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Air Filter Shoot Out

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    Posted: 10-March-2018 at 2:18PM

In my project thread, the Engine Master's Air Filter test came up.  It's pretty interesting, so I thought I'd make a separate thread to discuss it further.  The video is here:

 
The engine used in the test is a 489 cid big block Chevy making 752 hp @ 6600  625 @5900.  The way I see it is that these air filters would only cause a loss in power once it can no longer supply the CFM of air the engine requires.  So I think some of these losses are exaggerated because of the engine being used which would use a lot of air.
 
The test engine would require 933 CFM at 6600 RPM (at perfect 100% VE).  Obviously a smaller street engine which will have a lower CFM will not have near the same airflow requirements.  They "estimated" the power the filters were good for based where on the hp curve it started to lose power over a open carb baseline.  It would have been nice to know what RPM that was, so we could roughly calculate the CFM limitations.
 
In the end though, it seems that your typical open element air cleaner is actually pretty good.  In fact the cheapo 14x3 Mr. Gasket special with a Fram filter was in the top ten, only costing this monster engine 10 hp at peak (1.3% loss).  Also surprising was the flipped lid OEM only lost about 12 hp (1.6% loss), pretty much on par with the open element filters.
 
In there test the dropped centre filters all ate up more power, except for the B&B Drop center.  It only lost 8.9 hp (1.2 % loss).  This one seems to be the bargain, as Summit and Jegs has it listed at about $45 and would offer good hood clearance. Further, it seems small filters are consistently bad, and foam filters are also very restrictive. 
 
So I think for most of us running on the street, a open element filter is not a bad choice.  However, I guess this doesn't take into consideration the engine heat that it will be exposed to.  A fresh air intake would have the advantage their, but even a dual snorkel air cleaner seemed to be pretty restrictive. 
 
I made a chart of the results.  The HP Loss/Gain shows how much less power this engine made compared to it's 752 hp baseline.  Ie , the first filter was -145.1 hp means with that air filter the engine only made 606.9 hp, or it made 145 less than the 752 hp baseline peak.  The Max power is the testers estimate of the maximum horsepower this type of filter can support.  So the first filer is by their estimation only good for an engine that makes less than 300 hp.  The third column is just the hp loss translated into a percentage.  So for example the first air filter resulted in a peak power loss of 19.3%!  It also shows how close some the top ten results are, probably not enough to feel. 
 
 The results are here:
Air FilterHP Loss/GainMax PowerHP Loss/Gain
6.5" x 2.5" (paper filter)-145.1             <30019.3%
Single Snorkle OEM (paper filter)-95               30012.7%
Velocity Stack with foam filter-72.4               3009.7%
Fly's Eye (foam filter)-71.1               3509.5%
Dual Snorkle OEM (paper filter)-53.1               3907.1%
10" x 1.25" round (paper filter)-18.8               6502.5%
14"x3" dropped base, with K&N Filter and filter lid-18.8               6502.5%
14"x3" dropped base, with K&N filter-12.7               6601.7%
Dual Snorkle with flipped lid (paper filter)-11.9               6401.6%
Flat Base 14" x 3" (paper filter) -10.1               6401.3%
B&B 14"x3" dropped base, K&N filter-8.9               6601.2%
14"x3" flat with filter lid, K&N filter-7.2               6751.0%
14"x3" flat base solid lid, K&N filter-6.6               6750.9%
14"x3" flat base taped sides with filter lid (K&N filter)-3.5               6750.5%
14"x4" flat base-1.2             750+0.2%
Open Carb0  
K&N Velocity Stack0.9             750+0.1%
Salad bowl with filter lid3             750+0.4%
Velocity Stack (no filter)5.7             750+0.8%
 
 
Any thoughts on this and the results?  At the very least, this can be a future reference.
 


Edited by 72FordGTS - 11-March-2018 at 3:35AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-March-2018 at 3:14PM
the spreadsheet helps a lot, i don't have to watch the vid every time i want to know what a particular set-up did :D

the dual snork with flipped lid went 640 max! probably similar to a Ram Air ?

in general the air likes to move as straight down as possible, coming in low & over the sides doesn't get it

what's different about the B&B ?

 i think i'm OK once i swap the foam for screen




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-March-2018 at 5:05PM
LOL see i told you guys flipping the lid works Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote changinlatitudes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-March-2018 at 11:53PM
And all this time I thought just flipping the lid was for the cool sound.Confused  I am surprised at the dual snorkel (as I'm seriously thinking of taking this route. Love the look of it), but it makes sense about the straight airflow. With a relatively stock engine, though, I can't imagine the horsepower lose would be that noticeable.

