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1992-On Upper Radiator Grille

K&N Air Filter - Safety

The air filters on the Jaguar XJ-S V12 have a metal panel in them that sits over the butterfly throat itself.  This panel may exist to protect the filter in the event of a backfire, or it may ensure that the filter doesn't get pulled into the butterfly and jam it open -- which would be bad.

When ABS brakes were introduced in the late 80's, the original simple master cylinder arrangement was replaced with the more complex ABS valve body.  This interfered with the air filter housings, so they were relocated forward -- which means the opening to the butterfly was relocated rearward within the housing.  The housings otherwise remained unchanged, but the filters changed -- the blank-off panel had to move closer to the rear end to remain over the butterfly opening.

The filters that K&N make to fit the Jaguar XJ-S don't have the blank-off panel, and therefore the same filter fits both the pre-
ABS and ABS cars.  There doesn't seem to be a problem with either the K&N filters getting roasted in a backfire or with them getting sucked into the butterfly; in general, a K&N is more structurally sound than a standard paper filter.  And the lack of a blank-off panel sure looks like it helps airflow a lot.

Ah, but why take the chance on being the first guy to have a K&N jam the butterfly?  It's easy to provide some security against that filter getting pulled into the throat:

That arch was made from a length of stainless steel radio antenna.  The antenna was picked up at a junkyard; I always keep an eye out for good ones when visiting a junkyard because 1/10" stainless rod is hard to find.  You have to choose your antennas carefully because many are tapered, thicker at the base than at the tip.  You want a cheap one, constant size from base to tip.  If you can't find one at a junkyard, you can buy a replacement mast for a few bucks at Wal-Mart.  Of course, you could use pretty much any stout wire for this job, or even devise a different way to ensure the filter stays out of the throat.

Doesn't look as restrictive as the blank-off plate in the paper filter, does it?


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