Cold Air Intakes for 7.3 Powerstroke – Buyer’s Guide!

An OEM intake system has a high resistance to airflow. The reason for this is the paper filter and the manufacturer’s desire to reduce noise. The factory system usually makes air intake from the hot engine compartment, which significantly reduces engine power.

Improving the intake system is aimed to reduce the resistance of the airflow and increase the volume of air entering the cylinders. Companies involved in the production of cold air intake systems produce sets of different shapes and sizes.


Choosing a Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Ford


The systems can be manufactured both for versatile applications and for certain car brands. The main goal of the air intake system is to “feed” more cold and dense air to the engine, which significantly increases engine power.

Typically, the systems are aluminum or high-quality composite plastic (depending on the manufacturer) cones, tightly fit on the filter element, serving as a shield from engine heat. An intake tube is connected to the inlet opening, sucking in “overboard” cleaner and cooler air.

The unique shape and the filter element itself creates additional turbulence to help fill the engine cylinders. As a result, we get cold and dense air from the street, reduced resistance due to the intake filter, and passive pressure charging while driving.


List of Top-Rated Cold Air Intakes with Specs:


PhotoProductMaterialsDimensionsDetails
S&B 75-5062D S&B 75-5062Dsilicone,
urethane rubber,
plastic
23.8″ x 15.6″ x 14.4″View on Amazon
K&N 57-2530 K&N 57-2530cotton,
stainless steel,
HDPE
20″ x 12″ x 12″View on Amazon
Banks 42210 Banks 42210сotton Gauze21.5” x 18.9” x 11.4”View on Amazon
Motorcraft FA1759 Motorcraft FA1759HDPE,
paper
9.6″ x 5.3″ x 7.7″View on Amazon
aFe Power 51-10192 aFe Power 51-10192molded plastic tubing,
100% polyurethane,
synthetic (media)
24″ x 17″ x 13″View on Amazon
Spectre Performance SPE-9922 Spectre Performance SPE-9922stainless steel,
aluminum, plastic,
non-woven synthetic
14.8″ x 24.3″ x 9.3″View on Amazon
MILLION PARTS MP-AIK-016 MILLION PARTS MP-AIK-016aluminum,
plastic
16.1″ x 9.8″ x 15″View on Amazon
Airaid 401-246 Airaid 401-246non-woven synthetic,
stainless steel,
HDPE plastic
20″ x 20″ x 12″View on Amazon
Volant 19873 Volant 19873cross-link polyethylene,
polished aluminum,
carbon fiber,
synthetic
18.5″ x 18″ x 15.5″View on Amazon
AEM 21-8114DP AEM 21-8114DPsynthetic media,
aluminum, plastic
25″ x 14.7″ x 14.3″View on Amazon

Another advantage of cold air intakes is that they have a lower chance of detonation. In some cases, throttle response is improved, and fuel consumption is reduced by several percents.

When installing a replacement intake, particular caution should be taken; as when driving fast, the intake temperature can rise to an obscene level if the system is not installed correctly. In this case, the power drops, and the vehicle does not accelerate.

Below is the list of high-quality cold air intake systems for your Ford’s Powerstroke 7.3L. They will help your vehicle not to waste extra resources while driving fast, and your engine will work smoothly for many years. The prices are quite affordable, and the quality will not let you down in a responsible moment.


Review of the Best Cold Air Intakes


S&B 75-5062D – Best Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

S&B 75-5062D

The intake system from S&B has incredible efficiency rating (99.7%) which outflows the stock intake multiple times! Not only you can slightly upgrade your horsepower (+15-20 HP) but also significantly improve the airflow to feed your engine cold, dense air.

The airflow gain of this system is 51.43 which means it has something to offer and is efficient in terms of reduced airflow restriction. Your Ford’s engine bay will perfectly accommodate the system and it will become your engine’s best friend for sure. The intake also has a rotomolded battery tray for standard OEM units.

The system comes with a dry extendable filter that needs no oil and large signature clear lid. The filter is safe due to the durable enclosure box that provides reliable protection from engine heat.

