Best Cold Air Intakes For 5.9L Cummins (1994-2007)

| Last Updated: December 24, 2021

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Cold air intakes are a component of truck engines that not a lot of truck drivers even know about. Why would an engine need cold air? The truth is, increased access to cold air can have a variety of benefits for your truck’s engine. Read on to learn more about these awesome systems for improving your truck’s efficiency.

Comparison of the Best 5.9L Cummins Cold Air Intakes

  • Boosts turbo noise and the throttle response
  • Works well when installed with engine tuners
  • Easy to check the filter for maintenance purposes
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  • Can boost mileage by one to two miles
  • Makes a big difference in both power and sound
  • Included instructions come with good, detailed illustrations
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  • Improves the functionality of the exhaust brake
  • Makes it so turbo sound can be heard more easily
  • Has thorough, detailed instructions for simple installation
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Benefits of Upgrading Your Cold Air Intake

There are multiple reasons why you should switch out your stock intake for an upgraded system. Here are some of the biggest:

Engine Fit

This is more of a rebuttal to one of the main reasons not to switch out your intake, and that is that air intake systems are already a tight fit and an upgrade could potentially be too large for your engine. But the truth is, the higher quality air intake systems on the market today will fit just find inside your engine and you will immediately notice benefits.

Higher Quality Material

Stock air intakes just are not that great when it comes to quality. Take your truck to the next level by investing in a product specifically designed to enhance your engine’s power and capability.

Good Way to Avoid Voiding Your Warranty

If you want to take your truck to the next level, but you are nervous about making upgrades that could potentially impact your warranty, cold air intake boosts are a safe bet. These changes will increase your engine’s overall efficiency but not alter any dealership warranty.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying a Cold Air Intake

There are a number of features you should take into account when selecting a cold air intake:

Boosted Fuel Economy

You might not think increased cool air flow to your engine would result in a direct increase in miles per gallon, but you would be surprised! Yes, in addition to boosted power gains, you will likely be able to stretch your gas dollar further as well with a new cold air intake.

Ease of Installation

We mentioned above that high quality cold air intakes will be able to fit inside your engine, and this is true, but they may not fit inside your engine easily. Invest in a system that has a straightforward installation process so you can make the setup of your new intake as painless as possible.

Turbo Sound

Okay, yeah, this may be a less serious aspect of your truck’s functionality, but it is definitely no less important! If having a cool rev sound is important to you, you definitely want a nice cold air intake system, which will bring your truck’s voice to life.

Review of the Best 5.9L Cummins Cold Air Intakes

Keeping in mind what you read above about cold air intakes, let’s look at some of the products themselves:

1. S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System (2003 – 2007)


  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • S & B provides good customer service


  • Air pipe is positioned close to the exhaust

The S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System is a fantastic air intake system that will really make it like night and day for your truck. It will boost both your truck’s turbo and throttle response, for a sense of greater accessible power. This system is enhanced even further when it is installed in conjunction with various engine tuners.

It is easy to install and to operate, including to maintain – it is a simple process to check the filter and ensure it is still working correctly. It increases the filter surface area and will protect the filter from various types of debris. It fits well and will last your truck a long, long time. There is not much for you to dislike with the S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System.

Bottom Line

The S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System is a top notch air intake system that will improve numerous aspects of your truck’s functionality. Its air pipe is positioned pretty close to the exhaust, so that is something to keep in mind when you are installing.

2. S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System (1994 – 2002)


  • Durable
  • Fits well
  • Easy to use
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Will make acceleration more efficient


  • Air pipe is positioned close to the exhaust

The S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System is a wonderful air intake system that will make a huge difference in both your truck’s power and its sound. It walks a fine line between boosted sound and sound that will not blow your ear drums out, so no worries there. Additionally, it will also enhance your truck’s gas mileage – by up to one to two miles per gallon, which is pretty crazy for just an air intake upgrade!

This quality may have something to do with the closed air box design, which makes it so that the filter stays cleaner for longer than with an open air box design. It is straightforward and easy to install, thanks to the included instructions which come with a large amount of helpful, detailed illustrations. And as always, S & B products work especially well when also installed in conjunction with an engine tuner.

Bottom Line

The S & B Filters Cold Air Intake System is a great air intake system with a number of different benefits that you (and your truck!) will immediately appreciate. Like its later model, though, the air pipe is positioned right next to the exhaust.

3. AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 Pro 5R Cold Air Intake (1994 – 2002)


  • Will boost throttle response
  • Has fantastic installation instructions
  • Does not void most dealership warranties
  • Will not require any additional tuning to see tangible benefits


  • Installation is a cramped fit inside your engine
  • Adding this box may cause your check engine light to turn on

The AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 Pro 5R Cold Air Intake is a top notch air intake system that is great at boosting your truck’s efficiency in a number of aspects. The most noticeable, and one benefit that you will realize right away, is an immediate positive impact on the amount of turbo sound you are able to hear.

Also, multiple users report that this system will improve the exhaust brake functionality. If you are looking for an intake system that will also enhance your truck’s fuel economy, look no further! According to users, this system will improve gas mileage by two miles per gallon on the highway and one mile per gallon in the city, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. It is difficult to find something to not like with the AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 Pro 5R Cold Air Intake.

Bottom Line

The AFE Magnum Force Stage 2 Pro 5R Cold Air Intake is an awesome air intake system that will immediately produce benefits for your truck’s engine. Just keep in mind that it may prompt the check engine light to turn on sometimes.

How We Chose These Cold Air Intakes

Here are the reasons we went with these cold air intakes over other options:

Aesthetic Appeal

It’s true that this might not be the most important consideration to make, but hey, if it comes down to two different options, you definitely have to go with the one that looks cooler!

Interaction with Tuners

It is fairly common for those who buy cold air intakes to appreciate the benefits, and then find themselves craving more. If you take the next step of getting a tuner for your truck, you want an intake system that will work well with it.

Improved Throttle Response

Back to the fun stuff…throttle response is probably one of the main reasons you even bought a truck, right? These cold air intakes are some of the best on the market in terms of making that experience even better.


You may not think of cold air intakes as a component of your truck’s engine that can make a noticeable difference in its functionality, but you would definitely be mistaken! Investing in the right cold air intake can take your truck to the next level. Check out our list of some awesome product examples – we promise you will not be disappointed. 

Sean comes from the forums actually and drives an OBS Ford. He writes fantastic DIYs and knows his way around a camera, too. We keep him caffeinated and away from DPF filters to avoid another rant about recent emissions restrictions.