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K&N 77-Series Installation

How to Install a K&N Performance Intake Kit

Imagine a runner trying to compete in a marathon wearing a mask over his nose and mouth. Do you think he’ll be able to keep up with the rest of the runners who have free, unrestricted breathing? Or, will he quickly tire and run out of energy? Chances are the runners who can breathe freely and deeply will perform better in the race.

Oxygen Flow
Just like with runners, anything that restricts the flow of oxygen to your vehicle’s engine is detrimental to the potential power it can create. Therefore, anything you can do to reduce or eliminate those restrictions works to improve the efficiency of your engine, which adds horsepower, torque and even improves fuel economy.

Unfortunately, most trucks roll off the assembly line with inefficient air intake systems right from the start. High design and development costs, combined with strict government regulations force vehicle manufacturers to create low-maintenance systems that meet the broad needs of the average driver. While the factory system does provide safe, reliable performance, it’s not always the most efficient system for generating power.

Air Intake Filters
The problem starts with your vehicle’s restrictive paper filter and factory air box. Paper filters are cheap, disposable, clog easily and fail to provide enough air flow for your engine to operate at its peak performance. Also, while your factory air box does provide excellent protection for your factory filter, it prevents a lot of cool air from ever reaching your intake tube.

One quick and easy fix is to replace your stock paper air filter with a more free-flowing performance air filter such as the truck accessories available from K&N. These filters are made from multiple layers of oiled cotton gauze that trap dirt, dust and tiny particles with very little restriction in air flow. And, the best part is that these durable cotton-gauze filters are washable and rechargeable so all you have to do is clean and re-oil the filter and it’ll perform like new every time.

Air Intake Systems
To take performance to the next level, you can add a high-flow air intake system (commonly called a cold air intake). In addition to adding an even more powerful 360° cotton-gauze filter, most of these kits also replace your stock air box and intake tube to further eliminate any restrictions in air flow. Some companies, like K&N, leave the filter element open for maximum “breathability” and separate the filter from high engine heat using an aluminum heat shield. Other companies, like Volant, choose to isolate the filter from engine heat using a specially designed cold-air box that captures air from a specific location under your hood where the largest volume of cool air is available.

K&N Intake System.
K&N Intake Systems pride themselves on breathability. The open filter element allows maximum airflow.
Disconnect MAF Sensor.
The Volant Intake Systems are focused on cold air. The enclosed box shields the filter from the high-temperature air in the engine compartment.

Both styles typically replace your intake tube with a smooth, high-flow design that’s engineered to prevent air from swirling around. The smoother, straighter, more even air flow provides faster acceleration and better throttle response because there’s a denser volume of cool air available when you press on the accelerator.

The Install
For this installation we will be using a 2002 Chevy Avalanche. This same K&N 77 Series Intake will fit any number of GM SUVs from 2000 to current. Just as you read above, the high-flow cotton-gauze filter will allow much more air to pass into the engine. Also included in the kit is a new high-flow intake tube and any/all hardware that you need.

Stock intake system.
1. In this photo, we can see the stock engine compartment of our donor truck with the intake system highlighted.
Disconnect MAF Sensor.
2. First, disconnect the mass airflow sensor.
Loosen intake tube.
3. Loosen the stock intake tube.
Install MAF Sensor.
4. Next, remove the stock intake tube. Notice all of the restrictive bends and twists.(Note: Be careful not to drop anything into the open throttle body!)
Remove airbox and MAF Sensor
5. Remove the factory airbox and mass airflow sensor.
Disconnect MAF Sensor.
6. Disconnect the mass airflow sensor from the factory airbox.
Install the supplied gasket.
7. Then, install the supplied gasket onto the Mass Airflow Sensor...
Install MAF Sensor.
8. ...and install the mass airflow sensor onto the new heatshield.
Install the heatshield.
9. Install the new K&N heatshield where the stock air box used to be.
Install rubber boot.
10. Install the rubber boot onto the new heatshield.
Connect intake tube to heatshield.
11. Connect the new intake tube to the heatshield and throttle body.
Attach filter and check connections.
12. Attach the K&N high-flow filter, then check all connections and you're done!

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Related Links:
  • Air Intakes
  • Air Filters
  • Chevy Avalanche Accessories
  • Truck Accessories
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