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Old 02-28-2020, 06:34 PM
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Default Scientific Intake Selection and Review

Thought I would share my intake selection and review while trying to approach it scientifically.

A little background.
I own a 2011 F-250 crew cab short bed with the 6.7L powerstroke with approximately 100,000 miles on it and is currently all stock. The truck was purchased used with the main purpose of towing and hauling with some commuting. I keep track of fuel mileage pretty religiously and hand calculate whenever I can get back to back fill ups (the wife is not as good about remembering this). I am getting approximately 18 mpg on my rolling hilled highway commute in the summer running 60-65 mph. In the winter I have seen this number hover between 17 mpg and 15 mpg all depending on how good I am at remembering to plug in the block heater the night before. I have seen as much as 20 mpg on longer flatter interstate runs at 70-75 mph during the summer. As I have not completed a full tank just towing I donít have perfect numbers and I bounce between towing our steel gooseneck trailer and our bumper pull high deck flatbed trailer. Towing in the summer I seem to be around 15 mpg. Towing in the winter I have seen as low as 12 mpg.

Like most of us here I like to get more out of my truck and know that there are always compromises made by the manufacturer when mass producing a vehicle. That being said I have a long list of parts that I wouldnít mind swapping, upgrading, adding, or changing. The struggle is justifying it to myself and my wife. My first opportunity reared its head when I was doing a check of components as we gear up for a long trip to Texas to see family and haul back a small tractor. The filter minder was sucked down to the last line before the red on the intake box. A quick disassembly and a black dirty filter confirmed that the filter would need replaced soon. I know the stock intake is a true cold air intake and is capable of handling up to 500 HP. But I canít help my problem solving nature. Looking at it I thought surely I could do better than a stock replacement filter.
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2011 F-250 XLT CC SB 4x4 6.7L Powerstroke
~109,000 miles
Truxedo tonneau cover, Linex bed liner, Blue Ox turnover ball, Weathertech floor mats, Carhartt seat covers, S&B Open Air Intake w/ prefilter
  #2  
Old 02-28-2020, 06:34 PM
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My selection process and outcome.
My selection criteria for an intake was that it had a filter efficiency of stock or better, had a cleanable dry filter, someone somewhere made a dust cover for it, and improved fuel mileage. Throttle response improvements, room to grow for future modifications, and improved low end power are greatly appreciated with peak power being icing on the cake. Obviously I didn’t want to put a filter on the truck that didn’t prevent dirt, dust, and debris from entering the engine at least as good as what came from the factory. I learned a few things having had an oiled K&N intake before. The oiling process was a pain, it was easy to over or under oil, and unless I was religious about cleaning and re-oiling it often, dust found its way into the intake. Being able to clean the filter and reuse it would help to justify the cost to me and my wife. The pre filter dust covers I have seen used in other applications in my area appear to do really well. They are an additional bug, dust, and moisture barrier to the filter extending its life and making it easier to clean. If an intake is doing its job of easily breathing in fresh air, it should improve fuel economy. This also makes it easier to justify the upgrade. Coming from a non drive by wire naturally aspirated V8 truck, a drive by wire turbo V8 diesel is lacking in throttle response though not unbearable. This is the first performance mod on a longer list so I don’t want to have to revisit it later because it becomes the choke point. Low end power coupled with improved throttle response help the towing confidence of the truck. And who doesn’t like to brag about peak numbers?

The three major types of intake upgrades I looked at were drop in filter, air box replacement only, and complete intakes. While just the drop in filter hit much of what I was looking for they were smaller improvements than I might have liked. The air box replacement only styles claimed decent numbers and some people love them. But I kept staring at the OEM intake tube and saw the compromises made for fitment, sound deadening, molding, and cost. For the small price difference of the airbox replacement style and the complete intake, I decided it was worth the extra money for the complete intake.

