Best Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

7.3 Powerstroke also called Ford Powerstroke is a direct injection engine that needs the best reliable cold air intake. The ignition process of the vehicle, which happens within the engine chambers, requires enough oxygen.

It will also enhance its interior cleanliness and combustion power by supplying enough amount of quality air.

To improve your vehicle’s performance, you require the best quality cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke. It will help cool down the engine and improve the miles per gallon. Your truck’s efficiency in daily driving and towing situations will also improve.

But choosing the proper cold air intake for Powerstroke may be a hard nut to crack because there exist many varieties on the market.

The following detailed reviews of what we found out;

Top 10 Best Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke Reviews:

1. K&N Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

K&N Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Powerstroke

It is one of the top-rated cold air intakes designed for Powerstroke HP upgrades. With this unit, your truck will gain horsepower up to 14.88 at 2925 RPM. It achieves this through its top-notch air filter, eliminating any restrictions in the engine’s air path.

Also, the air filter of this cold air intake for Ford Powerstroke 7.3l is washable. When dirty, you only need to clean it, saving you costs for replacing a new filter. Its conical shape and oversize provides more airflow with minimal restriction compared to a standard.

With your simple hand tools, you install this cool air intake for Powerstroke with ease. It will not take more than 90 minutes when using a screwdriver, ratchet set, and pliers.

The unit comes with mounting points and factory holes matching your truck, making the process even simpler. No drilling or cutting is required.

The K&N Cold Air Intake Kit outstands because it comes with a state-of-the-art filtration system. It features many microscopic cotton fibers that protect your engine.

Upon acceleration, this cold air intake produces a satisfying growl that disappears when the vehicle is at speed. Despite these fantastic features, this unit comes with an aesthetic appeal and is compatible with any Ford of 1999 to 2003.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • It comes with a robust construction

  • Adds your vehicle's horsepower

  • Ensures the engine stays safe

  • Usable with Ford made from 1999 to 2003

  • Low maintenance

  • Improves engine sound and throttle response

  • Expensive

  • Some users may struggle to install it

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2. K&N 7.3L Powerstroke Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N 7.3L Powerstroke Cold Air Intake Kit

It is another top-notch cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke from K&N. Your vehicle enjoys an extended life with this kit, thanks to its 10-year per million miles limited warranty.

With this cool air intake, it’s a guarantee that your truck’s horsepower will increase because of its air filter. It comes in a beautiful concave shape and is bigger than a typical air filter.

After some tests, there was confirmation that the filter allows 50% more air to flow than a standard air filter. That’s why it’s among the highest-rated cold air intake for Powerstroke HP upgrades.

It is the best to install in your truck if you frequently drive uphill. You can also rely on this 7.3 air filter Powerstroke air filter to increase acceleration. It explains why this unit makes vehicles better for towing.

The engine sound of a vehicle with this cold air intake from K&N is a satisfying growl. When at high speed, the engine is quiet, illustrating power under the hood.

Innovatively designed oil cotton media in the unit’s filtration system helps protect the engine from any contaminant. Because you only need to clean the filter after 100,000 miles, the maintenance is incredibly low.

It is one of the top 7.3l Ford Powerstroke diesel cold air intakes that take less than an hour to install. You also use simple hand tools and can fix it in any 1994 – 1997 Ford.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • Serves you for many years

  • Enables your vehicle to tow better

  • It enhances the sound of the car engine

  • The engine receives total protection

  • You don't have to clean the filter frequently

  • Installation is easy with simple hand tools

  • Some users may need to dig deeper into their pockets to afford one

  • You may need to lubricate it before installing

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3. Banks 42210 Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Ford Powerstroke

Banks 42210 Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Ford Powerstroke

This cold air intake for Ford Powerstroke is one of the best you will find on the market. It comes with many benefits. Your spending on fuel will drastically go down because this system makes the vehicle use fuel economically.

The unit has been tested and validated as an excellent 7.3 Powerstroke horsepower increase system. The cool air intake also increases air density and reduces the gas from the exhaust.

