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Wet vs. dry air cleaners

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  • blackhawk
    replied
    I used oil bath air cleaners on my Studebakers for years. I think they were effective. I always had a layer of mud in the bottom when I changed the oil in the filter and the engines lasted a long time. I only switched to paper elements after most of our roads were paved. Cleaning the oil bath filter and replacing the oil was a bit more of a chore than changing a paper filter cartidge. My guess is most people use paper filters for the convenience since they no longer have to contend with really dusty roads.

    Dale

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  • John Kirchhoff
    replied
    That's right Mr. Biggs, I'd forgot all about those little gems. We never had any Farmalls but I remember many of them having the half pint fruit jar screwed on there. Personally I'd rather have a fruit jar being full of jelly rather than dirt, dead bugs and whatever that nasty black goo that was always found in them.

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  • Roscomacaw
    replied
    John, my 8N has a "precleaner" intake horn that directs the incoming air in a swirl and has a collection jar below it for the dirt to drop into. Hey - it works too!

    Miscreant adrift in
    the BerStuda Triangle


    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe

    Leave a comment:


  • John Kirchhoff
    replied
    The effeciency of trapping dust with a paper filter actually increases as it gets dirtier but as you know, the effeciency of air flowing through them is reduced at the same time. Oil bath filters are more effecient at trapping dirt at higher air velocities (i.e. not at idle) because they work on the principle of when the air flow changes direction inside the filter housing, interia causes the heavier dirt particle to continue on in a straight line and into the oil where it's trapped. The smaller and lighter the particle is, the greater the chance it has of making the bend in the air stream and making it into the engine.

    Farm and industrial equipment continued to use oil bath filters long after cars started using paper filters for one main reason...the capacity to trap and hold large amounts of dirt while not restricting air flow. In extremely dusty conditions, old bath filters would often need cleaning twice a week where paper filters needed cleaning twice a day. What made paper filters practical was the use of centrifugal pre-cleaners intitially, and later, exhaust powered aspirators. The centrifugal pre-cleaner is the clear plastic, sauce pan sized affair seen on the top of the air intake. As air swirls around inside it, the heavier dirt particles are caught in this device before they ever reach the paper filter. However, often times the pre-cleaner must be emptied daily anyway. Later was the aspirator, an open ended tube inside the muffler that connected to a different style of pre-cleaner. In the same way the air flow through a carburator sucks gasoline from the float bowl, the exhaust gasses suck the dirt from the precleaner. This eliminates the need to manually empty the precleaner but does not negate the need for paper filters. Incidently, nearly all ag and industrial air filters use two paper filters, one inside the other and both of which are expensive, as in $100. I don't know how effecient oil bath filters are, but if paper filters are so wonderful they wouldn't need to use two of them.

    Something an oil bath filter can do that a paper filter can't is to separate water from air. Get moisture on a dusty paper filter and you have mud with restricts air flow completely. With an oil bath, the water is trapped at the bottom of the pan. When one is rusted through, it was because water was trapped and the pan wasn't emptied often enough.

    For on road vehicles, I'm absolutely sure paper filters are the most practical to use. In dusty conditions, all it takes it one tiny hole in a paper filter to eat up rings in an engine. Been there and done that which is why you take the cylindrical ones into a dark room, slip a 100 watt light bulb inside them and look for holes. Under severe ag or industrial conditions, I believe a precleaner, oil bath and finally paper filter would be the way to go and be the most effecient financially.

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  • S2DSteve
    replied
    I think Jesse J. nailed it. Some time ago I read a report by a large construction company. They were spending something like $5000 a month on replacement paper filters and REALLY wanted to find some sort of reusable/serviceable filter. They tested several brands of oiled gauze (K&N) and foam filters, and measured wear rates by analyzing the oil. They actually ended the test early because the rates shot up so fast, especially with the K&N type filters. They concluded that there was no viable substitute for pleated paper IF engine longevity was a major consideration. No, they didn't test an oil bath, but I suspect that was because the industry had already established they were ineffective.

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  • skyway
    replied
    The thing that inhibited performance on my '41 Commander was the "horsehair" pad in the lid of the factory dry type air cleaner. On hard acceleration the pad was sucked down, choking the engine. No such issues since changing to an oil bath.

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  • 53k
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

    ... Think about it - Studebaker USED both types of filter concurrently yet specified the oil bath for dusty environments. Do you think they just did that off the cuff, or maybe they did some actual field testing to see which did better in dusty climes? I suppose it could have been a ruse to cause premature engine failure so as to keep their shop bays busy, but I honestly think they wanted to see customers get the best service they could from their cars. Besides, it wouldn't have been fair to areas where they specified paper filters to not reap as much shop work as the shops where oil bath filters were called for.[}]
    My '53 Commander, built and sold in California (Long Beach), came with an oil bath air cleaner. I guess all of California was a severe service area. Somewhere I saw a map or a list of states where OEM dry filter cars were to be sent. It was a pretty small area/list.
    Personally, I thought the wet air cleaner also inhibited performance. When I put a dry element filter on the '53, it seemed peppier.


