One of the first aftermarket parts folks like to install on their cars are aftermarket intakes. An aftermarket intake in most cases removes the stock airbox and replaces it with more of a free flowing setup. In this Topic I will go over what kind of intakes are out there and the pros and cons of each.
First of, there are different styles of intake/induction setups. There is the shorty or short ram style and there is the cold air induction. There is a third type of intake, which I will call the miscellaneous intake. This type of intake shares some features of the shorty or CAI setups but also have some important differences.
Short ram intakes:
These are some of the more common short ram style intakes you are likely to find.
Steeda short ram
AEM short ram
RM racing open flow
KKM short ram
Ractive short ram
The benefit of this type of intake is that they are simple to install, they are fairly cheap and they give decent gains. They average between $ 125 -$ 200
These intakes can be louder then stock, for some folks this is a problem. They also take in ambient under hood air, which when the temps are hot can decrease power. There is a decent amount of air moving around when the vehicle is in motion however.
Cold air intakes:
Here are some of the more common cold air intakes you are likely to find.
These intakes make nice gains throughout the rpm range, mainly due to the fact that they locate the filter in an area where it can take in fresh air.
Most CAI setups use a tube which requires the stock electronics from the MAF sensor to be removed from its stock housing and then placed in the intake tube. This makes upgrading to a larger MAF impossible without buying a new intake. CAI setups also place the filter in a location where it is able to get very dirty very quickly. CAI require more frequent maintenance than short rams. CAI setups are also susceptible to water ingestion, being that the filter sits so far down near the ground. This requires the purchase of a bypass valve. This brings us to cost. CAI setups are normally in the area of $ 225-$ 275 , throw in a bypass valve and the price rises to the $ 300 mark.
Here are some of the misc intakes you will find on the market. I say misc because they do not fit into one of the aforementioned categories.
Volant is a niche intake, its design is to me the best. First off you start with an elbow which is smooth inside and flows better then the stock piece. Next you have a hi flow AFE conical airfilter, but instead of just a typical “filter on a stick” short ram, volant includes an airbox. The MAF sensor attachs to the airbox via a big bore elbow. The airbox is larger than the stock box and has 2 ducts for fresh incoming air, one which opens underneath the airbox like the stock setup and one that opens on the opposite side of the airbox near the driver side fender. The Volant was design also allows itself to be used in conjunction with a ram air style hood, like the focus central hood, which it mates to perfectly.
The Volant is slightly louder than a stock intake. It also is pricey at around $ 250.
Volant uses an AFE air filter which is similar to a K&N filter but may not be as good. A replacement AFE filter is around $ 40, I have used a K&N replacement filter however and it works beautifully.
The iceman intake is unique because it retains the stock airbox, which is good for those looking to retain stock appearance, in black the intake is almost impossible to detect! Like the Volant the iceman uses a new throttle body to airbox elbow. Iceman claims to use a special plastic which keeps down on the temps that the intake tube can reach, I experimented by pulling the tube off after a long road trip, the outside was warm but the inside of the tube was not. For an air filter the Iceman uses an AFE panel style filter, not as free flowing as a conical filter but on the dyno this intake has shown gains nonetheless. The Iceman also uses its own duct which runs under the stock airbox, made of the same plastic as the other parts, it is larger and more free flowing than the stock duct. There is an optional side mounted duct which also can be added for more fresh incoming air. Recently these side ducts are being included in the intake package.
There are very few things to complain about with the Iceman, if anything it is the AFE airfilter. Those unhappy with it can pick up a K&N though. The Iceman costs around $ 200
Focussport cool flo intake
The cool flo intake is made by focussport, which to me is one of the premier companies for aftermarket focus parts. The cool flo is similar to the Volant in that it uses a conical filter and airbox setup to protect from underhood heat. Focussport includes a ITG air filter which is about the best you can buy. They also include a heat shield, its very similar to an airbox and comes complete with a rubber seal to keep the filter completely contained when the hood is closed. Also included are an ITG breather filter and hose.
While I love focussport products this intake is a bit pricey at $ 200. the filters can be cleaned but if a replacement is ever needed they are $ 80 which is kinda high in my opinion.
BAT inc. DCAF intake
This intake is fairly simple in that its basically a short ram but with one small difference. On the end of the cone filter is an opening, here a hose attachs to the filter and allows fresh air from behind the driver side headlight to be ducted up to the filter. This kit also includes a mounting bracket and a breather filter.
While simplistic this intake costs $ 150, which to me seems kind of expensive for the parts you get.
These are not all of the intake setups for the focus, they are a group of the more common and more well known parts.
If you have a question or need advice on what would best fulfill your requirements feel free to PM me or send me an E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org