I'd be interested to know if the guys who do a lot of long distance driving, especially off the pavement, use an air filter. If so, what kind do you recommend?
I just use one of those white dust masks. OOH, you mean the car! Never mind.
I use a filter that I got from Langs, it is a simple motorcycle air filter with an adapter that takes about 3 seconds to install and remove. It is due to be cleaned, it a thousand miles, it is nearly coated with grime that would have gone through the engine. In the east or places like Washington State, I suppose you could get by with out a filter, they did in the old days, but the soil in our state is known to cause cancer in Kalifornia, and requires a warning label to that effect. It is a silica based soil that is extremely abrasive, and would cause premature failure of an engine if a filter was not used.
I would run filters if it did not require the remove of the hot air pipe. I have tried a few times to run without the pipe and always had issues.
I run air filters on my cars. I built them so that the air is preheated. I just can't run an engine in a dirty environment with out a filter.
Dennis, can you post a pic of your preheating filter?
Here's what I did. It's along the cheap side. I intend to replace the PVC with exhaust tubing and the wooden holder with a metal brace. The air filter is a $15 job from Auto Zone.
So far I spent about $20 on this. It works for me. There is about an inch between the plastic and the exhaust manifold, so it could work as is.
We like dirt and gravel driving and last year I fitted Lang's air filter kit. THe foam filter element is a slight compression fit against the hogshead with an NH or my Simmons carb. Unobtrusive and effective.
My son and I travel the roads less traveled through Wisconsin and Michigan.
I used the
foam cleaner until I built one.
Is that a crankcase ventilator? Any particular reason you added that?
Dean: I see a small problem with the crankcase ventilator. You are drawing air thru the air filter and the ventilator/oil cap. Where is the air coming from for the ventilator. ?? It is coming thru the carburetor rod hole in the block and valve cover, past your oily lifters and valve guides, thru the drain holes in the lifter galley, and finally thru the crankcase, past your rods and mains, before it passes thru the ventilator tube to the carb. All of that air is dirty unfiltered air. To really be doing any good, you should remove the throttle rod to over the top of the head. plug the holes between the block and in the valve cover. and install a air intake into the valve cover that is filtered. A lot of the old Y-block V-8s and some of the small blocks 260 289 ect.(and others) had a "road draft tube at the rear of the intake. It was just a open tube to the rear of the engine trans area near the ground. Some of them had a wire mesh filter in them but some did not. Later on, people would add a PCV valve to the engines from a later engine. They were then drawing dirty air up the road draft tube or the oil filler breather cap. Ford later did away with the road draft tube and sealed the holes at the bottom of the oil filler/breater cap. They added a tube to the oil filler/breather cap (with no small holes on bottom side) that a hose hooked to and then went to the bottom side of the carb air filter, on the inside of the paper filter. That way you were pulling filtered air thru the crankcase and then the PCV valve.. I have seen lots of early engines with PCV valves incorrectly added. There oil looked like tar from all the dust that had been pulled in.
The crankcase ventilator is copied off a vintage one that went back to the heater stove. Just thought it was neat.
75% of the smog from an engine comes out of the crankcase breather.
By sucking it in and burning it you eliminate 100% of that 75%.
A high rate of hydrocarbons comes out of the breather. They burn and you can lean out the carb slightly when the engine sucks them in the intake.
It is also good valve lubrication.
Many, many years before any smog laws came about there were delivery trucks with positive crankcase breathers.
A better way would be to run the hose directly to the intake manifold with a PCV valve in it.
Some have done that. It also helps the oil leak problem by keeping a very slight vacuum on the crankcase.
The fumes that come out the oil filler cap on a T go into the passenger's compartment and you breath some of them in.
If you can smell them-you are breathing them.
When you install a PCV on an early car with a road draft tube you must plug the road draft tube.
I guess I should install a vacuum gage and see if it does make a vacuum or just re burn the blow by.
Dean has the oil filler plugged-as it should be.
Instead of breathing out the filler cap it breaths into the air intake-as it should.
The only thing he changed is where the fumes go when they come out of the crankcase.
That tube is called a KV tube.
Hmm, no need for upper cyl. lube huh ???
Adding oily PCV air to the intake doesn't lubricate the engine at all. It does add a hydrocarbon mixture that burns in the combustion chamber. It is harmless. It keeps the crankcase cleaner by removing water vapor and blow - by vapors.
There should ideally be a filtered air intake that allows clean air into the engine, preferably as far away from the PCV tube as possible. I like the idea of an air intake from the valve chamber but don't know how you could do it with a decent vintage appearance.
I don't use any filter so as to not spoil the originality of my car. If that means doing a rebuild one year earlier, then that's quite alright.
No filter here. I do use the hot air pipe, and on the Touring, engine pans. The TT doesn't have engine pans, but I don't do as much dirt road driving with it. Too dang bumpy with that stiff suspension. I don't run a filter on my A either. My two concerns for filters (In addition to the fact that they violate my Purist beliefs) are that they will restrict air flow on an already low horsepower engine, and that they could become a fire hazard if soaked with fuel from flooding or leaving the fuel on. Would they offer some protection against wear? Absolutely, but for the couple of thousand miles a year they may get driven, I doubt I'll ever notice the difference in engine longevity.
