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TRD CAI Install

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Old 08-10-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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TRD CAI Install

So, I installed the CAI I got last week today. Taking off the old air filter assembly was fairly easy. The tricky part came trying to piece the CAI together. In itself, it is not a hard install. The problem I ran into was poor build quality IMO. I came across two instances of this that were a realpain the ass.

#1 After you install the air filter housing (Big box air filter sits in) you have to install the filter adapter. basically all this is is a piece of tube that connects the filter housing to the intake tube. There are 3 holes in the filter housing and 5 threaded holes on the filter adapter. Put the adapter inside the housing and screw it down. Right easy? Well, it would be that the holes that were predilled into the housing didn't match up to any of the 5 threaded holes. I then had to take the housing out again and match up 2 holes and 1 that was the closest and kinda chew away at the hole with a a drill bit to open it up a bit. After that, that went easy. Trying to put the screws in before making this adustment results in dropping 3 screws into the engine bay and 1 was never recovered, Went all the way done.

#2 After the CAI was in, you put on that TRD silver cover. Cool looking cover. Well, the air filter housing is not the exact size as the cover. It took me putting in 1 screw and then pushing/pulling on the housing to line up another etc etc. The last screw I don't know how it would have ever lined up. But seeing that I never found that screw (they are the same for #1 PITA above) I had to just leave it. it is the screw all the way inthe back on the left.

Just some observations:

The stock tube that comes from the fender panel seemed better art getting the air from the hole in the fender panel. it actually went in. The CAI has a rubber seal type piece that goes over the inlet on the housing. Once you install the bolts, it just presses up against the panel. Have no idea if this makes a big deal or not.
Also, lineup the intake tube kinda is a pain. You have install the mounting rod off the stock assembly to the new CAI so that the engine cover goes back on (it is for one of the screws). Takes some fiddling around with so that the tube is in the right place and the gaskets are on the throttle body and the housing correctly. Not as hard as #1 or #2 above, just needs some attention.

Impressions: Well, the truck has a different sound to it. It is not so much loud as it is a little throaty. Only at certain RPMS do I notice so far. There might be a wee bit of a drone at say 1500-1800 RPMS. When you get on it, it sounds pretty good. It reminds of my buddies SC thunderbird (minues the takeoff speed). The way it sucks in the air I guess. I have to say that there is a little more cabin noise than before. Not so much loud but not stock. I have yet to decided if I like it.
The biggest thing I have noticed is the ticking from the valves is louder now that the stock assembly is gone. When I put the engine cover back on, the left of my engine bay looked empty! The old housing is quite large and covers all valves on that side.

Performance: Well, I am not sure if this a placebo-type feeling I have or not but I feel a crisper response when stepping on the gas. Below 2k, I can't say yet if I feel that. Need more time to test. I can't say that I feel more power at all, but it does seem to shift better (AT) and it 'seemed' to get up to 80MPH much easier throught the rpm range. Again, more testing for me to fully decide.

Final thoughts: I am torn between liking the response I have now and not sure if I like the extra sound. With the radio on or driving on the highway it didn't seem that noticeable. But I was only on a quick cruise. A nice drive with the wife will be the tell-tale.
I am a bit surprised (well maybe I shouldn't be) about the build quality. I could see the filter adapter. It was off not that much. But the cover not fitting the assembly easily left me left in awe. At first I thought I had the wrong filter housing. But once it got in there it looked right except for that 1 screw. Dunno.

Anyways, jjust my recent experience, hope it helps someone.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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Just and update. I was able to get that cover on this time around easier than the first. it took less manipulation than before. I will have to find a replacement screw though now. Perhaps the heat helped lossen the plastic but it fits right now. Still think it was too much of a PITA for a brand name like TRD but all went well I guess.

