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Old 11-12-2008, 10:48 PM   #1
Esteban OP
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Myths, Misconceptions and Outright Lies

There are lots of them out there and they need to be squashed before they become "truth." So in the interest of science, our well being and the ADV debate team I will make the first entry.

Are stainless steel oil filters as good or better than standard paper element oil filters ?

The following is a quote from Scotts website http://www.scottsperformance.com/faq.php

"4) How does this type of filtration compare to paper filters? We sent three common brands of paper filter material off to have them tested for the smallest and largest sized particles that would pass through the material. We sent the material off with no names, just numbers for identification so the lab wouldn�t have any idea who�s filter they were testing. The results we got back showed that the smallest particle the three would catch ranged between 9 and 20 microns. The LARGEST particle the three would allow to pass through the material ranged from 56 to 300+ microns. Paper filters are rated on an average of what they will let pass, so each of these three would each be rated at numbers that are somewhere between their individual extremes. The medical grade stainless steel cloth that we use is rated at an absolute 35 microns, meaning nothing larger than 35 microns should pass through the material. This �absolute� rating is important because this type of filter material is also used in medical applications like blood filtration. Bottom line is paper is rated differently than the stainless cloth (average vs. absolute), and either one works to filter stuff out of your oil. Personally I like the idea of keeping the big stuff out of the engine."


To me the above is very confusing with their "9 and 20 microns" and "56 to 300+ microns" and "absolute 35 microns" all meant to confuse you the buyer IMO. They avoid concrete facts, evidence and statements.

I am going to show some photos which are facts and evidence of why YOU SHOULD NEVER RUN A STAINLESS STEEL OIL FILTER IN YOUR ENGINE IF YOU WANT IT TO ACTUALLY FILTER THE OIL, AND WHY YOU SHOULD STICK WITH PAPER FILTERS - Well just as soon as my camera battery gets charged.

Esteban screwed with this post 11-13-2008 at 12:26 AM
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:08 PM   #2
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There must be snow on the ground 6 miles above Golden if Steve's started an "oil related thread"

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:11 PM   #3
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I have been meaning to do this for years. Ten years ago I used to want to do it for the K&N air filters too but nowadays everybody knows they don't filter dirt well.

However people still think that the Stainless Steel oil filters are the ducks nuts - they are not.



Photos done, just have to crop and upload them - stay tuned.

Esteban screwed with this post 11-13-2008 at 12:12 AM
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:16 PM   #4
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This Uni using, Hi Flo believing filter user is standing by -
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:43 PM   #5
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A photo of a Scotts stainless steel element and a Hi Flo paper element oil filter for a KLR 650.


The Scotts has 25 pleats, the Hi Flo has 37 pleats.
The Scotts costs $65.00, the Hi Flo costs $4.50 - Hmmmmm.......

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:47 PM   #6
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These photos are at the same magnification for each - approximately 30X.



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Old 11-12-2008, 11:49 PM   #7
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Both these photos again are at the same magnification - approx 60X.






Basically the above two 60X photos show that the size of particle each type of element is able to "capture" is dependent on the diameter of the filament used to make the element. The stainless filaments (wires) are much larger diameter than the paper filaments. This creates a larger pore size thus enabling larger size particles to pass through the stainless screen unimpeded. The smaller paper filament diameter makes for smaller pore size, and also allows for many more layers of filaments within the given thickness of the filter element. The paper element is able capture particles far smaller than the stainless element resulting in fewer and smaller particles circulating within your engine oil.

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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The next two photos are taken in a dark room with a flashlight shining into both the stainless and the paper filters.

The stainless filter element passes light through the pores easily.



No obvious light passes through the paper filter element.

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Old 11-12-2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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Notes and observations:

Filtration Surface Area - the paper element has 1.48 x more surface area as the stainless element.
Filtration Pore Size - the stainless has much larger pore size than the paper element.
Good Looks - the stainless looks really high tech

I am not sure exactly how much larger of a particle will pass through the stainless screen but these photos clearly demonstrate that a larger particle would be able to pass. My guess based on the photos is it would be 10 times larger or even more. So much for the "superior filtration" claims. The stainless definitely looks like it would flow more oil, but if that what you want why not just get rid of the oil filter all together ! While your at it throw away your air filter too.


Looking back at the claims made by Scott and others...
Do you think based on the filters in these photos that the paper filter would allow particles in the 56 to 300+ microns to pass through and that the stainless element would only allow 35 micron size particles to pass through ? Come on who do they think they're fooling !!?


Claim - "Stainless steel oil filters are superior."
If your criteria is particle filtration, the above claim is a total outright lie and Scotts should be ashamed of themselves for saying it.
By misleading consumers they are not doing you or your engine any favors.

That is my opinion based upon the photos shown.

Steve

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Old 11-13-2008, 04:43 AM   #10
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Beyond the filtration ability differences between the two....I would want a way to backwash a reusable filter to clean it - like my Pur Explorer backpacking water filter.
Otherwise you've got trapped particulate matter in the filter media building up over time.

The cost is enough to keep me away even if they were superior in some way.


I can't wait to see his next report after it actually snows up on the hill....
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:11 AM   #11
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Cool thread Esteban. Always wondered about this, although I'm too cheap for the stainless anyway. I do run an oiled Uni air filter though. Maybe after a little more snow, you can do a factory paper vs. oiled foam comparison?!
Thanks
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:19 AM   #12
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are you snowed in already?
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:26 AM   #13
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Not to mention dirt carrying capacity, something the K&N is also inferior at.
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:37 AM   #14
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Esteban, do you have any infrared photographs of the 2 filters, or photos of them taken from a satellite, or positron emission tomography (PET) scans? Now that would be really interesting.
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:47 AM   #15
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Steve, I claim no absolute scientific knowledge on this issue, but isn't there sometimes more to how a component functions than what is evident to the eyeball?...or "some" data? Is there perhaps an issue of certain materials having "flex" characteristics under pressure that change their filtering capabilities? Does saturation, temperature, and time change the filtering capability of the non-metallic filter material? Is there any electroysis or other phenomenon occuring with metal filters? Again, I don't claim to have a definitive answer...just questions like yours. I applaud you for asking this, as there are some pretty big claims made on both sides of this fence. Are there any independent tests of various filter mediums?
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