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This is a discussion on new 2 wrx within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hello, I just bought an 03 wrx. It has an AEM CAI in it. I have experience with cars technically ...

  1. #1
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    new 2 wrx

    Hello, I just bought an 03 wrx. It has an AEM CAI in it. I have experience with cars technically but not with WRXs. Looking forward to driving this baby. Any advice or suggestions or stuff to look out for as a new wrx owner would be greatly appreciated! Thanks and nice forum!!

    -Kevin

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    Registered User UURX02's Avatar
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    1. Welcome to the club

    2. Take off your CAI
    02 WRX - MODS
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    yah i've been doing a lot of reading and everybody seems to agree on the CAI being worthless... but is it damaging to the engine? It looks like a lot of people say it is due to it potentially making the engine run lean - but I thought that was only really bad if it was lean enough to cause detonation which I would I assume trigger a CEL from the O2 sensor(s)? I haven't gotten any straight up technical answers yet so I'm just trying to learn here.

    If I were to put the stocker air box back on where could I get one and what kind of money would I be looking to pay for it? Is the silencer a separate piece that I can omit? Is there any performance benefit to not having the silencer and maybe a higher flow filter like K&N?

    Thanks for the reply!

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    Registered User UURX02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadFoot77
    yah i've been doing a lot of reading and everybody seems to agree on the CAI being worthless... but is it damaging to the engine? It looks like a lot of people say it is due to it potentially making the engine run lean - but I thought that was only really bad if it was lean enough to cause detonation which I would I assume trigger a CEL from the O2 sensor(s)? I haven't gotten any straight up technical answers yet so I'm just trying to learn here.

    If I were to put the stocker air box back on where could I get one and what kind of money would I be looking to pay for it? Is the silencer a separate piece that I can omit? Is there any performance benefit to not having the silencer and maybe a higher flow filter like K&N?

    Thanks for the reply!
    The CAI is making your car run lean because of the increase in size of the piping. The stock intake is actually fine until you get up too around 300 (ish) hp. so your car will be running lean. it might not be making any damages right now but in the long run it is hurting your engine. For a stock airbox, check around in the personal wanted/for sale sections, or try talking to a dealer. i have no idea how much that would be. as for the silencer...yes it is a seperate piece you can take out that may add a whopping 2 hp and a little turbo tunes.
    02 WRX - MODS
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    Well I don't think that's quite it - it's more of a matter of the shape and size of the tubing to the cai along with turbulence that cause the MAF to get an erroneous reading. Therefore the computer thinks the engine is getting less air than it actually is and adjusts the fuel in the chamber according to this erroneous data -> lean. Running lean should result in some lack of power and possible a rich condition as the computer tries to compensate for the lean condition which would result in poor fuel economy. At least this is how basic engine management works - I'm new to WRX so maybe it's different for these cars. And I would think that if it's dangerously lean then the o2 sensor voltage would be picked up by the computer and a code would force a CEL...

    correct me if i'm wrong about any of this!!!


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