Project Evo X GSR- Testing the K&N Typoon Cold Air Intake

Project Evo X GSR- Testing the K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake

By Mike Kojima

Our latest addition to the MotoIQ Project Car Posse is the second Project Evo X in our test fleet.  Our first Project Evo X is an MR model with the SST dual clutch transmission.  The owner of that Evo is reluctant to venture beyond very simple engine bolt ons due to the nature of the transmission.  He has already experienced overheating and limp mode with just a few laps around a track and even when we installed auxiliary cooling he was shocked to see how badly hammered the transmission fluid on the car was after just a few miles.

 Project Evo X GSR- Testing the K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake
The K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake is a high quality piece.  The kit was complete down to the last bit of hardware.

Since the car is his daily driver, he was reluctant to modify the engine beyond some simple stuff so we had to find another Project Evo X to showcase some more parts in the engine department.  Our new Evo X is a five speed GSR model owned by KW Tech Chris Marion who we work with quite a bit in the Formula D and road race world.

 Project Evo X GSR- Testing the K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake
Due to the EVO X's penchant for being difficult with Cold Air Intakes, mostly due to altered MAF readings causing A/F drift, we enlisted the help of an experienced tuner, Naji Dahi of Looney Tuning to help us do a more complete and thorough evaluation of the intake.  Here Naji is reflashing the ECU so EvoScan, a data logging software that is especially for Evolutions can be used.

We have a bunch of mods planned for Chris’s car, the first being a Typhoon cold air intake by K&N.  The Intake worked so well that we decided to make it our first MotoIQ Certified Legit evaluation.  The K&N Typhoon intake came with a dyno sheet that proudly proclaimed guaranteed power.  Glancing at the dyno sheet we could see that the intake increased power by 20 hp near peak RPM.  That seemed like a big gain so we had our concerns, this was a lot for just an intake, was it true or BS?  We were going to find out with testing that was a little more in depth than just strapping the car to a dyno for a few quick pulls.

 Project Evo X GSR- Testing the K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake
To monitor the A/F ratio we used an Innovate Motorsports KM-2 air/ fuel ratio meter.  We ran the sensor in the exhaust since the stock exhaust didn't have a bung to mount the Bosch wideband sensor.  Naji told us he sees comparable results using a tailpipe mount sensor to one in the downpipe although he prefers that the sensor be located in the downpipe.

The stock airbox and intake on the Evo X is pretty restrictive.  The stock ECU programming is also very rich.  Depending on the year of the car, the Evo X tends to run an air fuel ratio of 9.5:1 or richer in stock condition.  This is exceedingly rich, so rich that the car is surfing right on the limit of rich knock, where a super rich mixture can actually contribute to detonation.  The Evo X responds well to air intakes as they relieve the restriction and also tend to make the car run leaner.

 Project Evo X GSR- Testing the K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake
The K&N Typhoon air intake comes with a set of excellent instructions with clear pictures which of course we didn't read until after we were done and noticed a few extra parts, duh.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:11 PM
Wow 9.5:1? I've heard of manufacturers making a car run really rich at high RPM but I would have never guessed they went beyond 10:1!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:47 AM
This is really for Naji:

Did the car hit different load cells for timing and fuel before and after?

I've often wondered how much of the gains are from the MAF reading differently and how much are true gains from less intake restriction. It would be fun to recalibrate the MAF curve for a stock car and see if similar gains could be had.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 5:10 AM
The car probably did hit higher load cells although this pro would not have given more power because the timing isnt really that different from cell to cell in that area. It would for some cars though.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:07 AM
Evos and STIs are notorious for running extremely rich. Only now that direct injection has been paired with turbos have the A/F ratios gone closer to stoich. I think part of the reason for the extreme richness is to also extend catalytic converter life by keeping it from overheating.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:13 AM
I thought extreme richness could actually lower catalytic converter life...
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:39 AM
Guys, this is a turbo car.

Getting a less restricted intake flow just gives higher boost. If you had used a boost controler to increase the boost pressure to the same level and a remap, you would have had the exact same power increase.

The same goes with the exhaust. Less restricted flow = higher base boost. With correct fueling it gives more power.

9.5:1 fuel ratio is quite the usual for turbo cars, pretty conservative. I guess the timing map is also very conservative... That is how you limit power to prevent engine and transmission breaks. CA18DETs and SR20DETs do go even richer, on stock maps. My CA runs a "12:1" (actually it is not, as i am using e85 fuel, but this is what the AFR gauge sensor tells) ratio, but i am using 104 octane gas, so i cant get det. Timing is pretty agressive too.

Lots of power to get from leaning that out and using a less conservative timing. That is exactly what every so called "stage 1 chips" do, on every gas powered car.

