K&N Air Filters for mowers & small engines

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    The dealer I buy from insists that dust intake is the number one cause of small engine failure.

    I bought a DR chipper and the only air filter on this engine is paper filter. There is no outer foam filter that you can wash and re-oil. The filter gets filthy and even though we are running compressed air to clean it, it is still pretty dirty. A new filter is about $6, I think. Since we use the machine every day and it kicks out a lot of dust, buying new air filters does not seem smart.

    I bought a used truck a few years ago and the guy had a K&N air filter in it. The K&N air filters are cleanable. I have cleaned mine twice and I am very impressed with how well they clean up. And their air filters are guaranteed for life. I called them today and they do make some air filters for small engines and mowers.

    Anyone else using K&N air filters on small engines?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Iv'e thought about it... Only problem with the K&N filters is the dry time after you wash them out! If you have a sunny warm place to put it it can dry pretty quick (under an hour).

    Is the paper filter on it a really odd shape or size? Oh, just happened to think, maybe it's a flat filter?

    If it's round I'd just find a foam precleaner that fits over it as best you can find and cut any excess length off and do like I do, use a stapler (desk type) to hem it up a bit to make it good and snug on the filter.

    I also use K&N filter spray oil to oil all my precleaners instead of using motor oil like they usually recommend. Much faster, easier, and less oil mess to clean up.

    I guess even if it's a flat type filter you could take some of that same foam and just cut a flat peice the size of the filter and stick on the intake side of the filter.
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Becuase of the dry time, I think I would buy two. Clean one filter and set it out to dry and replace with the one that was cleaned last week and is now dry.

    I just bought 30 foam filters for the HRC216's. Five for each mower. My crews are going to start putting a clean filter on the Honda's every day.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,700

    There have been many tests attributing K&N's high flow to a lack of filtering efficiency. In other words they flow a lot and filter little. Larger vehicle engines are built heavier and can withstand, to a degree, more trash but small engines suffer much faster from reduced filtration. It's the reason Dixie Chopper uses heavy duty filters and not K&Ns.
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    This is very true. I was so happy when Kohler went to the big canister filter.

  6. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    I got one on my Toro Z, Its alright but there is new stuff on the market that is far better than cotton.

    Here's mine for the 19hp Kawi

  7. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,074

  8. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    you shouldn't use the compressed air to clean your filters. When you blow the high pressure air through the filter element it can create tiny tears in the filter material and will ruin the filter.

    Lightly tap the excessive dust off your filters to clean them.

    Also, dust on the outside of your filter actually improves the filtration of most types of filters. In exchange for this enhanced filtration there is a greater flow resistance which is why you "clean" your air filters.
  9. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,490

    Several years ago I got tired of buying filters for the 20HP Kohler on my Grasshopper. I made my own filter housing out of a 8" stainless steel burner cover (as used to cover the burners not in use on a kitchen stove) as a base plate, a section of 8" stove pipe (ductwork) and toped it with a 10" aluminum cake pan. I then found an inexpensive air filter at Wal-Mart for about $4 that fit a 6cyl Buick Century. I then went to Home Depot and bought a couple sheets of 1/4 in thick furnace filter media to make my own wraps from. It was cheap, because of it's size it had little restriction and lasted a long time between changing. I now have a Hustler Super Z that has the 27HP Kohler with a canister filter and I have mounted an Engineaire precleaner to the canister. Works extremely well. I only change the canister filter about once per year (350 hrs) and it's still pretty clean.
  10. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Good advice, but does anyone actually follow it??? Tapping the filter can cause damage to the seal by deforming it and then it won't seal allowing dirt to go directly into the engine. I have been using an air compressor to blow out paper elements for YEARS on many engines and have NEVER had a problem. Several of those have logged over 2,000 hours. I Keep my foam precleaners clean by removing them and blowing them thru as well. When I put them back on the filter I spray them with K&N filter oil instead of motor oil. Seems to work great! If I didn't blow out my paper filters I would have to REPLACE them every 2 to 3 weeks. I still replace them 2 to 3 times a season, but thats enough.

    Flame me if you want but it sure works fine for me using an air compressor.

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