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Opinions.... Aftermarket Air Filters

749 Views 23 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  billybob
Just wondering what aftermarket air filter set-ups you all are using... have used. In particular for the 1600 16v..

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I am running an open air K & N filter (like the import cars run) on my 1.3L EFI and it made a noticeable difference on the top end....the engine seems to breathe easier and pull a little better. I would never go back to the restrictive stock air box again. I know it is not a 16 Valve but I hope it helps.
I have a weber with the high flow k&n filter. It's exposed to the elements and will soon be replaced with a remote air intake and or a remote air filter
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Many of you here know that I have the hybrid Swift GTi/Samurai 1300 with a Weber carburetor in my Sami, and I've been known to rev it a little higher than most people otherwise might, for fear of it blowing up. Well, mine hasn't blown up just yet.

Why do I bring this up? Because the higher you rev your engine, the more intake air your engine needs. Even with only 1300CCs of displacement, a significant volume of air is being ingested when the engine is turning at 9000+ RPM. Since my engine moseys along down the highway at 5000RPM, and regularly sees the tach needle pegged at 8100rpm, I think it's safe to say that I've explored the limits of the Samurai's stock air intake system.

With a quality filter in the factory airbox, my engine started being noticeably constricted around 6000rpm. By re-routing the airbox's intake pipe from inside the fender to just behind the grille, I noticed a little bit of an improvement, but not enough to be worthwhile.

At that point, I bought a 2-inch-tall K&N filter to mount directly on top of my carburetor, and I removed all of the stock intake tract. I noticed that I could hear the intake noise a little bit more, but there was a noticeable increase in power at middle to high engine speeds, especially at higher RPMs. My engine now pulls just as hard at 8000RPM as it does at 5000RPM, no longer restricted by the intake system. I think what limits my power now are the valves floating.

With your 16v 1600, you unfortunately are not able to mount a carb directly on top of your motor because your EFI system needs the MAF sensor and who knows what else, so your best bet would be a drop-in replacement K&N air filter for the factory airbox. You might also want to consider fabbing up a cold-air-induction system feeding into the factory airbox, or installing a snorkel with as few bends in the intake tract as possible. Not only will this ensure a nice cold source of intake air (at least relative to the warmer, less-dense ambient underhood air), but if designed properly, a little ram-air effect never hurt anybody either.
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When I bought my zuk it had a lawn mower filter and a tubesock for a filter . It was sweet ! Now it has a nice large paper element filter that works much better . I will try a K&N next as they have worked good on my other 4wds in the past .
Yeah, what Geoff says.
I have a similar setup and the stock air box even with snorkel and K&N strangles at 6000 + rpm.
I am about to weld a 3" tube and fit a wildcat pod to it.
I will keep the stock w/ k&n for off road and wet areas and simply put a plastic bag over the wildcat.

But having said that, I have always gone for an aftermarket filter because my dirtbike background taught me what a difference they can make. But also removing the lid to the airbox was a necessity. So it's kinda back to what Geoff says.
I'v been using a K&N stock replacement filter in the 16v air box. I went to this set-up when swaping engines so I haven't compared it to a stock filter. No problems so far, I like it.
For the engine swap on my other samurai, I picked up a Ractive cone style air filter with a heat shield (read; mud The filter itself is a fine metal mesh that uses the same oil as a K&N filter. I'v attached a pic of the Ractive filter.


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Essentially an engine's just an air pump. If you can't get it in, you can't get it out.

One way to tell if your filtration system is restricting it -- run a vacuum hose from a vacuum gauge into the airstream - point the end of the hose toward the throttle body. Don't point it sideways so the air flows across the end.

Drive it hard while watching the gauge.
Anything over .5" is restricting - really should be 0 at all times.

If all's well there, connect the gauge to intake manifold vacuum -- do it again. Under high revs and severe load you should also see 0. If not, suspect the exhaust is restricting.

Seems like using a simple vacuum gauge is a lost art.

The problem living in So. Cal. is the diffrent conditions we wheel in. It has been proven, and they will even admit it, that K&N does not filter out fine particals of dust and sand. So if you are out in the Anza Borego or off hwy. 8 down by Yuma a K&N may not be what you want.
What I normally run, since mine is a daily driver, is the K&N. Works great on the road and in places like Miller trail and Big Bear. For the times I'm out in the Mojave or Johnson Valley I carry a stock paper element to use for the day.
Zippy, thats a great point, and the first time I have seen K&N described as having a negative. I run in
volcanic dust a lot when hunting, and that stuff is nasty. I finally found a replacment K&N size for the
84 SJ410 airbox. but I will be carrying a paper filter just for the reason you described. Thanks for possibly
saving my engine.
Not to argue -- But -
Please notice where I live - obviously I wheel in the area - every day!

If the K&N I use - not a cartrige that goes in the airbox, but one that goes on the snout - didn't catch the dust, then dust would be apparant in the snout after the filter.

Every once in awhile I run a white rag down the snout to see how it's doing - no dust, clean. That's what I use on my 8V 1.6 Tracker, and on my new Jeep Rubicon.
Both of them when the airbox with the paper element were used let dust in - that's why I ditched them.

Dust is dust, no matter where you find it. Johnson Valley dust isn't any more harmful than LA dust, just more of it.
If you use the oil, it will filter the finner dust and sand.
It's true that the K&N might let some fine dust in when you don't want it, so when I put the K&N on my 8V I also bought the bag you can slip over it for off-roading. It's supposed to cut the intake down by about 10% while it gets rid of the little pieces. I think they call it a "precharger" or something like that.
The outer bag gets the big pieces and water, not the fine stuff. If it did take out the fines, the big stuff wouldn't get through either, so you wouldn't need the rest.
Could be that with a tube set up you are drawing in such a great valuum of air the dust particals arn't settling but are being sucked stright into your intake. Next time you go wheelin on a nice dry and dusty day, try this experiment. Coat the inside of the tube with a light coat of Marvel oil. When done for the day swab the inside of the tube. I think the results will suprise you.
Last time I ran Johnson Valley with the K&N I noticed an accumlation of fine dust and sand at the bottom of the air-box, on the inside of the filter element. After switching to paper on such occasions the air-box stays clean as a wistle.
I've been running K&N filters since the '80s on my Baja bug and everything else I've owned. I did notice fine dust in the intakes after real dusty runs even with proper oiling. A trick a old desert racer told me was not to clean your K&N so often, the filter(he told me) filters better with dirt on it then when shiny and clean. I took his advise and clean my filters at about 20-30,000 miles. I've only cleaned my zuk filter once in 6 years. I use a piece of PVC and a large cone filter on my 1.3 and notice better mid to high end power then with my stock air box and replacement K&N(which I only use for smog checks) The stock air box is just to restrictive for the motor to breath


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I haven't tried it with oil to test it - I will. Those I use are the round ones that fit right over the tube - eliminates the stock airbox.
On the Tracker I noticed a huge difference, on the Jeep Rubicon I could "feel" the difference, maybe an extra 5 hp added to the 195.

Years ago there were quite a few centrifugal type air cleaners around - Haven't seen any for years - anyone know what happened to them?
I ran one on an off road race car - Bronco - it first went into a paper element, then through the centrifugal device - always caught quite a bit more dust.
I've been thinking about building a tube set up with a cone filter just to try and squeeze a few more MPHs at top end.
What about the pre heater? Or do you eliminate that all together?
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Here's what I ran last winter......


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Pre-heat what? You in southern Cali!! I never had a problem up here, just take a little longer to heat up on those really cold California mornings..LOL
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