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That will depend on who you ask, we seem to have mixed views on them here. There has been reports of increased performance, but will they keep the air clean is the big question.
 

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More air flow=bigger holes in air filter=more dirt gets through

For the average person I think they are a bunch of crap.

If you are racing to win a million dollar 1st place prize then you take every 1/4 horse power you can because the sponsors pay for a new engine.

Think about it.
 

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if your riding in a lot of dust or dirt rds don't use it
 
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We go through this on a couple of other forums I belong too.

K&N wont let dust into your intake, gravel would be a better comparison.

They do have a great marketing department though, cause most people sure believe in them.

Personally, you wont catch one near anything I own.
 

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its not the dust getting in but more or less they love to clog up more than other filters on dusty rd. to me with a stock machine its useless. I mean 36 hp and no one knows the rpm it produces it at. so if it does at a grunt or lower rpm the k&n really wont help you. now if you had it bored and cam'd maybe a tuner on it I can see putting it in your machine. but other than that it just seems like a waste of good money for other accessories
 

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An old article on air filters

I am posting this only as an FYI. I had it in my files so I am just passing it on.

This 2004 article is probably way more than most people care to know, but it addressed the K&N filter issue and much more. Unfortunately the link that would take you to it no longer seems to be valid so the charts & pictures are missing and therefore it may seem a little lacking in some areas. However, it still may be of value.

You can read it and decide for yourself.

------------------------------------------------


SCOPE:
This report presents the results of an ISO 5011 test of several air filters designed for the GM Duramax Diesel. The test was independently performed under controlled conditions using a $285,000 machine at Testand Corp of Rhode Island (manufacturer of the machine). Arlen Spicer, a GM Duramax Diesel owner/enthusiast organized the test. Ken an employee of Testand offered to perform the tests at no charge. (These tests typically cost approx $1700.00 per filter). Ken, also a Diesel enthusiast and owner of a Ford Power Stroke Diesel, shared Arlen's interest in performing an accurate unbiased test of different types and brands of diesel engine air filters. The filters used in the test were purchased retail and donated by Arlen and other individual Duramax Diesel owners. The detailed reports from the test have been compiled and are presented in the following pages. The final pages of this report present the behind the test.

ISO 5011 Test:
The ISO 5011 Standard (formerly SAE J726) defines a precise filter test using precision measurements under controlled conditions. Temperature & humidity of the test dust and air used in the test are strictly monitored and controlled. As Arlen learned in attempting his own tests, there are many variables that can adversely affect filter test results. A small temperature change or a small change in humidity can cause the mass of a paper filter to change by several grams. To obtain an accurate measure of filter efficiency, it's critical to know the EXACT amount of test dust being fed into the filter during the test. By following the ISO 5011 standard, a filter tested in Germany can be compared directly compared to another filter tested 5 years later in Rhode Island. The ISO 5011 filter test data for each filter is contained in two test reports; Capacity-Efficiency and Flow Restriction.

Capacity and Efficiency:
The Capacity and Efficiency test report presents the test results of feeding an initially clean filter with PTI Course Test Dust (dirt) at a constant rate and airflow. The course test dust has a specific distribution of particle sizes ranging from less than 2.5 microns to greater than 80 microns (see table below). Every filter is initially tested at 350 CFM and the Initial Restriction or differential pressure across the filter is recorded in IN-H20 (Inches of Water). The filter is then tested by feeding test dust at a nominal rate of 9.8 grams per minute with a constant airflow of 350 CFM. The test is continued until the flow restriction exceeds the Initial Restriction + 10 IN-H20. At this point the test is terminated and the amount dust passed through the filter - Accumulative Gain - is measured. Dirt passing through the filter is captured in the Test Station's Post Filter. The exact amount of dirt passed is determined by measuring the before and after weight of the Post Filter. Similarly, the amount of dirt retained by the Filter under test - Accumulative Capacity - is measured by taking the difference between the before and after weights of the Filter. From these results the overall % Efficiency of the filter is calculated. This test also indicates how long a Filter will last before replacement is required (or cleaning for reusable filters).

Flow Restriction:
This report presents flow restriction of a clean filter resulting from an increasing airflow. The differential pressure restriction across the filter is reported in inches of water (IN H2O) versus Air Flow in cubic feet per minute CFM.

Data from these reports has been compiled and presented in the following bar graphs, Plots and data tables.

