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TR2/3/3A Proper servicing of TR3 air filters

M

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The instructions on the SU carbs air filters on my 58 TR3 say, "Clean with Petrol every 5000 miles and re-oil the gauze." Instead of cleaning the filters, I have installed new ones (starting fresh with a relatively newly purchased car). My question is this: Do I need to put some engine oil on the gauze of the air filters, and if so how best to do it and how much? Or does it make any difference. The old filters were a little dirty and bone dry.

The new filters came with new bolts, but not lock washers (there were lock washers on the old filters). So, I used the old lock washers. Also, of course, I installed new gaskets.

Ed
 

TR3driver

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I would definitely oil them, Ed, as it does help stop some of the dirt. Sorry, can't help with the best way to do it, as I converted to paper element filters long ago. However, the owner's manual says to "soak" the gauzes in oil and allow to drain before wiping off and reinstalling. So I would probably just pour some oil in each of the openings, and turn the filter so the oil runs down into the gauze between that opening and the next one. Once the whole thing is a drippy, gooey mess, hang it somewhere to drain (preferably not over the wife's flower bed).

Those bolts get a lot of vibration, and it's really irritating to have one come out; so I would suggest new lock washers unless you are confident that the old ones are in good condition. They should be readily available at your local hardware store; but I buy mine by the box from MMC
 

martx-5

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Yes, you need to oil up the new ones. I just squirt it all around with an oil gun, smear it around, let any excess drain off and then wipe the outside off. If you get too much in there, it will quickly get sucked into the engine and burn off. Oil attracts dirt very well which is why it put on there. Before the widespread use of paper filters, many cars had oil bath filters. Today's K&N type filters that the go fast guys like to use is nothing more then a modern version of these old SU filters. The only difference is K&N uses foam instead of a wire mesh.

I've noticed that Don Elliott wraps his stock air filters with a ring of foam. Maybe he has those oiled so he doesn't have to oil up the originals.

Paper is still the best for filtering the dirt. I'll eventually switch over.
 
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M

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Many thanks. if I were living back in Tucson, I'd probably use paper filters, but I'll stick with the old style here in the Shenandoah Valley where pollen is more of a problem than dust.
 

Geo Hahn

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I would think new ones could use some oil. As for the bolts... I have never used lockwashers on mine and have never known them to loosen or fall out, but don't see how it can hurt to have the washers on there.

Because I live in dusty Arizona I have added some foam rings that slip on the original style (BB catcher) cleaners for a bit more filtering. I think some off-road shops sell these but I just made my own from some foam that was lying around.

I think it helps -- anyway they look nice and cozy don't they?

AC%20Koozies.JPG
 
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M

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Thanks, George.

They do look cozy. I'm going to put a bit of oil on the gauze, but not too much because (a) the old ones I have been using have been completely dry for a year with no ill effects, (b) I only drive on hard surface roads, (c) I don't want to make too much of a mess.

Heading for Tucson tomorrow... by air... not by roadster. Hope to see you Tuesday.

Ed
 

TR3driver

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LexTR3 said:
(a) the old ones I have been using have been completely dry for a year with no ill effects,
In most places (not the desert), you could probably drive for a year with no air filter at all and not notice any ill effects. But IMO it definitely shortens the life of the rings, as pretty much everywhere has at least some dust in the air. Otherwise, you wouldn't need to wash your car!
 

Don Elliott

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I made mine by cutting a $15.00 foam filter I bought at Sears for a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. I add AMS "Oil for Foam Air Filters". My only concern is checking the colour of the sparkplugs till I get the lean setting I want on the adjustment under the carbs. Mine had been running rich before I put new bushes, spindles, needles and jets in my SU carbs. But I'm very close now.
 

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M

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I took a long handled artists paint brush and dipped it well in engine oil and used it to go over the gauze inside eachof the filters, about three or four times. I think I got sufficient oil spread over the entire gauze surface. Then I "drained" each filter by leaving in one position for about a half hour, then turning it about a quarter turn and leaving it for a half hour, etc. Seems to have worked fine with not too much of a mess.

