All pre-cleaners do the same general thing; they keep contaminant from entering the intake duct, which prevents large or heavy contaminant from prematurely clogging your filter. Some devices collect contaminant in a bowl – some expel or eject contaminant directly – still others are connected via a scavenge system to route debris out the exhaust system.
What is a Pre-Cleaner?
A pre-cleaner is a device which is installed in the intake system of an engine before the air cleaner. It removes most of the contamination and dirt from the incoming air. Pre-cleaners are effective at removing the larger dirt particles and water droplets. As a result, they will greatly reduce the dirt reaching the air cleaner, resulting in extended filter life.
How does a Pre-Cleaner work?
There are many different types of pre-cleaners available. Most of them use some form of inertial separation process to remove dirt without using a replaceable filter.
Dirt particles are heavier than air and will try to continue traveling in the same direction even if the air flow is made to change direction. Effectively, the flow of dirt splits from the flow of air. The heavier the particle, the more effective this process is.
Does the choice of Pre-Cleaner matter?
Yes. Apart from the different types of pre-cleaners, all pre-cleaners need the air flow to be moving at a reasonable speed for the separation process to work effectively. If the pre-cleaner is too large for the motor’s air flow, the air will not be traveling quickly enough for the dirt to separate. The dirt will stay mixed with the incoming air. If it is too small, the level of restriction of the intake system will be too high for the motor.