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Truck Parts Home » Buyer's Guide » Performance Buyer's Guide - Air Filters, Intakes, & Throttle Body Spacers

Performance Categories

Air Filters, Intakes, & Throttle Body Spacers

Increasing air flow into and out of your engine is paramount to achieving increased performance. This is especially important in today's modern turbo diesel drivetrains. Not only does increasing air flow lead to power gains but it also leads to increased fuel economy, which everyone can use. There are 2 main ways to increase air flow, the first being high performance stock replacement filters and the other being a completely upgraded intake assembly. The more you do, the more flow you'll be able to achieve.

Overview

Types of Air Flow Upgrades

Stock Replacement Filters

There are many different manufacturers that offer many OEM filter replacement options. Factory air filter elements use a paper media as their source of filtration for your vehicle. While this is adequate, it is by no means the most efficient method of air filtration, which is why aftermarket solutions exist. Aftermarket solutions use far more efficient medias, such as cotton gauze and foam. These filter not only flow more air but they are also able to capture finer particulates. In addition, they offer the benefit of being reusable, which reduces your impact on the environment.

  • Increased Filtration
  • Increased Flow
  • Increased Power
  • Increased Mileage
  • Cleanable and Reusable

Short Ram Intake Systems

The next step you can take would be to upgrade your vehicle's intake to a more effective, higher flowing intake system. Often times the OEM intake on your vehicle can be restrictive, featuring silencers, baffles, and superfluous bends, all of which decrease air flow and rob you of power and fuel economy. A short ram intake replaces the factory intake on your vehicle, reducing the amount of obstructions and decreasing turbulence in the air stream. All of this leads to increased flow-yielding power and fuel economy.

  • Increased Flow
  • Increased Power
  • Increased Fuel Economy
  • Upgraded Engine Compartment Appearance

Cold Air Intake Systems

A cold air intake is the final step in optimizing your vehicle's intake system. It combines all the benefits of a short ram intake system and adds a crucial component: cold air. Air flow alone will increase your power and fuel economy levels, but when cold air is introduced the benefits are greatly improved. Cooler air is denser, which yields a better air/fuel charge for your engine and allows it to work more efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and increasing power.

  • Cooler/Denser Air Charge
  • Reduced Intake Temps
  • Increased Flow
  • Increased Power
  • Increased Fuel Economy
  • Upgraded Engine Compartment Appearance

Air Filters

Air filters are your vehicle's main line of defense when it comes to keeping dirt and grime out of your engine. They can also be a choke point, robbing your engine of valuable power and fuel economy. Filter upgrades are among the most common upgrades people make to their vehicles and with multiple options at your fingertips, it's easy to find the right filter to suit your needs.

Performance Filter Medias

Since there are many different filter manufacturers, many different types of filter medias have been developed. You'll need to choose between the following types of air filters:

Oiled Filters – These filters use a cotton-based weave as the actual filter media and are complemented by an oil, which is applied to them to help capture more dirt and particles. They offer higher flow and are reusable. When the filter becomes dirty, you simply apply a cleaning solution to them, hose them off, and reapply the filter oil once the filter has dried.

Dry Filters – Dry filters are just as the name implies. They feature a dry, non-woven, durable media designed to capture the finest particles and increase air flow. Their non-woven nature allows them to shed dirt under vibration, which results in less cleaning. When it does come time to clean them, you simply use a manufacturer-produced mild cleaner and reinstall the filter once it is dry.

    • AEM DRYFLOW Performance Air Filter
    • AEM
    • The AEM DRYFLOW filter uses environmentally-friendly, mild, all-purpose cleaner with simple cleaning instructions. Under extremely dusty or dirty conditions, DRYFLOW filters can be knocked a few times to remove excess dirt off of the filter pleats. DRYFLOW filter media is so durable that it can withstand almost unlimited cleanings and also resists water absorption.

