With gas prices going through the roof, and the powers that have been too greedy to even think about lowering the cost, we have to find alternate solutions to increase the mpg we get in our trucks. The question is, how do we get it? Two of the most popular bolt-on performance parts are free-flowing intake and exhaust systems. They're popular for a reason: they work. Any time you reduce the work required to get air into and out of the engine, you not only free up power, you make it more efficient. That means you get the benefit of increased fuel economy.
Since we're talking about two systems, and since most enthusiasts are on a budget, many times we have to choose what to do first. That's a tough decision, however, if you still have the stock exhaust system, you need to step up to a better-flowing exhaust system. We usually recommend installing an aftermarket exhaust as the first mod for any truck. Why? Because an exhaust system that presents less restriction to the engine does so over the motor's entire operating range. In contrast, intakes tend to be more effective the wider you open the throttle. That's not to say you won't experience a performance increase with a free-flowing intake at half-throttle operation without an exhaust system. You will. However, you'll get even more once they're both installed.
In this article, you'll see how to install these two gas-saving performance items in less than three hours. We installed MagnaFlow's exhaust system, followed by K&N's air intake system, then we have shown how the truck responded to the mods.
The Tech Lowdown:
Parts Used: K&N Tacoma Performance intake kit, stainless cat-back system performance exhaust
Part's Cost: $900
Company: K&N Engineering Inc.
Company: MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust
Installation: Go-EZ Customs
Approximate Installation Time: 3 hours
Skills required: General mechanics
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Tools Used: Basic mechanic's tools
1. This was the hardest step in the process, besides trying to snake the exhaust out from
2. Jos removed the exhaust from the bushings, attaching it to the truck. A pair of pliers
3. Here are the differences between the two. The MagnaFlow exhaust is made out of stainles
4. After the factory exhaust was removed from the truck, Jos started at the back and hung
5. Upper tabs were built and welded into place for the wishbone.
6. Before the tip section was tightened down completely, Jos checked that the tip was leve
7. For the intake, we started by removing the mass air flow connector, the mount for the e
8. Five bolts that held the intake on the motor; two on the crankcase and three holding th
9. As part of the kit, K&N supplies a heat shield and a saddle mount. These were both inst
10. Next, the supplied silicon connector was installed onto the throttle body.
11. The mass air flow sensor was removed from the factory unit, then carefully placed into
12. Next, it was time for Dave to install the intake tube into the truck. As per the instr
13. To keep everything within the emissions laws, K&N's Performance intake kit came with n
14. On the back of the intake tube, K&N designed the unit to accept everything the factory
15. Finally, Dave installed the 6-inch open element filter.
16. We checked all of the clamps one last time, making sure none were missed. For our appl