The two main styles for these brands were open or enclosed filter. Common sense would dictate that the enclosed style would be more effective as it blocks access to the warm air of the engine bay and instead focuses on funnelling cool fresh air from outside of the vehicle. However, when researching the different specific intakes the open filter design seemed to have more consistent reports of more power (shown in back to back dyno sessions as solo modification and with other more extensive modifications), reported mpg gains (approximately 1-2 mpg where the enclosed style reports were anywhere from a loss of 1 mpg to a gain of 4 mpg), and a larger following (so much so S&B made one). This had me scratching my head. I acknowledge the majority can be wrong so I can’t put much weight behind the fact that a lot of people are buying them. But the reviews seemed to be genuine that most everyone enjoyed the intake, some even having switched from an aftermarket enclosed style to the open style. The consistency of the uptick in mpg along with the evidence in back to back dynos made me think there has to be more to the story which lead me to my current hypothesis for the 2011-2016 Powerstrokes.

Point 1 of my hypothesis: At most driving speeds, engine bay temperatures anywhere near the intake are at or much closer to ambient temperature than we are led to believe.

Point 2 of my hypothesis: Enclosed style air intakes are more restricted due to being enclosed. Some brands work very hard at keeping the enclosure large and unobstructive to the filter. But I believe the very nature of further boxing in the filter creates restrictions.

Point 3 of my hypothesis: Enclosed style air intakes still rely on air routings provided by the OEM through the front grill, headlight, bumper, fender, etc. to draw in fresh air. These openings may not be sufficiently large enough or are restrictive enough that they have a larger impact than we are led to believe. Aftermarket intake manufacturers may be aware of this or may not but I doubt they would modify this portion of the air routing unless it was as easy as an additional scoop or horn on the intake.

As I work through my intake upgrade I plan to test this hypothesis at least to the satisfaction of my needs. But first I still needed to select an intake. From what I learned during my research, the open style appears to be the better design. If need be I can also create my own enclosure to shield the intake from high engine bay temperature. This can be done easier than starting with an enclosed filter without the enclosure. This left me with three true options and 1 partial option: No Limit Stage 1 and 2, S&B Open Air, and AFE stage 2.

Since I plan on leaving my emissions systems intact and do not plan on being able to tune the truck for some time I eliminated the Stage 2 No Limit intake. Looking over the partial open AFE intake I decided against it as it still had an enclosure to work around and I was unsure of the necessity of the number of jogs in the tube. After much deliberation between the Stage 1 No Limit and the relatively new S&B Open Air, I ended up going with the S&B. The massive dry cleanable filter has a tested 99.90% efficiency. The massive smooth intake tube is made of plastic which will help to insulate the incoming air from heat (should it prove to be an issue) but still tuned for the stock calibration of the MAF with an insert. It sounds like the insert may be removable should you be able to update calibrations similar to the Stage 2 No Limit for even more airflow but it’s too new to tell. I will let someone else tell me whether that is possible and do more research later to see if it’s a good idea. The intake has a supporting bracket near the filter to help support the intake and keep it properly positioned for a simple install with little tweaking. Since there isn’t much info out there on this intake I thought I would try to document and share what I find.

I am in no way bashing any of the other systems as they appear to be quality systems. I am just explaining my reasons for my final selection and let me tell you it was not quick or easy. I also want to note that I’m not receiving any compensation, kick back, freebies, or discount from anyone for this write up. I’m just sharing my experience and doing my best to be unbiased and informative in the process.
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2011 F-250 XLT CC SB 4x4 6.7L Powerstroke
~109,000 miles
Truxedo tonneau cover, Linex bed liner, Blue Ox turnover ball, Weathertech floor mats, Carhartt seat covers, S&B Open Air Intake w/ prefilter
  #3  
Old 02-28-2020, 06:35 PM
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Outcomes of my baseline runs.
For some future comparisons to test my hypothesis and make sure the intake does what I want it to, I took a couple baseline runs with the stock intake on some temperatures. The numbers seemed to be in line with what I have seen before as well.

