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Open Element vs. Stock

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BlazerGuy, Nov 6, 2000.

  1. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    What are the pros and cons of an open element air cleaner versus the stock one? Does the open one increase power?? Thanks
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]FUN WITH 31's![​IMG]
     
  2. Blaze

    Blaze 1/2 ton status

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    With the open element, you get better flow and an increase in HP. I always flipped the lid upside down on my Blaze and got a big increase in power. The only problem with mine was that it is very loud with fuel injection. The interior was so loud that I would hear it after I shut the truck off. It is good with a carb, but loud with a TBI.

    [​IMG]http://www.ncclassics.com
     
  3. Casey 86K5

    Casey 86K5 1/2 ton status

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    I used to run open element, but the filter would always get dirty very quick, so I put the stock setup back on, didnt notice any change in power, and I dont have to change the air filter every month or so.

    Casey 86K5

    http://86blazer.coloradok5.com
     
  4. KrebsATM02

    KrebsATM02 1/2 ton status

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    I have freinds with the other kind of converitble half ton and they had open air elements. When they would go through rivers there headers would hit the water and steam up the engine compartment and stall there engines. They ended up going to the junkyard getting stock ones and putting all the stock stuff back on. So i would just keep the stock one if i were you. - Doug

    Doug Krebs
     
  5. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Does the K&N pre-filter help any also?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]FUN WITH 31's![​IMG]
     
  6. 88blazer

    88blazer Registered Member

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    On road they are great. I love the growl when the secondaries open up. I noticed a little more power.

    Off road, don't use them. Even with the stock air cleaner on my Blazer the fan throws enough mud and water up that I have to replace the filter every outing.

    For off road use, get a stock assembly and intake hose. Seal up the intake water tight and run the intake hose back toward the firewall like shown below. It works great, I've only stalled out once since I did this.

    [​IMG]




    http://bernie.4t.com
     
  7. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    cant see the pic

    s.smith 77blazer lookin 4 mud
     
  8. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    Here's a good con for open air intake. I had the Blazer out several times while it was raining. I have an electric choke on the quadrajet with an open air filter. Every time that it was raining, the electric choke seemed to be failing and the engine rpms would rise with no pedal. Shut off it would diesel a little. Yesterday I drove back from where I was hunting during a down pour and it was doing it again. I parked it at the house and later went to the car wash to knock the mud off only this time it wouldn't come out of 2nd gear. Idle rpms was up around 1500 (normal is about 1000 with choke on and 650 with choke off). Manual shifting would take it to first but you had to play around with it to get it to go to third. Then it would act like it wanted to go back to second. When I shut it down in the shop last night, rpms were high and I had to shut it down in gear. Tonight I was going to deal with the choke problem and then work the tranny problem. Removed the filter and the choke plate was straight up and down (open) which if it was stuck it should have been closed. Hit the pedal and it went closed. Started it and after a few minutes, it worked normally. Had a spray bottle and sprayed the choke to see if it would quit working. Kept going strong. So then I looked at the filter and put it back on. Sprayed it to saturation and the rpms climbed with no change in the choke position. Got in and it shifted normal. Sprayed it down really wet and it acted like it wanted to stay in passing gear. Dried out a little and the tranny shifted normally again, rpms went back to normal. I still have the stock assembly which went back on tonight.
     
  9. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    I run a stock filter housing with a K&N element inside on my Blazer. I've modified the bottom half of the air cleaner to have 2 inlets. I went ahead and hooked the vacuum hoses and hot air ducts to both so I can have the advantage of preheated air in the winter. I've tried the open type element on the smallblock in my landcruiser and it's just a pain to keep clean, not to mention that it was a bear until it warmed up in the winter.

    The filter in the picture looks like it has a top that acts like a filter. Just curious how well these do when they get water on top. Doesn't look like the water would have anywhere to go but through the filter.

    Smitty
     
  10. 87Blzr

    87Blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Open air cleaners look better but because they sound better don't assume your going faster. If you think that having your engine sucking in hot air from the engine compartment is helping performance then keep it. Car makers are very cheap and try to save money everywhere. There is a reason why stock air cleaners aren't open and its not because they are more expensive. The cooler the intake charge the more dense the air is which in turn gets more air into the engine. Think about it. Why do you think turbo cars that have a intercooler are faster than the same car without the intercooler? (84-85 Grand National vs. 86-87 Grand National-86-87 have intercoolers) Why do you think race car people put bags of ice on the intake between rounds? Why do you think they have cool cans to cool the fuel before it enters the engine? The new Camaro SS's and new Ram Air Trans Am's are faster than the regular Z28's and Trans Am's why? Ram Air, not open element. They could easily and cheaply stick a open element air cleaner on the throttle body and be done with it but they don't. Why, because letting a engine suck in hot air is hurting it. Its really common knowledge. Think about the old cowl induction Camaro's and Chevelles. With the stock setup you will also notice that its is more responsive on a cool night rather than a 100 degree day. Open elements look good (nice pictures) but they by no means help performance. Modify the stock air cleaner or add a ram air setup if you want more performance, or if you just want the SOUND of performance then use the open element

