PROJECT CARS: K&N Air & Oil Filters For Project 944

K&N Panel Air Filter

Whilst there are certainly more pressing issues to resolve on Project 944 – like getting the radiator cooling fan working, a mild suspension knock, worn and torn driver’s seat and a cluster of various electric gremlins – it’s become a sort of rite of passage of mine to do something first with any project car.

Enter K&N Air Filters – “the world’s best air filter.”

Given the clearly recently somewhat unloved, slightly bedraggled auction state of our 1983 Porsche 944 Lux, it was a fair assumption her air filter would be: (1) A horrible, power sapping, stock paper unit and (2) absolutely filthy. Tick, tick.

And with some ramp time and a service/fix-it session booked in soon at our local garage, we thought we’d save the lads some time and do the air filter replacement/upgrade ourselves. Plus, it gives me an excuse to pretend I can actually tinker under a bonnet, with real tools and everything.

So, spanners, screwdrivers and socket sets at the ready, we popped the 944’s sleek bonnet and took our first full foray into the brilliant, Kraftwerk-fuelled minds of the 1980’s Porsche engineers. And we were not disappointed. Quality engineering design exudes everywhere, so much so even someone with my lack of spanner skills can operate successfully.

The airbox is classic example, being both bombproof and brilliantly designed – cavernous, fed generously with a smooth, hard pipe cold air duct and with a very direct route into the engine. Even the 35-year-old bolts holding the rocket solid airbox in place are well located and easy to remove, so the airbox yielded its inners most pleasingly.

And yes, as we thought, the standard air filter in there was mucky, and rubbish quality.

Just check out the difference in filtration design… let alone cleanliness. Why people fit such average filters to a performance car is beyond me.


At the other end of the scale, the 1,000,000 mile (life of the vehicle) guaranteed cotton gauze K&N is designed to be washable (at every 50,000 service), not binned like the stock one – making the right environmental conscious statement these days. (Did you know that more than 100 million disposable air filters are got rid of globally every year?)

But I’d be lying if I said that very vegan reason to purchase was No.1 on the list.

It’s the K&N air filter’s ability to radically reduce air filter restriction and increase airflow and with it produce power and enhance acceleration that is the prime reason for the swap. And in almost 30 years of fitting them to pretty much car I have ever owned, I have never yet been disappointed. They always strike the optimal blend of high air flow, filtration efficiency, durability and dust capacity called for by any car, but especially an old classic with 95K up! And they always fit super snug.

Maybe it’s because of its vintage, or maybe it’s down to the fact this is Porsche engineering (even almost four decades old), who knows, but I would definitely argue that the before and after back-to-back drive test results on Project 944 are the best I have ever tested – on a normally aspirated car. You could literally hear the 2.5-litre, 8V engine saying danke very much on its first run out!

Before the fit, the torquey Pork’s engine was a tad lacklustre and felt pretty lazy tbh. After the K&N fit, throttle response was far, FAR sharper, bottom end and mid-range grunt were noticeably more beefy and the top end was barely recognisable – as the old gal dusted herself off and gladly hunted out the upper echelons of the rev range with verve, proud to show off she’s actually packing ponies. Clearly, 50 years of designing these things & “taking filtration seriously” has paid dividends. This K&N works an absolute treat on Project 944. Money very well invested, for a million miles!

So here’s a five minute performance upgrade that transforms how your 944 (or indeed any) engine performs, which everyone should get on with… and DIY. Because if I can fit one, then it’s a cast iron fact that you can to! Get one today & give it a go. You will not be disappointed… and your Porsche or indeed any other car will love it.

K&N Oil Filter

K&N may be synonymous with air filters, but many people aren’t aware they also make kick-ass, motorsport-derived oil filters too.

And their oil filter range is enormous, from wrench-off, to pro series, reusable washables, in-lines and cartridge replacements; they have the lot, for cars, trucks, SUVs and more… even an old piece of tasty Pork like Project 944.

Like their much-loved, NASCAR-baked range of air filtration systems, their oil filters offer “outstanding filtration levels” along with a higher oil flow rate than a standard unit – keeping the vital lifeblood of any engine clean and flowing efficiently. The strong, durable and lightweight filters are built to handle heavy duty applications and work in harmony with synthetic and conventional oils, which is good news for us, as we are upgrading to the German gem that is Ravenol synthetic 10w 60 on the forthcoming service, along with this upgraded K&N filter; a nice match we feel should marry well.

It is of course unlikely we will be able to notice any discernible difference before and after here (on the filter, not the oil). But, with absolute faith in the K&N filtration experts and full backing in all the brand have offered me and my cars in three decades, who am I to argue? And I am 99.99% sure the 944’s big old crank and old school meaty valves, cam and other oily, fast moving parts in the gloriously gutsy 2.5-litre lump will be happy it’s there too.

They are also great value and look fab, so what’s not to like? Get involved…

Thanks to: 

David Hill @ K&N Air Filters UK 

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Call: 01925-636950