Last Updated: 10.12.2020

Cold air intakes (CAI) are usually an aftermarket part or kit that is used to reduce the air temperature flow into the combustion tubes, providing a higher density of air for better and more powerful combustion.

The 5 Best Air Filters for 7.3 Powerstroke:

  1. S&B Filters 75-5062 Cold Air Intake for 1998-2003 Ford Powerstroke 7.3L – the best air filter for 7.3 Powerstroke
  2. Motorcraft FA1757 Air Filter
  3. aFe Power Magnum FORCE 51-10062 Ford Diesel Truck 99.5-03 V8-7.3L (TD) Performance Intake System
  4. aFe 46-10061 Bladerunner Manifolds Intake
  5. AEM 21-8128DC Cold Air Intake System
 Product namePhotoFeatureProsMore info
1. S&B Filters 75-5062 Cold Air Intake1. S&B Filters 75-5062 Cold Air Intake for 1998-2003 Ford Powerstroke 7.3LEngineered cross-linked intake tube that minimizes restriction

  • Balances air/fuel ratios to improve gas mileage

  • Easy-to-use installation instructions and illustrations

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2. Motorcraft FA17572. Motorcraft FA1757 Air FilterModel uses a tight, leakproof polyurethane seal

  • Dry components are chemically treated

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3. aFe Power Magnum FORCE 51-10062 Ford Diesel Truck3. aFe Power Magnum FORCE 51-10062 Ford Diesel Truck 99.5-03 V8-7.3L (TD) Performance Intake System5-1/2" 360 Degree Air Filter

  • 16-gauge heat shielded body

  • Adds 15hp and 32lbs x ft of torque

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4. aFe 46-10061 Bladerunner4. aFe 46-10061 Bladerunner Manifolds IntakeProprietary internal bolt will not deform or leak

  • Cast A356-T6 aluminum construction

  • Up to 5 threaded 1/8” NPT port pads

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5. AEM 21-8128DC5. AEM 21-8128DC Cold Air Intake SystemAir filter lasts up to 100,000 miles before cleaning

  • Increased horsepower

  • Tuned and dyno-tested

  • Low restriction aluminum tubing

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We strive to always give you genuine, accurate information. To do this, all of reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience. This knowledge comes from a team of automotive journalists and an independent mechanic, Steve “Whip” Whipple who has 11 years of experience in the auto industry. For more information, see here.

Ever since the mid-1990’s when advanced emission controls were brought into line with EPA considerations, the older thermostatic intake units were replaced with advanced fuel injection systems that do not regulate the air temperature flow. As such, aftermarket air intake kits are becoming more and more attractive to drivers that want to upgrade their vehicles performance in all operations.

Cold air intake kits might not add a lot of power, but they do add a little bit, and for not a lot of extra cash you can improve the overall performance of your vehicle, which might mean the difference in a racing environment.

Since you remove the filter from the engine and create a cold air induction environment, you essentially enable your car to burn more oxygen in every feed and produce a more powerful stroke with every turn of the crank. The filter also provides cleaner air and reduces emissions in some specific models.

Here is a list of the ten best cold air intakes for your Ford 7.3 Powerstroke engines.

Top Air Filters for 7.3 Powerstroke Reviews:

1. S&B Filters 75-5062 Cold Air Intake for 1998-2003 Ford Powerstroke 7.3L – the best air filter for 7.3 Powerstroke

S&B Filters 75-5062 Cold Air Intake For 1998-2003 Ford Powerstroke 7.3L (Oiled Cleanable, 8-ply Cotton Filter)
  • 53.66% More Airflow & 99.37% Efficiency Rating. Tested To The Internationally Accepted ISO 5011 Standard
  • Designed To Avoid Check Engine Lights
  • Premium Silicone Parts Last Longer And Look Better
  • S&B utilizes robotics to precisely apply the correct amount of oil to your filter before it ships. Oil Amount: 91 Grams on Filter Element. Replacement Filter: KF-1059 & Filter Wrap: WF-1040
  • Street Legal in All US States, CARB Exempt ID: D-590-9

The S&B 75-5062 model is designed specifically for all 1999-2003F250, Excursion, F350 models. This cold air intake kit has an engineered body that reduces turbulence, retains loose dirt, and filters using S&B oiled cotton filters to deliver the purest air to your engine.

These filters come with deeper, wider pleats and are come with four to eight layers that suck in the air easily while maintaining clean cold air flow.

The kit is made up of durable urethane that is designed to withstand extreme temperature differences and will not crack and will resist pressures up to 400oF. This filter kit includes silicone rubber components for optimum cohesive performance.


  • Tube Color: Black
  • Tube Material: Plastic
  • Filter Color: Red
  • Air Intake Filter Material: Cotton Gauze
  • Filter End Cap Finish: Black
  • Sleeve Color: Black
  • Vacuum Hose Color: Black

2. Motorcraft FA1757 Air Filter

Air Filter
  • Product Type :Auto Part
  • Package Dimensions :36.83Cm L X23.11Cm W X17.53Cm H
  • Country Of Origin :China
  • Package Weight :2.5Lbs
  • Efficiently Filters Outside Air

The Motorcraft FA1757 is a cold air filter is designed to install in all 1999-2003 F250, F350, F450, F550, and Excursion models that use a 7.3L Ford Powerstroke engine.

This model uses a tight, leakproof polyurethane seal to assure maximum performance; these seals are actually better than standard plastisol seals. The internal dry components are chemically treated to resist damage from oil and moisture and are all resistant to extreme temperatures.

