Originally Posted by Grubrunner
Seeing as you asked, then I'll forward MY opinion on the oiled VS dry filter argument.
I'm a huge advocate of oiled intake filters and have been using them for many years without a single issue to date.
The number one reason oiled intake filters have had a bad reputation for many years is because there's a school of thought who claim that the oil used to lubricate the filter can/will contaminate your MAF sensor and next thing you know you’re up some serious dollars replacing it. This is total hog-wash! Ask any reputable CAI company and they'll back up my statement. In fact, try and find me one person with an oiled filter who dmaged their MAF sensor and the dealership/manufacturer proved that the oiled filter was the culprit.... I've heard about these folks but have yet to meet one. The ONLY time this will happen is due ONLY to user/operator error which in turn is the result of improper abilities to follow manufacturer's instructions. It comes to the "more-is-better" mentality of people who flood there filters with oil when it's time to recharging the filter, re-install them and wonder why they're up for a new MAF sensor in no time. The best analogy I can use is it's no different to over-filling one of your oil reservoirs in your vehicle [engine oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, differential etc...]; what do you expect the consequences to be? Your user manual and your dealership CLEARLY advise you NOT to top these levels beyond the maximum line or damage can/will occur. Exactly the same thing.
The absolute best way around this, if you're still a little "iffy" about lubricating your own oiled filter when the time comes, is to purchase a brand new oiled filter from the manufacturer. This way you know for certain the precise amount of oil has been applied so you'll rest assured that it won't cost you anymore in damaged parts [MAF]. Though I'll point out that this is not a very financially viable method for most.... though it is FAR cheaper to purchase an oiled filter $50-$100] then an OEM MAF sensor [$300-$500]
Filtration is another reason. An oiled filter, by its very nature, will capture far more debris then a dry filter, period. This is due to two reasons: the main reason is that because the filter is oiled, that lubricant acts almost like an adhesive for any traveling dirt/debris within the filter's region. So its filtration capabilities, in comparison to a dry filter, are far more superior. Is this not one of the main reason people upgrade their filter? The second is the quality between the two. If you've ever held an oiled and dry filter from the SAME manufacturer in your hand, you'll see that the fabric and weight quality of the oiled filter is a LOT better than its counterpart. This weight difference is not just because of the oil soaked into the filter, as usually it's only about 1-3 oz. of oil used. A manufacturer once told me [many years ago when I was picking anyone and everyone's brains] that the gauze material AND layers used in oiled filters is always more heavy duty than those found on dry filters.
Air flow is in the calculation too, as it righfully should be. As blackram12 mentioned above, S&B Filter's test show that their oiled filters for the CAI in this review have a better flow rate then their dry counterparts. I'm actually surprised these numbers are pretty close to one another. I've always believed that oiled filters have at the LEAST a 10-percent better flow rate then the dry filters. But I'm not going to question S&B Filters' numbers as I'm in no position to, given I do not have the resources, means or brain capacity to carry out the extensive testing they have [surely] completed. The reason they flow better is because, even though they collect more debris and whatnot then dry filters [conventional wisdom will tell you more debris means more clogging meaning less flow], they do NOT have conventional holes that block flow like dry paper filters do. Now I don't remember the exact science behind this, and I'm not about to try and make it up - and someone with more knowledge and know-how is more than welcome to contribute and explain [please] - but this is due to the construction and materials used, as a manufacturer clearly explained to me many years ago at a car show; though my aging memory forgets the exact reasoning
Finally is longevity which equates to bang-for-bucks. This'll be brief. Because you're regularly having to change your dry filter [based on mileage and/or driving conditions/environments] you could be forking out some decent $$$'s over the life of the ownership of the vehicle. Yes, there are some high quality dry filters which you can wash/dry and re-use, but even the manufacturers of these products will [should] tell you, that the repeated cleaning/drying process over time will degrade its potency. Why? Inferior build material in comparison to an oiled, heavily pleated, air filter. Oiled intake filters? They're good for life and never need replacing.... as long as they're cleaned, oiled and maintained per manufacture’s recommendations.
But like I started this reply with, this is MY opinion only based on my experiences and research over the years, as I'm sure those advocates of dry intake filters will/can forward a decent argument. Because these points on oiled intake filters are my personal opinions, I'm NOT interested in getting into a slinging match with anyone who's on the other side.
Hope this has helped your decision in some way.
I've been following pretty much the same priciple for all vehicles I've owned over the years where "basic" bolt-on parts were used to improve the performance [except for a couple of vehicles where I went a little further in search of HP].
A quality/proven catback exhaust system, a quality/proven cold air intake, a quality/proven larger throttle body, and a quality/proven canned or [preferably] custom tune has given me great results in the past. We do not have the tune side available for our trucks just yet but, honestly, based on recent email exchanges I've had with manufacturers, I have NOT given up hope.
Notice that I put "quality/proven " on each of those recommendations.
The very BEST advice I can give you is this: REASEARCH and then research some more!
Read forums of this nature where people give opinions/reviews [good or bad] on products they've used. Sure, manufacturer's numbers/picturers/wordings posted on their webpages are pretty and very drawing to the naked eye, but this all serves a specific purpose. They are masters at marketing tools-n-tricks that will bewilder you; but remember at the day's end they're a business trying to earn yours/their paycheck so of course they're going to make their products sound and look like the very best of its kind available. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this approach as it's nature of the beast [business]. However, real-world users like you, I, and the rest of this board's members are the ones you should be paying extra attention to. Only folks like you-n-eye have truly fitted and tested these products over a prolonged period.... not just over the course of 24RS or so of testing.
And finally, EVERY opportunity you get, pick the bee-jeesus out of people-in-the-know's brains. I did this for many years and it's made me a better consumer for it.
At the day's end, weigh up ALL your research [pros and cons] and pick the products that best suit YOUR needs.