Published in the June 2013 Issue June 2013

Having a high-quality intake system should be one of your highest priorities when it comes to getting the most out of your engine. There are many things to consider when purchasing such a system. Among the items that you need to consider include efficiency of the intake, the quality, and whether or not it is affordable for you. We have chosen to highlight five manufacturers that we feel can provide you with some of the most up to date and high performance intake systems available.

AEM Intakes

AEM offers air intake systems for most of the popular vehicles on the road today. Some of its more popular air intake systems include the 2009 and up Chevy Silverado cold air intake 21-8030DC as well as the current generation Ford F250 Super Duty cold air intake 21-9124DS. The prices of AEM intakes range from $300 to $600, depending on the system configuration.

“I would recommend the AEM 21-9032DS for the 2011 Chevy/GMC HD trucks with a LML Duramax,” says George Hsiegh, a representative of AEM. “It is a very well-engineered air intake system that produces consistent power gains and offers excellent engine protection.”

Hsiegh goes on to say that the most important thing for customers to know is the filtration efficiency of the air filter because filtration efficiency equals engine protection. Customers should have some understanding of the efficiency testing performed by intake/filter manufacturers and why there is an International standard protocol for such test.

AEM is well known for engineering and developing true cold air intake systems. Cooler air contains more oxygen, which when mixed with the proper amount of fuel, will produce more power. AEM’s experienced engineers utilize state-of-the-art equipment to develop and validate air intake systems that pull cool ambient air from outside of the engine bay for huge, consistent power gains.

“For customers it’s all about customization and more power,” adds Hsiegh. “It’s what sets your vehicle apart from others on and off the road. The AEM Dryflow air filter that comes with the intake is a cleanable, reusable filter so customers do not have to keep replacing air filters because they essentially have an air filter for life.” (

aFe Power

At aFe, they offer a number of different intakes and have multiple filter media’s that allow consumers to get exactly what they are looking for at the price they desire.

They offer a Stage 1 intake which acts as a block replacement. The most popular intake aFe has to offer is its Stage 2 intakes. They replace the entire intake tract all the way to the turbo or throttle body. aFe also offers a Stage 2 Si which is a sealed Stage 2 intake. The Stage 2 intakes produce the maximum performance available from the motor and are always recommended over the Stage 1. Plus the company recently announced the release of its all new Momentum HD sealed air intakes for Cummins, Duramax and Power Stroke trucks.

Jason Bruce, a representative from aFe, feels that what sets them apart from other companies is how closely they pay attention to detail.

“Our intakes use the largest air filters and we do exhaustive testing to prove the design,” says Bruce. “This informa- aFe Power

tion is available for the consumer to view and compare against our competition. We are not just a filter on a tube.”

The intakes range from $250 to $450 and aFe continually works hard to meet the customer’s satisfaction.

“When we recommend an intake we start with the highest performing one, says Bruce. “We then go about choosing the option that best fits our customer’s budgetary concerns.”

There are many benefits to having a good quality air intake system. Intake systems allow you to bring in air more quickly and optimize you motor (whether stocked or modified). The intake system also improves the way your exhaust, manifold or tuner performs as you have more air available and power to play with. You will also get improved throttle response and in most cases you will see a MPG gain. The intake is the perfect performance mod when first getting started. (


In 1997, Volant started selling four different products including the Fast Fit, Closed Box Cold Air Intake, New Vortice Throttle Body Spacer and Cold Air Scoops.

The Fast Fit is a low-budget open element designed performance application using a cotton filter and is priced at $190. The Closed Box Cold Air Intakes come with both the Cotton Filter and PowerCore and the average price is $250-$350.

“The two lines of intakes give the consumer a choice he can make based off his wallet and what he can afford,” says Danny Moniz, vice president of Volant. “We always recommend closed box with the PowerCore for the ultimate in power and torque gains to include the absolute best in efficiency.”

The New Vortice Throttle Body Spacers are priced at $49 and are a nice complement to its entire line of intakes and at a cost that won’t dent your wallet. The Spacers offer additional HP and TQ and also bolt on to all its competitors intakes.

The Cold Air Scoops are the most important part of its line for the consumer looking to maximize performance and reduce operating temperatures. The scoops are vehicle-specific and route air flow from outside the vehicle, mostly through the bumper area, the grill and various outer locations.

“We were the very first true cold air intake on the planet that built our products with a closed box design,” adds Moniz. “We actually own the patent for this design. Others have followed since. This speaks loud volumes.”

Volant strongly believes that its products can outlast any vehicle.

“Our products should outlast most vehicles, with the exception of the filter,” says Moniz. “In most cases a cotton gauze filter should be replaced every 100,000 miles or less and based on the environment it’s used it and how often it’s cleaned and maintained, we recommend regular filter service (clean and re-oil) every 10,000.” (

Banks Power

Banks Power is another one of the leading air intake manufacturers on the market today. This company feels it’s their passion to optimize air density that sets them apart from others.

“We measure each intake’s effect on air density at the turbo compressor inlet. Intake temperatures will generally be higher than ambient conditions, but the more the system can duct cool air to the filter and preserve the cool temperature as the air is ducted to the turbo, the higher the air density will be,” said Gil Cormachi, a representative with Banks.

Gil goes on to say there will commonly be a pressure drop as air travels through the filter and the ducting due to any restriction that is introduced. If the design of the system can minimize the restriction and the pressure loss, air density will be preserved.

There are many products that Banks Power features. They offer Banks Super-Scoop, which is an add-on to their intake system. It connects below the front of your bumper, forcing a big charge of cool, pressurized air into the Ram-Air Intake’s air filter housing. Because the air is drawn from outside the engine compartment, it has greater density and makes more power than the warmer engine air. Another product is the Monster-Ram. At Banks Power they feel that just enough is never enough when it comes to engine airflow. Finding ways to pump your engine full of cooler, denser air has always been the key to maximizing the power and performance. Their new Monster-Ram flat-out destroys it. Monster-Ram is instant power, performance and acceleration gratification. It’s the perfect upgrade whether you’re just starting out or working to build a serious, purpose-built machine.

The Ram-Air Intake System features an enclosed cold air intake system. Streamlined components eliminate stock restrictions to flow cooler, dense air for greater power and fuel economy for GM, Ford and Dodge diesels.

The High-Ram Intakes are larger and less restrictive than the stock air intakes, which allows for a greater flow of oxygen-rich air into the cylinders for instant torque and responsiveness, plus greater fuel economy for diesels.

These air intakes systems are priced anywhere from $319 to $456. (

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