Perferred CAI

Discussion in 'POLLing place' started by TrailLeadr, Apr 17, 2007.


Who is your preferred Cold Air Inake brand?

  1. K&N

    18 vote(s)
  2. Volant

    3 vote(s)
  3. AEM

    2 vote(s)
  4. Airraid

    2 vote(s)
  5. Injen

    1 vote(s)
  6. AFE

    3 vote(s)
  7. Iceman

    0 vote(s)
  8. Vibrant

    0 vote(s)
  9. Other (unlisted)

    2 vote(s)
  10. Don't have/want CAI

    6 vote(s)
  1. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Back in January a thread was started about after market intake, and exhausts.
    Since the thread was recently revived, I figured this would be a good time to see what our members prefer for Cold Air Intake systems.

    In a week or two we'll do a poll on favorite headers.

    Feel free to post claims, or comments on why you feel your selection of CAI is better than others, or if you've found an excellent undiscovered one.
  2. AnsteyZ71

    AnsteyZ71 New Member

    This is good timing, I am planning to install a CAI and was wondering which would be the best. Waiting to see what the poll says. I was leaning towards K&N.
  3. Splinter_Cell

    Splinter_Cell Member

    this summer im putting a K&N on see if we cant get the beast to breath a bit easier.
  4. cafs

    cafs New Member

    I voted K&N seeing how I already have filter along with my Cervini Ram Air Hood
  5. dwill3015

    dwill3015 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have had the K&N FIPK on a 2002 Toyota Tacoma, and my Wife's 2001 Suburban w/5.3 and both made noticable performance increases (esp. on the Suburban) but I voted for the AFE because I installed a Stage 1 intake w/Pro guard 7 filter on my 2006 2500HD w/Duramax after researching wich would be the best for my diesel. I did notice a slight gain in low-end performance as well as fuel mileage.
  6. retired2001

    retired2001 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I've used K&N for years. I have not used the "new" cold air boxes, but have had good service from "filters".
  7. Giz

    Giz New Member

    I've been using k&n for years. The present one I'm using is the 77 series high flow. Made the tahoe breathe better.
  8. NHSilverado

    NHSilverado Former Member

    Volant hands down. Best quality CAI out there. Also, it is a true CAI unlike the exposed element types such as the popular K&N that end up sucking in hot air from the engine compartment.

    The exposed element types also put the engine at risk because they ARE subject to water and high dirt exposure. Despite the shields that surround them with the little rubber gasket/weatherstrip on top they ALL allow moisture, dirt, and underhood hot air to reach the filter. I personally would never use one of these types of CAI for that reason. Only a totally enclosed one such as Volant or S&B.

    It also bears mentioning that regardless of your CAI's mfg you need to make sure that you use a dry filter if your vehicle has the MAF sensor located right at the box like my 05 Silverado did and my NBS 07 does. Guess from 99 on this is the case with GM full sized trucks. I was always a Dodge guy until 06( still am actually but the MPG is too bad with gas so expensive )and this was never an issue but boy was it on my 05.

    All kinds of MAF issues from the oil off these aftermarket oiled filter( ie; stock replacement drop in types and CAI cone types ). Actually, this is enough of a problem that GM specifially has come out with a TSB about oil fouled MAF's and how the customer is responsible for any repairs as a result not them unless they remove the filter. "IF" I run a CAI on my NBS 07 I will probably run a Volant setup but will swap the filter( oiled on Volant )out for a AEM DryFlow filter. Or, maybe I will just get the GM Performance CAI which comes with a dry filter.
    1 person likes this.
  9. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Awesome contribution to this thread!!:great:

    Thanks for sharing that with us. Hopefully it will help some of our new vehicle owners from making a poor choice in CAI type, and save a lot of embarrassment at the dealer.

    Do you know if the MAF can be cleaned with a degreaser, or brake cleaner to remove the oil fouling?
  10. dwill3015

    dwill3015 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    My reasons for choosing AFE for my Duramax

    AFE all the way, see the info below:

    This was done by a customer of ours before they would sell any intake/filtrations system.

