Paper air filter as opposed to a K & N filter, is there a performance difference - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 02, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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I was watching Popular hot rodding TV today and they were talking about Open air filters and how much better a filter like K & N is over a paper filter.
I currently have a 454 with a 3" x 14" open paper filter. I hate to say it, but I have been using a cheap paper Open filter cause they get dirty fast and look like crap when they do.
Now I am wondering if a cheap paper filter is causing me to lose any power because of the fact that its paper and not a brand name.
So, would you suggest to get a K & N to get more air flow ? I have a Holley 750 carb if that matters.
Thanks to all.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 02, 11:14 AM
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I think there is only a very slight performance increase (almost unmeasureable) with the K&N filter. The real advantage is that (even when dirty) they tend to flow much better than (dirty) paper filters. Also you can re-use the K&N over and over so you are not constantly having to buy new filters.

Besides all that, I think they look pretty trick !

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 02, 12:35 PM
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Just how good are the K&N filters at filtering? From the research I have done an air filter is just as important as an oil filter for helping to keep grit out of the engine. If the K&N flows so well how does it do at keeping the crud out of the engine? I am curious because I would use one if I knew more about them.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 02, 12:43 PM
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I installed a K + N Filter on my 350, (it had a new paper open type filter), Althou it was a minor improvement, it was an improvement, and you don't have to keep replacing filters all the time, just clean the K + N and use over and over..just my .02
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 02, 01:13 PM
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The 14 x 3 paper filter really won't flow enough air for a 750. We stuck a K&N on a friends 56 with a BB that had a paper one on it. He came back from a test drive and said it was like a new car. On a smogger 350 ( like my 79) it really didn't make any difference but you don't have to keep changing the filter because the fresh air intake keeps picking up dust.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 28th, 02, 07:13 PM
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From what I've seen on my two daily drivers and the opinions of others it depends on the size of the motor as to how much improvement you'll see. Specifically, it depends on the air flow per unit of area of the filter. For example I experienced an improvement on my Ford F150 which has a rather small filter. On the car, which has a v6, the improvement was slight since it's filter is nearly the same size as the one on my truck at draws about 2/3 as much air.

Generally I think K&N filters are worthwhile. If for no other reason, I like the clean and replace concept. As for the question about cleaning ability and flow seeming to conflict - the oil wetted fibers are responsible for improved cleaning and the cotton fibers are finer than paper.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 01:49 AM
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I don't know enough about these yet but I'd like to know can a K&N element be used in an Edelbrock 14 X 3 drop base cleaner? I was pleased to find out that cleaner fit under my stock hood and I don't want to change the housing but if there is a better element to be used I'd like to check into that.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 04:30 AM
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I think the K&N would work on your Edelbrock dropped base assembly. I don't think K&N makes a 14x3'' universal element though... at least, in Summit they list a 14x2.25'' and then 14x4''.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 05:00 AM
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Don't it figure
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 06:40 AM
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I still have a K&N 14x3 element that used to be on my car. I would be shocked if they didn't make that size anymore.

I don't think K&N filters actually filter air as well as a paper element. If you hold a K&N up to the light, there are places where you can see thru the fabric weave. For most of us, I don't know that it really matters, but if I lived in a dusty climate, I would not use a K&N.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 09:40 AM
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14"x3" K&N is very common and easy to get, just call Summit.

There was flow bench testing done by HRM a few months ago. There was NO DIFFERENCE between a K&N and a new paper filter. There was NO DIFFERENCE on the dyno either.

They may look cool, but IMO any performance increase you get is probably due to what we call "placebo effect" in the medical community.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 10:15 AM
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Has anyone tried the Summit version of the K&N?

Priced around $25 for the 14x3 size.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 11:15 AM
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For those interested Amsoil has made a very high quality oiled foam air filter for years, they also do custom builds for special fits.
If interested drop me an email. Ive used them for years, they come with life time warranty on the foam and steel cage. A very good product.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 05:33 PM
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I Did notice a difference going to the K&N,
I have an Edelbrock Air Cleaner, 14X3
and the K&N to fit it,
K&N Part Number E-1650

Jegs Part Number 599-E-1650 $39.99
that is what I got. Fits PERFICT. it fits nice and snug, seals great.

Hope that Helps.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 02, 06:04 PM
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I think you have forgotten something about paper filters. I agree with the HRM dyno test, a new paper filter will do *about* as good as a cotton gauze element. But, as David Vizard says, ad 50 miles, and you've already lost power!

I totally back up David Vizard's tests. My dyno tests show the EXACT same differences. I put my dirty paper 14x5 from my truck onto the dyno, and lost 14HP from a used 14x2.5" K&N! I've tested many, many sizes. If somebody says that K&Ns won't add more power, they are miseducated.

To answer other questions:
1. Yes, Summit filters will be just as good as K&N. No difference.
2. Yes, K&N filters will filter as well as a paper unit (papers are a little better). When you look through it and see light, don't let that misguide you. You forgot about the oil in the cotton to trap the small particles.
3. DO NOT use foam filters! They clog up immediately!

I've done alot of research and testing with these things...

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