: What's in Your oil filter ?



Submariner409
01-11-08, 12:45 PM
The next time you change your oil and filter, try this.

Using a sharp punch, make a small hole in the filter case near the tapping plate end. Lean the filter on an angle, hole down, in an old margarine tub and let it drain a while or overnight. Now grip it in a vise and carefully, using a fine tooth hacksaw (or lathe, better yet), cut around the case about 1/4" down from the tapping plate seam. Remove the tapping plate and drainback valve and spring, if any. Pull out the pleated cartridge and carefully separate the element from the end caps and core. Break the pleated element into 4 or 5 accordion pieces and, compressing the pleats, squeeze each element piece in the vise to remove the last traces of oil. (Use a rag under the vise. It's messy) Now you can pull the dry pleats open, disregarding any hacksaw debris at the cut end, and see what is trapped in the pleated area (originally the side toward the case). You should see nothing but a few dirt specs and maybe a tiny piece or two of colored RTV gasket maker and maybe a tiny aluminum flake or two. Any metal chips or heavy dirt and there's a problem. In a N*, significant concentrations of light nylon or plastic chips indicate that the timing chain slippers and tensioners are wearing too rapidly.

If you're a DIY type, the job is messy, but you will have a good idea of what the inside of your engine and oil system looks like, as well as a point of reference for the next oil and filter change.

dkozloski
01-11-08, 01:30 PM
Part of the required maintenance of any aircraft engine with a spin-on filter is to cut the filter apart at every oil change and examine what you find inside. If you stretch the folded element out and examine it under a bright light the metal wear particles will glint. If it looks like metallic paint you've got a problem. Before strectching out the element you should use a small acid brush to scrub the filter into a small pan and then examine the bottom of the pan with a magnet. To determine what kind of metal you are finding the folowing is helpful:
Bushing material will be copper or bronze color.
Steel or iron is magnetic.
Rod or main bearing babbit metal will melt with a hot soldering iron.
Aluminum particles will fizz if put in a very small amount of water with a few Draino crystals.

N0DIH
01-11-08, 01:53 PM
Hmmmm.... I probably should try it sometime..... I have 240K on my LT1, might be interesting to look....

AJxtcman
01-13-08, 04:45 PM
Some one told me this was ok and that the filter was doing it's JOB.:cookoo:

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257088

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257089

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257090

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257091

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257092

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257093

http://http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257095

http://service-gm-forum.com/techforum1/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=257098

Submariner409
01-13-08, 05:25 PM
If that's the first filter change since new, AOK. If it's after 2 or more oil/filter changes, I'd do an oil analysis after 1,500 miles on the new change.

Interesting what you find in there, isn't it ??

AJxtcman
01-13-08, 05:58 PM
If that's the first filter change since new, AOK. If it's after 2 or more oil/filter changes, I'd do an oil analysis after 1,500 miles on the new change.

Interesting what you find in there, isn't it ??

I think the pictures came from this car "23689 Last oil change 8597 miles ago had less than 1 1/2 quart in the pan"

N0DIH
01-13-08, 05:59 PM
I might get into mine. After seeing a video on an Amsoil oil filter demo with 1micron carbon particles, it was amazing how much junk that filter could pull out.... The oil went black when it was poured in, the stock full flow Amsoil filter did decent, but the bypass filter made the oil back to clear again in about 1-2 min.

How much debris is from the cutting operation?

Submariner409
01-13-08, 07:37 PM
N0DIH.....Easy to tell on a brightly painted filter......all the hacksaw dust will stay in the first inch of the pleats nearest the cut, and after your first filter experiment you'll know where the end cap is in the case, so you can cut just beyond that. The trick is to carefully rotate the case in the vise and not stand the filter on end...........or, (I just thought of this) you could vise the tapping plate, filter vertical, bottom up, and hacksaw horizontally around the case.

dkozloski
01-13-08, 07:56 PM
There is a commercial tool made for cutting apart cannister filters that looks like a can opener from a hotel kitchen. I can't imagine a professional or serious amateur mechanic without one. We used a bench lathe with a tray made from a gallon can under the filter to catch the spills.

N0DIH
01-13-08, 09:38 PM
I guess hacksawing with a shop vac can't hurt either, that is, if you have one still, I made the mistake of lending mine and watched it get rained on day in and day out.... I gave up..... tips guys, don't do it..... Even if you think you trust them.... Didn't matter if wanted it replaced, they never had money after cigarettes and beer anyway....

Zorb750
01-16-08, 01:31 AM
I use a large pipe cutter to open it. Get something designed for 3" copper drain tubing (yes, there is such a thing) and a high quality wheel and it works great. I haven't screwed mine up yet.

dkozloski
01-16-08, 11:13 AM
I use a large pipe cutter to open it. Get something designed for 3" copper drain tubing (yes, there is such a thing) and a high quality wheel and it works great. I haven't screwed mine up yet.
There is a commercial kit on the market for cutting filters that is a bench mounted filter holder and a pipe cutter.

N0DIH
01-16-08, 11:18 AM
You mean this? http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=SUM%2D900510&N=700+115&autoview=sku

dkozloski
01-16-08, 01:29 PM
You mean this? http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=SUM%2D900510&N=700+115&autoview=sku

It looks good to me.

Submariner409
01-16-08, 04:39 PM
For the average individual, $37 + shipping just to cut maybe 2 filters a year is a bit much. But it's "billet" so that makes it faster :rolleyes:.

dkozloski
01-16-08, 05:05 PM
One filter you find full of metal or plastic can save you way more than $40.