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Oil Bath Air Cleaner


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I have 48 Packard with an oil bath air cleaner and have some questions. I noticed that when assembled the oil level (marked with a line on the pan) is below the filter element. What I am trying to figure out is how this system cleans the air before going into the carburetor. It seems the air is drawn down toward the oil, then makes a 180 degree turn up through the element. Is that it? Should the element be dipped in oil before assembly to aid in cleaning? Also, what is the proper cleaning and re-oiling procedure for this? <P>Please excuse the questions, but I am new to this type of system and want to make sure I am doing it correctly.

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When I can get around to it I plan on adapting a paper element inside the original oil bath housing. With a newly bored engine going in soon I would like to clean up the intake air as much as possible.

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There is a good article on putting a paper element filter in an oil bath air filter:<P><A HREF="http://www.indfloorcoating-repair.com/1948plymouthenginerestoration.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.indfloorcoating-repair.com/1948plymouthenginerestoration.html</A><P>The article is about 1/2 way down the page.<P>Not sure what cars besides the Plymouth it applies to, but the information was useful for me.<P>Thanks to the Plymouth folks, they have provided me with a great deal of useful information!<P>Rich

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In the seventies an old oil bath aircleaner was considered to be a lot better than the paper elements then available. The proper operation calls for the oil to be at the exact level and the air being speeded up (venturi like) and making a sharp turn all the heavier particles (even particles that would pass through a seventies paper filter) were flung into the oil where they were held until the oil was changed. My considered opinion would be that to add a paper filter inside might cause your carb to run rich. I would leave it like it was originally. I had 250,000 miles on my 53 Buick with an oil bath filter and only had to go .020 oversize when I rebuilt the engine.<BR>Happy hobbying

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An important thing to remember is that the air being filtered is actually freer of abrasive particles than it was when the car was new. There are hardly any dirt roads anymore so dust etc. is not the problem it once was. An oil bath is a little more trouble than a paper element but should be more than adequate for the job. If you do change it will lean out your mixture, but adjustments or jet replacement will easily cure that.

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