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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I DO APOLOGIZE FOR POSTING ON THIS SUBJECT AS IT IS VERY Controversial!! FOR THOSE THAT LIKE K&N THAT IS FINE., I AM JUST POSTING SOME PICTURES OF THE FILTERS UP TO LIGHT TO SHOW BETTER WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE. THE TEST BELOW IS A SAE TEST USING SEVERAL TYPES OF FILTERS AND DONE IN A LAB BY A PROFESSIONAL. TAKE IT FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH. NOTHING OR SOMETHING? I BY NO MEANS MADE THIS POST ABOUT BASHING K&N BUT MORE TO SEE THE DIFFERENCES IN THE 2, THAT IS WHY THE TITLE SAYS K&N VS. PAPER, NOT K&N IS CRAP. I MYSELF USE PAPER. GREAT!
I MYSELF AM SEARCHING FOR A HONEST TO GOODNESS ANSWER ON THESE FILTERS AS I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO USE THEM IF THEY REALLY WORK, SURE I WOULD LIKE TO SAVE MONEY WITH A RE-USABLE FILTER BUT IF IN-FACT THE FILTRATION IS NOT VERY GOOD IMO THERE IS NO POINT TO USING SINCE THE FILTER DOES NOT ACTUALLY GIVE ANY GAINS IN POWER FOR MPG. ANYWAYS THANKS AND SORRY AGAIN FOR DREDGING UP THIS SUBJECT


There has been many threads on this and I hope this one will shed some light (haha you will get it in a second) on the real issue with K&N!!

I believe It is all marketing. Sorry
Here is a Link to the Ed Hackett SAE test done on Paper filters and K&N.
http://www.roadkill.com/~davet/moto/air.filters.html
Actual data stolen from me from this website as that is my comment below the data.

As you can see from the test the K&N did not fair well.
here is why:

Photo 1 is a 164 K&N air filter put up to the sun. Can you see the gapping holes in it? Yes, that is what happens when K&N filters loose their oil due to dirt being caught in the oil and dropping to the bottom of the air box, now your sucking in micro particles into the intake which can spell disaster later.

BTW this filter is completely OILED! (only has about 5K miles on it and then it was removed and wrapped in plastic)



Now a Paper OE filter in the same direct sun light:


As we all know that have tried the K&N back in the day when we did not know any better, me included (hence the filter on hand) there is NO and I mean absolutely NO gain to this filter. Now the K&N marketing team has them being marketed as "environmental" filters!!! As heard on NPR's car talk!

Bare in mind that a paper filter will filter much better than a K&N reducing maintenance costs and or damage to your cylinder walls and more.
Be advised although the paper filter on rates a 2 in flow over the 5 in flow for the K&N, with the 164 OE intake system there is no noticeable improvement in Hp nor MPG. 99% of the time IMO I think it is all in the head. :)

Also notice the tighter folds in the OEM filter over the K&N which are BIG and round! I suspect that the reason for the smaller tighter sharper folded paper is much better with flow over the big round K&N, even though the K&N has a better slow rate, well it should with those big holes!!!

At $18 per OE filter per ever 30K or dependent on location sooner (dusty) is a cheap price to pay for good filtering.
The newer filters do flow much better than the older ones, and who knows the quality of the paper filter used in this SAE test. May not be as good as the OE 164 paper filter.


I hope that clears the air of these expensive, hype marketed, low quality filters which produce no real results and can ruin your motor, maybe not today but eventually some problem will be caused from using it.

Ciao Guys!
Jason
 

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Oh, no, not this again !!!

Just choose whatever filters (motor oil, spark plugs, ...) you think will work for you :)! But, having a filter is always better than no filter or a clogged filter :)!

Here's a limited time offer - $20 credit towards a new OEM paper filter:
I don't mind taking on two more K&N's (for our spiders though I should double check the size to make sure first). So for anybody who wants to get a new OEM paper filter, I'll offer $20 in exchange for your K&N in good condition (note: not a "really well" used and/or dirty one please :p)!

Ok, please continue the discussion ... ;)
 

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As I stated in another thread our cars have enough oil in the intake system without the K&N. I teched for a Toyota dealership for over five years and its all "smoke and mirrors"!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just choose whatever filters (motor oil, spark plugs, ...) you think will work for you :)! But, having a filter is always better than no filter or a clogged filter :)!

Here's a limited time offer - $20 credit towards a new OEM paper filter:
I don't mind taking on two more K&N's (for our spiders though I should double check the size to make sure first). So for anybody who wants to get a new OEM paper filter, I'll offer $20 in exchange for your K&N in good condition (note: not a "really well" used and/or dirty one please :p)!

Ok, please continue the discussion ... ;)
Sure,.I was hoping to make this the last discussion about them(yeah right). There has never been pictures posted before on the subject and since it was just discussed not to long ago I thought I would shoot some pictures finally instead of just saying they are bad and here is why.
Of course do whatever you want it's your money your car!

