RR Motorworks

Racing Beat Power Pulse Cold Air Intake

Racing Beat Cold Air Intake

[8/17/2007] Reviewed by: Frank R - fnr1969@yahoo.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

I am very pleased with the performance of this product. My mechanic installed this at the same time I had a Borla cat-back put on. The two together, along with OBX ceramic coated headers is making my Miata even more fun to drive. I am sure it is OK on its own, but as part of a 3-step exhaust mod, it is excellent.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[4/18/2003] Reviewed by: Chris Henderson - suprahendeu@excite.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Cold Air Intake

This is a product that is a great idea. If you are looking to increase air to your miata, give this a go. You'll experience more in the seat of the pants dyno with a K&N air filter. Order one in advance, most auto parts places don't stock it.

It is a little of an undertaking to install, but well worth the hour or so. The instructions aren't perfect, but they are still sufficient to help the mechanically inclined individual. Overall, love the sound at 3500 rpm's and it does add a little pull.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/11/2003] Reviewed by: Chris Pond - CKP720@aol.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

The product is of very high quality. The polished cannister is almost as reflective as my bathroom mirror! The welds look very clean. I ordered mine with the "Sport" connection pipe which has no resonator and that was of the same build quality of the muffler, that is beautiful.

Install was extremely easy and took about an hour start to finish. The instructions were helpful and all the hardware and gaskets were included. The sound is not much louder than stock even with the non-resonated midpipe but it is noticable. At idle I can't even hear if my car is running. As soon as a tap the gas it sounds like a well tuned sports car! About power gains...it feels noticably faster from about 4K to redline. I have to teach myself that I need to shift faster at WOT because I have been taking it above 7K! The engine just races as if it is saying "I want the next gear"

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this product. I picked it up from Racing Beat as they are local and their service was 110%. I would definately purchase more products from them in the future!

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/12/2002] Reviewed by: Javier -javilc@mundofree.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

The Racing Beat Power Pulse Cold Air Intake. Is a very good product to performance the motor of the NA Miatas. $215. With this CAI you can used the OEM air filter but Ii use the KN panel filter.

This is the first performance that I made to my 1600 cc NA Miata . I bought this product from Finish Line Performance $215. I bought this product on Internet because I´m from Spain ( Europe ) to finish Line Performance.

This Cai is very similar to the Jackson Racing CAI . Is cheaper than JR CAI and the HP that you can use the K&N filter. The problem of this CAi is that the Racing Beat CAI is longer that JR and the vibration is more possible ( My English is very bad scuseme ) http://www.mundofree.com/javilc/mx5.htm

Not an installed item

[2/15/2002] Reviewed by: Mike Kelley - kelleyplace@att.net

Applicable to: '99 + 1.8 liter

Standard single tip unpolished unit. $225.

Good quality; well-packed but instructions missing; easy install. Good shine on tip and cannister. Purchased from Goodwin Racing, San Diego. Ground UPS to Phoenix cost about $13.50. Arrived in 4 days including a weekend.

This exhaust is bolted onto a '01 LS. Install took about 30 minutes using Rhino Ramps and after soaking the two bolts overnight in Liquid Wrench (WD-40 would work too)even though the car is less than 6 months old. Bolts broke loose with effort but on first try. I also recommend putting common liquid dish soap on rubber hangers, even though it's hard to get the stuff in the hanger. Helps force old exhaust out of hangers while you are working upside down with little leverage. No new gasket included; used existing gasket. Sound is a subtle and quiet change, not in-your-face. A throatier sound and a bit louder than stock. Reportedly gets louder after, say, 200 miles. No perceived increase in power. Maybe a bit better throttle response, but may also be wishful thinking. This add-on is for looks and sound.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[2/15/2002] Reviewed by: Steven McCloud

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Plastic scoop that lets cooler air into engine.

There is a really nice sound after installation. Paired with the Racing Beat Stainless exhaust (no resonator) the car sounds agressive during acceleration. At first glance, the product doesn't look like it is worth the money ($215) It is basically just a plastic piece with some bolts. The boost in acceleration and cool sound is worth the money.

