Cold Air Intakes for 6.7 Powerstroke – FAQ & Buyer’s Guide in 2020!

Best Cold Air Intake for 6.7 Powerstroke
Written by Jeff Glucker

If you don’t know what a CAI is, then you should first read our article right here. But if you do, have you ever asked yourself why do some of them come with enclosed airboxes?

As you know, stock intakes are equipped with special airboxes with an intake filter inside. Typically, they are made of plastic and have a rather complex shape, which directly affects air volumes entering engine cylinders. Such a system may look odd and inefficient to some – why can’t you simply attach the filter directly to a tube, saving your underhood space and increasing the airflow?

The air is extremely unevenly distributed in the under-hood space – there are areas where the air is almost as cold as outside, but the temperature near the exhaust manifold often exceeds several hundred degrees. Besides, when on the fly, the underhood air is moving, and a set of vortices is formed.

The combination of these factors leads to a quite uneven filling of cylinders with the fuel-air mixture, which naturally leads to power loss. Therefore, to create an area where the air will be distributed evenly, the intake filter is placed in rather large airboxes. They save the air filter from dirt particles by keeping out excessive engine heat and complement your vehicle’s engine, extending its powerband.

The more surface area your intake filter or airbox has, the better for your engine.

A CAI system is often the first thing that comes to mind when you feel like improving your vehicle performance. Such systems usually look clean, sporty, and stylish.

Their capacity is higher than that of a stock paper model. CAI systems use an extended intake tubing to draw air not from the hot engine bay but the outside into the engine. This is based on the fact that for any internal combustion engine, the temperature of the intake air is essential. The lower it is, the more density can be achieved, the higher the oxygen content needed for complete combustion, and therefore, the higher the power.

For conventional cars, this technical solution is hardly justified, but for pickup trucks, SUVs, and sports models with large, tight-packed turbochargers, the use of CAI provides a small but still tangible boost in performance.

What properties should a perfect air intake system have?

An intake system that fully meets all the parameters does not exist. A high-quality intake system should have an efficient intake filter that will protect the engine from dirt particles and dust, while improving the engine’s overall performance, throttle response, fuel mileage, horsepower, and torque.

Airflow restriction should be minimal, and the air should be cold and dense, which directly depends on the tube quality and design. The airbox should be large enough, durable, and made of non-heat-soaking material. 

Those are just a few things to consider when choosing a proper CAI for your truck. Below we have gathered our list of CAIs for 6.7 Powerstroke for your consideration. We hope you will find what you need!

Cold Air Intake Kits for 6.7 Powerstroke – Comparison Table

PhotoProductYearMaterialsDetails
SB 75-5104 S&B 75-51042011-16Silicone, foam, steel, plasticView on Amazon
KN 71-2582 K&N 71-25822011-16Aluminum, plasticView on Amazon
Banks 42215 Banks 422152011-16Aluminum, plasticView on Amazon
RDP DP0173-Polished RDP DP0173-Polished2011-16Polished aluminumView on Amazon
aFe Power 54-11872-1 aFe Power 54-11872-12011-16Cross-linked polyethyleneView on Amazon
Airaid 403-278 Airaid 403-2782011-16Non-woven syntheticsView on Amazon
Sinister Diesel SD-CAI-6.7P-17 Sinister Diesel SD-CAI-6.7P-172017-19Aluminum, cotton (oiled)View on Amazon
Sinister Diesel SD-CAI-6.7P-17 Spectre Performance 90752017-19High-quality non-woven synthetic, urethane, aluminum, steelView on Amazon

Review of the Top Cold Air Intakes For F250/F350 Ford Super Duty (6.7 Powerstroke)

S&B 75-5104 – Best 6.7 Powerstroke Cold Air Intake

S&B 75-5104

This intake system was designed by S&B to feed maximum cold/dense air to your 6.7L Powerstroke with minimized air restriction. You can expect up to 37% better airflow than stock units can provide.

The intake features a fully enclosed airbox for heat/dirt protection and a large highly-efficient cleanable/reusable oiled filter with 8-layer cotton media. You can use two different airbox configurations, depending on your needs. Plus, you don’t have to take out the silicone intake pipe if you want to remove the filter.

This is possible due to an all-new redesigned airbox. BTW, the tube seal prevents any damage due to engine movement and heat. And in case the primary inlet of the system gets blocked, your engine will still remain protected due to the additional auxiliary channel that has a foam piece inside for safety.

