I don't know if they'll fully answer the oil vs. dry question in my lifetime. I certainly didn't intend to start another debate on it
Any "High Performance" filter is high performance by letting more air through. The only way that you let more air through is to increase the size of the air passages. You could increase the size (surface area of the filter), but, there are space limitations underhood and it is really hard to improve upon the total surface area of the paper filters that come OEM. The biggest improvement of the CAI systems is getting rid of the resonator and the convoluted air path.
If you let more air through, you let more contaminants through. Fact. Now, the big thing is the size of the particles and the amount (count). I've never seen a really good analysis of what is OK for an engine... How big / small can the particles be, how many and what time frame for damage to occur? Is .5 micron too big? How about .3? How small before the mass is so insignificant that most of it "blows" through the system without doing damage?
Oiled filters, if done properly, I would think
, have the advantage of a "sticky" layer, that, could concievably catch more of the smaller stuff (law of averages, if a .3 micron bounces around in a .5 micron hole going through, it might
stick). Can you muck up your engine by over-oiling or not allowing an adequate dry time. Yep. No argument from me on that.
Is the dry more convenient? I would definitely say so. It would flow more air than stock, but, IMHO, let more contaminants through than a properly oiled one. Are the maybe
increased levels of contaminents of any consequence? Who knows for sure...not me, and I don't profess to.
I have the time and the technique for doing the oiled filters and have been for lots of years, kinda "natural" to me now, and I've never damaged an engine with them yet. I've had engines fail, don't get me wrong, but, directly traceable to the air filter / type? Nope. My son is still driving my old 96 Caravan with 222,000 miles on it. Doesn't burn maybe 1/2 quart between oil changes (6,000 miles with Amsoil).
Almost any "improvement" you're going to make has trade offs - you have to figure out which ones you want to live with :-) I built high performance engines in the 60's (yeah, I'm old) - they didn't tend to last too long, but, boy would they run! High performance mostly is synonymous with high maintenance
It's what I'm used to and I don't mind the time, gave up golf and working on my "toys" is therapy.
BTW, I have a prefilter for my oiled Airaid - yes, I can thump the filter clean in a pinch and the prefilter is water resistant in case I get splash ups.
I hope no one goes off the deep end - I'm explaining the logic I used to the 'fella that was in a quandry
For the safety of the world, I hope there aren't too many people that think like I do!