The PSR has been active in pointing out the many benefits of changing engine oil, especially on a Power Stroke Diesel. Changing your engine’s oil is probably the single most important thing you can do to promote longevity and driveability from your Power Stroke.
Modern oil filters are very efficient and recent technologies and new filtration media have advanced oil filtration. Clogging is probably not very common, but remember you often get what you pay for. Do you want to protect your $10,000.00 engine with a $5.00 filter? Maybe a more expensive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) filter from Motorcraft or International would be a wiser use of your money?
Using quality oil and filters at or before the recommended service interval should be one of the primary goals of every owner. But, what if I want to do more? For those who want to go the extra mile there is always something more you can do or add to go to the next level. One way to do that is, when it comes to oil maintenance, is to add a bypass oil filter to your lubrication system. One such device is offered by long-time PSR advertiser, Gulf Coast Filters of Oklahoma.
The premise behind a bypass filter is implied by its name. “Bypass” some of the oil from the main oil galleries and send it to the bypass filter for micron-filtration. The bypass filter takes a very small amount of oil at low pressures, allowing the main filter and the rest of the lubrication system to do their jobs.
If you have ever noticed, regular oil filters are referred to as “ full-flow” oil filters. This means that these oil filters have the ability to handle the full volume of your engine’s lubrication system. Your engine’s oil filter has to filter all of your oil at a fast flow rate, so there is always enough oil in the oil pan to the system. The International Power Stroke Diesel has a particularly high-volume oil pump. These pumps circulate the entire 15-quart sump capacity through the engine about once every ten seconds. That oil is moving very fast.
Using OEM filters and premium oil to feed your mechanical baby will satisfy
your warranty requirements and probably make your Power Stroke last longer than
most of us will keep our trucks. But, there are those that want to do everything
they can to preserve and protect their engine and are possibly looking towards
one-million miles as a goal. If this sounds like you, then a bypass filter from
Gulf Coast Filters may be a product you need.
When not in bypass mode, your oil filter has to flow at such a high volume of oil that it can only filter particles down to a certain size, usually down to approximately 15 microns. This means that the particles that are smaller than 15 microns are allowed to pass through your engine unchecked. These little abrasives get into the smallest of places and accelerate wear.
Bypass filtration is not a new technology, nor it is uncommon. A partial list
of Gulf Coast’s customers confirms that there are many who have a lot more
invested in their machinery than we do, and they are using Gulf Coast Filters’
filtration technology. NASA, Shell Offshore, Inc., Marine Transportation Inc.,
Scott Paper Co., the U.S. Army National Guard of fourteen states, several
U.S. Air Force bases, and the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard all use
Gulf Coast’s products.
Gulf Coast Filters says that over 80% of the normal wear generated within an
engine is attributed to the contamination that conventional oil filters miss.
That is because 95% of the contamination generated within the engine is from
contaminants that are 10 microns or smaller. These small particles can be very
Never Change Your Oil Again?
Gulf Coast recommends that you change your Gulf Coast Filter every 10,000 miles and your factory oil filter about every 25,000 miles! The Gulf Coast Model O-1 Filter adds approximately six quarts of oil to your Power Stroke lubrication system. This is a 40% increase in oil capacity for a fifteen-quart system on a 1999-up Power Stroke Diesel.
That means that your oil capacity is now twenty-one quarts, about 1.5 quarts more than the lube system of a T-444E in an International medium-duty truck. The regular oil change interval on a T-444E International equipped truck is 10,000 miles. Of course, they recommend you change all of that oil every 10,000 miles, but these are engines without bypass filtration.
Although Gulf Coast doesn’t call this filter change an oil change, the fact remains that when you replace their filter and add the make-up oil, 6-quarts, you are adding lots of fresh oil with this partial oil change. Forty percent of your original oil capacity of fifteen.
The Gulf Coast Filters bypass oil filter provides superior oil filtration
with or without routine oil changes.
In 1990, 18-wheeler Owner-Operator Randy Rogers from Gallatin, Tennessee purchased a new Peterbilt tractor powered by a 425-HP Detroit Diesel engine. At 19,000 miles the break-in oil was drained. At 27,000 miles a Gulf Coast Filter's Model O-2 bypass Oil Filter was added to the engine; the oil was not changed at this time.
Every 10,000 miles the Gulf Coast bypass filter was changed and make-up oil was added (these big Diesels use many more GALLONS of oil than our little Power Strokes). Every 50,000 miles the three factory filters were changed. No routine oil changes were performed, just bypass filter changes and oil-level topping. At 250,649 miles, the oil pan developed a leak, and a Peterbilt dealership in Nashville, TN, replaced the pan gasket under warranty. During this repair the oil was drained and new oil was added.
At 500,000 miles the oil was drained for an engine inspection, which was attended by U.S. Air Force officials from Elgin AFB, Florida, and engineers from Shell Oil Company, and Don Culpepper, vice-president of sales and marketing for Gulf Coast Filters. This inspection consisted of rod and main bearings, the crankshaft, the cleanliness of the block, and inspection for cleanliness and the condition of the head. The results of this inspection were amazing.
The oil pan was very clean, and the oil pump didn’t show any signs of wear. The block was extremely clean. Main bearings 2-6 were removed and inspected, all were in excellent condition. Even the tin overlays were still intact, and a micrometer indicated there was no measurable wear on the bearings. The upper half of the rod bearings still had their tin overlays intact and showed only normal break-in wear. The 500,000-mile crankshaft looked new.
The valve cover was removed, and the mechanics doing the work were amazed. The mechanics indicated that the vent screen is normally full of sludge, and medium to heavy deposits on the inside of the valve cover are common on engines that have a Jake-Brake. The head on this engine was exceptionally clean to the point that one could read the writing on the Jake-Brake data plates.
The engine was put back together, and the used oil was put back in the engine. No parts were replaced! Fast-forward a few years and that same Diesel engine has now logged over one-million miles, with only two complete oil changes! Wow.
While the above test is not on a Power Stroke, it is on a heavy-duty Diesel
engine, and provides a very nice example of the Gulf Coast bypass-filter’s
capabilities. The simplicity of the design makes this a very
interesting product. If you are checking into bypass filtration, the Gulf Coast
Filter deserves a closer look.