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Old 05-10-2016, 11:55 AM   #1
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K&N cold air intake

So what are your opinions or experiences with using a K&N intake system on a Duramax?
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:13 PM   #2
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So what are your opinions or experiences with using a K&N intake system on a Duramax?
Save your money, the OEM filter outperforms the K&N, and every other aftermarket filter tested: ISO 5011 air filter test
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:26 AM   #3
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Save your money, the OEM filter outperforms the K&N, and every other aftermarket filter tested: ISO 5011 air filter test
I agree with this from every test I have ever seen and over 10 years experience with the OEM Duramax filter system.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:52 AM   #4
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X3 - K&N is supposedly the worse CAI for diesels. A CAI will do nothing or very little for a stock motor. You will only see benefits if you modify your motor to the extent of needing the extra air flow. To be honest though, I do have a S&B CAI. I do have some modifications on my truck.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:58 AM   #5
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WOW!! Unanimous opinion! Thanks everyone....I was kind of wondering if you are taking in that much more wouldn't you at the least have to modify the exhaust so you can let more out? If the exhaust couldn't handle the increased air intake then it would have some kind of "bottle neck" effect, but I'm not a mechanic.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:24 AM   #6
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WOW!! Unanimous opinion! Thanks everyone....I was kind of wondering if you are taking in that much more wouldn't you at the least have to modify the exhaust so you can let more out? If the exhaust couldn't handle the increased air intake then it would have some kind of "bottle neck" effect, but I'm not a mechanic.

The basic issue with these increased air flow intake systems is the enormous volume of air ingested by a Diesel engine. This volume makes them sensitive to contaminated air, particularly dust. A medium or heavy duty diesel will require a rebuild if it ingests 4-5 ounces of dust over its lifetime.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:31 AM   #7
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EVERY K&N application I have ever seen is exposed to and draws from engine compartment air which is at least heated by the hot engine or heated by the hot radiator, is thus hotter and thus less dense than outside air, and is thus, counterproductive junk displaying the poor decision making of the owner.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:26 AM   #8
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WOW!! Unanimous opinion! Thanks everyone....I was kind of wondering if you are taking in that much more wouldn't you at the least have to modify the exhaust so you can let more out? If the exhaust couldn't handle the increased air intake then it would have some kind of "bottle neck" effect, but I'm not a mechanic.
You are correct! When modifying a diesel engine the first step is to enlarge the exhaust from the turbo back (just like a water pipe, the smallest restriction determines total flow volume), second is install a complete set of gauges so you know what's happening to the engine(@ 1,380 deg F exhaust valves begin to soften), only then will an intake modification safely improve performance.
20 years ago the rule of thumb for increasing HP in a diesel was $10 per HP, I shudder to think what it is today.
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:11 AM   #9
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I used K&N filters on my racing motorcycles, but I rebuilt the engines at least yearly. Don't want to have a dusted engine in an RV or car/truck so I stick with the OEM filters.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:07 AM   #10
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You are correct! When modifying a diesel engine the first step is to enlarge the exhaust from the turbo back (just like a water pipe, the smallest restriction determines total flow volume), second is install a complete set of gauges so you know what's happening to the engine(@ 1,380 deg F exhaust valves begin to soften), only then will an intake modification safely improve performance.
20 years ago the rule of thumb for increasing HP in a diesel was $10 per HP, I shudder to think what it is today.
X2 on the gauges...except that was the first step for me. I use the Edge digital setup. Monitor EGT, Transmission temp, boost, and fuel rail pressure.

I kept the same exhaust system, just replaced the OEM muffler with an after market (MBRP) muffler. I saw the biggest gain from that. From how it was explained to me...you would see no gains from increasing the diameter of the exhaust system unless you were going for big HP, say 500 or better. This is for the Ram/CTD...could be different for the Duramax and others.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:55 AM   #11
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Ok guys.....Ray and Smitty.....if I perform the mods you suggest what kind of performance increases can I expect, hp, mpg, torque?
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:26 PM   #12
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Ok guys.....Ray and Smitty.....if I perform the mods you suggest what kind of performance increases can I expect, hp, mpg, torque?
IMHO...
1. What is your goal...looking to accomplish?
2. Get gauges.
3. Transmission: That is usually the weakest link. A stock transmission can only handle so much hp/torque over stock.
4. If you are wanting a few more HP/torque I would start with a tuner of some sort. I know nothing of Duramax so can not recommend anything. I do believe EFI Live is available, which is what I run on my Ram. I originally used a tuner with a 40, 70 (towing), 100hp tunes for years with no ill effects. But, I am a conservative driver, no burn outs, no 2500 rpm launches and eased into it, especially when towing.See #3.
5. Exhaust: I did see some benefit in changing out my muffler. It seemed to lower EGT's some. Usually lower EGT's means you are burning less fuel. Did it help with HP/torque, MPG...not really sure.
6. See #3.
7. If available, talk to a dependable diesel performance shop.
8. Find a forum for diesels/Duramaxx and read up. Lots of good info out there...but a lot of BS also.

Hope this helps...if you would like to discuss send me a PM and I can pass along my phone number.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:22 PM   #13
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I have one on my 2001 GMC Sierra 3500 with the duramax and am looking for the oem intake to put back on. The K&N doesn't give any boosts that i can tell and you have to constantly clean the MAF sensor due to the oil on the filter. Be for I get yelled at, I bought the truck with the K&N installed on it.

If anyone knows of a oem intake out there let me know please.
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Old 06-29-2016, 03:40 AM   #14
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I have one on my 2001 GMC Sierra 3500 with the duramax and am looking for the oem intake to put back on. The K&N doesn't give any boosts that i can tell and you have to constantly clean the MAF sensor due to the oil on the filter. Be for I get yelled at, I bought the truck with the K&N installed on it.

If anyone knows of a oem intake out there let me know please.
And numerous tests through the years have shown that K&N filters pass more particulate matter through to your engine.

I would check a salvage yard or two and find a truck that wasn't destroyed in the front.

Good luck.
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