DC Sports Cold Air Intake on the RSX Type S
One of the simplest and most cost effective modifications that can be made to a Honda, or most any sport compact car for that matter, is changing the air intake. Essentially, this just replaces all of the factory intake piping and the filter from where it connects at the throttle body down to where the ambient air is inhaled. Along with this factory tubing is generally a bunch of resonators and silencers designed to make the intake whisper-quiet, user maintainable (filter changes), and look neat and tidy. Aftermarket intakes forego all of this "fluff" in favor of one thing: extracting as much torque and horsepower across the entire rev range as possible. We enthusiasts here at TOV like this "no frills" approach very much.
Aftermarket intakes come in several varieties: short ram, cold air, "Ice Box", etc. What's the difference? Let me briefly explain (this is not a theory article). A short ram is a short pipe with a filter stuck on the end. It breathes engine bay air, which is generally hotter than ambient air, thus producing less horsepower while generating a lot of noise. An "Ice Box", made by Comptech, is very much like a cold air intake (more on this in a minute), but places the filter midway between where air is inhaled and the throttle body. A cold air intake, which is the variety of the DC Sports intake under review here, uses a long tube with a filter stuck on the end. It generates less noise than a short ram, but since it breathes cooler air, it produces more horsepower. Disadvantages? Not much except for the louder noise under heavy throttle application which for some may be a good thing. Adding to this list with a CAI is the possibility of hydrolock if you're not careful. Hydrolock occurs when the air filter becomes completely submerged underwater and then the engine injests water (non-compressible) instead of air (very compressible). It causes rods and valves to bend, which is a costly and time consuming repair, not covered under warranty. Although I've never had a problem with this (you'd have to drive through a pretty deep puddle), it is a concern for some people living in some areas.
There are a few cold air intakes (CAIs) currently available for the RSX Type S. At the time of this writing, the most notable are the AEM (Advanced Engine Management) and the DC Sports. What's the difference? Well, they use essentially the same pipe: same diameter, same material, same basic path, Mandrel bends, etc. They also use the same K&N reusable filter element. Given these facts, the performance of the two intakes should be virtually identical. The AEM is available in a few color varieties (blue, red, silver, or polished) and costs a bit more than the DC Sports. Personally, I wasn't concerned with color since the piping is virtually invisible anyway, hidden by the radiator, transmission, and fenderwell trim. The main difference is in the installation, and it is a bit hairy on the RSX-S due to a lack of extraneous space in the engine bay.
The DC Sports intake comes with a different windshield washer fluid resevoir, which makes installation much simpler than the AEM. The reservoir is of approximately the same capacity as the OEM one, also. With the AEM, one would need to relocate the resevoir on the passenger side of the vehicle, as well as extend the fluid feeder hoses and the pump's electrical wires. That said, let's take a look at the installation procedure used for this product.
DC Sports Fluid Bottle vs. OEM
Copyright 2003, Temple of VTEC