Performance Vauxhall - - FILTRATION TECH -

One of the most pop­u­lar choices for an af­ter­mar­ket per­for­mance air fil­ter is a cone or cylin­der fil­ter. The ben­e­fit of a cone over a flat panel is sim­ply that a cone of­fers a greater sur­face area whilst still fit­ting within a small phys­i­cal space, of­ten nar­rower than that oc­cu­pied by the panel fil­ter. Think of it like this: rolling a panel fil­ter into a cone doesn’t change the panel’s sur­face area, but it does al­low the part to squeeze into a small space. Neat!

In­stalling a cone or cylin­der fil­ter of­ten re­quires the re­moval of the car’s orig­i­nal air box. The new fil­ter is then in­stalled di­rectly onto the end of the in­take trunk­ing. Al­ter­na­tively, it can sit within a bespoke air box or be­hind a

cus­tom heat­shield. This setup is usu­ally what peo­ple re­fer to as an in­duc­tion kit. It elim­i­nates the stan­dard air box’s re­stric­tions by draw­ing air in from all di­rec­tions in­stead of re­ly­ing on air be­ing fed in­ward via a spe­cific route dic­tated by un­com­pro­mis­ing air box duct­ing.

The down­side to all of this is that con­trol­ling where in­take air is drawn from can prove to be a chal­lenge, with some poorly de­signed fil­ters pulling in hot air from around the en­gine bay. This is what’s re­ferred to as ‘heat soak’ and is mas­sively detri­men­tal to per­for­mance. If you’re re­ally un­lucky, your car might be pro­duc­ing far less power than when its stock air fil­ter was in place! Open air fil­ters work well on nat­u­rally as­pi­rated en­gines where im­prove­ments in air­flow feel more pro­nounced than when play­ing with air fil­ters linked to forced in­duc­tion equip­ment (such as a tur­bocharger or su­per­charger). More­over, tuned nat­u­rally as­pi­rated en­gines need large vol­umes of air to be drawn from the at­mos­phere, but of­ten fea­ture air boxes which won’t al­low air to flow beyond the man­u­fac­turer’s stan­dard spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Cone fil­ters used in forced in­duc­tion ap­pli­ca­tions tend to be much larger than those fit­ted to nat­u­rally as­pi­rated en­gines. This is sim­ply be­cause forced in­duc­tion ap­pli­ca­tions usu­ally pro­duce more power than those free of a ‘charger, dic­tat­ing the need for vast quan­ti­ties of in­take air.

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