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Old 01-23-2006, 09:51 AM   #1
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K&N Filters issues on my GM truck

I went to my local GM dealer and found an interesting bit of information.Particles of the oil can escape from the filter and lodge on the mass air flow sensor on the duramax diesels.This can result in the fuel mix leaning down causing major cylinder and head damage.They were being nice and covering it under warranty,which according to gm they did not have to do.
Just wanted to pass it on. I actually saw a duramax that was torn down and it was ugly and a nice coating of red oil was on the end of the mass air flow sensor.
I took mine out and went back to factory spec filter until I can find a better alternative......
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Old 01-23-2006, 11:47 AM   #2
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Injector systems vs Carbeurator systems vs K&m

I would think the problem would not be just on diesels. Any vehicle that uses a mass flow meter should be effected. I used to use a K&M on my carbuerated Ford 460 and it worked well. What does K&M have to say in their defense? They certainly do not want to go out of business.
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:07 PM   #3
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only stock GM filters for me.

oil air or gas.

read your air box, there are severe duty oem filters available. i have one.

john
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
I took mine out and went back to factory spec filter until I can find a better alternative......
joel, there is NO BETTER alternative than the OEM Delco filter element. This is from data gathered on the dieselplace.com forum. A gentleman there funded a study, using real lab type equipment and came to this conclusion. Probably the only thing close is a PROGUARD 7, by Advanced Flow Engineering, in my opinion. I have ran this particular filter on my Duramax for close to a year. MAF sensor is clean AND inside of the intake tube passes the "white glove" test. I live off of a VERY dusty dirt road. I am back to the stock intake system at this time due to some warranty work I am going to have done before it expires.
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
I would think the problem would not be just on diesels. Any vehicle that uses a mass flow meter should be effected. I used to use a K&M on my carbuerated Ford 460 and it worked well. What does K&M have to say in their defense? They certainly do not want to go out of business.
the issue with oil impregnated gauze filter systems (k&n) fouling maf/mas is well know and discussed regularly on most auto enthusiast sites.

k&n has done what all wise vendors do when a questionably useful product is finally shown to cause problems.......they have remained silent on the issue. folks still buy them based on brand identity and past value, which was always inflated by testimonials that never mentioned the possible down sides.

cheers
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Old 01-23-2006, 12:25 PM   #6
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Though I agree, the OEM filter is the best for filtering out dirt, it also is very restrictive. Of course, I didn't do any study on it, just SOP (seat of pants) real world performance testing.

I've had the K & N filter on the Impala now for about 40,000 miles and have had ZERO issues to date (and I have re-oiled it--but didn't put it back into the car dripping with oil-- there is a proceedure to re-oil them). Never had a lick of the filter oil on my MAF and it is parked right next to the filter. Maybe the issue on the Duramax has to do with it having a turbocharger or something. Don't know, just a guess.

I know of hundreds of other folks running K & N on their LT1 (350 ci) Impalas too.

Not saying the K & N is the best at filtering, but it sure does move the air and my beast does breath better. Throttle response was much increased over stock, but anytime you add an aftermarket piece of equipment, you run a risk.

As for the severe duty OEM filters, I am not sure they move any more air than the stock one, just can take more abuse from what I've heard, but don't quote me on that.
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Old 01-23-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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hi twink you motorhead you.....

seems that mid 90s and beyond is when problems started developing with the oil/gauze filters....perhaps the sensors and later obd II products used after this time are more sensitive.....and while you may have been very satisifed with the product, i question your observation of no oil on the sensor....it may be nano thick and not caused problems but it's there.

then again the sensor on gm cars may not be functional anyway....

contact csi chicago to come check it out.

and of course the filter company position has been,
anyone who has had problems didn't properly follow the oiling process.......

turbo drivers do move more air but both forced induction and not german cars have had lots of problems with em....

besides the measured gains are single digit unless the exhaust is opened....

but i'm a professionally trained skeptic

cheers
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Old 01-23-2006, 03:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman
besides the measured gains are single digit unless the exhaust is opened....
BINGO! I just happen to have such a beast, but the dyno's gains before the exhaust was opened up was more than single digit, it acutally was a bit over 10hp...., just by changing out the GM OEM filter. Modding the PCM and changing the MAF added an additional 12hp....oh and I also tore out those sound baffels too.

As for the MAF being coated, there is no oil residue on the MAF, none on the screen (when I had a GM MAF). I have yet to clean MAFs in over 40k.

The Impala is a 1996, but I know guys that have '94s through '96 as well. I also know a few gasser trucks (non turbo) in the '97-00 range....none have reported the issue as described, which doesn't mean it isn't out there.

Although I am pleased with it to a certain point, I do worry that over time, that power is gonna cost me in the long run as I know as sure as I type this, that some dust, dirt and other nasty things do get by even the most routine maint on the K & N filter. As I said earlier, I never really did a full monte test on the paper media vs. the K & N type filter in terms of actual flow, protection, etc. I did read the same info you refer to on the other forum on both the oil and air filters. That said, I've kept the Suburban stock, with an OEM filter and both the Impala(s) and the Suburban use GM UPF oil filters which are only made in PF52 and PF44 sizes and protect to smaller particles than the standard PF series GM oil filters.
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:25 PM   #9
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no oil anywhere? interesting silvertwinkie......since all oil products are volatile and do evaporate slowly....where does the oil that is getting sucked into the airway go?......gotta be some residue somewhere.....

so ya dyno'd too?
.....did you replace the dirty oem filter with a fresh oem filter and dyno? there will be some hp gain shown just doing this....until the new bugger is dirty.

why not just use the cloth filter without any oil? it will breath easier and besides it's just a little dirt.

what forum did you read on filters......i might want to check it out...

want a real oem replacement air filter backed by more realistic research try......

http://www.donaldson.com/en/engine/s...ary/001220.pdf

k&n products made their reputation in a time past.......but hey i used stp in my cars 30 years ago too.....after all, as andy always said........'it was the 'racers edge'

cheers
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Old 01-23-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman
no oil anywhere? interesting silvertwinkie......since all oil products are volatile and do evaporate slowly....where does the oil that is getting sucked into the airway go?......gotta be some residue somewhere.....
.....did you replace the dirty oem filter with a fresh oem filter and dyno? there will be some hp gain shown just doing this....until the new bugger is dirty.
why not just use the cloth filter without any oil? it will breath easier and besides it's just a little dirt.
what forum did you read on filters......i might want to check it out...
k&n products made their reputation in a time past.......but hey i used stp in my cars 30 years ago too.....after all, as andy always said........'it was the 'racers edge'
cheers
2air'

If there is it is not easy to find. Additionally, according to the PCM, the voltages are withing spec, so if there was oil on it, it isn't bothering it. Plus, I didn't give the filter a bath and just slap it on. I spend a few days getting the job done...I didn't have a second filter to swap with.

It could be more than a little dirt without the oil to attract it. I wouldn't suggest to anyone to run a car that is daily driven on just a rag type filter with the space/gaps in the element the K & N and similar have.

I read the air filter on thedieselplace.com and the oil filter study on:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/

Like the air filter guy, this guy tears into some of the more popular oil filters and does what I would consider some good numbers for folks to see......

....and yes, it was a nearly (30 miles) a brand spanking new OEM air filter when I had the car dynoed before installing the K & M. Even cleaned out the intake beforehand too.

I'll have to take a look at that donaldson site..........
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