K&N Air Filter


Old 06-03-03, 11:42 AM
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K&N Air Filter

Are they worth the extra cost with regard to performance enhancement? Thanks
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Old 06-03-03, 11:54 AM
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No. And they let more dirt into the engine over a regular air filter.

Zero benefit. Stick with the stock filter. 10 times better in the long run.

An air filter will net you zero real HP gain.
Old 06-03-03, 05:35 PM
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I think k and n air filter is fine as long as you keep it properly oiled and cleaned,and it will add more horsepower,not as much as they say unless you have ram air or a super charger,but think about it,a motor needs fuel,spark,and air to run,the easier the air gets threw the better it will run,put your hand over the hose where the air goes into the engine,tell me what happens,it stall,so when you put a k and n in its like letting more of your hand off.oh if your worried about the long term effects the air burns in the engine so the only extra care i would consider with a k and n is throttle body service more often
Old 06-03-03, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
what I saw

I don't know but I saw a demonstration of K&N versus stock Fram.What it was a ping pong ball in a plastic see thru tube with a computer fan for air flow. When I switched to K&N the ping pong ball went way up the tube with the stock filter it barley moved. I am not sure on how they clean the air but they do flow it better.
I don't have one now but I did on my 89 Chevy pickup. I thought it was kinda a hassle to clean and re oil.
I had to wait for the water to evaporate before I sprayed on more oil. I did find a way to speed up the process by installing it in truck and starting it and just letting it idle and the air going over the wet filter would dry it.
Then I could remove it and oil it was kinda a pain. I think I will stick with stock stuff easy remove and replace.
Old 06-03-03, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 164
Many years ago, there was a debate about this very topic in the newsgroups. Last comment I remember reading was from a guy who serviced those huge Catapillar earth destroying machines.

They used a K&N for more power and ultimately went back
to normal paper filters since they were experiencing a lot
of accelerated engine wear despite religiously following the mfr's
instructions in oiling, etc. Granted we're not driving in
dirt all day, this is a strong indication of what happens
in the long run.

If engine longevity is not in your long term interest, you can "probably" enjoy some gain, but given all the MAF and computers these days, I question if there isn't something your
computer does to compensate for air flow already and
whether you'd notice anything at all...

gotta take those marketing testimonies with a grain of salt...

Old 06-03-03, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
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K and N have a reputation for fouling a MAF sensor because of the oil. That alone is reason enought for me to not use one.

I think they are better suited to race cars that 'need' high air flow for their sup'ed up engines. And those race cars don't have MAF sensors, and those race engines don't have to last for 200,000 miles like the car you drive to work.

If you want cleaner air going into your engine (which is good by the way), then change your paper filter twice as often or four times as often.
Old 06-04-03, 03:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
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I have seen with my own eyes rear wheel gain on a dyno with a K&N. We use K&N at work and have seen no adverse affects on our large fleet, and the same of trucks are making it TBO times as did before we started with K&Nís.
Old 06-04-03, 02:13 PM
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Simple. More air flow=more dirt and junk going in.

Delco and other paper filters are the way they are for a reason---they trap dirt .

I believe I remember K&N ADMITTING that more dirt gets into engine due to the increased flow.

With the oiling and other things you have to do, you also run the risk as mentioned by fouling up the MAF sensor and gumming the throttle body. On a OBDII car this can be a major gazorch.

I'll take my stock Delco filters, thank you.

Weld: The gain you saw by JUST the air filter was minimal. Now a RamAir system would be a different story .
Old 06-06-03, 03:12 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
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Yes I agree that more dirt gets in the engine, but our trucks work most of the time on dirt roads and we have seen no more ACTUAL damage with the K&Nís than with paper on our fleet of mostly diesel motors. I am sure there is a theoretically more damage due the the dirt, but on tear down you can tell any difference. I think the HP gain was like 6HP at the rear wheels with just the K&N and 20-something with K&N and new exhaust the test truck was a 5.3 Liter 2000 Silverado 4x4. My dad got 50HP out of his 2003 Mach 1 with a ram air, under drive pulleys, exhaust, and a new throttle body.
Old 06-06-03, 03:37 AM
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K&N won't get any of my business. . NO chance I'll ruin the numbers matching block on my 79 T/A due to letting more air into the engine.

