I was in your same position and was fixed on thinking air intakes are always good. After i did a lot of reading on this forum, thats definitely not the case. The biggest problem is that you're going to be letting in a lot more crap into your motor vs the stock paper filter and intake, so for me the negatives outweigh the small number of positives.
Since i'm not a hardcore offroader, i decided to just try putting in a drop in KN filter and did this about 500 miles ago. I'm not going to say the filter gave me more power, but it gave me a bit smoother power (if that makes sense). There are certain hills which i no longer have to downshift for and I have a smoother takeoff from stops.
I'm not worried about letting in all the dirt and crap because i do mostly pavement with the occasional trail or dirt run...however when i do these runs i do put the stock filter back in to make sure i'm keeping out what i can.
I also paired a new muffler (not a catback exhaust or anything like that) because the more i'm taking in, the more it should let out.
Overall i'm glad i have it in and havent noticed any negatives with doing this. Just my opinion of course!
Shorter the intake the better.
Those long aftermarket and stock intakes suck up HP.
Get a short intake with smaller air filters, preferably duel airfilter and your HP will be much better, and if you can pull in cooler air than your HP will be much better as well.
And opinions on filters are subjective.
I have a Spectre filter and it grabs more dirt than my old uni style paper filter but it's all preference.
I run a Spectre/w mesh netting(greatly helps and catches twice as much dirt).
Make Sure Everyone is Dead within hearing and sight range. Only then, you can say any area is cleared.
32,874,934 in the various Jeep forums (ok, +/- a few posts either direction ) confirming how aftermarket intakes don't help Wrangler TJ engines peform any better and you want us to confirm once again they don't really help?
__________________ When you have a choice, buy American.
In the past, I've put K&N and aFe on Cummins. I got some extra turbo noise, but that's about it. Clean air is a good thing. Compare throttle bodies using stock and after market filters in dusty conditions.
2004 BlackX 4.0, auto, 3.73's, soft top 31-10.5-15 Toyo A/T's on 8" Ultra 175's, 2" Teraflex BB.
I did some testing yesterday and lost 73 hp due to hot air temps. I will agree that intakes with filters under the hood are a total waste of money. I will say that other intakes that suck from the cowl, or even a snorkel, could have great benefits, especially if you wheel where its hot. I picked up the spectre intake, but i have not dyno tested it yet.