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How To Cut Open An Oil Filter


Frog

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Ok, so I heard y'all mention wanting photos and stuff on cutting open filters and checking for materials/debris inside. So, I thought I would put together a little how to for everyone.

 

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So, here is my filter cutter and an old knife that I use to cut out the pleats of the filter.

 

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I know it's not a diesel filter, but it will suffice for this how to, I place the filter in a vise to keep it stable while I am using the cutter.

 

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I remove the o-ring from the oil filter. I do this because it interferes with the cutting tool and has a tendency to roll up and get in the way.

 

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I place the cutter on top of the filter and tighten it until it touches the filter, then all you do is rotate the tool a couple of times and then tighten down the cutter a little more and rotate a couple more times....continue doing this until the filter is cut open.

 

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Here is the filter after a few rotations.

 

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Here is the filter with the base cut off.

 

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Now you can just pull the filter element from the filter housing.

 

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Now set the filter element down on it's side and use your knife to start cutting the first pleat, cut vertically. Then I count over 6-8 pleats and cut that section vertically.

 

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After making the (2) vertical cuts, I grab the bundle of pleats.

 

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Next I cut horizontally, to separate the selected section from the filter.

 

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Next, just pull the cut out portion of the filter media from the filter.

 

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This is the post filtered inner portion of the filter media. (Filtered Oil)

 

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This is the pre-filtered outer section of the filter media. (Unfiltered Oil) This is where all the metal/debris will be located.

 

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Inside of filter housing. Check for debris/metal in the bottom of the housing.

 

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Ok, now I am using a pig mat, but paper towels will work too. Place the pleats in a vise as shown.

 

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Next, crank down the vise and it will squeeze out the excessive oil from the filter pleats and allow you to see what is trapped inside.

 

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Now isn't that better!!! This is the unfiltered oil side of the filter media. (Outer Section) You can see some debris in this filter but no metal.

 

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This is the filtered oil side of the filter media. (Inner Section) This section should be clean....should be.

 

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That's it...see how easy that was!!

 

I will post some more photos later of metal in some filters that I have cut open. If you do not do an oil analysis, this would be a good thing to do periodically or at every oil change...which ever you prefer.

 

Some particulates are acceptable, some are not.....I will post examples when I can. I hope you all enjoy this and hopefully it will help someone understand how to inspect their filters.

 

Frog

Edited by Frog
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