Then you also have standard S&B’s premium silicone filter parts and high-quality urethane rubber for maximum durability and sleek finish. The whole construction is built to last and designed to avoid Check Engine lights. This cold air intake system (model# 75-5062D) is legal in all US states (CARB ID: D-590-9).

Specifications

  • Model – 75-5062D
  • Dry replacement filter number – KF-1059D
  • Oiled cotton filter number – KF-1059
  • Weight – 19 lbs
  • Dimensions – 23.8″ x 15.6″ x 14.4″
  • Materials – Silicone, urethane rubber, plastic
  • Vehicle/engine fitment – 1998-2003 Ford Powerstroke 7.3L

Features

  • The dry extendable cold air intake system
  • Airflow gain – 51.43
  • Efficiency rating – 99.7%
  • 15-20 HP gain
  • ISO 5011-tested
  • Reduced airflow restriction
  • Standard OEM battery rotomolded built-in tray
  • Custom enclosure to keep out engine heat
  • Large signature clear lid
  • Premium, efficient silicone filter parts
  • Durable construction and sleek finish
  • No oil needed
  • No Check Engine lights
  • Legal in all US States
  • CARB ID – D-590-9
  • Affordable price

K&N 57-2530 – Top Aftermarket Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Ford

K&N 57-2530

This highly efficient intake needs no introduction. We mean, it’s K&N! Any arguments are invalid. This cold air intake is designed to increase engine power and protect it from various contaminants with an efficient oiled filter for ultimate filtration performance.

The system supplies as much cold/dense air as possible, making your engine breathe freely as never before – it’s a dual benefit – you get 50% more airflow compared to stock intakes, resulting in improved throttle response and uphill performance of your Ford.

The horsepower increase is up to +15 HP at 2926 RPM. This is achieved thanks to a unique rotomolded intake tube that provides minimal airflow resistance. At the same time, the filter is washable and reusable. Just like most K&N 57 Series systems, this one can be easily installed (bolt-on installation) within 90 minutes or less, using conventional tools (all hardware is included).

If you are worried about maintenance or your vehicle warranty, you can take a deep breath and relax because this system needs no maintenance before 100.000 miles and will not void your vehicle warranty. Just like the previous intake, this K&N system is legal in all US States (CARB ID – D-269-25).

Specifications

  • Model – 57-2530
  • Type – Gen II
  • Replacement filter model – RC-4780
  • Dimensions – 20″ x 12″ x 12″
  • Air filter height – 9.5″
  • Weight – 10.3 lbs
  • Materials – cotton, stainless steel, HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)
  • Mounting hardware (4 clamps, 1 coupler) included
  • Vehicle fitment – 2002-2003 Ford F250 Super Duty / Excursion, V8, Powerstroke 7.3L

Features

  • HP gain – 14.9 HP at 2925 RPM
  • 10-year guaranteed operation without maintenance
  • Dyno-tested system
  • 50% more airflow compared to stock intakes
  • Improved throttle response and uphill performance
  • Superior filtration
  • Rotomolded HDPE intake tube
  • Powerful engine sound
  • Ultimate engine protection from various contamination elements
  • Easy maintenance and bolt-on installation (not more than 90 minutes)
  • Will not void vehicle warranty
  • Legal in all US States
  • CARB ID – D-269-25

Banks 42210 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

Banks 42210

Banks cold air intake was rigorously tested to get here, on our list, and represent superiority in every detail. This thing doesn’t think, it sits protected inside its custom enclosure and acts when you start your engine, providing improved dense/cold airflow for better horsepower (+16 HP) and torque (+32 lb-ft).

The all-new oiled Banks Ram-Air Intake for Ford 7.3L Powerstroke impresses its huge filter that delivers superior, high-flow filtration to protect your engine and save its components from damage. The filter is easily accessible for easy monitoring and maintenance.

