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Author Topic: GM 4106 - Oil Bath Air Filter Alternatives?  (Read 4010 times)
technomadia
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« on: July 02, 2013, 01:16:26 PM »

There has already been plenty of discussion here about how our air filter failed (either a bystander in whatever caused the overheating, or maybe even the cause... still unknown, may never be known) - but now that our engine and engine bay are fully disassembled, I am looking for ideas of what new air filtration system to put back in its place.

About half the 4106's I've seen at various bus rallies still have the old stock oil bath filters.

But the rest (like ours) have had the oil baths removed and replaced with something else...  I'd love this thread to be focused on the various "something else" options that GM 4106 owners have come up with.  

What style / brand / size filter are you using?  

Where do you have it mounted?

Have any pictures?

Anything you would do differently if you were to do it again?

  - Chris
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 01:38:47 PM by technomadia » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 01:31:39 PM »

To start...

What style / brand / size filter are you using?  -- EcoLite style disposable canisters, 1000cfm, 6" intake / outflow.

Farr EcoLite C-62891-1 U -- Was on our bus when we bought it.
Wix 46891 -- Second filter, 1 year / 10k miles of use.
Baldwin PA2721 -- Third filter. Ingested by the engine after 4,062 miles, less than a year's use.


Where do you have it mounted? -- The filter canister is mounted directly above the engine air horn, and the intake is connected to the old bus air intake box that sucks in from the passenger side back corner of the bus. The air filter is tucked up and out of the way such that you can't really even see it when the engine rear door is open.


Have any pictures?  -- Attached.


Anything you would do differently if you were to do it again? -- Doing it all again right now, and looking for advice and examples of better installations.  The old large canisters were extremely difficult to change because of how tight the space was to fit up above the engine, and it was difficult to get the very short hose attached to connect back up to the air intake box. We'd also like to go to a 1200cfm or larger capacity.


Cheers!

  - Chris
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 01:58:13 PM »

I had a 4104 with only three filters, but basically the same setup.  They could be messy to service but inexpensive and simple as well as reliable.
Most folks that I know of, who replaced the oil bath with paper, retained the hardware and used  3 (or 4) paper filters in their place.  That takes some effort to find the right elements and to fabricate the mounts necessary.  They are well documented in various places on the boards.

If you still have the hardware, that is what I would do; either return to oil bath or use four paper elements.

I decided to retain the oil bath filters on my 4104 because I did a considerable amount on low speed driving on dirt roads and I think they are a better filter for that application.  At that time (late 80's) a lot of agricultural equipment was using oil bath filters and considered them superior. I do believe that oil bath is a better filter, but in the end they are more expensive

My guess is that when you are paying $100 an hour or more for service, paper is cheaper and that is what the bus companies are concerned about.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 02:01:59 PM by Len Silva » Logged


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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 02:38:32 PM »

My factory oil bath system scavenges air thru the exterior ports in the rear of the body

I'm sticking with original because of the stone cold reliability and OEM engineering.  I am curious of the ability of this system to keep up with upgrades above stock though
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 07:50:46 PM by NonHippieBus » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 02:51:08 PM »

I have not looked up the CFM rating on this setup but this is what I have on mine thanks to the PO:

GM oil bath to paper filter conversion

One advantage of this is that I can easily convert it back to the oil bath (I have all of the guts and additional unmodified pan bottoms.) All of my research on this has only given conflicting answers. One says oil better for dirt, others say not so. I have yet to find a real study of the pros and cons of each set up, other than speculation with some reasoning, that on the surface seems to make sense. Hard to feel like I am doing the right thing without the science behind it. Anyone have solid proof? I will gladly put oil on if it is better, the majority seems to think it is not.
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 04:23:57 PM »

Chris

 I am not with our bus but here is a description of what we have.

Inside the bus in what is our electrical compartment and I believe is your closet we have a massive truck style air filter and housing. The system has hard pipe to pull air from both stock intake locations directly into the filter. The engine then draws the clean air through the floor of the compartment and into the engine bay.

I did manage to find this one photo of it from when we were building the electrical system.