After 5 minutes of initial start up and idle. Truck was plugged in the entire night beforehand inside a three sided shed:
Ambient temperature was 9F. Intake air temperature was 27F.
Granted it was very cold so the temperature difference is probably exacerbated but that's still a difference of 18F with what is regarded as a true cold air intake.
After getting warmed up during the commute at 60-65mph (engine temperature needle was directly in the middle):
Ambient temperature was 3F. Intake air temperature was 3F. CAC temperature (directly after the intercooler) was 62F on the flats and 68F climbing the hills. EGT from the factory stock location 420F on the flats and 530F climbing the hills.

After 5 minutes of initial start up and idle. Truck was parked in an open parking lot:
Ambient temperature was 46F. Intake air temperature was 41F.
My best guess here is the direct sunlight heated the ambient sensor to higher than the actual air temperature as is seen below.
After getting warmed up during the commute at 60-65mph (engine temperature needle was directly in the middle):
Ambient temperature was 41F. Intake air temperature was 41F. CAC temperature (directly after the intercooler) was 77F on the flats and 82F climbing the hills. EGT from the factory stock location 460F on the flats and 600F climbing the hills.

Again there is good evidence that supports the stock system being a true cold air system. I will do another couple runs after the installation of my system to compare both at an idle and on my commute though it is starting to warm up here. If temperatures creep up too much I will look into blocking the warm air from the engine bay from entering the intake.

I would have recorded MAF numbers but there are enough ambient variables in play let alone the ones the engine adds I don’t have a high level of confidence in runs that aren't back to back. The best I can think of is a run before and after the installation in park at a couple different rpms directly after a cold start. This way I can check the flow increase claims made by S&B in real world situations. Depending on the numbers, what I find during installation, and what I find out with temperatures I might try opening up some air paths.

I don’t have access to a dyno for before and after for more official power and torque curves. Best I can do is the butt dyno and driving impressions. I will also keep track of fuel mileage with the new system. It may take a while to collect the data as this is not the primary vehicle so please be patient with me.
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2011 F-250 XLT CC SB 4x4 6.7L Powerstroke
~109,000 miles
Truxedo tonneau cover, Linex bed liner, Blue Ox turnover ball, Weathertech floor mats, Carhartt seat covers, S&B Open Air Intake w/ prefilter
  #4  
Old 02-28-2020, 06:37 PM
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Ordering and unboxing.
I ordered the intake and prefilter directly off of the S&B website as they gave me the best deal after tax and shipping. I got the economy shipping and the packages arrived in 3 short days. When I got the packages I opened them up to inspect that everything appeared to be there and there was no damage in shipping. Everything made the trip ok and everything appeared to be included.The first thing to catch my attention was just how massive the filter and tube are. Odd as it sounds I would equate it to about the size of a bathroom trash can. The media of the filter almost has a corduroy look to it which I found to be interesting. Since they didnít have a clear photo of what the insert was I was curious how that would look. It's a very smooth transitioning rectangular funnel that fits right behind where the filter goes. It looks like it would be easy to remove or replace if I ever get to the point of tuning the truck and working with the tuner to determine if it would be worth it for additional airflow. The tube is thick plastic and sturdy with the inside being glass smooth. It is absolutely massive and looks to have smooth transitions though there is one indent that I was not expecting underneath near the mount. The insert flows air over this so it isnít much of a concern currently. The ⅛Ē thick bracket also looks sturdy and has a powder coat finish. The miscellaneous other components all look to be made with quality in mind. I also got a couple S&B stickers that I am unsure of what to do with. I plan on having it installed by the end of the weekend.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_1608.jpg (1.19 MB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1610.jpg (1.03 MB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1611.jpg (1.13 MB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1613.jpg (1.18 MB, 49 views)
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2011 F-250 XLT CC SB 4x4 6.7L Powerstroke
~109,000 miles
Truxedo tonneau cover, Linex bed liner, Blue Ox turnover ball, Weathertech floor mats, Carhartt seat covers, S&B Open Air Intake w/ prefilter
  #5  
Old 02-28-2020, 06:39 PM
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Rest of the pictures from unboxing.
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File Type: jpg IMG_1617.jpg (1.28 MB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1618.jpg (1.31 MB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1675.jpg (1.24 MB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1676.jpg (1.13 MB, 44 views)
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2011 F-250 XLT CC SB 4x4 6.7L Powerstroke
~109,000 miles
Truxedo tonneau cover, Linex bed liner, Blue Ox turnover ball, Weathertech floor mats, Carhartt seat covers, S&B Open Air Intake w/ prefilter
  #6  
Old 02-29-2020, 05:28 AM
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HeavyAssault HeavyAssault is offline
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Well I run a No Limit Stage 2 with a prewrap. It's an open element filter system, that doesn't show anything different than your numbers as above. The biggest "argument" people attempt is that it sucks in the hot air from around the motor.....Not really.



