Air Cleaners & Cold Air Intake Kits
Most of today's late model cars, trucks and SUV's can easily benefit from a cold air intake upgrade. Stock or OEM intake tubes and air filters usually don't flow very well. Typical air intake tubes are made of rubber. These generally have tight bends and collapsed tubes, restricting air flow into your engine. Quality cold air kits have rigid intake tubes with flowing bends. Metal inlet tubes are typically mandrel bent to insure the tube is not restricting air flow. Further advantages of after market cold air kits are the high flowing and washable air filters they employ. True cold air intake kits draw air from outside of the engine compartment where the air is cooler than under the hood. Cooler air is more dense, which is the reason cold air intakes generally build horsepower and torque. Fuel mileage also increases when cold air kits are installed as the combustion process is more efficient with cooler air.
Cotton Gauze Filter Advantages
Cotton gauze air filters from AEM, K&N, Airaid and others are premium filters offering great filtration of small particles as well as increased flow over stock filters. They are also washable (unless otherwise noted), making one of these a good investment over throw-away paper air filters. Replaceable cotton gauze filters come in a variety of sized to fit your 14 inch carbureted air cleaner as well as any number of styles of cold air intake kits. While cotton gauze air filters are more expensive than OEM filters up front, you get better filtration and you'll never buy paper filters again. That makes them a bargain over the long haul! Cleaner filtration means your engine oil will be cleaner longer, allowing your engine to last that much longer.
14" Air Cleaners
For carbureted engines, the standard 14 inch air cleaner is the workhorse most used. The air filter itself can be paper or reusable cotton gauze. These are donut shaped and fit around the air filter base of your a carburetor. Most chrome air cleaners consist of a round base plate, air filter and top plate. These are held onto the carb by a stud and wing nut. There are many styles of chrome air cleaners to choose from. Dress-up air cleaners may be chrome or polished aluminum, have a smooth, finned top or have a logo on it. 14 inch air cleaners come in a variety of heights. The higher the better for air flow, but hood clearance often becomes an issue on taller 14" round air cleaners.