Filter Efficiency:
Filter efficiency is a measure of the filters overall ability to capture dirt.

Accumulative Capacity:
"Accumulative Capacity" is a measure of dirt holding/loading capacity before reaching the maximum restriction limit - Initial Restriction + 10 IN-H20.

Accumulative Gain:
"Accumulative Gain" is the total amount of dirt that passed through the filter during the test.
Error! Filename not specified.

(Note: The Purolator was reported to have a seal malfunction during the test and passed more dirt than it would have with a good seal.)

Initial Restriction:
Initial Restriction is the Filter under test's resistance to flow at 350 CFM.

Dirt Passed Versus Total Test Time

This graph shows each the duration of each filter's test versus dirt passed (Accumulative Gain).
(Note: The Purolator was reported to have a seal malfunction during the test and passed more dirt than it would have with a good seal.)

In the chart above it's important to note the different test durations for each filter. The AC Delco filter test ran for 60 minutes before exceeding the restriction limit while the AMSOIL and K&N tests each ran for 20 and 24 minutes respectively before reaching max restriction. In 60 minutes the AC Filter accumulated 574gms of dirt and passed only 0.4gms. After only 24 minutes the K&N had accumulated 221gms of dirt but passed 7.0gms. Compared to the AC, the K&N "plugged up" nearly 3 times faster, passed 18 times more dirt and captured 37% less dirt. See the data tables for a complete summary of these comparisons.

Dust Loading:
The dust loading curves show graphically how each filter responded to a constant 9.8 gms/min dust flow before reaching the maximum restriction limit.

It's interesting to note the shape of these Dust Loading Curves. The AC and Baldwin filters each had near linear responses until reaching maximum restriction. Restriction for these filters increased at a constant rate versus the 9.8 gms/min dust feed rate. The other filters, most notably the oiled reusable types, had an exponential loading response before reaching maximum restriction. These filters had a lower initial restriction, but they became exponentially more restrictive under a constant flow of dirt. Also notice the length of the curves as it shows the relative test time for each filter (time to max restriction).

Restriction to Flow:
The Restriction to Flow curves graphically show how each "clean" filter responded to a steadily increasing flow of air up to 350 CFM.

The Flow Restriction response curves for each filter have the same basic shape. However, note how the AC Filter, which passed the smallest amount of dirt and had the highest dirt capacity and efficiency, also had the highest relative restriction to flow. The less efficient filters correspondingly had less restriction to flow. This illustrates the apparent trade-offs between optimizing a filter for dirt capturing ability and maximum airflow.

The Story behind the test:

First of all, many thanks to Arlen Spicer and Ken at Testand for organizing and facilitating the test. Arlen is a professional Firefighter who also operates a small tree service on the side. The tree service is the reason he owns a diesel truck. This study was the result of nearly a year of work by Arlen to get accurate independent data on air filters for the GM Duramax Diesel. Arlen originally set out to build his own Filter Test Stand so that he could perform accurate, repeatable and independent measurements on the various filters available for the Duramax. Arlen questioned the claims made by aftermarket filter manufacturers that their filters were superior to the conventional OEM style paper filters. After spending many months, hours and a considerable amount of his own money, he learned first hand how difficult it was to perform an accurate air filter test. He found it was difficult to maintain all the necessary controls to insure an accurate measurement. It was at this juncture that Arlen received a call from Ken at Testand offering to perform the ISO 5011 test free of charge. Ken found Arlen's idea for an independent comparison study very interesting and offered to do the ISO 5011 testing using one of Testand's industrial Filter Test Machines. Arlen posted the news on the Internet and immediately offers from other Duramax owners to purchase and send filters for the test started rolling in. Some purchased and donated filters and others made contributions to cover the expenses and the cost of shipping the filters to Teststand. It was truly a team effort. The end result is the top quality data presented in this report. The following is a quote from Arlen.

(Arlen) SPICER wrote,
"Now that I am not doing the tests and my objectivity is not necessary, let me explain my motivation. The reason I started this crusade was that I was seeing people spend a lot of money on aftermarket filters based on the word of a salesperson or based on the misleading, incomplete or outright deceiving information printed on boxes and in sales literature. Gentlemen and Ladies, Marketing and the lure of profit is VERY POWERFUL! It is amazing how many people believe that better airflow = more power! Unless you have modifications out the wazoo, a more porous filter will just dirty your oil! Some will say " I have used aftermarket brand X for XXX # years with no problems. The PROBLEM is you spent a chunk of ching on a product that not only DID NOT increase your horsepower, but also let in a lot of dirt while doing it! Now how much is a lot? ANY MORE THAN NECESSARY is TOO MUCH!

