Product Review: Volant Cold Air Intake

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We found out about the Volant’s new cold air intake for the 5.7L Tundra on TundraTalk.net, a nice forum for Tundra owners. After reading a few positive reviews from forum members, we contacted Volant and asked them if they might be interested in allowing us to review their product. They gladly accepted, and a brand new cold air intake arrived at our door.

Volant Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8Our first impressions of the Volant intake were positive. Opening the package, we were amazed at just how simple this kit is. There’s the air box, duct, filter, some clamps, a hose connector, and some nuts and bolts. The air box’s chrome surface (see photo) is covered with plastic film to protect the finish as you install the kit — a nice touch. There’s also a brochure and some very rudimentary instructions.

Speaking of instructions, installation is brutally simple. This has definitely got to be one of the highlights of this kit. Simply remove the stock air filter, engine cover, loosen a couple of clamps, unplug a couple of hoses, remove a couple of bolts, and the factory box is out of the truck. Next, you assemble the air box, bolt it into place, and reconnect all the hoses. One complaint we have – and it’s minor – is that the instructions themselves are pretty poor. They tell you how to get the job done, but we think someone should go through them and fill-in a couple of the blanks. The quality of the instructions themselves is also lacking — they look like they were made on an old zerox machine. Finally, the pages of instructions were actually stapled in the wrong order. Like we said, it’s a minor complaint — install is really easy — but the value of the kit might be a little higher if the instructions were higher quality (both in material and clarity).

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Volant Air Intake Toyota Tundra Installation video

One of the other problems we have with this kit has to do with Toyota’s engine cover. First of all, in Volant’s defense, the piece of plastic that is supposed to “look like” an engine is stupid. It’s just there so that when a salesman opens the hood of the truck, he doesn’t forget the engine size and the customer can nod appreciatively and say “yes, that’s the 5.7L alright”. Basically, the engine cover is completely useless. Anyways, the problem here (and it’s minor) is that Volant’s air intake takes up some of the space that the engine cover needs to rest in. Volant provides a higher stud for the engine cover to attach to, but it’s not as solid as the factory setup. It’s not a big deal — the engine cover doesn’t do anything, doesn’t support anything, and really doesn’t need to be attached very tightly — but it would be nice if they had a solution that was a little more clever.

Fit and finish on the rest of the kit is excellent – the air box is flush against the fender and completely sealed so that only cool outside air can make it into the engine. [We’ve since been informed that the kit doesn’t completely seal against the fender. There is a small gap. Our tests indicate the gap doesn’t effect performance, but it should be noted.] This is a major selling point for Volant – they have studies that show most air boxes (both OEM and after market) let hot engine gases seep into the air the engine breathes, raising the air’s temperature and thus decreasing performance.

We have to say that the Volant kit looks awesome — it’s much more impressive than the factory air box and it looks a lot nicer than other air intakes we’ve seen. Sure, looks aren’t everything, but who doesn’t like to show off a cool accessory under the hood?

Volant Cold Air Intake for Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 installed

The air filter inside this kit is also a selling point for Volant. Unlike many competing companies, Volant’s PowerCore air filter is not made from cotton gauze. Instead, hundreds of staggered flutes catch 99.95% of the particulates that can damage your motor, and it does so without needing to be oiled periodically. Volant warranties their PowerCore air filters for 4 years or 100k miles, and they offer their filters in sizes that are compatible with air intakes from K&N, AEM, etc. We like the idea of a dry filter (cleaning and re-oiling filters is never fun or interesting), and we are intrigued by Volant’s claim that their filter allows better flow while catching more particulate matter.

So let’s get down to brass tax — how did the intake perform? When we first started the truck, we were amazed at how quite the Volant intake is. Whether sitting at idle or cruising down the highway, we didn’t notice any additional noise from under the hood. However, when you floor the throttle, you can hear the engine sing. Without exaggeration, you just can’t help but smile under full throttle. The sound is so pleasing to the ear, it’s like driving a race car. Very cool. We’d have to say the price of the kit might just be worth the sound alone.

YouTube Preview Image
Sounds of the Volant Air Intake for the Toyota Tundra – watch the video to hear the intake in operation.