It took me longer to install than others have said. Granted, I am not a experienced mechanic. A couple of bolts needed to move the power steering pump were very hard to get to. The bracket supplied by Racing Beat that supports the unit from the bottom did not fit properly. It is pre-drilled to attach to two bolts on the air meter, and the holes did not match up to the bolts. Very annoying with no drill. One more thing, The horn for my alarm had to be removed and relocated to intall the CAI.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[1/4/2002] Reviewed by: Bryan Acosta - reaper113@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Cat back system with connecting pipe w/resinator 304 very reflective *shiney* SS muffler

Over all I am REALLY happy with this product, before this unit I had a P.O.S. Midas "High Flow" muffler which sounded tinny and was more of a buzzing lawnmower noise, sounded even worse when under throttle until it warmed up. After adding headers and new high flow cat, that lawnmower noise was there even after it warmed up. With this new system it is good to go from the turn of the key until the system is up at running temp. Now I have to stop myself from revving the engine at every stop just hear it. SMILE factor-ear to ear.

Had to bend a few hangers to get it not to tap against frame. As For the hp I think RB undercuts their claims of hp I now have loads of torque and Hp. alot more then 3hp. as claimed on ther web site. no dyno test, so no proof, Sorry. I would highly recommend this product. Worth EVERY penny

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[6/9/2001] Reviewed by: Erik Shauger - jack10525@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Cold Air Intake system to replace the restrictive stock intake. Installed on a '97 with ps.

Received in about 4-5 days from racing beat. Ordered product on line. Came in great condition. Everything was in the box.

I must have been the lucky one. I received the intake in a timely manner, everything was in the box, and the install took no than 45 mins. I have read all the other reviews and I had none of those problems... The good: Better responsiveness and a great sound. I had an Ansa muffler on before the intake and together they make a great combination. The bad: installed the intake in early 2000, after about a year the plastic air scoop began to crack. It's pretty bad so I took off the scoop and added a cone filter at the end of the AFM. This set up works pretty well (no noticeable loss in power.) I'm working on a heat shield now. Racing Beat is a good company, I have no bad things to say about them but if you are looking for an intake, buy the other one they sell and save a hundred bucks.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[3/25/2001] Reviewed by: mike - t0rqueman@aol.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97

Racing Beat cold air induction big black looking thing that acts like ram air

getting it in was a little tricky nothing too major the fit to get the front of the unit mounted to the front base of my car was tight but just had to hold it down with some force and screw it in. the screws to attach the unit to the air box were awkward to screw down. (i decided not to remove the entire box like they say) by not removing the entire box i was sure not to accidentally tear the wiring form the air meter (this wire is only soldered in place and easily torn off) if you were to accidentally yank this wire you would disengage the meter and he car would fail to start, thus i didn't want to mess with that and cause anymore headache than needed. as for the sound, it sounds normal when idling but once you press the pedal more than 2/3 down it is all over and the induction comes to life and roars.

the horsepower gain is noticeable but not huge. the engine I believe actually does run cooler and i get a bit better gas mileage. other than that i am in love with the induction and was well worth it. would buy again

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/22/2000] Reviewed by Ken Svilich - svil@earthlink.net 

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Cold Air Induction, with molded scoop attached behind radiator.

Read installation instructions thoroughly. Removal of stock airbox & tubing - no problem. Second step was to relocate cruise control diaphram - PROBLEM!! The supplied bracket fit where it was supposed to, but the cruise module wouldn't attach without banging into other components. Also, I was very reluctant to bend brake lines. Sooo, spent a couple of hours modifying the supplied bracket, and attaching it to another "hard point", and finally got everything in place and not interfering with other stuff. The balance of the installation went smoothly. Total time, approx. 4.5 hours.

The fit of the spiffy looking chrome tube to the throttle body is TIGHT as it passes the radiator hose. The flex connector between the chrome tube & the white tube to the air meter/filter could be a "weak link". This joint is required to absorb all movement between the parts attached to the engine and those attached to the frame. Will monitor this closely. This CAI works as advertised. Had timing advanced to 14 deg. BTDC prior to installation, which accounts for some of performance improvement, but CAI addition made additional improvement. Feels more "torquey" from dead stop, and revs quickly & smoothly to red line. Also makes nice growly sounds when WOT is (frequently) applied.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

[5/14/2000] Reviewed by ronald a. frazak sr. - nikcurt@juno.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

racing beat cai, cold air induction. a high flow cold intake such as ram air.

it took me 1.5 hours to install this product. had to remove all the oem intake and just used the origional air meter appratus part. the only problem i had, which by no means was major, was the tightening of the plastic hose clamps. there are 4 of them to install. i used a c clamp to tighten to the 3 rd notch, and it worked fine. very easy install.

i have a 95m with p.s, and there was no problem. i just needed to unbolt the cruise control and after install just bolted back on. i did not need to relocate any part. i went for a test drive, of course the auto started on the first crank, and i sure could feel the difference. definately a gain in h.p and performance. i would recommend this product to anyone wanting more performance for their miata. sure is worth the money spent. i purchased it from racing beat. delivery time was as scheduled.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[1/13/2000] Reviewed by Matt Belleghem - matt@computer-edge.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

A Large black plastic apparatus that replaces the stock airbox and intake system with an upgraded free-flowing unit.

