aFe Intake Install & Review on 5th Gen 4Runner
aFe Momentum GT Cold Air Intake on 5th Gen 4Runner
AFE Momentum GT Pro DRY S Cold Air Intake System – Installation, review and comparison to the TRD Intake on 5th Generation 4Runner
After we installed the Borla exhaust on my girls 2016 SR5 4Runner, I wanted to kick it up a notch with an intake. I tried ordering a K&N on Amazon but they wouldn’t ship to California. Then I tried ordering an aFe (Advanced FLOW engineering) Momentum Intake and it worked.
I also chose the aFe because another guy on YouTube installed one and it sounded pretty good. I would still really like to install the K&N on a 4Runner in the future and see what that is all about. We installed the TRD intake on my 4Runner about a year ago. That is also why we went with the aFe, it was just something different.
The TRD intake was pretty impressive to me, for the cost. For around $400, the TRD intake showed a noticeable difference in HP gains and caused an increase in throaty sound. The aFe intake is right around the same price as the TRD ($430).
In this post, we see how the aFe intake stacks up against the TRD intake on the 5th Gen.
aFe Cold Air Intake Filter Options
- Pro Dry S Filter
- aFe Pro 10R – Maximum Filtration
- aFe Pro 5R – Maximum Flow
- aFe Pro Guard 7 – Maximum Protection
This massive filter measures 7″ x 4″ and is 8″ tall with an inverted top.
The aFe intake filter comes with options. You can go with a dry filter or an oiled filter.
Oiled filters typically allow for more air flow while dry filters allow for better filtration. If you live in dusty climates or off-road in dusty environments often, you should consider a dry filter. If you want maximum airflow and don’t typically wheel your 4Runner in dusty conditions, consider an oiled filter option.
We purchased the Pro Dry S filter. Our Northern California trails tend to get a little dusty.
aFe Momentum GT Pro Dry S Specs & Benefits
- Pro DRY S is oil-free
- HP Gain Claims: +24 HP
- Max Torque Gains Claims: +24 lbs
- Increased Flow: 39%
- Compatible with Magnuson SC
- Sealed housing
- Sight window for easy filter inspection
- Super easy installation
- No cutting/drilling
The +24HP and torque is a bold claim but judging by the Dyno on their website, they got it.
aFe Cold Air Intake Performance Overview & Review
The aFe Momentum GT intake does not feel as responsive as the TRD intake at first.
I have driven with the TRD intake in my 2014 Trail 4Runner for over a year and you can definitely tell there is a change in performance through feel and sound from low to high RPMs.
With the aFe Momentum GT, you will start to hear and feel the intake in the power band. Specifically, around 4000-6000 RPMs, this intake will come alive. It is rare when we hit 6000 RPMs though so I feel like the window for “felt” performance is around 3700 RPMs to 4700 RPMs.
When you do hit the power band, the aFe Momentum GT will definitely give you a sense of power in both sound and actual power to the wheels. You can hear the intake perform most in the power band, both in the front and rear of the 4Runner.
The rear sound will get more throaty with an aftermarket cat-back exhaust. Combined with the Borla exhaust, this cold air intake has definitely added a rumbling punch with its peak level of sound and felt performance at around 3900-4500 RPMs.
Driving with the aFe Intake
City driving, this intake may be a bit of a sleeper for some. Getting on the freeway at speeds, however, you will hear and feel the aFe Momentum GT come to life. The Borla exhaust has been opened up around town for sure, but to really hear and feel this intake, you need to approach your power band aggressively.
aFe Intake Whistle or Turbo Sound
The TRD intake has a stronger and more noticeable turbo sounding whistle in lower RPMs (1800-2200 RPMs). I am not referring to a chirping or squeaking whistle, this is more of a turbo “swishhh” sound. Some people complain about the intake whistle and some really enjoy it.
This sound occurs when your throttle body opens up. The factory airbox is designed to minimize this sound. Aftermarket intakes bring it out.
