Air bath oil filter?

Messages
12,262
Location
Indiana
TL; DR I'm looking at a late 70's diesel Ford tractor tomorrow that has an air bath oil filter. I'm surprised something this new has such a primitive setup. Additional reading if you like tractors: Dad and I are looking at a Ford tractor tomorrow. Japanese made late 70's early 80's. 4WD, gear drive, ag tires and diesel. For those of you who know about my great grandfathers Wheel Horse that I have, this Ford belonged to him as well. I of course had to look it up and it has an air bath oil filter. I'm somewhat surprised something this new has such a primitive setup. I know nothing about vintage tractors so perhaps it's not as abnormal as I think it is. Either way, it doesn't sound efficient. The only thing I have to compare it to is my Kubota garden tractors that are of the early to mid 80's to late 80's vintage. They use spin on filters. My neighbor growing up had an old mid 30's international B that he did a filter conversion on so he could use a 3/4-16 thread filter so perhaps the same could be done here. No idea at the moment.
 
Messages
14,482
Location
...
I'm surprised a oil bath was in use at that late date. This is a tractor though. They worked well. On our old cars when we changed the oil we also drained the air filter, cleaned it all up and filled with 30 grade which we had used on the cars.
 

wwillson

Staff member
Messages
3,120
Location
Naperville, IL
I suspect you mean an oil bath air filter. John Deer 10 series tractors in the 60s came with oil bath air filters. They are very effective at cleaning the intake air, but are time consuming and messy to service. If I recall correctly, they required 10wt oil, which was difficult to find, unless you got it from the John Deere dealer at an inflated cost.
 
Messages
14,482
Location
...
Back when Mount St. Helens blew, those vehicles with oil bath filters fared much better than their paper filter counterparts. The paper elements packed up with ash quickly. A ton of engines were ruined by the ash intake.
 

dlundblad

Thread starter
Messages
12,262
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted by DuckRyder
AIR bath OIL filter?!?! Really? Not: OIL bath AIR filter?
Perhaps I said it backwards.
 

dlundblad

Thread starter
Messages
12,262
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted by wwillson
I suspect you mean an oil bath air filter. John Deer 10 series tractors in the 60s came with oil bath air filters. They are very effective at cleaning the intake air, but are time consuming and messy to service. If I recall correctly, they required 10wt oil, which was difficult to find, unless you got it from the John Deere dealer at an inflated cost.
So it may take a spin on oil filter then ? I'll find out for sure tomorrow.
 
Messages
4,815
Location
Kansas
Oil bath air filters are probably one if the most misunderstood components of a vehicle. Most people think that the incoming air actually bubbles through or that the air goes through the oil. Actually, the air makes a 180 and the dirt doesn't make the same turn as the air and gets trapped in the oil by centrifugal force. Not as efficient as a paper filter, but an oil bath filter can hold much more dirt than a paper filter.
 
Messages
1,250
Location
USA
Originally Posted by Kruse
Oil bath air filters are probably one if the most misunderstood components of a vehicle. Most people think that the incoming air actually bubbles through or that the air goes through the oil. Actually, the air makes a 180 and the dirt doesn't make the same turn as the air and gets trapped in the oil by centrifugal force. Not as efficient as a paper filter, but an oil bath filter can hold much more dirt than a paper filter.
Doubt anyone here thinks air bubbles through oil in an oil bath. They work as you say. My Honda has an oil wetted foam as well inside. The bath gets a lot of the dust and the foam gets the rest.
 
Messages
1,896
Location
missouri
at large throttle openings some of the oil gets carried up into the filter media which is coarse. They catch a lot of dirt that will drop out of the oil. You do not need or want additives,, no detergent. I used mineral oil in them from drug store. In their day they were the best available. I think good quality paper is better, same for correctly oiled foam. However they will not hold as much dirt before plugging. Rod
 
Messages
391
Location
VA
My 49 farmall C has an oil bath air filter (which is what I assume you meant), if you keep it properly serviced and oil is at the correct level, they are very good at what they are designed to do. My 68 JD 3020 Diesel uses a paper filter but I believe there were some models with oil baths.
 
Messages
21,355
Location
Apple Valley, California
Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
You do not need or want additives,, no detergent.
Yep. Tha'ts why I said to use a ND oil. You want the dirt to fall to the bottom of the cup. Not stay suspended in the oil. Many people don't know this and use a detergent oil in them.
 
Messages
8,859
Location
Texas
Originally Posted by Kruse
Oil bath air filters are probably one if the most misunderstood components of a vehicle. Most people think that the incoming air actually bubbles through or that the air goes through the oil. Actually, the air makes a 180 and the dirt doesn't make the same turn as the air and gets trapped in the oil by centrifugal force. Not as efficient as a paper filter, but an oil bath filter can hold much more dirt than a paper filter.
Yes, and no. The air isn't literally sucked under the surface of the oil in the filter, you are correct that the air comes in, and is forced to make a very sharp 180-degree turn just at the surface of the oil and that causes dirt to fall out of the air and into the oil (not unlike a cyclone dust separator). But following the 180-degree turn, the air goes through a metal mesh filter. When the oil is at the proper level in the filter pan, there's actually narrow enough gap between the bottom of the housing and the surface of the oil that oil droplets are picked up in the air stream (especially at heavy throttle opening) and those droplets keep the metal mesh constantly wetted with oil, which captures dust that didn't get trapped by the 180-degree turn itself. The constant wetting causes oil to drop back off the bottom of the mesh, taking the dirt with it, so almost all the dirt winds up trapped in the bottom of the oil pool.
 
Top