Breathing Easy

Installing a BD X-Intake Cold Air Package and X-Flow Power Intake Yields Improved Airflow, Better Appearance

Published in the June 2008 Issue June 2008 Build, Feature

In today's diesel performance aftermarket, there are products for almost every application-from mild street and towing products to maximum effort pieces designed for drag racing and sled pulling. Most of us, however, still start with the basics. Sure, we have a mental wish list of all the cool stuff we'd like to do, but most of us like to choose a relatively inexpensive mod we can easily handle and work our way up from there.

The intake system on your truck (or any vehicle, for that matter) is a great place to start. Most vehicles' intake systems are restrictive to some degree, owing to the factory air filter and sometimes the box design itself. On diesel trucks, the factory also goes to impressive lengths to attenuate intake sound. Seems that the average Joe is bothered by the wonderful whistling, sucking sounds that characterize a turbo diesel. Whatever.

To upgrade the intake system on our '06 Dodge Cummins, we chose an X-Intake cold air package and X-Flow Power intake elbow from BD Diesel Performance. BD offers a complete line of diesel performance products, ranging from simple bolt-ons to modules, turbo kits, torque converters and complete transmission assemblies. BD has been in the diesel business for more than 30 years and its products are carefully designed and very well built.

The X-Intake, for example, is made from polished stainless steel and comes complete with a mount for the stock mass air flow sensor and a new high-flow air filter element. It also re-uses the stock rubber elbows to simplify installation and reduce cost. Located in the stock location, it receives greater volumes of air from both the original fender inlet and the grill, but still keeps the filter isolated from engine heat. Best of all, it disposes of the factory baffle that muffles intake sound and reduces airflow.

The X-Flow Power intake elbow, meanwhile, is a relatively new product for BD. Built in response to requests from Dodge and Ford enthusiasts who wanted an alternative to the utilitarian-looking stock elbow, the X-Flow Power looks great and has higher flow potential than the stock piece. It also has some thoughtful details, such as two ports (one pre-tapped) to measure boost and/or inject nitrous or water/methanol. And, unlike some other designs on the market, there are no fasteners that pass though the plenum area, which means more airflow and reduced turbulence, according to BD.

Surprisingly, BD makes no outrageous claims as to power increases for either product. "The stock components are actually quite effective for the stock power level,"_ BD president Brian Roth said. "So adding an aftermarket intake to an otherwise stock engine won't add more than a few horsepower-anyone who tells you different isn't being straight with you. However, as power is increased with a module, turbo and other enhancements, the stock intake pieces pose a restriction and that's when the X-Intake and X-Flow Power elbow will make a real difference. These components are designed to meet the airflow requirements of our turbo kits all the way up to 750 horsepower."_

Plus, BD has found that the larger volume of cold air introduced to the engine can reduce exhaust gas temperatures, especially under heavy load.

We recently stopped by BD Diesel Performance and took some photos as a BD technician installed an X-Intake and X-Flow Power on our '06 Dodge Cummins. Even with our interruptions, the whole job look little more than an hour, and in our opinion, the results were worthwhile. The under hood appearance is greatly improved and the sound? Well, let's just say we hardly listen to the radio anymore. Hearing the turbo do its job is more fun.

At some point, we'd like to go crazy with some other BD products, like their X-Tuner module, Super B turbo, Cool It intercooler, etc. But these intake mods are a good beginning and will only help when we bolt on more power later.


BD Diesel Performance
(800) 887 5030

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