    Here's what Dan Montegari of Precision Diesel Services says about advanced FLOW engineering's Pro-GUARD 7 filter media:



    We received many letters asking which high flow air intake system to use. We decided to test a number of manufacturers’ systems to determine which system was superior. We tested each system and found systems manufactured by AFE (Advanced Flow Engineering) were the best by far.

    Diesel engines use seven times more air than gasoline engines of equivalent size so clean cool air is a must for extended engine life, better fuel economy and additional power. A higher flow of intake air coupled with a high flow exhaust system allows for more power, a better fuel economy, extended engine life and reduced exhaust temperatures. On the other hand ingested dirt through the air intake system becomes Silicon in the engine oil, which is a harsh cutting agent and can damage your engine quickly.

    We tested three very popular systems. I will not mention the names of the other systems as a courtesy but I will explain what problems we found with them. We evaluated the systems by a number of criteria, filtration protection, flow, and design, easy of installation and cost. Almost in the beginning of the tests we realized in most instances a new intake system was necessary to achieve our goals. We needed a kit that used mostly outside air and not hot engine compartment air. We decided to use systems designed to use mostly outside air.

    Two manufacturers claimed their systems delivered cleaner air at a higher flow but this was far from the truth. We did not believe any of the manufacturers’ claims and tested each system by operating the vehicle 3,000 miles and performing an engine oil analysis to determine Silicon levels in the engine oil. The vehicle we used has an engine oil analysis performed at every oil change so we had a Silicon number of three (3) to base our tests on.

    The first manufacturer’s system was fairly easy to install but we had problems with the oil used to coat the filter also coated the Mass Air Flow Sensor causing a service engine lamp to come on. I called the manufacturer but they had no explanation as to why this should happen but they had this complaint before. Through the three thousand mile test I had to clean the sensor three times to stop the service engine lamp from coming on. When the oil analysis results came back, it was discouraging with Silicon levels at eleven (11). I almost could not believe the result so we changed the oil and filter and repeated the test. The results were almost the same eliminating this manufacturer quickly. I contacted the manufacturer to discuss the results and they were not helpful and basically said, “what you see is what you get”!

    We installed the second manufacturer’s system again changing the engine oil and operating the vehicle for three thousand miles. The first problem we encountered was the service engine lamp coming on and I thought the oil they used was coating the sensor again. I removed the sensor and found some oil on it which I cleaned off and reinstalled the sensor. Within ten miles the lamp was on again. I removed the sensor but there was no coating of oil on it. I then placed our scan tool on the engine and quickly discovered the airflow rate was too high for the sensor. I then realized the manufacturer had moved the position of the sensor into a higher airflow and velocity position trying to squeak a little more power from their system. I continued the test having to deal with the service engine lamp throughout the test period. The engine oil analysis gave a Silicon reading of eight (8 and along with the engine lamp problem did not give the manufacturer high mark but I felt if I discussed the problems with them maybe we could overcome them. I placed four calls to the manufacturer and I am still waiting for a call back! This surely eliminated this manufacturer.

    The third manufacturer we tested was AFE (Advanced Flow Engineering). We used their Magnum Force air intake system. We operated the vehicle for 3000 miles and when the oil analysis came back it was promising with a Silicon reading of five (5). While five was the best Silicon result we had, it was not good enough. I called AFE and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered they were truly concerned. I spoke with a Mr. Paul Hardley who suggested I try their Pro-Guard 7 media they were about to release. He explained the new Pro-Guard 7 media was five layers of progressively finer mesh medical grade cotton gauze with micro fibers that attract smaller and smaller particles as air passes through. Combined with the five layers of medical [gauze] media, there are two layers of non-woven synthetic polyester fabric with random porosity. The filter media is sandwiched between two layers of aluminum wire mesh. He agreed to send two Pro-Guard 7 filters for a new test. I installed the Pro-Guard 7 filter, changed the engine oil and operated the vehicle for three thousand miles. The engine oil analysis was excellent with a Silicon reading of below three (3). Finally we found an air intake system that gave us a higher flow rate and better filtration. The AFE Magnum Force air intake system is a well designed system, easily installed and uses about 90% outside air. The filter is cleanable and the oil used to coat the filter is patented because it is formulated not to affect the airflow sensor.

