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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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CAI questions

Hey all, wanting to make the sound (and maybe a few hp too) a bit better on my 07 2.4L Sky, considering buying an AEM intake and a magnaflow exhaust to go with it, im wondering if another MAF would be necessary with a CAI or if the stock one would fair fine, also on a tangent, i want to widen the base on the rear wheels 3/8 of an inch, would this be too much wear on the lugs or leave not enough room? Any questions answered would be appreciated! And opinoins are not objected! Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 07:56 AM
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The stock MAF sensor you will be fine no need to change it. As far as the widening if you are going to use spacers to get your width I am sure others here who have done this can answer that.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2016, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoosier GXP View Post
The stock MAF sensor you will be fine no need to change it. As far as the widening if you are going to use spacers to get your width I am sure others here who have done this can answer that.
Okay thanks for the help!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 12:33 AM
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I don't know anyone that has done wheel spacers other than possibly @L-N-F.

As for the CAI, keep in mind they don't do a lot for power. The GMPP looses 1 hp up top but shifts the torque curve in the mid range. Not sure how the AEM affects the power band.

(Magnaflow designed the two 2.5" Sky exhausts on my original Sky, put it on the dyno with the stock intake, then put it on the dyno with the GMPP intake and that's where I get my data from.)

However, I loved the sound of the GMPP intake and if the AEM is the same way...and you're okay with mainly a change in sound...then it will be perfect for you.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
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Max (#1547)
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
I don't know anyone that has done wheel spacers other than possibly @L-N-F.

As for the CAI, keep in mind they don't do a lot for power. The GMPP looses 1 hp up top but shifts the torque curve in the mid range. Not sure how the AEM affects the power band.

(Magnaflow designed the two 2.5" Sky exhausts on my original Sky, put it on the dyno with the stock intake, then put it on the dyno with the GMPP intake and that's where I get my data from.)

However, I loved the sound of the GMPP intake and if the AEM is the same way...and you're okay with mainly a change in sound...then it will be perfect for you.
Thanks robo, Yeah i went for AEM because of the dry filters rather than oil and although the intake doesnt do much of anything now, the turbocharge kit is the grand scheme!! ??
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 05:23 AM
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Keep in mind the CAI won't work for the Turbo. completely different setup.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
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Max (#1547)
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Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 09:56 AM
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Don't wanna open a can of worms but haven't CAI's been proven time and time again to be no different than short intakes in terms of performance gain, only without the risk of sucking up water?

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 11:50 AM
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Correct. The only improvements to the 2.4 is in your power band. It does improve throttle response and mid range power but at the sacrifice of a slight bit of peak HP. Like I mentioned, I get this information from the Dyno run before and after that Magnaflow did on my first 2.4 NA car. You could see the mid range power gains but a -1 hp loss on the peak HP numbers.

I don't know what the exact differences are on the Turbo cars but I know there are little if any power gains.

To me, the CAI did offer a performance gain but the issue most folks have is how you define "performance". For most people, they define it as an increase in peak WHP. By that definition, CAIs are not any better (and actually a little worse) than the stock air box.

However, for an NA car opening up that mid power band (which is used to pass that slower car on the freeway and accelerate out of a corner) is a performance benefit, just not one most people pay attention to.

Keep in mind with my above post that when I say the CAI the poster will get now will be useless on the Turbo is because we're talking about a NA to turbo conversion on a 2.4. For that application, the 2.0 intake will not work for the 2.4 turbo swap so a CAI of some sort is your only option...just that the NA CAI won't work.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.

Last edited by Robotech; 11-14-2016 at 11:58 AM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
Correct. The only improvements to the 2.4 is in your power band. It does improve throttle response and mid range power but at the sacrifice of a slight bit of peak HP. Like I mentioned, I get this information from the Dyno run before and after that Magnaflow did on my first 2.4 NA car. You could see the mid range power gains but a -1 hp loss on the peak HP numbers.

I don't know what the exact differences are on the Turbo cars but I know there are little if any power gains.

To me, the CAI did offer a performance gain but the issue most folks have is how you define "performance". For most people, they define it as an increase in peak WHP. By that definition, CAIs are not any better (and actually a little worse) than the stock air box.

However, for an NA car opening up that mid power band (which is used to pass that slower car on the freeway and accelerate out of a corner) is a performance benefit, just not one most people pay attention to.