Specifications

  • Model – 75-5104
  • Weight – 13.5 lbs
  • Dimensions – 24″ x 14″ x 15″
  • Filter type – pre-oiled cotton (8 layers)
  • Oil quantity – 99 grams
  • Materials –  Silicone, foam, steel, plastic 
  • Street-legal in all US states
  • CARB ID – D-590-13

Vehicle applications

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • Efficiency rating – 99.26%
  • Minimized air restriction
  • 37% better airflow than stock
  • Signature clear lid
  • Fully enclosed airbox for heat/dirt protection
  • Massive efficient pre-oiled cleanable/reusable filter 
  • Up-to-date airbox design for easy installation and airflow increase
  • Two airflow configurations 
  • Additional engine protection (foam piece for engine protection

K&N 71-2582 – 2016 6.7 Powerstroke Cold Air Intake

K&N 71-2582

With this filter, you can expect up to 50% more horsepower compared to stock air intakes! The K&N intake system uses a custom-engineered aerodynamical black powder-coated, mandrel-bent aluminum air intake tube and a high-quality heatshield for reliable air protection from engine heat.

The intake also features a cone-shaped K&N black powder-coated metal-topped high-flow air filter with oil-free synthetic filter media. This air intake system provides minimized airflow restriction, allowing your engine to “breathe” like never before, inhaling more air than with a stock air intake. The filter comes with a standard K&N’s million-mile warranty.

The system was dyno-tested to provide exceptional throttle response and uphill performance, overtaking its counterparts and making the manufacturer stand out among other CAI brands. You can expect better engine sound, easy bolt-on installation in less than 90 minutes.

This is possible due to clear, detailed instructions, and you can use the existing factory mounting points along with standard, common hand tools. Fuss-free maintenance requires no filter cleaning before 100.000 miles!

Specifications

  • Model – 71-2582
  • Weight – 16.3 lbs
  • Dimensions – 23.7″ x 14.9″ x 13.5″ 
  • Filter type – dry black synthetic  
  • Materials –  Aluminum, plastic 
  • Detailed instructions and hardware included

Vehicle applications

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350/F450/F550 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • Increased horsepower (50% more airflow compared to stock units)
  • Dyno-tested intake
  • Improved throttle response and uphill performance
  • Better engine sound
  • Easy bolt-on installation and maintenance (no filter cleaning before 100.000 miles)
  • Minimized air restriction
  • Highly efficient cleanable dry black air filter 
  • Durable construction and material

Banks 42215 – 2011-2016 F250/F350/F450 Powerstroke Cold Air Intake

Banks 42215

The Banks’ filter is here to bring superiority! It has been tested and triple-validated to provide additional power and fuel economy for your 6.7L Powerstroke. Banks is a responsible manufacturer that tests all its products before you can buy them, so you know you can count on the quality.

The intake provides up to 26% more airflow and lower EGTs compared to factory intakes. The enclosed housing protects from hot, power-robbing engine air and a giant highly efficient oiled washable filter maximizes filtration and airflow. You can monitor or clean your filter, or take out with no problems due to easy access and replace it with a dry filter from Banks if you want.

The manufacturer produces aerodynamically designed filters to help engines inhale cooler/denser air with less restriction and accommodate engine movement.

The Ram-Air intake system also prevents engine component damage, extending its service life while requiring much less cleaning that stock high-density paper filters. You can expect seamless filter operation without any trouble codes, easy installation, and durability. Great price/quality ratio!

Specifications

  • Model – 42215
  • Weight – 9.8 lbs
  • Dimensions – 21.5″ x 18.9″ x 11.1″ 
  • Filter type – oiled red, synthetic  
  • Materials –  Aluminum, plastic 
  • Detailed instructions and hardware included

Vehicle applications

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350/F450 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel 

Features

  • Rigorously tested & validated
  • Enclosed housing for hot engine air protection
  • Greater horsepower and MPGs
  • Giant oiled filter maximizes high-flow filtration
  • Improves airflow up to 26%
  • Helps engine run cooler
  • Accommodates engine movement
  • Prevents engine components’ damage
  • Extends engine service life and requires less cleaning compared to stock units
  • Affordable price
  • Reduces EGTs
  • CARB EO D-161-100

RDP DP0173-Polished – Powerstroke Diesel CAI

RDP DP0173-Polished

Strength, durability, performance, simplicity, fit – these are the five requirements every part produced by RDP has to match. This CAI is made from high-quality aluminum that will not crack under pressure and doesn’t really care about engine heat.