The alternate/OEM Part Numbers are: 2U2J9601BA, 2U2J9601BB, 2U2Z9601BA


  • Air Filter Style: Unique
  • Air Filter Length (in): 20 in.
  • Air Filter Width (in): 43 in.
  • Air Filter Height (in): 38 in.
  • Filter Color: Blue

3. aFe Power Magnum FORCE 51-10062 Ford Diesel Truck 99.5-03 V8-7.3L (TD) Performance Intake System

aFe Power Magnum FORCE 51-10062 Ford Diesel Truck 99.5-03 V8-7.3L (td) Performance Intake System (Dry, 3-Layer Filter)
  • Outflows the factory intake by 51%. Produces an additional 15 horsepower and 32 lbs. x ft. torque
  • 3-Layer non-oiled, washable synthetic media for the perfect balance of performance, protection and convenience
  • One-piece powder coated wrinkle black housing mounts to the factory lower intake box
  • Hassle-free installation that utilizes all factory mounting locations
  • This product is 50-state legal (CARB E.O Number D-550-4)

The aFe Stage 2 cold air intake is a great aftermarket upgrade kit. This model delivers up to 15hp and 32lbs x ft of torque. So, this device will perform 51% better than the OEM components it replaces.

The body of this kit comes in a heat shielded airbox and includes the aFe PRO DRY S performance air filter. This 5-1/2″ 360 Degree Air Filter has 3-layers of 100% polyurethane progressively finer mesh synthetic “oil-free” media.

The 16-gauge heat shielded body is made of powder coated one-piece unit and comes with a pliable polyurethane flange with integrated bumps that are designed to assure a tight, no-leak seal for the life of the filter.

This model is designed to fit all 1999-2003 F250, F350, F450, F550, and Excursion Ford 7.3L Powerstroke engines.


  • Tube Color: Black
  • Tube Material: Plastic / Polyurethane
  • Filter Color: White
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Filter End Cap Finish: Black
  • Sleeve Color: Black
  • Quantity: Sold as a kit.
  • CARB EO Number: D-550-4 (pdf)

4. aFe 46-10061 Bladerunner Manifolds Intake

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When it comes to raw, unadulterated performance power than you will want the new Bladerunner manifold kit for all 1999-2003 7.3L Powerstroke models. This kit is made of cast A356-T6 aluminum and comes with the aFe patented MDV (Multiple Directional Vane) technologies. MDV is designed to increase intake velocity delivering increased flow, and lower EGT’s, as well as improve the MPG with faster turbo spool up times.

This kit comes with one intake manifold that outflows the OE part by 18% and one turbo outlet manifold that outflows the OE part by 15%.

It’s easy to install and comes as a direct bolt-on system with all hardware and brackets. requires an easy installation.


  • Air Inlet Material: Cast A356-T6 Aluminum
  • Air Inlet Finish: Black powder coated
  • Ports: 1/8” NPT
  • CARB EO number: D-550-10.

5. AEM 21-8128DC Cold Air Intake System

The AEM Induction cold air intake model 21-8128DC is a high-performance upgrade kit that will stun you with its easy to install and overall performance delivering excellence. This model is fit for all 2015-2018 Ford XLT, XL, Lariat, Platinum, King Ranch, Limited, SSV 7.3L Powerstroke engines.

Essentially, this is the kit to buy for absolute performance control over all competition. This kit is made of mandrel-bent aluminum or polyethylene intake pipe, that relocates the air filter outside, away from the engine bay delivering a cooler, denser intake charge.

Added to this are the specifically designed piping that delivers maximum performance and optimized air intake, protecting the airflow while maintaining its cool properties.


  • Horsepower Gain 17 HP @ 5200 RPM
  • Replacement Filter 21-2138DK
  • Air Filter Color Red
  • Air Filter Material Non-woven Synthetic
  • Air Filter Outlet Shape Round
  • Clamps Included 6
  • Clamp Material Stainless Steel
  • Clamp Style Regular
  • Couplers Included 1
  • Product Style AEM Cold Air Intake System
  • Air Filter Height 188 in (208 mm)
  • Intake Pipe Color / Finish Gunmetal Gray
  • Intake Pipe Material Aluminum
  • CARB EO Number D-670-24
  • Weight 6 lb (5.7 kg)
  • Product Box Height 6 in (269 mm)
  • Product Box Length 4 in (899 mm)
  • Product Box Width 3 in (338 mm)
  • Mounting Hardware Included Yes


In the world of performance and racing, every small additional power you coax out of your engine is worthwhile adding. This includes even the banalest of upgrades, and one of the simplest of these are adding a cold air intake kit.

When you add an aftermarket air intake kit you will immediately notice the difference in performance, and also notice balanced engine temperature performance that leads to longer engine life. There is a definite impact on fuel consumption, as well as a reduction in engine wear and tear on all components.

Since all aftermarket models are built for specific applications, you are limited to what your engine can use. As such, you need to check your exact model and then buy the air filter upgrade that best suits your needs. Take into account that some kits will require body modifications, so if you are into a complete upgrade, including manifolds, exhaust systems and more, then adding a new cold air intake kit is an obvious inclusion.

If you are only interested in increasing some power and maintaining your engine, then a budget-friendly synthetic system will be more than enough for your purposes.

There are different materials, but essentially a cast aluminum body and piping will provide the best cooling properties to your engine, and if you are into performance and racing, you must concentrate on a kit that is made of aluminum. If you want to go one step further, then pair your performance air intake with a mass air flow sensor and link it to your dashboard computer.

A final word, cold air intakes are not pipes with filters stuck on the end. A cold air intake system is an especially CAD designed, and each intake tube is created for specific air flow, and the filter body is created to reduce air turbulence while maximizing air intake through smart filter shape. As I stated above, the best systems have mandrel bent pipes, made of metal, and aluminum is your best choice.