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Old 01-23-2010, 10:56 PM   #1
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Bypass filtration report

Recently, I requested comments on another site seeking opinions on bypass filtration for diesels.* Not surprisingly, there were many opinions ranging from "change your oil every 50 hours and forget about it" to suggestions to check out spin filters from 2 different manufacturers.* While the spin filters look like a good alternative, I elected to install a Puradyn filter that should remove contaminants down to 1 micron.* I wanted to pass on observations so far.

The rationale for installing bypass filtration in the first place was to remove carbon from the oil, reducing the potential for wear and general anal compulsiveness over engine longevity.* I am not particularly interested in extending the interval between oil changes, since the cost of oil seems pretty minor compared to the cost of repairs.* I guess I just like the idea of clean oil.

The Puradyn unit has two attributes not common to others.* First, the filters can be purchased with a slow release additive package that supposedly keeps the additives at appropriate levels over an extended oil change interval.* Second, the unit has a heater element that cooks the oil and allegedly removes volatiles like water and diesel fuel from the lubricant, if present.* Since I am not interested in extending the interval between changes, the additive package is not important, so I have opted for the simpler, less expensive ($15.00) filters without the additives.

I am undecided on the heater element feature.* As oil runs through the bypass filter at a rate of around 6 gallons per hour, the heater element condenses around 1/8th of a cup of oil per hour of running that discharges out a drip tube.* I intend to have this discharged oil analyzed for contaminants and will report on that in the future, so for now I can't tell if this feature is worthwhile or not.* If the oil sample comes back showing excessive contaminants, water or diesel, it is worth it.* If not, then I will disconnect the heater element.

What I can say is that the more hours I put on, the cleaner the oil becomes.* After a typical oil change, my CAT's oil* would normally be pretty black.* Not anymore.*

Whether this piece of equipment is worth others installing may be a matter of how compulsive you are to have clean oil.* Since the tolerances of the average diesel are greater than the size particle filtered out by these systems, longevity is probably extended.

Below are a couple of pictures showing the mounting of the unit - it is large - and the plumbing of the supply line for the oil from the block.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:30 AM   #2
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Hi Delfin - this looks really interesting. I've just found a supplier in the uk which is only 2 miles fropm where I live!

If I can find space to fit these to my Cummins C450 engines, then I have a feeling they'll soon be fitted.

Many thanks for the post.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:11 PM   #3
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Yes, the unit is large, but that is because the filter is huge, presumably having a lot of capacity to absorb contaminants.* Mine fit nicely on top of the trannie on the L bracket I fabricated that you can see in the picture.* Just make sure you get the highest grade hose for the supply and return - use high pressure, high temperature even though it is low pressure (more robust).* Also, before you buy, identify where you will take the supply from and where the return will be plumbed.* On my CAT, there were plugs in the oil galley that could easily be removed and tapped for supply.* Previously, I removed the drain plug and took it to a machine shop where I had it drilled out and a street ell welded on allowing me to plumb to a pump for draining oil.* I just plumbed the return from the Puradyn to downstream from the shutoff valve I screwed onto the street ell.* Seems to work well.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:06 PM   #4
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Delphin that looks like a nice setup and great access to the engine. What is the clear plastic bottle with the tubing running to it? Looks kind of the bottle I use to catch the blowby oil mist on my Cummins.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:53 PM   #5
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RE: Bypass filtration report

The oil passes through a heater which allegedly removes volatiles like diesel and water from the oil. It flows out this tube into the container you see in the picture. I am suspicious about this particular feature so my intent is to send this for analysis to see if it has any contaminants. The rate of discarge seems to be about a half cup every 10 hours of operation. If the oil analysis of this doesn't show contaminants I'll just pull the fuse. If it does then this is a nice feature providing additional cleaning of the oil. Puradyn is the only bypass filter I know with this particular feature.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:01 AM   #6
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Quote:
Delfin wrote:

The oil passes through a heater which allegedly removes volatiles like diesel and water from the oil.

*
*Considering that the* boiling point of diesel fuel is around 370* F*and up I would not expect much benefit to anyone other than the guy who sells you lube oil.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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Bypass filtration report

We'll see once I test it. Like I said, I am suspicious.* However, the point of the heater is not to boil the oil, but water and diesel fuel, which boil at 212 and 175 degrees respectively.


-- Edited by Delfin on Tuesday 26th of January 2010 02:27:57 PM
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #8
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Quote:
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We'll see once I test it. Like I said, I am suspicious.* However, the point of the heater is not to boil the oil, but water and diesel fuel, which boil at 212 and 175 degrees respectively.


You might want to check your F to C conversions.