BTW: What you described were package upgrades netting you those gains. There are free mods out there for the Chevy small blocks that net the SAME gains and don't let more dirt into the engine. LOL.
Old 06-06-03, 03:44 PM
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The K&N air filter sucks in more air into the engine. Your HP gain is depending on the car & design. For example, if your car generates lot of heat near the air intake, you would be sucking up more hot air. in return, it actually huts the performance of the car.

Well designed filter system should provide some way of reducing the hot air intake. Either using a long ram extension away from the heated components or providing some type of heat shield around the intake system.

From my experience, it would not shorten the life of the engine compare to the stock paper based filter.
Old 06-06-03, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 164
OK, I've held my breath long enough before jumping in again :-)

Not to add more fuel to this thread but if you notice, most of the "significant" HP "gains" are at the top end of the rpm range where the engine is sucking the most air. Are people always redlining their engines?

On the other hand, how often does one need to run enough air through a paper filter to need to levitate a ping-pong ball? We're not running jet aircraft engines here guys!....or at least I'm not! LOL! (maybe that's why I'm always the guy eating dust with my 4-banger :-( )

I think I can get equivalent HP gain by simply driving on an empty tank of gas and leaving my spare tire in the garage. Didn't someone do an analysis and say every 10lbs shed is equivalent to 1hp gain? (or something like that... I can't remember)

If the original car mfr engineers decided so much air flow was needed and justified, they would have designed in bigger filters. Or as a minimum, they would have designed in K&N equivalent filters at the outset. But they didn't!! Afterall, everyone knows that horsepower is a significant parametric that ultimately sells a car. You could argue cost, but for the few extra $$ it costs to put in a K&N one could argue that the extra HP would sell more cars...So there must be a *real* strong reason behind them not doing it.

And of all the testimonies out there regarding no detrimental effect on the life of an engine... how does one really measure that? I can have 200Kmiles on a engine that had hardly any compression left when it hit 50Kmiles, and I can have another with 200Kmiles that runs like new. Yet both still run and get me to where I need to go. Both still 'work' and still have 'life'. no?

flame on :-)

Old 06-07-03, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
Consider the fact that an engine damage or engine performance warranty claim could be denied from using performance parts.I'm getting tired of cleaning oil off MAF sensors or replacing MAF sensors because of K&N filters.People actually remove the screen from the throttle body on cars thinking the airflow helps them,when in fact it increases unwelcome turbulence into the intake airstream affecting MAF sensor performance.BTW the ping pong ball thing is called a marketing ploy.
Old 06-08-03, 09:52 PM
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davo is right on the money, i personally have replaced a mass air flow sensor due to k&n oil on the wire, the customer laughed at me, i took my (rarely)clean finger and wiped the oil off to show him, no more laughing! just by replacing the sensor(and the stock airbox) all his lack of power complaints went away. yes they can flow more air, will you notice it, more than likely not. putting a cone filter in place of a stock airbox will draw the hot air off the radiator and condensor and that you will notice as a lack of power (as the car warms up)and possibly even a slight pinging in the engine, depending on the vehicle of course. i have very little oil on my filter and i have the filter stuck behind the headlight with a long tube to draw in colder air(buick grand national).
on to paper air filters...you get what you pay for here, i've seen many that didn't even fit the airbox right, with a 3/8" gap, why even have an air filter? consider this, if a vehicle manufacturer can save 3 cents by not putting one clip on a wiring harness multiplied by 500,000 cars they make that year, they're going to eliminate it to save money, yet their air filters cost so much, it's a very small price to pay compared to your engine. i work in a dealer and install oem parts, when i hold one up to what i'm taking out would make some people take notice, the quality of the paper and even the size of the pleats is way different

ok, after slightly bashing k&n (on certain applications)and boasting 'stock' air filters, why do i run a k&n? my stock airbox was tiny and the amount of air my large turbo was sucking in needed the upgrade and yes i did feel a difference in the higher rpms, that is also why i plumbed it to behind the headlight, away from the under hood 'heat'!

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