Snorkel Uni filter

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 16:34
ThreadID: 132830 Views:3519 Replies:10 FollowUps:24
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Hi all, just wondering, if anyone uses one of these, have one similar on my Adventure bike 1200 gsa bmw, went on a 2 day ride, following a mate, heaps of dust. When I got home, pulled it out, and thick with dust, air filter element was still like new..
Interested to know if fitted on the safari snorkel, they do as good a job. I have seen the odd 4by running around with one on.. Any body know much about them? Or use them? Pros n cons welcome..
We are doing a 5/6 week trip, Plenty Hwy, Simpson, and into the Flinders Ranges, with two other vehicles, so I'm thinking, could be a bit of dust involved in this trip, if it stops raining and dries out.. Anyway.. Thanks all.. Odog
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Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 18:42

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 18:42
I was thinking of getting one sometime. I talked to a fellow at work who has tried them he said it did help to keep the main filter clean but reckons he used more fuel. Wonder if anyone else has had similar results.
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Reply By: Member - Len & Rhoda - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 18:55

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 18:55
Hi
I run one on my Troopy when travelling on dirt with other vehicles and it works well, I use the K&N spray on filter oil, just a light coating and clean it every 2 days. I have a 6.5 chev turbo fitted and it makes no difference to the fuel consumption.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 22:19

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 22:19
I can understand that there's no change in econ it's only a piece of thin foam but I didn't bother to question what he said.
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 22:04

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 22:04
I have the type which is a sock that fits inside the snorkel top and comes in lots of 3. They obviously have a much bigger surface area than the ones which fit over the front of the snorkel.
I used them an around OZ trip when on dirt and found it great. (Tanami, GRR, Kulumburu)
After about 2-3 days in bad dust My Range rover Classic used to get a miss and I would swap over the filters.
A bit messy to clean as I would clean in Turps and reoil.
On coming home my main filter was perfect and I was able to keep running it for another six months.
I still have them and will use on my Discovery2 diesel.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 16:00

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 16:00
That's like the one on the bike, like a sock that goes inside the air intake, doesn't affect the performance at all, don't know about fuel economy, but know it does a great job.. cheers
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 22:46

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 22:46
I have been using a Uni Filter as my prime and only air filter in the OKA for 12 years. I replaced the original with a new one after 9 years.
I wash it in turps and re oil it with hydraulic oil as and when required.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Injected - Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 00:05

Sunday, Jul 03, 2016 at 00:05
Hi Peter,
I would use the proper filter oil as its very sticky and helps catch dirt particles compared to hydraulic oil.
Regards
Angus.
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Reply By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 08:31

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 08:31
Yep, use in the dust all the time.
I use the K&N or Castrol spray oils. K&N also do a spray cleaner that soap dissolves easily so you don't need turps, kero etc to clean it.

I carry three filters and rotate daily. I find that they don't last too long before the glue holding them together lets go. Still cheaper than teh OEM filter.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 09:03

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 09:03
Maybe the K&N cleaning spray is breaking the glue down when you wash it or even the spray oil it's petroleum based.
Are they suppose to be oiled or are they designed to be left dry I've never had one but I do have a K&N as a main air filter.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 09:19

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 09:19
Yeah thats what I thought but I've had a new one fall apart too. Shoddy workmanship or maybe Chinese knock offs...

Yes you oil them but you have to use special oil that's as tacky as hell. Normal engine type oils will run down and drip all over the windscreen and snorkel. Don't ask how I know this. Its the oil that traps the dust. The sock is just there to hold the oil.

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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 16:04

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 16:04
I purchased a twin pack, same thing I'm thinking, being able to change them over every couple of days.. Thanks Odog
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 20:26

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 20:26
No worries thanks
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 09:20

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 09:20
You are supposed to use unifilter oil as it is very viscous gooey stuff and doesn't flow out of the filter like K&N. That is why it is messy as first the turps then you have to squeeze the oil into the filter with your hands if in the bush.