Installation was not very difficult, and the performance boost is quite noticable at higher RPM. If you're planning on installing one of these, drop a K&N in at the same time, since you've got the thing all taken apart, and changing the air filter with the RB CAI installed is significantly more difficult than with the OEM setup.

 Two serious caveats regarding install

#1 - If you have power steering, you will need to relocate the pump. There are instructions included, but they're not great, and the blurb that tells you you need to move the pump was on a separate piece of paper that Murphy's law says you will only find once the entire thing is assembled without the neccesary bracket.

#2 - LEARN HOW TO UNPLUG THE AFM SENSOR PROPERLY! The instructions completely omit this, and if you just yank on the connector, you will damage the connector such that the car will not start, and/or you will damage the connector such that the connection becomes intermittent. This will render your car randomly inoperative, and you have to remove the entire assembly and fix it out of the car. I've been there twice - my 91 is in the driveway dead right now until I can pull the CAI out and fix the AFM. Other reviewers pointed this out as well - there is a metal clip you need to remove. Remove it!

Worth the $ IMHO.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[9/21/99] Reviewed by Mike Gvillo - mxg@dolby.com

Applicable to '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Air intake system, Cold Air Induction (CAI) kit

A tasty Miata treat!!

It took me 45 mins to install the CAI and K&N filter on the sidewalk in front of my apartment, on a hill in the dark. That was 9 months ago.

The results are very tasty. My '95 M has it's original note below 4k RPM but afterwards, it's whiplash and throaty bass exahust tones, at 65MPH, it's 3rd gear and grins. The throttle response is greatly improved. The car even runs a little cooler. I was able to advance my timing by removing two bolts on the kit, not a big deal, but a little harder than a stock setup. I can now chirp the tires going into second gear.

My only criticism is the cheap plastic provided to protect the intake from the radiator hose. The shield became brittle and cracked. The kit had a rattle which worked itself out after a few days, I never found it.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Tom Howlin - tom4416@erols.com

I installed this unit on a 92 "B" package in 09/98. Although I've only had in on for several days now, I am very happy with the results and the ease of installation. Earlier reviews complained about installing the Racing Beat on a car with power steering but they now include a bracket to relocate the power steering reservoir about 1/2 inch from its stock location thus eliminating any interference problems. The system utilizes most of the stock plumbing and contains a very effective hood support relocation bracket setup. Total install time was under forty five minutes and the instructions were clear except for the mounting of the air flow meter bracket. As noted in an earlier review, it is much simpler to mount the bracket to the car frame first and then mount the air box assembly to the bracket.

The first things I noticed upon operation was 1) more power and 2) the vibration around 3500 - 4500 rpms that has been noted. You can actually feel the vibration in the body of the car and while not violent, it is nevertheless somewhat annoying. The stock airbox in the Miata is painstakingly shock mounted while the Racing Beat box uses none of this shock mounting but rather just solid mounts the air box to the frame utilizing only one bolt. This solid mount sets up a harmonic "buzz" in the body which is transmitted to the driver. Since my Miata is one of the smoothest running I've ever been in, I was determined to eliminate or reduce this by-product. It was actually quite simple to accomplish. I took a sheet of high density closed cell foam and cut a piece to fit under the bracket. Because there is only one bolt holding the bracket down, I was concerned that having this foam underneath would allow the bolt to work free so I rigged another bracket to attach to the Racing Beat one and then angle over to an empty bolt hole (hold down for original intake snorkel). I bolted this bracket down using one of the shock absorbing towers from the original airbox. You'll have to experiment a little with this new bracket in getting the bend angle correct as the Racing Beat bracket isn't on a direct line with the empty bolt hole. When I took it back out on the road, all the vibration was gone but none of the power.

I purchased this product from Brainstorm ($215.85) and as always, their service was excellent.

The unit is very well finished giving a nice "factory" appearance although changing the air filter is now a fifteen minute job instead of the normal five.

