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Dealer Training Series

Filtration Fundamentals
A Technical Introduction to Air and Fluid Filtration | Presented by AMSOIL INC.
Table of Contents
Introducon to Filtraon
Filters & Why They are Important............................................................................................ 5
Filtraon Performance ............................................................................................................. 5
Common Contaminants and Their Eects ............................................................................... 6
Contaminant Size .............................................................................................................. ....... 7
Flow vs. Eciency Compromise ............................................................................................... 8
Filter Media Types.................................................................................................................... 8
Air Filtraon
The Importance of Air Filters ................................................................................................. 15
Stoichiometric Rao............................................................................................................... 15
Air Filter Media ...................................................................................................................... 15
Air Filtraon Mechanisms ...................................................................................................... 15
Air Flow and Filter Performance ............................................................................................ 18
AMSOIL Ea Air Filters ............................................................................................................. 20
Signs of Air Filtraon Problems .............................................................................................. 22
Industry-Accepted Standards for the Evaluaon of Air Filters ............................................... 22
Oil Filtraon
The Importance of Oil Filters ................................................................................................. 27
Superior Filtraon: Worth the Price? ..................................................................................... 27
Oil Circulaon System Basics ................................................................................................. 28
Types of Oil Filtraon Systems ............................................................................................... 32
AMSOIL Ea Full-Flow Oil Filters .............................................................................................. 33
AMSOIL Ea Spin-on Oil Filter Construcon ............................................................................ 34
By-Pass Filtraon .................................................................................................................... 35
AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters ...................................................................................................... 38
Oil Filtraon Eciency Terms ................................................................................................. 40
Beta Raos & Filter Eciencies.............................................................................................. 41
What does Ea Mean? ............................................................................................................. 41
Industry-Accepted Standards for the Evaluaon of Oil Filters ............................................... 42
Filter Lookup Resources ......................................................................................................... 43
Oil Filtraon Tips .................................................................................................................... 44
Major Causes of Premature Bearing Failure Chart................................................................. 48
Eects of Wear Due to Parcle Size Graph ............................................................................ 49
Fraconal Eciency of Nanober Layers Compared to Cellulose Engine Air Media ............. 50
Beta Rao - Capture Eciency Chart ..................................................................................... 51
Sub-Micron Time-Weighted Average Eciency Graph .......................................................... 52
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters Eciency Graph ................................................................................... 53
Filtration Fundamentals: Section 1
Introduction to Filtration
This course has been designed as a technical introducon to the basic
principles of air and uid ltraon and the various methods used to
control contaminants within ltraon systems. It is ideal for those who
service or maintain mechanical equipment, and those who market AMSOIL
The material for this course is divided into three secons: the denion of
a lter, common contaminants and their eects and types of media used in
both air and uid ltraon. The second and third secons discuss air and
uid ltraon respecvely, and go into greater detail on each topic.
Section Objectives
Aer studying Secon 1, you should understand and be able to explain the
following terms and concepts:
1. The funcon of a lter
2. Eects of unchecked contaminants in air and uid systems
3. Three main lter characteriscs
4. Three main contaminants and how they aect lubricaon systems
5. Range of contaminant sizes and the contaminant size of greatest
6. Flow vs. Eciency Compromise and methods to minimize it
7. Seven lter medias and their applicaons (air, oil or both)
Section Keywords
The following keywords are dened in this secon. Pay parcular aenon
to their explanaons as these concepts will serve as building blocks for
future lessons.
Absolute Eciency
Beta Rao
Cellulose Media
Foam Filtraon Media
Full-Synthec Media
Flow vs. Eciency Compromise
Large Parcles
Medium Parcles
Small Parcles
Synthec Nanober Media
Typical Full-Flow Filter Eciency
Weed-Gauze Media
Wire-Screen Filter Media

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

Filters & Why They are Important Filters & Why
They are
A  is a porous membrane
that gas or liquid is passed Filtration
through in order to separate out Performance

Section 1
maer in suspension. In vehicular
applicaons, this maer is dirt, dust,
contaminants or parculates, all
the same and all detrimental to air
and uid systems if le unchecked.
Proper ltraon results in two
overall benets: it ensures the
equipment has a sasfactory service
life and maintains the equipments

Filters are crucial in automove applicaons because they remove

contaminants that enter mechanical and lubricaon systems. Without
proper ltraon, these contaminants would create signicant damage to
mechanical components. Contaminants, such as dirt and silicon parcles,
can be introduced from the environment or can be by-products of
equipment operaon. If le uncontrolled, these contaminants can cause
accelerated wear on engine components and reduce equipment eciency.

From a systems standpoint, ltraon can be divided into two major types:
air and uid. Both are important and serve specic funcons necessary to
maintain vehicle cleanliness and eciency.
Filtration Performance
A good lter is designed to perform well in a number of areas. When
choosing an air or oil lter, three main lter characteriscs should be

The rst of these is . The lter must have the ability to ow an

adequate amount of air or liquid for normal applicaon operaon.

The second consideraon is the usable of the lter. The lter must
have adequate contaminant-holding capacity to remain in service for an
acceptable period of me.

Finally, a lters
 refers to its ability to adequately remove
contaminants of a size crical for the applicaon.

When considering lter performance, remember the  

. A lter that is very open and free-owing will generally have
poor parcle removal eciency. Conversely, if a lter has excellent small-
parcle removal eciency it will generally be more resistant to ow and
have a relavely short life expectancy.

AMSOIL Ea Filters employ a number of mechanisms to migate the ow

vs. eciency compromise, including specialized design techniques and
sophiscated materials and lter media. These specialized techniques and
media types are discussed further in Secons 2 and 3.

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

Common Common Contaminants and Their Effects
Contaminants and
Their Effects
Solid Matter (air & oil)
According to a study published by the Society of Automove Engineers
(SAE), approximately 400 tons of solid material is suspended in every
cubic mile of air over a city. Even more solid maer is suspended over
agricultural areas during certain mes of the year. Of this solid maer,
a signicant poron is airborne dirt and dust. The dirt and dust found
naturally within the
environment is of greatest
concern due to its abrasive

Uncontrolled ingeson and

circulaon of air-bound
abrasive material can
reduce the life expectancy
of an internal combuson
engine by as much as 60 to
80 percent, which is why
Figure 1.1 ltraon is so crucial to
Solid matter from the environment can reduce the life engine and component life.
expectancy of an internal combustion engine by 60 to 80
percent. The minute parcles found
naturally in the environment
can signicantly increase wear to engine components, ulmately liming
the engines operang life.

In four-cycle engines, dirt and dust contaminaon can result in valve-guide

wear. Dirt and dust that reaches the combuson chamber can increase
piston and ring wear and damage the cylinder liner. These parcles are
eventually carried by the oil to other engine components such as bearings,
crankshas and camshas.

Figure 1.2
Almost half of all bearing failures can be attributed to dirt.

Water (air & oil)

Water accounts for up to 4 percent of the air. When condions are right,
that water condenses into liquid form and enters lubricaon systems. The
eects can be catastrophic. Water reduces oils ability to lubricate and
can combine with other molecules to cause chemical reacons that form
corrosive compounds and acids. Most recognizably, water promotes the
formaon of rust, increasing the potenal for harmful rust contaminaon
to develop within the system.

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

Soot (air & oil) Contaminant Size
Soot is a ne, dark powder that results from incomplete combuson.
Modern engines are designed to capture soot in the oil; while electronic
controls and high injecon pressures have signicantly reduced the levels
of soot produced during combuson, it remains an impurity that must be

Section 1
managed within the lubricaon system.

As soot levels increase within the crankcase, the eecveness of the

lubricants dispersant addive is reduced, causing the soot to cluster into
larger parcles that increase wear to crical components.
Contaminant Size
Contaminants suspended in air or uid can be very small. To grasp just how
small these parcles are, an understanding of the measurements involved
in their classicaon is necessary.