Keep in mind with my above post that when I say the CAI the poster will get now will be useless on the Turbo is because we're talking about a NA to turbo conversion on a 2.4. For that application, the 2.0 intake will not work for the 2.4 turbo swap so a CAI of some sort is your only option...just that the NA CAI won't work.
Robo, given that a cai is not required for turbocharging, wouldnt some form of upgraded intake be necessary on a 2.4L?? also what engine upgrades are required to add when going from an n/a to a turbo? im sorry if im sounding elementary, but im very interested in learning how to work on and improve my car (and i can see from your account you have credible experience with this), what would you suggest i add to prep for a turbo in the future but also maybe increase performance now??

i really appreciate all the good info
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 02:47 PM
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Robo, given that a cai is not required for turbocharging, wouldnt some form of upgraded intake be necessary on a 2.4L?? also what engine upgrades are required to add when going from an n/a to a turbo? im sorry if im sounding elementary, but im very interested in learning how to work on and improve my car (and i can see from your account you have credible experience with this), what would you suggest i add to prep for a turbo in the future but also maybe increase performance now??

i really appreciate all the good info
The good news is you have an 07 Sky. the 2006-7 LE5 engines came from the factory with forged connecting rods making them more tolerant of boost. 2008 and up have different rods which really limit their power before you need to strengthen the block. I've been told the 2006-7 LE5 is good to about 450 WHP while the 2008+ is only good to about 250 WHP. After those levels you need to work on the internals.

While a CAI isn't required for Turbocharging, an intake...of some kind...is. It can be a cone filter attached to the turbo inlet or it can be 20' of plumbing but whatever it is, you need to have it on a street car. And really, a CAI isn't necessary on ANY car. They run with the factory airbox on them just fine. Some cars get improvements from aftermarket intakes, others don't. Ours see very little return as our factory intakes are more than enough for our factory setups.

The reason a NA intake won't work when you go turbo is the nature of the intake of the two systems. On the NA setup, you're picking up air from the front of the car and directing it (via the intake) to the driver's side of the car where the throttle body is located. When you go turbo, you're now directing the air from the front to the passenger side of the car where the turbo inlet is located. From here, the turbo compresses the air, sends it through the intercooler in the front of the car, then from there it is directed to the throttle body still on the driver's side of the car. About the only thing that is similar on the two setups is the air filter on the intake and the clamps on the CAI itself.

Here is a list of things you need to change on your car to go turbo other than what parts you'd need to add as part of the turbo installation (like turbo, manifold, intercooler and that plumbing):

Injectors. You need bigger injectors. How big is determined by how much power you need. For stock Redline power levels, 42# injectors will work. For my 400 whp power level, I went with 60# injectors, a DDM fuel rail converted to a return system, and a boost referenced fuel pressure regulator. While not necessary, I'd seriously consider a DDM center feed fuel rail too. You'll have the stock fuel rail off to swap your injectors anyway, quick and easy to swap this out at the time. The Center Feed rail gives you more consistent pressure across the injectors.

2-bar MAP. This is just to read boost. Right now you have a 1-Bar MAP and that only reads vacuum. A 2-bar will read from -14.7 psi (full vacuum) to +14.7 psi of boost.

Water pipe and thermostat housing for a Redline. While some kits may not need the thermostat housing, having it will let you do a more factory like installation of turbos that use water cooling. You need the 2.0 water tube to clear turbo exhaust manifolds.

Catalytic Converter. Again, most kits will come with a solution for this since your 2.4 cat will not work with a turbo.

Spark plugs. I would drop a temp range cooler on your plugs. Just go to your local auto parts store, ask for plugs for your car one step colder than recommended. Can't remember the gap right now but it is smaller than stock to prevent spark blowout under boost.

If you're going for higher levels of power and a manual, throw in a clutch too.

Finally, I HIGHLY recommend a Wide Band 02 kit. This will help your tunner really dial in the tune on the turbo setup. Some kits come with a canned tune for the kit and for these kits a wide band isn't completely necessary.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
Robotech is online now  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
The good news is you have an 07 Sky. the 2006-7 LE5 engines came from the factory with forged connecting rods making them more tolerant of boost. 2008 and up have different rods which really limit their power before you need to strengthen the block. I've been told the 2006-7 LE5 is good to about 450 WHP while the 2008+ is only good to about 250 WHP. After those levels you need to work on the internals.