Coupled with my aftermarket muffler (Ansa), 14BTDC timing and 160 degree thermostat, this unit completes my non-invasive modifications and has made the Miata a crisper car, especially above 40mph. I'm not a big believer in company claims for HP gains for any product and this one is no exception. I expect I gained around 3 to 4HP with the CAI, same with the muffler (but a much broader torque curve). Now, if my wife will just get me the Sebring supercharger for Christmas, I'll be in Miata Heaven.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Jonathan Skinner - jskinner@co.pinellas.fl.us

Installation of Power Pulse CAI kit made by Racing Beat into a 1993 Miata *B* package:
By Mitchell Herman and Jonathan Skinner

Mitchell ordered the Power Pulse kit from Crazy Red and a K&N drop-in filter from Moss Motors on a Monday and they both arrived on the following Thursday. Jonathan offered to help install it, and based on our experience installing the Power Pulse, we have submitted this review to Miata.net for inclusion in their Product Review section.

The Power Pulse CAI Kit came with one page of directions, that were clear but left out some minor (but important) steps. Removal of the original air intake was uneventful and fairly straightforward. We were struck by how small the stock intake plastic tube was!

We found that installing the lower bracket to the chassis first, then attaching the intake box worked better than doing it the other way around as the directions suggest. (Note Tim Taylor Rule from TV: Directions are just the manufactures SUGGESTION as to how to put something together!)

The letter from Crazy Red (actually Crazy Ma, Dave's mom) said they would be sending a new bracket to relocate the power steering reservoir due to some complaints about the interference between the air intake hose and the power steering unit. We did not wait for it, but may retrofit it at a later date.

Installation took 1.25 hours, primarily due to having to improvise some steps that should have been done at the factory. Biggest problem with the install was the fact that of the three bolt holes that are supposed to be in the main support bracket, one was missing, and one was both misaligned and too small! Very poor quality control. We *hogged out* the hole that was too small, then took measurements to drill the proper hole for the third bolt (which was not that easy as we had to place the whole unit on the car and do our best to squeeze a marker under the CAI and mark the spot to drill). If the bracket had been right from the get-go, we could have done this install in 45 minutes, tops.

After dropping something heavy on the car and adding a new chip to the paint, we recommend that you cover the fender with a towel as a precaution, and be sure to insert a clean rag in the intake hose to prevent any foreign matter from getting into the engine.

We do have one word of caution: DO NOT REMOVE THE SENSOR FOR THE MAS UNIT!! We attempted to do this, in the mistaken belief that this would facilitate the installation of the kit. This resulted in some unnecessary additional disassembly and trouble-shooting as a result of messing with the sensor in the first place. Once "fixed" the car ran great , the engine had lots more grunt, with great sounds coming from the intake! Now this was more like what we expected!

Primarily due to having power steering, and not having the relocation bracket for it, this installation was definitely a two person (for you "PC'ers" out there) job. One person had to apply force on the unit to get it properly lined up with the correct bolt hole due to the interference with the air intake hose, while the other person would bolt it down. With the correct bracket, or without the power steering, this installation would have been very easy for one person to do alone.

One of our fellow club members has the Jackson set up, and after having driven both cars back to back, we felt that the Racing Beat kit essentially delivers the same performance increase as the Jackson, at a much lower price. Other club members also preferred the *finished* appearance of the Racing Beat unit, compared to the Jackson CAI.

Our overall impression now that the Power Pulse is performing correctly:

1) It looks great, very *factory* finish!
2) Easy install IF the holes are properly drilled, and ALL brackets are present and accounted for!
3) It has impressive power, with NO noticeable driveability problems. Really cool throaty sound when the accelerator is floored and the rpms exceed 4000.
4) We feel it is well worth the money, especially compared to the Jackson CAI kit. particularly if you have already "upgraded" to the K&N drop-in filter.

Reviewed by: Mark Chapoton - markchap@aol.com

A replacment airbox for early Miatas. Provides less restrictive air flow to the Mass Air Sensor (MAS). This product is supposed to improve engine performance and I would guess add some ponies. Cooler air is drawn in from above the radiator and I would expect driving at highway speeds would add a ram-air effect.