Aluminum CNC mandrel-bent tubes are designed to provide maximum airflow and feed a larger cold and dense air volume to your 6.7L Powerstroke. Then you also have silicone (not rubber) couplers that are superior at providing many years of satisfying performance and resist high temperatures in Ford engine bays.

When it comes to RDP, every detail is thought out and the whole production process is controlled by a team of professionals, starting with a concept and ending with a test of the final product, which results in high-end production and customer trust.

RDP intake systems can be installed in a few hours using commonly available tools and requiring minimal mechanic experience and skills.

There’s no need to install the intake in a trial-and-error way – full-color instructions are included to assist you during the installation process, plus all the necessary hardware is also at your disposal. Next thing you know, you’ve got a new, sleek and clean intake system under your favorite truck’s hood that will serve you for many years!

Specifications

  • Model – DP0173-Polished
  • Weight – 17 lbs
  • Dimensions – 15.1″ x 10.6″ x 6.1″ 
  • Filter type – oiled blue, synthetic  
  • Materials –  polished aluminum 
  • Full-color instructions and hardware included

Vehicle applications

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350/F450/F550 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • Extensively tested product
  • Easy installation
  • Greater horsepower and MPGs
  • Giant oiled filter 
  • Improves airflow 
  • Aluminum CNC mandrel-bent tube
  • Prevents engine components’ damage
  • Silicone couplers
  • Affordable price
  • Reduces EGTs

aFe Power 54-11872-1 – Cold Air Intake for 2015 Super Duty

aFe Power 54-11872-1

Magnum Force dyno-tested replacement intakes from aFe are designed for incredible extra horsepower and airflow. This particular system outflows stock intakes by 64% and features a pre-oiled 5R filter with 5-layer progressive cotton gauze media for the highest air flow and big air volumes with 98.9% filtration efficiency.

A high-quality CAD-designed, rotomolded intake tube provides superior airflow with much less restriction compared to stock intakes, and the defensive heatshield is made of cross-linked polyethylene for impressive durability, reliable protection, and heat-soak resistance. You can expect +26 HP and 80 lb-ft of torque, minimized hot engine air effect, easy filter monitoring and access for proper maintenance, and longer service intervals compared to factory intakes.

The installation process is really simple – you have all the necessary instructions and hardware, and there’s no need for any cutting or modifications – you can do everything with common work tools available everywhere. All in all, it’s just a perfect fit for your 6.7L Powerstroke!

Specifications

  • Model – 54-11872-1
  • Weight – 16 lbs
  • Dimensions – 23.3″ x 16.5″ x 13.1″ 
  • Filter type – 5-layer pre-oiled Pro 5R washable cotton gauze media 
  • Materials –  cross-linked polyethylene
  • Detailed instructions, 3-angle filter adaptor, and hardware included

Vehicle applications

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350/F450/F550 V8 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • +26 HP and 80 lb-ft torque
  • Outflows stock intakes by 64%
  • Maximum performance
  • Large airflow amounts
  • Perfect for street/track use
  • Easy installation
  • Long service intervals
  • XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) polymer heatshield
  • Minimized hot engine air
  • Easy filter monitoring and access for proper servicing
  • CAD-designed, dyno-tested, rotomolded intake tube 
  • No cutting or modifications are needed

Airaid 403-278 – 2014 CAI for Powerstroke Diesel

AIRAID Premium Filters represent the ultimate horsepower and torque gains, as well as better throttle response and improved overall engine performance compared to stock intakes.

The manufacturer develops and produces high-quality air intakes for lightweight trucks and SUVs since 1997, improving their cotton-gauze filter technology and providing outstanding airflow and filtration for Ford Powerstroke engines. The AIRAID intake system’s tubing is made using computer precision modeling and high-density, cross-linked polyethylene for superior durability. 

The filter media of this particular intake system consists of multiple high-quality cotton-gauze layers including one layer of moisture-resistant SYNTHAFLOW (synthetic fiber material) sandwiched between a metal mesh.

High-quality, washable/reusable filter material and thought-out design provide incredible contaminants filtration down to 2 microns. The air filter box is made of hand-poured urethane and offers superior performance and heat resistance, so you can be sure it will not deform or crack in your truck’s engine bay.

Even if you don’t have any experience, the bolt-on installation process is a no-brainer – everything can be done without the hassle within an hour using basic tools.

