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No Oil Filter 47 Roadmaster

Guest sherlok

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My 1947 Roadmaster lacks an oil filter, yet most straight eights I've seen have an oil filter canister mounted on the forward right side. Was this an option or has it been removed? Photo attached.

Thanks, Sherlok


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Guest DaveCorbin

Dear Sherlock:

The question of an oil filter for your 47 Roadmaster has an answer, which is: "It depends on......"

The first thing is: Where was the car sold new? Buick would mandatorily install an oil filter AND a heavy duty oil bath air cleaner IF the selling dealer was west of the Mississippi River. East of that, the dry type air cleaner and NO oil filter.

Customers east of the Mississippi could have an oil filter dealer installed. Same parts, different colors, an orange can with a blue top. The factory installation is engine color.

Customers east of the Missippi could order the oil bath factory installed as an option.

In other words, in regards to a specific car, it ain't clear! (Unless you have a history of this car from day 1 !!!)

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Guest DaveCorbin

Dear Allan:

All export cars got them, as Buick was looking at the dust/service abuse level, so you nice folks in Australia live west of the Mississippi.

Seriously, the change was in place by 1938, as my 38 (Ennis, TX) and my 39 (Denver, CO) are both known western cars. I'm going to look in my parts books to see if I can be more specific.

My information source was the Buick midwest zone service manager from about 1950 to 1975, and I asked "What color is the oil filter on my 39?" The information I've posted was his answer. Since he is still living at about 95, I won't use his name.

He was invaluable as an information source and has a literally photographic memory of virtually every Buick part used from about 1936 to 1958. He was able to describe the "Ladies Book and Page Mirror Assembly" in my 1939 with sufficient accuracy to allow me to make one for my car. It took 2 tries, because he forgot to tell me the mirror was OVAL and the little note pad was PINK on the first try.

Regards, Dave Corbin

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Thanks for he replies guys. That all makes sense. I think mine was an eastern car, but it does have the oil bath air filter.

I guess I'll leave it as is since it's an infrequent driver and I change the oil about every 400 - 500 miles anyway. The engine shows better without it too.

How are you Dave? We are living in Athens, TX now.


Sherlok (Bill Holmes)

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  • 2 months later...

HI, Sherlok,

My 39 Limited is an eastern car, too (I believe it was originally sold in New York) and I bought it from Pennsylvania. I live in Katy, TX now so I think we will have to watch the oil very carefully. The 1939 shop manual says to "install a new AC Kleer-Kleen filter element when oil level markings on oil gauge stick cannot be seen clearly through the oil film". From what I have been able to gather, the big risk is that sludge will build up in the oil and plug the hole that feeds oil to the rocker arms. Do you have any feedback on that?

I have been looking for a supplier of an AC Kleer-Kleen filters (factory-approved add-on for 39's) including mounting brackets, canister, and elements and I am having trouble. Do you have a supplier identified, or are you just going to go with frequent oil changes?

I'd also welcome any feedback on the oil weight you use in TX. I seem to have a choice of 10W40 or 20W50 and am leaning toward the heavier oil because of the higher temperatures down here.

Bill Seward

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I have a cannister, mounting bracket, and A-C filter, new old stock, for a Buick straight eight, but I'm not sure which years it fits. The exterior needs to be sanded down and repainted because this was in damp storage, but the inside & the filter are unused. $25 plus postage if anyone wants it.

Pete Phillips



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