Figure 1.3
The size of nanobers is equal to one millionth of a meter -
smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

A (), or micrometer, is a very small unit of linear measurement

equal to one millionth of a meter, or .00000039 inches. To get an idea
of the sizes that micron measurements relate to, consider the following

The diameter of a human hair is 50 to 100

The smallest parcle visible without magnicaon is 40

>, which measure 0.5 or larger, pose only a small threat to

lubricaon systems because they are easily ltered out from the intake air

D, which measure 25 to 0.5, are more dicult to lter

from the air stream and are of greater concern. However, the threat of
medium parcles is diminished because they are larger than many of the

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

Flow vs. clearances within an engine. Their size prevents them from entering the
Efciency contact areas between many components and limits their ability to cause
accelerated wear.
Filter Media Types
^, those in the 5 - 25 range, are the cause for greatest
concern because their size allows them penetrate the clearances between
wear-sensive components. Once these small parcles become lodged
in the gaps between components, contact occurs and results in increased
fricon and wear. The size of these parcles makes them parcularly
dicult to remove from the lubricang system.

Parcles smaller than 5 , in general, can be suspended safely within the

oil lm and pose lile threat.

Figure 1.4
Particle size effects on wear. (Courtesy of MANN+HUMMEL)

Flow vs. Efficiency Compromise

The refers to the converse relaonship of
ow and eciency and how it eects lter media density. As the density of
lter media increases to improve eciency, the ability of air or uid to ow
through the media is diminished.

The ow vs. eciency compromise presents a challenge for lter

engineers. Filter eciency can be improved by increasing media density;
however, media that is too dense restricts ow and does not provide
adequate amounts of air or liquid for opmum performance.

One common method of migang the eects of the ow vs. eciency

compromise is increasing the ltraon surface area by folding or pleang
the media.
Filter Media Types
This secon covers the various types of lter media; some of which are
used in both air and oil applicaons, while others are best-suited to one
applicaon or the other.

Common types of air ltraon media include cellulose, weed-gauze,

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

nanober, open-celled foam and synthec bers.

Common types of oil ltraon media include cellulose, cellulose/synthec

blend, wire screen and full synthec.

Section 1
Cellulose Media (air & fluid)
 is a natural media derived from plant bers. The bers
are rough in texture and vary in size and shape. Cellulose bers are
typically heat-cured and mixed
with resins to increase sness.
Cellulose media has been used
for many years and is employed
in the majority of lters in the
market. Its performance varies
depending on processing and
the type and amount of resin
used to bind the bers. Filters
produced with cellulose media
are usually designed to meet
Figure 1.5
Cellulose bers made from plant materials original equipment manufacturers
(OEM) requirements and provide
adequate performance.
Cellulose/Synthetic Blend Media (fluid)
Cellulose/synthec blend media typically consists of cellulose bers
combined with high amounts of bonding resins and various amounts of
glass or polymeric bers. Cellulose/synthec media lters normally provide
beer eciency and capacity than cellulose media lters.
Wetted-Gauze Media (air)
t is a naturally occurring material oen used in air
lters. Weed-gauze lters are composed of layered coon bers weed
with a tacking oil to trap contaminants. This media is usually employed in
high-performance lters where high airow is required; however, ltering
eciency is generally compromised. Weed-gauze lters require repeated
cycles of washing and re-oiling, which can reduce their eecveness.
Synthetic Nanofiber Media (air)
Polymeric refers to a chemical process that creates a structure of repeang
molecular elements. E
is a term used to describe bers
with a diameter less than 1 .
The consistent structure and
small size of polymeric nanobers
enable high eciencies. Recently,

has been used in conjuncon
with cellulose media to create
a composite, high-eciency
Figure 1.6 lter. The combinaon features
Synthetic nanobers on cellulose media
cellulose media covered by a thin
layer of polymeric nanobers to
increase eciency with minimal impact to airow. Filters produced with
synthec nanobers on cellulose composite media can be cleaned using
compressed air or a vacuum.

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

Foam Filter Media (air)
Foam lter media has been available for many years, mainly for use in
smaller engines; however, it has also been successfully used in automobile,
powersports and large-truck
applicaons. &
is generally reculated
(open cell) foam made of polyester
or polyether/polyurethane
material. Pore size is controlled
and ranges from 10 pores per
inch (PPI) to 80 PPI depending on
intended applicaon.

Figure 1.7
Foam media is heat resistant
Open-celled foam media to 455F (235C), and with void
space making up 97 percent of the
media, airow is increased. As with weed-gauze lters, tack oil applied
to the foam helps capture and retain contaminant parcles. Foam lters
are advantageous in high-dust condions because they can be cleaned and
Full-Synthetic Media (air & fluid)
& is synthesized from polymeric nanober materials
such as non-woven polyester bers and melt-blown glass bers. It has
high lo, or u, which improves
media thickness and increases
contaminant-holding capacity.
Synthec bers of diering
sizes, density and layers can be
engineered with specic airow
rates and eciencies. Many
foreign automobile manufacturers
specify full-synthec air lters, and
the vast majority of cabin air lters
are constructed with this media
Figure 1.8
Full-synthetic media type.

In uid applicaons, synthec bers of various sizes and densies can be

engineered to control eciency and oil ow rates. Synthec media works
well in oil applicaons because it is more resistant to hot oil over a longer
period of me as compared to cellulose and cellulose-blend lters.
Wire-Screen Media (fluid)
ttechnology has been used for many years in uid
applicaons. It is composed of wire strands that are woven together to
form a resilient, heat-resistant lter that can withstand roune cleaning.
Wire screen media can be constructed of aluminum, stainless steel, carbon
steel, brass or copper. Wire lters that depend on the sieving ltraon
mechanism provide capacies less than those of cellulose, cellulose-blend
and synthec lter media, and are mainly found in industrial or racing

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration


Section 1

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration

Section 1 Review Questions
1. The major cause of premature bearing failure in automove engines
today is _________.

2. Without air ltraon, an engines life can be reduced by as much as

____-____ percent.

3. 3. List two reasons why ltraon is important.



4. What is the inherent challenge of designing a lter? Name one way this
eect can be minimized.


5. Contaminants in the _____ to _____ micron range cause the greatest

amount of wear on an engine.

6. __________ is a common lter media, derived from plant material.

7. Which lter media oers high eciency and can be cleaned using
compressed air or vacuum?


8. What lter media type can be engineered to target specic ow rates?



9. The purpose of the pleats in lters is to increase surface area.

True or False

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration


Section 1

Filtration Fundamentals: Introduction to Filtration


Filtration Fundamentals: Section 2

Air Filtration
This secon of Filtraon Fundamentals covers the basic principles of air
ltraon. A thorough understanding of basic principles of air ltraon is
essenal for providing exceponal customer service.
Section Objectives
Aer studying Secon 2, you should understand and be able to explain the
following terms and concepts:
1. The air lters role in an engine
2. The Stoichiometric rao and variances in its real-world applicaon
3. The four air ltraon mechanisms
4. Benets of Depth Screening vs. Surface Screening
5. Benets of using nanobers in air lters
6. Benets of AMSOIL Ea Filters
Section Keywords
The following keywords are dened in this secon. Pay parcular aenon
to their explanaons as these concepts will serve as building blocks for
future lessons.

Adsorpon Filtraon
Cubic Feet of Air Flow per Minute (CFM)
Depth Screening
Filter Minder
Oil-Weed Foam
Stoichiometric Rao
Surface Screening

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


The Importance of Air Filters The Importance

of Air Filters
Secon 1 of Filtraon Fundamentals explained what a lter does, how Stoichiometric
it funcons and why its important. Ninety percent of the contaminants Ratio
within an engine come from the air, and the air ltraon system serves Air Filter Media
to eliminate, as much as possible, these contaminants in order to reduce
engine wear. Air Filtration
Air is a necessary component of the combuson process, and the air lter
is the engines rst and most important defense against dirt and other
harmful contaminants that are suspended in air. As noted in Secon 1,
abrasive contaminants entering an internal combuson engine can reduce
the engines life by 60 - 80 percent if le uncontrolled.

