Panther Air Intake Comparison

This comparison all started with a thread when a user on a panther forum asked about which intake system to use. Many users chimed in with various ideas and methods. Two that cropped up as the most used were the JLT and MZT.

This discussion is not limited to the panther platform, air intakes are a very common upgrade for almost any enthusiast. They are usually inexpensive, easy to install and have the potential to offer significant gains over a stock air intake.

After many of these intake threads taking up a lot of the forums activity, I felt enough was enough and decided to do a quantitative analysis of the popular intakes vs. the stock. In the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis platform (for which I personally own a model) I choose two particular intakes due to both intakes being constantly questioned.

JLT Cold Air Intake ($129.99)- The JLT CIA consists of a conical filter, aluminum maf adapter and plastic box. JLT states on their website that the JLT CIA has the potential to add 6-12rwhp.

MZT- The MZT (Marauder Box/MAF 205.99, Zip Tube 46.99, Xcal2 with Tune 400.00, total= 652.98 )- The MZT is a “home brew” solution by members on Crownvic.net, for more information about installation, please see dRock’s post about the MZT.

These intakes offer very different approaches and features. The JLT appears to be marketed as a low cost solution for a person looking to upgrade their intake.

The MZT is marketed as a higher-end upgrade offering a larger MAF (80mm vs. the stock 70mm), it also cost significantly more then the JLT.

The debate comes about because many believe that a cold air intake should offer more performance then a closed box solution such as the MZT or at least as much. Up to this point, no one on the crownvic.net forum has posted hard numbers of either intake, let alone a comparison, i.e. the reason for this comparison.

The Comparison

In order to do a comparison I needed to collect all 3 intakes (stock, JLT and MZT). I was one of the first purchasers of the JLT, so I already had that intake and I already had received an xCal2 tune by Motion Dynamics in Pflugerville, Tx, so all I needed was the Marauder Box/MAF and ziptube. JPA on crownvic.net was kind enough to send those pieces for the duration of the test, so with all the gear in hand I setup a dyno appointment with my local tuner, Motion Dynamics.

The tuner at Motion Dynamics is Brian Knesek, who has over 10 years experience tuning and was very interested in this project as soon as I told him about it. He insisted and I agreed that we should document and log as much information as possible. Below you will see a chart with air temps, transmission pan temps, oil pan temps and much more.

So on August 22, 2008 I showed up at Dynamic Motions and met up with Brian, we got a base line run and also warmed up the car, set the tire pressure (34 psi). The ambient temperature for the test ranged from 95 degrees to 100 degrees. This is important to the test in that we intentionally chose a typical temperature in Austin, Tx to test at. In the previous tests I have viewed about the JLT looking at Intake Air Temperatures, which you can view at MercuryMarauder.net were taken in 30 degree temperatures. This type of test is great if you live in cool climates, however it made me wonder what type of results we would get testing down Austin, Tx in 100 degree weather.

So without further delay, below are the results:

Video– Below is a video that I compiled with the dyno runs including information about the test.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Charts– Below you will find a chart with all the HP/TQ results as well as temperatures.

HP
TQ
HP (non spike)
Stock open 164.23 218.88 159
Stock closed 165.99 217.66 159
JLT open 172.07 222.40 167
JLT closed 165.38 218.16 161
JLT tuned
open
177.00 227.98 172
JLT tuned
closed
173.17 222.73 170
MZT tune open 176.78 227.63 173
MZT tune
closed
176.23 227.10 172
Air Temp Start
Air Temp Finish
Stock open 100 102
Stock closed 110 112
JLT open 106 104
JLT closed 120 130
JLT tuned
open
108 108
JLT tuned
closed
114 128
MZT tune open 106 104
MZT tune
closed
114 114
Oil Pan Temp
Trans Temp
Diff Temp
Stock open 155 130 110
Stock closed 165 135 115
JLT open 175 135 110
JLT closed 170 135 110
JLT tuned
open
175 145 115
JLT tuned
closed
175 130 115
MZT tune open 180 140 120
MZT tune
closed
180 140 115

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Graphs- Below is a set of graphs documenting the HP and TQ curves of the pulls.

Findings/Conclusion-

As you can see from the charts and graphs, the JLT does deliver it’s performance claims with the hood up, however, not down. This is exactly what JLT stated would happen if we closed the hood, however, what did concern me was with the hood down how much the IAT temps rose. But as JLT stated on crownvic.net, “Either way you do it the debate will go on. Someone will always find fault with the test.”

One of my own personal observations is that the if the JLT were to draw more cool air from the front of the car, like the stock and MM do with their snorkels, the JLT would truly offer a full advantage over the MZT (and at less then a quarter of the price of an MZT setup).

With that said, I feel if you are going to be doing more to your car then just adding an air intake, I would definitely look into the MZT, along with more consistent numbers, you also get a tune, which will be invaluable throughout your upgrading process. The tuner not only gives you the ability to tune your engine, but the transmission as well and this has an added value that when used with the MZT offers nice consistent performance.

Personally, I am still building up my car at this point and I will stick with my JLT/Tune until I completely upgrade my engine (which will hopefully be sooner then later).

Overall, this has been a great little “science fair” project that hopefully will bring some insight and add to the dialogs about air intakes.

Special Thanks and Attributes:

Corina Lopez- Executive Funding

Brian Knesek- Dynamic Motions tuner

dRock- Panther expert on crownvic.net

JPA- Parts Lender

CC3.0 2008 Joseph Lopez

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