Ford 7.3 Powerstroke Intake Upgrade Guide - Boosted Performance

The Ford 7.3 Powerstroke has a ton of untapped power potential. With only a handful of modifications, 350whp is an extremely attainable goal, even on a budget. An upgraded 7.3 Powerstroke intake is a key building block for other power-adding modifications, as it opens up the restrictive intake system that the turbo diesel comes with from the factory. 

While upgrading your Powerstroke’s intake wont yield massive performance benefits on its own, they do come with other direct benefits. In this guide, we’ll discuss how an upgraded 7.3 intake can lead to faster turbo spool, quicker throttle response, decreased EGTs, compounded power gains, and, most importantly, cool engine sounds.

If you are interested in learning about other modifications for your Ford 7.3 Powerstroke, check out our Best Budget 7.3 Powerstroke Performance Mods guide.

Cold Air Intake Basics

Before jumping into recommendations, let’s talk about some intake basics first. An air intake is an important element of any engine, as it is the first point of entry for air entering the engine’s intake system. As a result, it should be designed with the least restrictive intake tubing and components to limit internal turbulence, providing a smooth path into the throttle body. Additionally, the colder the air entering the intake the better, as cooler air has a higher concentration of oxygen than hotter air, meaning it will make more horsepower and torque.

The factory 7.3 Powerstroke intake isn’t extremely restrictive, but it isn’t optimized either. There are a few crucial ways that aftermarket intakes improve on the factory airbox design. Most aftermarket intakes use a larger and less dense intake filter which allows a larger volume of air to flow through it. They also tend to feature a more optimized piping design that gives incoming air a straighter route to the throttle body. The improved filter and optimized piping lead to better overall throttle response and engine breathability. 

There is often an argument about whether an open-air or closed box intake provides better benefits. In most cases, an open-air intake is the way to go. For one, open air intakes allow for more air to enter the intake, allowing for more flow. Heat from the engine bay is always a point of contention when talking about open intakes, but the truth is that the minor temperature difference doesn’t really affect performance in any meaningful way.

7.3 Powerstroke Intake Benefits

  • Slight horsepower and torque gains

  • Improved throttle response

  • Reduced turbo lag

  • Increased airflow

  • +0.5-1.5 mpg

  • Increased engine noises

  • Improved engine bay look

If you are looking into purchasing a cold air intake for the performance benefits alone, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. In general, it isn’t realistic to expect any more than around 8-10 horsepower and a similar amount of torque from a Powerstroke intake alone. It is important to mention that performance gains from an intake scale with other performance modifications, and you’ll likely see more performance gains from an intake when paired with other mods like a tune, boost fooler, an exhaust, or a combination of all of them.

While the power gains might not be noticeable, even from your butt dyno, improved throttle response is an upside that you’ll likely notice. The additional airflow afforded by an upgraded intake does allow for less restrictive flow through the throttle body which improves throttle response as a result.

Outside of the modest performance benefits, you can also expect marginally improved fuel economy. Most enthusiasts buy an upgraded intake for the cool sounds that it makes and the improved engine bay presence over the stock airbox. Couple that with the fact that intakes are relatively inexpensive and it makes sense that they are a common starter modification. 

What Our 7.3 Powerstroke Intake Offers That No One Else Can

Price: $249

Buy Here: Boosted Performance 7.3 Powerstroke 4" Cold Air Intake

Our Boosted Performance intake for the 7.3 Powerstroke is unparalleled in terms of design and efficiency. While many of the 7.3 intakes on the market are overly complicated with restricting intake tract and enclosure designs, the BP intake is designed with simplicity in mind. That directly correlates to more performance. Its mandrel bent aluminum construction means that it will also last the lifetime of the truck. 

Unlike other intakes in the space, our intake has one of the most direct intake paths on the market, keeping restrictions to an absolute minimum. The 4-inch intake piping is the optimal size for maximum airflow without sacrificing too much velocity. We work directly with S&B, one of the most reputable filter manufacturers in the world, to match the performance of the intake hardware with a filter that is breathable, durable, and reusable.

The BP 7.3 Powerstroke intake system provides both horsepower and torque gains, faster turbo spool, quicker throttle response, lower EGTs, and a cool engine sound. Unlike many other open air options on the market, our intake uses a heat resistant coating which limits heat transfer. That means that you get the increased flow of an open air intake and lower intake air temperatures. The intake is a direct bolt-on fitment and helps free up space in the engine bay and add a cool aesthetic compared to the bulky OEM intake box.

Compared with other Powerstroke intakes on the market, BP provides the best blend of performance, quality, and price that simply can’t be beat. 

An Upgraded 7.3 Powerstroke Intake Is A Good Place To Start When Modifying Your Truck

At the end of the day, an intake isn’t going to be the modification that takes your Ford from zero to hero. However, it is a great starting modification for Powerstroke owners on a budget looking for value outside of just horsepower and torque gains. 

In most cases, an upgraded intake will only yield between 5-15 horsepower and a similar amount of torque on 7.3 Powerstroke Fords. With that being said, they do have the potential to noticeably improve throttle response, reduce turbo lag, and make some cool noises while doing so. They also have the added benefit of sprucing up the engine bay a bit. 

Ultimately, you can purchase a Powerstroke intake inexpensively and install it in less than an hour, making it a fun modification. For that reason, they are a very common starter mod. I’d argue that they actually make a better finishing touch modification, as their benefits scale with other performance modifications that benefit from additional airflow. The Boosted Performance 7.3 Open Air Intake is the best option for the job, although we are a bit biased. 

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