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Old 09-03-2016, 05:56 AM   #1
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Bypass Oil Filters - Keep or Remove?

A PO had installed these Gulf Coast bypass oil filters on my mains:


In theory, they're supposed to allow a longer interval between oil changes, which is handy when traveling.

I also feel like having extra oil in the engine inventory can't be a bad thing.

However, they're taking up room in the ER. When they're hot, it's hard to move around without touching them. It's a messy job changing them. And I'm not convinced they're anything more than just snake oil someone sold my PO.

Every time I change the oil, I wonder if I should just bite the bullet and remove them. I've got an oil change coming up.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-03-2016, 06:20 AM   #2
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Extra filtering does nothing for the replacement of the additives in modern motor oil. The additives are used up as the engine runs. My recommendation is to make the oil and filter change as easy as possible and do it at least as often as manufacturer's recommendation. Given a choice between clean new oil and more filtration, new oil wins every time.

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Old 09-03-2016, 06:39 AM   #3
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"Every time I change the oil, I wonder if I should just bite the bullet and remove them. I've got an oil change coming up.
Thoughts?"


I know nothing about Gulf coast filters or how they are plumbed into your system.
I am aware of the value of by pass filtration perhaps read here at Blackstone or google the topic for additional inputs....


By-Pass Oil Filtration
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:13 AM   #4
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I would leave them and do regular oil analysis. Nice to have a baseline and continuous record of whats happening inside your engine.
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:27 AM   #5
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Filters, plural? Do they have isolation valves? Stop the bypass oil flow and stop the heat. To remove or not is a personal prefrence.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:39 AM   #6
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"Filters, plural? Do they have isolation valves? Stop the bypass oil flow and stop the heat"


Sorry - cannot figure out what this means, can you explain?
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:45 AM   #7
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I think the main benefit of by pass filtration is reduced wear by removing carbon from the oil. Carbon is an abrasive and a reduction of carbon in oil should be a reduction in engine wear.

Ted is right IMO but by pass is good for long engine life. But these engines last so long it's almost pointless.
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:02 AM   #8
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Keep them and start doing regular oil analysis.

You might find you rarely have to change your oil.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:11 PM   #9
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"Extra filtering does nothing for the replacement of the additives in modern motor oil."

Indeed but replacing the elements , usually a roll of Bounty , requires a quart or two of make up oil , which brings in the new additive package.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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"Extra filtering does nothing for the replacement of the additives in modern motor oil."

Indeed but replacing the elements , usually a roll of Bounty , requires a quart or two of make up oil , which brings in the new additive package.
Exactly. Plus the oil you would normally add to the engine between changes.
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:59 PM   #11
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Modern oil filters are a product of much re$earch and years of experience.
Do you really think Bounty designs their product with oil filtration in mind?
The extra 2 qts is not very green.
A bypass oil filter allows unfiltered oil to circulate in your engine, not a good idea.
I would never install anything but a premium oil filter.
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty477 View Post
"Filters, plural? Do they have isolation valves? Stop the bypass oil flow and stop the heat"


Sorry - cannot figure out what this means, can you explain?
I'm guessing he has twin engines with one filter each plus a generator filter.
The OP stated heat was a problem. If you close at least one isolation valve per filter, no hot oil flows to the filter housing. The filters remain in place without the added heat to the ER.
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:26 PM   #13
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Bypass oil filtration is one thing...paper towel filters at best get mixed reviews....


A top notch bypass system I would trust. A paper towel one would have to go through several (say half dozen) oil sampling sessions for me to be a believer.