Yes, at idle standing still it will raise the intake temps. After moving for 2 minutes those temps drop away to ambient temps.

Quote:

Point 1 of my hypothesis: At most driving speeds, engine bay temperatures anywhere near the intake are at or much closer to ambient temperature than we are led to believe.

I already have evidence this is true. So mark that one off the list.
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:43 AM
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Can read this now but it looks like youíre doing an awesome writeup, I want to read this later
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2008 CCSB 6.4 Harley Davidson- PPEI Tuned, EZ Lynk, 4" Jamo Stainless Exhaust, Down But Not Out
2008 CCLB 6.4 Lariat Land Yacht- H&S tuned
2008 EC C&C F450 6.4 Work Truck- Almost there
2003 RCLB 6.0 XLT- 260,000 miles, no name tunes, stock as can be
6.0 Dump Trucks- 350 and 450
VT365 Rollback
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:20 PM
erbear28 erbear28 is offline
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Ford did a good job with underhood airflow so it really comes down to personal preference. Open or closed is fine
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:51 PM
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Connor M Connor M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbear28 View Post
Ford did a good job with underhood airflow so it really comes down to personal preference. Open or closed is fine


Hey buddy, glad to see another OGTT guy here.
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2008 CCSB 6.4 Harley Davidson- PPEI Tuned, EZ Lynk, 4" Jamo Stainless Exhaust, Down But Not Out
2008 CCLB 6.4 Lariat Land Yacht- H&S tuned
2008 EC C&C F450 6.4 Work Truck- Almost there
2003 RCLB 6.0 XLT- 260,000 miles, no name tunes, stock as can be
6.0 Dump Trucks- 350 and 450
VT365 Rollback
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:05 PM
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Connor M Connor M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7Bison View Post
Common sense would dictate that the enclosed style would be more effective as it blocks access to the warm air of the engine bay and instead focuses on funnelling cool fresh air from outside of the vehicle. However, when researching the different specific intakes the open filter design seemed to have more consistent reports of more power


You have to remember in a turbo diesel, the compression from the turbo heats the air up.
A lot.
Then the air goes through the intercooler, which should bring it down to just over the outside air temp. The difference between the fenderwell and engine bay temperatures is likely negligible in the end and the flow rates of the open element overcomes any air temp differences.
__________________
2008 CCSB 6.4 Harley Davidson- PPEI Tuned, EZ Lynk, 4" Jamo Stainless Exhaust, Down But Not Out
2008 CCLB 6.4 Lariat Land Yacht- H&S tuned
2008 EC C&C F450 6.4 Work Truck- Almost there
2003 RCLB 6.0 XLT- 260,000 miles, no name tunes, stock as can be
6.0 Dump Trucks- 350 and 450
VT365 Rollback
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