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Old 04-03-2009, 05:49 AM   #1
black98dohc
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Default Mesh filter vs foam filter

I got my CAI and it has a meshy filter, is it better than a foam one? The top has no mouth, is closed tho
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

The common wisdom is to replace the filter that comes with a lot of those eBay-type CAIs. Most folks replace them with a K&N, or other high-quality cone-type filter. I used a dual-stage Uni foam filter, to be different, and the foam filters have different flow and filtering qualities. I started a thread when I put my foam filter on, and it had some links to independent tests between foam and oiled gauze. I think the foam has better filtration, without compromising air flow. If you got a CAI, what's the outside diameter of the tubing (which s/b the inside diameter of the filter)? I'd check out Uni's website and see what kind of universal filters they have that would fit over the CAI tubing.

Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

you could always go with the spectre air filter works just as well as the k&n. and you can recharge it with the k&n kit if you have it for a different car (ie my dad already had the k&n recharge kit for his truck)
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by black98dohc View Post
The top has no mouth, is closed tho
If the mesh one does not have an open top then do away with it. I don't know much about "sponge" filters. The extent of my knowledge only goes as far as; I know they filter better.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

i would just run the filter that came with it until it got dirty then replace it with a good one when mine goes out i've been considering ordering this one

from SDA


RE/APC Steel Mesh Air Filters
These RE Works / APC Steel Mesh Hi-flow air filters are great for replacment filters for cold / short ram intakes or if you are making your own intake. They have a 3" inlet w/ a 2.5" reducer included, 2 aluminum quick release clamps and are washable/reusable.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

K&N and AEM are the generally trusted name-brand performance filters. That's not to say they are definitely the best, but you have to keep in mind that there will be plenty of people who will say "X filter is just as good!" What do they have to base that comment on? Unless there is documented information about the performance from a source other than the manufacturer of the supposed "better" filter, then it's safest just to assume that the person bought that filter, and it hasn't fallen apart, and thus they defend their purchase by calling it "just as good."

Keep in mind also that improved airflow could mean it doesn't filter as well. Likewise, better filtering could hinder airflow. Not all designs are created equal, so it is possible that one design could have better flow with equal or better filtering.

The key is to find documentation, which can be very difficult. Short of finding good documentation, I would recommend sticking with K&N or AEM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

My cheap Ebay filter lasted 3 months. Then I bought a Spectre one from Autozone and that wored great but didn't last. Like 6 months. Then I got my K&N and it is holding like a tank for the last 2 years.

They all seemed to filter well, but the quality and durabilty didn't seem to be there in the less expensive filters. The elements always seem to be the first to go.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Hey bronze where did you get that red filter you had? My CAI is 2.5" piping.

I can also use the one on my custom SRI..some pictures on ohter thread tho. I can wash it and put some oil on it, also it has the top opened.
...
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by black98dohc View Post
I got my CAI and it has a meshy filter, is it better than a foam one? The top has no mouth, is closed tho
what CAI did you get?

I'd suggest a K&N or a AEM dryflow. The dryflow doesn't need oiling but it takes two bottles of their cleaner to wash it in a bucket. a bottle of K&N cleaner has enough for more than one wash but of course you need to re-oil it.

I replaced the K&N cone that came with the Iceman air take that I used on my 92 SC and 96 SC2 once only because it imploded when I forgot that I had a plastic bag on it when I attempted to the start the engine one. It was in covered while I was hosing under the hood. I turned the key, the engine fired up and ran for about 2-3 seconds then gasped and shuddered then shut off. The filter sucked on the bag so hard it deformed but was functional when I removed the bag. I got a new K&N filter some time after that. That filter was on the Iceman when I sold it after I got my 02 SC2 since the 1991-99 DOHC intake system won't work on a 2002-02 SC2.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by black98dohc View Post
Hey bronze where did you get that red filter you had? My CAI is 2.5" piping.

