PDA

View Full Version : Fuel System: Oil bath air cleaner



Chris_Dresbach
08-06-2011, 02:00 PM
Last night I was fooling around with my car, changed the points, and put the original OEM "Oil Bath" air cleaner back on it. This is the first time I've used an oil bath. I'm just looking for a general opinion, do they work well? So far so good.

Tom B
08-06-2011, 03:07 PM
They work far better that a paper filter, only thing, you gotta keep the oil level up. No problem, just don't forget to check it quarterly or so, depending on miles driven.

FlatheadGeo
08-06-2011, 09:15 PM
I had an oil bath air cleaner on my '40 Nash Lafayette. As Tom B said-'works better than a paper one' and never had any debris in my carburetor!

rockne10
08-06-2011, 09:26 PM
Oil bath was generally distributed in areas with dry and dusty climates prone to greater ambient particulates. Service is more involved than replacing the filter but needs done less often. Given an option, I think I would choose the oil bath.

BobPalma
08-06-2011, 10:38 PM
Agree with "all the above," Chris.

But remember, you have to dump the oil, clean what will be the accumulated dirt out of the bottom of the reservoir, and refill with fresh oil roughly every quarter, depending on the environment in which the engine is operated. BP

53k
08-07-2011, 09:16 AM
Last night I was fooling around with my car, changed the points, and put the original OEM "Oil Bath" air cleaner back on it. This is the first time I've used an oil bath. I'm just looking for a general opinion, do they work well? So far so good.
My '53 Commander came with an oil bath cleaner. I took it off and put on an aftermarket dry air cleaner. Probably my imagination, but it seemed like the car performed better. I later put on a NOS dry air cleaner that I got at Standard Surplus back in the late 60s or early 70s (for $5.95 including the element). I have never put the air bath cleaner back on to compare.

DEEPNHOCK
08-07-2011, 09:24 AM
Back during the Mt. St. Helens eruption, the oil bath air cleaner equipped vehicls were still running when the paper element veicles were shut down.

Higher maintenance/labor with an oil bath air cleaner.

FlatheadGeo
08-07-2011, 02:21 PM
Jeff,
Anything worthwhile is worth the extra effort. I would guess that most of us are more picky with our antiques than our modern cars, which IMHO are really worthless. Having issues with an '07 Saturn that I am making the last payment on this month!

N8N
08-07-2011, 05:09 PM
Much to my surprise when I got it home, my '71 Porsche 914/4 (Type 4 VW engine) had an oil bath air cleaner! so they're not as obsolete as you'd think; and apparently Porsche saw fit to keep using them presumably through '74 at least.

nate

studegary
08-07-2011, 08:06 PM
Much to my surprise when I got it home, my '71 Porsche 914/4 (Type 4 VW engine) had an oil bath air cleaner! so they're not as obsolete as you'd think; and apparently Porsche saw fit to keep using them presumably through '74 at least.

nate

Nate - 1971 is 40 years ago!

57 Silver Hawk
08-07-2011, 08:22 PM
My Hawk has oil bath air cleaner, too. The reason they used it because there are many states as dusty areas especially central and western states while much modern roads in northeast during 1950's and 1960's. I am now using dry air filter cleaner. Here's attached map from my '56 shop manual.

10477

Steven Barker

1957 Silver Silver Hawk
1967 Corvair Coupe
1969 Corvair Coupe

N8N
08-08-2011, 07:38 AM
Nate - 1971 is 40 years ago!

That may be so, but I don't consider that an old car. To consider it to be so would imply that I am old and clearly that is not the case!

jclary
08-08-2011, 08:17 AM
My '53 Commander came with an oil bath cleaner. I took it off and put on an aftermarket dry air cleaner. Probably my imagination, but it seemed like the car performed better.....

Not intending to make any accusation here, but....when I was young and thought I knew everything (dumb as a rock!)...I would take the oil bath and dry filter off anything that ran. I loved hearing the carburetor "sucking air!" That is what made me think it "performed better!":rolleyes:

It was similar to those (future deaf) rock musicians who seemed to think that the quality of their music automatically increased with the volume.

I had one of those "road to Damascus" realizations one night after one of my buddies attempted to "Peel out", driving his daddy's four door Buick, in front of a crowd gathered at our local hang-outs (Ledbetter's). One of our more level-headed "good 'ol bubbas" blurted out, "if it ran as good as it makes a racket, wouldn't be so embarrassing!":o That forever changed the way I eased away in my '60 Pontiac.:):cool::)

studegary
08-08-2011, 12:51 PM
That may be so, but I don't consider that an old car. To consider it to be so would imply that I am old and clearly that is not the case!

To me, over ten years old is an old car and over 25 years old is an antique car. This only applies to cars, not furniture, buildings or people.

N8N
08-08-2011, 03:40 PM
To me, over ten years old is an old car and over 25 years old is an antique car. This only applies to cars, not furniture, buildings or people.

I've bought one new car in my life... I think the next newest car I've owned compared to date of purchase was an '88 GTI 16V that I purchased close as I can remember in late 2000... current ride is a '93 F-150.

