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Thread: Oil filter question

  1. #1
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    Oil filter question

    My new to me í56 willys, with a 134 F Head engine, came to me without a oil filter, It appears the bracket I need to install a filter attaches under a head bolt. Iím a little concerned about removing a head bolt just to install a bracket to hold the oil filter attach bracket, for fear of starting a head gasket leak.

    So, my question is, Is this a legitimate concern, or a non-issue? Is there anything else I should be thinking about, in regards to installing a oil filter assembly?
    Thanks for any advice or help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    It is a legitimate concern that is often pondered by many an engine builder. It gives you a bad feeling to be sure. However, On a stone cold engine, it can and is done. One or two bolts at a time only! By the way, you should have studs not bolts. If it is a bolt, be sure to reseal the threads. If it is a stud, that is a much better situation. If it the stud comes out with the nut, reseal it. Install the filter and re-torque the nuts or bolts. Fire it up and let it warm to 150 to 160 deg. Shut it down and re-torque all 15 fasteners, in the proper sequence, on the warm engine. Fire it back up and bring it up to operating temperature. let it completely cool. Re-torque all 15 head fasteners. I would re-torque one more time after a good run.

    Usually this remove the oil filter "trick" was done because it was felt there was too much oil pressure lost through the filter. This is a bypass design. It filters the oil partially and bypasses it partially. There is an orifice in the return restricting the flow so not too much oil pressure is lost. The orifice size was reduced sometime in the late 40's on the "L" design.

    Some may crucify me for this but, I would NEVER second guess the oiling system. I would never dream of removing the filtration system. Make it better but, never gone. It does appear in the early years of the L head motor, #1 rod bearing did get starved for various reasons. The orifice size on the oil return was decreased, allowing more oil to bypass the filter and pressurize the rod. Your motor should be ready to accept it's filter back. The orifice is in the timing cover. If it is the original cover, put your filter back on. Pre-fill the oil canister.

    You should be just fine. If the oil pressure with straight 30 wt oil drops below 3 psi at 600 rpm hot, measured on a known good accurate gauge, you are probably discovering why the filter was bypassed. A rebuild would be in order if you want to catch it before it spins the bearings. If that old baby has SOME oil pressure at idle, it will probably run a long time.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 08-11-2019 at 02:25 PM.

  3. #3
    It might be worth remotely mounting the oil filter to avoid all the head bolt issues. Because if you have to retorque every head bolt three times you realize you'll have to pull the carburetor and the valve cover off each time. That doesn't sound possible to me. I wouldn't be against taking the two bolts out and put in the bracket on there and retorquing them on a nice cold engine. But that's just me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Yes you are correct on the three times. The third time can wait for a valve service interval. The second time would be very wise. I wouldnt expect the undisturbed studs to change. But if they do and you have some disturbed near by, things wont be good. These are all "insurance". I guarantee "someone" has just "yanked em" out with an air gun, and put them back in the same way and drove away. I can also tell you I know, that is not always the result.

    I feel for ya! I can tell you you are going to have to pull that valve cover and check the lash from time to time anyway. Use a good high quality gasket, like a Fel-Pro, on a very clean (no oil film) cover. Use High-Tac on the valve cover side of the gasket and valve cover. Let air a bit. This is how we got around it somewhat back in the day. It kind of makes the set up reusable. You did have to remove a lot of stuff to perform some service procedures. On a freshly rebuilt engine, the re-torque on heads studs has to be done at least once, on these old motors. The carb shouldn't give you much trouble. This old time process was cumbersome, but that's why we love em'!

    You are trying to insure even torque on the head surfaces. Because you disturbed it, the clamp force will change right there. This is amplified as everything grows from heat. What you are doing is catching it as it starts to "grow". Then you are insuring even clamp by making sure the studs or bolts all seat evenly.

    OK all that said (sorry if it's TMI), remotely mounting the oil filter has no bad side effect. It is simply not original. A personal thing on your Willys to be sure.

    Hope this helps! Rambling old guy sometimes,

  5. #5
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    Thank you all, for the advice, as well as the sympathy! At this point keeping it all “Original” isn’t one of my concerns, maybe at some point in the future. For now, I’m much more interested in getting it in some semblance of reliable, before I take it to far into the back country.

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