CONCLUSION - Hear and See the Difference

K&N FIPKCan You Hear It?
So? Does it work? Well, yes! Actually, it does. With our own mod. you could hear it sucking air. At times it was a rushing sound and others it was a wheezing sound. Regardless, I knew it was working and could sense some difference in performance. Remember my disclaimer earlier, that this was a seat-of-pants comparison, right? Right.

The K&N FIPK, instead of having a wheezing sound, has more of a rushing sound. I mean, you can really hear the difference this thing makes. Hearing that difference tells me that more air is, in fact, going into throttle body.

Can You Feel It?
Yes you can feel it! I wanted to be sure of what I was feeling and hearing, which is why I did a more long-term test on our TJ's FIPK kit. Sometimes, when you put a new piece of equipment on your rig you only think you feel a difference. After time, you may realize that it was just that sucking feeling in your wallet and not any real performance gain. In this case, however, the sucking feeling is real and it's the feeling of more air getting sucked into the throttle body.

So what is it that I'm feeling? That's not an easy question to answer with words but I'll try. What I'm feeling is more throttle response and faster acceleration. The Project TJ currently has 4.11 gears, a manual tranny, Atlas II transfer case and 35" tires. The 4.11's are a bit on the short side when getting off the line on the street, meaning we really need 4.56's to get any real acceleration. We are swapping to 4.56 this month to do just that. There is a definite difference as the Jeep climbs through the gears with the FIPK installed. Keep reading...

Goin' Through the Gears
1st Gear: With the K&N FIPK installed, once I engage the clutch in first gear, the Jeep has more acceleration. Not only is there more, but it's more immediate. Hit the gas and go. The motor also has a throatier sound now. When I hit it hard, I pretend it's really a V-8 under there. OK, it's not that throaty, but it sounds better than it did before and sounding cool...is being cool.

2nd Gear: There is a noticeable difference, but bareit's not as noticable as 1st and 3rd gears. Yes, it still sounds cool and goes when you hit it, but it's just not quite as dramatic as 3rd. gear.

3rd Gear: Ahhh, 3rd gear. Third gear shines. I mean, you mash the go pedal and the Jeep just takes off. This is exactly what I mean when I talk about that seat-of-pants feeling. Take it up to 3300 rpm and pass those little stiffs in their rice burners! OK, maybe not all of the rice burners, but it does feel quick.

4th Gear: Again, noticeable improvement, but more like 2nd gear. It's there and goes better, but it won't turn your head.

5th Gear: What? "You use 5th gear with 35" tires?," you say? Yes, indeed, we do... and going up some pretty steep grades. For a while with the FIPK I wasn't sure exactly what I was feeling. The more I drove it, the more I refined those feelings. After going up some rather long and very steep hills, I realized that I was going over 60-65 miles per hour in 5th gear at around 2000-2200 rpm. At least I was for a while. This isn't a miracle-worker, after all. But, prior to using the FIPK, I could maybe get into 5th gear for a moment and then it was right back to 4th again. Now, 5th gear takes me a bit further than it did before and is actually a very usable gear.

You're Making This Up, Mike
I know that's what you're probably thinking by now. You probably think I'm blowing smoke by this point, but I'm really not. The inclination on this kit (and I had it myself) is that for under 40 bucks, you can chop the stock tube on the motor and add a K&N filter and be good to go using our mod.. By all means, if you're on a budget, go for it!.

However, if you've got a few more bucks to spend, I would recommend going with the FIPK. The extra performance gains are worth the price of admission.

You're probably also wondering whether or not it has done anything for our gas mileage. The answer is...well...maybe. It's hard to say, really, because the Jeep gets such poor milage in the first place. If it did get a mpg increase, it isn't much and certainly not enough to offset the dollars spent on the kit.

The straighter line of air-flow and more-importantly, the cooler air that gets used is what really makes the nearly $250 money well spent. At least it did on the Project TJ. Where you'll get your money's-worth is in performance - and performance is good. Or shall I say, oomph is good!

K&N Engineering
1455 Citrus Ave.
Riverside, California 92502
(909) 826-4000
4 Wheel Drive Hardware
44488 State Route 14
Columbiana, OH 44408
(800) 333-5535


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