Dave Fields

Strange oil filter

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While changing the oil on a 1929 Studebaker Dictator 8 today I found this odd oil filter on the car. It is a canister and does not open the battery was last changed in 1998 if that helps. Any idea of a replacement? There is nothing stamped on the filter. Bracket spacing fits bosses on the block perfectly.

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This is called a “Pancake” oil filter.  The pancake oil filter is the factory filter for the 1929 Studebakers.  They are not reproduced.  If your car has one hooked up it is using an over 80 year old filter.   Some Studebaker owners install the filter in such a way that the filter looks attached when in fact it is not.   It is just for show.   

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I would check it with a laser thermometer. If it gets hot when the engine is running it is working, if not it is plugged up and full of dirt and sludge. These filters were supposed to be replaced every 5000 miles but new ones have not been made in years. There are more modern type of cartridge filters that can be substituted, that are still available at any parts store. Be sure to use a bypass type, they filter finer than the newer full flow.

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Thank you guys. I thought it might be an original for the car as it aligned with the bolt whole bosses on the block.

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7 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Be sure to use a bypass type, they filter finer than the newer full flow.

Is there a reference to which filters are bypass. Post conversions I have seen just use "a filter", which is almost certainly a full flow.

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I found this filter NOS on Ebay for my 29 Dictator 6. The mount was already changed and I am not sure if you can find a mount like it or not but it is an option for replacing the pancake filter. If it were mine, I would probably just keep cleaning the pancake as long a possible. 

 

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Dave, as I tell the dog via the commands it learned - "leave it."   Aka: Find something else to do with your time.  Do not touch it, do not clean it out (plenty of disasters have occurred from such), just change your oil and leave it alone.   My guess is someone when restoring the car worked very hard on this at one point and as a result just let it last the lifetime of your ownership - modern oils are far superior and the car is not being exposed to dirt and gravel road conditions of the 1930's plus, nor winter weather or ... 

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The pancake filter, if I recall correctly, was made by Handie.    They were a one use and throw away filter. They came in different sizes for different size engines.      Like today’s spin oil filters.   Here are some pictures of a pancake filter that I have.  

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I was talking with a friend last week. I think it went something like "It was restored. They took it all apart and painted the pieces. Then put it back together again."

 

I have never been a fan of any sidestream filtration systems. Just keep an  eye on the oil and change it judiciously.

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You can tell a bypass from a full flow by the size of the lines. Bypass are pencil sized, full flow are much bigger. The first full flow filters I know of were from the post war period, 1946 or 47. Chev sixes used bypass filters up to 1957 or so, Studebaker V8s until 1961. There has been considerable discussion on the virtues of bypass vs full flow. A Studebaker mechanic who has rebuilt hundreds of them said he would not pay a premium for a full flow engine because in his experience they confer no advantage. Sludge, wear etc were the same between the 2 types, and engine cleanliness depended more on the frequent oil changes and the kind of use the car had.

 

All swimming pools use a bypass filter system. It will turn a murky pool sparkling clean in a couple of days. The same goes for a bypass oil filter, it keeps the oil cleaner than a full flow because it filters finer. Any filter is better than none at all.

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26 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

The first full flow filters I know of were from the post war period, 1946 or 47.

Pierce-Arrow began full-flow filters (throw-away cans) in 1933 on both 8s and 12s, necessitated by their new hydraulic lifters.

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If a line to a filter taps the oil galley at one point, goes through a filter, and reenters the oil galley at another point you have to upgrade to smart oil that knows when to turn from the flow to get cleaned. I think there has to be an AI rating on the label.

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

If a line to a filter taps the oil galley at one point, goes through a filter, and reenters the oil galley at another point you have to upgrade to smart oil that knows when to turn from the flow to get cleaned. I think there has to be an AI rating on the label.

 

No need for an expensive AI oil. When the filter gets clogged the choice where to go will be made for the oil.:D

 

Paul

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Those who have calculated the flow rate vs oil volume say all your oil goes thru the filter every 15 minutes. It is theoretically possible for a speck of grit or sludge to keep missing being filtered out but in practice it all gets caught eventually. It is the eventually that is the problem for hydraulic lifter motors especially the early ones, they could be fouled up by one speck of dirt in the wrong place. This is why they went to full flow which is frankly inferior at removing the smallest bits of dirt or sludge, and in fact, does not remove them at all. But does remove dirt coarse enough to plug up a lifter.

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