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Old 23rd April 2014, 21:21   #1
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Default DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Hi All,

Let's just say this was kind of the beginning to the realisation of my dream to build a project car!

I was hell-bent on doing something for it, starting with Stage 1 upgrades was first on my list.
With the recent upgrade to 15" Lensos and some wider treads (Yokohama S Drives - 195/55) - well described in my long-term ownership report http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ms-review.html (When Cars are in your DNA, you buy this - Skoda Fabia 1.2L TDI CR. 27,000 kms review), it was time to bring on the heat or 'ahem reduce it (technically!).

I owe my research on the Stage 1 upgrades to loads of threads available here on team-bhp with valuable inputs from many members - so a big thank you for that!
Getting back on track to what I decided would be a fair/decent upgrade in improving the stock performance of my car without too much of an investment (I'm a working student, need to save for my MBA!) I felt an upgrade to the intake system would give me the best of both worlds, a better grunt as well as a free throttle response and may be a performance improvement.

I'm a total DIY'er and I wanted to invest in something I could fix myself, so I decided to check for systems I could fit on without breaking too much sweat.

I was in 2 minds over a CAI or a RAM intake system, and chose a short RAM.
It's much easier to install and doesnt require too much engineering skills to fit. So after checking a few youtube videos on how to make one for yourself, I ordered a K&N RR 3003 (twin cone filter) from Amazon.com.
It cost me Rs. 4600/- including shipping and import duties (in India I was told it costs around 7500!) so this was a bargain!

The filter arrived in 2 weeks time and as you come to expect off Amazon, it was shipped, packed and delivered well.

Here are a few pictures after I just received the filter:

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5486.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5490.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5491.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5492.jpg

Now I had planned in advance how I was going to fit it (this is where all my research paid off), I had to remove the stock airbox cover to ensure this fits directly on the existing air-intake pipe. The trouble however was how to get the pipe some support!

A lot of garage owners have given me feedback on how much like a "truck" a diesel engined car would sound with a performance air filter and to only go with a CAI, I laid those doubts to rest by just checking on how it would sound without the stock air-filter box - and as I had imagined it was nothing like a truck, infact it sounded the same, even under duress! (obviously i didnt drive around for more than 3-4 minutes after the engine was warm enough - didnt want to intake the neighbourhood).

Here's a quickie for those who are looking to clean or follow suit on how to remove the stock box:

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5496.jpg

There are 6 screws in all, which cant all be seen in the picture - but you'll need a torque nut remover or a star shaped screw driver bit to remove this (t 15).

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5500.jpg

Make sure to unplug the MAF sensor before though (remember as hell to put it back once done)

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5498.jpg

Once all are out, the box just opens up easy like:

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5501.jpg

Back to my project after the research paid off again - the intake pipe would need some brackets which could support it without the air-box cover, so down I went to get some measurements and build a bracket to support the stock intake pipe.
A local iron welder helped me do this right.

Let the pictures do the talking:

The brackets

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5506.jpg

The intake mounted on them

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5507.jpg

..and finally the install, a hard days work and 3 lemonades later:

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5508.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5511.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5512.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-dscf5517.jpg

..and Phew!

Time it was to switch on the car and hear for my self how this beast of a filter would now sound, it was eargasmic!

I really wanted to see the engine bay while a pressed down the accelerator but there was no one around to help, so this was like one of those selfie picture moments, when you cant capture everything!

The drive felt a lot better than the selfie though, with the turbo whistle even more prominent. Everytime i entered the turbo zone (1500 Rpm +) the grunt was phenomenal and it let of a vroom everytime you let off the gas in this zone. The car responded much quicker than before, though i've not been able to tell if it is faster, but a lot lot smoother and the sound like said earlier is to die for!

Now to the downside of this great install, after having spent more than a month in this high revving zone I felt (also as per the research) the filter unwittingly intakes warmer air from the engine bay (as its a Short-RAM), I felt that in the hot summer sun in the afternoon it kind off took time (not a lot but a little more - still better than stock) to get into the free response you get used to in the morning.

