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Old 02-02-2011, 03:48 PM   #1
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What is an oil filter made of?

Is it all metal, some paper...???

I am not trying to be cheap but,

My 12 KW Northern Lights generator is getting it's annual oil change. I start it once a week for 60 seconds* to rearrange the valves and impeller blades, and once every month or so I load it up for an hour. Total hours on the set are 480.

The oil has a grand total of 15 hours on it since it was changed a year ago. The oil filter is side mounted so will drain out all its oil.

What about skipping the filter change this time?
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Quote:
Doc wrote:
*

Is it all metal, some paper...???

I am not trying to be cheap but,

My 12 KW Northern Lights generator is getting it's annual oil change. I start it once a week for 60 seconds* to rearrange the valves and impeller blades, and once every month or so I load it up for an hour. Total hours on the set are 480.

The oil has a grand total of 15 hours on it since it was changed a year ago. The oil filter is side mounted so will drain out all its oil.

What about skipping the filter change this time?
DocGood question. Common sense tells me to let it ride. The tiny amount of old oil left in the filter should not be a problem, and the filter should obviously have much filtering capability left.

*
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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What is an oil filter made of?

I*second that opinion.* Why change a good filter?** JohnP


-- Edited by JohnP on Wednesday 2nd of February 2011 05:57:12 PM
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:41 PM   #4
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Sorry -but I gotta suggest changing it. $6 once a year is cheap to have peace of mind.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

I'd be inlined to change it but on the other hand, as you say, it's had very little oil run through it. While your best bet might be to contact a reputable engine shop (marine or automotive) or even the filter manufacturer if you're really curious, I suspect that if it's a good-quality filter you're probably good for another year.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:55 PM   #6
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Quote:
Marin wrote:

I'd be inlined to change it but on the other hand, as you say, it's had very little oil run through it. While your best bet might be to contact a reputable engine shop (marine or automotive) or even the filter manufacturer if you're really curious, I suspect that if it's a good-quality filter you're probably good for another year.
The more I think about it, the more I would not want to change it, simply from an environmental standpoint. The six dollars or even if it were twenty dollars, would not be my decision point. I say go with Marin and consult with a few professionals.

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Old 02-02-2011, 11:42 PM   #7
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

No don't change it. waste of time and energy.
The filter is still good to go with only 15 hrs on it especially if your oil still looks nice and bright.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:59 AM   #8
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

I would keep it too 150 hours or 3 years., if its a hard to purchase unit or factory expensive, take the number off the filter , and look in Da Book for any other numbers.

Go to NAPA (or?) and get the Fram cross reference book .

Look up your filter and take down the numbers, thread size , gasker dia , check valve or not.

Then use that info to find the proper AC or Fram replacement.

Many tines a similar but much deeper (longer) filter that will hold more oil, and have far more filtering media can be found.

Engine and noise maker marinizer/assemblers select filters that give the smallest footprint in a catalog.

Lots of time a bigger filter will work in many boats..

The "best" is when you can find a common production car filter that goes on sale at times.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:45 AM   #9
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Wix makes a much better filter than most any other type. Worth looking for.
http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilters/index.html
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:01 AM   #10
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

"Wix makes a much better filter than most any other type. Worth looking for"

That is why I have been buying *mine from Napa or Carquest whenever possible.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:18 AM   #11
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

The link in Keith's post looks like the inside is paper. I know that both time and hours affect fuel filters because the paper will eventually break down. I wonder if the same is true for paper sitting in oil for extended times?
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:00 AM   #12
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

What is the advantage to not following the book, which probably says change out the filter at least annually? Yes paper will degrade/rot in a filter once it is wetted with acids, sulfur, dirt, fuels and water. The worlds largest tester of filters noted this about 40 years ago - CAT - and advised their clients accordingly. And they also mentioned the void warranty clause in the long term contracts. Ditto Cummins, GM and NAPA.

I note my Westerbeke filters are made in China. Tomorrow Vietnam?*The low cost bidder gets the work of making filters. Filters are a good place for bugs to start growing too. Bugs need food.

The filter is built for capturing particles, not for saving pennies. But, it is your engine and none of the responders have any money invested in your vessel.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:27 AM   #13
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Speaking as a professional
(we probably sell between $800- $1500 worth of filters a month) I still suggest changing. The filter media is made of paper. Some versions will have a "relief valve" built in the event of a total blockage of the filter media.
If you have environmental concerns then consider bringing your filter to a shop that has the ability to crush it for minimal impact in a landfill.
I agree, Wix/ Napa/ Carquest is a premium filter- but my preferred brand is Baldwin- cause the red color matches my Lehmans
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

The construction/maintenance guys I deal with normally change fluid and filters at 250 hours on their equipment. On another note, my brother worked at a major trucking company where they extracted oil from the crank case, dripped it into the fuel line to the engine. Mean while keeping the oil in the crankcase at the required operating level, then changing out the fluids and filters every 100,000 miles. The fluids they removed after 100,000 mile was used in the oil heaters in the shops.

I have always heard that the reason for more frequent oil changes was due to the acid build up in the oid that develops over time, Oh well.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:56 PM   #15
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What is an oil filter made of?

Ran into an interesting situation with a small diesel inboard boat at work a few months ago. It doesn't get used a lot so the operator fires it up and lets it get warm once a week. Walked past it during one of these warm-up sessions and the low oil alarm was going off.*

Shut it down and we figured out that the mechanic hadn't replaced the filter during the last annual maintenance and oil change. The underside of the filter (out of sight) had rusted out and drained the oil into the bilge. Top of the filter looked good so the operator would have had to feel around to find the corrosion.


-- Edited by Sisuitl on Thursday 3rd of February 2011 10:57:33 PM
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:17 AM   #16
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

It doesn't get used a lot so the operator fires it up and lets it get warm once a week.

No finer way to destroy a diesel ANY SIZE DIESEL than no load ideling.


When you read the speck sheet of a boat 5 years old with what should be 10,000 hour engines , with replacement engines, its probable that the owner was a slip ideler, "to warm them up".
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:20 AM   #17
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

FF, I hope you are not saying that I do this. I start once a week to rearrange the valves and impeller. I do not try to warm it up. I let it run for long enough to walk to the stern and check the exhause water and then turn it off. I have seen people let their engines idle at the dock but I am not one of them.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:24 PM   #18
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Quote:
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No finer way to destroy a diesel ANY SIZE DIESEL than no load ideling.

It's not a practice I agree with either. I need to talk to the senior operator before he retires and find out how many times they've had to replace the engine during the boat's 40+ years of life.

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:43 AM   #19
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

but the oil never broke down, so he just did the filters.

Fine in 1946 when DR Porsche was imprisoned by the Frogs as a "War Criminal" for re designing the VW into the Klubel Wagon , the Nazi Jeep.


Todays oil is 15 -20% addatives that are a must in a modern gas or diesel.

I have yet to meet the engineer that claimed, "The engine died because the oil was too fresh!"
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:36 AM   #20
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RE: What is an oil filter made of?

Good point Fast Fred!
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