(approx) 2 Hours
Simple installation for anyone.
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What's up, guys. Travis from americantrucks.com. Today we're looking at one of the most popular mods that everybody likes to throw on their 2014 to 2018 Silverado or Sierra, especially if you've got a 5.3 motor under the hood and that's a cold air intake like this one. This is the AFE Momentum Cold Air Intake featuring their Pro 5R high flow air filter. Now, when you're looking at all the different options on the site, trying to pick a cold air intake can get a little bit confusing because there's so many different options to choose from and there's a lot of different factors to consider, but I like to make it a little bit easier by lumping them into two general categories. One is gonna be a closed-element design, and one is gonna be an open-element design. As the name implies, a closed-element design features a fully enclosed airbox wherein the air filter, the element, if you will, is completely insulated so there's no engine bay air getting inside of there. And that's an important thing to think about because colder, denser air makes better power. That's why some folks like closed element designs over the open-element options. The open-element options are gonna feature the same kind of setup here with an intake tube and a new high-flow filter, but they're gonna have more of an open kind of heat shield, if you will. It's not gonna be a full box like this one.Open-element designs look good, they're a lot more old school looking. When you pop the hood, things look a little more exciting than most closed-element options, but you are sacrificing a little bit of performance for aesthetics. That's not gonna be the case here. I really like the setup of this one, in particular, because in my opinion, at least, this kind of satisfies both. This is a closed element design, and the Pro 5R filter that's included in this kit, guys, is honestly probably one of the best air filters that you can pick up in a cold air intake for the 5.3 motor currently. I actually did a little bit of time on AFE's website, did a little bit of research on this filter, they really really took the time to put a lot of research and development into making sure that this filter provides maximum airflow. This is an oiled filter, by the way. A lot of filters are dry filters, which means they don't have any oil inside the media itself. Dry filters do not filter out as well as an oiled filter like this one will. The only benefit of a dry filter normally is you get better airflow. But if you're a company like AFE, and you take the time to really drive it home with your oiled filter, you can honestly get better performance than a dry filter and this one does that. This actually promises 98.6% airflow efficiency. And honestly, that's kind of unheard of for an oiled filter versus a dry filter. This is also made out of five layers of media, different layers of media, and it's a special type of cotton that they actually developed for this thing. So it's safe to say if you want maximum airflow, and you also want maximum protection for your motor, then the 5R filter in this kit is really gonna do the job. Honestly, buying this filter by itself, it's a little bit more expensive than some other cold air intakes. So that's kind of speaking to how much time and effort they've put into designing this thing. And that's really nice because if you take your truck off-road often, or you're driving through a worksite, you got a lot of dirty back roads, things like that, this is gonna make sure that nice cold and clean air is getting to that motor. And again, the closed element design only further improves that by insulating that filter more than an open-element option.Now, as far as looks go, again, closed-box designs kind of look a little boring sometimes. That's not the case here. I really am happy with the way AFE put this thing together visually, they even included a nice little window here so you could see the filter underneath, you can actually monitor whether you need to pull it out and clean it, and oil it, throw it back in there. They actually included a little opening right here to get even more airflow inside the box if you desire it, put some nice little logos on here. And then the one thing that I like about it is that they really closely matched the texture, the finish, and the color of the airbox and the intake itself to all the plastic inside the engine bay. Some other filters, you throw them in there, they look cool, but they're kind of disconnected from what's going on everywhere else. So you got this really nice looking intake in here, but then everything else looks wildly different and that's not the case here. This thing is a massive improvement visually speaking over that factory airbox, I'll show you a comparison in a little bit, but they still made sure that it looks at home. They made it look like it belongs and that's something that I'm personally a fan of. That's maybe more personal preference for you.Now, it goes without saying, guys, this thing costs a little bit more than some of the other options. Comes in just over the $400 price point. But again, you're definitely getting what you pay for. As far as performance gains, I would expect this is gonna be a best-case scenario in terms of hunting for horsepower and torque if you will. Even if you don't tune the truck, which this doesn't require a tune, by the way, but even if you don't tune the truck, I would honestly expect confidently speaking, you'll get at least high single-digit and maybe low double-digit gains for horsepower and torque. And the torque is definitely gonna improve in the low end. It's gonna really free up that air that the motor needs when you're really getting on the pedal at a green light, so you'll feel better throttle response as well. And then lastly, the install. This thing installs very easily. I'm giving the install a one out of three wrenches on my difficulty meter, and honestly it shouldn't take you more than an hour or two. Some cold air intakes require a lot of work. Some of them require modification and things like that. This thing pretty much comes assembled in the box. All you got to do is throw the filter inside, clamp it down, throw the intake tube in there and clamp it to the throttle body. It's honestly probably one of the easiest intakes that I've installed thus far. So if you don't have a lot of experience turning wrenches but you're hunting for power, you want to throw some mods on your Silverado or Sierra, this is gonna be a good first option for you. And if you decide to go for this intake over the other options, come back in a little bit, I'm actually gonna show you guys all the tools that you need and then we're gonna get started on that install. I'm gonna walk you through how to get this thing bolted in here step by step.All right. To install your new AFE intake, you'll need a standard drive ratchet and a couple of sockets. You'll need an 8 a 10 and an 11-millimeter socket. I use deep sockets just to be safe and you'll also need a couple of Torx bits, unfortunately, so, if you don't have them, go ahead and grab a T-15, a T-20 Torx bit, and obviously an impact gun is gonna make the whole project go quicker. Okay, guys, before we remove the factory intake, we actually have to remove some other things off of the truck in the engine bay. We're gonna pop our radiator cover and then we're gonna