This is an easy mod that should theoretically improve hp and top end performance.
The Stock intake on the Jato is pretty much an RC version of a SRI, or Short Ram Intake. This is basically a filter right at the carb. While this set up delivers instant flow to the engine, and this great for low end tq, it still locates the filter inside the body close to the engine, outside the air flow. The system feeds the engine heat soaked air, and the hotter the air the less oxigen for the same volume of air. Enter the CAI or Cold Air Intake. The cold air intake uses extended intake tubing to relocate the air filter somewhere it can get colder air. With the cold air comes more oxigen and with more oxigen comes more power. The SRI can be set up to nullify the gains of a CAI from cold air, by directing cold air to the SRI. Scoops or body reeming can get a helthy amount of air flow to the SRI, leaving the biggest difference between the 2 in the neck.
The extended neck of the CAI also has an impact on performance. The neck delays delivery of an equal volume of air, this shifts tq to a higher rpm. The same tq, just at a higher rpm gives us more hp. The cost is not making the same tq until a slightly higher rpm, but the benifits of more useable hp out weigh the loss especially since moving the tq up will put that tq somewhere we can see it after a shift.
The problem with any improvements made to the intake is that they are only as good as the exhaust system will allow them to be. Improving top end performance with an intake will be chocked out by a restrictive exhaust system. The stock system is rather restrictive already. Improving its flow rate will allow the gains from intake mods to make it to the wheels. A pump can only flow as much as its most restricted point will allow.
There is a mod for drilling out the stingger of the stock pipe to allow more flow through it. This should uncorke the gains from the CAI & the improved frow. This is not to be confused with the gains from a "Tunned Pipe", the Tunned Pipe uses soundwave cones to deflect and enhance the pulses from the engine to create a "supercharged effect" the return wave essentially pushing unburnt fuel/air that escapped into the exhaust, back into the engine & reducing compression loss. This effect is tuned by how far the cone is placed in the system from the engine. The closer the cone is the more tunned the pipe is for top end. Gains from Tuned Pipes (std type) feel peaky, top end pipes lag then kick in boost when you "get on the pipe" in the top end, low end pipes pretty much get off the line on the pipe, then fizzle as speed and rpm increase. The gains from intakes and improoved fliw will be much more broad and much less noticeable then getting on the pipe, but relevant none the less.
A CAI intake is the choice for all around gains and increasses top end. A SRI with cold air directed over the filter will be the choice for someone looking just to boost the low end with no reguard to top end. A CAI and top end pipe will give the most top end performance, while the Air cooled SRI and low end pipe will be the low rpm tq Kings.
In the world of tuning the best tuners use these types of differences to dictate how they select parts. First you have a need, for example a mudder or puller. This application calls for low end TQ, select the intake and exhaust that will give you power low when you want. Or use mods to improve top end if your looking for that Top Speed.
When you get good at feeling it out you can be creative to suit your needs. Big low end gains with a lil bit of top end bump, as with a low end pipe and CAI, or Big top end gains with a little bump down low like with a top end pipe & Air cooled SRI. Usually catering to the needs of the engine and application.
Since the Jato comes with a SRI intake, its a matter of cutting out holes in the body in stretegic locations to get air flow increased over the filter. I have gone with a CAI for improved top end performance and Ill post it up as an example of a CAI.
I uses the angled intake system from the Revo 3.3. This conviniently uses the same filter holder (the stock filter holder is restrictive and the system will work better if upgtaded to a better unit) and will fit Jato upgrades or generic engine saver filter systems. I chose to relocate the filter to the rear opening to retain my front end downforce, but it can be located to the front. Either way some trimming needs to be done to accomodate the set up or direct air flow to the filter.
I used Traxxas Part #5264
Trimmed the opening
And it looks good IMO