*
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:36 PM   #9
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Delfin:* Assuming a "good" leisure rated engine with regular oil and filter changes, the chances of engine failure due to inadequate lubrication are virtually nil. So why mess around with a system that adds external tubes, hoses and fittings that could fail and cause a lubrication failure?
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
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Bypass filtration report

Sunchaser, to have cleaner oil would be one possible answer.

-- Edited by Delfin on Tuesday 26th of January 2010 09:08:21 PM
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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Bypass filtration report

RickB, right you are on the vapor point of diesel.* It is around 350 F/175 C, and I mixed Celsius with Farenheit on the water/diesel comparison.* One correction though, the vapor point on synthetic lube oil, which I use, is 450 degrees F, not 370.* Whatever, an oil test will tell whether the vaporized product has contaminants or not.*

I remain somewhat perplexed on the perspective of some that cleaner oil, where contaminants less than the machine tolerances of the engine are removed, is not a worthwhile objective, especially with the relative cost differential of repair versus maintenance.* Few people drop dead, yet most people carry life insurance.* Few engines fail from problems with lubrication contaminants, but for $15 more per oil change, isn't bypass filtration reasonable life insurance for an engine?* Apparently some do not think so, which is a.o.k. with me, although they seem to strain to make their point.

-- Edited by Delfin on Tuesday 26th of January 2010 09:09:16 PM
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:41 PM   #12
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Delfin:

I work* with diesels of all shapes and sizes. The current biggest is 4000 HP. The yellow engines, Cat, like you have, are industry leaders*when it comes to designing filtration and lubrication systems. Cat offers superlative warranties on engines and components based upon*their knowledge and*experience. They put their money on the line with their designs and recommendations. I note you use synthetic oil. Cat does not see any benefits to that over their recommended oils. And to assume that your bypass filtration system is an improvement over what Cat* designed assumes that you know more than the Cat engineers. Since I work with Cat engineers and maintenance personnel, I have grown to trust their abilities and judgement. Cat however does not do my dental work, I go to a pro for that.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:43 PM   #13
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Bypass filtration report

If diesel engine technology was new and the industry was still at the bottom end of the learning curve, I could see where setting up a system to remove even the minutest traces of contaminants in the lube oil would be a smart thing to do.* After all, like the tiles on the Space Shuttle, there would still be unknowns about what might affect reliability and longevity.

However, diesel technology is not new.* It has a long and impressive track record of use in everything from railroad locomotives to ships to cars to industrial equipment, you name it.* Millions of*diesel engines*have been torn down, examined, and overhauled or rebuilt.* The effects of*dirty fuel, ancient fuel, filthy lubricants, sand in the crankcase,*and so on, are all well known.* *And considering some of the appalling conditions under which we've probably all seen diesel engines work and continue to work, my guess is that traces of diesel fuel and water that might get into the lube oil are going to have no significant impact--- if any impact--- on the longevity of the engine.

If an engine is getting so much fuel and water into the lube oil that a device to vaporize it off is warranted, it would seem to me that this particular engine has a serious problem.* Vaporizing off the diesel and water would only be curing the symptom, not the cause.

If diesel and water ingress in a diesel engine's lube oil is a common problem to diesel engines in general, and one that reduces the engine's reliability and longevity, it would seem to me that it would be in the interests of Cat, Deere, Cummins, MAN, etc. to make such a device a stock accessory for every diesel they sold.* Do they?* (I don't know, I'm just asking the question.) Diesel engines have certainly been around long enough to know if this is a real, or significant problem or not.

Sunchaser's points in the previous post are well taken.* Warranty work is expensive for manufacturers because they foot the bill.* And unlike cars, bulldozers, railroad locomotives, cranes, oil rig equipment, etc. are not consumer items.* The people and companies*who buy these things are not*intending to "trade up" every few years.**They expect to get ten, fifteen, twenty, or more years of service out of them.* So if vaporizing off*traces of fuel and water from lube oil was a way to give their customers a longer service life, that becomes a competitive advantage and*I would expect the engine manufacturers to incorporate this feature into their engine designs from the outset.

It is hard not to think of things like this as "armchair hardware," devices that in theory will solve a problem, real or perceived.* Sort of like the magnetic fuel conditioners, although this vaporizing device would seem to have more potential to actually do something than the magnets.* But whether that something actually needs to be done seems very questionable in this case.

But, like the magnets, I can't see that having it in the system will hurt anything.* So it will be interesting to hear what Delfin discovers.

"...where contaminants less than the machine tolerances of the engine are removed..." is an interesting statement.* I'm no mechanic or engine designer or lubrication engineer.* But logic would seem to indicate that if*a contaminant is*smaller than the machine tolerances of the engine, then it*isn't a contaminant.* Or do I have that wrong......?


