K&N Air Cleaner

Found only one posting in this topic; Has anyone tried the K&N air cleaner on their dual Weber or Empi HPMX? How did they work compared to regular cotton gauze cleaners? I understand the K&N oil spray must be used to reduce the dust particles that normally clog the jets, when using their cleaners. The wash and recharge is really interesting. I've read some forums on cleaners and some folks like them and others do not like the porous cotton gauze. I would assume one may need to adjust the carbs if a cleaner has an oil spray to trap dirt is to replace the dry cotton gauze type- is this true? Thanx for any thoughts. 

Original Post

I am running K&N air filters in all of my cars; my Ford F150, my wife's Ford Edge, and my daughter's Saturn Aura. I also had one in my son's Ford Fusion before it was totaled. I'll put one in the Toyota Yaris I just bought him when he comes home at Thanksgiving. I also had an air filter very much like the K&N filters on my Speedster when I had the Solex/Kadrons. They needed to be oiled too. Overall I am very happy with the products. They have much less restricted airflow and with the oil it helps trap the dirt particles.

I know the oil aerosol is highly flammable coming out of the can but I'd have to say when my air filter caught on fire it seemed to burn very slowly even after being soaked in gas. I wonder how much the oil contributed to the slow burn?

I've had K&N air filters (and cabin filters, too, but that's a different story) for years on my pickups and speedster.  Yes, the K&Ns must be oiled to work properly because the oil is what really traps the dust particles.  The dirtier they get, the better they filter.  Reading the K&N user manual, they recommend cleaning and re-oiling every 50,000 miles - maybe the lifetime of some of these Speedsters - but I clean and re-oil every four years because I'm OCD.  Wash them with their cleaner stuff and a moderate-flow garden hose (or in a spare sink if your wife isn't home), tap to remove excess water and then let dry overnight.  Next morning, spray the elements with the oil aerosol.  Let sit 30 minutes then re-spray to catch any spots you missed originally.  

I always run a 1/8"-3/16" bead of auto grease around the mating surfaces of the filter elements and the top and bottom plates of the air cleaner housing to seal everything up when put together.  That prevents sucking crud in around the element once installed.  If the elements don't fit nicely over your bottom plates, try squeezing them at the equator to make them slimmer and longer and they should pop right on.

Michael B (aka bluespeedster SoCal) posted:

Gordon, when you switched to the K&N filter, did you have to adjust your carbs in any way? Any negatives to the K&N?

Sounds like I may be taking my new OEM filters back to the shop and order for $7 more for each filter the K&N that will last much longer than the OEM's.

The K&N filters will outlast the car. You won't buy filters again after you buy them the first time. You clean them and out them back in.

I never changed anything for adjustments when I went to the K&Ns.  Just put 'em in and rave on.  You shouldn't have to change anything in SoCal, but I tend to richen things up seasonally, anyway, so it would be hard to tell.  Temps here are mid-20's to mid-30's right now, so I cranked the mixture screws out a tad to compensate.

I honestly can't think of a negative about them.  I had a YUGE! K&N on my Diesel pickup (diesel engines move a TON of air) and fuel mileage instantly went up 1/2 - 1 mpg when towing Pearl on her trailer, just from better air flow.  K&Ns are noted for making better power.

Thank you guys for the great feedback. I will take my $25 OEM back to the shop and order through K&N the $32 ones for purpose I like- "reuse for the life of the car". Thank you again.


BTW Gordon, very interesting you tweak the mixture based on temp conditions. In the near future my wife and I will be moving to Prescott AZ and their temp's have a wider swing than in SoCal. I will have to keep that mixture adjustment in mind; you probley go richer in the hot days to keep the engine a tad cooler.  

No, I’m not quite as OCD as Danny P.  

Most of the time, and following the lifestyle example of my “Speedstah Guy” idol, MUSBJIM (although he always looks healthier than me), and reminiscent of “Hakuna Matata”, I just leave everything alone all Summer.  But when the outside temps go down below 40°F and stay there, and since I have no choke plates on my Dellorto carbs to compensate for colder, denser air, I just crank out the mixture screws 1/4 - 1/2 turn and that seems to cure it.  Same thing with my lawn mower or chipper/shredder - they run just fine all summer long, but in the fall they need a little bit richer mix in colder weather.  Just the way it is with carburetors...

I used them years ago and decided they were a pain in the butt it is just so much simpler to have the air cleaners replaced when I have a car serviced....air cleaners are cheap....but that is just me, the only thing I do to a car is put gas in it and drive... 

K&N filters and more free flow air filters are good, I run them BUT... one thing you should know is that it will change the air fuel mixture and may affect what the ECU sees.  Thus you could actually blow an engine if the mixture becomes too lean.... true story with a subie.  I guess it is easy to feel that with an ECU it self adjusts but not so the ECU is built to handle MAF sensors that are match to it. 

How it affects a carb engine I would assume needs to be looked at too. 

Just saying. 

Wouldn't it be true that if a carb'd engine is set up with appropriate carb / carbs and has appropriate jets set up properly then the carb would suck just as much air as is needed providing the flow is adequate through any filter? 

As an aside....

I remember running a Holley 2300 on a Corvair engine one time in an airplane and it ran quite well with a "dial a mile" mixture adjust kit. It really didn't need the kit but I tried it just for laughs.  Just to prove a point to some doubters, I switched the carb out for a tired Zenith carb off an old Harley. It also ran well.....bottom pic.

And one more adside...

The pic above the carb pic shows how we developed a system to put two electronic Mitsubishi modules into one distributor to get "quasi" dual ignition. Each triggered a separate coil and the output from each got joined by an MSD coil joiner which spit out sparks to a single set of plugs. Second pic is of the guy that taught me all I know. Life was simple back then....we made stuff work.    It's nice if your Wife has a sense of humour too. 

Man....those pics are over 20 years old.....wow..


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Did a long run today with the newly installed K&N filters and no change in engine temperature on the gauge or checking the actual oil temperature. Next test will be a straight run at high speed in the country, take trans out of gear-coast and pull over to quickly pull the number two and four plugs to check there conditions. This is how I did the jet adjustment the first year I owned the car. Then make jet adjustments if needed based on the condition of the plugs.

Stay tuned 

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