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Thread: ATM Ram Air CAI Installation and First Impressions

  1. #1
    shagghie's Avatar
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    Cool ATM Ram Air CAI Installation and First Impressions

    So first off a few observations about this thing:
    *Silicone is uber high quality. It will NOT collapse and is perfectly sized!
    *The aluminum washer tank holder is dope, period. Light weight, attractive, and highly functional.
    *The main silicone is wider just after the portion that mounts over the turbo inlet; this is to keep the ID as uniform and wide as possible heading into the turbo, while keeping a very snug fit over the inlet.
    *The washerbottle is perfectly spec'd and accepts the OEM mini-pump perfectly with zero modifications.
    *This is the least invasive intake on the market. The only thing you are altering is a) relieving a power lead wire from a harness a little and b)replacing a tall skinny washer fluid tank with as short fat one. Everything else connects to factory fittings, etc. It's over the top brilliantly designed.
    *When installed the ATM logo on the aluminum bottle tray is the perfect height and can be seen through the lower grill area
    *The final height of the filter element itself is perfect; not too low to EVER worry about water/vapor-lock, but defo low enough to not ingest all the hot air at the top and back of the engine bay.
    *Oil changes will now become a breeze; just pop the silicone off the inlet and fold it over to get to the filter.
    *The aluminum tray for the washer bottle is ecoated powder-coat and production units will have a laser engraved ATM logo (vs. vinyl decal like this prototype does)

    Installation notes and tips:
    *ATM shipped it in 'assembled' form to make it clear what goes where. That said, the do not fully tighten down all the clamps or screws/bolts (this is on purpose so you have flexibility during install). In other words, YOU are responsible for tightening everything down (as always)
    *When installing the bracket for the washer fluid tank cap, you'll need to first bolt it into the engine, and THEN bolt the filler cap to the bracket. This is plainly obvious when you go to do it, but knowing ahead of time might save you 5 mins of figuring it out
    *The green wire that powers the washer fluid pump has JUST enough slack to make it to the new lower pump location. To cut it some slack, trace it back up to the larger harness array that goes along the passenger's side of the engine bay wall. If you unclip two harness clamps from the sidewall of the engine bay, you will afford even more slack and you are good to go. NO NEED to cut/splice/extend any wiring at all, in other words. This is shown in the video.
    *You don't need to, but it is easier to work on everything if you jack the front of the car up on jack stands on either side. Saves your back and makes the parts down lower 'eye level' when you sit on the ground.
    *When you first take the OEM washer fluid bottle out, the pump might not come with it and pop out (like it is designed to do easily). This will get you wet if that happens (it happens to me in the video). No big deal and it cleans up well (it's washer fluid after all). Easy to avoid if you are looking out for it too.
    *The entire install took one hour and that was including both taking videos as well as un-installing the ATM HCI CAI I had in previously, including replacing the lower cowl with a new one, etc. You can conceivably get this install done in 30-45 minutes if you move along, and aren't worried about videos, measuring silicone, etc.


    FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
    *The sound. It is perfect. Without the HCI, I can now hear the borla/neu-f exhaust better, and there is no turbo whistle at WOT that dominates the soundscape now. That said, you DO hear the whistle outside of the car, even MORE than with the HCI. I'm also pushing 25lbs sustained boost now so that makes a big difference). In short, this intake is the ONLY intake I know of that is a ZERO COMPROMISE intake..all the sounds are there, but not as invasive as with the HCI. Personally I will miss the HCI turbo sonata...but most people i think will MUCH prefer the soundscape of this new Ram Air intake.
    *The throttle response: This is what hits you the hardest. If you so much as think about going faster, the car almost beats you to it. It feels like the direct throttle linkage to the twin Webbers on my pop's '72 124 Abarth Sportcoupe. Even before the boost curve kicks in, the car begins to move forward.
    *Air flow: Short tube with very gradual bend with a venturi on the filter side pretty much knocks it out of the park. Cool, laminar air flow directly into the turbo inlet... you feel it in the response, and when you are WOT, there is a ton of air from 5500rpm up to limiter.
    *Filter: slightly smaller than the HCI's obscenely large filter, but still has massive surface area. Given all the ambient space around the filter, you get really great response. The Filter on this intake is still over-spec'd for our engines, even tuned to 240hp+, you are not going to run out of air.

    Summary:
    *Super fast and easy (and satisfying!) install. Everything "just fits/just works". The word "eloquent" comes to mind first.
    *Performance... butt dyno is off the charts happy. The HCI has met its match, finally.
    *No-brainer: short tube, laminar air flow, potential for high pressure at speed, cool air, protected from elements, high-quality silicone, straight-forward design.

    What this intake does NOT do:
    *sit up high in the back of the engine bay where all the heat goes
    *have a mile of plumbing just to get the cold air to the turbo inlet
    *route anything over the turbine
    *fill the cabin with chipmunk zombie whistle missiles
    *clutter the engine bay with unnecessary hardware, plumbing, connectors, shields, bling-for-sake-of-bling, or anything else. It creates even more empty space at the top of the engine bay under the hood to give the heat somewhere to go until it can egress

    Final Score: 10/10

    I did not find a single fault and even trying hard to imagine one, I just can't think of one. It is the best of all worlds, and it is about time we get zero-compromise intake for our tuned applications. Hats off to the fellas at ATM for designing and testing this in the middle of winter in a freezing cold garage in New Jersey. We are lucky to have you in the community, and I'm just going to say it out loud: My car has finally unlocked FULL BEAST MODE!

