Wacky idea - home made external bypass filter

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760
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A Warm place to live in
I just got this wacky idea - suck out the oil from my engine with a suction machine via flexible hose into the oil dipstick tube, then gravity filter it through an improvised funnel lined with, say 15 layers of folded tissue paper, and return it to my engine. If I do this every 1000 miles, I think I can extend the oil life this way. It would work just like a bypass filter but would filter 90% of the oil every 1000 miles. It's not really too much work - perhaps it'll take only 10 minutes to get the oil out of the engine and a day or two to get the oil filtered out. Comments, guys?
 
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10,008
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Upstate NY
A nice idea...if you don't need your car for a day or two. Much less work to put in a few hours of extra time at work to afford a synthetic and good filter that can go the distance. However, it's a good idea for a second or project car that doesn't see much use.
 
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Milwaukee, WI
Filtering the oil in this manner isn't going to do anything to keep your oil from thinning over time, or to keep the additive pack fresh, or to keep it from becoming acidic. These are the reasons you change your oil. Anything that would get caught by your filtering method probably would get caught by a quality oil filter. I don't think you'd hurt anything, but it's not going to do much of anything to extend the life of the oil.
 
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NJ
Always wondered that. Bout filtering the oil, buying on the shelf additives and others through a chemical order form and go at it. I mean "synlube" does it(not that i care) but synthetics typically will last forever, its just the additives and dirt/contaminants that destroy it.
 
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Pottstown, PA
We've discussed this before here. You just need to find any tube that will fit a tp roll. You plug the center core with a plastic plug and dump your oil into it. The leaving your car idle for a few days is not necessary. You just have a filtered cache of oil to replace it with while you process the pre-filtered oil. I'm not sure if cold filtering would produce better results than hot filtering, but dwell time would be increased ..so it may. You may also have to run it through more than once. You should remove enough oil with the roll being soaked to make up some of the additive loss.
 
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Seems I recall something about filter carts in industry where they will pull oil from a machine, filter it, and put it back in. Best would be an apparatus what screws on to the filter bung so you can pump the oil hot and under engine oil pressure through a filteration system--would it work????? Wait, isn't this the purpose of a bypass filtration system? Just do that, it's established and all the hookups are available.
 
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One member had just that, home grown. I almost bought one on ebay. not the cart, but a setup for a MG with electric motor and "plug and play" features. Remote filtering is like wine making.
 

berniedd

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A Warm place to live in
Thanks for the input, guys. When I change engine oil, I always use a new filter too. I fill the engine up only until I just clear the low level mark on the dipstick. Although not full, this is still within the manufacturer's specs. 75% into the OCI, I add a quart of new oil that replenishes the additives in the now old oil. With synthetic in the engine and using my "external bypass home grown filter", perhaps I can extend the oil change to twice the recommended OCI? I want to do this just for fun. I like to tinker with my engines. I used to do all the tune-up procedures on my cars 30 years ago when they still had mechanical contact points and carbs. Today's FI and computer managed engine systems, though great improvements, have taken all that away, and now I can't do anything on my engines other than change the plugs.
 
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Pottstown, PA
No. A tp filter does not remove additives ..at least to no level of detection that I've ever seen. I added that qualification due to some assured micro particle (not to be confused with a clump of molecules that are made up of many particle level particles) managing to get snagged. The most convenient method would be to have the bypass filter on the car and do perpetual filter changes with no sump changes, but if fitting a tp filter on the unit is undesirable, and you can make an off vehicle filter system that manages some economy for you over buying new oil, then it works in my view. It's not a process that you can sell. It's like the old Popular Science or Popular Mechanics where they would give you the plans to the Retro-encabulator®. You'll never be in the class of user to sensibly afford the portable lube filtering cart that TallPaul is referring to (about $900, when available, on ebay), and it may prove too labor intensive to be practical with some gravity feed thing in the frequency required to be effective. That is, you may get a good deal out of filtering 100% of the oil ..on perhaps a few passes (before the tp filter is saturated) ..but will you want to handle it multiple times ..keep a filtered stash to use while your filtering "this batch" ..and do the testing to see that it's still viable while you're getting your feet wet (building an experience data base, if you will)?
 
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The Rocky Mountains
The OP's idea is an interesting kidney loop offline system. If you use an oil loaded with additives (i.e. Amsoil, M1 EP...etc.) you will effectively eliminate some wear metals and other lovely wear causing gunk >10 microns. You would not, however, eliminate coolant, water or fuel contaminants. If you have the time go for it!
 
