Author Topic: BigMike's Big Journey: A 2016 Tacoma Build Thread  (Read 347947 times)

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March 26, 2019: K&N Intake System

I will discuss more about this after a few posts.

Holy, what an ordeal this was! Here is what happened:

Fall 2018
  Start noticing a drop in fuel economy
  First/basic suspicion is to check air filter
March 14 (posted above)
  Check air filter
  Discover it's a mess
  Realize I've never even changed it before
  Replace with genuine OEM filter
March 20
  Note fuel mileage has not improved
  Learn about the California Charcoal Air Filter insert located in the factory air box lid
  Reinspect intake
  Discover Charcoal Air Filter IS BLACK AND A COMPLETE MESS
March 21
  Attempt to replace Charcoal Air Filter
  Discover it's not serviceable
  Discover the Upper Air Box Assembly, Toyota P/N 17705-0P220, only comes bundled with the Air Flow Meter and retails for over $300!!
March 22
  After a lot of comparative shopping I settle on the K&N 63-9039 for almost $75 less than replacement factory option
  This is the middle-range K&N offering. Cheaper option comes with an inferior filter; More expensive option runs the mid-range filter but comes with nicer aluminum ducting which would looks good but would heat soak more, and meh... I just went with the dark and more stock looking option that still has the improved filter.
March 23
  Discover this cannot be shipped to California due to our wonderful smog laws
March 25
  Package arrives to my friend's home in Nevada
March 26
  Package arrives to my door

In the end I saved $$, weight, intake restriction, and finally fixed my loss in MPG which within one tank has shot back up into the 16s. I did not disconnect the battery or reset the ECU.

Speaking for myself, here is some much needed comedic relief. My friend sent me the left pic of his cat Bear atop my package so I had to follow suit in sending him pics of my two boys Mikan (Japanese tangerine) and Max (a trooper at 17 yrs old) once it arrived to me :lol:

Factory setup with non-serviceable smog equipment (I've kept these parts for once the truck becomes smog-eligible in 2022)

No surprise here. I've removed all the inner fender lining so dirt has a direct shot up and into the air box.

I was pleased to see that the Charcoal Filter took the full blunt of my horrible maintenance and at least prevented visual debris into the intake.



The angle of the tube could have been better and also a tad shorter but overall am very impressed with my first-ever K&N product.

While I cannot credit the K&N for the 1 to 1.5 MPG since I had not one but TWO badly plugged air filters, I do have proof of performance increase as follows:

Cruise Control

My morning commute includes two large up-hill freeway interchanges. In 6th gear (manual) with cruise set to 65 MPH, the first overpass would cause the truck to dip to 59 MPH and the second to 57 MPH before climbing back up to 65. This was verified more than a year ago when I first switched to 40s using the truck's digital MPH readout. I swear instantly the very next morning with the K&N these two resulted in a slowdown of only 62 MPH & 60 MPH respectively. Both times the truck recovers to 65 sooner as well. Mid range is certainly improved, and according to my butt-dyno top end has improved but it's hard to tell anyway with 40" tires.


Of course I Love the new throaty sound :D One thing I was concerned about is that with the added load of rotating 40" tires at highway speeds that it would be in the "throaty" power band the entire time which would drone out the interior, something unacceptable with this "new" truck. I am happy to report that even when you floor it, the intake only comes alive from about 2,800 so cruising speeds sound at least 99% as the stock intake. Very impressed with both engine and air filter design. Thank you Toyota and K&N!

I don't have any sound clips at the moment but have another request for exhaust note sound and will get something posted hopefully soon

Off-road Use

While I am not the biggest fan of open element filters in Rock Crawlers, I am aware of K&N's filter wrap which was the biggest selling point for me. Probably other companies offer something similar but I've seen these on many Formula Toy and X-Chassis Rock Crawlers and was ready to give it a try. Now when I air down I'll simply put on the filter wrap for added protection and remove it when I air back up.

Here is the Filter Wrap test-fitted. It is a bit difficult to get my hands around the back edge of the filter to make sure it's on all the way.

Not the "coldest" Intake on the market

I realize this is not the coldest design and is in fact going to inhale air warmer than factory. However, I am pleased to not have a 100% connection to my liner-less inner fender which will reduce debris entering the filter and short of submersion will eliminate the risk of hydrolocking the engine. As for snorkels I've never been a fan and have never considered one for any of my vehicles.
New Instagram: @SlowestTacoma

Check out our new Rock Crawling Videos!
2016 56-speed 580:1 Triple T/Case 3rd gen Tacoma Rock Crawler   
1981 36-speed 511:1 3RZ-FE Rock Crawler
1987 6-speed Supercharged 4A-GZE MR2
Things are only impossible until they are not.
"The worst of both worlds, the best of neither." -abnormaltoy
"An informed question. But difficult to answer. I am what you see." -Nanaki


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