Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oil & Filter Change - Safety Wiring

            Along with tightening the filter goes proper safety wiring. Some argue that you shouldn't safety the filter until after doing the run-up and leak check. Others believe that waiting till after the leak check is an open invitation to forget to safety the filter.

           Either way, you've got to safety it with safety wire, and personal experience favors doing it before the leak check. Unless you've got the natural gift of being a great safety "wirer," chances are you'll be making some of the most common safety-wiring mistakes. Some you can cover-up quite easily and effectively. Others require starting over.
          Just remember that a little practice will prevent problems in the future. For example, on the Champion filters with the safety wire holes at the top, the safety wire has a nasty habit of getting onto the rim of the filter can.
            The result is that, when you think you're done wiring, you grab the wire and wiggle it, only to have it snap off the rim and go loose. One way to get around this is to tighten the filter to 20 ft-lbs initially.
              Then, when the wire comes off the rim, you can simply loosen the filter a hair to tighten up the wire. The filter will still be within the specified torque range, and your safety wire will be good and tight. However, it should be noted that this is considered a sleazy trick, and it's worth your while to do the job right the first time.
            One safety wire mistake that may require redoing the job is not putting enough turns in the safety wire (put too many in and you've got to redo it). If you haven't already twisted through the safety wire tang on the engine, you can simply put more turns in (there should be from six to 12 turns per inch of wire).
              If you've already anchored the wire, and then notice there are too few turns; clip it all off and start over. As a side note, oil filter safety wiring among professionals runs the gamut from perfect to acceptable to downright laughable.
                             Another safety wire mistake is anchoring the wire to the wrong place. Most installations provide a tang with a hole through it somewhere near the filter base, while on others you've got to hunt down a good anchoring point.
         Whatever you do, don't anchor the wire to the engine mount or it will snap on start up. And, if at all possible, use the provided tang. Sure, some of them are real pains to get  but if the tang is there, use it.
        You may find it easier to deal with getting the safety wire through the tang if you slip the wire through before mounting the filter. A final safety wire goof is doing it backwards.     Remember that safety wire is supposed to keep things from loosening, so the wire should be pulling the filter (or anything else) in a tightening direction.

Qualty,Safety and Training

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