Originally Posted by simp0man
No matter what you put in, the engine will only suck what it can regardless of what you put on. The idea is to expose the intake to more cooler air. So to help, a ram air scoop will help along with a K&N filter to increase better flow of air to the intake. Simple as that, anything else is more for sound increase. The closed box is best at keeping heat from entering the intake. Think about it...
Yes I agree it doesn't matter how flow efficient your filter is, you will still be limited by how much air your engine can move. But still, a freer flowing filter will allow you to pass more air over stock up to a certain point. The MAF sensor will read this increased amount of air and adjust the fuel mix which will give you the increased power you seek. OEMs use an enclosed filter box mainly for sound restriction purposes. Heatshielding from aftermarket intakes will give at best a 50 degree F drop in intake temperature. This translates to roughly 8% increase in air density (at best) meaning you'd be buying that intake system mostly for show.
My point is the OP asked about installing a $50 filter. No one has given him any reason to choose one of the $300+ intakes they have recommended here. I say if you're on a tight budget and you are after more sound and a little more performance remove your stock airbox and slap on a cone filter. If you have a little more cash to throw around and want something flashier, then purchase X intake system. As for that drop-in K&N filter, atleast it's reusable.