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1931 Buick Model 57 Oil Filter


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I have a 1931 Buick Model 57 & would like to change the oil filter. It's a WIX (see photo) but has no markings on it. Any ideas of what it is?

Also, what do you recommend for oil for this car? I think the engine was rebuilt not too long ago but it does seem to smoke some.

Thanks much,


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The filter you have is a second generation of oil filters . the original was a sealed canister that was flat on the top and bottom. The sealed can called a PF 1/2 is the type you have. To the best of my knowledge there are no current sealed can type filters of either the first or second generation available today. There are several alternatives for replacement, 1. There is a reproduction filter that has the correct outside appearance for your car. Inside the can is a modern spin filter. These are available from Bob's, or Mac Blair. Price is close to $200. 2. Go on ebay and get a canister filter with a removable top such as used on late 40's early 50's cars. You will need to redo the plumbing because they don't have top oil line fittings. 3. purchase a new spin filter base assembly from Hot rod engine suppliers. Any one of these will get your engine running with a clean filter.

Just a little info on these early straight 8 Buick oiling systems. The oiling system is split. Oil for the rods, mains and cam bearings is not filtered. Oil for the top end ( rocker arms) is filtered. It is important to use a 1/8 inch copper line exiting the oil filter to the rocker arm fittings. This oil lubricates the rocker arm assemblies, flows down the push rods and lubricates the valve lifter assemblies. It also lows out the front of the rocker arm shaft down to lubricate the cam, crankshaft and generator gears. Most conversions from the first generation filter to the second generation filter had larger tubing installed. Larger tubing will take oil away form the rods, mains and cam bearings. It will flood the rocker arm area with excess oil. This can lead to oil running down the valve guides and getting burnt in the combustion chamber Blue smoke out the tail pipe.

I would be surprised if your engine was rebuilt recently with this late 30's early 40's type oil filter. I would start with a 30 weight oil. If the engine has not been run for quite some time, I would remove the rocker arm cover and pour some oil over the rocker arms and down the front to lube the timing gears. I can send you some photos of a correct oil filter and piping if you want, please feel free to contact me if you want any further discussion on your oiling system. Just send a private message and I will be glad to help.

Bob Engle

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  • 6 years later...

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