PRI 2011: K&N is More than Just Great Air Filters

Close your eyes, and picture an aftermarket performance air filter. Chances are it’s made from red oiled cotton gauze and has K&N stamped on it. Whether it’s a round filter for a carbed setup, a barrel filter for EFI, or a complete performance intake system, chances are it’s in the K&N catalog. One thing that you might not fully appreciate, though, is what else the K&N engineering staff is up to when they’re not coming up with new applications for their familiar air filter technology.

K&N is a company staffed by enthusiasts, and it’s clear from all the cool stuff sitting around their booth at this year’s PRI show that when somebody has a good idea for something they should make, it doesn’t get round-filed.  A perfect example are oil filters – you’ve probably seen K&N’s premium disposable spin-on filters with their heavy-gauge white shell and trademark wrench nut on the end. Not content to leave well enough alone, they’ve come up with new oil filter designs that add both features and value.

Shown above is their reusable spin on filter that is perfect for racers (or even street enthusiasts) looking for an oil filter they can disassemble and inspect. If you’ve ever cut open a conventional disposable spin on filter to check for contaminants or bearing shell wear, you know it’s an unpleasant process. This new design makes that task considerably easier while also offering outstanding filtration.

K&N's reusable high capacity fuel filters prove that if there's crud in it, K&N will have a way to keep it from reaching the sensitive spots.

Another thing you may have noticed upon cutting open an auto parts store (or even OEM) oil filter is that they’re often questionably designed and constructed with components like glued cardboard end caps and iffy drainback valves. Even well known brands suffer these cost-cutting flaws, and while the existing white K&N oil filter is better in every respect than these cheapies, it comes at a price. While racers will have no problem seeing that a top-quality $15 oil filter is cheap insurance in protecting their investment, for some reason people will buy a $50,000 new car but not want to spend more than $7-$8 for a filter.

When you've got both machining capacity and the lab equipment to accurately measure airflow, things like carburetor velocity stacks are the natural result...

It’s K&N to the rescue for the “value conscious” DIY’er, with their new line of inexpensive oil filters, which feature  quality internal construction and materials at a suggested retail price that makes them competitive with lesser brands. That’s just the way they roll at K&N – Better ideas brought to market all the time.

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About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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