remove this support brace. I'm doing this first because it's gonna make uninstall a little bit easier. So you have to pop a couple of these little push pins out here. You can use a flathead screwdriver but it's much easier to have a trim panel removal tool like this one.Okay. Once the cover is removed, you can also remove the support brace. It's held on with two 10-millimeter bolts on either side. All right. Next thing we're gonna do is disconnect our MAF sensor as well as both of our breather hoses on the resonator box and the factory intake. All you got to do is pull up on this little red tab, give it a squeeze, it should come free. So the breather hoses are located on the back of this little resonator box. You have these little gray tabs on top, you got to give them a little bit of pressure. Push down on them and then disconnect them. Okay. Now, all we need to do to remove our factory intake is to separate the clamp securing it to the throttle body, you'll need an 8-mil socket for this one. Go ahead and loosen that up a little bit and pull it away from the throttle body. The only other clamp that you need to remove here is the clamp that secures the airbox to this tube right here and again 8-mil socket for this one. Once you loosen him up, go ahead and separate the two and you can pull the airbox out as well as the intake tube and the resonator box. Okay. Now that our intake is removed, we do have to remove the factory mounting tray for the airbox because the new airbox is actually gonna take up this space. So you have to remove this, there's four 10-millimeter bolts, just go and pop those out.All right. So we got the factory air box as well as the resonator box and the factory air tube removed. We went ahead and threw them up on the table here, we have to do a little bit of work, we actually have to swap our MAF sensor over from the airbox to the new intake tube, they do provide new screws for that, but I really wanted to take the time to give you guys a nice comparison between the two because they are similar in configuration. And that's really where the similarities end. Inside this airbox here is a very small paper element filter, you can tell by the size of the box that the filter itself is really not that big. And they've built a seat inside of there, but it's a very simple setup. It doesn't really do a good job of capturing a lot of contaminants after a long period of time. It's honestly not the best kind of filter even if you just daily drive your truck, let alone if you want to get some performance out of it. Then obviously, we're stepping up to AFE's new filter here. This guy is massive. It's probably three to four times the surface area and volume of the factory paper element filter. So this is gonna do a way better job of getting that air into the motor, so you're making better power, again, especially at the low end.So, let's go ahead and remove this MAF sensor. Now, this is unfortunately secured with Torx head screws so you're gonna need some Torx bit. So we need a T-15 for the screws in the factory airbox, then we'll go to swap it over into the new intake tube, they do provide some screws for this as well. These are also Torx set screws, so you're gonna have to step it up to a T-20. So, good idea, if you don't have any, go ahead, get to the local hardware store, grab yourself a Torx set.Okay. Now we're gonna throw the sensor in like I just said. There's really only one way that it can be oriented. If you put it in the wrong way, the hole won't lineup so we don't have to worry too much about that. But these are pretty fine threads on these little screws and the little rivnuts that they screw into are in plastic so just take your time and get these hand threaded first. Make sure they're not cross-threading. You don't want any leaks coming in through here. Any unmetered air going into the motor could cause your motor to lean out. And that could cause a loss of power as well as overheating or other issues. Let's make sure this is nice and tight. Okay. Once you got the MAF sensor in the intake tube, you could set that aside for now. Now you want to grab the airbox. We're gonna install the filter then we'll throw the intake tube on there. You want to make sure you have this large band clamp on here and the fasteners on these clamps are a little bit beefier than most so we'll need an 11-millimeter deep socket for this one.All right. Now, once you have the filter inside the box, pretty simple, go ahead and repeat the process by grabbing the intake tube. You also want to grab the appropriately sized band clamp, again, same style fastener, throw it on the smaller outlet of the filter itself and then press the intake tube in place all the way and tighten down this clamp. All right. Now that we got that seated, the only thing that we're gonna have to worry about is securing these clamps to the throttle body. So go ahead and switch out your 11-mil socket for an 8-mil and let's get this thing in place. All right. So when you go to throw the AFE into the engine bay, the little rubber grommets and the little pegs on the bottom of the new airbox are gonna line up with the holes in the factory mounting tray. So the airbox just kind of rest in there. If you find difficulty getting the entire intake in here with the coolant lines, just do yourself a favor, loosen up the clamp on here and put it back in these two pieces. But once you got all that situated, all you need to really do is come over here to the rubber coupler for the throttle body. Make sure you have the band clamps on there and just slip this guy on the throttle body, make sure it's seated all the way. Once you have him nice and flush, all you need to do is slide the band clamp in place and tighten it down. And again, this is an 8-mil socket.All right. Now all we need to do really is plug in our MAF sensor and install our new breather hoses. So we're gonna remove these original hoses off of the heads here, the same little plastic fitting, just press on it to remove it, then grab the longer breather hose provided in the kit, slip it over the fitting on the head and slide it onto the fitting on the new intake tube. And we're gonna do the same thing for the other side. Okay. And again, lastly, just go ahead and plug in your MAF sensor. Make sure you have a positive connection and press down on the red locking tab. All right. Now, at this point, you want to turn the truck over, double-check that everything's operating correctly. We don't have any check engine lights or a crazy idle or anything like that. Once you verify that the new intake is working properly, you want to go ahead and reinstall the support brace that we removed earlier, and then we're gonna throw the rad cover back on as well. Again to tighten this stuff down with a 10-mil socket.All right, guys. So once you turn the truck over, make sure everything's running smoothly, throw that support brace back on with your rad cover, go ahead and close the hood and that should wrap it up for it. That'll wrap up the install and that also wraps up my review of the AFE Momentum Cold Air Intake. Be sure to check it out more on the site, keep it right here at americantrucks.com.
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Fitment: 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Details
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(approx) 2 Hours
Simple installation for anyone.
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