How important are filtering efficiency specs?

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.....5000 OCI, Castrol 20w-50. I like the higher filtration efficiency of the FU, but have been using Wix. Is there an appreciable difference here in filtration, or are the numbers not really relevant?
 
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I have wondered at what point its relevant. Is 30 microns enough? 20 microns? At what point is efficiency a moot point?
 
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personally flow is more important to me. Being in the engine business for all these years i have learned flow over filtration. Look At most of the stock filters they are mostly about flow. Motorcraft Delco Toyota Subaru To name a few. We are thinking of going with wix filters now as an upgrade to purolater for obvious reasons but truthfully i don't remember the exact efficiency on them either.
 

Noey

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Ok, so if it's a choice btwn FU and Wix, how would one make the choice other than the length of the OCI?
 

ZeeOSix

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Originally Posted By: Noey
Ok, so if it's a choice btwn FU and Wix, how would one make the choice other than the length of the OCI?
The WIX will be 95% @ 20 microns and the Ultra will be 99+% @ 20 microns - both are specs from the respective manufacture. That difference isn't much (unlike 50% vs 99+% @ 20 microns), so the length of the OCI would probably be the stronger factor. I always use as high efficiency filter as I can find, so Ultra or PureOne (but on the bench now due the media tearing issue). Why are you running 20W-50, and in what?
 

gathermewool

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Originally Posted By: Noey
.....5000 OCI, Castrol 20w-50. I like the higher filtration efficiency of the FU, but have been using Wix. Is there an appreciable difference here in filtration, or are the numbers not really relevant?
You're in CT, not Saudi Arabia, so I'm very curious to know what you're using such high viscosity in.
 
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DrAdmin i can't argue with that, amsoil has more r&d under their belt than i do. I look at it this way dirty oil lubricates much better than no oil at all so i think its best to have good flow and the best filtration problem is there is give and take in everything in life when you filter your oil better flow can suffer and it works the other way around also. At one of our engine rebuilding seminars a few years back a question was asked to one of the hosts from either gm ford or chrysler about why their filters did not filter as well as some of the after market ones and the guy said basically what i just said. I don't remember which company he was with.
 

JOD

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Originally Posted By: DrAdmin
It's worth nothing that Amsoil no longer makes the filter in the document--in part because flow DID get restricted in some engines. Crazyoildude is completely right--dirty oil is better than no oil... That said, I don't think that's a concern with any currently available filter, and flow and efficiency aren't mutually exclusive. Better media can flow better and be more efficient.
 

ZeeOSix

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Originally Posted By: gregk24
But dont positive displacement oil pumps make "flow" a moot point?
Yes ... +1. The only time a more restrictive oil filter would ge noticed is at very high RPM, and with hot oil most car's can't even hit the oil pump's pressure relief point anyway, even at near red line PRM. An oil filter would have to be many times more restrictive than the next to be an issue. As has always been pointed out, the engine's oiling circuit is typically 15 times more restrictive than the average oil filter, and the difference between oil filters in terms of delta-p vs flow rate is only +/- a few PSI. Not enough to be concerned about.
 

ZeeOSix

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Originally Posted By: JOD
Originally Posted By: DrAdmin
It's worth nothing that Amsoil no longer makes the filter in the document--in part because flow DID get restricted in some engines.
That's because Amsoil over rated the OCI use of those filters. The filters became restrictive from over use, just like any filter in the world could. The most free flowing filter can become totally clogged and restrictive to flow too if used in the wrong environment for too long.
 

dnewton3

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That Amsoil link references the infamous GM filter study filed with the SAE. I have debunked that myth several times. Excellent example of how uninformed people don't understand what they read. And to really understand what you're reading, you cannot use a marketing hype-filled sales promotion tool to glean real insight; you have to purchase and read the full SAE study! That study is worthless because in no way, shape or form does it represent anything remotely close to real world operating conditions. The test was GROSSLY biased, on purpose, to bring a condition to light that nevers happens in your average garage. It is completely useless to you, me and anyone who follows typical maintenance routines. Period. And I am more than willing to back up my claim with factual information directly from the study (I can reference specific facts, but cannot post large quotes or images as it is copyright protected; I do own a copy that I purchased some time back). So, is filtration important? Yes, and no. Yes - to a point. Most any decent equipment OEM is going to know what particulate loading and efficiency levels will sustain a long lifecycle of the equipment. Once those are established and followed, things will be fine. No - past a point. Having "better" filtration (defined as substantially more finite) does not do a darn thing for the lifecycle of the equipment. There is not one SAE study (or other entitity for that matter) that shows conclusively a reduction in particulate size directly has statistical effect in longevity IN REAL WORLD CONDITIONS. This is because filtration is only one of three tools that help manage wear. The other two are more important, and contribute on a greater scale; those are the OCI duration and the tribochemical barrier on part surfaces (SAE study 2007-01-4133). It is completely erroneous to assume that only the filter matters. Essentially, once filtration is established at the required level, the benefit curve greatly drops off dramatically. Where does "better" filtration benefit you? In oil lifecycle. Keeping the oil cleaner for a longer period of time can really pay off with extended OCIs. Superior filtration is a tool to manage the costs of the OCI. Whether it's a "better" full flow or bypass, anythying that keeps the oil clean for a longer period of time can be a benefit, if you allow the OCI to be sustained. Once filtration is "good enough" for the engine, it is the wallet that benefits from "better" filtration, but ONLY if you use it long enough to pay off the investments. Your ROI is only as good as your ability to keep your hands off the wrenches!
 
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Well put, as always, Dave. approved I don't think using a "better" filter than the MC FL820S would make all those 300,000-mile taxis last significantly longer, nor would it have benefited my ex's modified Mercury Marauder which has almost 190,000 miles, burns less than 1 quart in a 5,000-mile OCI, and still runs like a champ.
 

ZeeOSix

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Surely it isn't going to hurt anything to use a higher end efficiency oil filter. Most of the "wear vs. particle size" articles I've read all basically say that the more debris (all the way down to 3~5 microns) that can be removed from the oil, the less engine wear there will be. Will anyone really "notice" it while driving around in their car, even if that car has 100~150K miles on it? Probably not - unless the car was totally abused and the oil was hardly ever changed. But I don't think anyone can prove or justify that not filtering the oil very well will not increase engine wear. It's a matter of by how much, and just how perceivable is it. The only way you'd ever know for sure would to tear down engines, measure everything to the nearest 1/10,000 inch and compare wear along the way as miles piled up using different efficiency filters. Who's going to really do that?
 
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