    [img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/R-4.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64L.JPG[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/64P.jpg[/img=right][img=right]http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Forum%20signature%20pix/53K.jpg[/img=right]Paul Johnson
    '53 Commander Starliner (since 1966)
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire (original owner)
    '64 Daytona Convertible (2006)
    Museum R-4 engine

    Leave a comment:


  • Jessie J.
    replied
    Originally posted by showbizkid
    What's the advantage of a wet cleaner vs. a dry one?
    It is my understanding that the oil-bath type of air cleaners were for use in those very dusty areas where paper elements would quickly load up with a heavy layer of dust and plug up, effectively choking off the air supply, causing an over-rich mixture and stalling, requiring very frequent cleaning or replacement, picture early dusty dirt roads and "dust-bowl" conditions.
    I tend to doubt that the oil-bath type cleaners are as effective at trapping and preventing the ingestion of dust under normal operating conditions, but were an early "engineering solution" for the problem of clogged filters in extremely dusty environments.
    Remember speeds were slower, and there were much less paved roads back when these devices were developed, it was not unusual to have engines worn to the point of needing bearings and re-ringing or complete rebuilds by 50k mark because of the ingestion of abrasive dust contributing to oil contamination and subsequent wear
    Think of them as a "last resort" for when the operating environment is so dusty that just a few hours of operation would require a paper filter to be replaced- only better than that old common practice of just leaving the air filter off.
    Do any modern O-E manufactures even offer optional oil-bath air cleaners? If at all, it would be only for the most extreme conditions and would most likely include a disclaimer voiding the warranty.
    Paper elements are now employed because they are the most efficient and effective at protecting your engine, if you are concerned about what type of oil to use in your engine, to protect and preserve it, then you really ought to be using the best air filtration system.
    That said, 2 of my Studebakers still have their old oil-bath air cleaners, but then I haven't put 10 miles on either in the last 10 years.

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  • 64V-K7
    replied
    Bob,
    I opted to keep the oil bath on the 55 Pres, after the switch to the Edelbrock. The aftermarket, WCFB to AFB, adapters are nothing but junk and when the 2nd one 'melted', I fashioned one from steel. Pres is happy...

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  • showbizkid
    replied
    I don't know if it's true or not, but some guys swear that filtering the air through oil adds extra lubrication to the valve seats... sounds sketchy to me


    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 F2/Lark Standard
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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  • Roscomacaw
    replied
    I've got a '47 vintage F*rd 8N tractor that I use around here quite a bit. It still sports it's original oil bath air cleaner and when I DO remember to service it, the resevoir where you put the oil will have a THICK, gooey sludge of dirt that it's collected from the air. If you're looking at the screen element for dirt, you're not gonna find any.
    I've run an oil bath on the Transtar for 17 years now. It can build up quite a sludge as well. With the Edelbrock I'm changing to, I'll likely be forced to go to a paper filter.[B)]
    Think about it - Studebaker USED both types of filter concurrently yet specified the oil bath for dusty environments. Do you think they just did that off the cuff, or maybe they did some actual field testing to see which did better in dusty climes? I suppose it could have been a ruse to cause premature engine failure so as to keep their shop bays busy, but I honestly think they wanted to see customers get the best service they could from their cars. Besides, it wouldn't have been fair to areas where they specified paper filters to not reap as much shop work as the shops where oil bath filters were called for.[}]

    Miscreant adrift in
    the BerStuda Triangle


    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe

    Leave a comment:


  • S2DSteve
    replied
    I know Studebaker and others touted the oil bath for "extreme" duty, but I don't believe they work as well as pleated paper. Years ago I noticed that the oil in an oil bath filter was still clean after thousands of miles of use, which would indicate not much dirt was collected. There's a reason virtually all modern auto, agricultural and heavy equipment manufacturers use dry filters. You might argue that auto manufacturers just want to sell elements, but if serciceable wet filters made any sense, you can be sure farm and fleet vehicles would be using them exclusively.

    Leave a comment:


  • showbizkid
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by Mr.Biggs

    Clark, I've got a couple of 2bbl dry element air cleaners lyin' about here.
    Well now... got any 4bbls? I've got a WCFB


    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 F2/Lark Standard
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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  • Roscomacaw
    replied
    Clark, I've got a couple of 2bbl dry element air cleaners lyin' about here.

    Of course, half a quart of fresh oil's cheaper than a new paper element![}]

    Miscreant adrift in
    the BerStuda Triangle


    1957 Transtar 1/2ton
    1960 Larkvertible V8
    1958 Provincial wagon
    1953 Commander coupe

    Leave a comment:


  • JDP
    replied
    Better for "severe service", i.e. dusty.

    64 Commander 2 dr.
    64 Daytona HT
    63 R2 4 speed GT Hawk (Black) #2
    63 Avanti R1
    63 Daytona convert
    63 Lark 2 door
    63 Lark 2 door #2
    62 Daytona HT/ 4 speed
    62 Lark 2 door
    62 GT Hawk 4 speed
    60 Lark HT
    60 Hawk
    59 3E truck
    52 Starliner
    51 Commander

    Leave a comment:

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