So back I went to the drawing board to see what else there is to improve in this area. After a lot of work there were 2 things that I found I could do to improve this behaviour:
1. Place an intake pipe providing a cold air feed close to the filter
2. Build a heat shield to protect the filter from getting a sauna from the engine.

The cold air feed was easier to do, but I think i totally outdid myself when i made the heat-shield.

I didnt believe I could actually pull it off, but I wanted to try. So once again back to the internet (its such a boon for DIY'ers) and I found everything this job would take to build.

Here's my inventory list:
Part A: to build a mould
1. White Card board
2. Fevi-bond
3. Scale
4. Cutter
5. Scotch Tape

Part B: the Heat Shield
1. Aluminium sheet (3mm)
2. Metal Cutter (Bosch)
3. Drilling Machine (Bosch)
4. 2 Nut Bolts
5. 2 Screws
6. Matte Black Paint Spray
7. Rubber beading

Let me tell you, it wasnt easy having to take measurements of an already packed engine bay - but that was the least of my problems, I have no experience in cutting metal.
Having built the mould using the card board fairly easily, it was an awesome experience in making the entire heat shield using the aluminium sheet.
I'm going to let the pictures do the talking:

The first build:

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140422_204423.jpg

Some more adjustments in the lions heart

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_165300.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_165334.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_165341.jpg

After the paint job

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_182117.jpg

3 evenings and some bruises later:

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_184943.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_184949.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_184954.jpg

DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield-img_20140423_185001.jpg

I'm amazed at how well it has turned out, the real test will be tomorrow when I drive back home from work in the scorching Bombay heat (keeping all fingers and toes crossed)
Truly though I dont expect too much to improve, but I'm sure it will make some sort of an improvement (not that it was bad to begin with!)

Thank you for reading this, i'll share how it went tomorrow!

Until then..keep your engines revving!

Cheers,
Aayush.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:09   #2
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Hi Aayush,

Very informative DIY,

Such high performance filter are coming as standard on mid & high end cars. The problem could be the space for installation in compact diesel cars.

Toyota uses such filters for Fortuners & Innovas and may be for other cars as well.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:46   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Superb.

This is something I need to carry out on my T Jet. The air intake plumbing on this car is hopeless. If only I can direct cooler air around the region of the air intake, I am sure this alone will go a long way in terms of improving performance on hot summer days, which is now.
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Old 24th April 2014, 16:59   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Hi Aayush,

Very informative DIY,

Such high performance filter are coming as standard on mid & high end cars. The problem could be the space for installation in compact diesel cars.

Toyota uses such filters for Fortuners & Innovas and may be for other cars as well.
Hi Wanderer,

Thanks, I wasn't aware that they're making their way into mid and high end cars - makes total sense that they do though, given the performance.

True that, space was a big factor when I decided to make this upgrade - as you can see theres hardly any space left to put anything in there. I was talking to a friend today and he too + my install but said that the lack of space is due to the way the engine is placed. Im not sure about how car tech savvy he is, but it felt about right.

Anyway as promised, on the way back from work I noticed that this shield made a difference.
All this could be in my head too (as there was not too much of a difference in performance - just a little slower on the pick-up), but it felt better.
I had to confirm this feeling, so the minute I parked my car in the building up went the hood and I did what could be called a dip-stick test.

I remember from another day (some weeks back) when I was cleaning the engine bay, just after parking and my hand touched the filter on it's metal ring - it was too hot to touch and I burnt my hand (not very badly). Today was a different story, it wasnt hot to touch at all, and I kept my hand there for around 30 seconds trying to gauge if its going to start hurting, Nothing!
The heat shield however was real hot, but it shielded the filter well.

So for now, this experiment pays off. There's still some more testing to do to make sure i'm not celebrating before hand, but it looks good.

For those who're wondering how much this will cost them, here's a break-up:
1. K&N filter - Rs 4600
2. Al sheet - Rs 270 (for a much larger 4x2 sq foot sheet)
3. Fevi Bond - Rs 45
4. Rubber beading - Rs 50
5. Spray Paint - Rs 250
6. Brackets, Screws & Nut bolts - Rs. 120
7. Expression post the install - Priceless!