While a CAI isn't required for Turbocharging, an intake...of some kind...is. It can be a cone filter attached to the turbo inlet or it can be 20' of plumbing but whatever it is, you need to have it on a street car. And really, a CAI isn't necessary on ANY car. They run with the factory airbox on them just fine. Some cars get improvements from aftermarket intakes, others don't. Ours see very little return as our factory intakes are more than enough for our factory setups.

The reason a NA intake won't work when you go turbo is the nature of the intake of the two systems. On the NA setup, you're picking up air from the front of the car and directing it (via the intake) to the driver's side of the car where the throttle body is located. When you go turbo, you're now directing the air from the front to the passenger side of the car where the turbo inlet is located. From here, the turbo compresses the air, sends it through the intercooler in the front of the car, then from there it is directed to the throttle body still on the driver's side of the car. About the only thing that is similar on the two setups is the air filter on the intake and the clamps on the CAI itself.

Here is a list of things you need to change on your car to go turbo other than what parts you'd need to add as part of the turbo installation (like turbo, manifold, intercooler and that plumbing):

Injectors. You need bigger injectors. How big is determined by how much power you need. For stock Redline power levels, 42# injectors will work. For my 400 whp power level, I went with 60# injectors, a DDM fuel rail converted to a return system, and a boost referenced fuel pressure regulator. While not necessary, I'd seriously consider a DDM center feed fuel rail too. You'll have the stock fuel rail off to swap your injectors anyway, quick and easy to swap this out at the time. The Center Feed rail gives you more consistent pressure across the injectors.

2-bar MAP. This is just to read boost. Right now you have a 1-Bar MAP and that only reads vacuum. A 2-bar will read from -14.7 psi (full vacuum) to +14.7 psi of boost.

Water pipe and thermostat housing for a Redline. While some kits may not need the thermostat housing, having it will let you do a more factory like installation of turbos that use water cooling. You need the 2.0 water tube to clear turbo exhaust manifolds.

Catalytic Converter. Again, most kits will come with a solution for this since your 2.4 cat will not work with a turbo.

Spark plugs. I would drop a temp range cooler on your plugs. Just go to your local auto parts store, ask for plugs for your car one step colder than recommended. Can't remember the gap right now but it is smaller than stock to prevent spark blowout under boost.

If you're going for higher levels of power and a manual, throw in a clutch too.

Finally, I HIGHLY recommend a Wide Band 02 kit. This will help your tunner really dial in the tune on the turbo setup. Some kits come with a canned tune for the kit and for these kits a wide band isn't completely necessary.
Thank you so much, ^^ very informative and precisely what i was looking for.

would it be better then, instead of adding a cai to just go ahead and upgrade to a high flow cat now? or would the engine need to produce more power before i can upgrade that?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 06:21 PM
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Thank you so much, ^^ very informative and precisely what i was looking for.

would it be better then, instead of adding a cai to just go ahead and upgrade to a high flow cat now? or would the engine need to produce more power before i can upgrade that?
No, don't go to a high flow cat now.

The difference between the NA cat and the turbo cat is in their shape and how they attach to the car. A High flow Cat for a 2.4 will not attach to the turbo car and a turbo High flow Cat will not work with a 2.4 NA car.

When are you looking to go turbo? If it is soon, then leave it be except for a cat back exhaust. The exhaust will transfer over no problem. You could also do a DDM fuel rail if you wanted to now as that will be able to transfer over with the new build too (unless you want to go to a return style system later on).

Other than that, everything else will either be replaced when you do the turbo build, will not need to be changed, will only hurt you now (you don't need 43.5# or 60# injectors when you're NA) and/or will require a tune to use it (such as the previously mentioned injectors).

A high flow cat, 2.5" exhaust, intake, and a tune would get you more power now. Maybe...MAYBE...15-20 hp. You'd spend about $1,550 for that. Of all that, only the exhaust (about $650) would transfer over to your turbo build. Everything else listed there would need to be replaced with parts for the turbo build. So you'd be spending $950 for parts that would only get you 7-23 hp until you went turbo.

So the question becomes, is that worth it to you?


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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of course id love to go turbo as soon as possible but realistically it will be upwards of a year from now, only had it about a year and would like to pay it off first before any serious upgrades. other than cai and tune i may just stick to some suspension tweaks and sound tweaks that will transfer over to the turbo build. conflicted over wanting better performance now and not wanting to spend 1000 dollars on things i will replace in a year😫
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2016, 02:50 AM
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That's kind of where I'm at with things like this. Why spend that money when you don't get much out of it and will be changing it when it goes turbo.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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