I always found that the inside of the sock was extremely dusty, hence the mess when cleaning but the outside was pristine, the outside being the inside or nearest to the main filter. LOL
Just be aware that it is not a good idea to run Unifilters or K&N as the main filter if you have a Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) as it is easy to over oil and it can corrupt the MAF.
I found that the socks did not fit my fibreglass Range Rover snorkel exactly but on the advice of the Unifilter bloke at West Gosford, I cut up a couple of beer cans and glued them inside the snorkel rim and that fixed the problem. No such problem with the molded Chinese snorkel on my D2.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 16:14

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 16:14
When my youngest was racing a couple of moto cross bikes, we had a big packet of surgical gloves for doing the filters, use to use motul brand oils, and the air filter oil was sticky as, and bright blue... Would wash the filter, dry it, put it in a plastic bag, and put a small amount of filter oil in, then squeeze it through the filter.. Reused the same plastic bag till it was no good.. Terrible stuff to get off your hands.. Thanks for the replies, all.. Always good to hear others thoughts and ideas.. Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 19:35

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 19:35
According to K&N that's a myth spread by people who basically don't like them or know what they're talking about, if you go to K&N's website they say you can run one without a problem. http://www.knfilters.com/maf/massair.htm
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 21:05

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 at 21:05
AFAIR the blue ones were Finer Filters .
They were /are made by Unifilter also, I guess to be an exclusive line for some retail chain.
Regards Philip A

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Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 08:59

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 08:59
Just to those who use K&N filter oil and other spray oils.

The bloke who owns Unifilter who I have met several times over the years both at his original factory at Hornsby and his later one at west Gosford is adamant that the Unifilter oil ( I think called Filter Fix) should be the only one used on Unifilters.

This is because the thin ones can flow out of the filter leaving it dry. The filter works because the gooey sticky oil stays in the pores of the filter and it is this that catches the dirt. Also the thin oil can flow into the MAF if used as a main filter. A K7N works??? quite differently as it is only a thin barrier gauze , and IMHO should never be used offroad.

He was quite direct on this. I recall he squeezes the excess oil out by spinning the filters up in an old washing machine. I don't think my SWMBO would like that much.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 13:26

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 13:26
Used to have a Unifilter in an 80 series we had, Philip, for some years, but reverted back to paper filters. Did use Filter Fix oil often, and one of the other brands mentioned earlier, Mogul?

Our wagon would often sit for weeks, without any use, and in the hotter months, 40-plus being the daily average, I found the oil would wick into the bottom of the air cleaner, and the foam appeared very dry. My employer at the time was quite happy to supply me with the genuine or otherwise, paper elements, as an alternative. :-)

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 19:55

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 19:55
Rangiephil if I read it correctly your saying that you were told a K&N filter should never be used off road.
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 07:37

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 07:37
Ive used them for a few years now. A great idea.

The best oil is from your local bike shop, I use Belray in a spray can. I've used K&N oil once..................and went straight back to Belray.

You will use more fuel if filter is very dirty, especially if you're still running a carby, hence you need to carry a few spares and change regularly.

I have heard of some diesel engines not taking kindly to snorkel filters especially the internal sock type.

Cheers
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 08:52

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 08:52
Odog, I'm definitely not a fan of these oiled filters, but did consider them a long time ago for my desert trips.
Especially the external one as this should also keep insects etc out of the snorkel head and be easy enough to manage.

I personally feel it is just a pita concept for 4wdn, most factory main air filters are perfectly fine to keep your engine free of dust, and I always do a full service (air and fuel filters inc) plus take a spare air filter with me (along with spare oil / fuel filters, hoses and belts) on longer drives and remote.

To avoid dust problems, I just stay well back from a vehicle/s in front, usually there is a light wind to assist blowing across a track in some form, you just set up to best use this, or hang back as far as necessary.
If passing a vehicles (or more rarely overtaking) at any time, it isn't too long in the dust, and if a convoy etc is seen approaching, it isn't too much drama to pull up in a good spot to avoid dust and let them pass, then proceed again.
I also let the revs back down to idle, so the intake is actually taking in very little air.
Try that, if idling you can feel a light flow at snorkel intake, have someone rev it just a little and the flow is surprisingly high.

