Intake, Power House Racing Cold Air Intake - Install
How To Install Power House Racing Cold Air Intake
by Jason Bly

It's that time again. Power house has just released its Cold Air Intake not too long ago. I have been fairly busy here of late so it put me behind on writing up a review for this top of the line Intake. And its kinda good because my ECU is just now waking up to this Intake. Before it woke up it seemed to have kind of a sluggish start when hammering on the throttle and not a lot of pick up before 4200 rpms. Seemed to have a dead spot around 5000 rpms in the throttle position also. But now it seems to have gotten it figured out and is moving right along.

The installation of this is somewhat more involved than installing say the Rod Millen Intake. This is to be expected though as this is a Cold Air Intake and you need to have the Intake tube run to the compartment on the drivers side of the car right in front of the wheel well. Some cutting of the plastic on that side is required for the Intake tube to fit through. I used a knife to cut it out as the plastic is about a 1/16 thin and cuts fairly easy. I have not received the water shield as of this writing but I am certain its as good as the rest of the Intake is. You also get a variety of colors to chose from when ordering it also. That is fairly good that way if you are like me and want things to match with the rest of the car and want it to stand out from the otherwise colorless engine bay.

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This Intake is fairly expensive ($275)as compared to the Rod Millen Intake system($190) which is very popular with the Celica crowd. But in my opinion it's worth it for peak performance and the quality of the product. There is no need at all to worry of the bothersome Hood dent or redlight heat soak that are common problems. I experienced many bogged starts coming from red lights where the Rod Millen Intake would soak up the heat of the engine bay even with the heat shield in place. Once going it went back to form. After 2 hours of driving with the Powerhouse Intake. The filter and Intake tube close to the filter were as cool as when I started the car up. As it is distanced from the radiator fan. So there is no need to worry of high engine bay temperatures.

Power output was lower than expected for a few reasons that can pretty much be explained without much of a problem. One was the computer wasn't quite given enough time to adjust to all this cool air yet, as I found out a few days ago. The other was the inadequate air supplied to the filter while revving to redline on the dyno when I went for a run. The Intake feeds off of the ram air effect given to it by the air passing by the driver's side fog lamp while at speed, which makes a huge difference. The tiny fan they supplied for me was a joke.

This clip from the message board explains it all(dynoed with the TRD Exhaust system @ 3000 miles): My stock numbers were a measily 153.3hp and 114.9 ft/lbs which with a 15% drivetrain loss equals 180 horsepower and 133 ft/lbs of torque. If you make over this which a lot do. you are pushing more than the advertised numbers. Such as Zendar's GTS was pushing 160 or 188 horse at the crank. A lot of factors can change horsepower numbers, humidity, temp, a lose spark plug wire, old oil ( which I am now due to change mine), any thing can affect horsepower as I will soon show you. But to start off with peak numbers being 163 horse and 117 ft/lbs of torque. Or about 195 horse at the crank with 140 ft/lbs of torque. Not bad. I expected more like 170 horse at the wheels or 203 at the crank. Which I think I might actually be pushing on the street and here is why. I did two runs. First run set up and dynoed with no fan. 157 peak horse and 115.5 peak ft/lbs of torque. I was like Yeah right!!! LOL there is no way! I know just by the seat of the pants that there is more power than that. The power band showed a half decent increase just not peak. Which was good but I know it had more power to put out. The tech looked at me and asked what I wanted to do??? I was like "I need some air to feed this Intake!" I wanted to simulate as much as possible the ram air effect the CAI Intake has from being behind the fog lamp. And use that. The CAI probably uses a lot of the air right off the bat because its not very opened up, pretty enclosed except for the fog lamp area that uses speed to force air in for a ram air effect. The tech cam back with one of those turbo looking fans but it wouldn't turn on I know those things pump out like 50-60 mph winds would be pretty decent. He searches around and comes up with this tiny turdy fan that blows about 10-13 mph winds. GRRRRRRR! I propped this tiny thing on top of my absorber case. So you know this thing was small. And we got it going. I thought ok. Lets see if this does anything to help. Wow went from 157 to 163. An extra 6 peak horsepower by adding a tiny fan to add a draft. If you blow on some hot food or just slightly harder, thats about all that was going in there to supply the Intake. If I would of had the blue turbo looking thing up there I would have seen about 168 and 122 at the wheels! I am fairly certain. I wish I had money for another run I would have made them get a bigger fan! Then I could have had some good dyno runs.

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OK for now I will describe the power band to you since I don't have it scanned yet. The PHR CAI has a larger diameter tube than say the RMM Intake. So I expected bottom end to suffer. And it showed by loosing low end torque with losses between 3-5 ft/lbs till 4200 then it increased 5-8 ft/lbs through 4300-6000. at 6000 15 ft/lbs increase till back to about .5ft/lbs at 6800. Then steadily trails off in torque but increases over the stock trail off ending at 10 ft/lbs extra.

Peak horsepower went from 7600rpms to about 8000 rpms. Slightly less horsepower through 4200 due to the less torque. Then about an extra 10 hp from 4300-6000. At 6000 rpms horsepower increased aprox. 18 and the stock power band caught back up at 6800. Then the horsepower increases till 8000 and 163 hp holding that till fuel cut. There is 10-15 horsepower gains over 50% of the power band. And even the 18 hp spike. But suffered a 1-5 horsepower loss.

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The crazy thing is before they put this turdy 10mph fan in front of the driver side fog lamp to get air to the filter I only gained about 4 horse and 1.5 ft/lbs of torque peak the power band sucked. If they had a bigger fan to simulate the real world ram air effect I could have gained another 5 horsepower over the 163. I am pretty sure of it. Just by sticking that tiny 10mph fan about the size of a basketball in front of fog lamp I gained an extra 6 horsepower and much more mid range torque. I will have them look for a bigger fan when i get the S-AFC on. Then we should see some real nice gains. Well I hope to have this stuff up for you guys soon. I got a lot to do on reviews and design work the next few days.

Little Did I know that the ECU wasn't quit through with it's learning curve quite yet. Bottle(Powerhouse) as well as myself still believe the S-afc will naturally tweat the added parts with the ECU even more to give a good boost to the peak power output and power band. When this part is added in the future I will have it dynoed and numbers put up for that as well.

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Last but not least, a lot of board members are concerned with water and its accessibility to the Intake filter. I too was fairly concerned with this as if this occurs, Engine destruction is almost a certainty. Which will not be covered under warranty. I never owned a CAI before this and was not sure what exactly what to expect. I showed a friend of mine that owns an Integra Type R with an AEM CAI as well. He said not to worry after looking at the location of the filter. I would have to drive through a BIG puddle or get caught in a rain storm the size of Texas to be concerned. I felt somewhat at ease.

Then the other day the inevitable happened. Rain!!! I was coming home from an autocross event when a few showers hit that I had to drive through. I was on edge. I have not received the water shield from Powerhouse yet. But I had all of the air vents in the wheel well duct taped shut and any other possible water entry location from the wheel throwing water on it. It was completely fine. I went home and felt around the filter to find it dry. As long as the water shield works as well as my temporary duct tape job I will be happy and feel more secure about driving this in the rain next time.