August 10, 2000


Super Sport Hoods
Do they really supply cool air to the engine?

While doing some testing on a 1998 1LE SS Camaro I noticed that the intake air temperatures (IAT) acted strange.  The temperatures were up and down throughout the test runs.  It really did not hit me what was going on until middle ways through the testing.

The Super Sport hood directs air into the scoop on top of the hood where it then curves back around and heads toward the front of the hood where it makes another turn into the front of the air box assembly.  There is a rubber seal that "seals", use that term lightly, the intake assembly so that it does not let any air from the engine compartment in.  This is clearly meant to be a cold-air-induction setup.  This is also a long distance for air to travel from the time it enters the hood scoop to when it makes it way into the air box.   

The IATs were around 115 F when we first started the testing.  Once the car had been in motion for a mile or two the IATs dropped into the middle to low 90 F.  Wow!  I knew that it just didn't get cooler outside all of a sudden!  So what would cause this phenomenon to happen?

That gave me the perfect hypothesis that needed to be tested.  While your car sits at idle the engine temperature rises.  The hood soaks up the heat and can not dissipate the heat quick enough to stay cool.  This causes the air that passes through the SS hood to soak up the heat from the hood.  By the time the air gets to the air box you have heated air.  Once the car goes into motion the hood is able to dissipate the heat to the outside air fast enough to lower the temperature of the hood.  This would cause the air that enters the hood scoop not to heat up quite as much which would keep the air cooler.  

We never expected to have such a lag in the time it took to get cool air into the engine once we started driving.  The least amount of distance it would take the car to travel before getting cool air into the engine was one-half mile.  Ouch!  That is entirely too long, especially for us quarter milers.

Do your self a favor and get a ram air setup if you are looking to cool your intake temperatures down quicker than a half mile.  Our fast toys ram air system gives us ambient intake temperatures from the time you start your car to the time you turn it off.  It does a great job over the free ram air mod too.  So it is a win-win situation to purchase a ram air kit if you really intend to get those temperatures down on the SS or Z28.


- Eric Barger

Web Author: Eric Barger
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Revised: June 07, 2007.