Banks vs. K&N filter - is there really a difference?
I picked up a super clean 97 F350 with a 460 EFI about two-three weeks ago, and to my surprise (after we got it home), it has a complete Banks Power Pack Stinger system (Ram-air intake, complete exhaust).
I was about to do the first service, and noticed it had a FRAM air filter, which was odd. Called Banks and ordered a filter element for about $82 shipped. I asked what the advantage was to run their filter over a K&N, and the sales guy said their element was better due to being 8 ply verses 4 ply.
The filer showed up today, and guess what.. It has a K&N sticker on the box. Called Banks, and now they tell me K&N makes their filters...
Does anyone know if there is really a difference in these filters? I'm tempted to go buy the K&N local (which is about $30 cheaper), and cut them in half to see. But, the wife would kill me for wasting over $100 to find out.
I feel like I was took for $30+ dollars, and about a week wait for it to arrive from Cali.
I'm thinking the salesman is good at what he does.
I'm thinking you may be right. K&N confirmed that they make filters specifically for Banks Engineering, however they could not verify if the filter is in fact 8 ply vs their 4 ply - she said it's proprietary information. I just opened the box, and it has the K&N "manual" and sticker.
I called Advanced Auto Parts, and they have the K&N in stock. I'm going to swing by and compare the two - if they look identical, I'm calling Banks for a refund, and buying the local one - we're talkin $32 different here before tax. That's BS.
ETA: I also called Banks' customer service, and they too said it's a different filter.
I have been running K&Ns FIPK II with their filters for quite a few years on my V10. I did add the K&N prefilter for extra water resistance and dirt trapping. The prefilter keeps all the bugs and other crap from getting lodged in the pleats of the filter. For most N/A engines in most situations a K&N is fine in my experience. Start getting into forced induction diesel and/or a very dusty environment and a properly sized paper is a better choice.
Well, I compared the K&N model at Advanced Auto Parts to the Banks unit built by K&N. There is a difference. For one, on the Banks unit the filter elements run vertical when holding the rectangle horizontally, where as the K&N runs horizontal.
I think the Banks felt a tad heavier as well. So, I'm going to run it. Still strange and seems overpriced to me.
I wouldn't doubt K&N has Banks kits made by them. We have the Banks powerpack on our 02 F250 V10 but the Previous owner kept the stock filter housing and added an airaid filter. Personally never been much of a fan of K&N products but Banks I do like. Banks probably went poor and K&N bought into Banks to keep Banks going so that they keep going and get some money out of it. I am not sure. Banks proabably also makes thier own filters just for the reason of K&N owning part of them they have to put a K&N sticker or whatever on it.