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#4606967 - 12/18/17 07:53 AM Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1518
Loc: wv
My UTV- Sees alot of dust, dirt, silt..offroad use. My oem paper filter gets very dusty and dirty after each ride..unless it has rained recently.


I am an avid facebook group reader due to forums nearly being dead these days.. seeing debates nearly every other day on air filters.. paper vs foam.

OEM Paper- you have a choice of either cleaning the filter and risking damage to filter or passing fines through the filter or buying a new one after each weekend of riding, or running a dusty filter. No aftermarket support- so have to buy the dealers paper filter or buy online. $40/air filter.

Aftermarket Foam- Designed to be washed and oiled. About the same cost as OEM but you shouldnt have to buy another one again, just air filter oil.


Valid Points- Dirt bikes are nearly all foam filters, yet atvs and utvs are nearly all paper filters from the factory. Off road equipment such as dozers, tractors, rock trucks etc...are all paper filters and seem to be designed for that usage.


So if you planned on hitting the milestone of 10000 miles on a UTV would you go with paper or foam?

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#4606985 - 12/18/17 08:16 AM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I'd go with paper and vacuum it out every couple weekends. Foam is good for storing large amounts of dirt but still flowing well, but I assume it lets more very fine dust through.
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#4606988 - 12/18/17 08:20 AM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16819
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
It does not have to be cleaned after every ride. An air filter has to be very restricted to cause problems. I do mine 2x a year or so.
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#4607021 - 12/18/17 09:20 AM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
old1 Offline


Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 1000
Loc: Columbus Nebraska
Having been a small engine mechanic for over 40 years, and used both, in your case I would probably opt for the foam. Oiled PROPERLY, foam is an excellent filter.
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#4607116 - 12/18/17 11:00 AM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5514
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Both, desert racers have been putting foam socks over their paper filters for decades. Foam prefilter, paper for fines.

Blow paper filter out from inside so no fines passing through.
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#4607252 - 12/18/17 12:56 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
thastinger Offline


Registered: 10/23/17
Posts: 62
Loc: VA
An oiled media filter is going to do well to filter out dust but it is not going to filter sand at all, if you want both and be able to clean it get a k&n type filter with an outerwear.

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#4607409 - 12/18/17 03:32 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
Marco620 Offline


Registered: 02/25/14
Posts: 2186
Loc: Deplorable Kansan,HK fan!
Just foam it with nylon drycharger from AEM,Injen, or K&N. If you cant get exact size,take pantyhose and double over with rubber band or zip tie
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#4607507 - 12/18/17 05:40 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
malibuguy79 Offline


Registered: 12/11/17
Posts: 86
Loc: Maryland
Foam is better for this application. It holds alot more dirt before flow is restricted and water splashes wont bother it. I run foam on my cars and I use BELRAY filter oil. Which is one of the best oils out there. Do not use motor oil, it just does not work nearly the same. The BELRAY oil so tenacious with its stickyness. Wear gloves haha
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#4607669 - 12/18/17 08:22 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
Srt20 Offline


Registered: 07/14/14
Posts: 494
Loc: Wisconsin
Get on the UTV forums. Nobody runs foam or oiled gauze filters. They let way to much crud through. Way to many rebuilds because of this.
Paper or synthetic only.

IDK what kind of UTV you have but there is quite a few UTV forums, especially RZR, Ranger and Can Am.


Edited by Srt20 (12/18/17 08:23 PM)

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#4607945 - 12/19/17 07:58 AM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: Srt20]
krismoriah72 Online   content


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1518
Loc: wv
About the same reaction here as I have seen on Facebook Group Forums.

If you own a dirt bike you get a foam filter oem

If you own an atv you get a foam filter oem.

If you own a UTV you get a a paper filter oem.

I went ahead and bought a foam filter to try it out, there is at least a half/half bias everywhere i read that foam is better than paper and paper is better than foam.

I have yet to see a dirt bike or atv post that said get rid of the oem foam filter and put in a paper filter..which has me leaning towards foam.

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#4608326 - 12/19/17 01:59 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Toys vs tools, I think. Big expensive stuff(tractors, construction eqp) get paper filters with centrifugal prefiltering. High performance toys get foam filters so they won't loose much hp as the filter fills up. UTV's are a spectrum so I guess its up to you to decide.
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#4608630 - 12/19/17 07:04 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
irv Offline


Registered: 10/08/06
Posts: 1059
Loc: Oshawa, Ont. Canada
I am surprised nobody in this thread has mentioned Twin Air air filters.

I ran these for years in my dirt bike-Moto X bikes and my Grizzly ATV. By far, imo, and others, you will not find a better filter.
Clean and re-oil regularly and you'll never have an issue. One trick I did, was run a thin bead of grease on the mating surface where it joins/mounts. My friends said I was crazy but being in a hurry most of the time to catch the next moto, I thought it was a great idea.
https://www.twinair.com/
https://www.twinair.com/air-fuel-oil-filtration-products.html


Edited by irv (12/19/17 07:06 PM)
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#4609635 - 12/20/17 07:37 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
cronk Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 1287
Loc: Watertown, New York
I have had dirt bikes and ATV's that used a foam filter.
Last one I bought was a UNI filter brand. I am please with it's construction, it uses 2 layers of foam, a courser layer on the outside and a fine inner layer. I am pretty confident, that when properly oiled, it filters quite well.
Paper or synthetic filters are tough to beat on filtration though.
My guess is the paper probably does a better job of filtering out fine particles, but a good quality foam filter will remove most particles large enough to cause engine damage.

The main thing with foam filters is keeping them maintained, they will not filter fine dust well unless properly oiled.
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#4618877 - 12/30/17 02:14 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: krismoriah72]
jongies3 Offline


Registered: 03/11/16
Posts: 797
Loc: MT
My 400EX uses oiled foam filters. I would think they are better at trapping finer particles than paper. I change mine once a year, not worth messing with cleaning and re-oiling it when it's only a $12 filter.
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#4619036 - 12/30/17 05:26 PM Re: Paper vs Foam Air Filters for UTV [Re: jongies3]
irv Offline


Registered: 10/08/06
Posts: 1059
Loc: Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: jongies3
My 400EX uses oiled foam filters. I would think they are better at trapping finer particles than paper. I change mine once a year, not worth messing with cleaning and re-oiling it when it's only a $12 filter.


Replacing a filter once a year, without cleaning it, on an atv no less, is asking a lot of that filter and imo is doing harm, likely, to your atv.
I assume you don't ride in very dusty areas, or your filter isn't the best at filtering, or you don't ride much, or you do a fair amount of engine work?
When I rode, which was also the norm for guys I rode with, we cleaned our filters everyday we rode. Yeah, it can be labor intensive, but that depends on how you look at it? I would much rather have a clean/oiled filter in there knowing my engine isn't starving and is down on power and quite possibly causing engine damage as well.
Each to their own.
https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/703078-how-often-do-you-clean-your-air-filter/
_________________________
2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 Ltr.
2013 Ram Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
PP and/or PUP for both vehicles.

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