Project 350Z - Testing AEM's Short Ram Air Intake

by Mike Kojima

When we first got Project 350Z as a well used and beat up car, one of the mods the car came with was an Injen Cold Air Intake.  Since Injen intakes have a pretty decent rep we simply left in on the car.  However, when we installed the intake manifold spacer, we noted that the manifold was full of dirt and that our engine was a little low on compression for the amount of miles that it had.

We then focused on the intake and were dismayed to find that the car's previous owner had swapped the Injen's filter element for a no name knock off part that looked like a fake K&N but with a chrome cap.  The filter was not even oiled and was letting dirt sail right through.

Since we had to replace the filter, we instead decided to test out a completely different style of intake, AEM's short ram system.  The Short Ram terminates inside the engine compartment with the element shielded from engine heat by a heat shield.  The AEM long cold air system picks up cold air from the front of the car like the Injen part does.

We think the Short Ram might make a little more top end power at the expense of some bottom end.  Let's go test it and see!

Want to read more about our Project 350Z?


The AEM 350Z Short Ram system is nicely made and complete with everything you need for an easy installation.
The AEM Dryflow air filter can be washed and reused but does not need to be oiled.  It is a very efficient filtering element and it approaches OEM effectiveness when it comes to filtering out dirt.  If we'd had a filter like this on our car, we would probably have a bit better compression!
Howard Watanabe of Technosquare removed the old air intake and started our AEM installation by putting in the heat shield.  The heat shield makes it harder for hot air from the headers and radiator to spill into the intake.  Cool air comes through the grill through a big hole in the core support right onto the filter element.  Cool air equals more air density and more oxygen which means more power.
The heat shield in place.  You can see how it will be pretty effective in preventing hot air from the engine and radiator from getting sucked into the intake.


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Sunday, March 23, 2014 10:39 PM
Test request:

The next time you put her on a dyno, can we see the effect of removing the heat shield?

It would be good to know the power difference with and without the heat shield, with and without lots of cool air blowing at the front of the car.
Monday, March 24, 2014 6:55 AM
I should probably take a look at my filter as well. I have the same Injen intake with a no name filter on it. Anyone have a part# for a K&N or similar filter that will fit?
Monday, March 24, 2014 7:48 AM
Definitely curious to see how the CAI does. I wish you guys could get a stock intake to do a baseline. Intake gains are one of the most contentiously debated topics in the Z community. Keep up the good work!!!
Adrian Avgerinos
Adrian Avgerinoslink
Monday, March 24, 2014 8:47 AM

I suggest measuring what you have and consulting AEM's website. For a number of years I had an Injen intake assembly on my V6 Celica and eventually got sick of worrying whether or not the filter had too much or not enough oil. The OE filter was made by Advanced FLOW Engineering (AFE) so I simply found a DryFlow filter on AEM's website with the same dimensions and swapped it out.

(Since that time it appears that AFE now carries oil free filters under the brand name, Pro Dry S.)
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 24, 2014 10:36 AM
I think the previous owner of the car swapped the Injen filter out for a no name ebay one. Injen filters are blue, this filter was a weird read and chrome one.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 5:12 PM
Why not make a dyno run with the OEM intake assembly but without filter and the CAI without filter as well?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 6:03 PM
The previous owner lost the stock stuff.
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