    Here's the install video and some pics:











    Pelican case foam in side vent:


    backside of same:


    Last edited by shagghie; 07-24-2014 at 09:18 AM. Reason: Updating OP with answers to questions
    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=509&dateline=14328366  62
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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Crossfirecat's Avatar
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    Great write up! Waiting for ATM to start taking orders is killing me! Enjoy it you lucky dog!! Lol! Now go get some WOT vids! Carefully, of course..
    2013 Abarth:
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    right on. Im actually going to move mine in front of the air duct. On my old truck having the intake higher up vs right in the air grill my IAT temps dropped a lot faster since air was getting pushed in when your rolling..

    Good write up can't wait to get this on
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    Senior Member Abarth Five O's Avatar
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    Thanks Shagghie for the good writeup and review. I'll probably have more questions on the windshield water bottle/bracket install once I get into it. I'll probably buy an Outerwears water resistant cover for extra POM as suggested by ATM. I am wondering if it is really necessary to seal up the slotted vent holes, side air vent hole, and other areas to minimize the chance of water intrusion and maximize the performance of the intake. It would be nice to hear from ATM with their recommendations. Also are the nipples closest to the turbo inlet made of plastic? I am a little concerned as a member with the EC V4 CAI found that one of the plastic nipples had melted which threw a cel and affected his motor from running properly. In any event, can't wait to get in on the GB!
    Last edited by Abarth Five O; 07-24-2014 at 03:53 AM.
    2012 Abarth Grigio: visit my garage for list of mods and more pics: http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/dto_g...vehicle&v=1754

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    Senior Member TurboBullett@Ambient Thermal Management's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abarth Five O View Post
    Thanks Shagghie for the good writeup and review. I'll probably have more questions on the windshield water bottle/bracket install once I get into it. I'll probably buy an Outerwears water resistant cover for extra POM as suggested by ATM. I am wondering if it is really necessary to seal up the slotted vent holes, side air vent hole, and other areas to minimize the chance of water intrusion and maximize the performance of the intake. It would be nice to hear from ATM with their recommendations. Also are the nipples closest to the turbo inlet made of plastic? I am a little concerned as a member with the EC V4 CAI found that one of the plastic nipples had melted which threw a cel and affected his motor from running properly. In any event, can't wait to get in on the GB!
    The fittings we use in both kits are plastic, they are located about the same distance from the turbo as the ones used in the HCi kits. We have never had an issue as they are located well away from any source of heat. Shagghie has his filter covered with his HCI foam cover , the kit doesn't come with a filter cover BUT as you said you can cover it up with a outerwearz mist sock if you want a little more protection from mist etc. In our experience of you want to go whole hog and seal things off you may pick up some more positive pressure but only at higher speeds. im running and had run the prototype for months on my car without any sealing off and with the exposed filter. The filter used has enough filter media for 350hp, we plan to test the limits with the turno we will be installing soon.
    The Intake is basically a quiet but more responsive HCI,that's what people asked for and that's what we tried to accomplish with this part!
    Nero Abarth in the driveway!
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    Senior Member TurboBullett@Ambient Thermal Management's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NORCAL SS View Post
    right on. Im actually going to move mine in front of the air duct. On my old truck having the intake higher up vs right in the air grill my IAT temps dropped a lot faster since air was getting pushed in when your rolling..

    Good write up can't wait to get this on
    NorCal, your kit is going out today. I didn't apply the decal to box as I wanted to double check our measurement on placement to put it dead center of the inlet opening. We put shaggies on centered 6.5" from the bottom of the splash shield. Please double check this measurement for us as production versions will have the logo permanently etched into the splash shield!
    Nero Abarth in the driveway!
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    Senior Member mactography's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abarth Five O View Post
    Thanks Shagghie for the good writeup and review. I'll probably have more questions on the windshield water bottle/bracket install once I get into it. I'll probably buy an Outerwears water resistant cover for extra POM as suggested by ATM. I am wondering if it is really necessary to seal up the slotted vent holes, side air vent hole, and other areas to minimize the chance of water intrusion and maximize the performance of the intake. It would be nice to hear from ATM with their recommendations. Also are the nipples closest to the turbo inlet made of plastic? I am a little concerned as a member with the EC V4 CAI found that one of the plastic nipples had melted which threw a cel and affected his motor from running properly. In any event, can't wait to get in on the GB!
    +1

    When I eventually get my FMIC this looks to be an excellent option.
    2013 Grigio Abarth:
    Exterior /// 30% Tint, Blacked-Out Chrome Accents, Cravenspeed Stubby Antenna, PIAA DRLs
    Interior /// LED Lighting
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    I'll be updating the OP with answers to questions and/or anything else I think of that come up.

    Just added:
    *Oil changes will now become a breeze; just pop the silicone off the inlet and fold it over to get to the filter.
    *The aluminum tray for the washer bottle is ecoated powder-coat and production units will have a laser engraved ATM logo (vs. vinyl decal like this prototype does)
    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=509&dateline=14328366  62
    RAW Big Turbo, tuned to 250+whp on p93
    LSD, FX400, Okadas, 550cc, ported t-mani
    NightOwl Racing BC Racing with SWIFT Spring Suspension set up
    ATM FMIC, ATM Fenderwell Intake
    VanHook CF Rear Diff, doorhandles, hood vents and duct covers
    Advan RSII 17x7.5, rally stud conversion

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    Senior Member ophidia31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abarth Five O View Post
    Also are the nipples closest to the turbo inlet made of plastic? I am a little concerned as a member with the EC V4 CAI found that one of the plastic nipples had melted which threw a cel and affected his motor from running properly.
    I think that may have just been a one in a million shot. Look at all the other plastic bits around the turbo that havent melted yet.
    2016 Ceramic Metallic MX-5 w/ Brembo/BBS

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