When it comes to Banks, the installation, maintenance, power, fuel economy, and agility is a no-brainer – you get everything you need! Bolt-on installation virtually only takes one hour, and the system requires no drilling or cutting. You will feel performance benefits over your stock intake once you hit the throttle.

The system dramatically outflows stock units and leaves no chances to competitors – it’s virtually an ultimate upgrade for any driver that looks for incredible performance. And all this is available for an affordable price!

Whether you need more horses or additional towing muscles, or just want to squeeze everything possible from your vehicle, Ram-Air is ready for that! There’s even a tray to accommodate your OEM battery!

You can visit the manufacturer’s official website and choose from the traditional red, oiled filter or choose a brand new black dry model. Plus, there’s also a special cover for additional filter protection. The product is legal in all US States (CARB EO D-161-100).

Specifications

  • Model – 42210
  • Weight – 15.6 lbs
  • Dimensions – 21.5” x 18.9” x 11.4”
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel
  • Hardware included

Features

  • OILED Air Filter Element
  • Up to +16 HP and +32 lb-ft torque gains
  • Rigorously tested & validated air intake system
  • The custom enclosure keeps power-stealing hot engine air away from the system
  • Provides more cool air from the outside for increased power & MPG
  • The huge filter provides superior, high-flow filtration
  • Prevents engine components damage
  • Extends engine service life and requires less maintenance compared to stock units
  • Easy filter access for inspection/maintenance
  • Standard OEM battery tray
  • Fast installation (1 hour)
  • Legal in all US States
  • CARB EO D-161-100

Motorcraft FA1759 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

Motorcraft FA1759

Now, this is something different. When it comes to Motorcraft, you should know that this manufacturer is recommended by the industry giant itself. So, basically, it’s no matter WHAT you’re buying, because you can expect the highest quality and satisfaction guarantee for every product approved by Ford.

Motorcraft parts represent OEM quality and fitment for the ultimate performance of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. You don’t have to travel and waste your time and gas on getting to and roaming in some local auto parts shop – if your filter is dirty or clogged if your MAF sensor is defective, Motorcraft has your back covered!

The FA1759 air cleaner kit will fix the situation in no time, allowing your truck to withstand the most severe conditions for a long time and saving your time. This heavy-duty air induction system comes with a complete box and high-flow, durable blue enclosed filter, as well as a new battery box mounting plate.

This filter is large and powerful (used in the M1 Abrams tank), offering more surface area and efficiency than conventional washable/paper filters. This is a perfect upgrade for your 7.3L Powerstroke.

Specifications

  • Part number – 2U2Z9K635AA
  • Summit racing part number – MOF-FA1759
  • UPC – 031508421578
  • Dimensions – 9.6″ x 5.3″ x 7.7″
  • Weight – 14 lbs
  • Materials – HDPE, paper
  • Vehicle fitment – 2000-2003 Ford Excursion, 1999-2003 F-250/350/450/550, Powerstroke 7.3L
  • All hardware included
  • AIS Filter Box with Filter
  • Air Restriction Gauge (installed)
  • Temperature Sender (installed)
  • Air Inlet Duct
  • Battery Blanket
  • Battery Box Plate
  • Fasteners
  • Installation Instructions

Features

  • Direct factory upgrade
  • High-quality original Motorcraft air filter kit
  • Trouble-free and consistent performance
  • Perfectly fits your vehicle
  • Superior durability
  • Designed to meet and exceed quality requirements
  • CARB approved

aFe Power 51-10192 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

aFe Power 51-10192

aFe has proven to be trustworthy over the years, so when it comes to production, you should have no doubts about the quality. With this particular air intake system, you will boost your 99-03 Ford 7.3L Powerstroke horsepower (+12 HP) and acceleration (43 ft-lb) with no problems.

The aFe 51-10192 intake system features a heavy-duty washable conical filter that needs no oil to provide ultimate filtration, heat-insulating molded plastic replacement tube with pliable flange to consistently feed cold/dense air to your engine and provide increased airflow with no leaks, as well as a heavy-duty 18-gauge powder-coated one-piece heat shield for ultimate protection and convenience.