After considering the unifilter system I decided I for one wouldn't be wanting to spend the time maintaining over a trip the way that is needed for it to remain efficient . . . seriously, checking every couple of days, rotating a few a day, solvent cleaners, plastic bags of special oil ??? It ain't gonna happen ??? And you know it !! :) :)

The factory filters are large enough, and efficient enough, to cope with a lot of dust.
Run with it and carry a spare just in case it is really dry, there's lots of traffic, and you strike mostly unfavourable or no wind on such tracks / roads.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 11:47

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 11:47
May not work for you Les but it does for others.
I don't think anyone has claimed that the OEM filter is not up to the job rather its about pre-filtering and increasing the life of the (expensive) OEM filter.
I have no problem washing them out every day or so, takes 5 minutes if you use the K&N cleaner and you are not covering yourself in oil, turps, petrol or whatever other solvent is at hand. Other methods (apart from fire) are definitely time consuming.

I like the idea of removing some of the crap from before my main filter as its rather expensive so a bit of pre-filtering pays off.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 12:03

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 12:03
Like I said Malcolm, finicky pre filtering is not something I am concerned about, nor think necessary in 95% of 4WDn situations.

Suppose it depends on driving habits, roads driven, all the factors mentioned above . . . and filter cost.
My filters (Repco) are only $52 or so, cheaper when on special at Supercheap (-20% = $41.60).
I change mine every service as a precautionary measure, dust is the enemy of diesels / CR systems.
When replacing filter, I even smear a little rubber grease on the filter lip, this totally seals the join to the housing part.

I just got home on the weekend from a 4575km round trip taking in Kulgera to Birdsville on Madigan, then home to Adelaide.
Ok, BV Tk, William Ck - Coober Pedy roads were shockers with mud (no dust), but my filter is clean even with Madigan (dry) and 9 vehicles in group.
I have driven the very dusty Ood, BV, and Strz tks when dry and lots of traffic.
At worst after 2 weeks solid I have removed filter and bumped out maybe a teaspoon of dust.

Unless you are constantly in someones dust, it really isn't a big issue.
These types of oiled filters are actually designed for track racing engines, but have been seized upon by makers to push to 4WDrs to supposedly help with dust (?) . . .

I personally don't feel it is worth it to go through all this (maybe the snorkel head filter / outer cover if ever going WA outback) as a routine trip task.
But if others do, they are more than welcome to do so.
Just putting forward my alternative view on it and not attacking anyones right to use them :)
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 14:01

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 14:01
I'm with Les on this issue. The less maintenance one needs to do on a trip then more time for checking items like loose nuts, bolts and fittings that invariably crop on the roads most of us like to travel.

Don't really give a rat's what others use, but have stuck to OME paper filters for the past 15 years or so, because of possible problems with oil wicking out of Unifilters and the like. Paper filters are all the go in the earthmoving industry, and have been for years.

About 30 years ago, I spent 6 years bouncing around on a small Cat elevating scraper. Now if there's one machine that makes a lot of dust it's a scraper, and quite often they are working in their own dust. Only recall one job, where we had to change the primary filter each day, rather than at the 250hr service. So I tend to be a bit blase about air filter cleaning. If you have a snorkel and don't continually drive in others dust, as in a convoy, then spend that filter cleaning time on checking the airline clamps 'n stuff, or making sure the drinks are cold.

We did 2900kms to Birdsville, Simpson, Madigan, Birdsville about a week before Les, so we missed most of the rain his party suffered. Just checked the air cleaner element, and couldn't get any dust out of it! Might have been different with a Cape or Savannah Way trip.......lot more dust up that way.

Bob



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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 14:13

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 14:13
Cheers Bob.

I certainly feel if people want to go with the prefilters, go for it.
Some roads at some times on the year MIGHT be subject to a lot of traffic, and conditions (no wind to blow dust away etc) for days on end that allow a lot of dust to linger about, but in the main if you tailor your driving to suit, you can easily get by with the large factory paper filters found in 99% of 4WD vehicles these days.