AIRAID has long become one of the most trusted leaders in the CAI segment. Deep research and constant development have allowed the manufacturer to always be one step ahead of their competitors and provide high-quality items for outstanding drivability and overall engine performance. You can also choose dry black, dry red, or red oiled filter options.

Specifications

  • Model – 403-278
  • Weight – 12.3 lbs
  • Dimensions – 20.1 x 20 x 14.5
  • Materials – non-woven synthetics
  • Installation hardware included

Vehicle applications

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350/F450 V8 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • Superior performance
  • Increased MPGs, horsepower, and torque
  • Better throttle response
  • Aggressive styling
  • Easy installation (only basic tools are needed)
  • Perfect airbox, filter, and intake tubing replacement (great fit)
  • High-quality washable/reusable SYNTHAMAX filter media
  • Reduced airflow restriction
  • Made in the USA

Sinister Diesel SD-CAI-6.7P-17 – 2019 6.7 Powerstroke Cold Air Intake

Sinister Diesel SD-CAI-6.7P-17

When it comes to Sinister Diesel intakes, it’s all about the style and reliability. You can feel (and see) the signature mark in every detail, whether it’s a high-performance air filter with pre-oiled washable cotton media and a silicone coupler, durable CNC mandrel-bent aluminum tubing, polished and powder-coated in signature blue for a great look and corrosion resistance.

Whatever you like the most about this kit, you can be sure that the system can provide much more than just a sleek appearance. You can expect improved driveability and boosted engine performance, no matter if it’s daily driving, towing, or racing because this CAI kit provides outstanding horsepower and torque gains, along with improved airflow, fuel economy, throttle response, and turbo spool-up.

You also have all the necessary mounting hardware and detailed instruction for simple, drop-in installation. You should also know that this system is also compatible with a Sinister Diesel exhaust or a tuner for an even better driving experience!

Specifications

  • Model – SD-CAI-6.7P-17
  • Materials – aluminum, cotton (oiled)
  • Weight – 8 lbs
  • Dimensions – 24″ x 10″ x 10″
  • Installation hardware included

Vehicle fitment

  • 2011-2016 Ford F250/F350 V8 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • CNC mandrel-bent aluminum tubing
  • High-quality pre-oiled washable cotton media
  • Simple, drop-in installation with common hand tools
  • Outstanding throttle response and turbo spool-up
  • Perfect for regular street driving, towing, or racing
  • Compatible with a Sinister Diesel exhaust or a tuner for improved performance
  • Polished and powder-coated in signature blue for an exquisite signature look

Spectre Performance 9075 – CAI for 2019 Ford F250 Super Duty 6.7L V8 Diesel

Spectre Performance 9075

Meet the Spectre Performance Air Intake kit that will give your truck all the necessary power gains that you didn’t even expect with your stock unit! This intake system was designed to let your engine breathe freely while extracting more HP and torque and providing exceptional air filtration along with increased airflow.

The 9075 air intake features a washable and reusable non-oiled red Spectre air filter with high-quality non-woven synthetic media sandwiched between steel mesh, polished aluminum intake tubing, and a black powder-coated 2-piece heat shield to keep engine heat from entering the intake inlet.

All mounting hardware including a velocity stack, two couplers, five stainless steel clamps, and an edge trim, is included for a perfect fit and sleek finish.

Specification

  • Model – 9075
  • Materials – high-quality non-woven synthetic, urethane, aluminum, steel
  • Weight – 13 lbs
  • Dimensions – 18.8″ x 18.6″ x 11.1″
  • All mounting hardware and instructions included

Vehicle application

  • 2017-2019 Ford F350/F450/F550 6.7L Powerstroke, Diesel

Features

  • Considerable HP and torque
  • Easy installation with basic tools
  • High-performance washable and reusable dry filter media
  • The durable polished aluminum intake tubing
  • Red Spectre air filter
  • Durable powder-coated steel heat shield
  • Dyno-tested product
  • Affordable price

Conclusion

Cold air, as opposed to hot air, will contain more oxygen, which means burning will be more efficient and economical. It may not be worth talking about the guaranteed tangible difference and high power increase, as it depends directly on  CAI design and type, as well as engine tuning parameters, and the availability of replacement exhaust, tuning software (tuners /programmers), etc.

But the effect is definitely there! A properly designed quality cold inlet system will provide exactly what you expect. You can (and should) increase your engine power with a larger air supply.

Should you have any other questions, check out our CAI FAW article right here for more information.

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

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