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1940 Oil Filter Unit Color


Thomas J. Bianculli
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I have owned my 1940 Super for 50 years. The engine was replaced with a 1948 Super unit before 1964, the last registration before I got it.

There was no oil filter when  i got it and at some time I installed a junkyard unit. I guessed and painted it in what I thought were AC Delco colors

and attached a decal.  I have tried to detail the engine as close to original as I can and the only visible difference is the mounting bosses on both sides of the block.

The engine is finally tired enough that it will be rebuilt and while it is in the shop I intend to freshen up all the accessories before reinstalling.

 

Does anyone have any idea what color the filter should be painted??

IMG_0657 A.jpg

Edited by Thomas J. Bianculli
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I got my answer on another thread about 1941 engine details.  1940 Super referred to the 1940- Service Bulletins.As I scarfed one up on eBay last year.

Lo and behold on Page 139 it states Early filters were black and had a seam. This seam tended to leak and was replaced with a one piece filter painted silver.

It further state on 50 Series cars produced at Flint it began at Serial 13657193, about 2000 units after mine was produced, so my filter will be black. I don't

have a build date for my car, but once found a metal strip tag with a September 1939 date wrapped around the rear seat springs.

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Hi Dave, Thanks for the reply. See my post directly above. From the 1940 Service bulletins I found mine is an early unit produced, not like I  said 2000, but 29,000 cars

before the switch. This will produce something to talk about when somebody else tells me it is wrong at a cruise or show. Besides, the air cleaner (wrong decal-Chevy) 

and oil filler cap are already black with a silver decal so the 3 units almost in a line will match up.

 

Thanks for taking the time to look up the picture for me,

 

 

Tom

Edited by Thomas J. Bianculli
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The AC with the orange top and blue shell started about 1950. The 1940 AC filter can has been described as an aluminum grey. It makes me wonder in 1940 when Buick added them to the engine or were they dealer installed. If Buick added them wouldn't they be painted engine color? I don't know just curious.

 

Dave

 

 

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I think I have a gray one floating around but I think it is the wrong size.  Somebody else mentioned the service bulletins in another thread and I found a reference. It seems filters were black on early models. These units had a seam at the bottom.  This seam tended to leak and was replaced with a one piece filter painted silver. It further states on 50 Series cars produced at Flint it began at Serial 13657193, about 23000 units after mine was produced, so my filter will be black. I don't have a build date for my car, but once found a metal strip tag with a September 1939 date wrapped around the rear seat springs.  Funny how such an obscure topic can create such discussion.

 

Thanks again for your input,  Tom

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The L-1 filter in early 1940 opened in the middle, that may be the seam you speak of. It also had a tee handle on top instead of the normal bolt. The later L-1 in 1940 opened at the top and had a welded bottom plate.

 

I understand the black filter but all the AC info and other research I have does not mention a black AC in 1940 just the silver like paint. Maybe Buick specified black to start with and AC obliged a good customer.

 

More light where there is no darkness, sorry.

 

Dave

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I have an early production Special engine with a black oil filter canister.  It has a bolt on the top of the lid, not a t-handle.  I also have a late production Super engine that also has a black painted oil filter housing.  Both engines have not been restored and the Special engine is a 50,000+/- mile engine with no indications that a mechanic was in there making changes or taking short cuts.

 

Both engines are 248 cu in and definately 1940 production engines, both filters are black.  There is no telling that someone in the last 79 to 80 years hadn't got to these engines to change or add a filter housing. So I leave and remain in the dark.

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This old post  might explain the difference we see today. According to Dave Corbin the Buicks headed west of the Mississippi were equipped with oil filters from the factory, east no filter unless added by the dealer or owner. I might speculate the oe AC filters were black and the ones added by the dealer were the regular AC production color.

 

I know it is still dark...

 

Edited by Dave39MD (see edit history)
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The correct colour is aluminium paint. As stated in "Buick Facts 1940" and "1940 Buick Parts and Service Bulletin"

The first filters were black but it's unlikely you'd have one of them as many were replaced due to leaking at a bottom seam. The seam was eliminated in the second edition of filters. 

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On 9/8/2019 at 2:54 AM, kingrudy said:

Wish I could weigh in on this, but my engine compartment was altered by the previous owner. Maybe Matt Harwood could give you some direction. Ken Greene also might lead you in the right direction. 

 

Mike 

You own a copy of 1940 service bulletin? See page 139

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By the serial number, mine would have been black.  K. Green has posted he has two engines, one early and late that do not appear to have been disturbed and both have black filters of the revised type. Others have raised the hypothesis that cars delivered east of the Mississippi did not have factory filters unless so ordered and any filter would have been dealer installed.

At least in my lifetime my car will never surpass DPC quality so I will paint the filter black.  Again I am grateful that so many have responded to my query.

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One more bit of info. The picture of the AC L-1 I posted above was of a 1942 L-1. By then the aluminum was going to the war effort not paint. I have attached a photo  of a 1940 AC L-1 showing the alloy paint in case someone is wondering the color. This came from Patrick Doonan's "The Great Oil Filter Debate" .

