Best Cold Air Intake for Vortec Engines
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Best Cold Air Intake for Vortec Engines Review

General Motors, the big-bad automobile mogul from Detroit, is known for its strong, capable engines. For example, the Vortec line-up is credited for its market-leading reliability and durability. But what about the air filtration system – is it reliable enough, or not? Well, not quite: if you want to protect your engine from breaking down and optimize its performance, you’ll need an aftermarket air kit.

So, what does the best cold air intake for Vortec Engines look like? How do you find the perfect fit for your GMC truck/SUV? Don’t worry: I’ve got just the right picks for you. The following list includes three top-notch air intake systems. They will improve the air filtration/flow, increase the HP and torque, and even safeguard the engine from debris. Go ahead and take a closer look!

Best Cold Air Intake for 6.0, 5.3, 4.8L Vortec Engines (Updated November, 2021)

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Editor’s Choice

S&B Filters 75-5059 Cold Air Intake for 2009-2014 Chevy/GMC Truck & SUV 4.8L / 5.3L / 6.0L / 6.2L

1) S&B Filters 75-5059 Cold Air Intake

  • Best Features:
    • Runs flawlessly with stock calibration
    • Silicone air filter for maximum efficiency
    • Street legal: available in all US states
  • Filter Type: Oiled
  • Power Increase: 34.57 More Airflow
  • Engine Type: 2009-2014 Vortec 4.8/5.3/6.0L

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Superfastracing 4 inch Cold Air Intake System + Heat Shield Replacement for 1999-2006 GMC/Chevy V8 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L

2) Superfastracing Cold Air Intake System

  • Best Features:
    • Easy installation with basic tools
    • The package includes installation hardware and instructions
    • One of the cheapest air intakes on the market
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 8-10% HP and 6-10% lbs x ft Torque
  • Engine Type: 1999-2006 Vortec 4.8/5.3/6.0L

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Spectre Performance SPE-9900 Cold Air Intake 9900 Kit with Red filter for 1999-2007 GM Truck

3) S&B Filters 75-5059 Cold Air Intake

  • Best Features:
    • Specifically designed to boost the performance
    • Premium urethane + steel mesh for the filter
    • Features top-notch aluminum tubing
  • Filter Type: Dry
  • Power Increase: 50% More Airflow
  • Engine Type: 1999-2007 Vortec 4.8/5.3/6.0L

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Best Vortec Cold Air Intake Review

1. S&B Filters 75-5059 Cold Air Intake for Vortec

S&B Filters 75-5059 Cold Air Intake for 2009-2014 Chevy/GMC Truck & SUV 4.8L / 5.3L / 6.0L / 6.2L

It’s not rare for a truck or SUV to get “triggered” by a new air filtration system and for Check Engine lights to start bothering you. Well, you won’t have to worry about that with the S&B air intake kit. It was specifically engineered to run flawlessly with the stock settings. Another standout feature is the top-notch air filter. It is tear-resistant, doesn’t crack under any circumstances, and can handle extreme temperatures.

We’re talking about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The only downside – you won’t see any significant improvement in terms of fuel efficiency. On the bright side, this cold air intake system is available in all 50 US states. So, if it seems to be the right kind of purchase for you, there won’t be any issues with ordering and shipment. This is a solid aftermarket kit that can be installed in 30-60 minutes and boasts high-quality materials.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
5
Result
5
Pros & Cons
No Check Engine lights with this system
Silicone air filter: handles up to 400 degrees
Legal in all 50 American states
Doesn’t improve fuel efficiency

Best Cold Air Intake for Vortec Engines

Verdict
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The fans of big gains in HP, torque, and mileage may be a bit disappointed by S&B’s filter, as that’s not what it’s good for. However, it’s still a worthy investment, thanks to the premium craftsmanship and excellent build and material quality. It’s legal in all 50 US states, by the way.

2. Superfastracing Vortec Cold Air Intake System

Superfastracing 4 inch Cold Air Intake System + Heat Shield Replacement for 1999-2006 GMC/Chevy V8 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L

Affordability is this next cold air intake’s biggest selling point. It is available at a very cheap price, which, of course, is a big pro for most regular GMC drivers. On top of that, it won’t be hard to install: you’ll be done in less than an hour with some basic tools. The package includes not only all the necessary bolts, nuts, and clamps, but also a detailed user manual that will help with the installation.

However, it’s also important to note that this air kit is made in China and can’t boast industry-leading material/build quality. It’s not horrible, of course, and will last. However, compared to the more expensive systems, Superfastracing’s air intake kit is average at best. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise because of the affordable price-tag. All in all, you’ll get a safe bet with this aftermarket intake kit.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
5
Value for Money
4.9
Result
5
Pros & Cons
Effortless installation: won’t take you more than an hour
Comes packed with a user guide and installation hardware
An incredibly affordable air intake kit
Material quality is average at best

Verdict
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If you’re on a really tight budget but need a replacement cold air intake system for your Vortec, pay extra attention to Superfastracing’s offer. Straightforward installation, a generous package, and four colors to choose from – that’s what it’s all about. The build and material quality aren’t off the charts, of course, but still decent for the price.

3. S&B Filters 75-5059 Vortec Cold Air Intake

Spectre Performance SPE-9900 Cold Air Intake 9900 Kit with Red filter for 1999-2007 GM Truck

Here, we have another reasonably-priced third-party air intake system. While it’s not as cheap as the previous one, you’ll definitely get a bargain with it. It was specifically manufactured to maximize any Vortec engine’s performance and add extra HP and torque. Dyno-tested, it promises up to 50% more airflow in the engine compartment compared to the factory system.

The filter is crafted from premium urethane and steel mesh – a strong combination for efficiency and durability. Add top-quality aluminum tubing, and you’ll see why S&B is one of the obvious leaders when it comes to cold air intake kits. There’s one issue, though, and it’s the low-quality rubber. I’m talking about the boots and the spacer (all made from rubber). It would be a good idea to replace them with something more reliable.

Product Rating
Performance Increase
5
Mileage
5
Easy to Install
4.8
Value for Money
4.9
Result
4.9
Pros & Cons
Designed and engineered to add extra HP and torque
A strong combination of urethane and steel mesh for the filter
Premium-quality aluminum tubing
Low-quality rubber – can cause issues

Verdict
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The S&B air intake kit is one of the best products available on the market right now. First of all, it greatly improves air filtration and flow. Secondly, it helps Vortec engines reach their true potential. And let’s not forget about the superb quality of the filter, air box, and all the smaller parts (except for the rubber boots and spacers).

Conclusion

The Vortec engines have been around since 1994 and are still a force to be reckoned with. On average, they last for up to 300K miles, which is more than impressive. To make sure they don’t overheat before reaching their full potential, you might want to cash in for a third-party air intake kit. It won’t cost you a fortune, but the engine will, most certainly, thank you for the improved airflow.

In this post, I introduced you to some of the finest aftermarket air intake systems for the 6.0, 5.3, and 4.8L Vortec engines. With Superfastracing, you’ll get an unbelievably affordable deal, while S&B boasts incredible performance on any terrain. As for the Spectre air intake, it may be a very good choice for the average driver looking for an all-around solid purchase.

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