It also helps your truck’s engine to regulate temperature and accommodate movement. As a result, engine components do not separate or tear.

It doesn’t matter whether your vehicle uses diesel or gas, this cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke will suit them all. Thanks to the streamlined components that come with this system, stock restrictions get eliminated.

The Bank 42210 Cold Air Intake System comes with five years limited warranty for your vehicle. It means that your car will improve uphill and acceleration performance for a long time.

When towing, your vehicle will not hassle and will improve its throttle response. That’s why this cold air intake is one of the best Powerstroke HP upgrades.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • It fits the vehicle perfectly

  • The filter allows a more clean airflow

  • It helps you save money on fuel

  • It boosts your vehicle's power

  • Withstands various heat temperatures to the extreme level

  • You get a 5-year warranty

  • Some users may find it expensive

  • I deal only with 7.3L Powerstroke engines

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4. Sinister Diesel Ford 7.3L Powerstroke Cold Air Intake

Sinister Diesel Ford 7.3L Powerstroke Cold Air Intake

With your mere simple tools, you will easily install this cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke. More so, you will not incur extra installation charges.

It is a precise CNC mandrel aluminum tubing that fits perfectly with your 7.3 Powerstroke engine. The air filter is oversize and long to allow more quality airflow.

It’s the diesel cold air intake to go for when searching for guaranteed replacement against any defects. The unit will satisfy your needs.

When it comes to Turbo Spool-up and throttle response, it significantly improves. More so, the construction has impressive quality with an aesthetic appeal.

The manufacturer offers a 100% money-back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction, making every penny you spend worthy. It is ideal to use in a 1999 to 2003 Ford Powerstroke 7.3L.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • The aluminum tubing fits perfectly

  • The Filter Medi is reusable

  • It boosts the Turbo spool-up and throttle response significantly

  • Sorts all problems

  • You receive your money back if not happy with the results

  • The price may be high for some users

  • Not suitable to use in Ford manufactured after 2003

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5. Motorcraft Air Cleaner Kit for 7.3 Ford Powerstroke

Motorcraft Air Cleaner Kit for 7.3 Ford Powerstroke

It’s another excellent quality cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke from Motorcraft. Having been approved by the industry giants like Ford, you get assured of quality and safety.

The kit also is CARB-approved and exhibits superior durability. It also guarantees to increase your truck’s horsepower and engine torque for smooth performance.

This diesel cold air intake will also increase the acceleration of your vehicle. The car will enjoy an enhanced performance. It’s the most potent cold air intake to install into your truck if you want to prepare it for an uphill drive or tow.

The filtering system allows for more quality air and restricts any contaminants. That’s why it’s one of the perfect cold air intakes for Powerstroke HP upgrades. You can hear the improved engine sound under the hood.

Your Ford’s problem will be a thing of the past immediately you install this cleaner kit. As a result, the vehicle withstands severe conditions for an extended period. What a perfect way of saving your time and money!

The manufacturer created this cold air intake for quick and effortless installation. It will take you 20 minutes to have this 7.3 air filter Powerstroke air filter fixed in your vehicle.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • Precise construction for more prolonged use

  • Fixes easily

  • Enhances the engine's power and sound

  • It fits the ideal Ford perfectly

  • Effective air filter

  • Maybe straining to buy for some users

  • You only have to use it in a 7.3L Powerstroke engine

Check Latest Price on Amazon

6. Spectre Performance 7.3L Air Filter for Ford Powerstroke

Spectre Performance 7.3L Air Filter for Ford Powerstroke

Spectre air intake kit ranks on top as one of the best Powerstroke HP upgrades. It gets designed to increase your vehicle’s torque and horsepower effectively.

The air filter box comes in a large size to allow more air to flow. According to the Dyno-test, the airflow within this 7.3 air filter Powerstroke air filter is 50% higher than a standard air filter.

If preparing your truck for towing, upgrading its cool air intake with this kit will be a banger. This diesel cold air intake will improve your truck’s throttle response. As a result, your vehicle’s uphill performance and acceleration will increase.

