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Old 11-11-2003, 02:34 PM   #1
microtonal
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Air Filters - Performance vs Restriction

There have been some debates on this forum about certain air filters being better than others performance wise.

Well, I have some questions.

1.
If an air filter is less restrictive( by means of larger holes in the filter or less filtering material) and allows more air, doesn't this defeat the purpose of the air filter(to remove dirt and contaminets BEFORE it reaches the engine) ?

2.
Seems that some people prefer less retrictive air filters because they are better/less retrictive and give you more air for performance but for everyday driving, can't this be bad since U are allowing more dirt and contaminets in to the engine that would normally be filtered out by a more restrictive air filter ?

3.
In the long run, aren't U just killing/damaging your engine quicker by allowing more dirt and contaminets in to your engine when you use a high-flow/less retrictive air filter ?


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Old 11-11-2003, 02:36 PM   #2
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Seems like questions you should be asking k&n or fram...
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Old 11-11-2003, 02:55 PM   #3
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In theory you are correct, but you make one major assumption, that the less restriction means less clean air.

Most air filters that come in a car, are made of some sort of foam or fiber material close to it, perhaps a cotton material.

However, several manufacturers make air filters with different materials, and use oils and other treatments to do so. It isn't so much that just the air pass more freely but that it remains as clean or better than the filter prior to it also.
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Old 11-11-2003, 03:06 PM   #4
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It's different filtration and not simply a more porous filter element. A stock filter is basically paper or tightly woven fibers which uses the size of the "pores" (or gaps between the fibers) to block particles above a certain micron in size. Most aftermarket filters are foam filters which do have larger "pores" for airflow, but utilize an oil mixture to stick passing particles to the filter instead of just blocking large particles. The more particles of debris that the foam filter picks up closes the "pores" and actually increases filtration. Since the foam filter relies on the sticky oil instead of the size of the "pores", it actually catches particles smaller than a stock filter while maintaining higher airflow.

Obviously both filters have their own negative aspects.
1) neither can catch all particles
2) foam filter can dry out and lose filtration ability but a recharge kit will solve this
3) a stock filter cannot be cleaned and re-used so once it's clogged, it's time to get a new one which could be after a week of use if you drive down a lot of dusty roads
4) a foam filter fades in color when it's time to "recharge"
5) a stock filter does not have any indication of when it's dirty and when you finally can see it's dirty, it's probably been "replacable" for a long time
6) etc.
7) etc.
8) etc.....I agree, you should go to the K&N website for more info if you want it...
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Old 11-11-2003, 03:08 PM   #5
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http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/airfilter/airtest1.htm for more info. than you want to read about for air filters.
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Old 11-11-2003, 05:08 PM   #6
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eh there are some decent info on focussport under the itg panel filter, although i wouldnt doubt if some of it is slightly biased
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Old 11-11-2003, 09:21 PM   #7
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Stock air cleaners are not necessarily restrictive because of the FILTER they are using, some have noise dampeners that restrict air flow.
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Old 11-12-2003, 07:19 AM   #8
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I use K&N on everything I own, when you go to any type of racing event, be it cars boats, motorcycles , whatever, all you see are k&n's or one of the many knock off brands that also work fine..the k&n reps will actually tell you that their filters work better the dirtier they get ( to a pooint)...I'm not trying to rag on anyone, but this is one of the greatest things on the web that is argued to death with perhaps as much as 90 % of the info out there being all bad...The foam filters are also okay but I prefer the K&N for a few small advantages, and I've seen 20 year old k&n's you could still use, the foam begins to degrade before that.
Run the K&n and don't worry several million of us are just fine with them .
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:46 PM   #9
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they've (K&N) got a million mile warranty right? As long as you don't tear the filter (and saying it's the same size), you can transfer it to your next car and just buy a recharge kit. A million miles for most drivers would be like 50 years of driving (I doubt it really lasts that long though).
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:53 PM   #10
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Some people have said that a cone filter is better flowing than a K&N panel filter.
For arguments sake, what if the cone filter and K&N panel filter have the same cfm rating, will this still be true or will both be equal ?
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