Additionally, we noticed faster throttle response. Before, our test vehicle hesitated slightly on changes in throttle. With the Volant intake installed, response was almost instantaneous. The truck also felt quicker, both from a dead stop and as we accelerated on the highway. Overall, the kit seemed to make a big difference and it felt very good to drive.As far as horses are concerned, Volant claims the kit will add as much as 21hp to your Tundra’s 5.7L engine. They’ve even got the dyno graph to prove it. Looking closely at Volant’s graph, it looks like the air intake added about 14 hp at 5000 rpm, and nearly 18 hp at 5300 rpm. Our own results basically mirrored that result, but with lower magnitude. We recorded an 8 hp gain at 5000 rpm, and about 10 hp at 5350 rpm. Considering our base truck was making about 287 hp that day, and that the base truck in the Volant test was making nearly 300, we’re thinking that better conditions might have yielded better results (at least for our tests). But, like any cold air intake kit, the manufacturer’s estimates are always a little optimistic. Nonetheless, the difference we felt in power before and after was substantial. We think you can plan on seeing a gain of at least 5-10 hp, with some owners experiencing the full 21 hp Volant reports.Volant intake Tundra performance dyno graph
Click for larger view.

All in all, we like the Volant kit. It looks good, sounds good, drives good, and improves performance. We’re extremely confident in telling current Tundra owners that the Volant kit will add power. Like we said in our Tundra air intake guide, the factory air intake is pretty decent. But if you’re looking for a little more power, a more aggressive sounding truck (at least on WOT), or if you want to maximize horsepower gains from other accessories, installing a cold air intake makes sense.

Bottom Line: We really like the look and sound of the Volant kit. Installation is a breeze, and engine performance and throttle response were noticeably improved. We like Volant’s dry air filter, and we’ve read a lot of positive user reviews of the product. We do think the instructions could be a little nicer, and we wish they would have come up with a better way to accommodate the factory engine cover, but overall we will recommend this kit. Be sure to shop around before buying, as we found prices ranging from $360 to more than $500. NOTE: After completing this review, we learned that the kit does not seal against the fender completely. Our tests indicate the kit does add power, and we still like the look and sound, but it must be noted that the kit’s “fit and finish” is not as nice as we first reported. We’re not going to revoke our endorsement because of this issue because the kit does add power — we’ve proven that thru testing — but make sure you get this kit for discount.

Here’s a link to the least expensive Volant Cold Air Intake System we found for the new Tundra.

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra AccessoriesTundra Videos

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  1. Michael says:

    I opted for the TRD kit and had Toyota install it. Their intake also encroaches on the plastic engine cover … Toyota’s install included cutting the interfering plastic.

  2. Thanks for the great information. The video has helped me a lot. Keep up the great work.

  3. john ortiz says:

    correct me if im wrong but whats the different if you were just to add a K+N air filter element into the stock air box besides looks? Yeah it gets cold air but most stock air box systems are already like that. If anything The only advantage i see is the intake piping eliminating the ripples. I think Ill go with a K+N drop in and keep everything stock looking. Ill just have to make sure there’s not too much oil in the K+N filter so it doesnt damage my MAF sensor.

  4. […] Gas Mileage Increase–Thanks Volant Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | tundraheadquarters.com Here’s a site that has an install video among some other things on the Volant. I guess it’s ok to […]

  5. […] Volant Cold Air Intake: If you read our Toyota Tundra Volant air intake review, you know we liked this kit. It makes the Tundra sound mean, look mean (at least […]

  6. myersob says:

    OK… fess up. Did the inlet Reeeaaally fit the fender wall without a gap, I mean really? I won’t accuse anyone of telling a lie, maybe the testers didn’t check, but I seriously doubt it. I just got off the phone with Volant. Not only do they acknowledge the mis-fit, but they arrogantly informed me that if I didn’t like it… return it! So, I am. At least I can return the POS but… Shame on any forum that does not offer the reader’s all the accurate info.

  7. admin says:

    Myersob,

    I gotta admit I didn’t look at the bottom of the fender wall/intake, so I guess it’s possible that the intake didn’t fit flush. Where did you see the gap?