Now just have to decide if I really like it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:24 PM   #3
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I just almost finished installing the TRD CAI. I had the same problem but worse with the metal filter cover. It does not fit due to it being different shape than the filter box cover cutout. Three off the screw holes on the cover do not match the holes on the filter box. Also the rubber seal that is supplied and has to be installed in the intake side of the filter box is too short thus leaving a three inch gap when installed. This gap will let hot air from the engine compartment into the filter box. I will have to go to Lowes tomorrow and get a piece of plexiglass and make a cover for the filter box. I will also look for the same type filter box intake seal but longer so it will seal better on the fender.

What a PITA!!
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:37 AM   #4
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For the seal, I found to be a pain as well. Mine started that large but after pulling and stretching I got it to less than 1/2". As for the cover, isn't it crazy? I found that when tightening up the filter box enough so it isn't loose changes the shape of the plastic. So, I started with one screw in the corner. I then lifted the actual box up with my hand as much as I could from the rear (side closest to firewall). This actually puts the box back to almost original shape. At this time, you should be able to line up another screw holle. Try and go for an screw onthe opposste side. Just keep at it. By lifting the back of the box you will be able to maniplulate the cover to go on. I was able to get all screws in this way.

But. it was a PITA. Once I got it in, I thought it too be pretty good. Just keep lifting that box. And be careful with the screws. The top looks like it will scratch very easy.
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:53 AM   #5
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How about some pics of the CAI mounted?
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:11 AM   #6
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:51 AM   #7
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Got it all in nice.





Just needed a hand to get it all in place.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:06 AM   #8
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Looks good! Nice clean engine bay too!
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:44 AM   #9
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I had the exact same problems with my afe which is the same intake, bolts did not line up with the holes, which made it difficult to get it together, then the metal plate didnt fit right because the whole intake is twisted due to unalligned holes.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:51 PM   #10
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Maybe bad batch? I just installed a TRD intake and everything lined up fine except ONE hole on the silver TRD plate. That was remedied with just slight pulling on the plastic box.

I too noticed the seal being a bit short...I don't think the gap is large enough to make a big difference. I'm sure it will be fine.

Noticed a bit of a difference. I'm happy with my $225 purchase.

Kind Regards,
Ryan
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattN03 View Post
Looks good! Nice clean engine bay too!
Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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I made some acrylic covers for these. I made the first one like the metal cover and it looked like crap. Then I made another one and cut it to fit the box, which is not square.

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Old 08-15-2009, 10:28 PM   #13
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Cool design. Is that a stick on or cut into the acrylic? The X-runner TRD logo I mean.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:25 AM   #14
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It is laser etched into the acrylic. I also made one of these.

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Old 08-16-2009, 10:07 AM   #15
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Thats nice work. I am actually selling my CAI. I know I know...I just installed it but it is not what I was looking for. I just re-installed the stock housing today and after a real quick drive I am much happier. The sound just wasn't for me. Which answers my question about getting an exhaust. All stock for me baby! lol
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:58 AM   #16
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I did the box pulling technique and was able to get all of the screws in. I also am not too happy with the new sound. What exhaust mod should I do?
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:32 PM   #17
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I felt any exhaust mod will make that noise more evident. It wasn't that I wasn't happy with sound, I just like to stock sound better. I felt if I wanted all that roar I would have gotten a V8. Outside of the sound, my gains were in a RPM range that I really don't drive in. If I had a manual, I would see those RPM's often. But 3k? I gotta be at highway speeds for that. I try to keep it around 2k-2.5k for my normal driving. Plus, I also felt the URD MAF calibrator was something I would have to look into to fully get the performance out of the CAI or exhaust. And that mod I am waiting till I am out of warranty before I splice into the ECU. If you are not happy with the sound of the CAI, an exhaust will make it worse.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:22 AM   #18
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Question on the Plexi Cover

How much would you charge to make me one with the TRD emblem?

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It is laser etched into the acrylic. I also made one of these.

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Old 03-26-2010, 08:40 AM   #19
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$110 shipped with the logo not painted.

$120 shipped with the logo painted.
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