Per­for­mance Air Fil­ters

Fast Car - - TOP 10 FAST ROAD MODS -

All power tun­ing works on one main prin­ci­ple; get­ting more grunt by shov­ing more oxy­gen and fuel into the en­gine to create a big­ger, and hence more pow­er­ful bang in the cylin­ders. One sim­ply doesn’t work with­out the other: you can squirt in as much of Esso’s finest as you like, but it won’t do much for power un­less there’s the right amount of oxy­gen present to burn it all. So, that’s where a per­for­mance fil­ter comes in.

Stan­dard fil­ters are dis­pos­able items made of pa­per, mak­ing them cheap and great for fil­tra­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, they’re not so good for air­flow. A good qual­ity per­for­mance fil­ter will be ef­fec­tive at fil­ter­ing out the minute par­ti­cles you don’t want in your en­gine, but they will have the ca­pac­ity to flow far more air, too. You can then shove in more fuel to match (ei­ther au­to­mat­i­cally, via the AFM and ECU soft­ware on a fuel-in­jected en­gine, or by fit­ting big­ger jets on an old-skool carb-fed lump), and you’ll get more grunt. You don’t throw these fil­ters away come ser­vice time ei­ther; they’re all wash­able and re­us­able, so they kind of pay for them­selves.

As for the age-old de­bate of a per­for­mance panel fil­ter vs in­duc­tion kit? Well, that not only de­pends on the level of fu­ture tun­ing you’ll be want­ing to achieve, but on how much fast-road driv­ing you’re go­ing to do. In­duc­tion kits and cone fil­ters are more sus­cep­ti­ble to suck­ing in hot air if you spend a lot of time in traf­fic. More heat means less oxy­gen for any given vol­ume of air, which doesn’t burn as well. This is why, ide­ally, they need to be shielded. When you get to se­ri­ous lev­els of tune, how­ever, the air­flow ad­van­tages will far out­weigh the heat prob­lems when you have the ham­mer down.

Per­for­mance Panel fil­ters, on the other hand, are al­ready shielded in the stan­dard air­box, but this means that they’ll al­ways be re­stricted to some de­gree. They do of­fer ex­cel­lent air flow for mildly-tuned road cars, though, and are al­ways a top en­try-level mod.

Top Con­tacts K&N – www.kn­fil­ters.co.uk RamAir – www.ramair-fil­ters.co.uk

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