K&N filter after 75 k miles

Messages
2,240
Location
california
Today I replaced my crankcase breather and grommet. I pulled my air cleaner for access and held my fairly dirty K&N filter upto the sunlight, and was blinded by pinpriks of light. I spun it around and everywhere I looked, I could see pin [censored] of light right through the media, so I busted out my camera, turned off the flash, set it to macro, held it upto the sun and took this from inside the filter. This was the second, and last photo I took, as the sun flare says it all. Back to a paper element tomorrow.
 
Messages
4,574
Location
Merritt Island FL, USA
Have you seen any rocks, debris or birds in your oil drain pan? I would say that is one shot filter. They (the engineers) still haven't been able to beat a good quality paper filter. Thanks for the pics! I just hate to think what kind of abrasives were getting into your engine the last 25k+ miles.
 
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5,091
Location
USA
Remember,these are million mile filters....dont throw it away (like that red warning sticker says)....LOL
 
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Messages
2,235
Location
Oswego, IL
K&N filters are not drop in and forget filters. You have to clean them and reoil them from time to time. It's a simple procedure. At 75k mile this should have been done 3-4 times i would imagine. I do mine every 30k and it works great check out my UOAs From the looks of this filter, that maintenance has not been done. Clean it, reoil it, I bet it will work great. Of course, no argument against paper media. They work well, are cheap, and are replaced on a set schedule. All good things.
 
Messages
2,120
Location
Southeast Michigan
Originally Posted By: hounddog
Over the years I have read many bad oil analysis on this site using K&N.
I'll give you a couple of good ones to review: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2044708 http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2068988 I'm only 300 miles away from dumping the current fill of Ultra in the Nissan and will be getting a UOA on it. I'm still about 2K miles away from dumping the current fill of SynPower in the Saturn but will get a UOA on it. Both will be intervals of 7500 miles and both will be with K&N filters with 40K+ on them. I'm not saying K&N filters are superior. All I'm saying is that having run them for hundreds of thousands of miles in various vehicles, I've never once seen anything like the OP's picture. I always service (i.e. clean and re-oil) mine at 50K mile intervals.
 

wrcsixeight

Thread starter
Messages
2,240
Location
california
The filter in the photo was serviced regularly. I have gone through an entire K&N filter recharge spray cleaner and oiler kit in those 75 k miles and 8 years. In fact, buying another Kit has been floating around in my mind for the last 6 months, but that will not be happening now. The only reasons I can think of for the media to look so worn out is that after cleaning I would let it air dry, in the sun, and perhaps the UV light degraded it in that short time, the ~8 times it occurred. Perhaps there is a corrosive element to Baja's dust. Perhaps my salt air environment. I am on my 4th radiator in 10 years. Anyway, back to paper.
 
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5,707
Location
WatUpDoc
Originally Posted By: wrcsixeight
The filter in the photo was serviced regularly. I have gone through an entire K&N filter recharge spray cleaner and oiler kit in those 75 k miles and 8 years. In fact, buying another Kit has been floating around in my mind for the last 6 months, but that will not be happening now. The only reasons I can think of for the media to look so worn out is that after cleaning I would let it air dry, in the sun, and perhaps the UV light degraded it in that short time, the ~8 times it occurred. Perhaps there is a corrosive element to Baja's dust. Perhaps my salt air environment. I am on my 4th radiator in 10 years. Anyway, back to paper.
There brings up the argument again that if you live in a place that has problems like this, it's probably best to stick with paper and change it before it filters to the point of restriction. Interesting if there were some link between going through 4 radiators, or 1 every 30 months, and the K&N deteriorating. I would, for the record, like to hear how you cleaned the filter. K&N claims people clean TOO often. Would cleaning the filter too often cause the element to deteriorate? As in, some part of the process leaving room for 'gouging' the media? The rinse used being too strong or trying to dry the filter in any way OTHER than letting it air dry?
 

wrcsixeight

Thread starter
Messages
2,240
Location
california
First I submerged it in acetone, then hit each pleat with a tungsten wire wheel, then powerwashed it for a rinse. smile I followed the directions on the K&N filter kit. I rinsed under a faucet from clean to dirty side with lukewarm water and minimal pressure. Always air dried, sometimes in direct sunlight. No forced air. My copper/brass radiators deteriorating so quickly are due to my love of parking over the ocean during a storm, the salt encrusted air funneled into my radiator. I am trying an aluminum radiator this time as my aluminum tranny cooler held up through the 4 copper brass radiators.
 
I'll say again. On this site alone over the years there have been lots of high 'silicates' numbers on UOAs running K&Ns. They ought to say 'use at your own risk". I used them a couple times in years past. I got nervous and tossed mime in the trash.
 
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wrcsixeight

Thread starter
Messages
2,240
Location
california
Originally Posted By: ltslimjim
How often did you clean it?
Averages out to about once a year( mileage varied greatly year to year, but sometimes after an extended time on Baja's dusty washboard, I would clean it after crossing the border.
 
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2,439
I cleaned mine every 10k with the right kit, when I took it off to clean it the last time, I ended up looking at it under a light, you could see through it, I was not impressed, also the intake pipe was covered in a light silicate like dust, needless to say I sold it for 10 dollars to a friend who thinks K&N is the best. I cleaned the intake pipe and installed a Purolator drum filter and haven't found holes or dust in the inside of my intake pipe since.
 
Messages
3,877
Location
Alberta, Canada
I had a K&N once. Way before I knew anything about filters, even before the internet was big (mid 90's). I have seen brand new out of box K&N's with the pin holes in them. Like any cotton material it degrades over time with cleaning. Not to bash K&N, but one thing that has bothered me over the years is that no 2 look alike as far as the rubber frame part meeting the screen media are concerned. Poor consistency ie some are covered more than others etc, and on those that have more over run there is actually less filtering media possibly leading to less airflow. QC is just an issue IMO. After my experience with these issues I tossed mine and went back to paper. Years later when the internet got bigger I researched my results with others and was pleased with my "at the time uninformed" decision. Million miles with regular cleaning?? I doubt it, especially in areas that are more dusty than others. My media showed increasing pin holes every 60,000 kms. I would say 1 million miles in optimum conditions. Like I said not bashing, just passing along my findings.
 
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Messages
4,564
Location
NW Ohio
The only way to run a K&N is dirty... and I mean caked on dirty. Filtration is actually improved that way. Back in the '90s, when the late, great Earl Davis was running K&N's lab, I brought him a bunch of air filter to flow test and one vehicle to dyno test. One of the filters was an old K&N that had been on my old Series IIA Land Rover for about 10 years & 50K miles of hard four-wheeling. I may have cleaned it ...once... in that time. It was caked with dirt and once or twice I had actually sprayed more oil over the dirt. When flow tested against a new one, it was only about 15 percent less than a new one (identical part number) but the filter had about 60 percent more flow than that old Land Rover could use anyway.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
The only time I've seen dust in the downstream side of my car's airbox was the time I used a K&N air filter. Back to OEM paper filters and clean airboxes. Yes a blanket of lint covering the K&N air filter brings the filtration up to adequate, but the air flow suffers as Jim describes. It is only in his old Land Rover, and maybe certain other vehicles, that the airflow can't be utilized.
 
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