One of the first modifications many pickup owners opt for is adding a cold-air intake kit. They are easy to install, relatively inexpensive, and oftentimes provide immediate feedback with a louder growl and slight bump in power. Unfortunately, over the years, many companies have come along to try and cash in on this by offering ever cheaper "filter-on-a-stick" intakes that do little more than suck hot air through a filter that can barely block a pebble.
Volant, on the other hand, was one of the pioneers of the closed-box intake kit. By retaining a factory-style closed airbox, these types of kits are able to draw cool air from the factory intake location without being directly exposed to underhood heat. Sweetening the deal, Volant partnered with the legendary filtration experts at Donaldson to create the PowerCore filter element.
While it doesn't necessarily increase airflow, the PowerCore filter is more than 99.7 percent efficient at filtering dust out of the air. PowerCore filters are paper filters constructed of Ultra-Web nanofibers that are smaller than a micron in diameter and feature ultra-small interfiber space. All this to say the Donaldson PowerCore filter will remove more contaminants from the air without becoming clogged. More than 15 million of these filters have been sold around the world, and Volant guarantees them for 100,000 miles.
| Volant was one of the early pioneers in the aftermarket sealed intake game. Open-element filters can actually hinder performance by exposing the filter to both the elements and superheated air in the engine bay. By placing the filter inside a sealed container, Volant can direct the unit to pull cool air from the factory fenderwell location as well as from behind the front headlight.
To test these attributes, we picked up a closed-box kit from Volant equipped with the PowerCore filter and installed it on our 2013 Ford F-150 Raptor. The kit arrived neatly packed and complete with everything needed for a clean install. If we had one complaint—and it's kind of a big one—it's that the only instructions included were an engineering drawing. This is fine if you're an excellent mechanic and can read these types of documents, however, for most of the population, a more traditional step-by-step would be appreciated. Driving with the kit installed, you can certainly tell it's there. Between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm there is a noticeable thrum from the intake, thanks to removing the factory resonator. The noise isn't bad, and it's not unique to Volant (all intake kits do it). We're excited to hit some deep silt beds and really push this filter to the max. We'll report back in 100,000 miles.
| Volant Performance Intake Kit Install 002
| Raptor intake kits are a bit more involved than other pickups due to the fact that the coolant reservoir for the 6.2L V-8 engine is not pressurized and is attached to the factory airbox. Because of this, Volant provides a new bracket and coolant tank as part of the kit.
| Anyone who's familiar with over-the-road trucks and off-highway equipment will immediately recognize the Donaldson name. A name synonymous with filtering air in the harshest environments, Volant's Donaldson PowerCore filters are ideally suited for trucks that are frequently used off-road.
| Volant Performance Intake Kit Install 005
| The PowerCore filter is up to 10 times more efficient and offers three times more capacity than a traditional air filter and is 99.7 percent efficient. Volant backs PowerCore filters with a 4-year 100,000-mile warranty. Our factory filter (right) is only 6 months old, by comparison.
| Removing the factory intake system is fairly straightforward. Three hose clamps and two bolts and the whole thing lifts up and out of the truck. The process is similar for nearly all vehicles. Internet forums are a great resource if there's a step that's hanging you up.
| The only part of the factory intake system that gets reused is the mass airflow sensor. Carefully remove this sensor from the stock airbox, slide the provided gasket on the sensor, and secure to the Volant box with the provided screws. This sensor is delicate and expensive, so exercise caution.
| A pair of 3/8-inch bolts attach the new coolant tank to the provided bracket. This is one of the areas where we would have appreciated traditional instructions. We had the bracket installed in the truck before realizing the tank needed to go on first.
| Included with the intake kit is a bracket to relocate the hood closure sensor. Without this sensor, the truck's remote-start feature wouldn't be functional. Little touches like this are definitely appreciated.
| For a touch of added protection, we opted to install an Element Armor prefilter on our PowerCore filter. These prefilters act as a first line of defense and help to keep mud, splashes of water, sand, and dirt out of the main filter, with little restriction of airflow.
| The factory intake system routes two breather hoses to the resonator. Volant provides a new, longer hose to connect the crankcase (PCV) to the intake tube. The factory vacuum line is reused.
| Volant provides three different colors of vinyl (red, white, and blue) that can be applied to the inside of the airbox lid for a custom touch. Obviously, owners can choose any other color or pattern they can dream up to customize the airbox or leave it clear if desired.
| The finished product is simple and effective. For us, the big selling point was the sealed airbox and Donaldson PowerCore filter. While this setup provides a large increase in filtration, it doesn't do much in the way of airflow. For those looking for more power and airflow, Volant offers its MaxFlow 5 oiled-cotton filter or its DryTech dry-filter element.