The aFe Momentum GT intake still has a noticeable whistle but is less noticeable and is shortened to a tighter window of the same RPM band (1900-2000 RPMs).
aFe Intake Vs. TRD Intake?
All around, you will absolutely notice a difference after you install the aFe. The TRD just has more noticeable sound throughout a wider range of the RPM band while the aFe has a narrow window of sound performance leaning very close to the power band.
The aFe Momentum GT intake is also very large compared to the TRD. If you have plans of installing a second battery or an onboard air compressor, you may want to choose the TRD or a smaller intake.
If you like a more mellow sounding exhaust and less intake whistle while city driving, then the aFe is for you. Expect the aFe to come alive on the power band, though. Passing cars on the freeway, getting on the freeway and gunning it around town really brings this intakes sound performance out.
The Borla and the aFe pair very nicely together to create a subtle yet powerful performance kick for the 4Runner. If you are looking for a deeper, more aggressive sound, the TRD intake and MagnaFlow will give you what you are looking for.
Both Intakes and Pricing
aFe Momentum GT intake Installation
The aFe intake is super easy to install. No re-routing of MAF sensor wiring like the TRD intake. The installation was pretty smooth and relatively fast. Jimmy Jet and I installed the intake in about 1.5 hours while shooting photos and taking video. Very basic shop tools will get the job done. If you are looking for a quick and easy intake to install, then go with the aFe for sure. The TRD was a little more advanced but not by much.
Step 1: Remove Intake inlet clamps and tubing
Step 2: Unclip MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor)
Step 3: Unclip MAF Wiring brackets
Step 4: Remove Intake Inlet Tube & Airbox Lid
Step 5: Remove intake inlet bracket and discard
Step 6: Remove 3 bolts holding down Airbox
Step 7: Install the supplied M8 rubber isolation mount
Install the supplied M8 rubber isolation mount into the front-most threaded hole. Hand tighten only.
Step 8: Install the supplied trim seal onto the airbox
You can see the three ribs on the inside of the supplied trim. We found that placing these on the inside of the airbox worked better. Install the trim all the way around the edge of the inlet until you find out how much you need to cut off.
Step 9: Trim aFe airbox trim seal excess and fit
Step 10: Transfer sleeves and grommets from OE box to aFe box
Remove and transfer two steel sleeves and two rubber grommets from OE box to aFe airbox. Place the steel sleeves and grommets on the rear most mounting points.
Step 11: Place the aFe airbox into the vehicle and secure
Place the aFe airbox into the vehicle and secure using 12mm bolts from factory airbox. Using the supplied M8 nut and washer, tighten down the airbox onto the isolation mount using a 13mm socket and driver.
Step 12: Install the supplied large T-bolt clamps on Airbox
Install the supplied large T-bolt clamp onto the airbox and slide the air filter into the airbox. Do not tighten the clamps at this time.
Step 13: Reinstall OE MAF and add brass hose fitting
Remove the MAF sensor from the OE airbox and reinstall into the aFe intake tube using the supplied T20 Torx screws. Install the brass hose fitting in the aFe intake tube and tighten using an 11mm open end wrench.
Step 14: Install Reducing Coupler & T-bolt clamps onto the throttle body
Install the supplied reducing coupler with the smaller T-bolt clamp onto the throttle body (lettering on the coupler should be away from the throttle body) and tighten the clamp. Place the larger T-bolt clamp on the coupler, but do not tighten at this time
Step 15: Install the intake tube into the coupling & then filter
Install the intake tube into the vehicle by sliding the tube into the coupling on the throttle body first, then into the filter.
Step 16: Reconnect MAF sensor and check bolts.
Tighten all clamps using an 11mm deep socket and driver. Connect the crankcase vent hose to the aFe intake tube, and connect the 5/32″ vacuum hose to the aFe intake tube. Reconnect the MAF sensor and you are set.