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6.0 PowerStroke Intake Elbow Upgrade Guide

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As with just about any turbodiesel engine, the Ford 6.0 PowerStroke responds well to simple bolt-on performance upgrades. We previously wrote about the 7 best 6.0L PowerStroke upgrades, and an intake elbow didn’t quite make that list. There are certainly much better power mods like a tune, intake, and exhaust. However, a 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow can be a great, inexpensive addition to help magnify airflow and power gains.

In this article, we discuss Ford 6.0L diesel intake elbows, benefits of upgrading, and whether or not they’re worthwhile performance mods. We also discuss and recommend a few of the best 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbows.

What is an Intake Elbow?

The 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow may also be referred to as the intake horn. It’s a simple pipe that connects the cold-side intercooler piping to the intake manifold. Ultimately, there isn’t anything special about the 6.0L diesel intake horn – it’s just another piece of intake piping.

However, intake elbows are a popular topic due to the rather poor design (more on that in a moment) of the factory part. It’s one of the bottlenecks in the 6.0 PowerStroke intake system, and can be a great upgrade to ensure smooth, efficient airflow.

6.0 PowerStroke Intake Horn Benefits

Benefits of upgrading the 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow include:

  • Small power & torque gains
  • Improved airflow
  • Lower EGT’s
  • Faster turbo spool
  • Addition of NPT ports

Upgrading the Ford 6.0 diesel intake horn can offer small gains of roughly 2-7 horsepower and torque. This mainly comes from the improved airflow & a more efficient design that eliminates the restrictions of the factory intake horn. In turn, this helps lower exhaust gas temperatures and allows the turbocharger to spool faster.

Another important benefit of upgrading the 6.0 PowerStroke intake horn is the addition of NPT ports. These ports allow easy installation of sensors, gauges, methanol injection, and much more. It’s important to note – you can tap the factory intake horn for these same purposes. However, intake elbow upgrades with existing ports make life much simpler.

Lastly, we didn’t mention this above since they aren’t true benefits, an intake horn is a relatively inexpensive and easy to install modification. Most 6.0L PowerStroke intake elbows are around $100-150 and are easy to install. Even though benefits may be minor it can still be a worthwhile upgrade due to its simplicity and low cost compared to other 6.0 diesel mods.

Why is the Factory Intake Elbow a Restriction?

Factory Ford 6.0L PowerStroke Intake Elbow

The factory intake horn on the 6.0 PowerStroke has an abrupt 90° angle (as shown above). It also tapers down to a diameter of just under 2.5″ – compared to the 3″ piping before and after the intake horn. In essence, the sharp angle and smaller diameter create two bottlenecks within the factory elbow.

An upgraded 6.0L diesel intake horn provides the above benefits by eliminating the restrictions in the stock intake elbow. Rather than a sharp 90° angle, an intake elbow upgrade should have a smooth, gentle angle and maintain a 3″ diameter. This allows for maximum airflow and can help improve performance, especially on heavily modded 6.0L PowerStroke’s where every little bit helps.

Best 6.0 PowerStroke Intake Elbow Upgrades

With much of the background information out of the ways it’s time to move onto some of the best 6L PowerStroke intake horns. Please note – there are dozens are great intake elbows on the market and we don’t have the time or space to mention every single one. As such, this list is condensed to a couple of PowerStroke intake elbows that we believe offer the best balance of price, quality, and performance.

6.0 PowerStroke Intake Horn Upgrades

1) Boosted Performance 6.0 PowerStroke Intake Horn

The Boosted Performance intake elbow is a simple, inexpensive upgrade for the 6.0L PowerStroke diesel. It maintains a near 3″ internal diameter with a smooth bend for the best airflow increase. This intake horn is made from aluminum with CNC mandrel bends and a TIG welded billet flange. It features a wrinkle black finish for clean looks and minimal heat transfer.

At $99 the Boosted Performance 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow offers a great value. However, this upgrade does not feature any NPT ports so that’s the one potential downside if you’re looking for convenient NPT ports. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a inexpensive intake elbow for the improved airflow then the Boosted Performance option is a great pick.

Price: $99 & free shipping

Buy Here: Boosted Performance 6.0 PowerStroke Intake Horn Upgrade

2) Pusher Intakes 6.0L PowerStroke Intake Elbow

Pusher Intakes offers a clean 6.0 PowerStroke intake horn with a few various options. Much like the Boosted Performance upgrade, this intake elbow maintains a near 3″ internal diameter with smooth mandrel bent aluminum piping.

It’s a little more expensive at $169.90 for the standard upgrade, but gives the option to add two 1/8″ NPT ports for an additional $20. There are also 8 unique powder coat finishes for an extra $25. Add all this and it brings the price to $215, which is a bit pricey for an intake elbow upgrade. However, it’s a good option if you want unique colors and NPT ports for sensors, gauges, etc.

Price: $169.90-$214.90

Buy Here: Pusher 6.0 Diesel Intake Elbow

Ford 6.0L Diesel Intake Elbow FAQ

Is a 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow upgrade worth it?

Yes, we believe 6.0L PowerStroke intake elbows are worth the upgrade considering the inexpensive $100 cost. That’s especially true with heavy mods where every little bit helps. However, power gains can be minimal, especially on lightly modified trucks, so it ultimately depends on your goals and budget.

What does an intake elbow do?

Aftermarket intake elbows are designed to maximize airflow, improve turbo spool, and lower EGT’s. This is accomplished by eliminating restrictions in the factory design, such as the smaller 2.5″ diameter and sharp 90° angle of the 6.0 PowerStroke intake horn.

How much horsepower does a 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow add?

Power gains from an intake horn range from about 2-7 horsepower. Most likely won’t see or feel any massive horsepower difference from a 6.0 PowerStroke intake elbow upgrade. The main bottleneck is the intake manifold and heads. However, heavily modified 6.0L diesels may see small gains from an intake horn.

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