But now people can actually SEE why.

Lenard, Smoke and mirrors huh!? You got it! We where just talking about smoke and mirrors! :)
J
 

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Photo 1 is a 164 K&N air filter put up to the sun. Can you see the gapping holes in it? Yes, that is what happens when K&N filters loose their oil due to dirt being caught in the oil and dropping to the bottom of the air box, now your sucking in micro particles into the intake which can spell disaster later.
J, by any chance you also have a picture that shows "dirt being caught in the oil and dropping to the bottom of the air box"? - just wondering what I should look for or is this something in your imagination :)?

Please don't take this personally - let's keep this a technical discussion! Citing a couple quotes from the internet is not exactly what I call technical. K&N might not be one of the best filter to clean out particles (very subjective topic and depends on who you ask, many with DR title can talk on both sides), but by saying it will damage your engine sounds a little extreme unless you have some documented non-biased proofs! There're a lot of things one can do to shorten the life of the engine. But K&N filter? I would not worry too much about it. As I said before, I do not want to defend K&N and it is just an alternative choice for me. Yes, it is my money and they worth around $20 used and perhaps a few dollars more new to me - just sharing my opinion on them :)!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
J, by any chance you also have a picture that shows "dirt being caught in the oil and dropping to the bottom of the air box"? - just wondering what I should look for or is this something in your imagination :)?

Please don't take this personally - let's keep this a technical discussion! Citing a couple quotes from the internet is not exactly what I call technical. K&N might not be one of the best filter to clean out particles (very subjective topic and depends on who you ask, many with DR title can talk on both sides), but by saying it will damage your engine sounds a little extreme unless you have some documented non-biased proofs! There're a lot of things one can do to shorten the life of the engine. But K&N filter? I would not worry too much about it. As I said before, I do not want to defend K&N and it is just an alternative choice for me. Yes, it is my money and they worth around $20 used and perhaps a few dollars more new to me - just sharing my opinion on them :)!
Who's taking it personal? I think you read me wrong? "let's keep this a technical discussion". Uh thats what we have been doing? There is nothing here that has not been technical? Really not sure what you mean by that!???

Citing a couple of quotes from the internet? what? I sited a known SAE test that shows this! I have lost the original link to the research facility that did the test, so I sited the website above so I would not have to type all the info AGAIN!
If you do the research You will find that many trucking companies changed over to K&N thinking they where going to save big bucks on filters due to the number times they have to change them. They did oil analysis on the trucks and they cam back full of junk (can't remember exact junk) or dirt! Since then they replaced all the filters with the OE paper and did more oil analysis and concluded that the junk (thats my scientific term) was reduced big time!
I don' think that damage to the motor is that extreme! Maybe not damage the way your thinking? But ring damage, wall damage, bearing damage, pitting of valves over time. Sure the filter is there to clean the oil but it can't catch it all.

Obviously you believe in them, so use them as you are doing., But you as well have not shown any proof otherwise except your humble opinion! I am just stating a true SAE test done on the filter and you still doubt me.

As far as my imagination goes, just open your box in a few months and look down. The black balls covered in dirt is my imagination ripping the oil and dirt from your filter and settling at the bottom of the box while small particles enter your intake. :eek:
Plus K&N only rates a 3 for cleanability! So really your just putting back in a semi clean filter which actually could reduce airflow after many years of use while a paper is discarded for brand new.
I don't to me the K&N is just hype. Marketing flare if you will.
Do a little research on the internet which can be a place of many false information, but there is plenty of good information to be found if you can sift through the crap. Found tons of tests done on vehicles using K&N, with graphs, charts, oil read outs, bla bla that show the same findings as Mr hackett above.

But that's just my opinion with a reference to a SAE J726C Test Method.;)

You know the one that I cited: Ed Hackett [email protected]
The Desert Research Institute
DoD #0200 WMTC BMWRA DIOC Reno, Nevada (702) 673-7380

He has also done a SAE oil test as well.

I don't have Dr. in front of my name this is true so I assume that the information presented is not valid ( I do have a higher education degree under my belt if that counts? Probably not).

I am surprised you still want to use them seeing the holes that are in them and you don't even need a microscope. The paper one you definitely need a microscope to see any holes, does not mean it does not flow well though...


Thank you

Thanks
Jason
 

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does not mean it does not flow well though...
A little technical info:

Having access to some sensitive pressure sensors and data loggers I once tested the pressure drop across the paper filter in my TS. The result was less than 2 millibar (0.029 PSI) under driving conditions. And that was with a very dirty filter.
 

