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K&N Typhoon Tests.

K&N Typhoon Tests.

Dodge Magnum Project

Don Emry's tests on the Chrysler LX platform's cold air intake system were the first grassroots attempt by anyone to gather data on these newly-released vehicles' performance characteristics. The tests were of course simplistic in nature. It pays to remember the manufacturer is infamous for not supporting its end-user community with respect to under-the-covers information. Don's tests provided new knowledge to the enthusiast community at a time when there was none. They were also a milestone because they represented someone doing actual testing; using empirical observation to draw conclusions ... as opposed to forum chatter.

Questions had been answered on a stock intake... what about aftermarket units? I should say ''unit'' because there was only one at the time. The K&N Typhoon. There was an ongoing, endless argument running that short ram style of intake was a hot-air intake and a catastrophic underperformer. I set out to see if keyboard expertise carried over to the garage.


  • Does the drawing of air from the top of the engine compartment rather than from the Magnum's original location low in the front have an adverse impact on temperature?
  • Does the heat generated by the engine soak into the aluminum tube of the Typhoon and heat up the air sucked into the engine?

Relevant Pre-Existing Modifications

  • The intake 'silencer', which reduces cabin noise but is a severe airflow restriction, had been removed from the vehicle
  • The 'lower radiator baffle mod' which in the current day and age is a requirement for a properly running auto had not yet been discovered. If run again today, these tests would be cooler and temperatures would drop much more quickly.

Test Date: January 20th, 2005
Test Course: City streets and freeways around Monterey CA, and southbound on Highway 152 towards Fresno CA

Testing Instruments

  • A $20 'wireless' thermometer purchased from OSH.  Wireless = a remote transmitter that is connected to a wired temp sensor and reports to a second unit, which in the accompanying pictures you can see sitting atop the steering column.  The wire is long enough that the remote transmitter is actually sitting inside the car. The unit has a metal element for fast detection of changes and a 30-second refresh rate.
  • Red duct tape.  No modern scientific experiment should be without it.  Its also a festive package wrap at Christmas time.
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Article by
Matt Robertson
Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com