Hey, guys. Stephanie with AmericanMuscle.com, here with my review of the C&L Cold Air Intake available for the 2015 and up EcoBoost Mustang. The C&L Cold Air Intake is going to be for the S550 EcoBoost owners out there who are looking for a closed element cold air intake that also keeps the direct cold air feed that Ford has created from factory, but that doesn't necessarily require a computer re-tune. A cold air intake is normally one of the first mods that many Mustang owners go to and there are a few different options out there with different designs. This is going to be an intake that has all of the bells and whistles, and so this intake is one that's going to bring some of the most benefits to the table but without requiring a tune.
So if you're installing an after-market cold air intake, you're looking for gains, whether it be in terms of power, acceleration, sound, appearance, or all of the above. So let's break the numbers down first before getting into the intake. We already ran a baseline run and got some numbers in the books, so we're going to run our car again with the C&L Intake installed.
Now, we did happen to throw a tune on the car with a COBB access port, a 93 octane tune to be exact, even though this intake does not require a tune. We did this because we wanted to see the full potential that the intake has since a cold air intake by itself will only net a few horsepower at the end of the day, and we're talking single digits. So even if an after-market intake does not necessarily require a tune, we always recommend a tune if you're looking for any gains or improvements from your Mustang.
Our baseline run with our 2015 EcoBoost gave us numbers of 245 horsepower and 277 foot pounds of torque at the rear wheels. With the C&L Intake and the COBB access port tune, the car made 267 horsepower and 352 foot pounds of torque. Making for a peak gain of 22 horsepower and 75 foot pounds of torque. Now, keep in mind that we did pair this intake with a tune. So a lot of the gains that we're seeing here can definitely be attributed to that tune. As with any Dyno result, peak gains are always nice to know. But the real thing I look for is differences throughout the curve. Now, the curve is going to show you the changes that were made in the driving RPMs, and these are the things that you're actually going to notice performance-wise when you're driving.
So throughout the curve we're seeing gains of 76 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 80 foot pounds of torque at 2,800 RPM. Having those low-end torque gains are something that you're really going to feel as you're going through the gears. You'll get up to speed faster and go through the gears faster.
Overall what we've seen from this intake on the Dyno here is some of the lowest intake air temps out of the after-market cold air intakes for the EcoBoost. That can be attributed to the sealed air box, which I'll talk about in a minute. We've also seen that it really makes power up top where the factory air intake system and filter become restrictive. Another thing to just keep in mind is that the more you mod your car the more restrictive the factory intake will become, especially when it comes to a turbo car.
One other quick thing that I wanted to throw in here is regarding that whole tune or no tune required status of an after-market intake. In case you were wondering, the requirement of a tune with after-market intakes comes from the size of the MAF, or the mass airflow. An after-market intake can only go so big with a MAF size before the car is going to need a computer tune. Now, the EcoBoost Mustang is a speed density car, which means that they don't have a MAF sensor at all. So no after-market intake for this car is going to require a tune, which means that you can just bolt up any intake that you want and go. But I do want to be clear with the fact that you're only going to see gains of two to three horsepower without a tune. A lot of the gains that we're seeing here today, while they are amplified by the top-of-the-line construction that this intake has, are coming more from the tune than the intake itself.
If we take a closer look at the C&L itself, much like in the GT and V6 market, this is a popular intake on the site and one that's going to come in at the top of the line in regards to price, at right around $400, but also in quality and fitment as well. This intake is one of the best fit and finishes that I've seen for the S550 EcoBoost. And all C&L's products are built and tested in the USA, which is just something that I like to point out.
One of the big things that I wanted to point out with this intake, though, is the housing here. First of all, it's enclosed, which you're only going to see from the other options of air rate and engine right now. Has a Plexiglas lid that's removable so you can get to your filter easily or see without having to take the air box apart.
The enclosed air box is going to protect the filter from elements within the engine compartment as well as help keep warm air from inside the compartment from being used by the engine. And like I mentioned earlier, this technique works. We saw some of the lowest intake air temps on the Dyno with this intake. This leads me to the other cool thing about the housing and that's the fact that it taps into the factory cold air duct here, which brings cool air in from the grill instead of using warm engine compartment air. This is a really nice feature in my opinion, and it gives this intake a benefit that you don't see from many other after-market intakes for the S550 EcoBoost.
