Gulf Coast Filter - Paper towel elements?

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Gulf Coast oil bypass filter on a 2005 Freightliner Columbia with a 14 liter Detroit engine. I have read several posts from way back when, on different forums, that paper towel rolls (Bounty, specifically) can be used as the filter element in a Gulf Coast Oil Bypass Filter (GCF). I even ran across a city council report out of somewhere in VA that had conducted a study on using different bypass filters for their firetrucks, etc, where they quoted Mr. Simms, the owner of GCF, as having said that paper towels could be used. My question is this: Is there anyone out there that is actually buying Bounty paper towels and using them instead of the expensive elements sold by GCF? If so, how are you doing it? Are you just inserting the rolls straight from the grocery store? Are you buying cheap ladies stockings and cutting them to make a sleeve for the towels to go in, and if so, is the oil hot enough to melt them or have a chemical reaction with the nylon and dissolve them? Folks on forums say it "can" be done, but is it actually BEING done? Thanks in advance.
 
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Ive heard of tons of people using tp rolls not pt rolls. I would not wrap it with nylon though. Nylon melts at a low temp. Dont know exactly but I know its fairly low. Actually im gonna check. Be right back.
 

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Yes, lots of tp talked about in this forum, but the housing for the GCF holds 2 elements the size of a paper towel roll stacked one on top of the other, vertically.
 

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I'm trying to find someone that is actually doing this. I don't want to end up with shredded paper towel throughout the engine. This truck has been a money pit since I bought it in March, and I don't want to contribute to it's problems,
 
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You can buy the roll that are made for the holders. They are paper but not tp or pt. If that thing is a money pit dont make it worse by putting things you are unsure of in it. Ill try to find the site and forum of the real bypass cans that are proven. Oh wait check out kleenoil. I know of people using them for 40, 000 km drail intervals on cummins engines.
 
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Never heard of it. If you don't want to pony up for the correct filters, simply remove the offending bypass system and go back to stock. Let me explain: If indeed there are people substituting paper towels for with testing and proven performance behind it, you don't really know, and can't know what the performrance might be. It could be disastrous but I think the best you can hope for is "Just OK." Experiment at your peril. That said, I looked at the Gulf Coast website and they are vague as to the actual efficiency of their filter is ... in a standard rating method that can be copared to other bypass systems. There is a lot of gobblygook that infers the filters are "submicronic" but to what degree? Any filter can catch some submicronic particles. The thing to know is how much. I am most supportive of companies that just come out a say it without all the vague sales hype. I don't blame you for not wanting to plunk down money for a product for which understandable test data has been published. To a degree I can interpret the oddball way they have presented data and it appears to be a decent performing setup But there are others out there that are better proven and represent themselves Better. Google "Racor ABS" or Racor Absolute Filtration." Racor is a well known company and they publish upfront figures. Might be worth your switching systems.
 

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Thanks for the reply, abycat. I already have the EXPENSIVE Gulf Coast installed. I put it on in an effort to save some $ by safely extending oil drains, but apparently came up short on my due diligence. frown I was spending $200 every 15,000 miles for oil change, including lube and new oil filters. GCF wants their filter changed and analysis done at 10,000. So in a 30,000 mile span, I will now spend $45 x 3 on GCF filters, 2.5 gallons of makeup oil 2.5 x $18 x 3, $25 x 3 on oil analysis, $100 x 2 for lube job and factory filters for a total of $545 vs $450 for 2x regular oil change and oil analysis 2x $25. There would be a savings of almost $100 every 30,000 to do analysis and just dump the oil every 15,000 like I have been doing. If I can eliminate the $45 elements from the equation and replace them with $3 paper towels, that would bring me closer to break even compared to dumping the oil every 15,000. Lesson learned: do the due diligence, but where to go from here?
 
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LITOA

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Thanks, Jim. If I can't make this one financially viable, I think I'll just close off the valve to it and leave the filter hanging there as a reminder of foolish days gone by.
 

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GCF is a proven system which removes particles down to 1 micron. It is currently in use by the US government on many generators, vehicles, and water craft. The difference is, I want to pay $10 for my toilet seats, not $500
 
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I know of 2 people using their system , both like it and use UOA's to determine when the sump needs changing , one has over 950,000 miles the other less than 100,000 , he has a newer truck. Both are Cummins power one is a N-14 the other a ISX.
 

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Yes, it is a popular system in the commercial vehicle world, but a lot of truck drivers aren't famous for their math skills, ha. I am just trying to get the $ involved using the system to at least break even with just dumping the oil every 15,000. The only way I can do that as best as I can tell, is go to the paper towel as the element. There are claims in very early posts, in this forum, that it can be done. There are claims that GCF filters have been dissected to find a roll of paper towels inside the fabric wrapper, right down to the same quilting pattern. There are references to Jerry Sims, the owner of GCF saying it can be done. But I'll be danged if I can get in touch with anyone that is actually doing it!!!
 