    • aFe Power Performance Air Filter
    • aFe
    • A high performance, high flow aFe air filter replaces the restrictive factory paper filter and lets your engine breathe better. Paper filters do a good job of keeping dirt out but can clog easily, so they need to be replaced frequently. Foam filters also clog easily. A cotton gauze air filter like this one allows more airflow and is washable and reusable. Choose from 3 aFe air filter grades:

      aFe Pro 5R Filters

      • Maximum airflow
      • Five layer, progressive medical-grade cotton gauze
      • Available either for air intake systems or OE replacement filters
      • Provides approximately 98% dust efficiency

      aFe Pro Dry S Series Filters

      • Maximum convenience
      • Two-layer progressive synthetic randomly porous fabric
      • Easier to service than any other filter. Simply tap, vacuum, or wash to clean
      • 99.2% filtration efficiency

      aFe Pro Guard 7 Series Filters

      • Maximum convenience
      • Two-layer progressive synthetic randomly porous fabric
      • Easier to service than any other filter. Simply tap, vacuum, or wash to clean
      • 99.2% filtration efficiency
    • AIRAID Premium Air Filters
    • Airaid
    • AIRAID® premium air filters are comprised of multiple layers of cotton gauze with an extra layer of synthetic, moisture-resistant fiber material sandwiched between either stainless steel or aluminum mesh (depending on the application). Our high-tech material enhances dirt filtration, providing optimum filtration and air flow. For truly superior performance and durability, AIRAID® premium air filters also feature unique, hand-poured urethane casings that do not shrink or crack due to prolonged heat exposure under the hood. Plus, each air filter is washable, reusable, and guaranteed for life.

    • K&N FilterCharger Air Filter
    • K&N
    • For more than four decades, the oil-impregnated cotton/gauze K&N air filters have been known to performance enthusiasts as Filterchargers - air filters that pass so much air to your engine they provide a supercharger effect. Properly cared for, your K&N air filter will outlast the life of your vehicle and save you money from replacing OE style air filters.

      • High air flow with excellent filtration
      • Designed to increase horsepower and acceleration
      • Washable and reusable
      • Will NOT void vehicle warranty
      • Lasts up to 50,000 miles before cleaning is required, depending on driving conditions
      • K&N Million Mile Limited Warranty®
      • Emissions legal in all 50 US states
      • Economical - A K&N air filter will last the life of your automobile, motorcycle, or ATV
      • Works with original equipment manufacturer vehicle electronics
      • Easy high performance add-on
      • Environmentally-friendly

Air Intakes

It's a well known fact that OEM vehicle intake systems are restrictive. They feature baffles, silencers, and superfluous bends, all of which rob your vehicle's engine of efficiency. Efficiency equals power and fuel economy. Upgrading your vehicle's intake system to a high performance aftermarket system creates smoother and increased airflow, both of which give you that power you've been looking for and boost your fuel economy at the same time.

    • Brute Force Cold Air Intake Systems by AEM
    • AEM
    • AEM R&D testing procedures and quality-first manufacturing processes, combined with our unique DRYFLOW performance filter, allows us to deliver an amazing combination of filtration, torque, and power from our Brute Force air intake systems. AEM mechanical engineers emphasize tuning the resonance properties of the inlet pipe to help carry more air to the intake valves. Their plumbing is routed so that the filter draws air from a location with cooler air, and a steel powdercoated heat shield is provided to shroud the filter from engine heat and road dirt.

    • Brute Force HD Intake Systems by AEM
    • AEM
    • AEM manufactures its Brute Force HD intakes from mandrel-bent, lightweight 6063 aluminum with high-strength dog bone brackets and dual rubber soft mounts for maximum durability, and includes a heat shield (when applicable) with a powdercoated black finish, a complete hardware kit, and comprehensive photo installation instructions. Brute Force HD intakes are available with a gunmetal powdercoat or mirror-polished finish.