And yes, very rich mixtures kill cats. There are some tricks though, such as injecting air in the exhaust after the turbo and before the cat to burn it and make it leaner.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 9:34 AM
20hp without having to remap the ECU? Certified Legit indeed, K&N!

PS I thought around 11:1 was the norm at WOT?
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 9:51 AM
@Crousti, look at the 'dyno plot'. The boost levels are about as close to the same as you can get. The boost levels are the same at both max gain points for torque and horsepower. A/F did lean out around 0.5 to 1.0 points depending on where it is in the rev range. So part of the gain can probably be attributed to the leaner A/F.

Regardless, the gain is significant for a pure bolt-on with no retuning. Furthermore, it was real road driving data used and not a dyno, so an actual representation of the power gain.

Re: rich A/F and cats, I'm not sure that running overly rich now kills cats with the mandated low sulpher fuel. Maybe before we had low sulpher, the sulpher would contaiminate the cat. Now it's done for thermal management to make sure the cat doesn't overheat and can last 100k miles. But hey, I'm not a calibration engineer that has to deal with things such as cat life, so I don't know for sure.

@Der, the turbo cars with direct injection run much leaner now, the BMWs in particular.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 9:56 AM
Running rich clogs the cat, yet also helps regulate its temperature. Stock fuel maps briefly run a little rich every couple minutes just to help regulate the converter's temperature.

Running rich all the time would clog the cat with unburnt hydrocarbons.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:18 AM
I feel the pain on the intake install, I just did mine a couple weeks ago...
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:27 AM
what are your settings in Evoscan to log boost? I tried like 20 different combinations but nothing seams to work...
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 1:12 PM
9.5:1 Is super rich, rich enough for fuel induced knock which you risk below 10:1. T
Chris "Shaggy" Allenlink
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 9:13 PM
Nice looking unit.. What do you think of the Bardabe Intake? It peaked at around +30WHP I believe .. +10 over the K&N and I think as much as +37WHP under the curve ... I will request there dyno sheet..
Thursday, December 01, 2011 10:56 PM
This is really impressive and nice to see from K & N. Their intake for the Evo VIII / IX was not known for being very good (on yet another difficult car for intakes). It's great to see companies stepping up and making needed improvements.
Matt Dennison
Matt Dennisonlink
Friday, December 02, 2011 8:20 PM
great write...
Friday, December 16, 2011 1:42 PM
hi, so just want to confirm...installing the k&n wont need tuning correct?

im looking at this intake for my X is not tuned (2011 MR)

i have HKS Dropin, HKS DP, HKS center pipe and axle back. so far no issues... again stock tune...
if i go with this k&n kit, do i need to get my car tuned?

appreciate any input!
Friday, December 16, 2011 5:09 PM
It's not 'required', but you're leaving a lot of power on the table if you don't. Notice the stock boost curve peaks at about 21 psi and drops to 15psi. Just buy increasing the boost to 18psi at redline, that should gain you about 20whp or so. Also, considering your level of mods, you can probably add some timing across the board to increase power and response even more.
Naji Dahi
Naji Dahilink
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:04 AM
To answer some questions:

1. The car did indeed hit lower load cells with the intake than stock. It is about 15 points leass. That is why the AFR got leaner. Lower load cells tend to have leaner AFRs in the fuel map. But that is not all, lower load cells also tend to have higher timing, which leads me to number 2.

2. Unmentioned in the article is that the knock increased with the intake. These cars run about 24* advanced timing by redline. Even when we tested the car stock it registered about 4-5 knock counts. When you add the intake you are getting a leaner AFR and even higher timing (the lower load means higher timing). Testing with the intake induced 10-12 counts of knock. We had to flash the ECU and pull 3* of timing to quell the knock. This happens with ALL intakes that I have tested including the Bardabe intake. This leads me to #3

3. Yes, you MUST tune the car with an intake. You tune an intake for two reasons. a) to quell the knock and b) to prevent the fuel trims from drifting. This intake as well as the Bardabe and the Injen do NOT cause fuel trims. That is why I RECOMMEND all three. But you still have to take car of the knock. My position on the subject is to tune your Evo right after you put the intake and exhaust mods on it. My recipe for tuning these cars is simple. I peak boost at 25-26 psi and taper it to 18 psi by redline. I lean out the AFR to the high 11:1 ratio and I pull a crap load of timing to prevent knock. Evo Xs gain between 25-35 hp that way. Some even more.
Naji Dahi
Naji Dahilink
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:02 PM
@ Evogab. With the mods that you have on the car right now, you need to get it tuned. Your car is probably knocking and that is not good for the long term health of your engine.
lil ayzian
lil ayzianlink
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:33 AM
Naji, any experience with hks racing suction reloaded? how is the performance gain on those?

what about ams, cosworth intakes?
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