The sound produced by your vehicle when installed with this cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke gets improved. You can hear the powerful sound under the hood. When at high speed, the sound goes silent.

With its engine protection feature, your truck’s engine becomes free of debris and contaminants. You only have to clean the filter after your vehicle has traveled a maximum of 100,000 miles. It’s the reason this cold air intake is easy to maintain.

Using the simple tools easily found in your garage, you bolt on this kit in your car with ease and quickly. You can use it in your 1999 to 2003 Ford.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • It increases Ford's torque and horsepower effectively

  • The vehicle tows effortlessly

  • You don't clean the filter until after a long period

  • The air filter allows enough clean air into the engine

  • You can hear your car's engine sound under the hood

  • It does not interfere with your vehicle's warranty

  • Some users may have to budget to own one

  • Various users have complained of faulty clamps

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7. MaXpeedingrods Cold Air Intake Kit with Intercooler Pipe

MaXpeedingrods Cold Air Intake Kit with Intercooler Pipe

This kit from MaXpeedingrods is one of the best 7.3L Powerstroke diesel cold intakes on the market today. It got designed to fit Ford Excursions from 2003 to 2007.

Though the intercooler pipe does not fit the dual alternator vehicles, they don’t crack or split like the OEM pipes. The aluminum material used in making the pipes in this kit attributes to their lifetime performance.

Also, they do not rust or get affected by rust.

It improves your truck’s horsepower, fuel economy, and torque, making it the most potent cold air intake you can buy for your vehicle. While installing this kit, you do not have to remove Turbo, Up Pipe, or Intake Manifold, easing and quickening the process.

The packaging also includes T-bolt clamps and silicone boots for easier installation. Your car’s engine will enjoy adequate and clean airflow through the kit’s air filter. It is a unit worth investing your hard-earned money in.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • You can use it in any Ford excursion made from 2003 to 2007

  • You save on your fuel money

  • The vehicle's power and torque increases

  • It comes with accessories for easier installation

  • The kit comes with sturdy construction that prolongs its life

  • Most users may find it expensive

  • It's only ideal for Ford excursion 2003 to 2007

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8. Spectre Air Intake Kit for 7.3 Powerstroke

Spectre Air Intake Kit for 7.3 Powerstroke

It’s another high-performing cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke from Spectre. The design works perfectly in improving your vehicle’s torque and horsepower.

This kit allows 50% more airflow than a standard filter with its concave-shaped air filter.

Also, the filter comes oiled and made with a synthetic material to help trap any particles, dirt, or damaging contaminants. That’s why your vehicle is safe with this 7.3L Powerstroke performance intake.

When it comes to cleaning the filter, you only need to do it once after your vehicle has traveled a maximum of 100,000 miles. It explains the easy maintenance of this kit.

The makers of this kit had the towing aspect on their minds when designing it. Your vehicle will experience an increase in uphill performance and acceleration when towing.

The engine sound improves, allowing you to hear the power while in operation. With your simple hand tools, you get to install this kit easily on your vehicle.

Despite the kit’s many benefits, it is affordable and has an aesthetic appeal, making it the best cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • The car increases its horsepower, torque, and power to tow

  • You can hear the power in your vehicle's engine sound

  • It protects the engine from any dirt or contaminants

  • The filter ensures the engine receives a lot of quality air

  • You only need your simple hand tools to install it

  • Expensive

  • Not ideal for all cars

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9. Bettercloud 7.3L Powerstroke Oiled Cold Air Intake

Bettercloud 7.3L Powerstroke Oiled Cold Air Intake

This diesel cold air intake is part of our list because of its many valuable features. Because of its aluminum construction, it has extraordinary strength. It can handle extreme and ranging temperatures found in different engine compartments.

The reason this kit is the best cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke is its high performance. It feeds your car’s engine with the quality and amount of cold air it requires.

This cold air intake for Powerstroke lives an extended life, serving you for many years. Thanks to the superior silicone couplers used, which also resists your car’s engine extreme temperatures.

