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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A friend believes his K&N cold air filter system gives him extra horsepower and improved gas milage and on top of that gives better protection from improved filtration. I've read that claim many times on forums as well. But can that claim be proven with real data?

I'm a born skeptic. I have looked for real air filter data from real experiments and have found none on the internet. All the data is personal opinion and testimonials. "Professional" advertisements are the same, enticing claims but no real scientific or field test data.

If you know of any real data that includes stock vs after market air filter data such as particle size filtration and HP data such as timed acceleration and dyno results please chime in.

At this time would like to install AEM 28-20364 Dryflow Air Filter https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006O87V68/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

But I am worried the improved air flow material allows a larger particle size to get past the filter. The AEM claim is, AEM captures 99% of the harmful material. I can imagine that the 1% it does not filter is the larger and probably most damaging particles that do get by. Sounds like great filtration but on closer examination of the claim is possibly alarming!

So far the stock filter appears to be the better and safest air filter unless I can see real data that suggest otherwise. The Jeep that this is for is my new to me 2014 JKUR.
 

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If your throttle body is 2 inches around and your air filter is 10 inches across I don't think there will be any performance gain.
Any gain you could get would be if you could get colder air or some kind of ram air.
I have installed a lot of cold air intake kits and have yet to see one that would work better than a factory set up.
I do think a oiled filter works better than a dry one but I don't run one because they are such a pita to deal with. And really you would have to have 2 so you could swap out while you wash and dry one.
If you add the hp that k&n claims then the exhaust claim along with a throttle body spacer and whatever else you could bolt on, heck you would have Hemi power.
 

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In my experience.... airfilter/intake kit claims seem to often compare the worst case scenario of the OEM systems to the best case scenario of their own products capabilities. There is no doubt that there are many aftermarket kits and stand alone filters that will flow better and filter just as well or even better than off the shelf paper filters. But how much of a horsepower/torque improvement is questionable. I am sure it give the engine more of one or both measurements, but you would likely have to have a dyno to see it. An engine is no more than an air pump, but getting more air into an engine does not help matters if it is still restricted on the exhaust side. This sort of balance is easily seen with motorcycles and a dyno. You can take a base line, then change the intake and run again, and then change the exhaust and run a again and have progressively better numbers each time and the curves totally change.

That said..... I am a huge fan of the AEM brute force and dry flow filters. They hold up well, do not need oil and I have never seen evidence of contaminates making it past the filter. I have a plain dry flow in my RAM, and and brute force system on my TJ. The one on the TJ has been on there for probably 5-6 years minimum.

Edit: a couple things to add.... I cannot say that I have ever been in conditions like you were recently where the filter may have taken on so much dust that it clogged. That said, I have have washed my aem brute force filter on the TJ three times since I had it new. It was apart of their intake system and I chose it cause it was a dry filter and the intake was simple and not a big fancy looking contraption. The actual filter is a cone filter and I use an outerwears sock over top of it as I have hood louvers. The sock keeps rain or anything else wet from soaking through to the filter.
 

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We've been on trails where it's so dusty we turn on headlights - pretty typical for wheeling in the west. Those dusty conditions are one reason why we keep the top on, zipped up with the AC running.
 

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The dust in my area of operations is terrible this year. A whole summer without any rain and the two tracks are all silted up pretty bad out there. Have covered 600 miles of dirt in the last ten days. Single vehicle, not following anyone. Had to run windshield wipers a lot of the time yesterday as silt was so deep I had to use 4Hi and the silt was coming over the hood and onto the windshield in sheets.

Nasty...

Anyway... I'm running a Banks cold air. It uses a K&N/AEM brand dry filter. I probably would not have ordered it had I known it was a K&N branded filter as I think K&N filters generally suck at filtering. It did result in a 1 MPG improvement. When you are only getting 12 to start with, 1 more is not insignificant and adds 30 miles to my range (Safari tank). Range is a big deal to me, 30 extra miles can and has meant the difference between having to carry a jerry can (which I have grown to despise) and not having to.

I don't have any data on filtration. My opinion is that it is unlikely anything is going to filter as well, let alone better, than the original factory paper filter. I pulled my intake tube off last night for a look though, as my Jeep has been subjected to extreme dust lately. There is some fine dust in the tube and the throttle body. I'm not sure the factory setup would not have had this too, given the conditions of operation, indeed I have seen the same kind of fine dust when I was running the factory filter last year. But it's troubling, for sure.

- DAA
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2600 miles on dry dusty roads traveling the Heart of the West Run Sept 2018

Pic through a dusty windshield on the original 1868 trans continental Railroad track south of the Golden Spike Historic site Promontory, Utah

The result: Dirt side of the JKUR air filter box


I think you are right DAA about how dust gets to the filter. I tried to stay out of the dust clouds but still lots of dust getting into the air filter. Pretty sure the tires are throwing up dust and it swirls around the engine compartment. With so much dust getting into the filter intake I am working on a pre filter for the JK.

Got to note that one of our group had little dust on his filter in comparison. He was running a Rugged Ridge Modular XHD Low Mount Snorkel Kit https://www.extremeterrain.com/omix-ada-rugged-ridge-xhd-jk-1775606.html This snorkel is outside the engine compartment and comes out at hood level on the right fender and doesn't draw from the dusty engine compartment. Some thing to consider for sure.
 

