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Easy Ways How To Increase Horsepower With Performance Parts From K&N Air Filters

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In Southern California during the 1930’s, the term “Hot Rod” was used to reference old Fords, typically Model Ts or Model As, modified to reduce weight and increase horsepower

In Southern California during the 1930’s, the term “Hot Rod” was used to reference old Fords, typically Model Ts or Model As, modified to reduce weight and increase horsepower

The development of the steam engine provided a reason to compare the output of horses with that of the engines that could replace them. In the late 18th century Scottish engineer James Watt developed the term Horsepower to compare the output of steam engines with the power of draft horses. Horsepower (HP) as a unit of measurement of power was later expanded to include the output power of other types of piston engines, as well as turbines, electric motors and other machinery. The definition of a unit of horsepower varies between geographical regions; yet one constant remains and that is power. Leading up to Word War II many Americans discovered an addiction to horsepower and its correlation to speed.

One of the easiest ways to increase horsepower with performance parts from K&N is by installing a K&N drop-in replacement air filter into the stock air box of cars, trucks, SUVs, and more

One of the easiest ways to increase horsepower with performance parts from K&N is by installing a K&N drop-in replacement air filter into the stock air box of cars, trucks, SUVs, and more

In the late 1930’s, particularly in Southern California, the term “Hot Rod” appeared in reference to old Fords, typically Model Ts or Model As, modified to reduce weight and increase horsepower. Southern California became a hot bed for the go-fast car culture, and not coincidentally K&N performance filters was founded in the growing city of Riverside, California. K&N was formed by Ken Johnson and Norm McDonald in the early 1960’s. The duo ran a motorcycle dealership selling Yamaha and Indian motorcycles as well as their own line of motorcycle accessories. Ken and Norm were avid motorcycle racers who time and again were faced with the issue of protecting their engines from dirt without sacrificing performance.

An incredibly common way to increase horsepower of most carbureted cars & trucks is to replace the restrictive enclosed air cleaner assembly with a performance K&N open air cleaner

An incredibly common way to increase horsepower of most carbureted cars & trucks is to replace the restrictive enclosed air cleaner assembly with a performance K&N open air cleaner

The answer that Ken and Norm stumbled upon was the now legendary K&N high-flow air filter. At the time air filtration technology was crude and the K&N oiled cotton gauze air filter was a huge leap forward. Instead of traditional paper filter media, a K&N high-flow air filter uses multiple layers of surgical grade cotton gauze offset from one another and pleated between two layers of coated wire screen mesh. Rolls of pleated K&N filter media are trimmed and then molded into durable urethane frames, flanges, or top plates depending on the application. The K&N air filter has led to many easy ways how to increase horsepower with performance parts from K&N.

One of the easiest ways to increase horsepower with performance parts from K&N is by installing a K&N drop-in replacement air filter into the stock air box of cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, and more. For years the K&N air filter was nicknamed a “Filtercharger” due to its ability to reduce restriction and increase airflow which resulted in improved throttle response and acceleration. While the term Filtercharger has fallen into disuse, the same principal still applies. Installing a K&N factory replacement air filter can usually be completed in around 5 minutes and most times will not require tools. Installing a K&N air filter is one of the quickest and simplest performance modifications.

In the early 90’s K&N pioneered the Fuel Injection Performance Kit (FIPK) as an easy way to increase horsepower in fuel injected vehicles by eliminating the restrictive stock air filter box

In the early 90’s K&N pioneered the Fuel Injection Performance Kit (FIPK) as an easy way to increase horsepower in fuel injected vehicles by eliminating the restrictive stock air filter box

The four-barrel carburetor was king before widespread use of fuel injection for performance vehicles. One of the easiest ways to improve the performance of almost any carbureted car or truck was to replace the restrictive enclosed air cleaner assembly with a performance oriented open element air cleaner. The 14-inch round, by 3-inch high air cleaner assembly quickly became the go-to performance air cleaner choice for carbureted race car, hot rod, muscle car and pickup truck owners for years. K&N offers many styles of air cleaner assemblies, from 4” air cleaners for three 1-barrel Tri-Power style carburetor setups, to 16” diameter air cleaners for Holley Dominator racing carburetors. K&N can even help take airflow and carburetor performance to the next level with K&N Flow Control Air Filter Assemblies, K&N XStream® Filter Tops, and a K&N Stubstack®.

With the advent and mainstream use of electronic fuel injection the four barrel carburetor and 14”x3” air cleaner assembly became a thing of the past. In the early 1990’s K&N pioneered the Fuel Injection Performance Kit (FIPK). The first generation FIPK was an easy way to increase horsepower in fuel injected cars or trucks by reducing the restriction inherent to the stock air filter box and accordion hosing. Most Gen 1 fuel injection performance kits replaced stock components with an oversized K&N air filter mounted directly to the fuel injection throttle body, or mass airflow sensor. This was effective for the day, however, as vehicles have become more sophisticated so have the methods used to increase horsepower.

Some vehicles’ electronic engine controls are so sensitive that additional features such as enclosed air boxes, additional air inlets, or cold air intake scoops are used to increase horsepower

Some vehicles’ electronic engine controls are so sensitive that additional features such as enclosed air boxes, additional air inlets, or cold air intake scoops are used to increase horsepower

Hot rodders, racing enthusiasts, and car lovers have relied on K&N high-flow performance air filters for over 45 years in the quest for easy ways how to increase horsepower

Hot rodders, racing enthusiasts, and car lovers have relied on K&N high-flow performance air filters for over 45 years in the quest for easy ways how to increase horsepower

 

These days most K&N performance air intake systems included either a rotationally molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) air intake tube, or a mandrel-bent aluminum air intake tube, coupled to a large conical K&N high-flow air filter and protected by an application specific air filter heat shield. While this recipe for horsepower works in most cases, some vehicles’ computerized engine control units are so sensitive that additional features such as enclosed air boxes, supplementary air inlets, or even cold air intake scoops are utilized. If history has proven anything, it’s clear that advances in technology will not only improve the performance of vehicles directly from the assembly line, but it will also require aftermarket performance modifications to continually evolve. With that said, hot rodders and enthusiasts alike have relied on K&N high-flow performance air filters for over 45 years, and will continue to do so in their incessant quest for easy ways how to increase horsepower.

Find performance parts from K&N products made specifically to increase horsepower for your vehicle using the K&N Application Search, or browse K&N’s extensive offering of performance upgrades and racing products. Then use the K&N Dealer Search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.