AEM "Brute Force" Cold Air Intake

The ""BRUTE FORCE"" CAI features a new ""DRYFLOW"" cone filter for the Nissan Titan

Nov. 01, 2006 By Samuel C. Knight

Welcome back! In the midst of still waiting for my rear bumper and skid plates, I get request to test out the latest technology in engine aspiration. AEM, Advanced Engineering Management, is based in Hawthorne, CA. From an array of performance intakes, exhausts, and electronic upgrades, AEM is always on the cutting edge.

The “BRUTE FORCE” CAI features a new “DRYFLOW” cone filter for the Nissan Titan. The current intake on “goneTITAN” uses the traditional weaved gauze type filter that is layered with a wire net to form it’s pleated filter. The intake enhances air flow with a reusable filter that must be cleaned and then treated with a spray oil to prevent the gauze from drying out. The “DRYFLOW” secret filter material eliminates the oiling and can filter particulates down to the MICRON! For a comparison, a strand of human hair is an average of 100 microns. This prevents the risk of unwanted contaminates traveling into the engine, a trait of previous high flow aftermarket filters. And it won’t void your factory warranty!

Now keep in mind that a snorkel is on the wish list for the truck. I will be keeping the closed air box instead of the provided heat shield pictured above.

***AEM does not recommend it be done this way. In order for the Brute Force Air Intake system to work correctly, all parts and instructions provided by AEM should be used***

Here is the current cone very, very soiled from abundant off-roading and the dusty air in the vegas valley. It was definitely time for a cleaning. First, DISCONNECT BATTERY TERMINALS. The Nissan Titan has a smart computer engine, so when finished with the install, the reset will help with optimizing the information from the new intake. Remove the engine cover and loosen the O-rings at the intake inlet.

Next, disconnect the Mass Air Flow Sensor, and put some plastic around it so the sensor stays clean and tuck it out of the way to prevent damage. Disconnect the breather hoses in the middle of the intake tube, followed by loosening the O-ring around the neck of the cone filter. Removed components aside I now install the new intake. The AEM has a metal bracket for mounting in the engine bay in use with the heat shield. This doesn’t cooperate with reused air box, so it is just bent backwards to provide workability when fitting the new system. As you can see the DryFlow cone is significantly larger than the prior one.

The AEM intake tube is a polished aluminum upgrade to the plastic tube prior. The aircraft grade aluminum used by AEM will not rust under any circumstances and is lighter than steel. The new tube also uses a new rubber connect. CONNECT LAST to the engine because you will need wiggle and shift when installing the new cone in the old box!!!

Reconnect the breather hoses with supplied extensions. A little wetting the inside of the extension ends will ease the connecting process. Now, remove the plastic cover from that Mass Air Flow sensor from earlier and install in the tube at same location. Be careful when handling this sensor. If you have 4WD, there is a differential breathing hose. Instead of just tying it off out of the way, I bought a hose connector at a performance store. Drilled the proper sized hole in the box and plumbed it through the box, the suction of the cone will keep the diff cool and prolong wear.

Slip in the DryFlow cone into the box, make sure the line and angle of cone and tube match. Tighten the O-ring. Now you can slide left side of tube and rubber sleeve onto the intake inlet of engine. Tighten O-rings, slip engine cover back on and bolt down. The air box has a plastic bolt on cover which I will replace with an aluminum cover that will provide a tighter seal. DON’T FORGET TO RECONNECT BATTERY!

The AEM “BRUTE FORCE” system looks very impressive. AEM’s site diagram shows a peak of 18 xtra ponies and an additional 25 ft lbs of torque! Now combine that with a free flow dual rear exhaust and you can rumble with the big boys. The exhaust was recently installed but camera was down for the install.

The combination of the two will actually increase the performance gains from the AEM alone.

I take a trip to Red Rock Canyon, right outside of Las Vegas. The Titan had significantly more power and quicker throttle response. The Titan actually seemed like it had just got back from a vacation from a spa and lost a thousand pounds! It was much lighter and accelerated with an arrogant swagger. I opt to try a formidable trail known as “Potato Hill” or “Old Road to Pahrump”. It was after a few good days of much needed rain. Word on the trail, it was “Impassable”, and should not be attempted alone. I personally witnessed a few SUVs retreat and heard tell of a lifted truck needing rescue. Even though I forgot my winch and high lift jack at home, I swung my new AEM cockiness over my shoulder and went for it. Here is where the added torque was evident as it helped up the steep inclines and blast out of a potential stranding in unsuspecting rock bed.

I was so excited on completing this trail in my vehicle. The second trail, afterwards and before the highway, I knew like the back of my hand. I attacked it with reckless abandon. The “BRUTE FORCE” screamed down the trail. Carving up the switchbacks and jamming down the long power line trails topping out at 103mph!!!!!!

TWO THUMBS UP for AEM. It is totally worth the $300 ticket I got from a ranger that I unknowingly was chased by for 8 miles to the end of the trail. LOL

GO GET SOME BRUTE FORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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