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I am not real familiar with under the hood of the JK series.... in your last pic just above of the air box, is this on the inlet side of the inside of the air box or is this dust that made it past the filter (yet again) and is on the inside of the (post) filtered intake side of the air box?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am not real familiar with under the hood of the JK series.... in your last pic just above of the air box, is this on the inlet side of the inside of the air box or is this dust that made it past the filter (yet again) and is on the inside of the (post) filtered intake side of the air box?
Picture of the air box is the inlet side or you can say the dirt side. You can see the rim, where the filter gasket goes, has dust on it and that is where the dust got by the filter and into the clean side that goes to the engine.
 

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[....]Got to note that one of our group had little dust on his filter in comparison. He was running a Rugged Ridge Modular XHD Low Mount Snorkel Kit https://www.extremeterrain.com/omix-ada-rugged-ridge-xhd-jk-1775606.html This snorkel is outside the engine compartment and comes out at hood level on the right fender and doesn't draw from the dusty engine compartment. Some thing to consider for sure.
After reading this I immediately thought about the HUMVs - they have an external air filter. Not sure if all of the HUMMERs have the external air filter but I have seen pictures of this. I suspect this is for water fording capability and probably makes servicing easier.

As an 'by the way' - TJ air filters came in two thicknesses. I'm not sure if this is brand specific or across all replacement filter makers. I always went for the thicker version.
 

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My experience:
The worst conditions I have driven in are in Baja where the silt beds are horrible. Like nothing to see and just drive by feel.
My rig came with a K&N intake and their cone filter. Not good because the intake pipe was always coated with dirt, as was the throttle body. After much research I went with the Amsoil nano cone filter and their cover. The results show much less dust in the intake and a much cleaner throttle body. At this time I see no reason to search for a different brand, but is suspect other brands of no-oil filters are just as good?
On my Powerstroke I tried several air filters foam and others all fitting the stock air box. The foam was a total disaster with high restriction and a horrible job to clean and re oil. The restriction is obvious by looking at the telltale thingy in the air box. Anyway I still found more dirt that I liked in the intake. My fix was a paper element like Ford sells and the Wix that NAPA sells. Less dirt and no restriction until after too many miles. Stock is the best.
From my reading for Jeeps it seems that stock is also the way to go. I think the engineering by the factory guys is pretty sound.
If you are going racing with a motor continuously operates at high rpms then low restriction and more top end power is the way to go. Then rebuild the motor after a couple of races. Short motor life with low restriction filters seems to be the common theme.
Bottom line for the 4.0 Jeep motor air filters wont make any difference because the motor operates at such a low rpm.
 

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Got stuck in silt in a F150 the other day. The silt wasn't even close to as bad as I have seen, it was kind of mild really, but it was enough to stick the poor Ford. Seems like we get it stuck a lot.



My Jeep spends too much time in this kind of stuff. Have always kind of laughed at guys in my area that run snorkels - and for the most part, they deserve to be laughed at because they run them to look like overlanders. But I can see the utility for running drought blasted desert.

- DAA
 

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I used to run lots of ag equipment where the dust required almost daily cleaning. One hug help is one of those dust separators you see on tractors etc. They use a centrifugal fan that really does a great job on getting rid of a bunch of dirt before it get to the AC. Just needs a mounting location.
I had a buddy with a Ford Ranger he had all tricked out for desert running. He plumbed the intake into the cab. He kept his windows up and AC on. It was noisy but really helped. And I guess sort of a CAI!
 

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When I had my Komatsu dozer I noticed the radiator fan could be switched to blow in either direction. Guess you could switch it to blow instead of pull to clean the radiator.

Check out YouTuber ProjectFarm channel. This guy does extensive testing on just about anything you could imagine from batteries to wood glue to filters, etc., etc.
 

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When I had my Komatsu dozer I noticed the radiator fan could be switched to blow in either direction. Guess you could switch it to blow instead of pull to clean the radiator.

Check out YouTuber ProjectFarm channel. This guy does extensive testing on just about anything you could imagine from batteries to wood glue to filters, etc., etc.
Most Cats are set up that way as well. When it's 110 degrees and there is no cab having that blast roast you is tough. The engine will always run hotter when you are pushing the air as it's taking the engine heat to cool the radiator. Even though it would be 110 and higher I had to usually wear added clothing to act as an insulator from the hot blast. This was on D7G SA tractors pulling subsoilers. Just absolute hell sitting on those 12 hours a day.
 

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On our feed trucks when I was in the cattle business we used WIX filters that the supplier would clean for us. Yes Virginia, those paper filters are washable. Inside the main filter was a smaller secondary filter. Outside the filter box I would mount a smaller canister filter with a wing nut that could be removed 2-3 times a day and tapped on the front tire to remove the massive amount of dust. These filters would never get cleaned just blown out and replaced once a month or so. LOL, that was almost 30 years ago and I can still remember the # as I bought them by the truck load! WIX 42260! These didn't even have a rubber gasket. Back then they were about $15 a pop. But I never had any dust in my intake tubes. I ran 4 Ford trucks with Cat engines, a older GMC with the 6V53 engine, A Kenworth, a COE International, a smaller bob tail International, 2 Case front end loaders. Never once had engine damage due to dust. I also always did oil sampling as well for economic reasons. Many times we change oil way to early. When the engine takes 3-5 gallons of oil that can be costly.
 

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Wix filters are one of the very best that have been tested. One of ProjectFarm's videos was about air filters, Wix and one other brand were the most effective out of the six or eight tested.
 

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I've got a
Wix filters are one of the very best that have been tested. One of ProjectFarm's videos was about air filters, Wix and one other brand were the most effective out of the six or eight tested.
A Wix is in my driveway queen, when I'm not lazy, sometimes I put my K&N filter in. My filter rarely gets changed.
 
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