The install was really easy. I wish someone would have explained how to remove the harness that connects to the MAS. The connector has a thin metal release that requires a very small flat head screwdriver to release. The other reviews explain what work is required so i'll just say that the instructions were complete and most anyone could install this product. Prior performance mods to my 93 plain Miata is a K&N Filter and timing set to 14 degrees. I have 31k on the car, the stock exhaust and no power steering. The K&N filter did make a small difference in acceleration but the JR CAI makes a more noticeable change. I was mainly looking for more power on the freeway in 4th and 5th gears and the CAI delivers. The engine just runs easier in the 3500 to 6000 rpm range and my gas mileage is up by 2-4 mpg. My gut feel is that a performance muffler would open up the 6000-7000+ rpm range.

There is a vibration and more intake noise when I floor the pedal but I don't drive that way normally. This vibration/sound is only momentary and goes away as soon as the revs get above 4000. The quality of the plastic looks durable and the look is very clean. There are two small holes on the bottom side on the intake tract for some reason. The instructions did not elaborate on any reason for the holes. I purchased this product through Performance Buyers Club for $229 plus shipping. The CAI came in a large box with plenty of bubble wrap. I can recommend this product to anyone looking for a smoother, easier reving engine. I'll post a followup after a couple months with the RB CAI.

Reviewed by: Scott Stiles - scottst@microsoft.com

Cold air intake, similar to the Jackson racing product except it makes use of more of the stock intake plumbing on install. Only fits Pre-94 cars, and seems to fit best on cars w/o Power steering.

Purchased in late Jan. Left it on the car for less than 2days. Well, there's a lot of Pulse, and an underwhelming amount of Power...

The car's a '90A w/~54k, K&N panel, timing set at 14+ deg & in general good tune. Before the CAI, I had a liberally hogged out OEM airbox w/the original intake flange plugged. I took a dremel to outboard-bottom side of the airbox... Downside of this setup was IMO too much intake noise, but it produced good throttle response and a good kick of power in the upper reaches of the tach.

RB CAI, for those of you who are unaware, is a CAI system for 90-93 cars that utilizes all of the original intake plumbing with the exception of the lower-half of the airbox. A bracket is provided to mount the MAF & the top half of the airbox upside down near its original location. The CAI duct bolts to the top of this affair, and again to the nose of the car above the radiator. The intention is to suck cold air from the nose of the car, and it appears to be a well placed source. From pics I've seen, this location is very close to the Jackson CAI setup.

Now to "performance":

Other nits:

- Either I botched the install, or they *should not* recommend installing this system on cars w/PS. The crossover tube & rubber elbow are lowered to the point that the rubber elbow interferes w/the PS fluid reservoir. The elbow places a non-trivial amount of pressure on this reservoir and seems to have caused a slight kink in the elbow itself. I was planning on eventually going to a manual rack, but not because of an intake system!

- The plastic is of thinner guage than I would have expected. It seems to be solid enough, but I'm worried about resonance at high-flow rates (I'm wondering if the thing is vibrating/flexing/resonating at full-throttle). I'm tempted to wrap the exterior w/some reflective insulation to 1) keep temps down and 2) try to muffle the noise, but I shouldn't have to futz with this type of product to get it to work correctly.

On the positive side:

- Except for the PS interference, it fits...

- I'm fairly sure my intake charge is cooler than my previous setup.

Interested in any other experience w/this setup, or tips on PS installs. I'm of a mind to pack it back up & return it.

Reviewed by: Reid Torosian - reid@tidalwave.net

Large plastic intake which replaces the stock air box and resembles the ram air assembly from a Camaro SS.

Quite easy to install if you have replaced your filter or changed your oil before. The main intake track bolts to the bottom half of the stock air box. Stock air filter (or K&N) goes inside bottom half of air box. Performance wise the product did quite well. From a stop the car feels about the same with a little increase of intake noise. But once the tach hits 4000rpm the fun starts. The engine sounds as if it is sucking down a small tornado. It scared me the first time I floored it. Above 4000rpm and a little gas the car actually pulsates with power. The engine roar is probably as loud as my Borla exhaust..sounds very nice. I am too lazy to do any timings to verify the apparent performance increase, but I did perform a top speed run down I-95. With my K&N Filtercharger, she would top out around 124mph. This morning she hit 132mph at 6900rpm in top gear with the Racing Beat CAI. 8mph extra top speed would mean at least a 10hp gain if not 15 like the JR.

Cost around $230 from Performance Buyers Club. Pete was quite helpful and even showed me what it would look like in my engine (using his display model). Might seem a little expensive, but worth every penny. Actually it is quite a bargin when compared to the $380 JR CAI.

Back to Product Reviews

25 February, 2009

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