I'll put the filters on in about a week -- after a trip to Arizona -- after checking them out to see if the gauze has been well treated.

Many thanks for all of your advice. Yes, there's less dust than in the desert; nonetheless there is plenty of dust kicked up on the roads and highways: a fine black grit! Each time when I return from a 50-75 mile road trip, I damp sponge the car off and the sponge is covered with this grit.

Ed
 

6969ronin6969

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What type of paper filters are being used? Does anyone have pics they could post? I would like to go this route, but was unsure what to use.

Thanks,

Eric
 

Geo Hahn

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LexTR3 said:
...a fine black grit! Each time when I return from a 50-75 mile road trip, I damp sponge the car off and the sponge is covered with this grit.

Next time -- after a ride & before your shower -- run a Q-Tip around in your left ear. I think you'll find the car isn't the only thing that is collecting that grit.
 

TR3driver

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I don't have the link handy, but there was a test published on the net that showed the K&Ns were quite a bit worse at stopping dirt than paper element filters. They do perform as advertised (less restriction when freshly serviced), but let several times as much dirt through and clogged up fairly quickly in the test. The filtration did get better once they were clogged up though :smile:

So as always, there are tradeoffs.

A friend of mine had them on his 914-6, until he drove through a big rain puddle one day and the engine quit running. He got it started again, but it never ran quite right until he rebuilt the carbs again. He found several air bleed holes that were clogged with what appeared to be fibers from the air filter elements. He went back to paper after that (and avoided big puddles :smile: )
 

TFB

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Randall,Thats interesting.I run K&N on my Pick up truck and picked up almost 1 mpg after carefull monitoring.Hadnt heard about loose fibers.
I would think that letting more dirt through,and clogging up quickly are contradictory.
Are your paper filters in a sandwitched plate like the K&n's?
Tom
 

TR3driver

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Geo Hahn said:
I don't use them but Moss sells a paper filter 4As that may suit. P/N 950-740.
Those look to be the same ones I'm using (although mine are Crosland brand from TRF). Should work fine on a TR4 (actually listed for late non-US TR4), but on a TR3 with the stock manifold & carbs, the front filter hits the inner fender. The filter size would be fine, but the stock TR3 filters are offset upwards while the 4A filters are centered on the carb bore.

I've been meaning to build an air box for a long time, but it's just never made it to the top of my to-do list. There's also a pair of HS6 carbs in the parts bin that might solve the problem (but I'd still like to bring in cold air through a box).

If you look closely, you can see where the lower edge of the front filter is just barely dented in this photo of my (now wrecked) TR3A. They hit much harder on the current TR3, probably because it needs new motor mounts.

P3170006.jpg
 

TR3driver

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Sorry, Tom, I just don't know. I ran some mid-TR4 filters for awhile on a previous TR3A that look similar (the ones with the fitting in the middle for the crankcase vent) and they just barely kissed the fender on my car. But they weren't the same, and your car may be slightly different than mine, so ????

As a side comment, the vintage race guys do all sorts of strange things. Kas Kastner once commented that he used some really tall filters and cut a big hole in the inner fender ... he was running in a class that did not allow "fresh air induction", but he got approved on the basis that the big hole was just for the air cleaners to fit. The cold air from the wheel well was just a side effect
grin.gif


And many of them run with no filters at all. Supposedly a good parabolic horn is good for several hp on the dyno; and they are in the habit of "freshening" their motors every season or two anyway (meaning a motor's lifetime is something like 100 miles).
 

Geo Hahn

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TR3driver said:
...If you look closely, you can see where the lower edge of the front filter is just barely dented...

On my first TR3A the aftermarket filter on the front carb only had about 1/4 clearance from the inner wing. I must have had a poor engine ground connection because when I would crank the motor the filter body would arc nicely to the wing sheet metal. Sadly I didn't know enough about cars to do anything but marvel at the effect.
 
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