I can also use the one on my custom SRI..some pictures on ohter thread tho. I can wash it and put some oil on it, also it has the top opened.
Here's the Uni universal filter page. Look at the dual stage, straight filters, and it looks like part #UP6245ST should fit your CAI tubing.

http://www.unifilter.com/online%20ca...universal.html
...
Robert (Norfolk, VA)
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

I'll probably be picking up a Foam Filter soon. My mesh/cotton filter is way too big. I need to measure the length, but I think that dual stage filter will work for my SRI too.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Just a head's up. Those Uni filters are NOT oiled, so you'll have to find something to oil them up. If I remember correctly, you can NOT use the K&N oiling spray on the foam filters. The K&N spray is for oiled gauze, not foam, and it does something to the foam that's not a good thing. I would imagine auto parts or motorcycle parts stores would carry the sticky spray that goes on the foam filters. If you can't find anything, if all else fails, just use some cooking spray, like Pam. But don't use the olive oil spray, it's WAY too slippery, lol! Spray the foam filter like you're painting it, nice even strokes, top to bottom, let it sit for a few minutes, then take some paper towels and squeeze the spray into the foam (can't do that with a gauze filter!), and keep doing this until the excess spray is gone. If you use the cooking spray, be extra careful to wipe up the excess, because you don't want that foam filter catching on fire!
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

They also sell the oil for the filter. Unless you are a glutton for punishment, buy the spray oil.

They also have automotive filters.
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurdueGuy View Post
K&N and AEM are the generally trusted name-brand performance filters. That's not to say they are definitely the best, but you have to keep in mind that there will be plenty of people who will say "X filter is just as good!" What do they have to base that comment on? Unless there is documented information about the performance from a source other than the manufacturer of the supposed "better" filter, then it's safest just to assume that the person bought that filter, and it hasn't fallen apart, and thus they defend their purchase by calling it "just as good."

Keep in mind also that improved airflow could mean it doesn't filter as well. Likewise, better filtering could hinder airflow. Not all designs are created equal, so it is possible that one design could have better flow with equal or better filtering.

The key is to find documentation, which can be very difficult. Short of finding good documentation, I would recommend sticking with K&N or AEM.

Great post, and very accurate in my opinion.

I've run a number of filter types over time, and have been happy with most of them. But finding real proof of one being better than another is almost impossible short of trying a bunch long term yourself.

I will say that most filters of equal filtering size will flow different, and in general those that flow better will often not filter as well. This includes K&N and other reputable brands. Most often those brands will manage to fit more filtering area into a like sized air box for OEM replacements, or offer oversized filters for aftermarket intakes.

I've also had K&N filters on trucks going through areas of Mexico that were brutally thick with silt that would just about choke a person. On one trip several trucks eventually died due to filter flow, and the rest of us could literally dump silt out of the air filter housings. When I checked mine I could find no traces of any dirt past the filter and it was still flowing fine. That was enough to convince me they flow and filter just fine.


But back to your point on "hard evidence". Several years back one truck forum I frequented had quite a few anti K&N members, as they had been switching to Amsoil foam filters. Like many Amsoil followers they all claimed they were the best of all things. Before long the Amsoil dealer on the site had chimed in to mention the lacking nature of the K&N and several other filters.

On several occasions I offered that if he could provide any evidence that on a truck like mine or similar that either 1) the Amsoil filter filtered better with equal or greater flow or 2) that the Amsoil filter flowed equal or better with equal filtering then I would gladly plunk down the $65 or whatever it is they were charging.

He never provided evidence of either. He did however have some really neat tests involving vacuum cleaners and sucking up 20 or so pounds of dirt that somehow showed Amsoil the winner. Maybe some day I'll get one for my vacuum cleaner.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Found these sites that compared oiled gauze and foam filters:

http://www.trueflow.com/whyairfilter5.php
http://ducatigarage.netfirms.com/filtertest.html

Read and draw your own conclusions...
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

If you are interested in filter performance then you want to take a look at the reference standard for an automotive filter. That would be the oil bath air cleaner. All air filters are a compromise. If the objective is the highest flow rate for a given pressure drop across the filter for a given filtering area and ultimate filtering efficiency is not a major component of the decision process then that directs the decision to the gauze elements. Either oiled or not. If the filtering area can be increased then the filtering efficiency may be increased and still maintain the required pressure drop. In the daily driver service life is a consideration that is not an issue with a competition vehicle. Any oiled gauze or foam filter is a maintenance curse for most people. This is why the paper filter is so popular.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

On my new cai i installed a regulat sponge filter, i need to buy oil tho
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: Mesh filter vs foam filter

Yes, if you forget the oil they don't work well. Motorcycle/ATV shop has foam filter oil.
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