And like I mentioned earlier, this particular intake does not require a tune, which means that you can just bolt it on and go if you want to. But if you're looking for gains and improvements in drivability, then just know that any improvements that you'll see from the intake can be greatly amplified by running a tune.
As for the install, it's nothing too difficult, and the intake will come with all of the items that you'll need, including clamps, couplers, and hardware. All that you really need to complete the install is a 10 mm, a flathead for the plastic pins, and some pliers to remove the hose clamps. This is probably one of the easiest mods that you can tackle with your new Mustang, and it'll take about a half-hour or an hour tops. And I'm going to call it a one out of three wrenches on our scale.
You should disconnect the breather hoses from the inlet tube. You're going to need to loosen the clamps on the inlet tube at the throttle body and the air box so you can remove the inlet tube. There's also going to be a 10 millimeter bolt on the air box that holds it to the inner fender that you'll need to back out so you can detach the air box and pull it out of the car. You're also going to want to ready your new air box. And you can throw the filter in the air box before you drop it into the car, or you can install the filter after the air box is in the car. It's really up to you.
When you're ready to install the air box into the car, just start with the air duct by sliding it into the factory location, and reinstall the factory bolt to hold it down. Once the air box is in and bolted down, you'll need to get the couplers onto the throttle body in the air box on the other side of the filter on the engine compartment side, just to be clear. Just make sure that you can get to all of the clamps to tighten them down, but leave everything loose for now.
Lastly, the inlet tubing needs to be installed. You just slide it into the coupler on either the throttle body or the air box side first. Either way, it doesn't matter, and then tighten down the clamps so that everything is tight. Then it's just a matter of connecting the vacuum hoses to the inlet tube and installing the air box cover and tightening it down.
Wrapping things up here, I think the C&L Intake is a well-built intake that has a lot of benefits to it. It works within a closed air box that taps into the cold air duct that Ford has provided for the intake. It fits well, and it has a decent-sized reusable filter, and does not require a tune.
You can check this intake out more online for yourself. And for all things Mustang, keep it right here at AmericanMuscle.com.
A C&L Performance Cold Air Intake kit will completely replace your 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang's restrictive stock air box and paper filter element with a high flow filter assembly to maximize airflow for a noticeable increase in horsepower, torque and performance. No Tune Required.
This C&L Performance Cold Air Intake is designed to improve the performance of your turbocharged EcoBoost Mustang without the need of reprogramming your Mustang computer. By utilizing state of the art computer-aided designs this C&L Intake will increase power using the factory tune.Rechargeable High Flow Filter.
Included with your C&L Cold Air Kit is a high-flow, reusable, rechargeable filter. That means no more spending money on OEM paper filters that waste money and horsepower. Just clean your C&L filter, re-oil it, and put it back on to save money and enjoy better performance in one shot. Easy Installation.
C&L Cold Air Intake kits are designed to install with just basic hand tools. No extra modifications or special tools are required for an easy 1 hour installation. All parts and instructions are included.Recommended Upgrade.
Even though a re-tune is not required for operation, AmericanMuscle recommends a custom tune with a Mustang Handheld Tuner
to reprogram the vehicles computer (ECU) to get the best possible performance out of this cold air intake.CARB Certified.
Best of all, this Mustang C&L Cold Air Intake Kit is 50-state smog legal under Carb EO# D-776.Application.
This C&L Performance Cold Air Intake System is specifically designed for use on 2015-2017 Mustangs equipped with the turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost engine.Note.
This intake will only work with OEM intercooler piping and factory throttle body location.
- What's in the Box
- (1) Intake tube
- (1) Air filter
- (2) EPDM Couplers
- (4) Clamps
- (2) Fittings
- (1) Heat Shield/Air Box
- (1) Torx Bit
- Installation Info
Installation Time: (approx) 1 Hour
Difficulty Level:Simple installation for anyone
- Tech Specs
Cold Air Intake Specifications
||Engine Bay |
||High Density Polyethylene
||Computer Tune Required:
- Will it fit my Mustang?