Question: What is a "Fly's Eye"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dave302 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2018 at 12:12AM
It looks like a flies eye, and they sometimes use a foam filter on top of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote changinlatitudes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2018 at 12:23AM
Ah gotcha. Never saw that name before for those.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Power Surge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2018 at 2:28AM
Originally posted by dave302 dave302 wrote:

It looks like a flies eye, and they sometimes use a foam filter on top of it.

That's not a Fly's Eye, that's a velocity stack. The Fly's Eye fliter is the triangular bubble style filter with all the holes in it. I think Edelbrock makes them.

Also, when reading that spreadsheet, the "max power" column is not what the engine made. It's the power level for each filter that they decided to rate the maximum power that particular filter is capable of supporting, based on where the engine starts losing power vs the open carb baseline graph. 

The first column on the sheet, is how much less or more power the engine actually made with each air cleaner, vs the baseline pull of 752hp with an open carb. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2018 at 5:23AM
Originally posted by Power Surge Power Surge wrote:

Also, when reading that spreadsheet, the "max power" column is not what the engine made. It's the power level for each filter that they decided to rate the maximum power that particular filter is capable of supporting, based on where the engine starts losing power vs the open carb baseline graph. 

The first column on the sheet, is how much less or more power the engine actually made with each air cleaner, vs the baseline pull of 752hp with an open carb. 
 
Thanks for pointing that out Sal.   I should have posted that info, so I went back and added a clarifying paragraph.
 
Also here's the Fly's Eye:
 
 
Here's the filter element, note that it's foam:
 
 
 
 
Originally posted by Rockatansky Rockatansky wrote:

the spreadsheet helps a lot, i don't have to watch the vid every time i want to know what a particular set-up did :D

the dual snork with flipped lid went 640 max! probably similar to a Ram Air ?

in general the air likes to move as straight down as possible, coming in low & over the sides doesn't get it

what's different about the B&B ?

 i think i'm OK once i swap the foam for screen

 
 
The dual snorkel with flipped lid only lost 12 hp, so it made 740 hp on this combo!  Pretty impressive for something we probably all did in our younger years.
 
The B&B has a different shaped drop base.  For whatever reason it seems to work better.  Here's a pic of one:
 
 
For whatever reason the photo is not working.  Here is the link to see a cutaway view:
 
 
Are you really going to be running that big blower setup?
 
 


Edited by 72FordGTS - 11-March-2018 at 5:33AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72GTS351CJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2018 at 6:03AM
I just watched that video. I'm ordering a new air cleaner asap to cruise around. I'll keep the factory one for the shows. Great info here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2018 at 8:27AM
Originally posted by 72GTS351CJ 72GTS351CJ wrote:

I just watched that video. I'm ordering a new air cleaner asap to cruise around. I'll keep the factory one for the shows. Great info here
 
You'll have to post what you buy.  The more I think about it, I might do the same with my car.  The open element painted blue with a decal on it looks not bad, like this Ranchero below:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Edrem3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-March-2018 at 9:54AM
The whole Engine Masters series is pretty cool. Gave me some interesting ideas on what I might want to do next on my MGT without making a bunch of bad choices first and wasting a bunch of $$$
The exhaust episodes definitly helped me decide on the new exhaust going in this spring. Luckily I found longtube headers for the 4spd
As for the air filter, I'm going take advantage of the hood scoop and get a drop down 14-3 K&N with the filter lid. should give all the air I need


Edited by Edrem3 - 21-March-2018 at 9:57AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-March-2018 at 11:00AM
I agree, the engine master's stuff is great to watch.  It's nice to see real world dyno results. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72GTS351CJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-April-2018 at 3:33AM
Took the air cleaner off and went for a spin. The power increase was unbelievable. I can't believe how restrictive the factory air cleaner is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-April-2018 at 3:03PM
Thanks for the real world feedback Rick. Let me know what you decide. I was going to keep my stock breather, but now I am thinking it will be for car shows only.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-April-2018 at 7:48AM
some Aus Falcons came with open element air cleaners stock


http://www.aus-ford-uk.co.uk/html/engines.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72GTS351CJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-April-2018 at 9:05AM
   
14x3 Summit air cleaner and ford racing breather. 55 bucks delivered
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