Monday, January 7, 2013

Oil & Filter change - New Filter Installation

               Before changing a filter it is necessary to consider all aspect, take a moment to examine the filter's base and gasket. Is it clean? Intact? Warped?

         Is the new gasket on the new filter secure? It's best to find problems like this now, when you can just grab another filter, rather than wait until everything is back on the engine and it's a real pain to fix.

                 Turn the filter over and give it a few raps to see if any thing is in there that shouldn't be. Sometime you may found little hunks of cardboard, tufts of lint and so forth come out of a brand-new filter.

      Take a few moments to examine the filter adapter on the engine, too. Is it clean? Warped? Cracked? Dented? Is there an ancient filter gasket still clinging to it? Is the filter still within the use by date?

                   Make sure you lubricate the gasket. Most spin-on filters specify Dow-Corning DC-4 lubricant (indeed, you may well see a message printed right on the side of the filter itself instructing you to lubricate the gasket with DC-4).

     Squeeze out a dab of DC-4 onto your finger or right onto the gasket, then smear it all the way around. (For cartridge-type filters, lubricate the gasket with clean engine oil-do not use DC-4 on these.)
               If your filter installation allows, you may want to carefully fill the filter with new oil before spinning it on. This will help eliminate the air bubble that would otherwise have to circulate through the system.

             It's not considered as big a deal with aircraft engines as it is with auto engines, where designers sometimes go to great lengths to make sure the filter installs upright for exactly this reason. But if you can fill the filter first, go ahead and do it.

           Don't overtighten the filter. The manufacturers are quite specific about how tight they want that filter, with most calling for 18 to 20 foot-pounds of torque. If you don't have a torque wrench or can't get a wrench onto the filter, tighten the number of turns as specified on the can after the gasket contacts the adapter pad.

                 Champion-style filters make life easy in this regard, providing a handy 1-inch wrench "nut" on the end of the filter can. Other filter brands offer you the challenges of using a strap wrench.

               You can beat the rap here, so to speak, by investing in a Lyle filter wrench appropriate for your installation. Lyle makes cap wrenches that fit 3/8" ratchets (and hence a ft-lb torque wrench), and they also make a band-style wrench (albeit in 1/4" drive)-either one can handle the job at hand. Before your next oil change, take your new filter down to the auto parts store and pick up the filter wrench that's right for you.

            If you crank that thing down too hard and you may find yourself forced to destroy the filter bit by bit at your next oil change as you try to get the darn thing off. Remember, it's possible to also destroy the aluminum mounting point for the filter, so you have a lot more riding on the proper installation than having to try to force it off from just over tightening the filter.

Qualty,Safety and Training

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