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Deal of The Day: More Horsepower & More MPG for $6: K&N

by Liv | Published on November 14th, 2010, 9:52 am | Sports
stock air filter versus k&N performance air filter.jpg
Unlike a paper element that is tightly made, the K&N fabric is a wildly random collection of fibers ranging in size from hair-like to invisible without optical aid. This leaves a much larger area between the fibers than the holes in paper, and so much more air can easily pass through.

This is a truly cool deal that's going on with FRAM right now. They're closing-out their Air Hog brand Air Filters on both Amazon and Rock Auto. Mine was $6, and these are normally $40 air filters. Why are they special? They're FRAM's version of K&N. They're cotton gauze re-oilable filters that flow more air due to a larger surface area (larger pleats) and a better filtration medium. What does that mean for us average people? More power under the hood, and better gas mileage. Of course this is somewhat dependent on how restrictive your current intake system is. It's a bit of a lottery as to if you car will be one of the lucky few to gain 27 HP as K&N boasts on a few of the vehicles they dyno, but it's more likely you may pick up 1-3 HP. At worse you pick up absolutely none, and you get a recyclable environmentally conscience air-filter that probably lasts the duration of your ownership of the car. How can you say no?

    What's more is they're simple to install:
    (Example: 1995 Ford Taurus Sports Edition, with 3.0 Vulcan)

    K&N air filter installation.jpg

    Open the hood, locate the air box and flip the two clips holding the lid on with your fingers and unlatch the air cannister.

    does a K&n filter work.jpg

    You can now remove the old air filter.

    how much horsepower does a K&n filter add.jpg
    To capture dirt, the K&N fabric is oil soaked. The oil does not fill the space between the fabric fibers, but lives on the fabric strands, ready to grab and hold the dirt passing through the filter. It is quite effective at this because the air, which is light and turns small corners with ease, passes right through the fabric almost as though it wasn't there. The dirt, meanwhile, is much heavier and thus has much more inertia, understeers into the bushes--er, fabric--and sticks to the oil.

    And now we place the new performance K&N filter in its home making sure the outer rubber seal fits firmly in the grooves of the factory air housing. No need to oil, it comes pre-oiled and ready to install. It is worthwhile to do a quick visual check in case and rubber seam material found its way into the pleats during the manufacturing process.

    Now, it is true that a paper filter blocks more dirt--that is, it traps smaller particles than the fabric K&N design. However, the K&N traps any dirt large enough to do damage in an engine. The more practical result is a K&N filter remains effective and highly efficient at passing air long after a paper filter would have clogged up and turned into a choke. Also, the paper filter can tear when bombarded by heavy dirt--think dirty, sandy roads--and then all sorts of grit makes it through. The stouter K&N will not tear unless mishandled by a mechanic.

    K&N filter dyno chart.jpg

    Re-assembly is in reverse. Make sure the lid is sealed by hooking it on the j-hook edge of the air box, then finding the two latches once again and securing the air-box lid.

    K&N performance air filter coupon.jpg

    The last step is to clean the air-box cover with a bit of alcohol and place the warning sticker on-top in case your vehicle is serviced by automotive personnel and they try to check your air-filter. (Personally I'd hope that if the mechanic doesn't know what a K&N filter looks like then they shouldn't be working on my car....)

And that's it. No dirty hands, and in about 3-5 minutes you've added more horsepower, better miles per gallon, and you've switched to a more eco-friendly way of driving. I'd highly recommend jumping on this deal since when these Air Hog filters run out, the only choice will be the K&N brand... and at $40 or more a pop I wouldn't be nearly as inclined to buy one.

Citation: mustang50magazine.com/techarticles/39198_kn_air_filter

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