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Yes Matthews, RA is the cheapest I know of. I paid $179 delivered. I installed the AIS and the Walker BTM muffler #21470 in February. The truck now has better flow both in and out, therefore quicker acceleration and better engine coasting than before. I would say with both mods, around 1 MPG was gained. Performance is what is more noticeable.
Like I stated, I wash my engine often so that I can see problems when they arise, among other things. The appeal of a closed box vs. an open air filter should be a major point to people.
As far as airflow is concerned, a 7.3 that is not over 375 HP (being safe from calculations) needs a certain CFM rating that both filters in question allow easily. Any airflow over the required CFM is unnecessary and a mute point, like saying you would rather go outside to breathe because there is more air than inside your home.
A filter in a box with a snorkel air inlet will stay cleaner longer than an open air element filter under the hood. Engines are dirty, dust and grime get in there as anyone notices when they lift the hood. The trash will also settle on an open element filter therefore reducing its life. Although by a small margin, the AIS filter is more efficient and numbers back it up and I was determining the better of the 2. Being in a closed box and out of the engine filth, the AIS filter will last longer. Again, as long as the negative pressure does not exceed 20"H2O at your required CFM level, restriction levels are another mute point.
To sum it up, the AIS is better for most 7.3 owners because it has more than enough airflow, it has the longest service interval, it is the most efficient filter, the engine can be washed without having to cover a filter element, and the look of a Ford or Donaldson install kit looks OEM compared to a "floating" filter element.
Something else that I didn't read about was the air snorkel. I have noticed that even gas, non-turbo cars have air snorkels. If engines were meant to use under hood air, why would the auto makers bother to get outside air ONLY into the intake? I have heard the outside temps aren't that much different from under the hood but the intercooler temps after a cycle aren't that much different either. A little here and there must go a long way
2001 F-250 4X4 CC SB 7.3, 4R100 3.73, BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA, Motorcraft filters, Mile Marker manual hub locks w/ESOF (No hub "floating"), AIH delete, Rust-Oleum bed coating, Silverstar headlamps and 5000K LED lamp replacement interior, clear headlight assembly, Moog greaseable u-joints, Moog greaseable ball-joints, Moog front hub assemblies, retractable hitch in bed, original black CPS (BEST "mod" to have), Energy Suspension bushings, Red ELC, Edge Evolution, Walker BTM, Donaldson AIS