Section 2
Stoichiometric Ratio
Three elements are needed to create energy in an internal combuson
engine: oxygen, fuel and a heat catalyst. The heat can be produced by an
electronic spark (gasoline engine) or generated during compression of a
fuel and oxygen mixture (diesel engine).

The  is the rao of oxygen to fuel that, theorecally,

produces the greatest release of energy. In automove applicaons the
stoichiometric rao is 14:1 (oxygen/fuel by weight); however, in real-
world applicaons this rao frequently varies anywhere between 14:0.85
to 14:1.25, depending on engine type (gasoline or diesel) and operang
Air Filter Media
Common air lter media, including cellulose, weed-gauze, nanober,
foam and full synthec, were discussed in Secon 1 of Filtraon
Fundamentals. Refer to that secon for full descripons of these media
Air Filtration Mechanisms
There are four basic methods used to control air-suspended contaminants;
each has advantages and disadvantages. Although most lters are based
on a single ltraon method, some use a combinaon to improve overall
Surface Screening
^ is the simplest of the four ltraon methods and
consists of a two-dimensional matrix of open areas and solid dividers. An
example of a surface screen lter is the common window screen that keeps
pests and large debris from entering a home.

Surface screening, also known as mechanical separaon, removes

contaminants from the air stream if they are larger than the opening in
the screen matrix. Contaminants smaller than the screen openings will
pass through. The smaller the opening, the smaller the parcle that will
be retained; however, smaller openings also restrict airow to a greater

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Surface screening lters are generally constructed of metal or plasc. They

tend to be inexpensive and can be easily serviced and reused. Their limited
surface area results in low contaminant-holding capacity. Because they
must contend with the ow vs. eciency compromise, their small-parcle
removal eciencies are generally lower than those of other ltraon

Figure 2.1
Surface screening. The smaller the opening, the
smaller the particle that will be retained.

Depth Screening
Instead of the two-dimensional matrix used in surface screening, 
adds a third dimension of thickness. By arranging media bers
on top of each other, a variety of opening sizes are created throughout the
media. Convenonal surface screening occurs on the outside of the media
with addional contaminant removal occurring as air passes through the
media depth. This added layer results in greater contaminant capacity than
what is possible with surface screening alone.

Figure 2.2
Depth screening. Depth screening adds a third dimension of thickness that creates
various size openings and improves contaminant capacity.

The third dimension also improves small-parcle removal eciency

and reduces the ow vs. eciency compromise, providing more airow

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


through the lter media while removing more parculate maer.

The paper air and oil lters commonly used in modern automobiles are
examples of lters that employ depth screening. The media used in such
lters consists of a blend of cellulose material to which resins have been
added to increase structural strength and minimize deterioraon from
water. Glass bers may also be added to increase structural strength and
aid in pore-size uniformity. These glass bers are rarely used as the sole
component of air lters, but are common in the construcon of high-end
hydraulic lters.
 does not use a mechanical ltraon method like
those used in screening ltraon. Instead, parcles are removed from

Section 2
the air stream through aracon to a negavely charged surface, or by
contacng a surface composed of a scky or tacky material. This type of
ltraon is uncommon in the transportaon industry.

Figure 2.3
Adsorption. Particles are retained via the sticky or tacky properties of the

In the ltraon principle of , airborne parcles are separated
from a diverted air stream according to their weight. As air moves, any
suspended contaminants are accelerated within the air stream. Due to
their greater weight, contaminants tend to move more or less in a straight
line and will not change direcon as easily as the air molecules around

Figure 2.4
Diffusion. Contaminants separate out when air
changes direction.

In an old automove oil-bath ltraon system, air is drawn down a

channel and forced to make a 180 direconal change. The weight of
the contaminants causes them to separate from the air when it changes

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Airow and Filter direcon. Once the contaminants have been separated, they are retained
on a surface covered in tack oil.
Airflow and Filter Performance
Adequate airow is essenal for an engines performance. A lters ability
to ow air is usually reported in &D.
Resistance is a measure of a lters ability to pass a volume of air through
the lter media. The degree of resistance is determined by measuring the
dierence in pressure (pressure dierenal) between the outside of the
lter and the pressure inside the lter at a given ow rate. The greater the
resistance to airow for a given volume of air, the greater the pressure
dierenal across the lter media.

A is a device used to indicate a pressure dierenal within a

system. The greater the resistance to ow, the higher the uid will rise in
the manometer. The degree of resistance is reported in inches of water
or mercury, depending on the construcon of the manometer. (See gure
2.11 on page 23)

One lters ow performance can only be compared to anothers when the

rate of ow has been determined at idencal levels of restricon and the
same units of restricon (water or mercury) are used.

The indicates when the pressure dierenal between the

outside and inside of the lter element becomes too high and the lter
is too clogged for air to pass through to the engine. Original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) determine the proper pressure dierenal for each
Nanofiber Technology
Nanober air lter technology, patented by Donaldson Company, is
employed on the US Army Abrams M1A1 tanks in desert condions. These
lters, equipped with reverse pulse technology, are designed to minimize
soldier maintenance and possible exposure to the enemy.

At less than one micron in diameter,  are considerably smaller

than tradional cellulose and synthec lter media. Nanobers trap sub-
micron contaminants on the medias surface layer.

The polymeric nanobers used in lter media are made using an electro-
spinning process where an electrical eld is used to draw a polymer
soluon from the p of a capillary to a collector device. The ne jets dry to
form polymeric bers that can be collected on a web (somemes called a
Nanofibers on Cellulose Media
The average diameter of a strand of cellulose ber is approximately 15 ,
melt-blown material is about 2 and nanobers are less than 1 . Recall
that a human hair ranges from 50 to 100 , so the scale of nanobers is
innitely small and cannot be seen with the naked eye.

The following illustraon demonstrates how the combinaon of nanobers

and cellulose media works to maximize eciency. Imagine two ltraon
media, a chain-link fence (cellulose ber media) and a mosquito net (melt-

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Figure 2.5

Section 2
The tennis ball obstructs airow of the larger bers and larger holes, while it obstructs much less
air against media composed of smaller bers and smaller holes.

blown & nanober media). Each is required to stop contaminants, in this

case a tennis ball.

The tennis ball will t into the opening of the chain-link fence very well
and obstructs almost 100 percent of the air from owing through it. Now,
imagine a tennis ball against a mosquito net. The tennis ball, at the point of
contact with the neng, will obstruct much less lter area than the chain-
link fence example. Air is sll able to ow around the tennis ball all the
way to the point of contact. It will take many more parcles to obstruct the
neng surface area than it would to obstruct the chain-link fence.

Cellulose bers are larger than nanobers and have larger spaces between
the bers, causing contaminants to be held in the depth of the media
and plugging the airow path. This results in higher restricon and
less capacity, meaning that cellulose is a less ecient lter media than
nanober media.

When synthec nanobers are laid on top of a cellulose base to create a

dual-layer media, it creates smaller inter-ber spaces that result in higher

Figure 2.6
The smaller spaces created by nanober media increases contaminant capturing

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


AMSOIL Filters eciency. By trapping submicron contaminants on the surface, rather than
dispersing them throughout the depth of the lter, nanobers are able to
stop parcle contaminants while maintaining an airow path.

These qualies are crucial in on-highway applicaons because the

contaminants in highway environments are primarily sub-micron size.
AMSOIL Ea Air Filters
AMSOIL Ea Air Filters
AMSOIL Ea Air Filters (EAA) are made with a nanober coang on the
surface of a specially formulated cellulose media.