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I've got a GCF-O1 on my 2000 Dodge pickup. The rolls I use are Kirkland brand, which is the house brand of the big Costco warehouse chain--not sure if you have them in Texas. Here's what they look like: http://www2.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?prodid=11198210&whse=BD_823&topnav=bd All the Bounty rolls I can find seem too small for the housing. These Kirkland rolls are just about a perfect fit. The only downside is that they're a bit "fluffy". I've heard it's not good to compress them in the housing because they tend to start channeling (oil flowing through wrinkles, bypassing the paper) One thing you can do with the rolls that aren't quite big enough is roll on a few more layers from a different roll to get up to the diameter you need. I'm not sure how often you're changing the roll in your big truck--depending on the interval, it might get tedious really quick. Mike
 

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Thanks, Mike. I really appreciate you responding. I change the GCF filter at 10,000 miles, which is about every 2 weeks. I will take the time needed to roll a few extra layers on, if needed, to save the $40 per change. The elements that come from GCF have something like a fabric sock on them and a plastic end on each end. I have read elsewhere that the sock and plastic ends didn't used to exist, but were added by GCF to make them look "special" and create a continuous revenue stream instead of a one time sale of the system. From what you are saying, it sounds like you are using paper towels straight from Cosco, into the housing. No fabric sock, no plastic ends, no removal of the center cardboard core, correct? It is my understanding that the most important thing is to get the most densely wound roll you can find with the diameter of the roll being as large as possible and still fit in the housing. I presume you are having no issues with the paper degrading to the point where it is flowing into the engine? Thank you very much!
 
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Hi, LITOA - With my 12.7 Ltr Detroit Series 60s using Delvac 1 5W-40 I got to 90kkms OCIs with averages of Soot @ 3.23% and Fe @ 130ppm at that point. I used a by-pass centrifuge and Donaldson Synteq FF filters (finally only SS mesh screens) This was the best configuration for cold start protection and ultimate flow With standard filtration I got to 25kkms on a mineral 15W-40 lubricant and 305kkms on a semi-synthetic 15W-40 lubricant All trended on UOAs of course
 
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Originally Posted By: LITOA
From what you are saying, it sounds like you are using paper towels straight from Cosco, into the housing. No fabric sock, no plastic ends, no removal of the center cardboard core, correct? It is my understanding that the most important thing is to get the most densely wound roll you can find with the diameter of the roll being as large as possible and still fit in the housing.
Yep, that's correct--the denser the roll the better. I do leave the roll as-is and reuse the plastic ends, but I don't use the plastic sock. I thought about ordering some of the GCF elements just to get some spare plastic ends, but I haven't bothered.
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I presume you are having no issues with the paper degrading to the point where it is flowing into the engine? Thank you very much!
My pleasure, and no issues with paper floating around in the oil at all. If that were happening it would certainly be reflected in my analysis reports. Also, when I change out the paper towel roll, it comes out looking the same as it went in (except it's now all black and oily grin ). If it were disintegrating in the oil flow I expect it would look eroded or chunks would be missing--I definitely don't see either of that happening. Mike
 

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Thanks for confirming all the details, Mike. I had heard / read so many times that paper towels could be used, but I couldn't bring myself to try it without getting at least one person to tell me they were actually doing it. I have found quite a few who have friends that have friends that knows a guy who's uncle's brother was doing it, but could not find a single first hand account. You have given me the confidence to give it a go. Thanks!
 
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The only thing missing is the knowledge of what the paper towels are doing for you... i.e. a rated efficiency. Of course, we have established in this case that you really aren't getting that either from the Gulf Coast people so I guess it's a case of cheap gray area is better than expensive gray area ( : < ).
 
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Originally Posted By: Jim Allen
The only thing missing is the knowledge of what the paper towels are doing for you... i.e. a rated efficiency.
Not at all--it's quite clear what the paper towels are doing when I get my oil analysis results. I don't much care about rated efficiency. Half the time those numbers are skewed or manipulated. The analysis results is what tells me what effect the filter is having, and that's what I care about. Mike
 
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Originally Posted By: AlaskaMike
Not at all--it's quite clear what the paper towels are doing when I get my oil analysis results.
Post some before and after UOAs. Let's see those dramatic differences. I'm genuinely curious and no doubt others are as well.
Originally Posted By: AlaskaMike
I don't much care about rated efficiency. Half the time those numbers are skewed or manipulated. The analysis results is what tells me what effect the filter is having, and that's what I care about. Mike
"Half the time," huh. That's a ridiculous comment you can't back up. Or maybe you can and you got the "scoop of the century" and tomorrow's headlines. Again, unless you have done before and after (more than one of each) to show what you are getting, how do you know that what you are getting isn't what you would have gotten with no bypass at all (or a different bypass)? Answer: you can't.
 
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