Others are persuaded by the claims of aftermarket manufacturers that their filters filter dirt "better than any other filter on the market." Sounds very enticing. To small timers like you and me, spending $1500 to test a filter sounds like a lot. But if you were a filter manufacturer and you believed your filter could filter dirt better than any other media on the market, wouldn't you want to prove it? Guess what. Test your filter vs. the OE paper. It will cost you $3000 and for that price you will have the data that you can use in your advertisements. Your investment will be returned a thousand fold! EASIER than shooting fish in a barrel! So why don't these manufacturers do this? Hmmm? Probably not because they would feel guilty about taking more market share.

Now I am not saying that ALL aftermarket filters are useless. A paper filter does not do well if directly wetted or muddy. It may collapse. This is why many off-road filters are foam. It is a compromise between filtering efficiency and protection from a collapsed filter. Now how many of our trucks collapse their filters from mud and water? However, if a filter is using "better airflow" as their marketing tool, remember this....Does it flow better? At very high airflow volumes, probably. BUT, Our trucks CAN'T flow that much air unless super-modified, so what is the point? The stock filter will flow MORE THAN ENOUGH AIR to give you ALL THE HORSEPOWER the engine has to give. And this remains true until the filter is dirty enough to trip the air filter life indicator. At that point performance will decline somewhat. Replace the filter and get on with it.

Hopefully the results of this test will do 2 things. Shed some light on the misleading marketing claims of some aftermarket manufacturers and/or give us new insight on products already on the market that are superior to our OE filter. I stand for truth and will eat my words publicly if my statements prove wrong. I appreciate all of the help and support that you members have offered in this project. It would simply be impossible without your help. A huge thanks to Ken at Testand for his willingness to take on this project. I would be spinning my wheels from here to eternity without his help… SPICER"

Our thanks to Arlen and Ken for making the test happen and providing the valuable test results for the benefit of all.

Sept 2004
 

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K&N wont let dust into your intake, gravel would be a better comparison.

They do have a great marketing department though, cause most people sure believe in them.

Personally, you wont catch one near anything I own.
I call BS on that. YES it will let dust past the filter and into the intake. Just ask anyone that has had one on their truck 10k plus miles. If they know anything about their truck they have noticed the thin film of dust after the filter.

And that exactly the problem they do have a fabulous marketing department. The have made everyone think that because it can do a baja 1000 or last for a million miles it is good.:rolleyes:

"A paper filter does not do well if directly wetted or muddy. It may collapse. This is why many off-road filters are foam. It is a compromise between filtering efficiency and protection from a collapsed filter. Now how many of our trucks collapse their filters from mud and water?"

This makes me want a paper filter for my pioneer. I will NEVER put it in a position to have this happen.

Anyone ever seen a paper filter for this?
 

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Well I know I spray my filter with water and mud on a regular basis. isn't it in the owners manual?

my K & N filter works fine on my Pioneer. Anyone else actually have one on the Pioneer with real world complaints?
 

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Well I know I spray my filter with water and mud on a regular basis. isn't it in the owners manual?

my K & N filter works fine on my Pioneer. Anyone else actually have one on the Pioneer with real world complaints?
Thats the problem is the real world complaints will not be until your motor dies prematurely.

Realistically who knows how much it will really make a difference? 100 hours less life 10, 1000? Or maybe not even really make a difference? I am just the type of person that does not want to take the chance.
 

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I've had sport bikes for years seems like when you start doing upgrades on the motor of any kind you start loosing durability they don't run as we'll but they will last longer. I want mine to last so as of now I'm leaving mine stock. Motor tranny wise. I'm also not as young as I once was so I'm not quit as fast. My wife says I'm slow like a slug. Lol
 

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Thats the problem is the real world complaints will not be until your motor dies prematurely.

Realistically who knows how much it will really make a difference? 100 hours less life 10, 1000? Or maybe not even really make a difference? I am just the type of person that does not want to take the chance.
I have seen a lot of motors. Granted a lot more people use stock filters. So, this number is going to always be bigger. I have seen stock filters so caked full of dirt and or falling apart, eaten by a squirrel and the people didn't even notice it, until they came in with "engine" problems. Even then you aren't usually righting off a motor. You can clean an intake/fuel system. A little poo doesn't make it explode into flames.