Apart from all that, there’s also an integrated battery tray to accommodate the extra-large Pro Dry S air filter. The system is made of 100% polyurethane and the filter features 2 layers of high-quality synthetic media. You will have no problems with maintaining the system during its long life since aFe stands behind its every word.

The system is legal in all 50 US States (CARB ID – D-550-4).

You can also get an aFe oiled 5-layer filter option here as well as an oiled, 7-layer filter here.

Specifications

  • Model – 51-10192
  • Dimensions – 24″ x 17″ x 13″
  • Material – molded plastic tubing, 100% polyurethane, synthetic (media)
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford F-250/350/450/550, 2000-2003 Ford Excursion, Powerstroke V8 7.3L
  • Weight – 12 lbs
  • All mounting hardware is included

Features

  • Stage 2 air intake system
  • 3-layer Pro Dry S washable/reusable filter
  • +12 HP and 43 ft-lb torque
  • Perfectly balanced protection and convenience
  • Heavy-duty 18-gauge powder-coated one-piece heat shield
  • Heat-insulating molded plastic replacement tube
  • Improved airflow and maximum performance
  • Battery relocating tray
  • Legal in 50 US States
  • CARB ID – D-550-4

Spectre Performance SPE-9922 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

Spectre Performance SPE-9922

The Spectre Performance air intake system was designed for 1999-2003 Ford F-250/350 Super Duty and Excursion 7.3L, V8 diesel trucks to allow for improved HP, mileage, and torque while protecting your Powerstroke engine from various contaminants.

The system features a red reusable low air Spectre filter, a durable polished aluminum tube, and a black powder-coated steel heat shield that does its job really well since it was manufactured specifically for the Ford Super Duty’s engine bay to protect the intake filter from engine heat.

You will have no problems with installing this system and it’s not supposed to take you more than one hour. Spectre air intakes always come with all the necessary clamps, couplers, and other mounting hardware for an OE fit, so you don’t have to get anything separate. This product is legal in all US States (CARB ID – D-629-4) and comes at a very reasonable price.

Specifications

  • Model – SPE-9922
  • Replacement filter – HPR0882
  • Materials – stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, non-woven synthetic
  • Dimensions – 14.8″ x 24.3″ x 9.3″
  • Air filter height – 10.7″
  • Weight – 8.3 lbs
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford F250/350 Super Duty/Excursion, Powerstroke 7.3L, V8
  • All mounting hardware is included

Features

  • Improved HP, mileage, and torque
  • Legal in all US States
  • Powder-coated steel heat shield
  • Easy installation (1 hour)
  • High-quality polished aluminum tubes
  • CARB ID – D-629-4
  • Low price

MILLION PARTS MP-AIK-016 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

MILLION PARTS MP-AIK-016

You can let your engine breathe freely using this non-oiled air intake system with sleek 4″ polished aluminum pipe and heavy-duty washable filter for your Powerstroke 7.3L. What to expect from this one?

Well, the system was mainly designed to provide highly reduced airflow restriction and better acceleration for your Ford. So you can definitely count on smooth and consistent air supply to make your engine perform better.

This system requires no maintenance before up to 100.000 miles, which, however, depends on your driving conditions. If you drive in extreme weather conditions, all you have to do is blow off the dust accumulated on the filter after continuous operation.

The installation will not take much time, provided you have common tools at hand. And if you do, then it will fit perfectly and serve you well for a long time. Make sure your truck fits this system in advance, to make the right choice.

You can also get a blue filter option here.

Specifications

  • Model – MP-AIK-016
  • Weight – 8.3 lbs
  • Dimensions – 16.1″ x 9.8″ x 15″
  • Materials – Aluminum, plastic
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford F250/350 Super Duty/ Excursion, Powerstroke 7.3L, V8

Features

  • The heavy-duty and efficient washable air intake system
  • Improved power and acceleration
  • Highly-reduced airflow restriction
  • Straight and consistent airflow
  • No maintenance required before 100.000 miles (depending on driving conditions)
  • Easy installation with common tools

Airaid 401-246 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

Airaid 401-246

Spoil yourself with impressive additional horsepower (+27 HP) and torque gains (55 lb-ft) using this highly efficient air intake system from Airaid. The handcrafted air intake system will allow your Ford’s Powerstroke to inhale more dense and cold air resulting in considerably better performance.

