Re: TFI and HEI what\'s the difference?
I've seen several "studies" on K&N vs other types, mainly paper elements. Somehow each "study" seems to come up with the conclusion that the winner is the same as the folks who conducted the "study."
I did my own. Yes, a Jeep engine compartment is super dusty and dirty - mine's worst than most too, everything out here is dusty!
After a few thousand miles with the stock air box and paper element I tried something.
I pushed a clean white paper towel through the stock snout - ducting from the box to the TB. The towel came out with quite a bit of dust on it. I figured it must be leaking somewhere - not good!
I inspected all the joints, no leaks that I could find. After cleaning the inside I taped all the joints to make sure. After a run I tried it again, dusty again inside.
Sure, the dust stuck to the plastic in the ducting never got to the engine, but how much didn't it catch?
I also put a sensitive vacuum gauge on the crankcase air inlet - the one that goes from the valve cover to the snout. I left the normal hose disconnected. I wanted to see if the filtering system was limiting air flow. If it did, it would show a vacuum.
It did, nearly an inch of vacuum at about 3000 as I recall.
Installed the snout and K&N. No vacuum at even higher revs, but the filter was clean. I was concerned about all the negatives I'd read about K&N. I didn't want to trash a new engine.
I kept checking for dust - still do after every run when I go over the vehicle looking for problems. So far I haven't seen any dust inside the snout like I did with the stock filtering system. I even let the K&N get really bad looking - to where the dirt was crusting on it - it probably had about 6K miles on it by then. Still clean inside, still no vacuum.
I did not like the way it looked - looked really bad like that. I cleaned it per instructions, then re-oiled it heavy.
I've replaced it recently, I think I cleaned it 2 or 3 times before replacing it. I'm on the 2nd one now, already cleaned it once I think. I still run that rag through the snout to try to detect any dirt, so far so good. I've been spraying a light coating of the filter oil inside the snout too - thinking if dust was getting through, some might stick to the oil - so far, so good.
Throttle body is still clean as new too - inside.
Remember the old oil bath filters? K&N's use the same principle.
The sock - it helps keep the butterfies from sticking to it - and it helps prevent water splash from getting on it - water doesn't seem to go through the sock, just runs off. I don't ever see water out here, and butterflys stuck to it are good snacks, so I don't use a sock.
Try your own test with the white towel - easy to do, costs nothing, could save your engine.
What I would like to see - a dual element filter system - with low restriction - where the first element is a centrifugal "spin", then 2nd stage with a good element.
---- The opportunity for someone to get rich!
One reason I went with the short Rockette snout was room. The stock airbox is long gone - in that space now - and close to it - is a battery disconnect switch, a second 12v battery, a Sanden compressor and it's controls for on board air, and the winch solenoids. I'm out of room there now!
"Studies" have shown that the big STP stickers double horsepower. But I think Duralube shows their studies to beat that.
Studies also show all politicians are honest too.
All I can say is try it yourself.