Many questions and concerns from diesel owners over the new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel (ULSF), EGR’s, DPF’s, and the larger diesel engines have prompted attention to the growing need for supplemental filtration in our diesel trucks. This article should take a little mystery out of Bypass Filtration.
A man was once told by his wife and doctor to take a little white pill each day. He didn’t like spending time & money taking this pill, but eventually, he got use to the routine. Many years later during a checkup, the doctor told him he had suffered a mild heart attack, but thanks to the blood thinning aspirin he’d been taking daily, his life was saved. The doctor expecting him to live for many more years as long as he continued with the aspirin and watched his diet. Like aspirin, a bypass filter can extend engine life and protect it from life-robbing wear. The cost for a Bypass system is so little in comparison to the benefits received.
Why use Bypass oil filtration?
Wear is a continual threat to the performance and life of an engine. Wear is caused by having particles of dirt suspended in the oil that are bigger than the film of oil between moving parts when the equipment is under load. Current full-flow oil filters siphons through about 50 gallons per minute and removes particulates (by-products of incomplete combustion) in the 25 micron and larger range. That may sound sufficient but studies have shown that the most damaging particles to your engine are in the 5-20 micron size. ByPass filtering is perfect for removing these soot particles 1 micron and smaller.
This year diesel engine manufacturers have increased EGR (cooled exhaust gas recirculation) from 15% to 30%. EGR engines run hotter and experience less efficient combustion. These new trucks engines will be subjected to higher levels of soot & acid being dumped back into the engine, increasing wear, oil viscosity and shortening drain intervals as the oil and filter deal with more contaminants.
Older diesel trucks also need added protection of bypass filtration. With time, these engines tend to allow blowby compression gases to pass into the crankcase. This gas carries carbon from incomplete combustion, which is removed by the filter. The oil filter must filter more and more carbon as it builds up in the oil. The older the engine gets, the more carbon must be removed. Higher mileage diesels need the added protection of bypass as much as the newer engines.
Full flow filters are not able to remove minor coolant leaking or condensation that form in the engine, but bypass filtering can capture and evaporate these foreign fluids long before a problem becomes severe and reducing the risk of oil degradation, engine rust and corrosion. Normal filter changes and occasional oil analysis should detect (not mask) any engine problem.
A Bypass system helps by adding another 2-3 quarts to the amount of oil circulating through the engine allowing for additional cooling of the engine. Cleaner oil reduces thickening and minimizes the formation of sludge and other deposits on vital engine parts. Not only is Bypass filtration important, but should be used in conjunction with a high quality synthetic oil that provides oxidation inhibitors, detergents and dispersants in its base stocks.
What are Bypass benefits?Greatly Extend the Oil Drain Interval, in some cases >100,000 miles
Improved Oil Cooling
Fuel Economy Improved by 5%
Efficient Small Particle and Soot Removal
Significantly Extended Engine Life, most times Doubling Rebuild Interval
Reduced Engine Rust & Corrosion
Equipment Constantly Runs on Clean Oil
Increased Engine Efficiency
Remove Particles Less Than One Micron
Less oil Purchased & Less Waste Oil in the Environment
How does Bypass Filtration work?
Bypass systems have been around since the 60’s. Bypass filtration is a secondary oil filtering system that by-passes the existing oil filter, taking oil from the oil sending unit or add’l oil pressure port, to a remote filter(s), then returning clean oil back to the engine via the oil pan or valve cover. Some owners may notice a small drop in oil pressure, but system manufacturers note up to 10% decrease in pressure is negligable. A Bypass system is called “”partial flow”” meaning the oil is being filtered at 8-10 gallons/hour, instead of the full-flow 50 gallons/minute. The oil is now supercleaned to less than 1 micron and you have virtually eliminated engine wear.
There are Dual Bypass filtration systems (two remote Bypass filters) for oil sump capacities of 15 quarts & larger.
There is another kind of filtration that combines the full flow and the partial flow called “”Dual Remote””. This system takes the place of your existing full-flow filter and replaces it with a two filter remote system similar to the Bypass.
Bypass systems are quick and easy to install. Someone mechanically minded could accomplished this in an hour or two.
Who makes Bypass systems and how much does it cost?
There are several players in the Bypass market: AMSOIL, Fitration Solutions, and OilGuard to name a few. AMSOIL offers the BMK-11 (Bypass Mounting Kit), Filtration Solutions has the FS-2500, and OilGuard with the EPS-20.
Amsoil BMK-11 runs about $175.00-$200.00 for mounting kit and fittings. Diesel trucks can expect to pay an additional $50 (Dodge) $100.00 (GM) & $150.00 (Ford) for special fittings. A special EaBP filter is about $35.00-$45.00. You can pay $10.00 to become a Preferred Customer with AMSOIL and save about $50.00. The AMSOIL EaBP filters should be replaced after 25,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first.
The Filtration Solution FS-2500 runs about $400.00 (depending on your vehicle) for a complete kit, including filter. Additional filters cost about $22.00 each and should be replaced after 10,000 miles.
OilGuard EPS-20 for diesel trucks will cost $229.00 , but the installation kit will add $100.00 (Dodge), $160.00 (GM), and $257.00 (Ford 6.0L). Additional filters are only 8.00 each and under normal highway driving should allow 4 times the manufacturers drain interval.
Arguments continue as to which is best. Tests prove these systems are efficient. The normal payoff for these systems is about 70,000-100,000 miles. If you want the kit installed, you can go to a mod shop and pay anywhere from $50-$125.00 for installation.
Bypass oil filtration systems simply provide the ultimate protection for your diesel engine whether its old or new. Tests prove these systems can drastically reduce maintenance costs over the service life of a vehicle and extend engine life. The combination of the two filters are synergistic in minimizing engine wear and corrosion. The only downside is a possible lower oil pressure reading and more points for an oil leak.
If you only drive your truck a year before trading it in, this system is probably not for you. but if you truly care about the investment you’ve made in your truck, then this investment is the most rewarding and beneficial for the price. If nothing else, they make your periodic filter change a breeze.
Get a Bypass and save yourself the heart attack when you see the estimate for a diesel engine rebuild.