  8. myersob says:

    With your belly button against the passenger side fender and the element removed, reach around, into the air box and through to the inside of the fender wall to Volant inlet interface. The gap will be at about 4:00 or 5:00 o’clock. Be careful, none of this is worth a cut finger!

  9. […] JBA, Borla (two part #s needed), and TRD (two parts #s as mentioned). Intakes include TRD, Airaid, Volant, and afe. There are others of both out there, but this should get you started. This link might be […]

  10. […] Aftermarket CAI – why louder? Here is a link with independent dyno testing of the Volant CAI.Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | tundraheadquarters.com djb383, I’m afraid that your logic is incorrect. Think of it this way. If you have 2 times the […]

  11. crashfrog says:

    How does the Volant compare to the TRD CAI? HP? Torque? MPG? Anybody know?

  12. Chris says:

    i think the trd claims 8 hp. i got it and i love it. but no in cab noise, wish there was.

  13. crashfrog says:

    Yeah, I ended up getting the TRD as well and am very happy with the performance. It didn’t do much for the sound (little bit more growl when stomping it), but I’m getting a Corsa exhaust that should do the trick.

  14. admin says:

    We don’t have any test data on the TRD CAI, but it’s clear that they’re very comparable. One person we know had both on his truck, and he told us it was very close.

    To be honest, part of the reason to buy a CAI is the interior noise – the engine sounds sweeeettttt. I haven’t driven a TRD CAI yet, but if it’s pretty quiet, that’s one more reason to go with the Volant.

  15. Michael says:

    I got the TRD CAI and love it. Increase in noise level is minimal, but it does produce a high pitched whistle that sounds like a turbo charger. Toyota installed it so I had them check it out, they said it was normal. Anybody else experience a high pitched whistle?

  16. luke says:

    I bought the Volant intake – about the only quality-made component was the filter (Donaldson). The air tube-to-filter housing holes didn’t line up (figured this out after I removed my stock airbox). Considering that this flange was post-filter, there should be a good seal – this is hard to achieve when the holes don’t line up…not going to try drilling them out. I’m exchanging for a K&N 77.

  17. m3kw9 says:

    The engine cover is not “Completely Useless”. The purpose is to help the cooling of the engine on how the air flows over it.

    Remove it and you may see higher than normal or your coolant decrease faster than usual.

  18. admin says:

    mskw9 – Didn’t know that. Good tip. Thank you. The cover also provides some sound deadening, but that falls in the “useless category” when you’re adding an air intake intended to make the engine louder. However, combined with your point that would make the cover useful.

    Tell me, do you have any idea how important the engine cover is to cooling? I’m wondering if older vehicles that don’t have engine covers would benefit from them for cooling purposes…

  19. MIL says:

    why cant volant go back to the enginnering table and fix or redesign the fender gap issue? easy as that.

  20. Russ says:

    That engine cover is not going to help cool the engine. The coolant is used for cooling a water cooled motor. You would not want to alter the fan shroud that would affect engine cooling. The only time an engine shroud or cover is used for engine cooling is on and air cooled motor, like your lawn mower engine.

  21. Willy T. says:

    I just put my Volant on last week. There is indeed a very small gap at the bottom of the seal to the fender well. Anyone with a little mechanical inclination can hit the hardware store for a little foam rubber weather seal and BAM, problem solved..$2.50. I love the Volant. Even if there were no HP gain or gas mileage improvement the sound is so freakin’ awesome I think it’s worth the money ! Oh yeah, it is a little tough getting the screws to mate up for the inlet pipe to the filter housing. Especially the last one. It can be done though…(18v Dewalt impact driver) Again I have to say…LOVE IT.

  22. admin says:

    Willy T – Good comment. We liked the sound too. The gap issue is an easy fix, but that’s all the more reason for Volant to address it themselves.

  23. Robert says:

    Hi everybody,

    Can anybody help with a video clip of TRD CAI installed so we can compare sounds ?

    Thanks!

  24. Robert – Unfortunately, we have not installed one so we don’t have anything for you. A quick YouTube search revealed nothing.

