S&B’s New Cold Air Intake For 2013-14 Ram Heavy Duty Diesels

With the arrival of the Ram Heavy Duty diesel trucks in 2013, the factory introduced an industry first on the air intake side. Ram Truck engineers, in their search for more power, brought us the Ram Active Air intake system. This unique air intake has a swing gate to allow cooler air from the grille area to feed the engine under certain conditions. Cooler air always means more power and better engine performance due to the increase in density that cooler air provides. The new Ram Active Air is a giant leap forward in air intake design.

While the Ram Active Air intake system is better than past OEM air intake systems, there’s always room for improvement with just about any OEM setup. The aftermarket has been proving this for almost as long as there have been trucks and cars. So it was inevitable that the aftermarket would find a way to improve the breathing capability of the new Ram Heavy Duty diesel trucks even more.

1 Of course, the first step with any upgrade is to remove the OEM parts. The Ram Active Air intake is removed after disconnecting the sensors and servo motor. The entire assembly must be removed.
2 The entire stock air intake system under the hood is removed from the grille to the turbo. S&B’s new air intake box replaces the OEM box, filter and intake tube.
3 The S&B system uses the same motor that drives the factory intake to activate its swing gate. This maintains the benefits of the stock system, such as motor reliability and more. The air door motor from the stock airbox is removed and reinstalled on the S&B airbox. The sensors on the intake tube are also reused.

S&B Filters is the first to offer an air intake upgrade system for 2013-14 Ram Heavy Duty diesel trucks. This air system uses the same motor as the factory intake to operate the intake diverter gate. However, the rest of the system is completely new and much improves the air charge capacity over the stock setup. S&B claims airflow improvements of more than 46 percent. They have a filter test lab that uses the same standards as most OEM truck makers. Unlike Dyno testing, which is affected by many outside variables that are hard to control, the S&B lab measures each filter under the same controlled conditions.

4 S&B provides a new air door and support arm to fit their air intake box. This arm has the air door attached to it. While the air door can be removed, the arm must stay in place or the computer will throw an error code. Note that if you remove the air door, you can get more airflow, but risk contamination from water coming through the grille opening in bad weather.
5 S&B designed a new filter for the new filter box. This filter features silicone rubber for greater flexibility at all temperatures and increased long-term durability for the life of your truck. New silicone filters and couplers are included in the kit, and will resist temperatures of as much as 400° F without cracking or tearing.
6 S&B offers owners a choice in filter types. Here you see the disposable dry filter in white and the oiled, reusable filter in red. The red, oiled filter is made from a cotton (cleanable) material, while the white is a dry (disposable) synthetic element. “Since you don’t sacrifice performance with either choice, the decision comes down to your preference to throw away the filter or clean it,” S&B claims.
7 Once installed, the S&B filter system looks stock in almost every way; however, it flows more air in all conditions for improved power and performance. The clear lid is a nice feature, as you can tell at a glance when the filter needs to be serviced.

S&B lab testing shows that at the 580-cfm baseline (the standard average airflow for the engine under operating load), their new airbox and filter flows more than 25-percent better than stock. This is with the air door closed, taking air from the fender inlet side. This is the standard position for the air door, and is the intake location for more than 90 percent of your driving time. For those super-hot days, when the air door opens, the S&B system claims delivery rates that are more than 40-percent better than stock. If you live and drive in sunny and dry conditions, and want to remove the air dam for the dry months, airflow can be increased by more than 50 percent. Use caution if you choose to do so; heavy water intake can be bad, so be sure you carry the air dam and tools to reinstall it in the glove box, just in case a summer monsoon unexpectedly hits town.

8 S&B offers owners the ability to monitor the Ram Active Air gate. A simple LED can be installed that will light green when the air gate motor is in position to pull air from the grille. S&B says, “testing shows that the ram-air inlet opens when outside temperatures are greater than 91° F and the truck is at full throttle. The ram-air inlet stays open for approximately three to five miles or until the truck slows to close to five mph. This process repeats itself. Ram-air activity varies with your driving conditions.”
9 The Active Air monitor light taps into the power and ground wires of the active air motor. The indicator light can be mounted anyplace you want.
10 The factory and S&B systems draw air from the wheel well inlet under normal driving conditions or with the front inlet closed to protect against the elements in inclement weather conditions (ice, snow, rain).
11 In extreme heat, under high loads or high altitudes, the airbox swing gate pivots when your truck accelerates to full throttle, opening the system to take in air from the ram-air duct mounted behind the front grille. This brings cooler air to your engine to improve power when you need it most.

According to S&B, installation of their new intake system for 2013-14 Ram Heavy Duty diesel trucks is simple and easy. Follow along and we’ll show you an overview of this new intake system and some highlights of the installation. Owners of the new Ram diesels can now improve power and performance with simple upgrades that take less than a day and will work for the lifetime of the truck. DW


The Inside Story

Ram states that the 2013-14 2500 and 3500 diesel trucks come with the industry exclusive Ram Active Air intake system. The following system info is found on the Ram Truck site:

“Ram diesels now have ‘Ram Active Air,’ a dual-path intake system. Air typically enters the air cleaner from a protected underhood spot where snow and rainwater can’t get sucked in. In hot, dry conditions and high-load, Ram Active Air switches to a direct-ram air intake directly behind the grille. Trucks without such a system are subject to power loss on hot, dry grades where underhood temperatures skyrocket.”
“The air intake system, triggered by the computer, draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle when it senses extreme heat; it also engages at high altitudes for superior throttle response. When conditions are wet, the system pulls air from an underhood inlet, dry and clear of snow packing.”

“In extreme heat or high altitudes, the industry exclusive Ram Active Air intake system draws in cool air for superior throttle response, leading to improved diesel performance under load. Ram Active Air electronically switches from pulling air from a shielded underhood inlet, safe for inclement weather, to a Ram Air inlet when appropriate.”

Ram Active Air is a registered trademark of the Chrysler Group LLC.

For more info go to www.ramtrucks.com/en/explore/ram_heavy_duty/.


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