If it works...then cant argue in my book. Oil analysis people will recommend what you need to do and add if extending oil change periods.
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Old 09-03-2016, 02:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapnd View Post
A bypass oil filter allows unfiltered oil to circulate in your engine, not a good idea.
How do you figure that?
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:19 PM   #15
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Bypass filters do not stop the normal filtration on the engine from working, therefore there is not unfiltered oil running through the engine. Bypass just filter a small portion of the oil flow to a much finer degree than the original equipment filter does. You don't remove the original equipment filter, the bypass is a supplement filter, not a replacement. Over time all the oil will eventually flow through the bypass filter and be filtered to whatever micron you have in the bypass. The original filter is still there in case the bypass possibly clogged up.
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:05 PM   #16
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I looked up Gulf Coast Filters, and found that their system is designed to be used as and add-on to existing filtration, thus it would take the engine's lifetime to determine whether it is really useful or not. (These are not the paper towel guys!)
As I understand it now, bypass filtration can be compared to polishing your fuel; marginally useful in some conditions, and a job that is already being done if proper filtration is installed.
Modern motor oil has additives that are designed to keep contaminants in suspension, so IMO regular oil/filter changes are your best defense, keep in mind that warranty is not likely to favor changes to the lube system.
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Old 09-03-2016, 06:27 PM   #17
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Well, that's clear as mud.

Yes, twin engines, one Gulf Coast filter each. The manual that came with them says to use a "quality" roll of paper towels like Scott brand. I see GC now sells their own brand of dedicated filter.

They get as hot as the engine oil, and they're sort of in the way when moving around the ER. The problem isn't that they heat up the air the ER, just that if I press up against them it's kind of painful. There is no shutoff valve; from reading the manual that's typical in installations where the filter is changed while the engine is running.

I like the idea of oil analysis. However, these are 34-year-old engines. Would I just end up with a list of all the reasons I should repower?
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Old 09-03-2016, 06:56 PM   #18
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No, not necessarily. Oil analysis can often head off a small issue before it becomes a large issue by measuring metals and contaminants in your used oil. It regular samples at intervals will verify engine condition to potential buyers at resale time.
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapnd View Post
I looked up Gulf Coast Filters, and found that their system is designed to be used as and add-on to existing filtration, thus it would take the engine's lifetime to determine whether it is really useful or not. (These are not the paper towel guys!)
As I understand it now, bypass filtration can be compared to polishing your fuel; marginally useful in some conditions, and a job that is already being done if proper filtration is installed.
Modern motor oil has additives that are designed to keep contaminants in suspension, so IMO regular oil/filter changes are your best defense, keep in mind that warranty is not likely to favor changes to the lube system.
Yes Gulf Coast are "the paper towel guys".

No bypass filtering will not void a warranty.

Simple before and after oil sampling can tell you if your oil is benefiting from bypass filtering. And it will also tell you the condition of your oils additive package.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Bypass filters do not stop the normal filtration on the engine from working, therefore there is not unfiltered oil running through the engine. Bypass just filter a small portion of the oil flow to a much finer degree than the original equipment filter does. You don't remove the original equipment filter, the bypass is a supplement filter, not a replacement. Over time all the oil will eventually flow through the bypass filter and be filtered to whatever micron you have in the bypass. The original filter is still there in case the bypass possibly clogged up.
Correct. In the trucking, heavy equipment and ag industries bypass filtration has been used for decades and still is. It is simply extra filtration that because it is at a slow rate of flow can capture more fine particles like metals and carbon (common in diesel engine oil) and take them out of circulation. In my mind that is a very good thing. It helps the full flow filter do its job but in no way harms or hinders the main filter. As far as being messy to change, some of the old Luberfiner cartridge filters were pretty messy. They were just a big 6 x 15 ? Inch cartrige full of rags. For 30 years bypass filters have been spin on, such as a Fleet guard LF777 which work very well and are under $20. Pretty cheap insurance that your oil is a little better filtered even if you stick to recommended change intervals. A whole new wave of engine oil filters has been out for 25 years now that incorporates both a full flow section and a wafer section for by pass filtration. An example of that would be Fleetguard LF3000 for Cummins N14 engines and Fleet guard 9000 series filters for the QSX and 15 liter engines. They must think that bypass filtration is important or they would not be doing it on all their new released engines for the last 25 to 30 years. Just because one manufacturer or designer or engineer does not call for something like this optional bypass system does not mean that it is not the better way of doing it. Also with mounting these seperate bypass filters, they can be moved easily and relocated to any location that you can run good high pressure hoses to. You do not want a leak in a hose that drains all your engine oil out. Would that be "killing your engine with kindness"?
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