Reply To: Intake and exhaust paint

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Hi John,

It sounds like you have a few projects in process on your ’32 Pierce!

Regarding your oil filter, the original ’32 specifications called for a Purolator cartridge by-pass type filter. The old filters were sealed (as you pointed out), and with no provision for opening or cleaning. They were disposable, and a new filter was installed when the oil was changed. Finding ORIGINAL replacements is very difficult now as they are VERY rare. Here are some alternatives:

1. Some guys cut open the old oil filter cannister, remove the filter media, clean it out, and either run a pipe straight through it to convey the oil, or block up the oil filter feed lines. In essence, the oil filter is "just for show" and is non-functional. You could also remove the filter completely and either shunt the feed lines or block them off. With no filter or only an ornamental filter, it is important to change the oil often, especially if the car is being used for tours and seeing significant mileage.

2. Burr Ripley, who is listed in the PAS Parts and Services Directory, makes beautiful reproduction oil filter cannisters that accommodate a modern spin on filter hidden inside. I saw these at Hershey. I have 2 friends that have bought these. Though they are a little expensive, they are very well made and trouble free, worth the expense. Bob Sands makes a kit to allow you to cut your old Purolator L4 or L5 filter in half, and silver solder some machined threaded fittings to the halves of the filter that allow it to thread back together and seal with an o-ring. A modern spin on element is then mounted inside. Bob is a PAS Member and is also listed in the Parts and Services Directory. If your old filter is in fact a Packard filter this might be useful to you, Classic Car Club of America offers a Packard Purolator L8 Kit for converting an old oil filter body and allowing a modern spin on filter to mount inside. Contact Lee Barthel at 248-476-0702 for details.

NOW A WORD OF CAUTION. Any of these modern spin on filter conversions have to be used with a little care. The car was originally designed with a BYPASS filter system where only a minority of the oil goes through the filter at any one time. The old filters were very restrictive to flow. Modern spin-on filters are NOT as restrictive. You could create the situation where too much of the oil is going through the filter and not as much is going to the engine bearings. The key is to have a restriction or an orifice in the oil lines that feed the new spin on oil filter. The orifice will restrict how much oil can pass through the new spin on filter, and help to keep the system oil pressure up.

3. Depending on your desire for authenticity, you could install a replacement type modern by-pass filter, like you would find in a truck supply shop. Again, you would want a restrictive orifice in the line to control oil flow. A replacement filter conversion will be obviously "modern" under your hood, but it will be quite effective for filtration. It is up to you, I just wanted you to know all your options. You’ll need to decide if you want ultimate functionality for driving in tours, events, and fun, or if you want ultimate authenticity. If you decide to restore your existing filter, I would compare notes and photographs with some other ’32 Model 54 owners from the PAS Roster to be sure it is the correct oil filter for your car.

What’s on our car? We have a Bob Sands type kit with a modern spin on inside our old filter body. I have the input line with an orifice in it to restrict the flow. To me, a restricted spin on filter is better than no filter at all. The cut in the filter body is hidden by one of the oil filter mounting straps, and no one but you and I know about it!!

I will send you some additional information to your e-mail address to help in your project. Let me know if you need more info.

Happy Motoring

Chris Diekman