Any questions feel free to give me a call,

TM
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 04:27:43 PM by travlinman » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 04:40:59 PM »

I have a 4104 with a DD-671.  Installed a Donaldson ABS filter housing and paper element.  I went to the Donaldson website to size the air filter https://www.donaldson.com/en/engine/support/datalibrary/056798.pdf
After considering ease of access, routing of ducting, and intake location, I put the filter in the inside left rear corner of the bus.  This takes up some of our bedroom space, but best met the above criteria.  Intake is 7 dia. Horizontal (side of housing) and outlet is 7 dia. Vertical (out the top).  The ducting from the housing to the blower is 7 galvanized heating duct.  All seams were taped with aluminum tape and then wrapped in Dynamat to seal.  The duct is reduced to the 4 blower intake diameter as illustrated.  Intake grill is 9 dia.  With almost no obstruction of airflow.  
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 04:44:20 PM by Gordie Allen » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 04:46:02 PM »

A couple more pix
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 06:09:45 PM »

Somewhere on my dream list is to close off the corner intakes and run a pipe up a rear inside corner to the top of the bus where I would have an intake off of a Road tractor. I have seen it done on several 4106s but I didn't save any photos of it. The assembly would be similar to the attached photo. It would greatly reduce the amount of dirt taken into the filter.
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 07:33:46 PM »

Chris -

Scott Crosby has an interesting post over on BNO regarding the air filters on his Fishbowl.  OEM was basically the same as your 4106 - four oil-bath canisters.  Here's the link:

http://busnut.com/forum/index.php/topic,1389.0.html

Don't know if that will help, but worth a read?

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 08:28:14 AM »

An issue which has been touched on but may bear repeating is the location of the air filter. Could it be that the location of your filter in the engine compartment may have overheated the element to where it broke down, especially after a long climb?
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 04:23:54 PM »

Our filter assembly is the same set up. To make a long story short. We had to rebuild our engine before we ever got it home. Turned out to be the blower bearing. We where in the 100's most of the time and overheating after just 2 hours of driving. The engine gave up after 1000 miles of this. (DUH!) The air filter was fine after all of the abuse. I don't think it was the one time overheating. Just my 2 cents.

Kevin   
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 10:05:22 PM »

When I upgraded my 8V-71 from a non turbo 304hp to a turbocharged 375hp, the air cleaner was not sufficient for the increased CFM. I looked up the engine and CFM requirement on the Donaldson site and just so happened to find another air cleaner that flowed enough CFM's but was the same size. The air cleaner went from a 6" in and out to a 7" in and out. From a cylindrical air cleaner element to a conical element. Also, after measuring the air stack inlet, discovered that it too was too small. I cut out the side of the bus for an additional 6x9 A/C vent, and that took care of that.
Considering how relatively cheap a complete new air cleaner is, I wouldn't fool with trying to convert the old oil baths to dry filters. Just get a new air cleaner of the right size and CFM.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 03:35:33 AM »

Keep in mind three things....how much is/are dry filter elements going to cost vs. change frequency, how much labor is it going to cost to replace element,s, if you can't do it yourself, and how easy is it going to be to obtain replacement element, out on the road? You might consider a filter reminder, or as some say they are worthless, a vacuum gage tied into air intake.
  Consider a truck boneyard for a replacement air filter unit;take along a measuring tape.
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 03:38:10 AM »

Here:http://www.donaldson.com/en/engine/support/datalibrary/000622.pdf 
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 05:14:41 AM »

do I hear an echo in here.... Grin
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »

Nah, great posts just need repeated. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2013, 03:59:03 PM »

Consider a truck boneyard for a replacement air filter unit; take along a measuring tape.

Chris -

Chessie just mentioned the same thing Scott did in his thread!

Since you've got Pixel, maybe the guys at Interstate can direct you to a yard nearby where you could poke around to find something that will fit. 

Great idea!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2013, 08:02:32 PM »

From the photo you posted, I think you could do something very similar to what I did.  You get the ABS canister and filter matched to your CFM in one online purchase.
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2013, 10:25:15 PM »

From the photo you posted, I think you could do something very similar to what I did.  You get the ABS canister and filter matched to your CFM in one online purchase.

Gordie - do you have any pictures of your setup?