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 26th of January 2010 10:44:21 PM
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:22 AM   #14
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Bypass filtration report

Quote:
Delfin wrote:

RickB, right you are on the vapor point of diesel.*
I don't know what you mean by "vapor point" but I do know that the boiling point of diesel and lube oil covers a very wide range because those compounds are made up of a very wide range of components. The figure I gave for boiling point is the lowest temperature, the point at which about 1 percent of the stuff will boil away, to boil it all away will require a temperature high enough to destroy your oil, your engine, and everything else in the engine room.

You cannot "boil" diesel fuel out of lube oil and undo the damage. And yes, fuel contamination of lube oil in very small amounts is related to engine damage. Most of the damage is done by the mechanism that allows the diesel to get into the oil and the dilution is more a symptom than a disease. Wiping the blood off does not repair the wound.


-- Edited by RickB on Wednesday 27th of January 2010 06:23:09 AM

-- Edited by RickB on Wednesday 27th of January 2010 06:23:59 AM
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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Bypass filtration report

Delfin:

On your oil filtering setup, I note several hoses, some problematic in my opinion. Five years ago my brother's "big" steel vessel suffered a lubrication failure on one of its engines. A contractor was working on the ER fire supression system and inadvertently moved/disengaged an engine oil drain line near the sump. Shortly thereafter, the vessel was underway with all the starboard engine oil draining into the bilge (that is another story) in a matter of minutes. Oil flow and pressure readings worked as they should have to alert Captain and engineer but it was too late and engine was toast. The insurers had a field day citing all sorts of reasons they should not pay for improperly designed plumbing and the engine manufacturer said not our design.

-- Edited by sunchaser on Wednesday 27th of January 2010 08:58:46 AM

-- Edited by sunchaser on Wednesday 27th of January 2010 08:59:22 AM
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:43 AM   #16
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RE: Bypass filtration report

So why mess around with a system that adds external tubes, hoses and fittings that could fail and cause a lubrication failure?

Clean oil is of course going to wear the engine less than grit.

A big filter like this will do the job , but the spinner setup is smaller and perhaps easier to find room for. http://www.spinnerii.com/index.cfm/l...561/startrow/1

The spinner does have to be cleaned on occasion.

The folks wanting to extend the service life of oil are usually using very expensive synthetic oil, where 10 gal a fill gets pri$y.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:05 AM   #17
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Bypass filtration report

Thanks Sunchaser.* It was actually the CAT maintenance manager and his field guy who thought bypass filtration made sense for a 3306 turning slow and inevitably building up more carbon.* They were indifferent about the type, but I think you might be hard pressed to find someone who thinks that reducing particulates from 10 microns to 1 micron has zero value, although your point about external hoses for supply and return being a failure point certainly is valid.*

Regarding synthetic oil for CAT engines, while I suppose they would like you to buy their oil, they don't care what you use as long as it meets their specs.* They don't seem to object to synthetic oil, since they sell their own, designed for the 3116 and 3126 engines I believe which have had quite a few problems in the field.

Like you, I prefer to go to the pros, and in this case when I asked the pro if it were his engine, would he install a bypass filter.* Since his answer was yes, it seemed worth listening to.

-- Edited by Delfin on Wednesday 27th of January 2010 10:06:08 AM
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:53 AM   #18
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RE: Bypass filtration report

I recollect hearing stories yrs ago from truckies here in Oz, who made up their own bypass filter arrangements in the days before they were available ex-factory and used toilet paper rolls as the filter.* If I remember correctly, they managed to clean the oil so well this way, some got literally hundreds of thousands of miles between changes - in fact some never changed the oil, so it was claimd - just topped it up to compensate for unavoidable loss and engine consumption.* I never knew where truth ended and legend began, but I can see how it could work......and if I had the money and energy and my engine was newer.......

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Old 01-29-2010, 05:56 AM   #19
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Bypass filtration for oil makes sense if you're cruising all the time. As long as you keep it topped up, and test occasionally, it can be a godsend in reduced / eliminated oil changes and disposal of used oil. For the average boat with a couple of hundred hours or less a year, it's near useless. Now using that type of system to polish your fuel... that's a different story. The more you sit the more you need it, especially with large tanks.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:01 AM   #20
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RE: Bypass filtration report

Gulf Coast filters started with TP and paper towel rolls .

Far less risky to use a filter medium designed for the task.

The big trucks now use oil sampeling , 100,000 mi to 150,000 miles on synthetic is not uncommon.

Synthetic is claimed to reduce fuel burn a few % , makes sense when you run 1000s of gallons a year.
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