Figure 2.7
AMSOIL Ea Air Filters

This custom media is designed to ow more air and provide superior

eciency over lters made using cellulose, synthec or foam media. In
addion, Ea Air Filters can be cleaned with vacuum or shop air, providing
increased lter life compared with tradional air lters.
Ea Air Filter Life
AMSOIL guarantees Ea Air Filters for four years or 100,000 miles,
whichever comes rst, as long as the lter has been cleaned according to
AMSOIL cleaning instrucons. The warranty does not include operaon
in o-road, compeon or extremely dusty environments. In these
condions the lter should be cleaned more oen or per restricon gauge,
if so equipped.
AMSOIL Advantage

AMSOIL Ea Air Filters use a proprietary combinaon of special-grade

cellulose media and nanober media for enhanced eciency and ow.
AMSOIL Ea Air Filters have higher eciency, greater capacity for ne
dusts and longer lter life compared to tradional cellulose, foam and
gauze lter media. Dust remains on the surface of Ea Air lters and can be
cleaned to provide a longer-than-average service life. AMSOIL Ea Air Filters
oer beer engine protecon with increased ow and capacity for longer
service life and reduced maintenance costs.
AMSOIL Ea Universal Air Induction Filters
Aermarket air-intake systems, typically referred to as air inducon

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


systems, are used to

replace the OEM air lter
and inlet hose in order
to provide increased
airow to the engine. The
purpose of increasing the
airow to the engine is
to increase horsepower
created during

AMSOIL Ea Universal Air

Inducon Filters (EAAU)

Section 2
Figure 2.8 replace stock oil-weed
AMSOIL Ea Universal Filters gauze and foam conical
lters supplied with
inducon systems. AMSOIL Ea Universal Air Inducon Filters are cleanable
for longer life and provide beer eciency and excellent airow.

AMSOIL Ea Universal Air Inducon Filters feature the same nanober

media found in AMSOIL Ea Filters for car and light-truck applicaons.
The media is pleated with epoxy-coated wire on the face and back side
for addional strength and
sness. High-quality, pliable
urethane connectors with
plassol pong complete the
product. Each lter comes
with a clamp for convenient
AMSOIL Ea Racing Air Filters
AMSOIL Ea Racing Air Filters
(EAAR) provide Ea protecon
for carbureted applicaons.
AMSOIL Ea Racing Air Filters
provide addional ltering
Figure 2.9 area by allowing air to ow
AMSOIL Ea Racing Filter
through the top lid, which is
made of nanober media. The
lter is also exposed, allowing air to ow through the side and adding even
greater air intake capability and eciency. AMSOIL Ea Racing Air Filters are
cleanable and reusable. They are 14 in diameter,
and the top of the lter features aluminum trim
rings with the AMSOIL logo etched into the top
AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Air Filters
AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Air Filters (EAAM) replace
OEM lters from Harley-Davidson and Honda,
as well as lter housings from S&S and Baron.
AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Filters provide beer
eciency, excellent airow and are cleanable for
long lter life. AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Air Filters
Figure 2.10 are also made with nanober media and are
AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Air Filter constructed from the highest-quality materials.

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Signs of Air AMSOIL Advantage

Employing advanced media types and exceponal construcon, AMSOIL
Industry-Accepted Ea Air Filters oer many advantages to motorists. AMSOIL Ea Air Filters
Standards for the provide superior eciency, greater contaminant-holding capacity,
Evaluation of Air
Filters enhanced ow and are cleanable for reuse. These benets translate to
superior performance and protecon while remaining cost eecve.

Nanobers on cellulose media for enhanced ow

Higher eciency, ensuring beer engine protecon and longer
equipment life
Greater airow for maximized equipment performance and energy
Greater contaminant capacity, extending service intervals
Cleanable, extending service life beyond the average lter
Signs of Air Filtration Problems
There are many signals that can suggest an air ltraon problem. An oil
analysis report indicang elevated component wear or an unusual increase
in oil consumpon could be traced to ingeson of abrasive material.
Signicant changes in equipment performance or fuel consumpon are
also indicators of air starvaon problems and could suggest the existence
of a ltraon deciency.

Be alert and take note of any signs of dirt on the clean side of the air
intake. If dirt is noceable, there is certainly dirt inside the equipment.
Industry-Accepted Standards for the Evaluation of Air Filters
Air lters are tested in accordance with the Society of Automove
Engineers (SAE-J726) or Internaonal Organizaon for Standardizaon
(ISO-5011). Both methods use A2 ne or coarse test dust as the
contaminant. The test dust is injected into the air current passing through
the system, collected on the test lter and nally onto the absolute lter.
Filter masses are determined before and aer contaminant injecon. The
eciency of the lter can be calculated by comparing the amount of dust
injected and the amount captured by the test lter and absolute lter.

The test dust has a parcular parcle-size distribuon and all lters should
be tested according to this standard. An absolute micron rang of an air
lter is misleading. Filter eciencies need to be compared using the same
test method and test dust. Special tesng is required if a manufacturer
claims a certain eciency at a specic micron level.

Capacity is determined by adding contaminants to the lter with a specic

volume of air passing through the system unl the restricon reaches an
OEM-specied level.

Filter openings become restricted as contaminants are held by the lter

media. As shown in Figure 2.11, a manometer device aached to the inlet
and outlet sides of the lter indicates the amount of lter restricon based
on the amount of displaced water or mercury in the manometer. For auto
and light-truck applicaons, this restricon is normally 10 of water.

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Section 2
Figure 2.11
Manometer device used to measure a lters restriction

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Section 2 Review Questions

1. The air lter is an engines best defense against dirt.

True or False

2. What percentage of contaminants within an engine comes from the


3. Theorecally, the rao at which fuel and oxygen are mixed to result in
the greatest release in energy is known as the ____________________

4. List the 5 types of air lter media






5. List the four lter mechanisms





6. The simplest air ltraon mechanism is __________________________


7. How does Depth Screening dier from Surface Screening, and what are
the benets?


8. __________________ are oen added in Depth Screening to increase

structural strength and pore-size uniformity.

9. The __________________ air ltraon mechanism relies on the

weights of the airborne parcles to separate them from a diverted air

10. The _______________________________is a device that will alert

when the pressure between the outside and inside of the lter
becomes too high, indicang the lter is too clogged for air to pass

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


11. What two methods may be used for cleaning AMSOIL Ea Air Filters?


12. What is the AMSOIL Ea Air Filter guarantee?



13. What are some symptoms of an engine not geng adequate air ow?

Section 2

Filtration Fundamentals: Air Filtration


Filtration Fundamentals: Section 3

Oil Filtration
This secon of Filtraon Fundamentals examines oil ltraon. Oil ltraon
is a broad term covering a variety of applicaons and uids, including
hydraulic oils, engine oils and gear oils. There are many similaries and
dierences in how ltraon is addressed in these dierent applicaons and
Section Objectives
Aer studying Secon 3, you should understand and be able to explain the
following terms and concepts:

1. The oil lters role in the engine

2. The two main sources of engine oil contaminants
3. The three basic components of an oil circulaon system
4. The four parcle-capture mechanisms
5. Dierences between full-ow ltraon systems and by-pass ltraon
6. Advantages of combining full-ow and by-pass ltraon systems
7. The seven components of the spin-on lter cartridge
8. How AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters dier from typical by-pass lters
Section Keywords
An-Drainback Valve
Base Plate
Base Plate Gasket
Brownian Movement
By-Pass Valve
Diusion Mechanism
Filter Housing
Follower Plate
Hold-Down Spring
Hold-Down Strap
Ineral Impacon Mechanism
Intercepon Mechanism
Oil Reservoir
Pressure Dierenal
Relief Valve
Sieving Mechanism
System Pressure
Tension Spring

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


The Importance of Oil Filters The Importance

of Oil Filters
Oil is the lifeblood of an engine. Motor oil must help prevent wear, Superior Filtra-
maintain cleanliness, reduce operang temperatures and act as a seal. tion: Worth the
When contaminants enter the oil, its ability to perform these funcons is Price?

Its not possible to completely eliminate contaminants that are present

in the engine; however, they can be adequately controlled with proper
ltraon. Engine oils become contaminated from external and internal
sources through normal use.

External contaminaon sources include dirt, dust and water that enter
the engine through the air-intake system, breather system or unwanted
openings in the equipment. External contaminants such as dirt and dust
are abrasive, and their presence in the oil will result in accelerated wear.

Internal contaminaon sources include parcles generated from wear and

combuson by-products that blow past the piston rings. These parcles all
have a negave eect on the oil, including sludge formaon, harmful acid
development and excessive wear.