      • Oil-free DRYFLOW Performance air filter out-flows engine requirements
      • High-quality hose clamps ease the installation process and provide secure connections
      • High-quality couplers are designed not to crack, fade or fail
      • Black powdercoated steel heat shield included (when applicable)
      • Dyno-tuned inlet pipe constructed of mandrel-bent aluminum for smooth air flow
      • Precision-made MAF adapters provide factory-like fit and prevent check engine lights
    • aFe Power Air Intake Systems
    • aFe
    • Huge, high-flow conical aFe air filters are the first step to increased airflow to the engine. Steel heat shields or molded plastic air boxes keep hot air out and fresh, cold air flowing to the filter. Velocity stacks or 3 angle adaptors and precision-designed intake tubes provide smooth, uninterrupted air flow to the turbo or throttle body. aFe air intake systems are designed for ease of installation and the largest filter available.

      How to Install an aFe Air Intake System
    • Jr. Intake Tube Kit by AIRAID
    • Airaid
    • AIRAID® Jr. Intake Tube Kits are custom-made for specific vehicles and are compatible with stock intakes, as well as all other AIRAID® Intake Systems. With the AIRAID® Jr., all it takes to give your engine more horsepower, torque, and added fuel efficiency is some simple tools and a few minutes for installation.

      • Easy installation
      • Hardware included
      • Increases air flow by up to 400 cfm
      • Compatible with most AIRAID intake systems
      • Enhances air flow from stock air box
    • Modular Intake Tube Kit by AIRAID
    • Airaid
    • AIRAID® Modular Intake Tubes are custom-made for specific vehicles and are compatible with stock intakes, as well as all other AIRAID® Intake Systems. With AIRAID® MIT, all it takes to give your engine more horsepower, torque, and added fuel efficiency is some simple tools and a few minutes for installation. Each part comes with all of the hardware.

      • Easy installation
      • Increases air flow by up to 400 cfm
      • Compatible with most AIRAID intake systems
      • Enhances air flow from stock air box
    • Quick Fit Intake System by AIRAID
    • Airaid
    • AIRAID® QuickFit™ Intakes are specifically designed to get more out of an engine using the vehicle’s stock cold air inlet and filter housing. Augmenting it with an AIRAID® Premium Filter and Cold Air Dam provides an aggressive improvement over the factory air intake system. The QuickFit™ bolt-on system mounts to the stock lower air box using OE mounting clips and clamps for easy installation, eliminating the restrictive air box lid and paper filter. AIRAID’s exclusive design feeds air directly into the intake system, while the Cold Air Dam isolates hot air from the filter for a denser air flow charge. Of course, QuickFit Intakes include AIRAID® Premium Filters, featuring our unique high-tech filtration technology for superior output and long-lasting quality.

    • MXP Series Intake System by AIRAID
    • Airaid
    • The new MXP series of AIRAID intakes features a large, one-piece, roto-molded air box, while the air intake tube, made from cross-linked, high-density polyethylene, maintains mass air flow readings for correct air-fuel ratio and proper calibration. The AIRAID MXP Series intake system is the top of the food chain when it comes to gas & diesel cold air induction systems. The MXP offers aggressive styling, unmatched fit & finish, and is designed with the highest quality of components available on the market today.

      • Bolt-on torque/horsepower
      • Exclusive SynthaFlow technology
      • Increase fuel efficiency
      • Large one-piece roto-molded cold air box
      • Lifetime no hassle warranty
      • Lowers EGTs
    • CAD Series Intake System by AIRAID
    • Airaid
    • Designed to produce optimum performance for your vehicle’s engine by isolating engine heat away from the air intake, AIRAID® Cold Air Dam Intakes use the stock air filter location but provide a boost with a huge air inlet to keep more cold air flowing through the AIRAID® air filter. Each AIRAID® Cold Air Dam Intake is specifically designed to support its vehicle applications and comes with all the parts necessary for easy installation.

