I have read in the syn. oil disscussion a question on oil filter and decided to start another topic to cover it if anyone wants to pitch in.
I will tell you my story and please feel free to share yours.
I have a machinist background and was a 20 yr. refinery worker too. I worked part time in a auto engine repair shop and have built my share of motors.
With that background, I will tell you I ran by the best price or pretty color, on the box hype in picking my filter for over twenty years. But as I found out about oil molecule size and engine wear particulate size, I realized I could help control the wear patterns on an combustion engine to some degree.
The size and hardness of engine particles is important in the the tolorances in engines. Tolorances have become smaller and smaller through the last 15 to 20 years. It is not uncomon for the rod and crank clearances to be in the range of .001 to .003 thousands of an inch on todays engines. On a rod or crank bearing one should realize that because those parts are round, 1/2 of the tolerance is on each side of the gap between the bearing and the part. With oil taking up, the .0005 to .0015 gap it leaves little room for particulate. If ones particulate size is bigger than the gap, the bearing will become scratched and over time, a lot of little scratches cause wear. The bottom line is the better the filter that filters the smallest micron particle, the better.
The second thing I consider is the efficiency. Most filters are rated in nominal efficiency which is OK, but not the best. The best way to rate is with an absolute rating, which few filters have. If you want the best filter, then one should look for absolute efficiency at a small micron rating as you can find, to achieve the least wear possible via the oil filter portion of the engine lube cycle.
The third thing I am concerned with is how fast the filter may plug up. To achieve a 3000,5000, 10,000, or more filter oil change interval, one should consider the total suface area of the filter media.
As most of you may already know filters have become smaller and smaller of the past 15 or 20 years, but with a little hunting around there is a larger/longer or both larger/ longer oil filter to fit most vehicles. The larger surface area, usally gives less restriction and also will hold more dirt and contaminants.
So, in the last 6 years, I have run a dual filter set up on my vehicles with a 1.5 quart absolute low micron filter as a bypass restricted flow filter and a large 2.3 quart 4 micron full flow filter.
With oil analysis, I have been able to confirm low wear, good long term TBN number, consistant and stable viscosity numbers, and long oil change intervals, on my motors. I am not saying that it is my way or no way. Nor am I saying my way is the very best. As someone else has stated,some still use the toliet paper systems,with stated good results,among other systems,but it depends on what you are looking for,I think.
For sure, oil filters do matter,and can and do make a difference in the life of an engine, just as motor oil does. In my opinion, and as I have tested through analyisis, a better filter means less wear and a longer life engine. How long, I do not know yet. I do know I can go a year with no noticable drop in oil level at over 12,000 miles, in that year and 134,000+ on the odometer.
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