Section 3
Solid contaminants in the oil supply are addressed with convenonal
ltraon, but water, fuel and acids are typically handled by the oils
addive chemistry because ltraon generally oers lile assistance in
those areas. However, there are specialized lters, such as AMSOIL Ea By-
Pass Filters, that can aid in several of these areas. AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters
and the benets they provide are discussed later in this secon.
Superior Filtration: Worth the Price?
Many motorists queson whether superior ltraon is worth the addional
price. It is important to consider that 60 to 80 percent of component wear
is directly contributed to the presence of abrasive parcles within the
lubricant. Filtraon can eliminate or signicantly reduce the concentraon
of these materials. The end result is reduced wear, longer equipment life,
less downme and lower cost of operaon.

According to a General Motors study, the use of superior ltraon has

the potenal of increasing engine life by as much as eight mes over
tradional ltraon mechanisms. Informaon released by Needleman and
Zaretsky (1991) indicates that in roller bearings alone, moving from a
40 lter to a 10 lter will double the life of the bearing. For ball
bearings, this change in ltraon can increase the life of the equipment by
42 percent.

Something as simple and cost-eecve as proper oil ltraon can ensure

long engine life, excellent component protecon and signicant amounts
of money saved over me.

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


The Dangers of The Dangers of Soot


Oil Circulation
System Basics

Figure 3.1
Soot particles, the result of incomplete combustion, are highly abrasive
to internal engine components.

Soot is a natural by-product of the combuson process. Aer fuel is

injected into the combuson chamber, it combines with oxygen and heat
and ignites. As the piston reciprocates in its chamber, the rings spread soot
parcles into the oil. This process connues with normal engine operaon
and, le unchecked, the accumulated soot parcles can grind away at
internal engine surfaces, causing premature wear and component failure.
Components suscepble to soot damage include cam lobes, valve liers,
valve stems and guides, piston rings, cylinder liners and bearings.

Oil formulated with quality dispersant addives can generally keep soot in
the range of 0.002 to 0.5 suspended in the oil while the oils detergent
addives prevent the build-up of sludge and act as an acid neutralizer,
keeping soot in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 in suspension. These an-wear
addives work by providing a sacricial chemical-to-chemical barrier, but
as the amount of soot suspended in the oil increases, their performance
decreases. In other words, soot contaminaon leads to a direct drop in
the an-wear eecveness of an oils addives, increasing the risk of
accelerated wear to crical engine components.
Soot Causes Wear
High levels of soot in the oil can lead to excessive and abnormal engine
wear. Many current oil formulaons extend oil life by holding higher
concentraons of contaminants, including soot, in suspension in the oil.
This creates an increased risk of wear caused by soot and minimizes the
eecveness of an-wear addives. By-pass ltraon signicantly reduces
the amount of wear-causing soot parcles suspended in the oil to increase
overall equipment operang life.
Oil Circulation System Basics
Automove engines use oil circulaon systems to lubricate engine
components. Oil circulaon systems are more eecve at supplying oil to
all the necessary parts than oil immersion systems, where components
are immersed in an oil reservoir. Circulaon systems also pressurize the
oil, which increases the oils load-carrying ability and allows it to act as an

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


energy transfer media (i.e. hydraulic liers). At 125 pounds per square inch
(psi), an oils viscosity increases by approximately 3 percent. It increases by
15 percent at 500 psi, and doubles at 3,000 psi.

The basic oil circulaon system consists of an oil reservoir (oil pan), a
(lobe or gear type) and to direct oil to engine components
and allow it to return to the oil pan. A pressure-sensing device is usually
incorporated to monitor the operaon of the system. As the system
generates pressure, a  is used to prevent damage should over-
pressurizaon occur. With a circulaon system in place, it is relavely easy
to incorporate an oil ltraon system.
Oil Pressure
When it comes to uid delivery systems, there are two prevalent terms
relang to pressure. The rst is , which is the force applied
by the uid to any surface in the system and is most commonly reported
in psi. The second type is , which is the dierence
between system pressures measured at two dierent locaons within the

Any device in a system that oers restricon to ow will exhibit a pressure

Section 3
dierenal. The restricon to ow that may exist in lter media will result
in a dierence in pressure between the inlet and outlet sides of the media.

The pressure dierenal is determined by subtracng the lters outlet

pressure from its inlet pressure. Pressure dierenal is reported as pounds
per square inch dierenal (psid) or delta pressure.
Oil Filter Life
As an oil lter collects more contaminants, its internal structure
changes, which inuences the relave importance of the various
capture mechanisms that lter employs. For example, as the lter traps
contaminants, an internal cake forms on the inside structure of the unit.
This eventually causes the media to become so clogged that the motor
oil can no longer ow through it rapidly enough to sustain normal engine
Oil Filter Media
Common oil lter media, including cellulose, cellulose/synthec blend,
metal screen and full synthec, were discussed in Secon 1 of Filtraon
Fundamentals. Refer to that secon for full descripons of these media

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


The Four The Four Particle-Capture Mechanisms

There are four basic ways oil lter media captures parcles. Each capture
mechanism is adept at capturing contaminant parcles based on dierent
parcle characteriscs, such as size or tendencies for movement.
The  captures
any contaminant that is larger
than the spaces between the
openings of the lter bers,
much like a window screen keeps
out any insects or debris too big
to t through the small openings
between the screen wires.

Figure 3.2
The sieving ltration mechanism

Inertial Impaction
works on larger
parcles. Due to the size and
mass of these parcles, they
connue on their original path
rather than following the liquid
stream. As the liquid ows
through the abrupt direconal
changes of the lter media,
contaminant parcles follow
their original path and become
trapped by the lter media.

Figure 3.3
The inertial impaction ltration mechanism

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


captures contaminants small
enough to t between the
openings of the lter bers, but
large enough that part of the
contaminant makes contact with
the lter media.

Figure 3.4
The interception ltration mechanism

Section 3
captures the niest of all
contaminant parcles. These
minute parcles, typically less
than 0.001 mm, are so small
that their movement operates
in irregular paths referred to as

While most bodies of mass will

move in a straight line when a
force is applied to them, these
extremely small parcles exhibit
a zig-zag moon. Because they
travel in a zig-zag paern, they
are easily captured by the lter
Figure 3.5
The diffusion ltration mechanism

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Types of Oil Types of Oil Filtration Systems

Full-Flow Filtration System
AMSOIL Ea Full- The most common ltraon system used today is the full-ow system.
Flow Oil Filters Within this system, the lter is placed in line between the pump and
the engine. In full-ow systems, all oil undergoes ltraon prior to being
delivered to engine components.

Figure 3.6
Full-ow ltration system

Filters in full-ow systems must feature media that is open and free-
owing enough to accommodate a high rate of ow and ensure engine
components receive proper lubricaon.

Because of the ow vs. eciency compromise, full-ow ltraon systems

are designed to remove parcles large enough to cause immediate damage
(>40 ). If the system were too restricve, the full-ow lter could starve
the engine of oil.

Full-ow oil lters can be divided into two design groups: cartridge and
spin-on. The major dierence is in their construcon. In cartridge lters,
the ltering element is replaced by disassembling an external housing. In
spin-on lters, the ltering element is changed by replacing the cartridge
and housing assembly by simply spinning the lter o of its mount.

Both types of lters are available in a variety of sizes. The largest are
cartridge models. The ltraon performance of either type depends solely
on the media used.

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Cartridge lters tend to have a higher inial cost than spin-on lters, but
the cost to replace the element is lower. Cartridge lters are also more
me consuming and messier to service than spin-on lters, so it costs more
to have them serviced. Because spin-on lters are far more common in the
transportaon industry, this manual will concentrate on that style.
AMSOIL Ea Full-Flow Oil Filters
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters (EAO) synthec nanobers have a controlled size and
shape to provide greater eciency, capacity and durability than cellulose
lters. AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters provide a higher level of engine protecon and
extended lter change intervals.
Ea Oil Filtration Media
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filter media is relavely thick and so when compared to
typical cellulose or cellulose/synthec-blend media. It is backed with wire
mesh to provide structural integrity within the lter. The mul-layered
characterisc of the media selecvely lters the various contaminants,
providing higher eciency and longer lter life.
Superior Construction
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters are equipped with an oil-pressure relief valve to
provide adequate oil ow under all operang condions. Each heavy-

Section 3
duty housing has a draw steel double-crimp at the base with rolled-under
seaming. A silicone an-drainback valve prevents dirty oil from moving
back into the engine. Ea Oil Filters are designed to provide maximum
ltraon while meeng the high-ow demands of modern automobiles.