..and Sandeep, thanks for the feedback.
If you're looking to get a direct cold air feed, the best way to do this would be to get your hands on 2-3" inner diameter (ID) pipes (silicone preferred, rubber and plastic as alternatives). Fix one end to the front grille (best) or front lower grille or fog lamp area and the other feeding the air intake. This should provide a better intake system, with colder air.

Now a few things i've learnt from all the research I've done, Turbo cars dont really require a CAI setup, as the air going into the turbo is going to be heated again, so it doesnt really make too much of a difference.
To cool the air further you require an inter-cooler which then cools the air before it gets into the engine. This makes a big difference, so you will see that a better intake system (overall, not just a filter) will be one of the major investments a car junkie would make before he went all out!

But colder is always better than warmer is the way to go and cheaper too, if our cars dont have an intercooler. I'm not very certain on this one, so someone with better knowledge about this can help us out?
In the mean time, redirect air from the front grille is going to be cost effective.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Aayush
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Old 24th April 2014, 18:03   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Nice DIY.
I have a similar short-ram setup K&N Conical Air Filter on my Chevy Beat.

Have been pondering over a CAI v/s a Heat Shield build for sometime (almost 2 years now :P). Your thread might just be what I needed

Thanks for sharing & keep revving'

Sam
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Old 24th April 2014, 19:13   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

I guess there are ready made filters for Skoda Fabia from K&N. I am not sure - though I remember seeing one online when I had purchased one for my Fortuner. Keeping an eye on your thread to know how this works out in the long run. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th April 2014, 19:43   #7
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

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I guess there are ready made filters for Skoda Fabia from K&N. I am not sure - though I remember seeing one online when I had purchased one for my Fortuner. Keeping an eye on your thread to know how this works out in the long run. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Ahmed,

Yes, K&N makes replaceable drop in filters for the Skoda Fabia. The conical out of the airbox ones add a much more aesthetic & auditory appeal!

It was something i did consider, but I wanted the look and now cant let go of the grunt!

Cheers,
Aayush.
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Old 25th April 2014, 10:34   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Hi Aayush,

Please remember that you will need to clean this filter set-up quite often as at the end of the day the normal dust, which settles in engine bay would also clog the open filter.

But cleaning is very easy. You just need to take the filter to road-side puncture repair shop and blow the filter with high pressure air inside-out first followed by otherway.

You may thank Guderian for suggesting this method. He does it on his Fortuner.
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Old 25th April 2014, 10:44   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Hi

Awesome job. I own a 1.6 vento AT. I remember doing something similar on my zen long time back and loved every bit of it. Can you suggest , share tips for doing on my vento now. Any impact on warranty and average. I remember mostly revving the car higher for the sound.

Regards
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Old 25th April 2014, 12:05   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Very well documented DIY Interesting to note that importing the short ram intake was cheaper than buying one here.

My friend owns a 1.2 tdi Fabia too and we were thinking of plonking in an SRI or CAI. The only thing stopping me from going the convenient route (SRI) is the sound; the 3 pot motor sounds nasty to my ears as it is, do you mind posting up a couple of videos of the sound? One from outside and another preferably from inside the car showing the rev counter so I can gauge what kind of noise it produces at which rpms
I'd highly recommend a remap for this car too; while you're in the power/torque band the car is good but otherwise it is a little bit of a pain one constantly has to change gears and the clutch doesnt help either. A remap would definitely improve the drive-ability. We are already in talks with Tune-O-Tronics to develop a map for the car.

Cheers!
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Old 25th April 2014, 22:31   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Aayush,

Interesting set up you have there. I have never gone in for (and never understood why anyone would) the conical filter for exactly this reason - sucking in hot air from the engine bay. It defeats the whole purpose of fitting the filter.
No garage has ever been able to come up with a satisfactory solution so I have stuck to the drop in filters. Not as good I know, but better than nothing

Also, don't forget you could have a problem in the monsoons if the water splashes up from your tyres and gets sucked into the open air intake.

