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Gearheads Add Cold Air Intake Using Dry Ice

Gearheads Add Cold Air Intake Using Dry Ice

The Hoonigans have returned with perhaps the dumbest idea yet on how to make their beat-up Firebird go faster.

Once again, we see the old Pontiac Firebird with a new contraption strapped to the roof. Last time it was a bevy of compressed air tanks that were used to force air into the engine faster than it could suck up on its own. Before that, it was a series of homemade turbochargers and superchargers, with varying degrees of success.

Now we have 4 coolers filled with dry ice and a single industrial fan blowing the gas into the car’s carburetor.

Ostensibly this is billed as a “cold air intake”, with the intent of creating more horsepower. Cold air does improve engine performance as cooler air is denser than warm air. Dense air has more oxygen for the same amount of volume, and thus provides more combustion gasses to the engine creating more power.

That’s the theory, anyway. The problem with the Hoonigans’ setup is that the gas being fed into the carburetor isn’t cold oxygen. Dry ice is carbon dioxide, which is not combustible, meaning that as the dry ice evaporates and is forced into the engine, there are fewer combustion gases present than if it were just sucking in regular air.

RELATED: GEARHEADS GIVE UP ON TURBOS, JUST USE COMPRESSED AIR INSTEAD

Now, had they used the dry ice in conjunction with a radiator system so that they were simply using it to cool ambient air, then we’d have a system that works. But as it stands, the system here actually robs the Firebird of about 20 horses.

Strangely, the Firebird still manages to run faster with the dry ice system running than without. We think that probably has less to do with the fact there is CO2 being fed into the carburetor and more to do with the fact the Firebird is an inconsistent piece of garbage that needs way more work to run effectively than the Hoonigans are willing to put in.

At least the Firebird will be retired after this video. Then we have a whole new car to look forward to ruining.

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