Last Update 04-04-04
WE MAKE SERIOUS PONTIAC
AND WE KNOW MORE ABOUT BUILDING STOCK PONTIAC ENGINES THAN ANYONE.
UNDERSTANDING OIL FILTER ADAPTERS
In trying to help the Pontiac community understand the difference between a bad idea, or maybe
just old dumb information, or in this case, a new product that under the right conditions can be ok to use, but doesn't include a warning,
I have to release information from my upcoming book before it's released. I had no idea anyone was still believing the
old H.O. racing "tip" to plug off your oil filters bypass in order to force ALL of your oil thru the filter.
(My book will have many more pictures.)
IMPORTANCE OF OIL FLOW IN YOUR ENGINE:
Pontiac engineers included an oil filter bypass in the oil filter adapter for a couple of reasons.
If the filter becomes plugged your engine will not starve for oil.
Your engine will receive FULL flow at ANY rpm if the filter is plugged.
The bypass spring has a very light spring rate. It will open when you floor the gas, again
to ensure the engine is seeing all of the flow the system was designed to give. Placing
restrictions in the oil path is just plain idiotic. Including lifter restrictors.
Anyone that is doing this has not spent t-w-o seconds thinking about what they're doing.
But that's another FAQ.
If you restrict the oil flow around the filter area, before it travels back into the engines oil galleys, you're
placing everything that needs oil at risk, or worse.
I've preached for twenty years to NEVER restrict the oils ability to flow by forcing it thru the stock-type filter full time - ever.
There's no reason in any kind of racing conditions that this won't harm something.
My first experience with this
bad idea was watching a '67 GTO sitting on the starting line getting ready to go. When the driver floored it, the filter burst,
dumping all of his oil under his tires. He nearly fishtailed into the guard rail. He thought it was a "bad filter." On another occasion I witnessed the same
thing, only this time the o-ring on the filter blew out, dumping oil most of the way down the track, and toasted
the guys bearings. Previously he had bragged to me how he had nearly 100 pounds of pressure at idle. (Another FAQ - rods and main clearances)
I had studied this situation for a long, long time. I looked at a LOT of fast Pontiacs. And since day one, I have used the stock oil filter
adapter, and used the stock bypass assembly. When one of my engines goes to wide open throttle for a quarter mile pass,
I want all of the available flow moving thru all of the passages. In the thousands of passes I've made over the years, I have never experienced
any bearing failure from oil starvation. All of this oil flow studying is what led me to develop the
rod and main bearing clearances you can find elsewhere in this FAQ section. Using those clearances and the 60 lb. oil pump
you can run to 8000 rpm and have perfect bearings.
So why am I bringing this up now? I'm afraid that many of you might try a new product that replaces
the stock oil filter bypass. This new oil filter adapter is made of aluminum, and does not have the threaded steel insert
like the factory units do. This is very important. The aluminum thread will wear prematurely. Besides that problem, this new oil filter
adapter has NO provision for a bypass. In fact, it's selling feature is. "100% filtered oil." well,
Ok, but you need to understand how it will affect normal function.
On a street engine that will never be floored, it could be ok. I wouldn't recommend cruising at 80+ mph too long.
Also on a street engine, with the bypass blocked, when you floor it you'll see the pressure drop as
the oil slams into the filter first. This is NOT what your engine needs.
If you were to use an aftermarket wire mesh screen, large area oil filter, like an Oberg, you would have better luck
blocking off the bypass or using this new adapter. Almost all roundy-round cars run an Oberg style filter and no bypass.
But they have designed specific oil paths.
You need to put some thought into what you're doing before you
become branded another kool-aid drinker - buying the latest "Pontiac new thing"
just because someone is selling it. "Oh, isn't it great? We have a new XXX! - Let's buy one!"
All aluminum threads - a no-no - and look at the top bolt hole and the lack of meat around it.
This piece wouldn't have passed QC in any ISO 9000 shop. That top hole area isn't a hard thing to fix.
Maybe the next batch will be a little more symmetrical.
If your going to make products to sell to my Pontiac friends and customers, make the product with known design longevity ideas, make them better or
at least as good as the factory piece they're replacing. Make the buyer understand how to use the product and it's potential ramifications.
I have no personal agenda with anyone. Although many act like I'm some jerk for reporting the facts.
It's simply calling a spade a spade. I care about my Pontiac high performance friends.
Here's what a stock oil filter adpater looks like, and the bypass parts.
The small metal cover and screw holds the spring compressed against the fiber washer.
Here's a news flash for you guys that have dedicated drag race cars.
I don't use a filter of any kind.
I use one of the 1961 Tempest 4 cyl plates that allow the oil to come out of the block and go right back in.
Many people don't know that the early 4 cyl Pontiacs did not come with an oil filter at first. Soon thereafter
a toilet paper filter mounted on the firewall was an option, but they never used the traditional oil
filter adapter as you know it.
I do not use any filter of any kind in the worlds quickest NHRA Super Stocker.
(or any of my race cars)
My oil is clean, it gets changed so often that I do not worry about
little specs of metal that could scratch a bearing. Why? Because a metal
partical big enough to scratch a crank journal, or a cylinder wall, got there
BECAUSE IT BLEW THRU THE DAMN PAPER FILTER LIKE A BULLET!!!!
How fast is the oil traveling thru the oil passages at wide open throttle when using a 60 pound pump? If I remember right it's more than 50 mph.
I'll have to do the math on that one when I print the book, but I know it's way up there, and there's no paper filter that
can be 100% effective under those conditions. Point being - again - I want ALL of the oil flow my oil passage
can deliver. We cannot easily change the volume of the oil passages. Which is what a smart guy would like to do,
******* but, it's not really necessary if you follow my guidelines. ********
Raising the pressure causes many problems, including extra heat. And heat, anywhere other than the combustion process, is to be reduced or eliminated.
Raising the pressure too high will also cause the protective barrier to become thinner, which causes that heat,
and greatly increases the chances of metal to metal to oh, god damnit's.
Here is a picture of the factory "bypass" I use. In fact - I am having new ones made if anyone wants to follow my lead. (Pontiacs lead actually)
Less hassle. Less weight. Clean oil. No problem.
As of 08/01/05 I have ten of these in stock for sale @ $20.00 each. (Aluminum)
In a drag car you need a filter why? Now, some of you will say, "Even the Top Fuelers use filters" - and my answer to that is, "yes, because
they are hoping the filter will catch a few pieces if the engine blows up." At $6000 a crank, I suppose I might want a couple less scratches
on it if possible. On an engine that's designed to be not so hard on parts, like our Pontiacs, unrestricted oil flow is paramount.
In a bracket race car using the stock adapter and stock bypass spring assembly will be fine.
In my case - where I'm pushing the limits for a Pontiac engine in NHRA Super Stock - removing the filter works perfectly.
Just know what you're doing before you do it. Feel free to ask questions.