Also, its design comes engineered to fit your 1999.5 to 2003 7.3L Powerstroke engine. As a result, it fits easily.

Using your simple hand tools, you can fix it within a few hours, even with minimal experience. Its price is also affordable for many users.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • It helps you increase your vehicle's torque and horsepower

  • It makes the vehicle tow with ease

  • Your car's engine sound improves

  • Protects the vehicle's engine optimally

  • Easy to install and maintain

  • Fits 1990 to 2003 Ford

  • Affordable

  • Some users claim of breaking clamps

  • It's not carb legal

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10. MaXpeedingrods Cold Air Intake Kit for 7.3L Powerstroke

MaXpeedingrods Cold Air Intake Kit for 7.3L Powerstroke

It’s another incredible cold air intake for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L from MaXpeedingrods. This kit will fit F250, F350, and F450 constructed from 1999 to 2003.

Sometimes the car engine can become very hot. But the construction of this 7.3L Powerstroke performance intake enables it to withstand wide temperature extremes.

The kit’s tube consists of various bends made with aluminum and CNC mandrel bent to allow optimal airflow into your vehicle’s engine. The sturdy air intake pipe does not crack or break, guaranteeing adequate airflow to the engine.

Using simple tools, you can easily install this cold air intake for Powerstroke. It will also boost your truck’s power, torque, and uphill performance.

 Pros:

 Cons:

  • Lasts long

  • Efficient air filter

  • Adds power, torque, and uphill performance to the vehicle

  • Easy to mount

  • Easy to maintain

  • Keeps your car's engine safe

  • You can use in Ford made in various years

  • Some users have complained of useless brackets

  • It may be expensive for some users

Check Latest Price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying a Cold Air Intake for 7.3 Ford Powerstroke

Thermal Barrier

The engine temperatures vary depending on the vehicle’s motion and activities. Sometimes it goes to the extreme. If the intake cannot withstand such temperatures, it may deter your vehicle from gaining power.

Ensure that the construction of the cold air intake for the 7.3 Powerstroke you want to buy is of heat-resistant material. Avoid intakes crafted with composites or plastics because heat can easily damage them.

If you find cold air intakes with materials that can transfer heat, ensure they have a thermal barrier coating like ceramic or zirconium.

Oiled Filter Element

A cold air intake for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L with oiled filter elements performs infiltration excellently. But it would help if you were careful about the amount of oil in it.

The microscopic oil particles may accumulate and interfere with the airflow. As a result, the cold air intake may malfunction.

If your vehicle uses mass airflow units, it’s better to use a dry air filter. You will evade trouble along the way.

CARB Approved

Some car parts like cold air intakes must get approved for use in any car operating on a public road in California.

The body dealing with such regulations and approvals is the California Air Resource Board (CARB). The reason for these regulations is to protect your car’s emissions control from getting affected.

To be on the safe side:

  • Go for a cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke with approved by CARB.
  • Check for the EO number from CARB.
  • If it doesn’t have, evade it like a plague.

Otherwise, you may have your car impounded or fined.

Water Ingestion

Consider if your vehicle is always in contact with water, like in areas with frequent rainfall. A 7.3 Powerstroke performance intake that draws air from the vehicle’s fender may ingest water. The same case happens if it draws moisture from the bumper’s bottom part.

Some manufacturers like AEM create a bypass valve to prevent water from entering the cold air intake. Others make a two-piece design of the cold air intake for Ford Powerstroke 7.3L to inhibit water ingestion.

If the cold air intake does not have any of these features and you live in a rainy area, don’t buy it. Otherwise, your vehicle’s engine will spoil.

Vehicle Specifications

Consider looking for a cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke. If you buy another type like 6.7 Powerstroke, it will not fit the specifications of your car.

Know your car’s model, year, make and type before buying a cold air intake. Then go for the one designed specifically for your vehicle.

