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AirHawg vs. KN Air Filters

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Blue Goose, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Blue Goose

    Blue Goose Registered Member

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    I need a new air filter and I am going to purchase one soon, what does everyone think? I believe the air hogs or hawgs run a bit more expensive, but I have heard they have a better seal? any suggestions?
     
  2. k5freak44

    k5freak44 1/2 ton status

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    Alot of ppl on here say K&N is garbage, and i would have to agree. How it is setup is just not typical for our kind of vehicles. An open filter in a hot engine compartment with dust dirt and water flying in and out. Not a good combo.

    My vote is to stick with the stock one.
     
  3. Blue Goose

    Blue Goose Registered Member

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    I have an open element edlebrock air cleaner on my pickup now, so you recommend that I get one that is...enclosed?
     
  4. chevy_mud_84

    chevy_mud_84 Registered Member

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    I just put a K&N on my truck and it works awesome, it gave me better throtle response and actualy makes my engine run smoother. But i guess its just prefrenece on what you like!!!
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    If it's not a street queen (and even if it is really) I would suggest an enclosed system with a cold air (and preferably CLEAN air) snorkle. Good quality paper elements are more than adequate for most applications and they filter MUCH BETTER while being a bit more restrictive.

    That slightly higher restriction generally does not create a significant or noticeable improvement unless you have a VERY deep breathing or high reving engine, or an application where every single HP matters (i.e. drag racing and looking for every 10th of a second or less). Most dyno tests and comparative track times on typical V8 applications show marginal gains at best, with only "seat of the pants" dynos and sales propaganda showing consistent gains. The same is true for reported gas mileage claims. I myself have run both styles on my chipped DMax as well as other vehicles in the past (including racing) and I have never seen any real measurable improvement in the foam filters over a comparable paper/fiber system. I recently switched my DMax from a Foam UNI (rated better than K&N in most aspects) to an AC Delco and noted NO decrease in performance or mileage, nor did I notice an improvement when I installed it to begin with.

    To me, it stacks up like this. Benefits of paper are better water and dust control, simple, and cheap/easy to replace as needed, and you can easily carry a spare. Foam/oil filters can potentially pay off with cleaning and reuse, but by the time you figure in time, cleaning materials, disposal of cleaning materials, new oil, and poor filtration quality, I don't feel it's worth it. And if you switch to a higher surface area filter like a Donaldson or something, you can eliminate the slight restriction while gaining longer time between changes.

    On my truck I have the snorkle routed through and behind the fire wall to reduce dust contamination. And I'm planning a late model remote filter box (like from a Vortec) with paper element when things cool off and junk yarding becomes less of an exercise in heat stroke management. Benefits include readily available and affordable flat elements that work well and store compactly.
     
  6. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    I thought paper filters collapse when you get em wet....
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    It depends. Note that I said "control of", not "resistance to" or for "dealing with" water.

    Better quality filters should not collapse (and aren't really "paper"), but they don't flow much at all when wet. But as long as they don't collapse, at least they resist the water passing. I used to believe that ability to not be ruined by water was a good thing and gave the point to foam, until you see where muddy water went right through the foam and killed an engine.

    The only answer to mud and water is using ducting/snorkle to keep the air intake out of the water. IMO, foam isn't even worth discussing as a means of dealing with water.

    [Edit] I guess you could give a point to foam since you could clean it up and run it on your *next* engine, where a wet paper filter is done, and you would need to replace it to continue running the same motor... :D :doah:
     
  8. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    I read a few different articles on the pro's and con's of all the different filters. To boil down almost all the articles that I read on paper vs. K&N filters, it basically came down to a slight increase in air flow on the K&N style but with increased dirty air coming in or a slight decrease in air flow with a paper element, but cleaner air. So, I suppose that if engine longevity isn't as important as performance, then go K&N. If longevity is your bag, paper element. I run a K&N style on my Harley with other performance parts because I want performance and won't cry when it is engine rebuild time (an excuse to upgrade some more). I run paper on my Blazer because I want the engine to last as long as possible, or at least until I retire and move to a 383 stroker no smog friendly state.
     
  9. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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