Upgrading the Engine’s Air-Intake System

By Tim Walton






It’s easy to feel torn when trying to decide what kind of mods you’d like to do on your truck. On the one hand, you’ve heard of big power gains with add-on parts, but these days fuel prices are taking a bite out of the budget. Smoking the tires means burning more fuel, right? That’s true, but we’ve found that the very steps we take for making trucks stronger can also make them more fuel efficient.

Automotive engines are air pumps, and the diesel variety is no exception. Improving the intake system on an engine can make the engine run more efficiently as well as increase the torque and horsepower output.

Depending on you driving conditions and habits, this intake improvement can increase the fuel mileage and most certainly the “fun factor” with more power.

According to Advanced Flow Engineering Inc (aFe), the power MagnumFORCE Stage-2 PRO 5R Intake system can product 4 horsepower and 12 ft.-lbs. of torque. It can out-flow a factory intake by 71 percent. But this is only part of the allure. The 16-gauge powder-coated heat shield, which requires little assembly, helps to keep the intake air cooler while protecting the filter from the elements. The washable and reusable conical oiled Pro5R filter included in the system is constructed with 100-percent polyurethane for multiple cleaning cycles and long life. Keep this in mind, because you don’t buy new filters—just clean the one you have.

The molded plastic “Torque Booster Tube” increases air flow with improved volumetric efficiency for maximum performance while helping to insulate the air from engine heat.

The insulating characteristics of the intake system improves efficiency because cooler air is more dense, which means each air/fuel intake contains more oxygen molecules that give more power to the burn.

Intake systems like the one featured here can free up some horsepower by themselves, however when used in conjunction with other modifications, such as improved exhaust flow and engine programmers, it can really shine.

The aFe MagnumFORCE intake is the first step in our quest for a more efficient engine on this 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax pickup. You Chevy guys know this also applies to the Silverado, right? Here’s how we installed it.

Our bone-stock Duramax engine
Left: Our bone-stock Duramax engine, including stock intake, waits for some better air flow. Right: Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the bolts holding the top of the stock air box.
Left: Unplug the MAF (mass air flow) sensor from the stock intake system. Right: Loosen the hose clamps and remove the molded hose section of the intake.
Left: Remove the stock filter from the air box. Right: Remove the lower section of the stock air box.
Left: Install the provided gasket and spacers to the MAF, taking note of the orientation. Right: Use the provided longer screws to install the MAF into the aFe intake.
Left: Remove the four bolts holding the stock intake mounting bracket. Right: Remove the stock mounting bracket and set aside the bolts for use later.
Left: The aFe intake box is one piece and requires no assembly, simply put it in place. Right: Re-use the four stock bolts to fasten the box in place.
Left: Assemble the intake tract, making sure to put the hose clamps in place before installation. Right: You can save yourself a headache by using electrical tape to hold the nut in place in the box-end wrench while assembling the intake.
Left: Fasten the molded plastic air ram piece to the intake box. Right: Install and tighten the hose clamp that holds the filter to the intake.
Left: Remember to plug the MAF sensor into the new intake system. Right: Install the cover to the top of the intake box (aFe includes a torx bit in the kit but, we have plenty in the tool box). Then, revel in the glory of your newly installed aFe MagnumFORCE Stage-2 PRO 5R intake system.


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