Now it does creep me out a little bit when I see "historic" plates on an 80's Cutlass, or like I saw the other day, a Datsun 510... I say to myself "that's not historic, that's a used car!"

cultural infidel
10-17-2011, 04:16 PM
Anyone able to tell me what the Original Oil-Bath air cleaners are worth? I might sell the one that is on the 259 in favor of a modern k&n unit.

nvonada
10-18-2011, 06:43 AM
Not a whole lot. They are pretty easy to find.

Neal in NM
10-18-2011, 09:00 AM
My truck had no air filter on it when I purchased it. I looked for an original dry element filter (I don’t like messing with the oil-bath) but couldn’t find one. I found an oil-bath on another vehicle at my local wrecking yard and bought it. The only real problem with them is sometimes they get a little water in them and of course water sinks in oil so, they will rust out at the bottom. The one that I found had just this problem and I fixed it by cutting it open and fitting a K&N filter in it. Now I have the look of an oil-bath with the convenience of a dry filter. Neal

cultural infidel
10-18-2011, 12:19 PM
may steal that idea Neal!

(S)
10-19-2011, 09:44 PM
The oil bath is far better than anything, it became obsolete for many reasons: they rust out, lack of maintainence at improper intervals, cheap paper units came along. (to sell parts?)

You can get the best of both worlds: I run oil in the regular air cleaner, just enough to coat the bottom and it works really well. You'd be surprised what one captures when you clean them out!

studegary
10-20-2011, 01:05 PM
The oil bath is far better than anything, it became obsolete for many reasons: they rust out, lack of maintainence at improper intervals, cheap paper units came along. (to sell parts?)

You can get the best of both worlds: I run oil in the regular air cleaner, just enough to coat the bottom and it works really well. You'd be surprised what one captures when you clean them out!

That is not enough oil for them to work properly/as designed. There is an oil fill line stamped into the housing.

deco_droid
09-24-2012, 04:19 PM
My truck had no air filter on it when I purchased it. I looked for an original dry element filter (I don’t like messing with the oil-bath) but couldn’t find one. I found an oil-bath on another vehicle at my local wrecking yard and bought it. The only real problem with them is sometimes they get a little water in them and of course water sinks in oil so, they will rust out at the bottom. The one that I found had just this problem and I fixed it by cutting it open and fitting a K&N filter in it. Now I have the look of an oil-bath with the convenience of a dry filter. Neal

That seems like a good idea. Has anyone else tried putting the a K&N filter inside the oil bath unit? My 50 big 6 has one and since I'm not in a dusty area (and Studebaker did not require oil baths for non dusty locales) I was thinking of switching it out with a K&N as they are very easy to maintain and are better than plain paper filters.

studebakerkid
09-25-2012, 01:48 AM
To add to the Mt. Hellens comment here in Washington State the only rigs moving around wer rigs with oil bath filters. I was running the 54 all over trying to get beer and no boys was open adn the government vehicles wer being retro fit for oil bath air filters.

studebakerkid
09-25-2012, 01:50 AM
Should have read nobody was open.....the streets were empty so I was doing broadys all over with no worries about getting pulled over.

deco_droid
09-25-2012, 01:16 PM
To add to the Mt. Hellens comment here in Washington State the only rigs moving around wer rigs with oil bath filters. I was running the 54 all over trying to get beer and no boys was open adn the government vehicles wer being retro fit for oil bath air filters.

Interesting -- I wonder how they would deal with an ash eruption today. I'm thinking people would switch their standard filters out with an oiled K&N to protect their engine. Don't think K&N was even around in the early 80s so that probably wasn't an option back then.

Nox
09-25-2012, 03:50 PM
As I heard once long ago, the oil-baths became a pain when they started driving real hard cornering in Nash Car racing 'cause the oil would go where it shouldn't... & choke the carb & then open up again on the straights.
That was told to me by a guy who used to street-race his -56 New Yorker St Regis in the 60's.
He used to do burn-outs in revers gear so the tires should grip better (if it worked? don't know but he always won..) & when he was turning corners there would be flying burning rubber-pieces upon the house-walls!

& there's old cars & OLD cars, & any car that's newer than -70 is not old enough!
& I'm ofcourse always young.

deco_droid
10-21-2012, 01:39 PM
I decided to pull mine and run it with a new housing and paper element. I will probably clean it up and use it at shows, but run the paper during normal driving.

candbstudebakers
10-21-2012, 11:19 PM
I have a few oil bath air cleaners on the shelf all the old ones are oil type but when dry came out oil had to be ordered I have 2 or 3 of the real large ones about 18-20" across one came off a 63 cruiser and one from a "T" cab truck for sale if any one is interested.

DEEPNHOCK
10-22-2012, 07:11 AM
Big difference between an oil bath air cleaner, a paper element (dry) air cleaner, and a cotton mesh (dry) oiled air cleaner.

