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Consider doing a search here or on one of the various Titan boards. There is a ton of info and a very lively debate. Everyone has an opinion and there is a lot of conflict.

All I can say is that we are in the production engine rebuilding business. Thousands of engines. We have never seen an engine failure due to properly used oiled gauze air filters.

I run oiled cotton gauze filters on all my personal vehicles, including an F-250 7.3L diesel with 450,000 miles, and on my off-road CJ-5 heavily modded Jeep. The jeep is a '77 model I bought used and have personally owned for almost 20 years.

The SUV I owned before my Armada was a '97 Ford Expedition I purchased new. I put a drop-in oiled gauze filter in it the first month I owned it and it was still there when I sold it at 107,000 miles about a year and a half ago. Compression was like new. Oil consumption, none. No indication of any unusual wear.

My Armada has two different oiled cotton gauze filters. A drop-in is in the modded factory airbox. I also have a cone-type filter intake system which can replace the airbox and be switched out in about 15-20 minutes. I only use the cone-type intake for performance testing and acceleration runs, as it is LOUD. Did I mention that . . . it is LOUD, and my wife does not like the sound.

BTW, the oiled cotton gauze filters are all K&N, but there are other good products out there too.

My G-Tech Pro says I get a whopping 2 horsepower gain with the K&N drop-in and about 10 horse gain with the intake system, a K&N Aircharger. I don't do this for the horsepower gain. I do it because these filters are indestructible, very reliable, last forever, and are actually easy to clean and reoil. One lasts a life time. Maintenance is low, because you only clean them every 50,000 miles. YMMV.

Edit: Forgot to add, I don't see any fuel savings. If it is there, it's too slight for me to measure. That seems logical because any increased flow would most likely be occurring only at or near wide open throttle anyway.

Just one point of view.
 

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Call me a doubting Thomas if you will, but someone is going to have to offer some hard proof that the "extra" dirt that gets through an oiled gauze filter compared to something like the AC is actually sufficiently harmful to an engine that it shortens engine life.

Merely because something changes color does not mean it is harmful. This is essentially microscopic contamination we are talking about.

In theory, less dirt is better, more dirt is worse. But how much more before it shortens engine life? No one seems to be able to supply that data.

Raw unfiltered air driven at high velocity will carry big particles (like sand) which are extremely abrasive and will destroy an engine in short order. Filters remove all but the smallest things. But you reach a point where filtering out even smaller things produces no significant gain in engine life, but does reduce airflow and performance. No one seems to know quite where that is.

All I can say is that we are NOT seeing shorter engine life by running less restrictive oiled gauze (i.e. K&N) filters, not even in very harsh, high dust environments.
 
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