  - Chris
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« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2013, 05:55:19 AM »

  The problem I see is that getting the right diameter that will fit up in the hole won't be too difficult, but length might be to allow enough room for the elbows or connections. I would try to get the largest that would physically fit without major amount of labor to change filter in future. No matter what you use, it will probably take at least 20 min to do it, as it will need to be dropped out of the overhead hole, and then pulled apart, unless you use a throwaway unit, which may be more practical, but several more dollars at service time. I still would try and find a truck bone yard with a measuring tape in your pocket or a heavy duty truck supply house that might let you try some. Also consider a large truck stop/ service plaza that may carry , at least throw away assemblies that you could either measure or try and return if fitment isn't practical. Make sure you don't find a filter canister that is an oddball and finding a cartridge ends up being a special order every time it needs serviced.
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« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2013, 08:26:02 PM »

Chris,
I posted some pix on first page of this thread.  If you need other shots, let me know.
Gordie
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« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2013, 08:45:12 PM »

Chris, here's the setup before it was taped and Dynamat was added.  Previous photos show how I enclosed the canister.
Gordie
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« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2013, 09:09:40 PM »

If my bus had an oil bath setup I might be looking at changing just because of the ease of buying a new filter element once in a while. I worked in a limestone quarry from 1980-1985 and as you might imagine the dust was always thick in the air. The trucks we used to haul from the crusher plant out to the stockpiles all had 71 series Detroits. We had about 7 trucks that we used in extreme dust every day. These were old trucks the owner picked here and there and no one knew the history of any of them. All but one had oil bath filters.

We worked 10 hour shifts 5 days a week and ran those trucks as hard as humanly possible. The plant had to run at a pretty good volume to make a profit and whatever it produced we HAD to haul away and get back quickly enough to get the next load before the bins ran over. Needless to say, driving it like you were mad at it was just part of the job.

Detroit 2-strokes are tough! In the 5 years I was there we only had to rebuild one engine. The truck with the paper filter developed a split in the rubber boot between the filter and the blower and the dust did its damage quickly. Of course that was not the fault of the filter.
Looking back at all the abuse we put those engines through and the dusty conditions I remember that I cleaned the oil bath on my truck once every 4-5 weeks. I'm sure there is research that proves paper is better but the old oil bath ain't bad.
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2013, 08:58:26 PM »

Okay I have to ask. What is the problem with the oil bath air cleaner? Is it restrictive?  I still run the oil bath on my bug and my 56 Chevy. I love them. Why change if you aren't bumping up the horsepower?

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« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2013, 09:02:29 PM »

Okay I have to ask. What is the problem with the oil bath air cleaner?

Rick -

In Chris & Cherie's case, the OEM oil bath air filter assemblies are long-gone, thus his search.

Unless you, or anyone else, happens to know of somebody scrapping a 4106 with the OEM set-up?

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2013, 12:00:59 AM »

Chris, here's the setup before it was taped and Dynamat was added.  Previous photos show how I enclosed the canister.

That is a great setup Gordie - nicely done!

I need to stay within the confines of the engine bay - I don't want to cut apart our bedroom closet for the air filter if I can help it.

I think I should have space for a sizable filter mounted above the transmission. But it would be great to see some more examples of how others have handled this.

I think I may need to go pour over my photo albums for engine bay photos from bus rallies.  :-)

  - Chris
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« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2013, 10:17:04 AM »

I'm a little late to the party,
My 4905a has had a dry air cleaner added.There is a sticker on the air cleaner "fa1591-2.  Replacement ca1591" I think Fram numbers, air cleaner from GMC Titan . It is mounted above the 8v71, drawing air from the boxed in area above the v730, that is open to louvers on the passenger side of the body. It's long almost 30" , draws air from the side of the filter. Found info indicating some where's around 1500 cfm for the fram filter, I found a crossover to a Napa gold number, not sure of the cfm for it
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« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2013, 10:22:35 AM »

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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2013, 05:58:42 PM »

   Go to KN filters, They have filters that fit close to the old original. 2 of them will be more than enough cfm and should be space for 4 of them. Maybe a little price up front but you can clean them  your self.                 Roger 4106
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« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2013, 08:51:09 PM »