A dry paper air cleaner has a very specific 'first pass' micron rating (designated requirement by the engine manufacturer).
The spec (say, 90% efficient at 10 micron) means that the pores in the filter media will collect particulates 10 micron or larger 90% of the time when measures for the first pass through of the contaminant.
Interesting thing to note is that the air filter becomes more efficient as it ages.
The reason is that all those pores that have collected contaminants are not available to collect any more.
So the available pore sizes get smaller and the efficiency goes up.
The tradeoff is the airflow rate through the media drops off.
So, the requirement is to change the element before the drop in airflow rate affects engine performance.

A cotton based dry type (oiled) air filter operates under the same parameters as a cellulose dry (or a synthetic media) type air filter.
The initial micron rating spec is usually less than what a dry type filter is.
The oil on the filter is to catch more particulates due to the larger pore openings in the filter.
This style of filter is marketed as a washable filter where the element can be re-used.
Maintenance procedures for this type of filter are quite exact, and later model vehicles can have sensor issues if the manufacturers procedures are not followed precisely.
The freshly washed filter must be dried, and then oiled, and then dried again.
This means that the service time required is quite long.

A pure oil bath style air filter is where the contaminated air is pushed through the oil sump in the filter housing by the ambient air pressure.
The contaminants that come into contact with the oil stick to the liquid and do not pass through into the engine.
Any contaminants that are suspended in the air 'bubble' that make it through the housing will go into the engine.
Efficiency drops off as the liquidity of the oil drops as the contamination increases.
Oil bath type filters require higher maintenance intervals to keep the housing clean, and the oil fresh.

Manufacturers moved to the replaceable dry type element for manufacturing (cost) reasons and a better service life, and easier field service.
Except in niche environments (volcanic ash plume fallout), a dry type paper element is the most efficient and cost effective way to filter air for a vehicle engine.
I can give you some more specific info on filters if you want it.
HTIH
Jeffhttp://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/images/icons/icon6.png




Interesting -- I wonder how they would deal with an ash eruption today. I'm thinking people would switch their standard filters out with an oiled K&N to protect their engine. Don't think K&N was even around in the early 80s so that probably wasn't an option back then.


http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by studebakerkidhttp://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?p=683227#post683227)To add to the Mt. Helen's comment here in Washington State the only rigs moving around wer rigs with oil bath filters. I was running the 54 all over trying to get beer and no boys was open adn the government vehicles wer being retro fit for oil bath air filters.

deco_droid
10-22-2012, 10:31 AM
Wow -- my hat's off to you, Jeff. I feel like I just enrolled in air filter class -- ha! Hopefully I will do well on the quiz. :)

DEEPNHOCK
10-22-2012, 10:42 AM
Wow -- my hat's off to you, Jeff. I feel like I just enrolled in air filter class -- ha! Hopefully I will do well on the quiz. :)

Well, I do work for a company that makes more than 3 million filters...a week:!:
And I am an instructor in filtration, and baloney sandwich making:cool:
Jeffhttp://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/images/icons/icon6.png

Dan Timberlake
10-22-2012, 08:24 PM
is it possible that the St Helens cars ran out of filter dust load capacity, not quality of filtering?
Quality paper air filters generally kick K&N's butt at keeping significantly large sized junk out of the engine, which is why I stopped using them a few decades ago.
http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbplock/ISO5011/SPICER.htm

here is some info based on "data" that is believed to have originated with another one of those rogue "GM engineers" a few decades ago, but that is not readily confirmable today.
http://www.roadkill.com/~davet/moto/air.filters.html

DEEPNHOCK
10-22-2012, 09:15 PM
Interesting link(s).
My company builds all of AC Delco's filtration.



is it possible that the St Helens cars ran out of filter dust load capacity, not quality of filtering?
Quality paper air filters generally kick K&N's butt at keeping significantly large sized junk out of the engine, which is why I stopped using them a few decades ago.
http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbplock/ISO5011/SPICER.htm

here is some info based on "data" that is believed to have originated with another one of those rogue "GM engineers" a few decades ago, but that is not readily confirmable today.
http://www.roadkill.com/~davet/moto/air.filters.html

PackardV8
10-22-2012, 11:14 PM
So from that chart, adding an oiled foam sleeve to the oil bath in place of or in addition to the oiled steel mesh might give the best of all possible worlds.

jack vines

DEEPNHOCK
10-23-2012, 08:50 AM
Several places sell an oiled foam sleeve for paper air filters (Speedway and Summit come to mind).
Some come in pretty colors, too:o


So from that chart, adding an oiled foam sleeve to the oil bath in place of or in addition to the oiled steel mesh might give the best of all possible worlds.

jack vines

okc63avanti
10-23-2012, 08:01 PM
My 51 Champion sedan has an oil bath cleaner on its flathead six. Recently while on the interstate I decided to put the gas pedal to the floor board and see what she would do after hitting about 70 MPH flat out I looked in the rear view mirror and saw a cloud of smoke I was leaving behind me. This scared me at first but as soon as I backed off the throttle the smoke went away and the engine seemed to be its fine smooth running self. When I got home I checked the oil bath and notices a low level. My theory is that the previous owner put 10W30 most common oil in the oil bath and the light weigh oil under heave acceleration sucked into the carb. Checking the manual sure enough it recommends 40 or 50 Weight oil, I am now using 50 W oil in the oil bath.