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Old 08-25-2010, 08:04 AM
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What to look for inside an oil filter

Anyone know what the black stuff is on this filter. It's sort of like tar. Does not have any features that would lead me to suspect it has a metal base.

The filter in the pic is from an engine with a little over 500 miles on it, so one thought may be gasket sealer that was squeezed inside the engine during assembly.

I have had it appear before ... after other rebuilds. Just curious as to what it is.


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Old 08-25-2010, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
Anyone know what the black stuff is on this filter. It's sort of like tar. Does not have any features that would lead me to suspect it has a metal base.

The filter in the pic is from an engine with a little over 500 miles on it, so one thought may be gasket sealer that was squeezed inside the engine during assembly.

I have had it appear before ... after other rebuilds. Just curious as to what it is.

could be RTVor possibly some cam break in lube that wont dissolve in oil. I think it is the molly lubes that dont disolve but I am not sure. As long as it is not metalic I would not worry about it.
Check the next filter to see if it is the same
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:52 AM
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Cloth rag lint from rags used during assembly? Moly lube would be my other guess.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:06 AM
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Ahhh...good thoughts on the molylube. Not sure what kind I used, but I did use some cam lube on the cam lobes and lifters and also some assembly lube on the bearings.

The black stuff is not firm enough to be RTV, plus the wrong colour from what I used. I do use Permatex Aviation Sealer (formerly Indian Head gasket shellac), but it's quite impervious to oil, although I thought maybe hot oil might dissolve some.

I did have a very small amount of gray paste in the bottom of the filter. No significant amount. Maybe enough I could make a couple of fingerprints from it. Some of it rose up when I got a magnet near it, so that would be ferrous and no doubt left over residue from the machine work that didn't get completely cleaned up. The gray is probably a little bearing wear from break-in.

And it could be a little lint from a cloth or paper towel from when I wiped down the cylinders.

Overall, I'm pleased to see nothing (I think ) of any major consequence.
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:06 AM
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Curious-what kind of filter is that?
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:39 AM
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It's a System 1. Benifits are you can take it apart to see what's inside. You can cut a paper filter apart, but then you wonder if the little bits you see are from the filter case when you cut it apart....unless you happen to own a filter cutter (like a industrial looking can opener). The System one flows really, really well, so very little pressure is lost across the filter. This also helps keep the bypass from opening when the oil is cold, or at high rpms. It can also help increase hot idle oil pressure a little bit.

On the not so nice side, they are a pain to clean, plus the lowest stainless steel filtering screen they offer is 30 microns. Not sure how bad that is as paper filters rated at 15 microns can still pass a 50 micron particle, while the System 1 won't pass anything larger than it's rating. Paper filter ratings seem to be based on a percentage of what gets through.

I've been told not to use a cleanable filter for break-in, but to use a good paper one to filter out all the fine bits from break-in wear. However, I'd rather not have any of those larger bits get through the filter internal bypass during break-in either, and that would seem to be more likely with a paper filter.

Here's a link:

http://www.system1filters.com/oil_filters.htm
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:55 AM
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Could it be a combination of carbon/ fuel/ oil mixed together from blow by ?
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy
Could it be a combination of carbon/ fuel/ oil mixed together from blow by ?
It could be. The compression is really good, but until the rings were seated maybe some got by. It does have the consistency of what I think a carbon and oil mix might be like.

It's kind of odd. I did a Google search and there's a ton of info on cutting open oil filters, but nothing much is mentioned about what to look for. I guess most people are just looking for those obvious metal bits.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:48 PM
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Gather some of it up and see if it burns or glows (slow burning), that will tell you if it is paper or cloth lint.

Keep reducing the possibilities and you'll have your answer.

Nice filter!
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