If you want your engine to get the cleanest air and to last the longest, stay away from K&N washable filters. It has been proven they pass alot of dirt. Not a problem for a race engine that's being overhauled frequently, but with our sensitive Diesel engines, I would stay away. A good Donaldson dry air filter element is only around $100.00 and you have to replace about every other year. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2013, 04:58:09 PM »

If you want your engine to get the cleanest air and to last the longest, stay away from K&N washable filters. It has been proven they pass alot of dirt. Not a problem for a race engine that's being overhauled frequently, but with our sensitive Diesel engines, I would stay away. A good Donaldson dry air filter element is only around $100.00 and you have to replace about every other year. Good Luck, TomC

This is a matter of opinion till you post facts.
I have over 180,000 of my and the previous owners miles on my 8V71 with a K&N.
Good Luck
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« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2013, 05:37:45 PM »

It is actually a fact.  An engineer friend did a rather comprehensive test.  This test was done on a miata but the data is still pertinent.  He purchased or had donated every brand of stock replacement and aftermarket "hi-performance" filter available for his car.  K&N was the worst, and didn't make the most power during instrumented acceleration testing.  Although it was near the top.  I don't remember which one was the best, and it wouldn't matter for us anyhow.  The point is, during thorough testing, with defined parameters, that was published (although I don't have a copy and it wasn't on like at a university or anything), K&N passed more dirt than any paper filter he tested, even Fram. 
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« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2013, 07:16:19 PM »

whatever. I am still interested to see even a photograph of your engineer friend.
my motor is smarter than your Miata....
explain to me my success with K&N  OR PONY UP THE DATA  Grin
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« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2013, 12:03:04 PM »

http://www.nicoclub.com/archives/kn-vs-oem-filter.html


No personal opinion myself on this previous post, although having to clean and reoil sort of makes me want keep my oil bath unit, at least for now.
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« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2013, 07:11:45 PM »

There is one point everyone overlooks when discussing K&N Filters, they do pass more dirt new out of the box for a short while, then they preform very well. As they get dirty, like all filters, they filter better. The difference is that I can clean them myself. As I have posted many times I live up a very long dirt driveway and all of my cars ingest lost of dust and dirt. All of my high mileages "keeper" cars (100k to 250k) have the K&N filters and I go years and many miles between cleanings and I have never had problems related to filters. Prior to that I had to live with cars that were choking, and going through lots of paper air filters. Everything is a compromise, I know exactly the pros and cons of both, I know by real world experience how each performs. I have just put K&N filters on my bus without any regrets, worries, or concerns knowing and understanding the claims in the studies. Because of how few miles my bus gets I could run my bus without filters and it will easily outlast me. My bus will suffer some other failure before a dust buffet does it in. My bus is mostly used to kill grass (inactivity for those who don't get it). My longest trip I have ever taken was approx 8500 miles done in new paper, and I was shocked to find that when I got home they were completely trashed. After a lot of searching I found replacement K&N filters for the same price as paper, I jumped on it. After saying all of this I don't have a turbo, and I would reevaluate my filter style if I were to get something with one.

The nicoclub link has already been posted here on this board: http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=25884.msg283988#msg283988

Due to the lack of "official testing" available out there I have some problems with the some of the nicoclub post. Anyone can make a slick presentation, why is the "test" only found there? Something like that should be found in many places by different credible testing labs. My way of wanting to believe, but questioning everything, and using some "street smarts". I have never had a paper filter last like they show in their test. If they would or do, I will be glad to give them a try. I am always open to something better.
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« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2013, 07:47:27 PM »

K&N has used a 40 year old law to protect their self and has been very successful using it they forced Cummins ,Cat and Detroit to remove "only paper filters can be used or it will void the warranty " that was in my Dodge pickup manual under warranty it was on the big three's site's for several years no longer because of the Magnson-Moss act .

Do we like purple,green, pink or yellow antifreeze,15/40 or 40w it's your engine and bus what's the deal we all do it different
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« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2013, 07:57:19 PM »

Quote
Do we like purple,green, pink or yellow antifreeze,15/40 or 40w it's your engine and bus what's the deal we all do it different

Now that's what I am talking about! I want to trash my bus my way!
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Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
Its the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
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