And you will know that once you push the gas pedal! Moreover, the unit comes with an integrated durable battery tray complimented with a urethane battery pad.

The core of this system is a huge 1700-CFM reusable/washable premium dry air filter with Synthamax Nano-Fibers filtration technology which is protected from engine heat by a durable roto-molded heat shield. The airflow fed to the engine is consistent and smooth due to the high-quality large modular intake tube.

You will also have no problems with cleaning this system (only requires a detergent spray, water rinsing, and drying) and installing it with common hand tools (stainless steel clamps are included).

Multiple color options and dry/oiled options are available. Dry, black filter; dry, blue filter; and oiled red filter options are also available.

Specifications

  • Material – non-woven synthetic, stainless steel, HDPE plastic
  • Weight – 21 lbs
  • Dimensions – 20″ x 20″ x 12″
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford F-250/350/Excursion, 7.3L Powerstroke, V8

Features

  • SynthaMax Nano-Fibers Dry Filter recommended for street driving
  • +27 HP and 55 lb-ft torque
  • Handcrafted construction using the finest materials
  • Improved mileage, filtration, and overall performance
  • Easy installation with common hand tools
  • Easy cleaning (use detergent spray, rinse underwater, and let it dry)
  • Roto-molded protective heat shield
  • The high-quality large modular intake tube
  • Legal in all 50 US States (CARB ID – D-609-18)
  • Stainless steel clamps
  • Washable and reusable high-flow filter

Volant 19873 – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

Volant 19873

The oiled washable/reusable filter of this air intake system from Volant is able to provide considerable airflow improvement over stock intakes. It will drastically boost your vehicle’s horsepower and torque with no problem. The installation process is a snap because all the components fit OEM equipment perfectly, so no special tools, drilling, or cutting is needed.

With this system, you simply can’t go wrong! The intake is great for the money, without the necessity to sacrifice a single % of quality.

It is recommended by many Powerstroke owners all over the world that are using this air intake system for years, without even knowing what makes it so efficient. Well, this intake system is larger than stock units, thus, it features a larger inlet to suck in more air to feed it to your Powerstroke 7.3L, making your truck pull harder and accelerate smoothly.

The intake also features a unique airbox with an easy-access insulated lid for better airflow and keeping engine heat away from the filter. This system makes a difference!

Specifications

  • Model – VNT-19873
  • Material – cross-link polyethylene, polished aluminum, carbon fiber, synthetic
  • Weight – 13 lbs
  • Dimensions – 18.5″ x 18″ x 15.5″
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford F250/350/Excursion, 7.3L Powerstroke, V8

Features

  • Washable and reusable high-flow filter
  • Increased horsepower and torque
  • Unique airbox for better airflow
  • Easy access insulated lid
  • Easy installation
  • Stainless steel clamps for engine heat protection
  • Legal in all 50 US States (CARB ID – D-526-6)

AEM 21-8114DP – Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

AEM 21-8114DP

AEM is a reliable US manufacturer that you can trust. It has been in the business since 1987, providing high-quality air intake systems along with other automotive accessories and gaining popularity really fast. All the products are CAD-designed for outstanding performance and ultimate efficiency.

AEM also puts its intakes to dyno tests and has its own performance standards, so that you know you purchase a reliable American product. AEM is continuously working to raise that quality bar higher and satisfy the most demanding truck owners.

Unlike many other intakes, this particular system will not add any annoying noise to your engine, instead, you can expect smoother engine sound, stronger acceleration, and better throttle response. The system is very easy to install within 30 minutes, provided you have common hand tools.