Vehicle Purpose

You may need to consider what you do with your car. Is it for towing or just driving around? Do you frequently drive uphill? In that case, you will need a 7.3 Powerstroke horsepower increase.

Cold air has a high oxygen concentration. Oxygen is a natural fuel source. When it’s more in your car’s fuel vapor, it explodes within the combustion chamber, boosting your vehicle’s horsepower.

But the process consumes more fuel, meaning that you will have to dig deeper into your pockets to buy enough fuel.

Cold Air Intake Type

You need to consider the style of the cold air intake before buying it. Should it be short ram or the true system? The short ram system makes it easy to access the air filter.

But for the true air intake system, the air filter should move forward as much as possible. That’s why it creates more cold air flow as opposed to the short ram system.

Tube Flow

A straight tube will deliver air efficiently and faster than a curved or bent tube. The same concept applies to the cold air intake tubes. Air will flow efficiently through a 7.3 Powerstroke horsepower increase with straight hoses.

With all the above information, it’s essential to understand more about cold air intakes. 

What is a Cold Air Intake?

It is a replacement for the air intake system of a vehicle. The intake sucks outside air and makes it flow via an air filter.

Next, the air enters the fuel-injected engine’s throttle body and mixes with diesel or gasoline. What results is a vapor, which gets pushed inside the cylinder heads.

The vapor then goes to the combustion chamber to burn. Let it not confuse you that a cold air intake makes it ‘cold’ because of its name. Its work is to take away heat produced by the stock air intake because of its location.

With the above insight, let’s go deeper and look into the available cold air system filters and their types.

Cold Air Intake System Filters and Types

1. Cold Air Intake

Cold air contains more oxygen than warm air. Because oxygen is a natural fuel source, the explosion will be colder with cold than warm air, boosting your car’s engine power.

This type of 7.3 Powerstroke horsepower increase sits far from your vehicle’s engine bay compared to other intakes. Also, its filter gets surrounded by a heat shield to ensure the airflow remains cool. You will find such cold air intakes in bumpers and grilles.

2. Ram-Air Intake

Like the cold air intake, it delivers cool air into your vehicle’s engine. However, this 7.3 air filter Powerstroke air filter sits at the car front, close to the engine. That’s why ram-air intakes should have heat shields.

Otherwise, the heat from the engine may damage them.

These intakes operate by drawing cool air as the vehicle moves and takes it to your car’s engine.

3. Short Ram Intake

Unlike other cold air intake systems, the short ram intake does not occupy much space. Its small size enables it to deliver air to your car’s engine faster than other options.

The intake obtains air from your vehicle’s engine bay. It means that the air supplied is not cool like the one offered by the other types. But this type of cold air intake system is excellent if you want to improve your vehicle’s throttle.

7.3 Powerstroke Open vs. Closed Intakes

Open Intakes

As the name denotes, open intakes are open to the vehicle’s engine bay. As a result, this intake pulls in warm air. It is not the best for your car’s engine. But it’s effective on turbo engines.

Also, the airflow from an open intake is better since there’s no shelter for the air filter to restrict it.

Vehicles installed with open intakes produce better sound than those with closed intakes. Also, with your primary hand tools, you get to fix an open-intake quickly.

Pros:

  • Ideal for turbo engines
  • Allows better airflow
  • Better sound improvement
  • Easier installation

Cons:

  • Since the filter is exposed, it can quickly get damaged or contaminated
  • The air may get warm from the engine’s heat, resulting in engine damage

Closed Intakes

As it sounds, a closed intake comes with a box that houses the air filter, protecting it from the car’s engine bay. Therefore, the airflow to the engine remains cool. As a result, the vehicle’s engine power gets enhanced.

Installing a closed intake will require some skills and substantial time.

Pros:

  • Supplies cool air to the engine
  • The air filter has a housing, protecting it from contaminants and engine heat
  • Increased engine power

Cons:

  • The box sheltering the air filter may restrict smooth airflow
  • Harder installation

6 Benefits of Using Cold Air Intake on 7.3 Powerstroke

As explained earlier, cold air intakes suck cold air into your car’s engine. It then mixes with the fuel, burns, and is finally exhausted. The sucked-in cold air has a higher density than warm or hot air.

