Sunday January 26th 2020


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Cold Air Intake

So you are ready to start modifying your Ford truck… AWESOME!
A good place to start is with a cold air intake also known as a CAI?

A CAI’s is designed to bring more oxygen (AIR) into your Ford truck engine for increased power and efficiency. Most factory intake systems are restrictive to help eliminate engine noise, I especially found on our Ford trucks. The denser cooler air helps with the combustion of your engine.

By increasing the diameter of the air intake, and smoothing the interior, the after-market CAI is increasing air flow and reducing air resistance to the engines. Along with using a more efficient, less restrictive air filter, this will allow maximum airflow at certain engine speeds.

Have you ever noticed on your stock Ford truck (gas engine), that when you step on the gas pedal to pass someone or to climb a hill it sounds like you are doing mach II? Realistically, you are barely moving any faster. Try it after installing an after-market CAI. Now you have the continuous power to pass and climb in the higher rpm range whereas before you had been bogging down. This is one modification that improved the performance and fuel efficiency on my truck and I was able to notice right away.

Just installing an after-market air filter alone will help improve the efficiency of your truck. With the full CAI system on you are adding even more air flow. If you have an older carbureted engine add a throttle body spacer (TBS) which speeds the increased air flow for better performance.

There are many different brands and styles built for Ford trucks, from the do-it-yourself Gotts Mod, the short ram intake or the full CAI (also called a stage II) system with the tube and filter.

Where do you start and who do you choose? A lot comes down to personal preference and budget. If you are on a tight budget try the Gotts Mod or you want to spend a little more just add an after-market filter. Most of the major players have the filter only option which will drop into the existing factory air box. You are not spending more money on replacing the restrictive factory paper filter but by reusing the washable after-market filter for the long haul instead.

Some of the mid-range CAI kits have an open box that surrounds the filter, also known as a heat shield to keep the hot engine air away from the intake. The CAI by K&N, Airaid, and AFE for example are still good systems but can allow more hot air back into the engine. Banks, S&B and Volant are some that offer a more enclosed box designed to keep the engine heat out and let the cool air through.

I have personally had the K&N on my old truck and was happy with it. I now have the Banks on my current truck and am extremely pleased with this system. It is a bigger jump in performance and efficiency depending on driving style than the K&N had been.

Depending on the brand and the make of your vehicle getting an increase of 8 to 15 horsepower is usually not a problem. So along with the added looks and throatier sounds a CAI will be beneficial to your vehicle and everyday driving experience.

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