I got a lot of flak for the intake filter dunk test I recently did. Some was great constructive criticism. Some was the standard hostility you see in the comments section on YouTube. Hopefully this blog post will help answer some questions and let people know why I filmed the video the way I did!
Viewer Reactions and My Response to the Dunk Test
One of the guys from the forums messaged me about my recent Intake Filter Dunk Test video. He expressed his concern about how the video was biased to make cloth filters seem inherently unsafe, and that it can make Aston owners worry that those filters can lead to engine damage. We had a nice chat about it and, while we didn't agree on some things (I still don't like oiled filters), it was a great reminder about presenting a balanced perspective in my blog and video.
I did try to make it clear in that video that I don't oppose all cloth filters - in fact, I've used them on every other vehicle I've owned including my current daily driver - and that the whole point of the video was about filtration and safety. I did say that you can get better performance from cloth filters, but the video was about safety, not performance, which is why it was so biased in favor of the OEM paper filters. I even named my blog post about the topic "Why I use OEM filters (At least for now)" to show that I haven't ruled out aftermarket cloth filters. And I am working on getting high-performance filters added to my online store, along with adapters to use when removing the airboxes.
My idea for doing a dunk test started to address concerns about removing the air boxes from an Aston Martin. Of course dunking an air filter into water is going to cause problems and affect the filter and the intake system in general. The point of filming it was to show how quickly water can get through each type of filter. The test did work. It showed that cloth filters do nothing to stop water from getting into the intake system while the paper filters prevent water from getting through for quite a while in comparison. So my conclusion was that it's relatively safe to remove the air boxes if you're sticking with the OEM filters, but far less safe as far as water ingestion is concerned if you do so and use cloth filters.
Since the video was specifically about safety and about water ingestion, that's what I focused on. Yes, that made it very biased in favor of the OEM paper filters. I did mention that there are benefits to using high-flow cloth filters, and I'll be discussing that again when I do my next intake filter video since it will be about the performance benefits of using cloth filters. So expect my next intake filter video to be heavily biased in the other direction. But to help clarify why the bias exists, I'll try to do better at explaining what exactly the video is about. Hopefully that will keep people from thinking that I'm completely in support (or against) a certain item.
Why I Make Certain Recommendations
All that said, I still don't like oiled filters. That's my personal stance based on my own experiences and from what I've seen first-hand (including an engine that was hydrolocked when water was sucked up through the cloth filter of an aftermarket cold-air intake). I personally don't think oiled filters are work the risk and that's what I tell people when they ask for my opinion.
Not long after posting the dunk test video I received an email from a guy asking which oiled intake filters I recommend. I'm pretty sure he knew my stance on them since he said up front that he knows about the risks involved. He wanted my opinion on the oiled filters made by two different companies so I told him my thoughts on each one as best as I could. I didn't kick a dead horse saying that I don't like oiled filters, I just answered his questions.
I mention this because I think it's an important aspect of what I'm doing with Redpants. I started Redpants because I get asked for recommendations quite often, including where to get parts from. I figured, "Why not just sell the parts that I recommend?" There are a ton of online retailers that will sell you anything they can. They need those sales to run their businesses, and that's perfectly understandable. I'm in a fortunate position where I don't rely on Redpants for my income *knock vigorously on wood* so I don't need to push sales. I can offer my honest opinion on parts, even if it means I'm losing sales. And although I know I'm losing sales, I think it's still helping my business overall because people know they can trust me. Even if we don't agree on certain things (like oiled intake filters), they know that I'll give them as much information as I can so they can make an informed decision - even if it means they end up shopping elsewhere.
So long as I maintain my honesty, I know Redpants will continue to grow. I'd rather it build up slowly with a solid foundation the way it is now. Once I sacrifice my integrity to make a quick buck, I've become yet another big-box retailer focused on volume and not on quality service.
The V8 Vantage Exhaust System page has been built out with more information. There's still more to do (which is the case with pretty much everything on this website) but it's a good starting point for people that want to know about the system and modifications.
I've also started adding information to the Weightloss page. It's pretty empty right now but there will eventually be a ton of information on this page so make sure you check back regularly. Weight loss is an area I'm very focused on because it benefits every aspect of the car's performance.
Some of you may have noticed a delay in receiving Motul orders. Many of Motul's products were out of stock with my supplier and they had to wait for more inventory to arrive. It's back in stock now so those backordered shipments have been sent out. I apologize for the delay!
Aston Martin's accessory socket flashlight has been added to the online store.
And... TPMS Defeats should be back in stock by the end of the week!!! FINALLY!!!