That’s why installing a cold air intake increases the power of your car’s engine. It also has the following benefits to your 7.3 Turbodiesel;

1.  Boosts Acceleration

When you upgrade your 7.3 Turbo diesel with a cold air intake, you will notice an increase in the car’s responsiveness. The cold air intake delivers a lot of quality cold air into your vehicle’s engine.

Because cold air contains more oxygen, which enhances combustion, an enormous explosion happens, improving the engine power. As a result, your 7.3 Turbodiesel will acquire the desired speed quickly, allowing you to enjoy a speedy, smooth acceleration.

2. Add Horsepower

The quality and amount of air used in the combustion cycle determine your vehicle’s engine power. Cold air from the air intake enhances your car to burn fuel better since it’s more conductive.

When installing a cold air intake into your 7.3 Turbodiesel, it can increase its horsepower from 5 HP to 12 HP. It depends on your Turbo’s configuration.

3. Increased Gas Mileage

Your vehicle requires enough oxygen to burn fuel and produce power. That’s why it’s essential to install a cold air intake in your 7.3 Turbodiesel. The intake will supply a substantial amount of cold air containing enough oxygen for the internal combustion process.

If the oxygen is small, your 7.3 Turbodiesel will use more fuel to burn the air. But if there’s a lot of oxygen in the burning air, your car will utilize a minimal amount of energy.

As a result, both your vehicle’s horsepower and gas mileage improves, and your fuel expenses decrease drastically.

4. Improved Engine Sound

Because your vehicle’s engine gains more power, as explained above, it produces an enhanced sound, indicating the ‘power’. You can hear that powerful sound under the hood.

5. Better Towing

A vehicle with more power can tow heavy equipment or luggage with ease. Installing a cold air intake will increase your 7.3 Turbo diesel’s towing ability. Also, its uphill performance when towing increases.

6. World-Class Protection

Quality cold air intakes come with features to protect your car’s engine from harmful contamination. Some come with advanced oiled filter designs made with synthetic materials to trap any damaging contaminant.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Many MPG Does a 7.3 Powerstroke Get?

It depends on the fuel used. An F250 Ford using a 7.3L diesel engine economizes fuel than the exact vehicle with a V10 gasoline engine.

The energy stored by diesel is 15% more compared to gasoline. As a result, a diesel-driven vehicle’s MPG will be 30% better than that of a gasoline-driven.

Studies indicate that a Super Duty 1999 F250 Ford has an MPG of 14.82. The exact vehicle but of the year 2000 has an MPG of 14.07.

But according to another study involving 163 vehicles, the average MPG for all 7.3 Excursions is 13.38.

With the above rich information about cold air intakes, you may wonder the right time to have them changed. Here are the details;

2. How Often Should I Change My Fuel Filter on My 7.3 Powerstroke?

It depends on how you use the vehicle. Generally, you should replace your 7.3 Powerstroke fuel filter after 10,000 to 25,000 miles. But if always-on use, you may need to change it before then.

Also, if you maintain your vehicle well, it may go beyond 25,000 miles before changing its fuel filter.

Final Thoughts

As illustrated above, the best cold air intakes are essential for 7.3 Powerstroke engines. The benefits are many, as explained above. It will increase the vehicle’s engine power, gas mileage, engine sound, towing ability, uphill performance, and acceleration.

To get the correct intake for your vehicle, you need to consider the factors discussed above. Then choose what suits your car.

Remember to change your 7.3 Powerstroke’s fuel filter at the right time. As explained, most vehicles have to travel at least 100,000 miles before changing them. But it also depends on how active your car is and the maintenance given.

Installing a cold air intake is easy. It’s an excellent DIY home project. With only your simple hand tools, you can fix it even without experience.

Do you want to upgrade your vehicle and are still confused about what cold air intake to choose? Use the above list of the best cold air intake for 7.3 Powerstroke as your starting point.

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