Oil Bath Air Filters

Oil Bath Air Filters

Long before people started using cotton gauze air filters soaked in oil, the oil bath air filter was the dominant filter on the market. The filter removes debris in the air by running it over oil and a mesh element. These filters worked great when most roads were dirt, but they could be messy to clean.

smallblockengineLong before people started using cotton gauze air filters soaked in oil, the oil bath air filter was the dominant filter on the market. The filter removes debris in the air by running it over oil and a mesh element. These filters worked great when most roads were dirt, but they could be messy to clean.

The oil bath air filter pulls in outside air and makes it turn 90 degrees over a pool of oil. This helps to remove the large, heavy particles. The air then travels over a filter element that rests in the oil and wicks it into the fibers (often made of steel mesh). Some early filters used horse hair for the element, while some more modern filters used foam.

0-od10040018imThe filter element could be cleaned with kerosene. This was typically the job of the newest guy at the shop. The oil used for the bath was typically engine oil that had to be filled to a specific level for the filter to be able to catch debris. The element could last the life of the vehicle in some cases.

As roads improved in the 1950s, the need faded away for a filter that could hold a lot of dirt without clogging. Thus came disposable pleated paper filters, which could filter smaller debris.

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Transmission fluid likes to be at a constant temperature. If it is too hot or too cold for too long, the performance can fluctuate and potentially cause damage to the transmission.

Transmission fluid likes to be at a constant temperature. If it is too hot or too cold for too long, the performance can fluctuate and potentially cause damage to the transmission.
If the fluid is at a constant temperature, it behaves in a consistent manner in terms of its friction and lubrication properties. What can help control the temperature is the transmission cooling circuit.
The path of the fluid in the transmission lines is not as much about the destination as the journey. The size and length of the transmission lines, along with the size of the cooler, controls the temperature of the fluid. Also, the size of the engine and weight of the vehicle can determine the design of the transmission fluid cooling circuit.
Another thing to consider is how a modified transmission with a larger transmission cooling circuit might do more damage than good. On modern vehicles, the cooling circuit is designed to manage the fluid temperatures during startup. If the fluid can’t warm up quickly due to the increased volume, damage to the transmission friction surfaces can occur. The same goes for a bypassed cooling circuit. Why? Because fluid that is too hot can damage friction surfaces.

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