More people should worry about the kind of oil they use. When dismantling a motor, I can tell what they have been running. I won't call out any brands to offend fanboys.

It doesn't matter what filter you run if you don't check it, and maintain it. I find that people running K&N usually are also on top of maintenance. I have a few hundred thousand miles on them. On and off road. Never a fuel system problem, never a dirty intake. It's more about the cleaning than the brand when it comes to poo poo. The complaints are just like the complaints by anyone about anything, usually user generated.

If you can't put the time and effort into inspection and maintaining things. Get the biggest filter you possibly can. just like panty liners. Not sure you can get any with wings though. All of this is just my opinion.
 

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I call BS on that. YES it will let dust past the filter and into the intake. Just ask anyone that has had one on their truck 10k plus miles. If they know anything about their truck they have noticed the thin film of dust after the filter.
Not to be combative, but, no, this is something that I monitor closely. Not all filters allow this, but, the K&N does. I find that unacceptable.

I have over 15k in work on my Cummins, and the last thing I want is a dusted engine. It operates on pipeline ROWs regularly in some horribly dusty conditions. K&Ns will dust the intake tubes.

I prefer AFE dry filters, and I monitor its condition closely. I also service it very frequently. I have never seen any dust get past an AFE and into the intake. And I have a large AFE with a 6" intake feeding a turbo that is the size of a dinner plate. lol. I literally do the white glove, well rag, test on it.

A bit over 50k miles on the mods, and I have never had dust inside the intake tube.



Yes, that is an AFE oiled, its what was shipped with the kit. It was quickly replaced with a dry.
 

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The complaints are just like the complaints by anyone about anything, usually user generated.
Exactly. Its the 90% that see "MORE HORSE POWER" and buy it because of that yet don't pull it out to clean it.

But you still can't deny the facts that the k&ns clog up faster yet trap less dirt and allow more dirt to pass through AND don't provide performance gains like they state.
 

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I think most people have an unrealistic version of whatever side of an issue they are on. That's quite normal. Is ethanol bad for your fuel system, or is that years of big oil propaganda?

Does K&N play up performance gains? Of course they do. Just like Honda plays of reliability. Perception sells my friend.

K&N was my first step in performance up grades on the Pioneer. I don't expect it to actually pull wheelies at the moment with just the filter.

I can tell you this, this engine is very responsive to intake and exhaust changes. Responsive is not always a good thing mind you, but you can tell when something changes.

And don't worry everyone, if I pull my filter off and it's as dirty or dirtier than stock, I'll be sure to post my results. Did I mention how much fine particles of metal and machining crap I wiped out of my intake when I ditched the factory filter? Don't think it's anything for anyone to worry about though.
 

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The engine techs at Honda are not idiots. If there was a cheap way to gain some horsepower, like using a less restrictrive air filter and not hurt overall reliability, they would have already built it.
 

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I 100% agree about that. They worry about reliability first. Its why the motor only puts out mid 30's horses and is so cold blooded. They want longevity not wheelies.
 

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More air flow=bigger holes in air filter=more dirt gets through

For the average person I think they are a bunch of crap.

If you are racing to win a million dollar 1st place prize then you take every 1/4 horse power you can because the sponsors pay for a new engine.

Think about it.
I agree 100%! I have countless toys, and have spent tens of thousands on " mods" over the years. Know what I've learned?? The money you spend simply is NOT worth it!!! The "fun-factor" stays relatively the same, and the money you save on mods can be spent on gear, travel, etc! If you RACE for a living, TENTHS of seconds can determine getting paid or not! Plus, the sponsors pay for all the mods!! Stock is best for 99% of us out there! My stock Ranchers, Grizzlies, Big Red, Pioneer can go anywhere my modified Grizzly can! (Mud tires are a must though here in Southern LA)! Also, just because a toy SOUNDS fast doesn't necessarily mean it is! (My humble opinion only). Keep your machines maintained and have FUN!
 

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I added one to mine, sure it's pricey but so is the pioneer itself. The reason why I purchased it is the ease to clean and maintain. You get what you pay for is the best saying I live by. If KN products weren't truly good products then they would have gone out of business by now. I live in Louisiana and we have dust problems in the summer time. I had KN air filter in my Brute Force and had no problems.
 
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