    • Banks Ram-Air Intake System
    • Banks Power
    • The Banks Ram-Air Intake System delivers exceptional airflow and air density. Its large lifetime air filter requires fewer cleanings than competitive filters. With its giant outlet, streamlined components, and enclosed cold-air box that keeps hot engine air out of the intake, the Ram-Air flows up to 66% better than stock. It also improves power and MPG while lowering exhaust gas temperatures. Banks' unique 5 bellows accommodate engine movement, preventing component damage and prolonging service life. It's designed to not cause fault or error codes and has a lifetime warranty on the filter element. Unlike competitors, Banks doesn't just build-and-ship. Our Ram-Airs are triple validated before the name Banks is stamped on. We test; they don't. That's the Banks difference!

    • K&N Air Intake
    • K&N
    • There are several K&N air intakes that completely replace the factory airflow assembly, including the filter, air box, and air path. More and more people are discovering the monster power available from a well-engineered air intake and K&N sells over 500,000 air intakes every year, so go ahead and wake the sleeping giant in your car.

      • Guaranteed horsepower
      • Increased filtering Capacity
      • Easy to install, usually in 90 minutes or less
      • Won’t void factory warranty
      • K&N million mile warranty
    • Cool Air Intake Kit by Volant
    • Volant
    • Every component of Volant Cool Air Intakes is purpose built. The filter boxes are engineered to specific design, insulating and protecting the air filter from pulling hot air from the engine compartment, thus increasing horsepower. The ducting features large bore diameters, unique bends, and smooth transitions to give you maximum horsepower and throttle response. Even the exterior was well thought out, featuring carbon fiber accents on the filter lid, high performance silicon hoses for strength and stability, and marine-grade clamps to keep everything in place. You can’t go wrong when a product is this well-engineered.

    • PowerCore Cool Air Intake Kit by Volant
    • Volant
    • Featuring all of the great engineering benefits of their standard cool air intake kits, the Volant PowerCore Air Intake takes it a step further with the revolutionary PowerCore air filter. Each PowerCore filter is manufactured by Donaldson to Volant's exact specifications. PowerCore uses an advanced Ultra Web NanoFiber technology, improving filtration up to 99.99%. It works by directing air into the front of the filter where it is channeled by its fluted design. The channels are alternately sealed, allowing air to enter through an open flute and forcing it to exit out an adjacent flute. This process allows the air to be filtered in one pass with less restriction, sending clean air to your engine for increased airflow and higher filtration.

Changed Air Manifolds

OEM air manifolds, much like factory air intake systems, are another area in which miscellaneous bends and substandard castings limit engine airflow, robbing you of power. To combat this, several products have been developed to smooth out those bends and create smoother, increased airflow.

    • aFe Blade Runner Charged Air Manifold
    • aFe
    • Stock intake manifolds have sharp bends and corners. As air flows around these corners, dead air zones are created. These dead air zones choke down the air and restrict airflow to your engine. Blade Runner Charged aFe air manifolds use smooth bends and directional vanes to form multiple air paths through the manifold. These new paths are smoother and shorter, producing much smaller dead air zones for increased overall airflow to the engine.

    • Banks High-Ram Intake Manifold
    • Banks Power
    • Cooler, denser air packs real power; that's an absolute fact. So why would you choke off all that power-packed air at the last second on its way from the intercooler to the intake manifold? That's exactly what the stock air intake does. The 3" Banks High-Ram intake manifold changes all that. Designed on the computer using computational fluid dynamics, tested on the flow bench, and proved on the dyno, the High-Ram is much more than just another pretty air inlet. For even greater airflow with more power and improved throttle response, step up to the 3½" Banks High-Ram system with Boost Tube. Both the 3" and 3½" options are CNC port-matched for a perfectly engineered fit.