If you are looking for increased horsepower and torque, as well as reduced air restriction and intake temperature, if your engine is starving more dense and cold air supplied in smooth airflow, if you are constantly worried about your Powerstroke being contaminated with various debris and particles – you need this intake from AEM!

It comes with a powder-coated heat shield, an AEM’s dry flow filter, and a unique AEM Power Spacer. The high-flow filter of this system is washable and reusable, while an aerodynamic, mandrel-bent aluminum intake tube will provide more smooth airflow. Moreover, you can expect easy installation and oil-free cleaning.

Specifications

  • Model – 21-8114DP
  • Material – synthetic media, aluminum, plastic
  • Weight – 11.3 lbs
  • Dimensions – 25″ x 14.7″ x 14.3″
  • Vehicle fitment – 1999-2003 Ford F250/350/Excursion, 7.3L Powerstroke, V8
  • Mounting hardware included

Features

  • AEM 21-8114DP Chrome Dyno-tested Intake System
  • Increased horsepower & torque gains
  • Smoother engine sound
  • Maximum airflow and filtration
  • Includes AEM’s dry flow filter
  • Includes a unique AEM Power Spacer
  • Reduced air restriction and intake temperature
  • Washable and reusable high-flow filter
  • MAF sensor mount for existing electronic sensor
  • Easy installation and oil-free cleaning
  • Powder-coated heat shield
  • Mandrel-bent aluminum intake tubing for moor smooth airflow
  • Legal in all 50 US States (CARB ID – D-526-6)
  • Made in the USA (Riverside, CA)

Cold Air Intake System Filters


One of the main parts of the cold air intake system is its filtration element, which is the heart of the system that provides significantly reduced airflow restriction. Factory intakes have a filter element made of very thick material, and the design of such filters is not entirely successful in terms of airflow.

Replacement intakes, however, have microscopic holes in the filter element, which allows for much more massive amounts of air to pass. The larger filter surface also contributes to this – the surface area of the replacement filter is up to 5x more extensive than that of the standard filter.

There are two types of intakes according to their filtration element media type. The first type is corrugated, non-woven cotton media reinforced with a metal mesh. The second is fine mesh polyurethane. The “mesh” has less suction resistance, while polyurethane elements better retain dust and have a larger cleaning surface.

Therefore, polyurethane filters are used in off-road racing, it’s more sensitive to contamination, but with less resistance, the mesh is used for riding through city streets. Some manufacturers produce double-layer filters – the first layer has large pores for capturing large particles, the second layer retains fine dust.

Filter Types

Intake filters can be oiled and dry as well as disposable and washable/reusable. In most aftermarket intake kits, companies supply their products with an oiled filter. Dry filters are easier to deal with since, most often, they are disposable, so you just throw them away and replace them with new.

Performance characteristics are usually the same, but dry filters are more preferred among truck drivers – less cleaning and no performance issues. However, some drivers say that pre-oiled filters flow a bit more air through their media because they are made from a more open cotton material impregnated with a thin layer of oil.

High-quality dry filters can catch up to 99% of the incoming contaminants due to the smaller micron size of the filter media, while oiled filters catch about 98%. The material of an oiled filter relies on the oil viscosity to capture contaminants, while the more open media allows for a higher flow rate.

The oil here acts as a trap for pollutants that come with airflow, providing essential protection from debris. Oiled filters are what you see in most race applications (excluding off-road). They aren’t always conical. Many manufacturers offer a direct drop-in replacement for a stock air filter, and often, there is a slight performance benefit.

Another benefit is that these filters can last a lot longer than their dry counterparts. Oiled filters have the advantage of being completely washable and reusable, so you don’t have to buy a new filter when it’s too dirty. On the other side, dry filters may need no maintenance at all (since you just throw them away); thus, they appear to be more efficient and money-saving in the long run.

The filter element in dry intakes is impregnated with nothing, but can also be reusable (washed or blown out backward). For washable applications, special kits are available, consisting of washing and impregnation tools.

