The controversial CAI! – Volant’s 17636 PowerCore® Intake System

In the absence of any current mods, I’d like to take this opportunity to write about one other mod I’ve done recently. As with all my other mods, I did more than a little reading before deciding that there are, actually, some gains to be made out of installing a new intake on the 3.6L Pentastar engine. Sure, the dyno charts I saw for some open box tests were good but what really sealed the deal was looking at the OEM intake in all its glory and seeing just how hard it must be for the air to get from the outside, through the filter, and into the engine.

As I am a bit… (ahem) particular… I wanted a few specific things out of a new intake. First off, I didn’t want anything with a wide open filter. I love to play in the water waaaay too much to run an open filter and the risk of hydro-locking the engine just isn’t worth it. I liked the idea of a long life filter and I also didn’t want to discount the idea of a snorkel mod down the road. I compared products from AIRRAID, Banks, CORSA, K&N, and Volant. Unfortunately, K&N only offered an open filter set up, so they were off the table immediately. The Banks kit promises some excellent gains, but the inlet opening is almost like an open filter set up, so that’s out too. The AIRRAID kit shows promise, but there’s no chance of moving to a snorkel with this kit in later years. The Corsa & Volant kits look like they’ll both fit the bill. High intake locations that aren’t gigantic, long life filters, and the ability to convert to a snorkel kit down the road.

Comparing the Corsa & Volant kits, the only thing I could find different between the two was the price and the logo. I really and honestly can’t tell the difference between the designs other than the colors. I have to think the guy that designed the part for Corsa went to work for Volant and took the patent with him maybe? I found a stellar deal on the Volant kit on the internets and it arrived a few days later.

Volante1Removing the OEM intake is pretty darn easy. A flat head to undo the clamp at the throttle body and a socket (10mm maybe?) to remove two bolts holding it to the radiator and voila!

Volante2This little guy is a bastard! While easy to remove, make sure to be very, very careful not to bend or break it during re-installation in to the new intake tube. I think each one is $35 or so at the stealership?

Volante3

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Drop in the Air box (it just rests in place) which you should have assembled on your work bench (don’t over tighten the short screws holding on the cover!) and then with the air flow sensor installed; loosely fit the intake pipe using the supplied rubber grommets. Attach the clamps to the throttle body and fire it up! I haven’t dyno’d it, so I can’t claim any better/worse power. The butt dyno wants to say more power tho. I haven’t babied it, so I can’t claim better/worse MPG’s. But I can tell you for a fact that it sounds fantastic! When I get the engine really breathing, it sounds like a Corvette’s LS7 and when I lay off the throttle I can barely hear it in the cab. Other than the fact that it’s not helping my MPG’s courtesy of the amazing engine intake note, I’d have to say I’m really happy with it.

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Starting, idling, and revving with the stock air intake

Starting, idling, and revving w/ the Volant PowerCore® Intake System

In cabin audio w/ the Volant PowerCore® Intake System – typical around town driving

In cabin audio w/ the Volant PowerCore® Intake System – gettin’ on it!

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3 thoughts on “The controversial CAI! – Volant’s 17636 PowerCore® Intake System

  1. Jullian Buenavides

    Great blog! I’m new to modding my jeep, jk14. Planning to get the same Volant powercore you suggested. Do you think adding a throttle body spacer with the intake would help with performance? My jk is still stock, just added additional lights upfront.

    Reply
    1. KPM Post author

      Thanks Jullian & congrat’s on your new JK! I love the Volant intake kit, it [still] sounds fantastic when I get on the throttle. One thing I’ve noticed is the addition of their pre-filter significantly cuts back on the engine sound. With regards to a throttle body spacer… I personally don’t run one and don’t have enough facts to say yay/nay. I’ve talked to engineers that say they are BS but I’ve also seen dyno charts showing HP gains. Ask a few folks and odds are everyone will have an opinion on them. Here’s a link to AFE’s TBS on Jegs.com: http://www.jegs.com/i/AFE-Power/048/46-35003/10002 If you look at the graph, they claim 6.0 hp/ 14.2 lb-ft gain using a 3.0″ exhaust & AFE Intake. Those are nice gains, but I’m still pretty damn skeptical. Think about it, if the Chrysler/Jeep Engineers could have boosted the power on our 3.6L by that much at the factory, don’t you think they would have tossed one on then and advertised more power? I wish I had access to a dyno (that didn’t break the bank!) and I would just test it out myself.

      ==Edit==
      I’ve contacted a local dyno shop for price quotes and ordered AFE’s TBS. I’m gonna get to the bottom of this!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: AFE’s Silver Bullet Throttle Body Spacer, Fact or Fiction? | myjeeplife

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