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Discussion Starter #1
Well folks, I got the Secret Weapon in the mail today and installed it in about 45 minutes. I noticed my '98 RAV had 3 tubes going into the intake: one form the engine, one is the air sensor, and another hose that came up from something (dunno what it is) deeper in the compartment's bowels. Unfortunately, the intake only had 2 openings, so I had to drill an extra hole for that third hose. Lacking a rubber grommet or gasket for that extra hose, I sealed up the connection with hi-temp silicone gasket material. (It worked great for fixing my weedwhacker, so why not a car intake?)

The Secret Weapon is a pretty nice looking kit. I found the instructions a bit disappointing (very vague for those not as car-savvy)and lacked photos of any kind. Being a novice at car tuning (but not at mechanical work) I was eventually able to figure out what goes where and have everything cinched down tight. The kit came with a mounting bracket, but I'm not sure where to mount it. I only removed the top part of the stock airbox and currently have the filter resting on the lower half. I'll follow the removal guide posted in this forum and yank it out later when I have more time and then bolt everything down tight.

Haven't driven the car yet so no idea of power gains, if any. My semester is ending and I have 7 straight days of exams, so time to get my butt down to studying! I'll post up photos later once my camera's batteries are finished charging. (how does one post photos anyways?)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Drove it for two days now and the engine is definately louder whenever I put my foot down. Did a variety of driving from city cruising to "drag racing" from a stoplight to see if there were any performance gains. I didn't notice any changes to low end power, but maybe it seemed a tiny bit more energetic when I had it revved up and was merging into freeway traffic. It could be the intake or the loss of 5lbs. by finally taking out all the winter gear from the back. I'm hoping to see a gain in mpg.

I also yanked out the rest of the stock airbox except for the part stuck in side the bumper (that's for this weekend) and posted a photo on my album. Next on my list is an exhaust kit. I'm still trying to think of a way to create a functional hoodscoop without too much fuss of fabricating it and the water problem.
 

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Yeh that filter is just gonna suck in hot air as its near the exhaust header and thermo fans. Making it a real CAI should be next on your list as many of us have done. Do a search on the forum for more ideas.
 
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Or you could just buy the ram air kit. It has the hosing, and a small scoop for you to use. It also has the added advantage of two different water guard systems. The first is a removable shield taht you put over the front of the scoop. The second is a filter built into the system. I am debating this setup, as it is the only intake for a Rav other than those universals.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So the Weapon-R ram-air kit has an added filter? I'm debating if I should just get that kit and route the scoop down to the underbody plastic splash guard and cut a hole in it, or wait to figure out a way to cut out a hood scoop. A friend suggested of rigging up a dual CAI with a scoop from both hood and under body. He thinks I should use a flap that I can open and close using a solenoid for the hood scoop for rain, and have the under body scoop always open for times when I have to close the hood. A novel idea, but very complicated.

I'd like to do a WRX-style scoop and get some fiberglass kit to make an intake funnel to channel the air to the filter. I was thinking along the lines of a U-trap style tubing with the bottom of the trap open so water could drip out and air would keep going.

If I get the ram-air kit, I'll have to relocate the coolant catch tank since the intake filter is almost butting up against it. Any suggestions on where is a good place for it?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Cool! Thanks, Derek. I will do that.

I found out the heat shield for the Ram-Air kit doesn't fit over the Secret Weapon filter, so I'm probably going to just get some dryer ducting and make my own CAI with that. The Ram-Air kit uses 3" tubing. Would there be any improvement by using a 4" duct? I happen to have some leftover from fixing the dryer last year. I'm also thinking of getting some cylindrical duct large enough to completely enshroud the filter to shield it from the engine heat. I have some galvanized rigid furnace ducting that would fit nicely, but I wonder about it being steel and all. Conducts heat rather nicely... :x
 

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Enshrouding the air filter pod is a necessity! :D

Playing around with my Scan Gauge, I am beginning to learn that having an exposed aftermarket air filter pod within the engine bay is not a good idea. Let me explain. I've been taking some informal data on intake air temperature recently on my intake.

I have an exposed short ram intake currently:



It is fed ducted air directly from under the bumper:


I have noticed that the intake air temperature will start at whatever the outside air temperature is (usually about 75 - 85 degrees F) then slowly creep its way up to the inside engine bay temperature (105 -128 degrees F). Even with the ducted air being blown directly at it, it does not make much of a difference. To me, an air intake temperature of 128 degrees F is much too hot.

I am going to remove the current setup and replace it with the factory air box and take intake air temps. again. I am curious to see what the differences may be. I'll keep you all posted of the results. Stay tuned. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interesting. I just cut out a hole in the spash guard for the same intake set-up as you. I'm working on making a small scoop for it. Perhaps later I will work on a functional hood scoop.
 
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Can anyone remember where/what the by-pass valves were? I believe it was something to put inline with the hose and it would prevent water from getting sucked up, correct?
 

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im actually trying to order the secrect weapon and ram air kit (whenever my tax return gets here :roll: ) so this thread has helped me out a lot...

but i did notice one thing on your first post... you said that htere were three hoses comming off of your intake? There were only two connected to mine, and my bomz intake only had 2 hoses with it, and only two places to attach hoses. did anyone else have 3? i hope i didnt miss one...
 

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update!

Update:

Well after taking into consideration as to how and where i drive, i decided to go with the dragon instead of the secret weapon (ive decided that if i dont like it, ill just sell it and get the secret weapon) The main reason is that the dragon has the available "heat shield" which is really going to help me since i go off road any chance i get. not only will that keep mud and crud off of the filter, but it will also enable me to just hose off my engine bay and not have to worry about it.

I also ordered the ram air kit, and im thinking of some ideas as to where to place it... especially since i took out the "snorkus" from behind my bumper, that freed up a lot of room. ive been thinking about just mounting it in the wheel well, but that will take away the ram air affect, and ill also have to keep the rain guard on at all times... i dont know, guess ill figure it out when it gets here. ill post up some pics soon as i get it installed...and find my digi cam... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yup. 3 things that entered the stock intake. One led from the engine, the other was some hose that came up from some device under the airbox, and the last was the air temp sensor.

Yeah, the SW filter doesn't accpet the ram-air shield. I'm thinking of either getting a Dragon filter with shield or making my own with a fiberglass kit. I'm currently working on making a fiberglass air scoop for my own ram-air intake. I'll either make one to scoop air up from under the splash guard, or one under the right headlight assembly like how Pancake did his.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Actually, it did have a hole for the air temp sensor. That hole is lined with a rubber grommet and the sensor simply pops into it. The hose from the engine slides onto a nipple, but the second hose from under the airbox has no nipple to slide onto. As a result, I had to drill a small hole and seal the hose in with high temp silicone gasket material. I don't know if the Dragon intake has that problem.
 
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