  25. Mickey says:

    Robert I think there is one on Tundratalk.net.

  26. […] Re: TRD Cold Air Intake Here is another link review about the volant CAI. Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | tundraheadquarters.com […]

  27. […] saved to help with the installation. To whoever got the CAI you might want to check this out… Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | tundraheadquarters.com Nice thing about this site is that they mentioned TundraTalk.net in the first sentance! Have […]

  28. Sean says:

    I am looking into installing the Banks ” Monster ” Split dual exhaust system, along with the Volant CAI w/ the powercore, and possibly some custom headers. Not sure about throttle body spacers? Any opinion on this set-up? Anyone have something similiar? Also, any reccomendations on the headers?
    2008 Tundra 4X4 Crewmax Limited in Slate Metallic on Gray Leather!! Oh Yeah!

  29. Sean – We vote ‘No’ on throttle body spacers – there’s not much point with a modern fuel injection engine setup. As for headers, we have been told that JBA makes a great set. Banks is a trusted name, and the Volant kit ads lots of power (but the AFE kit is a little nicer and comparable). Good luck – can’t wait to see some pics on TundraNetwork.com!

  30. Chris says:

    I purchased this, installed it myself (very simple install). I noticed that my engine was whistling more than it did when I first installed the filter. Opened the top of the box, and I found that the filter had fallen off. I put it back on, this time I made extra sure to put it nice and snug. Fell off after 1 day of driving. I don’t know why it keeps falling off. I put it on again, and broke the glue ring in the filter. My thoughts to everyone, check your filters! Be sure that they are still on!

  31. Mickey says:

    What brand you purchased Chris?

  32. Chris – We had the same experience when testing the K&N intake. I think it’s because of the cheap hose clamps favored by these manufacturers.

  33. […] and review Tundra HQ. Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | Tundra Headquarters __________________ 2008 DC SR5 4X4 5.7 L Iforce. Nerf Bars, DEI 2X Remote Alarm Remote Start […]

  34. tundranut says:

    Just wondering not too sure what cold intake to go for, brother has a K&N and loves it, but i just found out about this Volant and it sounds pretty cool. whats best for the buck? thanks

  35. tundranut – Check out the aFe – http://www.tundraheadquarters......ir-intake/ – that’s our favorite.

  36. paul says:

    hi i was just wondering if u have tested the airaid intake?

  37. paul – Unfortunately, no.

  38. Chris says:

    Sorry it took me a while to get back to this post. The intake that I have is a Volant. I contacted Volant, and they gave me a new air filter. I installed it, left the cover open on it to be sure that I could tell if and when it fell off. One month later, the filter was still on, so I put the lid on. This past weekend, for giggles, I wanted to be extra sure that baby was still on, and sure enough…it fell off. I work off road almost all day, and I’m wondering if this air filter setup doesn’t give the filter enough “bite” were it connects to the air intake tube. It seems that a good month or two of bouncing around is enough to wiggle this thing right off. I’m going to try some RTV silicone this time when I put it back on, hoping that it will give it some tactness to hold on to. I have a funny feeling that I’m going to be putting my stock air intake back on in the next week or so.

  39. Chris – Good comment – I hope the silicone sealant does the trick.

  40. steve says:

    I just completed install of the Volant on a 2010 SR5 DC with the 5.7. With reading the reviews it looks like they made an attempt to repair the sealing problem with the fender well. Mine came with a foam (about a 1/2″ with adhesive on one side) to fit on between filter housing and the fender well. I don’t know if the older models had this piece with them. This is 9-2-09 that i completed the install. The noise is definitely noticeable, if you can keep the rpms under 2000 taking off at red lights you barely notice it. Other than that, give it up, The wife is like, “is something wrong with your truck???” It is heck trying to keep this mod from her. After a 200 mile trip, I want to say gas mileage is not hurt, but has not improved yet. I will give it a little more time and see. Thanks for all of the info you guys stick out here for us.
    zeeya2000
    tundrasolutions.com

  41. steve – Thanks for the info. It definitely sounds like Volant addressed the issue.