    87 K5 Siverado, 68 SS 396 Camaro
     
  11. Chewy

    Chewy 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah what 87blzr said [​IMG]

    [​IMG] '87 Beast
    Colorado, USA
     
  12. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Couldn't have said it better myself. Cold, dense air is what makes the most power, not hot underhood air.

    <font color=black>'79 - 406 TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>See it at---&gt;http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com
     
  13. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I don't know nothin about all that modern fancy stuff but I do know that the 4" K&N open element on MY K5 Helps ALLOT!!
    And the oil in the filter keep all water and mud out!!Don't need to replace it I just clean it! As for cleaning it, ya some times I do need to clean it especially during summer on thoes long dusty trips but other than that no more than regular. K&N claimes that a dirty K&N filter still out performes a new paper element!
    I like my filter and am stickin with it!![​IMG]

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  14. 87Blzr

    87Blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Burt, nothing modern or fancy about it. Ram air or cold air induction has been around since before your Blazer. 69 Camaro's. 70-72 Chevelle's, Early 70's Hemi Cuda's. Even old 442's, Galaxies, ect. I wouldn't argue with you when you say your open element K&N helps. But it may be that your stock setup was really that restrictive, besides the fact you added a K&N filter. I would bet anything that if you added some kind of ram air or cold air induction with that K&N it would out perform you current setup in all areas. I wasn't saying that stock air cleaner setups out perform open element. But ANY ram air or cold air induction is better than a open element. Just imagine your K&N with a ram air setup and nothing would top that.

    The key to better performance is stuffing as much air as possible into the engine at the lowest possible temperature as you can get

    Your half way there because the K&N open element probably gets more air into the engine than the stock setup but at a much higher temperature.
    I took my 87 air cleaner and got a spare air cleaner and cut and added the snorkel to the other side to make it a dual snorkel. Bought another intake tube from GM to match the other side ($12 investment) and now have a factory looking dual snorkel air cleaner. For people with the 87 and up you will notice that the intake tube sucks air from the radiator support area but sucks it from the sides of the front of the tube and not directly the front. I cut the front of the plastic area out and srewed a screen to it so it is more like ram air. Did the same to both sides (GM was nice enough to have the intake areas on both sides of the radiator support, just punch out the pre marked area on the drivers side) I now have a dual snorkel with a decent ram air setup for almost nothing and a couple hours. Wish I could show a picture because it was real easy, cheap, and looks completely stock using all stock parts that match on both sides. Burt, I'm not knocking your open element K&N because it is probably better than stock like you say, but not better than ram air

    87 K5 Siverado, 68 SS 396 Camaro
     
  15. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I hear ya, no worries hear bro!!
    That accually is what I was trying to say is that the 4" K&N is better than that closed up little nozzel air cleaner that GM used in 72,it still sucks the same air temp as my open element does,now I have allot more of the same temp air hittin my intake!
    I know the air temp makes allot of diff just by watching the drag races at night with the cool night air[​IMG]
    late

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  16. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Jeez, 87 Blzr, you stole my idea!![​IMG] It's funny how you should mention building a dual-snorkel, because I just decided tonight (while stuck in traffic) to do just that this weekend. Well, I'll get started, anyway...
    One thing though: Do you worry about deep puddles/heavy rain at high speed/water crossings? In deep puddles I get a decent size wave over the hood, and with my luck the motor would get a big slug of water down the intake and hydraulic itself to pieces. What are your thoughts on this?

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     
  17. 87Blzr

    87Blzr 1/2 ton status

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    After driving through rain I have checked the intake trac and air cleaner and haven't found any wetness. But if I plan on going through big puddles or go off road I just undo the intake tubes from the radiator support and let them hang down and no problems no matter what I go through, yet anyway and I do get the water over the hood like you sometimes off road. I'm really happy about the setup and the way it looks like factory. I still almost can't believe how good it came out and how good it looks.

    87 K5 Siverado, 68 SS 396 Camaro
     
  18. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Cool, thanks for the info.

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     
  19. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Cool, thanks for the info. Time to do some fabricatin'!!

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     
  20. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Maybe you could drill some drain holes in the snorkel or the assembly somewhere...

    [​IMG]FUN WITH 31's![​IMG]
     

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