My main reason for writing this post is to inform you and "Wanderers" not to ever, ever blow the K&N using air from your local puncture shop. It will destroy the filter. It clearly states on the box that the filter must NEVER be blown with compressed air. Just tap it gently on the table for the dust to drop off. If necessary buy a K & N filter cleaning solution kit (which I did) and use that when very dirty. They also say that the dirt acts as a filter itself. However, all this is for panel filters and I may be wrong with conical filters but I don't think so.

In fact I had a special sticker (came in the K &N box) which had to be stuck on top of the filter box saying - DO NOT BLOW WITH COMPRESSED AIR.


Read the instructions carefully or else you may be Rs. 4600 poorer when the filter is ruined.

Just my two cents. Hope you don't mind the advice.

Regards,
SS


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Hi Aayush,

Please remember that you will need to clean this filter set-up quite often as at the end of the day the normal dust, which settles in engine bay would also clog the open filter.

But cleaning is very easy. You just need to take the filter to road-side puncture repair shop and blow the filter with high pressure air inside-out first followed by otherway.

You may thank Guderian for suggesting this method. He does it on his Fortuner.
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Old 26th April 2014, 06:33   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
Aayush,

Interesting set up you have there.

My main reason for writing this post is to inform you and "Wanderers" not to ever, ever blow the K&N using air from your local puncture shop. It will destroy the filter. It clearly states on the box that the filter must NEVER be blown with compressed air. Just tap it gently on the table for the dust to drop off. If necessary buy a K & N filter cleaning solution kit (which I did) and use that when very dirty. They also say that the dirt acts as a filter itself. However, all this is for panel filters and I may be wrong with conical filters but I don't think so.

In fact I had a special sticker (came in the K &N box) which had to be stuck on top of the filter box saying - DO NOT BLOW WITH COMPRESSED AIR.


Read the instructions carefully or else you may be Rs. 4600 poorer when the filter is ruined.


Just my two cents. Hope you don't mind the advice.

Regards,
SS
This is correct. A liquid coated air filter should never be blasted with compressed air. They are good only for stock and panel air filters.
Cleaning a conical filter is a process. Letting it rest in mild warm soap water , let it dry naturally and oil and let it dry again.
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Old 26th April 2014, 08:42   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Interesting but is it really effective?

What you are achieving is some temperature drop due to shielding the intake from hot exhaust surfaces. This is achieved at cost of air flow restriction.

On other hand hotter air going in has greater impact.

Assuming a 30 degree difference in temperature the hot air intake from within the engine compartment versus cold air intake from outside can mean up to 10% less air being sucked in to engine.

This negates more than anything the advantage of filter pressure drop.

Basic understanding from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_of_air

An external air intake is more important as more air (not volume but mass) is essential for more burn hence more power.

IMHO. Experts and engineers may comment.
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Old 26th April 2014, 10:51   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisiddiqui View Post
Hi

Awesome job. I own a 1.6 vento AT. I remember doing something similar on my zen long time back and loved every bit of it. Can you suggest , share tips for doing on my vento now. Any impact on warranty and average. I remember mostly revving the car higher for the sound.

Regards
Thanks Ali,

The Vento/Polo/Fabia/Rapid have a very similar engine bay setup, so it should really be very similar to the way i've made mine for your car too.
Warranty with any manufacturer will be an issue, I'm in the last year of my warranty, but this process is completely reversible - i still have all my OEM air box components with me to put them back if ever required.
So it then becomes if you want this or not!

I'd say go for it, you'll love the sound - but let me remind you that it will be louder than stock! Its a personal choice here I mean, some like it, some dont!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Very well documented DIY Interesting to note that importing the short ram intake was cheaper than buying one here.

My friend owns a 1.2 tdi Fabia too and we were thinking of plonking in an SRI or CAI. The only thing stopping me from going the convenient route (SRI) is the sound; the 3 pot motor sounds nasty to my ears as it is, do you mind posting up a couple of videos of the sound? One from outside and another preferably from inside the car showing the rev counter so I can gauge what kind of noise it produces at which rpms
I'd highly recommend a remap for this car too; while you're in the power/torque band the car is good but otherwise it is a little bit of a pain one constantly has to change gears and the clutch doesnt help either. A remap would definitely improve the drive-ability. We are already in talks with Tune-O-Tronics to develop a map for the car.