Figure 3.7
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters are 98.7% efcient at 15 .

Absolute Efficiency
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters have the best eciency rang in the industry. Ea Oil
Filters provide a ltering eciency in accordance with industry standard
tesng (ISO 4548-12) of 98.7 percent at 15 , while compeve lters
containing convenonal cellulose media range from 40 to 80 percent.
Less Restriction
AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters provide signicantly lower restricon than their
cellulose counterparts. The exceponally small spaces inherent to synthec

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


AMSOIL Ea nanober technology trap more parcles of microscopic size while also
Spin-on Oil Filter providing more space for oil ow. Synthec nanobers also provide less
restricon during cold-temperature operaon by allowing oil to easily ow
through the synthec media, decreasing engine wear during warm-up
More Capacity
A lters capacity refers to the amount of contaminants it can hold and sll
remain eecve. AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters have a greater capacity for small,
wear-causing contaminants than compeng lters do. In most applicaons,
when used in conjuncon with AMSOIL synthec motor oils in normal
service, Ea Oil Filters are guaranteed to remain eecve for up to 25,000
miles or one year, whichever comes rst.

AMSOIL Ea Spin-on Oil Filter Construction

Figure 3.8
Detailed view and construction of spin-on oil lter

Filter Housing
Drawn metal vessel used to contain the oil. Also protects internal
components from external impact.
Steel Coil Spring
Applies constant force on internal lter components, minimizing by-passing
of unltered oil. It can be a helical spring or a stamped metal leaf spring.
By-Pass Valve
Safety valve that opens when the media is too restricve to allow an
adequate ow of oil (i.e. the media becomes saturated or at start-up with
a cold, viscous uid). Typically opens when an 8 to 12 psi pressure drop
occurs across the media; however, 20 to 30 psid valves are not uncommon.
Filter Media
Generally a cellulose material, but may contain coon, glass or synthec
bers. Usually pleated to increase surface area, assisng in ow and
Anti-Drainback Valve
Prevents contaminated oil from draining back when the lter is mounted

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


in an inverted or horizontal posion. Minimizes me required to iniate By-Pass

oil pressure at start-up. May not be required on all models of lters,
parcularly when the lter is mounted with the base plate facing up.
Base Plate
Aaching point between the lter and engine; usually a heavy-gauge metal
to minimize possible distoron during operaon. Base plates are available
in a variety of U.S. and metric thread sizes.
Base Plate Gasket
Seals the area between the base plate and the engine block. Available
conguraons are square-cut, O-ring and molded.
AMSOIL Advantage

Selecvely lter various contaminants

Relief valve ensures proper oil ow under all operang condions
Silicone an-drainback valve keeps dirty oil from re-entering the engine
Maximum ltraon while meeng high ow demands
Lower restricon than convenonal cellulose lters due to synthec

Section 3
Trap smaller parcles
Allow oil to easily ow through media during cold starts, providing
lower restricon and reduced engine wear
Greater capacity than compeng lter lines
By-Pass Filtration
By-Pass Filtration Systems
By-pass ltraon systems feature an addional lter, known as the by-pass
lter, added to an exisng full-ow system. In by-pass ltraon systems,
some of the oil is diverted to the by-pass lter and then returned to the
system reservoir, by-passing the engine.

Oil diversion usually occurs at the oil-pressure sending unit and constutes
5 15 percent of the oil pump output. A restricon orice on the mount
regulates oil ow and typically ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 gallons per minute,
but could be as high as 3.5 gallons per minute. Oil ow regulaon is
necessary to prevent oil starvaon downstream.

As previously discussed, parcles in the 5 to 25 range inict the most

damage within an engine. Contaminants less than 5 will not cause
catastrophic damage, but should be a concern due to their tendency to
agglomerate into larger, more harmful parcles. By-pass ltraon systems
are adept at containing parculates of this size. According to SAE Technical
Paper 860547, minimum oil lms on some engine components range
from less than 1 to 3 . Contaminants that are less than or equal to the
thickness of the oil lm interfere with the lubricaon process and increase
engine wear rates.
Single Remote By-Pass System (Parasitic)
A parasic system features a by-pass lter added to an exisng full-ow
circuit. Oil is diverted from the exisng circuit, normally at the oil-pressure
sending unit, directed to the by-pass lter, then returned to the system
reservoir. The volume of oil diverted for by-pass ltraon ranges between 5

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Figure 3.9
Typical by-pass ltration system

to 20 percent of oil pump output.

The AMSOIL Single Remote, DUAL-GARD and Heavy-Duty By-Pass Systems

(BMK21, BMK22, BMK30) are examples of typical parasic by-pass systems.
Flow in these systems is regulated by a xed restricon orice retained
in the mount. The Single Remote system has been developed for use on
light- to medium-duty equipment, automobiles and light- to medium-duty
trucks. The DUAL-GARD and Heavy-Duty systems were developed for larger
equipment and heavy-duty trucks and buses.
Dual-Remote By-Pass System (Parallel System)
In a parallel system, the full-ow and by-pass lters are contained on a
shared mount and fed by parallel ports. The oil has the opon to ow
through either lter but generally ows through the full-ow lter as it is
less restricve. Eighty to 90 percent of the oil ows through the full-ow
lter and 10 to 20 percent through the by-pass lter.

In a parallel system, all oil subjected to either full-ow or by-pass ltraon

is directed to engine components. Because of this, there is no need to
restrict the volume of oil owing to the by-pass lter, so ow through the
by-pass lter in a parallel system is generally 5 to 10 percent greater than
in a parasic system. The AMSOIL Marine System (BMK18) is an example of
a typical parallel by-pass ltraon system.

The original full-ow lter is removed from the engine and replaced with
a spin-on xture diverng the oil to a remote mount. At the mount, the
oil is exposed to either full-ow or by-pass ltraon and directed back to
internal engine components. Remotely mounng the oil lters increases

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Section 3
Figure 3.10
Single-remote by-pass ltration system (parasitic)

their accessibility and allows the use of larger lters.

AMSOIL provides dual-remote by-pass kits for specic applicaons. For

example, the BMK23 is a universal system designed for most light- to
medium-duty applicaons; the BMK25 is specically for Cummins engines
used in Dodge trucks (2003 and earlier); the BMK26 is for Ford 7.3L Power
Stroke engines and the BMK27 is for GM Duramax engines. AMSOIL also

Figure 3.11
Dual-remote by-pass ltration system

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


oers a marine system (BMK18) developed specically for light- and

medium-duty marine applicaons.
AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters
AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters (EABP) are designed to withstand severe
operang condions while providing excellent engine protecon. They
feature a synthec/cellulose media covered with a full-synthec outer
layer engineered for high eciency and soot removal.
By-Pass Filter Efficiency
Figure 3.12 below illustrates AMSOIL Ea By-pass Filters near-perfect
eciency rang.
^ubDicron Tieteited Aere cienc

Eciency (%)
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Time (hours)

EaBP Popular By-pass lters

Figure 3.12
Sub-micron time-weighted efciency performance for AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters

Ea By-Pass Vital Statistics

AMSOIL oers four by-pass lters: the EABP90, EABP100, EABP110 and
EABP120. All vehicles and applicaons that can accept AMSOIL lter
mounts can use Ea By-Pass Filters. AMSOIL recommends by-pass lters be
mounted as close to vercal as possible. The lters are equipped with an
an-drainback valve in the event they are mounted at an angle.
Ea By-Pass Change Intervals
When used in conjuncon with AMSOIL motor oil and an Ea or Donaldson
Endurance Oil Filter, Ea By-Pass Filters should be changed every other
full-ow lter change up to 60,000 miles. When used with other brands
of motor oil or full-ow lters, Ea By-Pass Filters should be changed every
other full-ow lter change. AMSOIL recommends using oil analysis when
extending oil drain intervals.
AMSOIL Advantage
Soot-removal device for excellent engine protecon
- Virtually 100% ecient at the removal of the most dangerous
contaminant range (5 to 20 )
- 39% ecient at the removal of soot contaminants less than 1
Patented lter-element construcon
Eliminate channeling and unltered oil from passing through
Reduced lter change intervals for maximum cost eecveness
Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration

Quality Construction
AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters have a marine powder-coated exterior. Their
zinc-dichromate base plates increase rust protecon and are compable
with exisng AMSOIL by-pass lter mounts. Ea By-Pass Filters have a gasket
and an-drain valve. The two-stage, pleated and layered cellulose/full-
synthec media has an eciency rang of 98.7 percent at 2 . The basic
components of the can (base plate, and base plate gasket), are similar to
those used in full-ow lters; however, several components dier.
Full-Flow Filters vs. By-Pass Filters
Full-ow lters are more open and free-owing than by-pass lters
because they must support the enre output volume of the oil pump.
Full-ow ltraon systems are designed for large-parcle removal and
the prevenon of immediate damage and may permit small contaminant
parcles to reach engine components.

By-pass lters only manage a small percentage of the total volume of

output from the oil pump, so they are able to use signicantly denser
lter media than that used in full-ow systems. Denser ltraon media
provides improved small-parcle-removal eciency and is more eecve
at reducing the long-term wear associated with smaller parcles.

Section 3
Full-ow lters and by-pass lters perform very dierent tasks, and their
relave systems dier in the way ltered oil is distributed. In full-ow
systems, ltered oil is directed to engine components. In by-pass systems,
the ltered oil is returned directly to the oil reservoir.
Advantages to Combining Full-Flow and By-Pass Filtration
Combining full-ow and by-pass ltraon in a single system can provide
comprehensive wear protecon against both large and small parcles,
and long- and short-term wear. This combinaon also increases ltraon
capacity and extends the overall life of both lters.

Figure 3.13
Full-ow ltration systems vs. by-pass ltration systems

As a whole, the system is beer able to maintain oil cleanliness and engine
protecon from both small and large parcles. In addion, the increased
oil volume required to sustain the integrated by-pass and full-ow system
lowers operang temperatures and extends oil life.
By-Pass Filter Market
The by-pass market mainly serves heavy-duty applicaons, but its many
technologies can also be applied to auto and light-truck applicaons. All
AMSOIL products in this market are designed to provide high-eciency
ltraon along with prolonged engine and oil life. Long-term benets
include reduced maintenance and operang costs.

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Some by-pass units use angled spray jets or blades to spin the oil, creang
centrifugal force which draws soot and contaminants from the oil and
impacts them onto a special holding cup or surface.

Other by-pass lters use a form of highly compressed media, usually

cellulose. By forcing oil to ow over, around and through the bers,
parcles are trapped within the depth of the lter.

Another popular material used to make by-pass media is coon bers.

Several by-pass makers use un-dyed, virgin coon mill ends that are ghtly
compressed. Others use coon twine and wind it in a criss-cross paern to
build up a depth of several inches. One manufacturer pioneered the use of
stacked discs of cardboard.

Paper is an eecve by-pass lter media, but it is most oen used in full-
ow oil and fuel lters.
By-Pass Filter Media
Ea By-Pass Filter media uses high-eciency synthec/cellulose-blended
media for the inner layer of the element; highly ecient advanced full-
synthec media is used for the outer-layer element. It is very dense and
provides exceponal small-parcle removal eciency.
Superior Construction
The superior construcon of AMSOIL Ea By-Pass Filters provides beer
sealing and increased longevity along with superior corrosion resistance.
Ea By-Pass Filters have a marine
powder-coated exterior; and their
zinc-dichromate base plates increase
rust protecon. Ea By-Pass Filters
have a nitrile HNBR gasket and an
orange silicone an-drain valve.
The two-stage pleated and layered
cellulose/full-synthec media has an
eciency rang of 98.7 percent at
two microns.
Oil Filtration Efficiency Terms
Figure 3.14 The following terms are commonly
Dense Ea By-Pass Filter media used to describe the eciency
of a lter, or how well it removes

Nominal: Removes 50 percent of contaminants of the size or type

indicated, or Beta 2.

Absolute: Removes at least 98.7 percent of contaminants of the size or

type indicated, or Beta 75.

Micron Rang: No universally accepted denion. If a lters micron rang

is not correlated to its eciency percentage, the micron rang oers no
value in understanding the performance of the lter.

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Typical Full-Flow Filter Eciency: The eciency of typical full-ow Oil Filtration
Efciency Terms
automove oil lters is nominal (50%+) at 40 . High-performance
automove oil lters typically oer a nominal eciency at 20 . Signicant Beta Ratios &
removal of parcles 20 and smaller can only be obtained using some Filter Efciencies
form of by-pass ltraon.
Beta Ratios & Filter Efficiencies
Specic tesng procedures are used to evaluate the performance of oil
lter media, mainly in the areas of eciency, capacity and durability.
AMSOIL lters are tested using a mul-pass test, also known as the beta
rao test (), to determine the contaminant-removal eciency of the lter
media, and to determine if the media meets AMSOIL standards. The beta
rao test is a universally accepted method for determining lter media

Figure 3.15 displays the beta rao values with their correlang capture
eciencies. A beta rao value of 2.0, for example, is equal to 50 percent
contaminant-removal eciency. AMSOIL requires that all AMSOIL Ea Filters
have a beta rao of 75.0 or higher, meaning that the lter is able to hold
98.7 percent or more of contaminants of a known size or larger. Noce that

Section 3
beta raos above 75.0 indicate lile improvement in ltraon eciency;
beta raos in the thousands are possible, but are more misleading than
What does Ea Mean?
Absolute eciency (Ea) describes lters that pass the mul-pass (beta
rao) test with a contaminant-removal eciency rate of 98.7 percent (75.0
) or beer.

Figure 3.15
Beta ratio and capture efciencies

AMSOIL Ea Filters are evaluated with the beta rao test in order to validate
their high eciency performance and demonstrate their superiority to

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


What Does Ea In the test, uid containing parcles of a known size is ltered through
the test media. At specic intervals, parcles are captured and counted
Industry-Accepted on both sides of the lter media. The upstream and downstream
Standards for the concentraons of parcles are used to calculate the beta rao (numbers of
Evaluation of Oil parcles upstream are divided by the numbers of parcles downstream

Figure 3.16
Beta ratio accurately compares the size and quantity of particles upstream and downstream
of the lter.

For instance, if 1000 2 parcles are captured upstream of the lter

media, and 13 2 parcles are captured downstream of the lter
media, the beta rao would be expressed as, x=1000/13= 76.9 where x
represents the size of the parcles measured. A Beta rao of 76.9 indicates
the lter removed over 98.7 percent of the contaminants 2 or larger,
which meets AMSOIL Ea standards.
Industry-Accepted Standards for the Evaluation of Oil Filters
There are many terms and test methods used to indicate the performance
of a lter. Today, the most widely used test method for oil lters is the
Internaonal Organizaon for Standardizaon (ISO) test method ISO-
4548-12 (Methods for Tesng Full-Flow Lubricang Oil Filters for Internal
Combuson Engines).
ISO 4548-12 is derived from the ISO standard for mul-pass lter tesng
(ISO 16889), which is based on tesng of hydraulic lters. This test requires
lter manufacturers to determine the average parcle sizes that yield
beta raos equal to 2, 10, 75, 100, 200 and 1000 using the mul-pass test
The mul-pass test must contain on-line, liquid, automac opcal
parcle counters and be calibrated using cered calibraon uid with a
known parcle size distribuon. Parcle counts are taken upstream and
downstream every minute of the test. Because the new standard gives a
beer interpretaon of a lters overall performance, AMSOIL has chosen
this method (ISO 4548-12) to review the performance of its full-ow and
by-pass lters.
Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration

An older test using mul-pass protocol is SAE J1858. This test also reviews Filter Lookup
the ability of a lter to remove contaminants of a specic size from the
uid stream at a specic moment in me. The test can be repeated to
suggest eciencies over the life of the lter. Results are reported as a rao
between the number of parcles of a given size entering the lter and the
number of the same size parcles exing the lter (beta rao).

