TIL: A Modified Salad Bowl Can Increase Engine Power

The latest episode of Motor Trend's Engine involves a huge test of different air filter setups, with some interesting results...

Remind me later

While vital for stopping all kinds of nasty debris getting into your engine, an air filter is - like it or not - a restriction. You want the best breathing setup possible, so if you’ve a powerful, carb’d V8, what’s the best kind of filter to run? The latest episode of Engine Masters - which sees no less than 19 different combinations trialled - provides some answers.

The range of results is startling, with the worst performing filter robbing the 750hp big-block Chevrolet V8 of 145hp, while at the top of the chart, a ‘velocity stack’ with no filter at all actually added 5.7hp.

The conclusion? It’s all down to channelling air downwards into the carburetors. That’s why one type of filter actually performed better with the sides taped up, and why a salad bowl - yes, a salad bowl - with a hole cut in the bottom and a ‘filtered lid’ style element in the top came second, actually adding 3hp. Essentially, it’s acting like a velocity stack.

Watch the whole video through, and prepare to learn…