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... many trucking companies changed over to K&N thinking they where going to save big bucks on filters due to the number times they have to change them. They did oil analysis on the trucks and they cam back full of junk (can't remember exact junk) or dirt! Since then they replaced all the filters with the OE paper and did more oil analysis and concluded that the junk (thats my scientific term) was reduced big time!
I don' think that damage to the motor is that extreme! Maybe not damage the way your thinking? But ring damage, wall damage, bearing damage, pitting of valves over time. Sure the filter is there to clean the oil but it can't catch it all.
Are you sure the different filters are the only variables? They haven't changed the brand of motor oil, oil filter, spark plugs, type of gasoline, etc. If it is not well documented, then I would take this as an advisory or a suspicion (with a grain of salt) :)!

Obviously you believe in them, so use them as you are doing., But you as well have not shown any proof otherwise except your humble opinion! I am just stating a true SAE test done on the filter and you still doubt me.
In the interest of disclosure: Yes, I do believe they are OK. Yes I do not have any proof one way or the other and yes it is just my humble (sometime stubborn :)) opinion.

Now do you know who paid (somebody must did) that "SAE" study? It will be more credible if it is backed by some unbiased agency (and not some competitors)!

As far as my imagination goes, just open your box in a few months and look down. The black balls covered in dirt is my imagination ripping the oil and dirt from your filter and settling at the bottom of the box while small particles enter your intake. :eek:
You sure those are not from your black cat or some chipmunks? Or some a small bird that got suck into the intake? ... just kidding :D:D:D! Ok, I'll take your advisory and keep an eye on our intake boxes!

Ok, my point is we (and other people) can argue all day on this. But I don't think either of us can make a definitive (and authoritative) statement on "how bad" this K&N filter is. Why don't we just leave it for the rest of the internet to keep on bashing or praising it ;)!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
My whole point. I am not 100% which one is better than the other but I am not taking any chances! Think I will stick with what the Engineer specified for the vehicle as I have never seen any gain in using the K&N. When K&N or whom ever starts making washable, re-usable filters for mass produced vehicles then I might use one.
;)
 

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Oh boy, here we go again...

Brad, I'm still waiting for Jason to bring back the foam filters...;)

As far as dirt sitting on the bottom of the air box, I have experienced that. I have no pictures though. I can't say I didn't experience that with the paper filter.

Bob, tell you what, I'll trade you my low-mileage K&N for a new (non fram) air filter for my 164.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hope you don't mind this topic drifting to a wider net, but what about foam filters? Anyone have any data on how they compare to paper and/or cotton (K&N)?
depends. I use to have the Foam oiless filters made by Raid in Germany but the stopped making them.
They are a 3 layer foam filter which does not need oil. See the test results, the foam filter with oil gives similar results.

I think they are nice. I have one. I am sort of saving it for something since there not available anymore.

But an oil foam filter will do fine, much better filtering over K&N and very good flow.

From the test done by a non-biased professional using the SAE test method.

K&N : rates a 4 for Large particle efficiency
K&N: rates a 2 for SMALL particle efficiency (hence the reason for the post and pictures of holes in the filter)
Foam Oiled: Rates 5 for Large particle efficiency
Foam Oiled: Rates a 5 for Large particle efficiency
Both rate a 5 in flow rate!


If you can find a foam that is the way to go. I have had good luck with mine.
Oil ones are sticky to clean but work well. My non-oiled is simple soap and water and dry, done.
No real noticable difference in low end power but high RPM you can feel just a tad bit more pull.
Maybe just in my head though since I have no scientific non-biased data to back it up. ;)

Jason
 

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Go ahead use k&n if you want

I had a k&n (drop in) in my old audi 1.8t for 160k miles and never experienced any type of ring damage or cylinder wall damage or bearing damage or pitted valves. It made just as much power as when i bought it and it didn't use any oil. ...It even had the original turbo at 187k when i sold it! I used to beat the crap out of that car but i maintained it and changed the oil with Mobil 1 on a regular basis. which i think is far more important for getting/keeping contaminants out of the engine. I cleaned the filter maybe 4 times, and i never had to buy another filter the entire time i owned the car.
the only issues that i have ever seen with the oiled filters is that some MAFs are sensitive but i never had any problem with mine. also on the newest cars (2005+) the emissions are so tightly controlled that a K&N or free flow exhaust has been known to cause a CEL because of a leaner mixture than the ecu wants to see. case in point Tubistyle exhausts on Ferrari 430s.
The 164 S has one but that car uses so much oil that i'm sure all the crap getting through the filter is going out the tailpipe with the oil anyway. its not like rocks or sand or metal shavings are getting through either. the best part is on cool mornings when that 3.0 S motor just pulls like a tank. the 1.8t has nothin on it.
my 2 c
 

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Photo 1 is a 164 K&N air filter put up to the sun. Can you see the gapping holes in it? Yes, that is what happens when K&N filters loose their oil due to dirt being caught in the oil and dropping to the bottom of the air box, now your sucking in micro particles into the intake which can spell disaster later.