 

Dave

 

 

oil filter 1940 L-1.jpg

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9 hours ago, Thomas J. Bianculli said:

By the serial number, mine would have been black.  K. Green has posted he has two engines, one early and late that do not appear to have been disturbed and both have black filters of the revised type. Others have raised the hypothesis that cars delivered east of the Mississippi did not have factory filters unless so ordered and any filter would have been dealer installed.

At least in my lifetime my car will never surpass DPC quality so I will paint the filter black.  Again I am grateful that so many have responded to my query.

In assembly line production photos of early 40 and 41 Buicks it can be seen when there was a seem the filter was black and when there was no seem it was aluminium. It's possible the replacement filters were black

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I expect to bring the filter home and paint it as soon as I drive the car to the shop to pull the engine.  Tentatively I have a ride home lined up for a week from tomorrow, Sept 20.

As soon as I get it home I will start on it. When done I will photograph it.

 

Apparently most of the modern manufacturers  use 001 in their part number.  Several years ago I bought one of the high priced ones and the seller forgot to take it out of

the NAPA box.  I think their number was 16001.  The last time I needed filters I got WIX51001.

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22 hours ago, 1940Super said:

The correct colour is aluminium paint. As stated in "Buick Facts 1940" and "1940 Buick Parts and Service Bulletin"

The first filters were black but it's unlikely you'd have one of them as many were replaced due to leaking at a bottom seam. The seam was eliminated in the second edition of filters. 

I was hoping you would weigh in on this as I was wondering what the Buick Facts book would indicate.  I've looked for a copy of that book and found one, but haven't purchased it.  

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Doug Seybold is the Buick guru for the 1940 Buicks perhaps he can comment. My own experience - a friend had an unrestored original 1940 Century conv coupe and i recall the filter was black ( car sold new in New York) my own 1940 Roadmaster conv sedan is a low mileage car ( that got a decent cosmetic restoration in 1972 - paint and interior)  that was sold new to the west coast , has a black filter. Just appreance wise so far as what looks good - authentic or not - the silver color to me will stand out and look odd , even agains the gray color of the motor, black is much better.

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1 hour ago, kgreen said:

I was hoping you would weigh in on this as I was wondering what the Buick Facts book would indicate.  I've looked for a copy of that book and found one, but haven't purchased it.  

I am not aware of this book which makes me a bit dumb as I have been fooling around with this car just over 50 years.  I do search eBay fairly frequently and may come up with one sooner or later.  I did pick up the 1940 Service Bulletins this way . The index shows 2 articles, page 45 discusses the leakage problem and recommends replacement, giving the part numbers for both units.  Page 139 Goes into more detail on the problem, states the colors of both units and states the serial numbers when the change occurred on all series.  The new unit cost the dealer $3.60 and the customer $6.00.  $2.40 profit in 1940 would probably be enough that every service writer or whatever they were called at that time would be eager to install one on any non-filter equipped car coming into the dealership.

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I agree the black one should look better.  In my past experience, many aluminum or silver paints don't look that good as they age. Again, unless my grandson decides to drop a big pile of money on the car some time in the future it will never get past DPC so I really don't have to worry about losing points.  Before my current engine problem I was only 200 miles away from my 2,000 mile award. Wait until next year.

 

Since my car is about 23000 before the changeover point and I actually have documentation in the service bulletins I will continue to have an interesting discussion topic, which this thread indicates.  I would never have expected my query to generate 2 pages of replies.

 

Thanks  to all who have responded.  Tom

Edited by Thomas J. Bianculli
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3 hours ago, kgreen said:

I was hoping you would weigh in on this as I was wondering what the Buick Facts book would indicate.  I've looked for a copy of that book and found one, but haven't purchased it.  

 I just located one on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-1940-Buick-Dealer-Facts-Book-ORIGINAL-over-110-pages-FEATURES-MODELS/163610922408?hash=item2617f88da8:g:cwgAAOSwrqhclUVt

From the pages shown, I am sure it is interesting, but at $199.00 Buy it Now I will go into the haven't purchased category.

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1 hour ago, Thomas J. Bianculli said:

 I just located one on eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-1940-Buick-Dealer-Facts-Book-ORIGINAL-over-110-pages-FEATURES-MODELS/163610922408?hash=item2617f88da8:g:cwgAAOSwrqhclUVt

From the pages shown, I am sure it is interesting, but at $199.00 Buy it Now I will go into the haven't purchased category.

Agree.  I've seen that one, too.  Just not hungry enough for the book.  Besides, Matt (@1940Super) is friendly, an excellent source and always willing to help.

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7 hours ago, 1940Super said:

You can buy a reproduction copy of 1940 buick facts from BHA which is what I did. The book must have been printed after the seamless filters started to be used. 

 

Many thanks, I have just ordered one, price was about 1/4 of the one on eBay.  I took me about 5 minutes to figure out BHA was Buick Heritage Alliance.  I was aware of them but unaware they had made so much progress and sold reproduction literature.  Most of the other books I have were purchased from Faxon.

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