It really depends on whether you are the lead car or driving solo on a dirt road. If there is a lot of traffic, the dust will be in the air which will blow into the air intake. If there is little traffic, your car will be the one throwing up the dust. Your air intake is mostly from the front where the air is clear. If you still have the dustpans on the sides of the frame under the engine compartment, you would have practically no dust at the air intake, especially if you are using the hot air pipe which will bring the air from high in the engine compartment.
However if you don't have the dust pans and you are on a highly traveled road, then the dust will be in the air. (it will also get into your lungs).
love that plate Chris
I'm also a proponent of Lang's ridiculously easy-to-install, one-size-fits-all air filter.
When something is this easy, it's hard to find a reason not to use it.
As for the filter's effectiveness: Well, it's a piece of oil-soaked foam rubber.
Hard to imagine any significant sized grit getting past that.
The ol' 710 filter strikes again!
I wonder how much dust and how long it would take before the engine shows signs of its effect and needs an overhaul?. As Norm noted not much gets to the carby as its near the front getting clean air most of the time.
I don't remember there being many accessory air filters in their day , maybe Jay has some??
Over the 50 plus years I have been driving my Town Car it has been on numerous dirt roads.
Only the last week over Easter I drove probably 20 miles on dirt with other members. It never worries me if the road is dirt except for the effect a rough surface has on the body.
Never have had an air cleaner ( or hot air tube) I think maybe my lungs will succumb to the dust before the car.
The most important factor is the type of soil that you will be traveling on. In our area, as little as a week driving in the volcanic based soil will ruin an engine. That may be why there are so few model T Fords that survived in this area. I remember when Mt. St. Helens blew, and the news reporters reported on how many automobile engines were ruined because of the volcanic ash. I could not understand how the ash could ruin engines in Washington, but we had no trouble in Idaho. I had it explained that not every one maintains their air filter.
If your soil is not abrasive, and you have enough money to overhaul your engine more frequently, then an air filter is not so important, for me, a $30 air filter is much cheaper than an over haul.
I have be fighting a condensation problem so I tried something like Dean's setup only more passive. I used a Model A aftermarket breather cap made to run a tube under the car, used a length of rubber hose and ran it up and hung by the hot air pipe. It seamed to work some.
Re an air filter; if you look in "The Model T Ford Owner", there were a number of them back in the day.
Had used the foam unit seen above with an NH Holley and really liked it. Now I am running the Stromberg LF that has an upward facing intake horn. Will have to fabricate something. Wouldn't mind trying a version of Dean's vintagey looking set up.
Dean, can you give a few more details of the fabrication of that unit?
Dean, sent you a P.M.
My dad would just wrap some copper screen around the air inlet - he said it was to keep the birds out. Sure would like to see Chris Bamford post some more photos of the little 24T42
Thanks Frank, the 24T42 plate is not my original idea, there is a member of the AACA forum with that handle.
Here are a few more pix for you. I built the car in 1992/93 and took the body off in 2003 to go drag racing. In 2011 we upgraded the body for touring and put it back on to attend NWVS events in the Pacific Northwest...
Has anyone tried oiled air filter foam in the hot air pipe close to the carb to keep the original look and still get filtered air ? ken
Ken, I've wondered how hot the air gets in the hot air pipe. Would it damage the foam? PK
This shows my inspiration and tooling to make my air cleaner.
The cap was spun on the lathe.
The body is made of 1-1/2 drain pipe flared with home made punch.
The brass tube is made from a 12gage brass shotgun shell.
The original was connected to the hot air flange the flange is not in the picture.
I think the model t is a great car! dependable, good looking and we can use anything from toothpicks to shotgun shells to keep them running. Back to the heat in the air pipe, maybe someone knows if the heat would be too hot for air filter foam in the pipe near the carb? Ken
I suspect that having or not having the splash pans makes a difference on how much dirt the carburetor air intake is exposed to.
Many thanks Chris for sharing the photos - that's a great looking speedster. I used to be a member of the NWVSC, way back - had several nice letters and phone conversations with Rajo Ed. Thanks again, and sincere best regards.
Run your car up to temperature and hold a piece of the proposed foam up against the outside of the hot air pipe and see if it melts. I doubt it does, but I also doubt you will have enough surface area to keep it from clogging in pretty short order. But heck, give it a try.
What about some of the copper gauze type material I have seen used in dry air filters?
If that were used in the place of a paper element, would it be period correct?
When did paper start?
When did the copper gauze type start?
Hal! thanks for your input, I didn't think about the amount of filter material needed. if it would work it will probably need continues cleaning. when I first got my engine running I did not install the hot air pipe and the carb would ice up in about 10 min. I would like to filter the air but I would like to keep the original look too. i would like to know if anyone using a foam filter that Langs sells if there is a carb icing problem? thanks, Ken
Were there ever horsehair and oil bath filters for Ts? I've had a couple bikes with them.
Ken, by icing, do you mean you could see frost on the manifold? Or the car ran poorly and or quit due to ice in the carb?
