Monday, March 1, 2010

Product Review: Road Race Motorsports' Short Ram Intake relieves your Suzuki's congestion; lets engine breathe freely

Does your Suzuki SX4 experience shortness of breath or trouble breathing? Road Race Motorsports (RRM) can help with one of its intake kits. Most users experience improved throttle response, increased performance, and melodic engine notes. Side effects may include finding any excuse to drive your car, and wanting to add more modifications to your vehicle.

In this case, RRM prescribed its Short Ram Intake for my 2007–2009 Suzuki SX4 (they have a model to fit the 2010s, too). Here's a quick install along with my impressions.

Right out of the box, you can tell the RRM intake is a quality unit. The intake pipe has a black powder-coated finish, the MAS sensor holder is CNC machined, and the unit has a stout feeling not found on many intakes—this is no flimsy piece of aluminum tubing. The kit includes a cone filter and all the necessary hardware for installation.

Road Race Motorsports Suzuki SX4 Short Ram IntakeThe install began by disconnecting the battery, then removing the ginormous stock engine cover/intake tubes. Next, there's a little plumbing to be done. I removed the three-way tube connecting the coolant and breather lines. RRM includes a new metal fitting to connect the coolant lines running through the throttle body (the breather hose will reattach to the intake tube). It takes some elbow grease to get that new fitting into the hoses. I found it helpful to remove the hoses completely, attach the fitting, then reattach the hoses.

Road Race Motorsports Suzuki SX4 Short Ram IntakeNext, I installed the intake tube and filter using the supplied hose clamps and rubber sleeve. Once these are installed, there's a single bolt that attaches the intake tube to the engine to hold everything in place. It's tight quarters in the SX4's engine bay, so getting everything to line up right takes a bit of patience, but it all fits well—and very securely—once it's in.

Lastly—and the only tricky part of the installation—was getting the mass airflow sensor's cord to reach the new location. The cord was a bit short. To remedy this, I unraveled a bit of the electrical tape around the bundle of wires to provide some slack, then simply popped out one of the plastic tabs that holds the wire loom in place (at left). This freed up enough slack for the MAS cord to reach, yet the wires are slack enough where I'm not worried about anything getting damaged. I installed the two included hex bolts that hold the MAS in place, attached the breather hose to the side of the intake tube, reconnected the battery, and it was off for a test drive.

FYI: When you reconnect the battery on an SX4 with ESP (skid control), the traction control light will flash on and off until you drive the car forward for a short distance. This is not a malfunction; it simply needs to recalibrate itself.

There is an immediate difference driving the SX4 with this intake. First there's the sound—that oh so wonderful throaty sound! Mash the gas pedal, and you'll be rewarded a mean-sounding engine note you never knew the SX4 could make. Also, the engine feels like it revs quicker, and throttle response is also noticeably improved. RRM claims a full second 0-60 drop with this intake. This intake really seems to wake up the engine, allowing it to breathe freely.

If you're looking for an intake for the SX4, the Road Race Motorsports Short Ram is a very nice piece, and at $189.00, it won't break the bank. RRM also offers a Cold Air Intake kit for those looking for such a product, as well as a host of other performance parts for the Suzuki SX4. So if your Suzuki needs to have its airways opened up, Road Race Motorsports has a prescription that really works. Use as directed.

Road Race Motorsports


rubicon4wheeler said...

I found the build quality on mine to be mediocre, and there's no way it lost 1 second 0-60mph, but the slight improvement in power and sound is appreciated.

Andy Lilienthal said...

Interesting. Mine was made very well. The only bump in the road, as mentioned, was the MAS cord. Other than that, everything was very good.

Anonymous said...

Sounds loud but doesn't make my 0-60 any faster.

AccentPlanetDotOrg said...

This car needs more fuel efficient Powertrains. Believe it or not I think the SX4 is pointing the way to the Future for B segments in America. Now more makes want to try to do a B Segment crossover.


I think Crossover B Segs aided with higher gas prices will get many more people into these cars.

Sure the SX4 has a tough time wih sales, but surely its just a powertrain efficiency problem, coupled with badge snobbery.

Suzuki has stated they are following Hyundai upmarket, so I expect a whole lot from Suzuki moving foward.

AccentPlanetDotOrg said...

Its very believeable considering Suzukis propensity to offer more standard features than the competition, and that Kizashi is sweet.

Of couse they will be an Affordable Premium Automaker, but I think Suzuki with this cheap Asian Audi Idea has some legs on it.

Steven Rahn said...

The average person would have a hard time noticing whether their 0-60 had dropped by a second... which means it might be happening, or might not. Its easier tell if the engine is livelier and more responsive, because its less about "time" and more about "feel". That said, I did an amateur time-test after installing an AEM short ram on my Accent SE. It covered all distances slightly faster...but not by a full second. Throttle response felt better, and it seemed to pull harder off the line. What I needed to do was free up the exhaust as well for real improvements to be noticed, which is what the Borla turbo muffler managed to do. The sportier sound is icing on the cake. Nice installation Thirty-nine, enjoy.

Chevy HHR cold air intake said...

An air intake is one of the most simplest car parts to be installed in your vehicle. One great thing about this part is that the difference is really there when you try to run your car.