BTW this filter is completely OILED!!!!!!!!!



Now a Paper OE filter in the same direct sun light:
holding filters upto the sun is a test for Light transmission & thats it. The holes you see are caused by the gauze on the filter. The cotton material used in the K&N is thinner & has a higher light transmission level. Whereas the Paper is a much thicker material with no gauze & has a much lower light transmission level.

either way - holding a filter up to the light has nothing to do with how efficient either of them are.
 

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FWIW, I use K&N in both daily drivers and paper in the GTV. I just wish they would bring back the "oil bath" type air filter I had in my '55 Chevy.:) You know the one - the one I used the "lifetime" bronze element oil filter that I got from JC Whitney.
 

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I guess I should have been more specific when bringing foam filters into the discussion. I was thinking more along the lines of an after-market, conical foam filter rather than stock configuration. Something like this....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FOAM-AIR-FILTER-HONDA-ACCORD-CIVIC-CRX-EG-EK-NO-ADAPTER_W0QQitemZ290138877286QQihZ019QQcategoryZ33659QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I just don't know how "generically" we can look at a foam filter such as this. i.e. Are they all generally made of the same type of foam? Do foam filters require oiling like cotton ones?
 

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Black balls

Just so I'm not going loose more sleep thinking about some "black balls" at the bottom of my intake boxes, I checked 2 out of 3 intake boxes today that have K&N's (my son drove the 3rd car to work). I haven't opened the intake boxes of these two cars for awhile (at least for a few months) so I was anxious (after what was said) to find out what's lurking under the filters! As seen in the enclosed pictures, I found some sand at the bottom of my LS intake box. The black intake box of the Milano does show some particles on the wall but I think they are just typical "dust". These "dust" do not appear as black droppings as they don't show up dark in the lighter color LS air box. I think I'm OK!

It is possible that when a K&N (or other filters) get old, the material can start to disintegrate! Or, it is possible that excess motor oil from the intake drip onto the filter and then it drips down to the bottom of the intake box! Or, it could be the weather difference (hey, we have better summer here in NE (than AZ and CA) - IMO :))!

Sean, "non fram" - Framphobia? :) LOL! You're ON! We can work out the details off line.

A little technical info:

Having access to some sensitive pressure sensors and data loggers I once tested the pressure drop across the paper filter in my TS. The result was less than 2 millibar (0.029 PSI) under driving conditions. And that was with a very dirty filter.
Craig, I don't really know how to interpret your measurement! Although, it is a small number, but for air it can possibly mean some small percentages (?) difference in term of air volume. You said driving condition so that could be at 2-3K rpm. For normal driving, this difference probably will not mean anything since your foot (on the gas pedal) and ECU (with O2 feedback) will adjust for the combustion. Only for those who are looking for absolute power, then a few percentages less air going in will just mean a few percentages drop in peak HP!

FWIW, I use K&N in both daily drivers and paper in the GTV. I just wish they would bring back the "oil bath" type air filter I had in my '55 Chevy.:) You know the one - the one I used the "lifetime" bronze element oil filter that I got from JC Whitney.
Funny and what a coincident that you mentioned "oil bath" and '55 Chevy! Just a couple days ago, my wife told me there are a few classic cars parked in front of a nearby pizza place. So, I went to take a look. Nice cars (although I really don't know much about American classics)! I talked to a gentleman who has a '55 Ford Crown Victoria (not Chevy)! He got this car restored to very nice details. On top of the engine was a big "oil bath" filter. An appraiser standing next to the car said the car worth about 80K!!!

I just don't know how "generically" we can look at a foam filter such as this. i.e. Are they all generally made of the same type of foam? Do foam filters require oiling like cotton ones?
Brad, I don't think there's a standard or type of "foam" that should be used for making air filters. I think (as you suspected) there are many different type of foam and density out there, so saying it is foam (IMO) "do not really mean it is a good or bad" filter! Most foam filters work with oil to increase the filtering effectiveness and capacity. So, I would say it is the end product (how the filter is made and what type of foam is used) determine how good the filter is. I'm sure you know that one draw back of the cone type filter is it usually also suck in hotter engine bay air.
 

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I talked to a gentleman who has a '55 Ford Crown Victoria (not Chevy)! He got this car restored to very nice details. On top of the engine was a big "oil bath" filter. An appraiser standing next to the car said the car worth about 80K!!!
I then assume approximately $74,999 (or so) in small bills were in the trunk :confused:
 

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I then assume approximately $74,999 (or so) in small bills were in the trunk :confused:
Ha, you never know! One time I was going to throw away a chest and a stack of American Express Traveler Checks dropped out from under the drawer :eek:! Well, they belong to me anyway - I hid those when I was a student living in an apartment in Boston and I totally forgot about them :eek:!
 
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