  42. Mike says:

    Word is that they are shipping this intake for $269 now. Check this out. http://www.tundratalk.net/foru.....t-cai.html

  43. kon says:

    yep just bought one from danny moniz for @269 shipped. was told group was over but still got the hook up! can’t wait to put on my 2010 rock warrior!

  44. […] are some links for those who want more info. Tundra HQ review of Volant List price is $449. A google search of "Tundra Volant Intake price" will give […]

  45. CHRIS says:

    any chance that Volant is going to come out with a CAI for a 4.6 Tundra? I like what I hear about it for the 5.7 and am very anxious to got one for my 4.6 4×4.

  46. Jason (Admin) says:

    Chris – I have no idea if Volant will make a 4.6 CAI, but I’m 90% certain K&N will have a kit for the 4.6L soon. They have kits for the 4.0 V6 and the old 4.7, so the odds are good.

  47. kevin says:

    i just finished put volant intake on my 10 tundra.I had the same problem that everybody here talk about the engine cover and the very end doesnt sit tightly to the fender.I tried to put it hard ,but still see the small gap between the intake and the fender.I wonder that will it be ok if I leave it like that,anyone know?Thanks

  48. Jason (Admin) says:

    Kevin – It’s fine to have a gap, just disappointing. Volant never responded to our comments about fit and finish…pretty sure that they don’t care.

  49. Andrew says:

    I am a little late joining these comments, but I wanted to let anyone know that I have installed the Volant CAI on my 2010 CrewMax with the 4.6L V8. The intake was the same model that is used on the 5.7L; I found this out by ordering one designated as ‘4.6’ and then the part came in with ‘5.7’ designations. I will say it sounded like the install was as simple as all previous comments with the annoying engine cover interferance and small gap on the fender. I will same that I am very pleased with the nice growl in the cabin after 2k rpm. I haven’t noticed much in mpg or power increase department, but I installed it the day after I put on a 3″ lift and 34″ tires.

  50. Rafael says:

    I just purchased my Volant CAI. I should get the shipment in couple of days. I will let you guys know how everything will work. 5 years later after people complaining about how it fits and other stuff. We will see if Volant fixed all the issues. If not, I am not above and beyond of shipping it back. I am not about spending money on parts that don’t fit right or have other issues.

  51. jaybob says:

    I purchased volant cold air intake for my 07 tundra and removed my pos k&n 77series that didn’t seal from engine. The volant kit come with a stud deal so it lifted up the engine cover so the tubing fit, looks great. It does have the fender gap. I plan to cover it up some how. Road test vs the k&n was way more power with the volant, low speeds its fast, but increasingly noticeable after 40 MPH my speed odometer rockets to 90. Way more power and better acceleration. I plan on checking gas mileage with volant, k&n didn’t change it any.

  52. Rafael says:

    Well I received my volant CAI couple of days ago. I didn’t have a chance to install it yet, it is too cold outside. Freezing hands and fingers lead to accidents plus I want to enjoy the install. My first impression after opening the box was “WoW”. I was amazed. This product look good on the photos, but in your hands up close it’s even better. Now here are the things people were complaining about. “No predrilled holes for air sensor”. Well tell you what, this problem is fixed if ever existed. Not only there are holes for it, but they molded metal washers into the plastic for better fastening, this also helps if you needed to remove the sensor from CAI couple of times for any of reasons. There are also included water resistant gaskets to put in between elements that attach one to another. This is for better seal so there is no air leaks or so water wouldn’t enter. This is more for people who do deep muddying or swamping. For that purpose I suggest you purchase the entire CAI set with snorkel attachment. Enough said, product is great and worth every penny from the first impression. I will update you guys on the install, how it went and my second impression of the Volant CAI.