Washing is designed to remove dirt from the filter surface, and impregnation serves to retain small particles of dust and dirt, keeping them on the walls of the filter, thereby preventing them from getting into the engine. Oil impregnation allows increasing the size of holes in the filter mesh and, therefore, reducing airflow restriction.

When choosing the filter, it is necessary to pay attention to the tightness of a joining spigot, reliably provided by a rubber seal. Many manufacturers, wanting to save money, make the whole body made of plastic and consider the “rubber” as an excess. It can be so for circular racing.

In everyday use, the resource of the engine is essential, which means a high degree of air filtration. Dust that is “sucked in” through an unreliable seal “kills” the engine prematurely.

Only 1% of the dust can be sucked in through the filter during its service life, and this applies to the original filter. If you clean, rinse, and blow the filter yourself and think that this is enough, you are mistaken. After all, the physical properties of the intake are limited by its filter element. After dust getting directly in the engine, the work you invest in filter cleaning may be in vain.

The filter installation process has its peculiarities. To prevent hot air from entering the cylinders, it is vital to choose a place in the engine bay that is as far away from any heat sources as possible. A protective heat shield should also be installed. Do not install the filter too low – if polluted, it will quickly lose its properties.

A car filter can accumulate up to 150 grams of dust per year. If the filter is clogged, it starts to overcompensate, which contributes to fuel consumption and impairs the dynamic properties of the engine.

Besides, consider the fact that if the filter is clogged with dust, the load on the filtration element increases, which can result in its tear, and then all the accumulated dust will get into the engine.

It must be stressed that installing an intake filter only makes sense when the entire motor has been modified. After all, miracles never happen. It is possible to reduce airflow restriction only at the expense of an increase in through openings, i.e., to worsen filtration quality.

Therefore, mounting a new intake on a stock engine is not a great idea at all. It’s rather stupid to rely on a theoretical power increase by reducing the engine’s service life. In addition, it is believed that impregnation of the filter, getting on the measuring element of the airflow sensor, distorts its readings, and even disables the engine.


FAQ


Q: Does cold air intake help 7.3 Powerstroke?

A: It does. It supplies more dense and cool air to your engine. So the truck gains more horsepower and torque (gains depend both on your intake system quality and your truck’s customization/accessories) while improving throttle response and fuel economy. The engine needs enough air to “breathe”, otherwise, eventually, you may have extra fuel in the cylinders, which causes heat or smoke.

Q: How much HP does a 7.3 Powerstroke get with cold air intake?

A: Not that much. 10-20 HP on average.

Q: Does the S&B filter come with all the tubing needed?

A: Yes. The kit includes everything you need for the installation. However, in case your truck was upgraded with the following aftermarket parts, the kit may not fit: the body lift or lowering kit, custom Hood, or throttle body spacer.

Q: Which S&B filter is better, oiled or dry?

A: Both are good. It depends on do you prefer to clean the filter or dispose of it. Also consider warranty, dusty operating environment (dry filter is obviously better in this case), and a filter wrap for keeping the bugs/particles away from the filter media.

Q: Is the K&N filter pre-oiled?

A: Yes. It comes in full set and is ready to go.

Q: Does an oiled filter negatively affect the sensors?

A: No, it does not if you keep the filter oiled.

Resources

About the author

Jeff Glucker

Jeff Glucker is a longtime editor and columnist at MechanicFAQ.com. He’s a proud Delaware native and currently lives in Wilmington. When he’s not writing about cars, he’s driving them. And when he’s not driving them, he’s probably doing something else like spending time with his wife or yelling on his children because you need to do that too. You can follow him on Twitter @JGlucker

1 Comment

  • Hello there to whom it may concern, I have a 2002 F350 7.3L Diesel, 4×4, 4R100, Long Bed, Supercab Lariat. I already have a K&N Air Filter and the Plastic Cold Air Inlet. Would K&N just sell me a New Cold Air Inlet Pipe, with the Rubber Sleeve that can handle up to 350 degrees and Clamps. I already have (2) K&N Air Filters. What is the Cost of the Pipes, Sleeve, & Clamps?

Leave a Comment