Mark Gearhart
March 14, 2017
Photos By: Henry De Los Santos

Ah, the cold air intake. It’s one of the most satisfying modifications available. Not only does it increase the maximum amount of ponies on tap, it provides a harmonious grumble under acceleration. Every enthusiast will at least know that you have a cold air intake when you fly by.

There are plenty of cold air intakes available, but here’s a bit of info you may not have known. Some air intakes have a stock diameter mass airflow sensor housing that eliminates the need for a tune and then there’s some, like JLT Performance’s cold air intake, that’s designed for maximum horsepower utilizing a custom tune. This is a full 4.2-inch intake tube with no taper to reduce any possible airflow restriction. “The stock MAF is about 87mm and our stock manifold GT kit is 107mm - our Cobra Jet kit is 110mm,” says Jay Tucker of JLT Performance.

When we asked Tucker if JLT ever considered making a stock MAF diameter intake, he responded, “No. We have tested stock size kits or no tune kits and they should still be tuned anyway. They rely on the sensors to make the needed adjustments to the air-fuel and are usually on the edge. We want to be the company that always makes power, not just looks and noise.” You might look at the oil filter and think, ‘Look, they forgot to oil it!’ At least that’s what we thought, as we are used to seeing JLT’s huge 4.5x9-inch red S&B air filter. “We started using dry filters a few years ago,” explains Tucker. “The main benefit of the dry is you just throw it away. Cleaning, waiting to dry and re-oiling filters for some is a chore, so this is a good solution. It can also last longer as it’s possible to blow them out and reinstall…plus they will last up to 30,000 miles.”

For those looking for a different look that the OE-appearing, black plastic intake tube, JLT also has a HydroCarbon, custom HydroGraphics, and color matching intake tube options as well.

JLT also includes a roto molded heat shield to keep the hot air out and pull from the Mustang’s factory intake ducting. For our dyno engine, we weren’t going to be utilizing this option but as soon as we get our Coyote crate engine into a chassis, it’s game on!

1. Our Coyote specimen is a virgin 2014 Mustang GT engine and was only tuned on 91 octane pump gas. We brought to Westech Performance for a slew of engine dyno testing.

2. Installing the JLT intake on an engine dyno takes about two minutes, literally.

3. After installing the silicone coupler onto the throttle-body, all that was left was to transfer the MAF sensor, plug in our crankcase vent, and (obviously) capped our sound tube port.

4. No step down here. A smooth transition from the air filter to the throttle body keeps power at its maximum.

5. Notable Mustang tuner Eddie Rios from Addiction Motorsports was on hand to help us with the tuning. Eddie previously tuned our engine with his SCT software and our X4 tuner. Now he loads a tune optimized for the JLT cold air.

6. The dyno graph gives us a perfect illustration of how airflow works; as the demand increases with engine revs, more power can be had. Our stock numbers came in at 449 horsepower and 411.3 lb-ft of torque. After numbers came in at 457 horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque. That’s a respectable gain of 8.0 horsepower and 7.7 lb-ft of torque. There’s no doubt that when we get this engine into a chassis and take advantage of the true cold air functionality of the intake that we will pick up even more horsepower!