After browsing a few forums it has come to my attention that a lot of people do not know how to properly maintenance there air filter and air box. Its really very simple. This tech tip really only applies to foam filters.
Step 1 - Check and see if your filter is ready to be cleaned. Here is a picture of what your filter will look like when its in need of being cleaned.
Step 2 Take a shop vac and vacuum all the loose dirt out of the air box.
Step 3 - Take some cleaner (I use spray nine) and some paper towel and clean out the air box. It doesn't have to be perfect. But its good to clean it out a little when your doing maintenance to your filter.
Step 4 - Take the foam filter off the cage and clean the dirt off the cage with cleaner and a paper towel.
Step 5 - Clean the oil and dirt off the filter my clean it with warm water and soap, gas, or a parts wash. Parts wash works the best in my opinion. Make sure you rinse the filter out good with water, you don't want any soap, gas, or parts wash on the filter when your done. Then make sure you dry the filter good with some paper towel.
Step 6 - Make sure you clean the air box cover good. Make sure the seals are cleaned good so they will seal up good to keep out dust and water.
Step 7 - Time to oil the filter up! If you have a spray can of foam filter oil spray it down evenly all over the filter. Make sure you rub the oil in a bit. If you have foam filter oil in a bottle just put a bit in a plastic bag with the filter and work the oil into the filter.
Step 8 - Put a bit of foam filter oil around the seal of the filter. This will seal the seal up nicely to the air box.
Hope this helped some of ya who are new to ATVing.
Great write up there Mack. This is one tech tip I've not seen, but most def. one that's worthy! Nothing worse than a dirty box! I'd like to add a couple things.
1) Gas and parts cleaner isn't the safest thing to use for this application. If I remember properly, this is a specific warning for foam filters. Maybe I dreamed that up though. At any rate, if my box got as dirty as the one in your picture between cleanings, I would not want to take any chances in degrading the foam of my filter. Even if using gas is ok, I'll stick with the recommend solvent.
2) Using soapy water is just about the same as using the cleaning solvent marketed by most filter oil companies. For me, I just go ahead and order the cleaner when I order the oil.
3) Last, I recommend letting the filter dry completely before adding the oil to it. This protects against any water droplets finding their way into the engine. Some folks (like me) keep an extra clean filter so there is no down time after cleaning the filter.
4) I would also like to point out that an open or vented box will dry your filter out faster. Just a lil something I've noticed. I know I put an ample amount of oil on, so we can't say I'm not using enough.
Again, great write-up! Thanks for taking the time to share that.