Erich, it was frost, didn't seem to run bad but I ran it two or three days like that and then installed the air pipe and the frost/ icing stopped. ken
I always notice the frost on my manifold and consider it normal. I do not like the idea of the hot air robbing my T engine of some of that precious power. Hot air is already partly expanded so some of the power potential is lost compared to cold air. Since the function of the engine has never been affected by any condensation or frost observable on the outside of the manifold, I just don't worry about it. Modern gas doesn't need help vaporizing as the gas in T days did (the main reason for the hot air pipe, I believe). No hot air pipe needed here with any of the carburetors I have used or any of the climates, elevations, temps, or seasons I have run my T in. YMMV
I have never had a carb icing problem on my T with the Langs filter, and even if it happened, I do not think I would ever consider running with out a filter, as a carb icing problem in a car is not as big a deal as in an airplane. But loss of power due to excessive wear is not something that will correct itself sitting beside the road.
Just looking at the crud on the filter makes me glad it has not gone through the engine, and most of my driving has been done on asphalt. I have seen people get out dust rags to clean the dost off their cars, and there is a very minute amount of dust that will settle on a fender compared to the amount that gets sucked into the engine.
I've heard rumors that air filters will restrict airflow, requiring a richer mixture to compensate. Does anybody know one way or the other on this problem? I would think if your filter restricts the air that bad you'd need to clean it or just remove it, but maybe someone else has more information.
Actually, the restriction would richen the mixture. You may have to lean it to compensate for the smaller amount of air. I imagine any mixture adjustment would be small in the grand scheme of things.
I have removed my filter a couple of times when in clean conditions to check the mixture issue, and found no difference.
Believe it or not, in late 1927 Ford introduced a carburetor with an air cleaner on the intake. It was the Kingston B-1 Gasifier, and it may be the only known example of a factory-assembled air cleaner on a Model T. The air cleaner is a steel flask with a rounded bottom. Air is introduced through a distribution of radial holes, and the air-stream makes a 90-degree turn upward, skimming across a pool of 30W oil in the pan underneath. It's incredibly simple.
You are supposed to frequently top off the oil by sticking your oil-can into a hole and give it a couple of shoots. It works! I do not drive in a dusty environment, but you would not believe the sand and dirt this thing picks up. Every few hundred miles, I release the cleaner (one screw) and wash it out.
The last car I owned with an oil-surface air cleaner was a 1965 Mercedes-Benze 190Dc. I think they were used on long-haul trucks even after that.
I can't remember when the modern paper-type air filter element became "the norm" on American cars, but the oil-bath air cleaner was pretty much universal on nearly all Detroit cars all thru' the '40's and most of (if not all of) the '50's.
This is purely conjecture on my part, but I believe one big reason Detroit did away with the oil-bath air cleaner was due to the lower styling of cars in the late '50's - early '60's and the fact that oil-bath air cleaners were so big and bulky. The modern paper-type air filter element is not only much more effective, but much more compact which I'm sure the Detroit stylists appreciated. Again,....."conjecture", but I have always thought that oil-bath air cleaners were only partially effective and never did remove as much of the very fine dust/dirt particles as a paper air cleaner element does. FWIW.....harold
It's a conjecture, but not an unreasonable one. Paper filters were brought to a state of perfection during WWII in the Manhattan Project, where they (HEPA filters) were used to take radioactive dust out of breathing air in isotope separation and plutonium production facilities.
The oil-bath filters were heavy, and, as you point out, they had to be vertical structures that became hard to hide under a low hood. I think that the main reason they were replaced with paper filters was that owners would neglect the required periodic service. It was an unholy mess to clean the thing out using gasoline and replace the oil. People just did not do it. Replacement of paper filters was easy and relatively clean.
Advantages of the oil-bath were that you didn't have to throw away an element, the working fluid was always on hand, and the air restriction was low.
I just thought of another oil-bath filtered engine I had. It was on a Johnson reel-type lawn mower. Looonnng ago.
Thanks Jim! You know, when you think about it, WWII, as horrible as it was, forced a lot of engineering and design work that brought about many things that otherwise might not have come about as early as they did,....if ever! Thanx again,.....harold
P.S. In fact, I believe WWII actually helped Chrysler Corp. out of one of their several bankruptcies! That ol' flathead six of theirs (usually with oil-bath air cleaner by the way) powered all kinds of vehicles and machinery during WWII!
Getting a bit off-topic, but the Chrysler corporation also helped the Manhattan Project, or the atomic bomb project.
Building the "Fat Man" implosion device required some very complicated metal molds in which to cast explosive segments, which were to be assembled into a hollow sphere. It was a compound-curve machining exercise, which was quite difficult.
The Chrysler Corporation came through with a large, state-of-the-art numerically controlled milling machine. The curves were coded into a paper tape, which would then run through a computer-like device and guide the milling table and spindle to make the molds. This particular machine had to be taken off the aircraft engine line, which was milling engine blocks for the Merlin inverted V-12 engine for the P-51 Mustang. At that time, I don't think there were many numerically controlled mills in the world.
Back to air filters, has anyone run loosely packed brass wool in their hot air pipe, either oiled or not oiled? Did it do any harm?