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Air Filter

SAFETY FIRST: Protective gloves and eyewear are recommended at this point.

A dirty air filter restricts your engine’s air intake, resulting in increased fuel consumption, reduced performance and possible spark plug fouling. Clean or replace your air filter at regular intervals for peak engine performance. Check your Service Manual for the recommended intervals between inspection and/or cleaning. Remember to check your air box and clean it if it gets dirty to prevent your clean air filter from dirt or getting dirt in the intake when installing/removing the air filter.

Most OEM air filters are mounted inside of an air filter box. The box helps keep out water and deliver a uniform flow of fresh air by reducing air turbulence. It also reduces intake noise.

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You may need to remove the seat and/or some bodywork to access your air filter box. Refer to the service manual for your particular vehicle for more information on how to do this.

Access the filter by removing the air box cover. Usually the lid will be held in place by rubber hold down straps, bolts or screws of some sort.

There are three types of air filters currently used, the foam type, the paper type and the gauze type, which is a popular aftermarket high performance type of air filter.

Foam Type

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Remove the air filter from the air box. Each manufacturer uses a slightly different method of securing the filter inside the air box. The photo above depicts a filter that is held in place by a quick release system.

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This foam filter is held in place by a wing bolt.

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Remove the foam air filter element from its cage, carefully  inspect the filter for holes,damage or deterioration of any type. Replace the air filter if any damage is found.

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Place the filter in a container and saturate it with a foam air filter cleaner both inside and out. Products like Simple Green, dish soap, or most non-flammable solvents will work if foam filter cleaner is unavailable.

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Let the filter soak for approximately 5 minutes or follow the cleaning product instructions if different. Rinse the foam filter in warm water until the water runs clear. You may squeeze the filter to remove excess cleaner and water, but do not twist it as this may tear the foam. Repeat this cleaning procedure a second time if needed.

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Pat the filter with a clean towel to remove most of the water.

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Let the filter dry completely, using a fan helps speed the drying process.

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Clean the air filter cage.

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Be sure to use a high quality foam air filter oil.

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Place the air filter in a plastic bag and pour in the air filter oil, use enough oil to saturate the filter.

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Do not try to pour the oil over the filter as this will result in uneven coverage.

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Gently work the oil into the filter.

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Once the oil is worked into the filter remove it from the bag and squeeze out the extra oil, do not twist it as this may tear the foam.

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Use more towels if needed to absorb any extra oil, when your finished you should have a nice even coating of oil on your air filter like the one in the photo above.

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Apply a thin coat of grease on the air filter base where it makes contact with the air box.

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Place the air filter back onto the air filter cage.

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The air filter is now ready to be installed in the air box, for applications requiring frequent service it’s a good idea to have a couple air filters clean, oiled and ready to install.

 

 

Paper Type

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Paper type air filters should only be cleaned by tapping them gently against a hard surface. Do not attempt to clean a paper air filter with compressed air as it can separate the fibers of the paper and allow dirt and dust to enter the engine. For many applications you can replace the paper type air filter with an aftermarket foam or gauze type air filter that can be cleaned, oiled and reused.

Install the air filter in the reverse order of disassembly.

Gauze Type

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Aftermarket gauze type air filters typically allow more air flow for better performance. Some manufacturers even provide a 1,000,000 mile warranty on their gauze type air filters.

Place the filter in a container and saturate it with a gauze air filter cleaner both inside and out. Products like Simple Green, dish soap, or most non-flammable solvents will work if gauze filter cleaner is unavailable.

Let the filter soak for approximately 5 minutes or follow the cleaning product instructions if different. Rinse the filter in warm water until the water runs clear. Repeat this cleaning procedure a second time if needed. Let the filter dry completely, a hair dryer will speed things up.

Once the element is completely dry, oil the filter with gauze air filter oil. Do not use engine oil or foam air filter oil as it will not stick to the filter, and will provide inadequate air filtering protection.

Install the air filter in the reverse order of disassembly.

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