    • BD Diesel X-Flow Power Intake Elbow
    • BD Diesel
    • The BD Diesel X-Flow Power Intake Elbow features a larger plenum for increased airflow and smooth radius turns to reduce turbulence and intake pressure losses. BD’s unique design positions the fasteners outside of the manifold (instead of through it) to reduce airflow restriction, and two convenient ports (one pre-tapped) make it easy to monitor boost and/or inject nitrous oxide or another power adder. Now available in both black powdercoated and highly polished aluminum finishes. Use it with our X-Power Intake system for even greater airflow!

Throttle Body Spacers

The Throttle body is the gateway of air into your engine. Think of it as your carburetor, except it only introduces air into your engine. The addition of a throttle body spacer serves the same function as a carburetor spacer would on the engines of old. It spaces the throttle body off of the intake manifold to create more velocity, which yields improved vacuum response. This improved vacuum response, combined with the vortex created by the spacer, helps to provide a superior atomized mixture of fuel and air all the way into the combustion chamber.

  • Increased Throttle Response
  • Increased Fuel Economy
  • Improved Combustion Efficiency
  • Increased Horsepower
  • Easy to Install
    • aFe Silver Bullet Throttle Body Spacer
    • aFe
    • The aFe Silver Bullet Throttle Spacer features a serrated/helix design that creates turbulence to help air/fuel charge burn completely. These same features also reduce annoying whistling sounds. Precision-machined from T-6061 billet aluminum, all applications gain approximately 10HP and 14 lbs-ft of torque.

    • AIRAID PowerAid Throttle Body Spacer
    • AIRAID
    • The PowerAid® throttle body spacer was developed to enhance your vehicle’s off idle to mid range performance and efficiency. The unique “Helix Bore” design of the AIRAID PowerAid creates a spinning action of the incoming air. As air passes through your throttle body, this helical effect causes the air molecules to organize and maintain high velocity. The organization and high velocity of the air is extremely beneficial because it helps to provide a superior atomized mixture of fuel and air all the way into the combustion chamber. The benefits you will see are tremendous torque gains between 800 to 2500 RPM, and potential increases in your fuel economy, depending on driving conditions.

      • Increased Horsepower
      • Increased Torque
      • Increased Fuel Economy
      • Made of 6061-T6 Aluminum
    • JET Powr-Flo Throttle Body Spacer
    • AIRAID
    • The JET Powr-Flo spacers bore is designed to increase the velocity of the air flow into the intake manifold. By delivering the air with more velocity, it allows more air into the combustion chamber for a denser air charge. The design results in improved throttle response and impressive power gains in the mid range and top end. In addition, the increased air flow results in improved overall fuel efficiency. It's a simple, bolt-on installation with no other vehicle modifications required and is compatible with other aftermarket upgrades such as computer upgrades, cold air intakes, free flow exhaust systems, etc. Precision-machined out of billet aluminum by JET’s in-house CNC machine shop.

      • Increased mid-range horsepower and torque
      • Bolt-on installation
      • Optimizes cold air intakes
    • Street and Performance Helix Power Tower Plus Throttle Body Spacer
    • Street Performance
    • Street and Performance Electronics, the first company to develop the throttle body spacer that delivers improved power, performance, and economy, has achieved a design breakthrough! Engineers at Street and Performance Electronics have developed a new generation design that provides better improved performance and economy. Every new product design is achieved through superior engineering and cutting-edge development equipment, such as our SuperFlow air bench and our DynoJet dynamometer. Utilizing multiple aerodynamic principles, the Helix Power Tower Plus produces air breakup and turbulence that yields greater fuel burn efficiency, which translates into the best performing and most efficient product of its type in the marketplace!

      • Up to 22 hp gains
      • Up to 4 miles per gallon gains
      • Up to 25 ft lb gain in Torque
      • Easy installation
      • Quiet operation
      • Performance benefits across entire power band
      • Environmentally-friendly with cleaner fuel burn
      • Fifty States Legal (C.A.R.B # D516-2)
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