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Austin, TX
I just did this. I wasn't going to post until I had a picture to go with it but since the thread is started I will. The Camaro just didn't have enough real estate for a bypass filter. I put one on that was up near the left side CAT but I still hung down too low so I got the idea to go external. I happened to have a pump laying around that I could use so just some fittings and tube were necessary. There is a 6AN fitting with a cap on it tapped to the oil pan drain plug. When I connect the pump up to this fitting, it self primes the pump. The pump pumps oil to the Frantz and a small return line goes back to the dipstick hole. When I use it the first time, I'll compute the flow and decide how long to let it run based on the amount of times I want the oil in the pan to be filtered. I intend to monitor the solids level in the oil with blotter samples. I'l post some examples when I get it up and going.
 
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Austin, TX
 Quote:
http://I just did this. I wasn't going to post until I had a picture to go with it but since the thread is started I will. The Camaro just didn't have enough real estate for a bypass filter. (snip) I intend to monitor the solids level in the oil with blotter samples. I'l post some examples when I get it up and going.
I just finished the setup last weekend so getting closer to trying it out. I'm going to do a flow test to see how long it takes to flow a quart so as to get an idea of how long to let it run. I will also do a before and after blotter spot test to see if there is visible improvement. Tune in later for results.
 
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East of IGO
 Originally Posted By: Anies
Always wondered that. Bout filtering the oil, buying on the shelf additives and others through a chemical order form and go at it. I mean "synlube" does it(not that i care) but synthetics typically will last forever, its just the additives and dirt/contaminants that destroy it.
Synthetics typically don't last forever,even with a submicronic bypass filter.
 

berniedd

Thread starter
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760
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A Warm place to live in
News re my plan as above: Well, I finally got to do it. Had to wait till I had 950 miles on the oil. After cooling off a bit after a 20 minute drive in the CRV last weekend, I tried to insert a plastic tubing (same diameter as my dipstick's width) into the dipstick tube but it wouldn't go in fully, couldn't reach the oil level. So I tried a smaller, 5 mm diameter plastic tubing and it went in deep and now reached the oil level. Connected the tubing to my large trap bottle and pumped away. Man, it was a slow process. Took 2 hours, with some timeouts to keep the pump from getting too hot. I got almost all of the 3.5 liters of oil out. To filter it, I bought a small orange plastic cone, the type you put on the road as warning devices, but this one's only a foot tall. I drilled a 1/4" hole in the small end. Turned it upside down, and inserted a sink trap filter with wire mesh, as far down as it will go. This left me a 3" tall area to put in my filter medium, which consisted of 8 layers of tissue paper similar to that used to dry our hands in the washroom. I made it hug the shape of the space in the wide end of the cone and trimmed off the excess. Now I had a hat-shaped filter. I really wanted 10 0r 12 layers, but thought it might be too thick and impede the oil flow too much. The Shell Helix 10W-50 oil started out new with a yellow color but now is a pink color. I can pour only half a cup of oil at a time into my makeshift filter, and it takes 3 hours to work its way through that tissue paper, LOL! I've gone through only 25% of the 3.5 liters of oil till today. But the car is not in use yet, so I have all week to get it done. To make matters interesting, I've actually looked at the oil with a medical microscope at 400X magnification. The first specimen was fresh out of the engine. Most particulates were half a micron or so, and they looked like small dots to me. The rest (about 1/4 percent on my estimate) were about 1-3 microns. These were black and irregularly shaped, and I just assumed they were soot particles. The next specimen was taken from the now filtered oil a few hours after I'd started the filtration. All particles were somewhat less and fewer than the first specimen. There were very little that remained of the 1-3 micron particles. I took a third specimen today, after I thought some more of the "pores" of my filter would have become smaller owing to having trapped more particulates. Sure enough, there were fewer particles scattered about the microscope's field of view, and there were no particles bigger than 1/2 micron! Just some other observations: The oil fresh from my engine and the filtered oil have the same exact shade of pink. In other words, perceived color did not change even after the oil went through my "external bypass TP" filter. And the other observation is my oil smells of the E10 gasoline I'd been adding to my tank at each fillup with pure nonE10 premium gas. I'd drained 28 liters of this 2-year old E10 from my VW Beetle a year ago before I sold it, and I'd been feeding it to my car 3/4 of a liter at a time for the past 11 months. I still have 4 liters to go before it's all used up. When all the oil's been filtered, I will take a 4th specimen and report on what I'll see.
 
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39,806
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Your tint is a dissolved solid ..it's not going to filter out. Suspended particles will be. You'll catch more and more particles the more passes you send the oil through the medium ..but you've already figure that out. The trick you need to pull off is constructing it in such a manner that the entire sump can be left unattended while being filtered. You then just recycle it back to be filtered again.
 
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