I know on this recent Madigan trip I did, I saw others in the group quite close to those in front at times, in their dust zone, and I thought, why ??
I sat back 100m sometimes and had a clear view.

At the end of the day, a light dust brush, and in the morning a wet chux rinse was all I needed to keep windows very clear ready for the days driving.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 17:34

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 17:34
Thanks guys, I'm the last one to sit in anyone's dust, I'll drop back, as far as I need to stay out of it.. (Except on a bike).. Haven't had a look, or opened the packet yet, but I'm presuming, they just slip over the head of the snorkel, not much involved in fitting and removing.. To me, if it helps to keep the stock filter a bit cleaner, when you do cop a bit of dust, then it's doing its thing... I will give them a go, when we are off the black top, and see how they perform.. Just seeing how the one on the bike worked, that one ride, would have needed a new genuine filter, judging by the state of the Uni filter, was thick with dust. I thought it was pretty amazing... Thanks again for all the info and thoughts.. Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 17:40

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 17:40
Cheers odog, sounds like you are only looking at the one over the snorkel head, a rectangular shape.
That's the one I mentioned in a post I might consider one day if I was going to find myself doing some very bad / busy roads, as it would probably help a little and be a lot easier to manage than the socks.
I've never actually found more than a couple of small insects in my air filter housing, but these would also help keep bugs and small birds out of your intake too :D
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 18:15

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 18:15
Saw a couple of socks in use while we were Birdsville, Odog, so they're common enough.

While I wouldn't use one continually, can see their benefit on roads that are renowned for heavy bulldust, and regular traffic volumes. They're not heavy, even with the cleaning/oil containers, so would fit in a small area.

The bright red colour contrasts well with black snorkels too, Odog. :-)

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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 18:58

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 18:58
Yeah, the sock type, would have to undo the head, and slide it into the snorkel.. I'm just going to try the one that slips over the snorkel head. Don't think they would be any where near as affective as a sock, but maybe a little less mucking around, and don't think they would cause a great deal of restriction either.. Thanks guys.. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 19:32

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 19:32
I use the external boot type a lot when in convoys. Wouldn't bother if I'm out front though.
Doesn't matter if you 100 or 1000 meters behind. Its all about wind direction and where the dust is relative to your car. Did a trip last year where there was absolutely no wind and the 8 cars were spaced a couple of Km apart. I was about number 5 and the external filter was choked up after the day.

It costs you just about bugger all to try and if you can't be bothered then bin it.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 20:12

Thursday, Jun 23, 2016 at 20:12
Now I'm mixed up...........I thought a "sock" would go on outside of the snorkel? Apparently the ones I saw were red boots.......suppose you wouldn't see the internal "socks" anyway.

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Reply By: Zippo - Friday, Jun 24, 2016 at 09:55

Friday, Jun 24, 2016 at 09:55
After reading al the other replies, I'm wondering why no-one mentioned - or uses - the Donaldson style units as pre-filters.

I fitted one some 35 years back on a VW Kombi camper and the results were quite impressive. Those ears on the Kombi caught a lot of dust and the engine bay was full of the stuff after long runs on unsealed roads. The Donaldson had trapped a heap of it, but the standard filter was clean as new.

Do they still exist?
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Jun 25, 2016 at 15:10

Saturday, Jun 25, 2016 at 15:10
Donaldson, are still around, fuel filters, not sure about air cleaners.. Never enquired... I'm just running standard air cleaner, with a snorkel... Cheers
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jun 25, 2016 at 15:20

Saturday, Jun 25, 2016 at 15:20
Pretty certain those Donaldson pre-cleaners are still available, Zippo.

Much of the earthmoving gear that once used them have more sophisticated trash extraction systems, so the pre cleaners aren't needed. Have seen smaller machines, like bobcats, still using them. They work really well with heavier air borne material, but will fill quickly in any extreme dust conditions.

Seem to recall a post on this forum, some years ago, where it was suggested that fitting a smaller pre-cleaner than required, increased fuel consumption by quite a bit.

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