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Why and How to Install a Performance Cold Air Intake
Why install a cold air intake? The theory behind this is simple, the harder the engine has to work to get air through the intake tube and air filter, the more gas is wasted in the process. So you need to give your engine as much air as possible. So why not just replace the OEM filter with a performance filter? Because you may have a restriction between the air filter and the engine that reduces the benefit of the performance filter. The weakest link in the airflow “chain” robs a vehicle of its natural horsepower. Often that weak point is the factory air path to the engine. A high quality air intake kit virtually eliminates airflow restriction by replacing the air filter and entire air path to the engine. The reason for the cold air is simple. Cold air is denser than warm air and expands more when heated. This creates a bigger “explosion” in your engine which makes more power. Isn’t that what you wanted to hear? More power! The cold air intake is designed to draw air into the area under the hood and remove as much restriction to airflow as possible. Many people report an increase in fuel economy after installation. You won’t find a manufacturer guaranteeing this, but you can see how the more efficient fuel burn and bigger “explosion” would certainly lead to increased fuel economy. Plus, they produce a wonderful “throaty” sound. Just a little deep rumble during acceleration to remind you and your ride can definitely talk the talk and walk the walk.
Why K&N? Because who is better than the inventor. K&N Engineering, based in Riverside, California, is the inventor and leading innovator of reusable cotton gauze filter technology for automotive applications. From humble beginnings as a family business 35 years ago, K&N Engineering, now a truly global company with offices in the US, UK and the Netherlands, exists as a family-owned business with an enthusiastic mindset and direct connection to motoring. Games run at all levels of management and production.
Today, K&N exists as the sales and brand leader for performance filters and maintains a stocking catalog of over 3,500 part numbers, including factory replacement drop-in filters, FIPK (Fuel Injection Performance Kit) applications and more. The innovative performance gold line of oil filters.
We chose the 77 series intake kit. Like many customers, we liked the way the polished aluminum finish looked. The kit comes with an oversized high-flow conical air filter designed to maximize surface area and dust capacity. The extra surface area provides even more airflow at a lower limit because it’s not limited by the size of the factory air box. The oversized air filter also captures more dirt which increases service life (up to 100,000 miles) before each cleaning is needed. Our kit includes a heat shield designed to seal against the hood and isolate the air intake from engine heat. Cooling air to the engine will increase the horsepower produced. K&N kits use adapters made from high strength materials such as silicone and reinforced nylon to ensure longevity. Their kits even come standard with a powder coated steel bracket, and if the instructions aren’t in the box, check their website for a PDF version.
Is this a DIY project? This is definitely something you can do in an hour. If you’re not comfortable, don’t stress, your mechanic can handle it. Disconnect the negative battery cable and the mass air sensor. Remove the engine cover, disconnect the crank case vent hose, remove the stock intake tube and air cleaner assembly. The mass air sensor is the only thing you’ll reuse from all of these. Install the filter adapter, “L” bracket and edge trim onto the new heat shield. Remove the grommets fitted to the air box. You will need to test fit the heat shield and mark for the new mounting holes. Drill the hole, insert the new mounting grommets and secure the heat shield. Install the silicone hoses on the filter adapter and throttle body. Install the mass air sensor assembly onto the silicone tube and bump hose on the filter adapter. Install the intake tube between the mass air sensor and the throttle body. Install a new crank case vent hose between the vent and the fitting on the intake tube. Install the K&N filter, engine cover, and reconnect the mass air sensor plug and negative battery cable. And your installation is complete. Our total installation time was about an hour and a half. We laughed about the fact that it took us longer to assemble our tools than to install them. We didn’t have a drill or bit on site and it took about an hour and forty five minutes to assemble one.
I have to say that K&N Engineering provided the best instructions I have ever used for this type of project. It was well written, included pictures and even recommended testing procedures. Overall I give K&N a huge A+ for everything.
What does the owner think? “Honestly, I didn’t even try to see if I could tell the difference because the roads were wet,” he said. To which I responded “Bring your keys and meet me in the parking lot.” We don’t have fancy facilities for test driving yet but there is a long, straight, flat, highway from the office. There was no traffic, so he nailed it and I was impressed. After a few passes we decided it was probably time to go back to our real world. On his way back to the office, he said, “At 55 mph when you punch to pass someone, you don’t wish there was more. That’s when you also notice the difference in tone. It’s hard to tell on the statue but when you stop it, it definitely has a deep rumble. ” We don’t know about fuel economy. We didn’t get a chance to check it out. That’s not why he wanted a K&N Cold Aid intake; He wanted that which gave him more power.
Congratulations to K&N Engineering from AutoTruckToys.com. Our hats are off to you.
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