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Air filter test- should we use "sporty" air filters?



ripp

ClioSport Club Member
  182 FFAT
I'm using aftermarket air induction setups for about 11 years now, but as I had my engine rebuild just finished recently the man that did the job said that the paper filter is the way to go if you want to keep your engine clean.
So I also found this particular interesting air filter test:
Now, I always clean my filter every 5000km max, so it never gets gunked up, but seeing the test above had me thinking.. I mean a brand new K&N has so much worse filtration capability than a paper filter that I really am thinking of switching back to the std setup, although I really like the throaty induction noise, like anyone else of course!
I even bought a K&N filter wrap to keep it even cleaner but I'm afraid that small particles will still pass.
Now it's the case of protecting my investment in the engine that cost me to rebuild as much as another car really so yeah...
Have any of you some suggestion in keeping the current setup that I have (K-tec style intake with ramair open foam filter wrapped in K&N sock) and keeping the engine safe at the same time?
Thx!
 

Kev@KAM

ClioSport Trader
  Badass Toyota
Paper filters I think have been long known to perform best for filtration when new so if you want to do loads of road miles in all conditions then they are the best option. The advantage of a performance filter is that their flow is less affected by dirt due to them catching the dirt on the oil rather than a more physical barrier their average performance over time allows a more consistent power. Very small particles are less concerning to engine life than larger ones so its a balance.
Your average track car is unlikely to do enough miles that you will notice any increased wear.
 

ripp

ClioSport Club Member
  182 FFAT
Paper filters I think have been long known to perform best for filtration when new so if you want to do loads of road miles in all conditions then they are the best option. The advantage of a performance filter is that their flow is less affected by dirt due to them catching the dirt on the oil rather than a more physical barrier their average performance over time allows a more consistent power. Very small particles are less concerning to engine life than larger ones so its a balance.
Your average track car is unlikely to do enough miles that you will notice any increased wear.
Yes on a track car or weeknd toy that does 1000 miles per year of course there's barely any risk with a performance filter. But such vehicles are generally taken care of, especially the ones that see track action- they may have engine rebuilds every couple of years and then some gunk build up is not an issue.
Me on the other hand i'm in between like many. I do 3-5k miles per year, and occasionally have fun on a trackday once or twice a year.
So not doing 20k a year to really make a difference if I'm using the wrong filter but not 1k/ year also :)
I will check the silocone elbow for dust particles in a couple of months to see if there are deposits there
 

Touring_Rob

ClioSport Club Member
I've run a K&N panel filter in every semi fun car I've owned, from XJR, M3, Clio - even in bikes and other than some oil in the air box the airbox and throttle body has always been clean. I did over 60k of hard abuse in my old 328i which had one installed by the last owner. Must have clocked up hundreds of thousands of miles and (touching f**king wood here) have never had a single engine failure...

Bar one, a vauxhall Astra driving through Kazakhstan, the airbox pipe had split and when we got stuck in a load of sand the car just inhailed rocks and sand for a straight hour as I bounced it off the limiter trying to get out. Engine died on that but all of the road cars no.

The UK isn't especially dusty compared with other countries, and I would obviously never drive across a beach etc but for the road it wouldn't worry me an atom - saying that I can almost guarantee that the K&N has never done a thing for performance on any of them, its just one of those things you do I guess. So if your concerned then run with the paper.

Good quality oil changed at half intervals, and a diligent break in by far be the better way to protect your investment!
 

massivewangers

ClioSport Club Member
  Several
I wouldn't worry about it. There are thousands of cars out there with cotton/gauze type filters that do tens of thousands of miles a year without issue. At your mileage, the amount of time it would take for the lack of filtration to cause serious harm to the engine beyond normal wear and tear would probably be suitably long that you won't have the car anymore, or probably even be fit to drive it :ROFLMAO:
 

ripp

ClioSport Club Member
  182 FFAT
I've run a K&N panel filter in every semi fun car I've owned, from XJR, M3, Clio - even in bikes and other than some oil in the air box the airbox and throttle body has always been clean. I did over 60k of hard abuse in my old 328i which had one installed by the last owner. Must have clocked up hundreds of thousands of miles and (touching f**king wood here) have never had a single engine failure...

Bar one, a vauxhall Astra driving through Kazakhstan, the airbox pipe had split and when we got stuck in a load of sand the car just inhailed rocks and sand for a straight hour as I bounced it off the limiter trying to get out. Engine died on that but all of the road cars no.

The UK isn't especially dusty compared with other countries, and I would obviously never drive across a beach etc but for the road it wouldn't worry me an atom - saying that I can almost guarantee that the K&N has never done a thing for performance on any of them, its just one of those things you do I guess. So if your concerned then run with the paper.

Good quality oil changed at half intervals, and a diligent break in by far be the better way to protect your investment!
Yes the UK isn't dusty but I don't live there :) Not in Dubai but anyway, what you say is somewhat reassuring :)
I'll keep an eye on things. Fact- I've noticed some dust inside the elbow about 2 oil services ago and that got me thinking. But was that enough to cause damage? was that more than it used to collect ages ago when I had a paper filter? probably. The test above sure confirms that more debris will enter. But after how many miles that becomes an issue, well that's uncertain.
Another fact is that my piston rings were gone, compression test was dreadful, valve seals leaked and it used to drink 1L every 600miles. the car is on 108k at the moment (engine build just happened 400miles ago) and since I have it (basically from new almost, i'm the second owner) it was well taken care of, oil changes at max 6k intervals, recent years saw oil chenges at 3-4k so yeah.. It ran fine but the oil consumption got me to do the rebuild and also raised some questions as to why it got there in the first place (it wasn't thrashed or abused either)
 

ripp

ClioSport Club Member
  182 FFAT
I wouldn't worry about it. There are thousands of cars out there with cotton/gauze type filters that do tens of thousands of miles a year without issue. At your mileage, the amount of time it would take for the lack of filtration to cause serious harm to the engine beyond normal wear and tear would probably be suitably long that you won't have the car anymore, or probably even be fit to drive it :ROFLMAO:
well now I'm sure it's a keeper after all that money spent! and I sure hope to be fit to drive it in 15 years time :))
 

ripp

ClioSport Club Member
  182 FFAT
Now i'm on Miller's stuff 5w50. The engine runs great after the rebuild
 


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