Cheers!
Thanks Ishaan,

Yeah the 3 pot motor is definitely louder and less refined than others for sure.
But NVH levels inside the car are decently low, some have even asked me if this was a petrol car!
Now after having the SRI in place, it has gotten a little louder - much noticeable on the outside rather than inside.
Now i have taken a few videos today after your request, but my camera just ran out of charge - will upload them asap for your reference.
A quick run thru of the vid - its acceptable inside the car while the clatter is mainly heard outside (thats where the grunt is heard too!)

Its in process mate, I want to do the remap too! Can you share details of this with me please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
Aayush,

Interesting set up you have there. I have never gone in for (and never understood why anyone would) the conical filter for exactly this reason - sucking in hot air from the engine bay. It defeats the whole purpose of fitting the filter.

Also, don't forget you could have a problem in the monsoons if the water splashes up from your tyres and gets sucked into the open air intake.

Just my two cents. Hope you don't mind the advice.

Regards,
SS
Hey thanks for the info buddy, and no I did not mind at all. I think this is the entire point for any of us posting here on team-bhp!

Also about water splashes from below, the Fabia comes standard with the rough road package which includes an under engine cover which protects the bay from externalities.
Also the filter sits on the stock airbox (as i removed the airbox cover) so its protected from these externalities anyway!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
This is correct. A liquid coated air filter should never be blasted with compressed air. They are good only for stock and panel air filters.
Cleaning a conical filter is a process. Letting it rest in mild warm soap water , let it dry naturally and oil and let it dry again.
Thanks for this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Interesting but is it really effective?

What you are achieving is some temperature drop due to shielding the intake from hot exhaust surfaces. This is achieved at cost of air flow restriction.

On other hand hotter air going in has greater impact.

Assuming a 30 degree difference in temperature the hot air intake from within the engine compartment versus cold air intake from outside can mean up to 10% less air being sucked in to engine.

This negates more than anything the advantage of filter pressure drop.

Basic understanding from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_of_air

An external air intake is more important as more air (not volume but mass) is essential for more burn hence more power.

IMHO. Experts and engineers may comment.
Hi Sudev,

Thats what I had though too, whether its going to be effective or not!

So I tested it out yesterday, with long, short, slow speed and high speed runs. Starting each test with the dip-stick test approach (i didnt have anything to measure the temperature in the bay)

The results were astounding, not only was the car performing better but the filter never got hot to touch - just warm, after all the runs in the hot afternoon sun!
Post this I had to go to Chembur (around 10-15 kms) from my house, and i checked the following on this errand:
1. Pickup from 0
2. Let the car run in 3rd at a lower rpm and then push it from there.

The pickup from 0 was much better than it was before, and the car pulled up very easily from 3rd with very minimal turbo lag.

Now, coming to the point where the shield is restricting airflow - i feel otherwise as i've only covered the back and the side.
The setup still gets air from below (the stock airbox which sucks in the colder air from the stock air-intake (as i have only removed the airbox cover), and from the front (as it is a twin cone setup).

So yes there may be a reduction the amt of air but due to the much much lower temperatures its working at now, the air sucked in will be a lot more dense - facilitating the burning of fuel in a much more efficient manner.

I will post the fuel economy details on my next fill.

Thanks for the info - trust me, I spent a lot of time researching whether any of this is going to worth it.
While I understand from whatever ive learnt that individual cases can be different, currently from what i've tested it looks really good.

Cheers,
Aayush.

Last edited by aayushnair : 26th April 2014 at 10:53.
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Old 26th April 2014, 15:08   #15
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Default Re: DIY: Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI CR - Intake & Heat Shield

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
I have never gone in for (and never understood why anyone would) the conical filter for exactly this reason - sucking in hot air from the engine bay. It defeats the whole purpose of fitting the filter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Interesting but is it really effective?
The Civic-specific kit brought me over 4 horses : Link (Honda Civic Dyno Run no.3 - With K&N Typhoon air intake).

That said, there's no denying that sucking in air from the outside would make things even better. Have seen a lot of new cars whose air intake plumbing starts from above the radiator grille.
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