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About Intakes

By Merlin Johnson

Note: For more info on Intakes in the Engine Tuning Performance Tips, click here

JWT POP This a dirty and well used Jim Wolf Technology POP Charger. The filter is normally a nice and healthy pink when reoiled, but this is what it turns into after about 6 months of use. The filter is still not dirty enough to be cleaned yet.

Jim Wolf Technology
Jim Wolf Technology designed one of the first true intake replacements for the SR20DE, and called it the POP Charger. It is a simple design that uses velocity stack type, cast aluminum "doughnut" that bolts onto the MAF. The K&N style filter then attaches to that "doughnut". It is lightweight, smog legal (CA EO#), fits perfectly and comes with a bracket.

Stillen has their Hi-Flow Intake. At first they were using JWT's POP Charger, but then decided to make their own, which was amazingly just like the POP Charger. They used to be machined aluminum and were much heavier than the POP Charger, now they are cast. And should be the same quality as the JWT POP Charger.

General info on SR20DE intake systems
Despite what some companies may lead you to think, replacing the intake system to one of the freer flowing devices will only give around 3 hp by itself. The OE system is there to quiet the air intake, when you change over you will get a nice growl out of the engine as you can hear the motor suck up air, it gets noisier as you approach about 5000 rpm. While it may not seem like much of an improvement as far as HP is concerned it is a needed step to increasing the overall HP of the car through other mods. As you get to some of the more involved mods like headers or cams using the POP Charger is going to gain you more than 3 HP.

On SR20DEs from 91-93 you also need a small filter for the AIV (Air Induction Valve) to stay smog legal. The AIV is there to dump more air into the cat to keep it lit on idle and decel, by removing the OE air box you will now hear the reed inside the AIV canister. It makes a "spitting raspberrys" sound at idle and decel, it is completely normal, you never heard it before because the OE air box muffles this sound. In 94 and 95+ the AIV should be gone as Nissan improved the engine program enough that the ECU can control the engine well enough not to need the extra air (by fiddling with the mixture and timing).

There are other companies that are making or can make an alternative intake system, but the most crucial part is to maintain a smooth air flow, especially near the MAF. In other words, make sure whatever it is you bolt onto the MAF fits perfectly flush with respect to the inside diameter.

POP Charger I have finally gotten around to cleaning my filter :) But, why clean it when I can get another one? This filter is actually designed for the Q45 and has the center cone as on a few other aftermarket intake filters. You can see that I have removed the air resonator that fits into the wheel well. With this gone (remove your tire, unscrew the plastic shield around the wheel well, unscrew the air box) you get a nice little cool air effect. On 91-94 SE-Rs the front air damn has a duct that leads directly into the resulting chamber where the box used to be. The plastic shield then nicely directs the air up to the hole which leads into the engine compartment, directly onto the air intake.