Finally, SAE HS J806B reviews the ability of a lter to remove a known

contaminant from the uid stream over a period of me. Results are
reported as the percent of contaminant (by weight) removed over a period
of me (me-weighted eciency). Capacity (life) is determined by nong
the amount of contaminant required to increase the resistance across the
media to a given level. Capacity is reported in grams of contaminant. As
the contaminant used varies in parcle size and the eciency is reviewed
over me, this test method predicts how a lter will perform in a given

Note: Filters test performances can only be compared when they have
been obtained using the same test method.
Filter Lookup Resources

Section 3
The appropriate lter for a given applicaon can be determined using
either the Online Product Applicaon Guide at, or the
AMSOIL Filter Applicaon & Cross-Reference Guide (G3000).

The lter catalog deals specically with automove and light-duty truck
applicaons, but also contains lter cross-reference by original equipment
and compeve manufacturers lter numbers, service recommendaons
and instrucons, dimensional informaon on all AMSOIL Ea Air and Oil
Filters, warranty informaon, cabin air informaon and a complete heavy-
duty cross-reference secon. Whether searching by vehicle idencaon
or lter cross-reference, the lter catalog is easy to use.

For vehicle idencaon, simply nd the page lisng the manufacturer and
model-year of the equipment, then nd the model and engine size.

For cross-referencing, locate the number of the lter currently being used.
Ignore opening zeroes, look up the rst digit or leer, then look up each
addional character. Remember, each number is sorted character-by-
character, zero through nine, then A through Z.

The lter catalog is updated and reprinted annually. Between updates,

current informaon is listed in the AMSOIL Acon News, Hotwire and the
AMSOIL website.

The Online Product Applicaon Guide at contains all

AMSOIL applicaon guides, including the PowerSports and Motorcycle
Applicaon Guide, Heavy-Duty Applicaon Guide, AMSOIL Master Filter
Cross-Reference, Gear Lube Applicaon Chart, Two-Cycle Applicaons
Chart and VIN Code Lookup.

All that is required to determine which lter, engine oil and other
lubricants a vehicle requires is the make, model, year and engine size.
Lube capacity, spark plug and wiper blade informaon are also supplied.

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Oil Filtration Tips The Master Filter Cross-Reference is a useful tool to determine the correct
AMSOIL, Donaldson or WIX lter required for specic applicaons. Choose
the applicaons of the vehicle or equipment and enter the cross-reference
part number with no dashes, slashes, spaces or other punctuaon. If no
AMSOIL, WIX or Donaldson lters appear, contact the AMSOIL Technical
Service Department at (715) 399-TECH for addional assistance.

Heavy-duty applicaons such as class 6, 7 and 8 trucks; construcon

equipment; generators; buses and other o-road equipment have a
separate lookup. The lookup is designed to determine the lter by
inpung the type of engine or engine number, or type of equipment.
The lookup page also includes a lter cross-reference. Due to the almost

Figure 3.17
Filter Application Cross-Reference Guide (left) and the AMSOIL
website (right) contain information pertaining to lter
cross-reference and applications

limitless number of heavy-duty applicaons, it might be more convenient

to obtain the lter number the equipment presently uses and cross-
reference it to the equivalent Donaldson lter.
Oil Filtration Tips
Filter Installation
When installing a new oil lter, note that the sealing gasket can be
distorted by the rotaon of the lter against the staonary engine block.
This results in stress on the gasket and reduces its potenal life. It can also
be the cause of oil leakage. To minimize this stress, follow the installaon
instrucons below.

1. Prior to installing the new oil lter, use a lint-free cloth to clean the
lter sealing surface on the engine block.
Make sure the old lter gasket has been removed from the area.
2. Follow the oil lter installaon instrucons located on the oil lter.
These instrucons can also be found on the lter box.
3. Once the oil lter has been correctly installed, start the engine and
check for leaks.
It is not unusual to encounter a lter that has been ballooned out. Many
people will conclude that the lter is defecve; however, the problem
usually has nothing to do with the lter. Instead, it is an indicaon that
there is a malfuncon in the oil pump pressure relief valve.

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


As previously discussed, all automove oil supply systems have the ability
to produce excess oil pressure (volume). This ensures that the system can
compensate for things like component wear. To ensure that this pressure
does not damage components, a pressure relief valve is designed into most
oil supply systems. If this valve scks in the closed posion, pressure can
build to the point where the lter will be damaged.

To get an idea of the amount of pressure that can be tolerated in these

systems, keep in mind that 250+ psi is required to distort an AMSOIL
lter. If the pressure relief valve should sck in the open posion, over-
pressurizaon will not occur, but overall oil pressure will be greatly reduced
at lower rpm.

In a worst-case scenario, over-pressurizaon can result in the oil lter being

blown o the engine. However, in most cases, the outward signs of such a
problem are not as noceable. Some tell-tale signs include bulging of the
lter dome or distoron of the base plate. In this case, the base plate is no
longer perpendicular to the lter can. In either case, the lter should be
replaced and the cause of the damage should be corrected.

Section 3
Figure 3.18
Over-pressurized oil lter

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Section 3 Review Questions

1. List the four main funcons of oil in an engine




2. What are the two main sources of engine oil contaminaon?



3. Convenonal oil ltraon is good for solid contaminants, how are

contaminants like fuel or acids usually handled?


4. Soot is abrasive.

True or False

5. Pressurizing oil increases its _____________ _____________ability.

6. What are the three basic components of an oil circulaon system?




7. What is one way todays oil manufacturers extend oil life?



8. To prevent damage resulng from over-pressurizaon, most oil

circulaon systems incorporate a ______________________________.

9. ______________________is the force applied to any surface in the

system by the uid.

10. ______________________ is the dierence in system pressure

measured at two dierent locaons within the system.

11. The __________________ capture mechanism works on the smallest

parcles in the oil stream.

12. Full-ow ltraon systems are beer at capturing __________ parcles

Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration

than _________ parcles.

13. Full-ow ltraon is designed to lter parcles greater than ________ .

14. By-pass ltraon is designed to lter parcles less than _________ .

15. _____________ ____________ is recommended when extending oil

drain intervals.

16. The __________ ___________ applies force to the media to

compensate for changes in media height, prevenng media channeling.

17. Current by-pass lters mostly use ___________ ___________ media.

18. Performance dierences between cartridge and spin-on oil lters are
due to lter design.

True or False

19. ______________________ lters are the most common type of lter

construcon used in the transportaon industry.

Section 3
20. The an-drainback valves purpose is to minimize dry starng.

True or False

21. When used in conjuncon with an Ea or Donaldson Endurance Oil Filter,

Ea By-Pass Filters should be changed every other full-ow change or
80,000 miles.

True or False

22. What does the beta rao indicate?



23. The beta rao is determined by ________________________________


24. Using the beta rao, a 4 lter with a beta rang of 65 means what?


25. List two ways in which air and oil lters dier.


Filtration Fundamentals: Oil Filtration


Major Causes of Premature Bearing Failure Chart

Filtration Fundamentals

Effects of Wear Due to Particle Size Graph


Filtration Fundamentals

Fractional Efficiency of Nanofiber Layers Compared to Cellulose Engine Air Media

Filtration Fundamentals

Beta Ratio - Capture Efficiency Chart


Filtration Fundamentals

Sub-Micron Time-Weighted Average Efficiency Graph

Filtration Fundamentals

AMSOIL Ea Oil Filters Efficiency Graph


Filtration Fundamentals
5/10 G2769