  53. Rafael says:

    I am back with my update on the install and second impression of the Volant CAI. Finally weather allowed me to install my CAI 2 days ago, and I was able to drive tested it. I am not a mechanic, but I can do certain installs or minor repairs. Guys, install of the Volant CAI is like cutting into a cake. It is so easy and self-explanatory I could have my wife install it for me. People were complaining about the instructions that came with it. Well I got the same instruction because picture on it does look like it was copied 50 times over. This is not important or an issue, it is only a photo of already installed CAI under the hood. What is important, the blueprint scatch of how to do the install. This thing couldn’t be explained easier or better. Guys I just looked at the blueprint and new how to do it before I even got into reading step by step part. Another thing, if you pay attention how you removing your stock CAI, you shouldn’t have any issues installing the new one. I also noticed people didn’t know which way to install air sensor because it is not in the instruction and on the stock CAI it is installed vertical. People, if you can’t figure this out, you have no business of starting any installation. All you have to do is remember how the vertical\stock air sensor is installed, then imagine turning the tube by 60 degrees toward you until sensor will be in horizontal position because this is how it need to be installed on the Volant. So this is also easy part. Installing Volant, there is “NO ISSUE” what’s however. Volant provides extensions for the cover engine, so you can reinstall your cover back. To those who like to complain, the cover will be higher on the front of the engine, no big deal at all. If you find this to high, shorten provided extensions because they could be shorter, cover is lifted more than it need to be. So no issues here. The gap where fender meet the CAI box is there, but this is no Volant error I think. Volant is made to have another attachment to it called snorkel scoop, if you get that, there is a scoop adapter that attaches to the box. If you don’t want that part, the gap is an easy fix. It is only at the very bottom of the box. All you need to do, purchase of the foam with adhesive on one side and add no more than 2 extra strips at the bottom. If you decide to do this, give yourself a favor and make one strip inch or inch and half shorter than the first one. This will help you seal that gap better. Honestly, I see no problems with the product, people just complain too much because they probably don’t know what they doing. I am very happy and pleased with Volant CAI. It was an easy install, looks great, make my engine breathe and sound better. Couldn’t ask for more. I will be getting a snorkel scoop at some point because I like that terrain look. I strongly recommend this product to anyone. Good luck and enjoy it if you decide to get it. I know I am glad I went with the Volant.

  54. Rafael says:

    In short words my first and my second impressions are great. I am really amazed how this product look and what is prepared for. People having issue with the gap, that is because there is another attachment for the box on that end. Volant couldn’t shape that end to the shape of the fender. What they could do though, sale the snorkel adapter with the kit which would make more sense. They sale that when you purchase snorkel scoop instead. Gap can be fixed easy, just use some imagination, other issues people addressed were fixed by Volant company. If you have hard time reading blueprint scatch or have hard time figuring out how to install the air sensor, you shouldn’t do that by your self. Have a professional mechanic to do it for you. Other than this, product is worth every cent you paying for it. I think the best price\deal for it you can get from Auto-Anything. I hope my review was helpful to you all. I read bunch of complains from people, but decided to purchase it anyway, and now I am glad I did.

  55. Rich says:

    (We recorded an 8 hp gain at 5000 rpm, and about 10 hp at 5350 rpm. Considering our base truck was making about 287 hp that day, and that the base truck in the Volant test was making nearly 300)

    I am confeused.The 5.7 tundra advertieses at 381 hp stock?

    • Dustin says:

      Yes 381 hp and 401 torque. Those are at crank. On a dyno hp and torque is measured at wheels. In an automatic you lose abour 16% hp/torque per 100 hp. So you’ll lose roughly 80 hp buy the time the power is moved through the trans, drivetrain, and rear end to the wheels.

  56. […] Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | Tundra Headquarters Blog Bam Lawyered! Now i know you mentioned Low end HP but i was just stating in general power __________________ 2014 Tundra Platinum, 7" BDS Lift, 35" x 12.5" Procomp Xtreme MT, 20" x 9" BMF F.I.T.E 5 wheels, PowerAmp Running Boards, TRD Exhaust, Volant CAI, 46 Gallon Titan Tank, Rhino-liner, 20% Tinted front windows, Volant CAI, Hypertech Chip SOLD-2007 Toyota Dbl Cab SR5- 33" x 12.5" Procomp with 18" Fuel Hostage, Fender Flares, AFE Cold Air Intake […]

  57. […] this in your pipe and smoke it smart ass. Click on the link to see the gains and your sheet. Volant Cold Air Intake Toyota Tundra Product Review with Video and Sound | Tundra Headquarters Blog __________________ 2011 Tundra Crew […]

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