    Another positive factor of the high flow system was the fuel economy increased about ½ MPG in mixed driving and 1 MPG during highway tests. The filter media used by AFE will not collapse if it gets wet or subject to high boost pressures. They also offer pre-filters for most of their applications for very dusty or dirty operating conditions. We carry a full line of AFE products with Pro-GUARD 7 media. If you order an AFE system from another source, make sure it has a Pro-GUARD 7 media.

    A very important factor in this test was the manufacturer was willing to discuss problems with their products and help to overcome them. My hat is off to Paul Hardley and all the people at AFE!

    Dan Montegari
    Precision Diesel Services

    This is an independent test done on a Duramax site:

    Group: Diesel Addict
    Joined: 04 December 2003
    Location: Milwaukee, WI
    Posts: 302 The following is the complete test results. In order of rank from BEST performance to WORST in the categories of FILTERING EFFICIENCY, FLOW RESTRICTION, DIRT HOLDING CAPACITY and TOTAL DIRT PASSING THE FILTER DURING TEST.
    SPICER wrote:
    In the order of filtering efficiency the results are:
    FILTER % Efficiency
    AC Delco OE 99.93%
    Baldwin 99.72%
    No name filter (made for gas engine, 1/3 less pleats) 99.32%
    AFE ProGuard 7 (73-10062), panel filter 99.23%
    WIX/Napa 99.03%
    Purolator 98.73%
    Amsoil, new style 98.63%
    UNI 97.93%
    K&N 96.80%
    Additionally, these 2 were tested using FINE test dust. The K&N was cleaned and retested, the AFE was the conical version:
    K&N 89.85%
    AFE Conical 92.33%

    K&N 4.54
    Mystery bargain filter 4.78
    AFE Pro Guard 7 Panel 4.99
    Purolator 5.05
    WIX/Napa 5.06
    UNI 5.40
    Baldwin 5.71
    Amsoil 5.88
    AC Delco 6.23
    DIRT HOLDING CAPACITY From best to worst. This is the AMOUNT OF DIRT it took to create an ADDITIONAL 10 inches of water restriction. At that point the test is terminated.This indicates HOW LONG a filter is good before it must be cleaned or replaced.
    AC Delco 573.898 grams
    WIX/Napa 447.366
    Purolator 388.659
    Baldwin 388.154
    UNI 374.638
    Mystery bargain 350.402
    AFE Pro Guard 7 232.516
    K&N 211.58
    Amsoil 196.323
    TOTAL DIRT PASSING THE FILTER DURING THE TEST. This is how much dirt your engine will take in if you use the filter for the duration that would cause the filter to become "dirty" enough to need replacement or cleaning. The "Dirt Passing The Filter" is the dirt collected by the "Post Filter" during the test.
    AC Delco 0.4 g
    Baldwin 1.1g
    AFE Pro Guard 7 1.8g
    Mystery Bargain 2.4g
    Amsoil 2.7g
    WIX/Napa 4.4g
    Purolator 5.0g
    K&N 6.0g
    UNI 7.9g
    Note: The Purolator was reported to have a seal malfunction during the test and passed more dirt than it would have with a good seal.
    Interesting. SPICER

    "03 2500 HD, Kennedy Mega Filter, STOCK PAPER AIR FILTER, Oilguard Bypass, Primrose, Baldwin Oil Filter, ARE Camper Shell, Line X Liner, Westin Nerf Bars.

    These are the reasons we ONLY sell the Pro Guard 7 systems by AFE, call us if you have any questions etc.

    Mark @ DPPI


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