One of the easiest and cheapest ways for any enthusiast to get more power out of his truck's engine is to install an air-intake system. Such a system is designed to increase airflow and reduce the temperature of air entering the motor to maximize the engine's power. An efficiently operating engine eats up less gas and delivers better overall fuel economy because the engine does not have to work as hard. Greater efficiency equals better fuel mileage. The net result is more horsepower as your engine taps into power that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Stillen, a company that has an excellent track record in supplying performance products for the Nissan brand of vehicles, has been focusing on Ford, Chevy, and Dodge as well and is now supplying its Hi-Flow intake system with a wide variety of applications. Since we've heard good things about Stillen's system, we decided to outfit our project Frontier with the Hi-Flow system to see the effectiveness of the product for ourselves. We took a trip to Stillen's headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, to have the system installed by Stillen's highly capable technicians. The entire installation took under an hour, and when finished, gave our truck's engine bay a cleaner look and a performance attitude.
What's In The Box?
The Stillen Hi-Flow element consists of a cleanable K&N cone filter that incorporates a velocity stack, which uses the venturi effect to accelerate air-intake speed. The airbox itself is made of heat-resistant plastic that helps keep the air cooler and denser for a cleaner and more efficient burn. It is also CARB-approved, so the man who runs the emissions sniffer can't say anything about it.
The Install 1. Stillen's technicians started by removing the mass airflow sensor from the
2. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the stock unit and Stillen's setup. Right away, yo
3. With the airbox out of the truck, the techs removed the retaining bolt that holds the a
4. Staring with the inlet side of the intake, the techs inserted it into the opening of th
5. Here's our Stillen Hi-Flow intake system for Nissan '05-'07 4.6L V-6s installed. The up
The Final Word
For several days following the install, we had plenty of seat time in the Frontier to gauge the effects of the new intake, and we can honestly say that there is a very noticeable difference. When the throttle is punched, especially while cruising the freeway, the added power can easily be felt, especially in the truck's sweet spot. The sound of additional air being sucked into the intake is mellow enough not to be annoying on long drives. During dyno testing of Stillen's Hi-Flow intake kit, we measured a gain of 11.2hp (see accompanying chart), which is substantial for any stand-alone intake system.