Correct oil filter for '36 1401

Discussions related to motor & gear oils, greases, anti-freezes, etc.
Post Reply
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:35 am

Correct oil filter for '36 1401

Post by 40clubcoupe » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:10 pm

I have a '36 1401 (320 engine) with what appears to be a Purolator bypass-type oil canister on the firewall. Painted orange, pretty sure it's a Purolator, but no label exists. It had a Purolator P90 oil filter installed, which is definitely the wrong filter. Correct height but inside hole diameter is almost twice the size of the oil tube it mounts on. So essentially, no filtering was going on because oil was not being forced through the filter. The filter was just swimming in the canister.
The canister oil tube measures 0.550 diameter. Canister should take a filter roughly 4" diameter and 6" tall, with a 1/2" hole.

Does anyone else have a Purolator canister on their 1401 and if so, what filter do you use ?

The WIX 51006 oil filter fits the oil tube perfectly but the filter is 1" too short. Maybe this doesn't matter if I take up the difference with a spacer and/or spring. I tried finding oil filters based on dimensions but that is pretty hard. Thanks for any help.

Dave Czirr
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Correct oil filter for '36 1401

Post by Dave Czirr » Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:53 am

The original factory filter was a Purolator L-8, a sealed one time use disposable unit, this unit was used on all the senior engines from 1935-1939 and a very similar L-6 was used in 1934. These are full-flow filters, accepting the entire pump output for filtration before entering the oil galleries. Even 25 years ago they were difficult to source which is probably why your car has a Rube Goldberg type of mongrel system. Even if you could find an NOS unit it would be foolish to use it as the paper media would probably crush and turn to mush when the oil hit it. Your best option is to buy the Purolator L-8 repro from R&A Engineering; externally it looks authentically correct but disassembles to accept a modern spin-on element. Another option if you can find a good used L-8 is to buy a kit from one of the CCCA regions; you cut the old filter open and gut the interior, the kit contains threaded rings and a seal which you solder to the old filter where you opened it, and then install an adapter to accept modern spin-on elements.

If you try to install a bypass type filter into the original filter flow pattern, you will quickly starve your engine for oil resulting in severe damage. Just remember, it's FULL FLOW system!

Post Reply