooler. Intercoolers aren't that efficient that you can shove superheated air and it comes out super cool after. If it's able to remove 30F it'll do it whether the air is at 90 or at 140. I'd choose the cooler air.

Yes, if air is barely above ambiant the intercooler won't take as much heat out but you have more headroom to keep hotter air as you drive the car fast before it heatsoaks than if you give it hot air from the start, which will only get even hotter when you stomp on it.
 

Myx

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with your ktuner and Vit tune, the improvement from the CAI would definitely be noticeable, especially if you opt to get the race maf. Ktuner comes with base maps for their race MAf so you get an extra 5-8hp more from this alone, plus power from the CAI itself once you drive the car a bit and it gets hotter under the hood. As for intercooler or not, I'd still get the CAI if I pgrade the intercooler. IMO, whether or not the intercooler does a better job, 40F hotter air entering the intercooler will make it hotter at the other end than 5F above ambiant post intercooler. Intercoolers aren't that efficient that you can shove superheated air and it comes out super cool after. If it's able to remove 30F it'll do it whether the air is at 90 or at 140. I'd choose the cooler air.

Yes, if air is barely above ambiant the intercooler won't take as much heat out but you have more headroom to keep hotter air as you drive the car fast before it heatsoaks than if you give it hot air from the start, which will only get even hotter when you stomp on it.

@Benster makes some great points here. Please take what he is saying into account as my statement is really being general. I try to keep it simple sometimes but there is purpose behind my statements.


@Civic_Si_Yes With that, I'll leave with you a few links for personal reading to help with your question and decision making on this topic. I love this stuff.

The effect of Intake Air on Turbocharged Vehicles
A Technical discussion of Intakes and Turbocharging
How intake air temperature affect turbo cars and dealing with IATs



My short statement and conclusion is also based on what I read in Corky Bell's 'Maximum Boost' book. It was a small section I read somewhere in that book. My wife purchased this for me for my birthday one year. Love that woman! 😍 I am currently at work so I can't quote what was concluded about cold air intakes on turbocharged vehicles.
 

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So even with the PRL SRI with race MAF it absolutely will heat soak worse than stock intake? Also, when it heat soaks does the engine feel like it bogs down, slows down, slower acceleration until boost? I would like specifics as I've never owned a short ram but have been going back and forth between PRL SRI & CAI.
 

17civivsi805

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So even with the PRL SRI with race MAF it absolutely will heat soak worse than stock intake? Also, when it heat soaks does the engine feel like it bogs down, slows down, slower acceleration until boost? I would like specifics as I've never owned a short ram but have been going back and forth between PRL SRI & CAI.
Yes even with race maf the reason it heatsoaks is the filter location is right in the engine bay, you’ll be able to do a couple pulls but once it heatsoaks you’ll notice a loss in power. Even with your stock intake do a couple pulls then let your car idle for a while then do a couple more pulls and you’ll notice a difference it won’t pull as hard
 

DHM85

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Yes even with race maf the reason it heatsoaks is the filter location is right in the engine bay, you’ll be able to do a couple pulls but once it heatsoaks you’ll notice a loss in power. Even with your stock intake do a couple pulls then let your car idle for a while then do a couple more pulls and you’ll notice a difference it won’t pull as hard
So the PRL Short Ram is really only useful all the time during cooler weather if not straight winter and useful only for a few pulls during summer before heat soak is what I'm understanding. With the Phearable or TSP tune I'm sure I won't feel it in the summer if it runs like stock but It's honestly that price tag that makes me hesitant for CAI. That's a hefty price tag but I don't plan on tracking my vehicle or doing crazy ass driving. I do maybe a few pulls a week, sometimes in the same day but I want useable HP. If the temps are at stock levels but I still get the benefits of a few extra ponies then I can justify paying $300 for the PRL's short ram intake.
 

17civivsi805

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It heatsoaks due to the hot engine bay, you won’t get any performance gain with a short ram only sound so your paying $300 only for sound but it’s honestly the same or worse then stock in actual performance wise
 
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DHM85

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It heatsoaks due to the hot engine bay, you won’t get any performance gain with a short ram only sound so your paying $300 only for sound but it’s honestly the same or worse then stock in actual performance wise
So even with the race MAF I ain't getting nothing out of that intake is what you're saying. Might as well save some money and get the BMS short ram for less than $200
 

Myx

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It heatsoaks due to the hot engine bay, you won’t get any performance gain with a short ram only sound so your paying $300 only for sound but it’s honestly the same or worse then stock in actual performance wise
@17civivsi805 How do you know you won't get any performance gain with a short ram?
 

17civivsi805

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So even with the race MAF I ain't getting nothing out of that intake is what you're saying. Might as well save some money and get the BMS short ram for less than $200
Yes it’s just sound if you can keep the temperature cooler it would there’s a couple mods out there you can do to get cooler air to the short ram you can find some on the forum
 

17civivsi805

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@17civivsi805 How do you know you won't get any performance gain with a short ram?
I’ve ran the stock intake, short ram, and cobra for thousands of miles each and monitored it with ktuner, temperature wise the short ram is the same as the stock and heatsoaks a bit faster, the cobra there’s a huge difference in the air it’s drawing in and that’s where the performance comes in. If you can get colder air your getting better performance. There’s mods you can do to the stock and short ram for cooler air that’ll help but just as it’s just for sound
 
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