Everything Auto: Install a Throttle Body Spacer

Better Blend: Give your horsepower a boost with a throttle body spacer.

When I read Airaid’s claim that installing the company’s Poweraid throttle body spacer would improve both power and fuel economy, I was a bit skeptical. After all, the descriptions sounded a bit like a frozen margarita recipe, with all of the swirling and the cool, fresh mixture getting sucked through a larger opening.

However, we installed it, we dyno tested it, and sure enough the throttle body spacer alone pulled seven extra horses. When combined with a complete Airaid intake system, we’ve seen up to 25-horsepower gains.

Fuel economy is a little different story. Our Airaid-equipped trucks have seen only slight improvements in fuel economy. Our conclusion: The Airaid intake and Poweraid throttle body spacer combination is a simple way to boost power without costing more at the pump.

Here’s how it’s installed on a 5.3L 2006 Chevy Z71 Crew Cab:

Step 1: Disconnect the ground cable from the negative post of the battery. Then loosen a bolt and remove the beauty cover.


Step 2: Loosen the hose clamps on each end of the air-intake tube and remove the tube.

Step 3: Leaving the electrical components connected, remove the mass air-flow sensor and set it aside.


Step 4: Rock the factory air box back and forth to loosen it from the grommets (there are no bolts) and remove it from the truck.

Step 5: Back off the five bolts, which hold the air box mounting plate and remove the plate.


Step 6: Assemble the Cool Air Dam (CAD) panels using the supplied bolts washers and nuts.


Step 7: Use a 10-millimeter socket to remove the three nuts on the throttle body.


Step 8: Remove the throttle body from the intake manifold.


Step 9: Remove the throttle body studs for the intake manifold.


Step 10: With the fiber gasket in place, position the throttle body spacer between the intake manifold and the throttle body. Ensure that the flat side of the spacer faces the throttle body.


Step 11: Install the top bolt through the throttle body and spacer and into the intake manifold—but leave it loose.


Step 12: Carefully align all of the components so the bottom bolt holes line up.


Step 13: Install the bottom two bolts and tighten all three bolts without over-tightening.


Step 14: Install the filter adapter into the CAD using three button-head bolts.


Step 15: Re-install the Mass Air Flow sensor onto the filter adapter.


Step 16: Install the hump hose on the Mass Air Flow sensor using the supplied hose clamps.


Step 17: Install the coupler on the throttle body. 

Step 18: Install the Modular Intake Tube into the hump hose first and then into the throttle body coupler.


Step 19: Install the Airaid filter on the filter adapter inside the CAD.


Step 20: Install the weather strip along the top of the CAD.


Step 21: Make sure all clamps, hoses and bolts are tight. Re-install the beauty cover.
Editor’s Note: Photography for this article provided by Bruce W. Smith. For more information on the products used, contact Airaid Filter Co., www.airaid.com, 1-800-498-6951.

Hot Product

Armstrong Clark wood stain
Armstrong-Clark Wood Stains

Armstrong-Clark’s deck and siding wood stain has nondrying conditioning oils that separate from the drying side of the formula. These oils penetrate deep into the deck or siding wood fiber where the wood’s natural oils used to be. This process rejuvenates the wood. The drying oils stay at the surface, lock in the conditioning oils […]